For a while I lived in a rectangular room above a Mexican restaurant. Outside of the window, I looked down upon a large cauldron of chilli, either decaying of cooking. I could never tell. Back then, I would go down to the Mexican restaurant on Haverstock Hill for their £5 evening buffet. An underground restaurant, the table was a mixture of cold calamari, rice, and dried refried beans. I would eat alone. Designating it as my main meal of the day, I would often covertly extract fajitas into a napkin for the day after. Once done, I would head back upstairs and keep the remains on the windowsill above the restaurant to keep the fajitas chilled. Occasionally I would wake and find that the rain had washed the fajitas away, pushing them into the cauldron below.
Shortly after that experience, I was walking along Haverstock Hill and got caught in the rain. Like so many memories involving rain, I found myself lodged in a doorway, protected by an alcove and yet with a move of my arm, still able to remain in the rain. There are no twilight porches in North West London, only shop entrances closed for the night. Striking how the experience of being caught in a downpour, at once intense and obtrusive, can suddenly switch, becoming a scene of comfort rather than a disruption of movement. And here, too, the moment adopts a dramatic gesture. A moment of intimacy, in which couples huddle together to ward off the cold while those who lack the desire to run resign themselves to a state of unobserved solitude.