We always went to your flat in Walthamstow, but this time there was a problem with the tube.
“We’ll get out and walk.” You said.
I asked why it was called…
“There’ll be a reason for it” You cut in. There’s always a reason for it. There’ll be some bloke who does talks in the back rooms of pubs all about it. You waved away any possible interest I might have. I said nothing. I wanted there to be a real horse. I knew if I said this you would pronounce me a child, as you always pronounce me a child. Are all women children to you?
There was a mural – a disappointing horse of tiles that looked like a giraffe. Then, as I tramped after you, I saw something at the very edge of the platform. I hid it in my hand quickly in case you saw it. You stomped ahead as it rested in my palm, nestled in flesh. Like a chess piece, a knight. It was a brooch of a black horse.
You stood at the top of the escalator, a colossus looking down at me.
In my hand the horse was calling, its mournful eyes urging me on. It was a Trojan horse and I imagined myself inside, sweating; waiting to be hauled into the city to conquer it, ready to leap out with my sword. I would be the Amazon among all those muscular Greek boys.
“What’s the matter with you?” You said.
You are just a hectoring little demi-god and I realised I was tired of your bullying. When I reached the top of the escalator I turned and allowed the other one to take me down again – deep into the dark entrails of the Blackhorse.