written in full stop coffee shop on brick lane on 16 August 2014
If I remember to breathe everything instantly improves. My limbs loosen in their sockets and my veins slide into less jagged lines and my heart sits steady in my chest. ‘If’ has a lot of depth and breadth for a two letter word.
Fuck me, this coffee is delicious. I understand now why city dwellers drink it. It beats with the same pulse as the tarred blood of the city streets, an insistent invitation to stay alert, remain ‘busy’. When asked how are you and the only response I want to give is ‘busy’, I know I’ve lost myself to the asphalt, between the concrete trees with glass leaves towering over me like judging prefects in the school yard when I’ve been spotted with my socks around my ankles rather than my knees.
I’m happier than I give myself credit for…but then, I find it hard to give myself credit for much, especially my happiness. “Save yourself, we’re all in love,” says the long-haired barista behind the brown wooden counter.
Once upon a time I awoke, well rested, in a grove surrounded by trees. My last conscious thought had been of escaping; but from who…or what? If memory is a landscape then mine was covered in a fog far too dense for these near-blind eyes to pierce. Shapes whirled the mist into half-recognised shapes. Is that the one I loved, is that the dog I lost, is that the life I fled? I stumbled over to the clear water bubbling from between two moss-covered boulders and splashed my stubbled face. My hands appeared as strangers before my eyes and felt like interlopers on my cheeks. Where did I get those callouses, how did I win those scars? My mother’s hands had felt so soft upon my face when I was young. My mind was wandering again and as I pulled myself out of the misted memories they faded once more. The air smelled like everything I’d ever dreamed to know. The scent of crushed herbs wafted upon the breeze and a gentle buzzing spoke volumes of the life being perpetrated in every spare inch around me.