The Catching Fire premiere was in the middle of my trip, and as always it was a long, cold, rollercoaster of an event. I've learned no two premieres are exactly alike - at least from my experience - and this one might have been the most bizarre. I found myself at 4:30AM going beyond the boundary of the garden in which we were being kept. I took a stroll down to the National Portrait Gallery, where I could see that familiar blue rooster and the monument for Mandela. There was a small group of teenagers sitting on the steps and off in the distance, in all it's glory, was Big Ben. There were some voices in the distance behind me and due to the events that had transpired earlier in the week, I decided to head back to my sleeping friends by way of the lit streets, and not the dark alleys from which I had come.
I passed the museum and walked a deserted road that had seen millions of footsteps a mere twelve hours beforehand. Whenever I visit "sleepless cities", it always strikes me odd that indeed they do have their moments of solace. Eventually everyone retires to a club or an exclusive after party or a warm bed. That occassionally you can take one left turn and wind up in a dystopian wasteland.
I rounded the corner and found myself standing in the majesty of Picadilly Circus: the Times Square of London. In every direction as far as I could see I was alone. There were no speeding taxis, no gang of teenagers, not even obnoxious club music permeated my bubble. The only sound came from the billboards above me that hummed with the same elctricity that was coursing through my veins. I felt alive and in that moment those buildings and that street and the whole night belonged to me and there was no one I had to share the moment with and there was nothing I wanted to do but to bask in those shining lights safe in the knowledge that I was alive and I was in my favorite city and amazing things were about to happen.
(I wish I had taken a picture, but I didn't bring my camera and my phone had already been stolen at this point.)