Strange Philosophies

Borough High Street - Southwark - London

Connected to the City of London via the London Bridge, Borough High Street is the main thoroughfare in Southwark. Declining light industry and factories in the area have given way to shops, restaurants and bars, causing it to become a thriving cosmopolitan area. It's become a major business center with several international corporations, professional practices and publishers.
Just off the main thoroughfare is the 17th century The George Inn which boasts both Shakespeare and Dickens as patrons. Not far off from that is the well-known Borough Market, the Old Operating Theatre museum, and Herb Garret, the oldest surviving operating theatre in Britain.
Other locations of note here are the London Bridge Underground station and the Southwark Cathedral.


ca01.jpg Chi5.jpg
Brenna Tiago

It's quarter of two in the morning. The sky, despite the glow from the city, is dark. Street lights illuminate the walkways, and the night is relatively clear — only a few clouds drift overhead at a lazy pace.

Finally off her shift, Brenna is exiting via the staff entrance. Tuesdays aren't the greatest for tips unless you're a dancer — which Brenna is, although she's not a dancer for the club. Waitressing at a place like the Windmill isn't so bad, as most of the men do tend to behave themselves, but she'd never be able face her mother or aunt again if she wasted her talent for dance wearing lingerie and twirling around a pole.


There, sitting on the side of the road in a fairly child-like fashion, happens to be a man. He's doubled over, clutching his stomach as though seriously injured, and otherwise completely motionless and silent. Or at least…he was silent.

Until one massive snore breaks through the night, revealing the true state of the giant man-child.


Brenna is a girl who's torn between two options; to go back inside and call a cab, or to go over and see if the man is alright.

She goes for the latter of two options, quietly, almost stealthily tiptoeing toward him to check on his status. Is he wounded? Drunk? Not that there are many that leave the place that sotted, but they have on occasion needed to see that someone was off to home safely.

"Are you alri — "

The snore throws her for a moment and she steps backward.

"Oh, uhm, I apologize for the intrusion. Really though, there are likely better places to sleep than the curb."


Tiago starts as soon as the voice comes out. Suddenly, he's blinking his bleary eyes around, revealing a less-than-fresh faced foreigner that is peering over to the blonde. "Huh…" It takes him a little bit to process exactly where he is and what he's doing there, judging by the curious way in which he absorbs his surroundings. But there is no surprise on his features. No panic when he finally puzzles it together. It's like this is run of the mill for him.

Eventually, he returns to his current alarm clock with a soporific smile. "Hi." That's it. All she gets. Like he's ignoring the fact that he just dozed off on the street corner.


"Did you need us to call a cab for you?" Brenna barely waits for a response, before dipping her fingers into her pocket to pull out her cell phone. "It's late but it shouldn't take them long to get here." Fingers begin to drift over the number pad in order to make the call.

"You're not injured are you?" The dialing pauses as she allows for a response to that. If he's injured it'll mean a call for something other than a taxi.


Tiago has a very genuine, honest smile. The kind that innocents have, that crinkle around the eyes and make them sparkle with vigor and life. And that's exactly what he's wearing at the moment. "A cab? Why? I have nowhere to go," he admits easily enough in his uniquely latin accent. The statement is given in a matter-of-fact sort of way. "I don't think I'm injured any. I'm fine. What's your name?" Leave it to the foreigner to switch topics so abruptly and strangely.


A response like that causes a blink. Brenna stares down at her phone, and then glances over to the man upon the curb. "A hotel? One of the youth hostels? There's one not too far off, I think." She'd have to pull up a map program to know for certain. "Oh! I get it. You're one of those tourists!" Using her free hand to sweep her mussed ponytail back over her shoulder, she grins. "I can direct you to the hostel if you'd like then. A bed's got to be better than that." A small point toward the curb.

"Brenna, and you?"


"I have a hotel room," Tiago admits with a shrug of his broad shoulders. True enough, though his clothes look a little dirty, scruffy and lived in, he's nowhere near 'homeless' levels. However when she calls him a tourist, all he can do is smile in a mischievous, playfully coy kind of way. "Maybe. Where I come from, this curb is fantastic in comparison, so you don't have to worry about me. I'm exactly where I need to be, and what I need is exactly what I want." It's only after spouting that circular bit of rhetoric that the man holds out his hand to the girl in a friendly display - an invitation to his 'curb'.

"Tiago Gaspar Gilberto DaSilva." The name is a mouthful, and spoken with pride. "I'm pleased to meet you, Brenna. Are you a dancer?"


"Oh." Well there go the notions of being a 'help' then. Brenna glances down he street, knowing that Chaz will likely show up eventually (when he remembers that he's got her car tonight). As he's not arrived yet, she looks back at the curb and eases her way down to it.

"Exactly where you need to be is a curb at the side of a club?" There's a quirk of her lips, slowly curving them into a smile. "I am."

Clarification comes swiftly, "Not here. I don't dance here. Here I waitress. Out there…" A look of sadness mars her features for a second or two. "… Ballet."


"For now? Looks like it. If I wasn't here right now, I wouldn't have met you. Things would be different if I wasn't here, so here is where I need to be." If the accent and the exoticness of his appearance wasn't a dead give-away, the awkwardness with which a cheerful Tiago phrases his thoughts ought to be. "I believe everything happens for a reason. Destino, you know?"

"You don't dance here? Oh. Sad. I like dancers here. They're very nice." He's ever so polite and diplomatic in his words. "Maybe some day I can see you dance your ballet, yeah?"


"What an interesting outlook." Setting her arms around her knees, Brenna pulls them up to her chest. "Though it was probably more sheer dumb luck." If she'd had her car tonight, she would've left on time instead of volunteering to help clean up the kitchen.

"I'm not the right type of girl to dance here." There's a small, gentle laugh. "Of course they're nice. If they weren't nice, people wouldn't pay the extra membership dues that they do."

Her head drops forward a little, shoulders lifting in a miniscule shrug. "Maybe."


Tiago adopts a rather impish look. "Sheer dumb luck? Think of all the decisions that has…how do you say…conspired to make this moment possible. I am thousands upon thousands of miles from my home. Any one change and I could be somewhere else. Same for you, too. It's a miracle that we are right here, right now. Because anything else could have happened, and we could have been anywhere else, but we're not. It's a miracle." It's a peculiar but highly optimistic viewpoint - one which Tiago sells with his good-natured enthusiasm and almost child-like wonder.

"Why aren't you? The right type, I mean?" His polite questioning gives way to a small frown that mars his features as he notices her head drop. "Is something the matter?" His words are soft - concerned.


There is a moment of consideration for all that he says, then Brenna can't help but laugh lightly again. "Such philosophy at such a late hour." He's starting to sound like her brother, always talking about how life is fated, set on a course, everything is meant to be. Something she's heard quite a bit of since the incident.

"I prefer the classics like ballet to prancing about in front of rich businessmen in my lingerie." Not to mention that she couldn't bring herself to actually go through with the audition, afraid that if she did she'd never go back to what she loved.

"Not anything that's of any immediate concern. I just really can't invite you to my ballet, since I'm not actually in one at the moment." With all likelihood of never being in one again.


Tiago smiles easily, his brows arching as he considers the blonde. "It's best to philosophize when the rest of the world is sound asleep. You can really hear the silence." As well as the muffled stripper music in the background, but never mind that. "Oh. Well, that's fair." He comments about her preference to not-stripping. But then, when she mentions not being in a ballet, he lifts a hand to run through his wavy hand. "Well, then make one to be in. There's no time like the present."


"I wish it would work like that." Brenna stretches her legs out in front of her, rubbing at her knee. "I can't dance like I used to." It's shrugged off though. She's not in pain anymore, she just needs to work on a new dream.

"I teach, I work here. Eventually I'll have enough for my own studio, and then maybe."


Tiago leans over to Brenna, nudging her with his shoulder in an almost shy manner. "Then don't dance like you used to. Dance like you dance now." He offers simply. He's not being cheeky, either. It's a legitimate suggestion, in his personal philosophy. "What happened to make you stop? You were hurt?" He might be refreshingly simple and honest, but he's not so simple that he doesn't notice her rubbing her knee.


Brenna did consider dancing like she could now, but it would likely be in a third-rate ballet if at all. The training required to be at top form could re-injure the knee.

"I tore a ligament in my knee. Needed surgery. All the physiotherapy in the world won't bring me back from that type of thing." She's still not seeming overly concerned about it. It's been a long time to her now.

"How'd we get talking about me? Weren't we discussing how the curb isn't likely the best place to get sleep?"


"By talking, I assume." Tiago muses to himself, before taking in a deep breath, tilting his head back so that he can peer up at the sky. "Yes. I agree. No sleeping here. I need to stay awake. You - why are you here? Why are you not in a bed, sleeping?" Look at how skilled and slick that deflection is, once again bringing the attention back to the girl.


"I just got off work, actually. Waiting for Chaz to come by with the car." Brenna pulls her knees back up, and glances up at the street lamp. "I'm pretty sure he's forgotten that he's got my car though, in which case I should ring him soon and remind him."

The deflection doesn't go unnoticed, she just lets go of the fact that he was sleeping on the curb. "Why do you need to stay awake?"


"It's a nice night out. Not too chilly. Not too hot. It's perfect. So perhaps you could possibly walk home, no?" Tiago offers, trying to entice her into doing so. But soon enough, he allows a rather lazy smile to stretch his lips. His teeth are straight and white. "Because I can sleep when I die! Because life is happening! Because I'm in an exciting new city."


"Except," Brenna notes as she draws to her feet, "That you were sleeping when I came out here. I really hope that means you're not dead, because that would have made this whole exchange kind of awkward, don't you think?"

Toying with her cell phone, she nods at him. "Well good luck then."

She's not got the intention of walking home. Even if the streets are safe, she's got a fear of messing up her knee. Walking a block to a cafe shouldn't be a problem though. It'll be warmer and better lit, so Chaz'll have no problems finding her once she calls.


"Yes well, accidents happen," Tiago waves off the truth that Brenna points out to him, unbothered. "I hadn't planned on sleeping." But, he is exhausted, so his yawn proves. "Perhaps I should something to keep me awake. Well! It was a pleasure to meet you, Brenna. Hopefully, we will meet again. And hopefully, I will one day see you dance!" Suddenly, he propels himself forward, onto his feet so that he can begin to stagger off.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 License