flung forwards

Wednesday lunchtime I was running through Richmond Park, vaguely mulling over quite how pathetic, whiny and self-absorbed my last blog post here had sounded, and also wondering about the move: a move I’m now fairly sure I don’t want to make, but quite sure I will.

It makes sense, I have no real need to be in London, it’s more affordable and there are many more pretty places within easy reach.  But still, I’ve grown to like London more over these past few months, its opportunity and scale has been better illuminated under the summer months and I will be sad to leave it.

It feels like a personal retreat of sorts, a defeat, having moved here originally for a job I was made redundant from, then failing to secure another one so going it alone and sitting at a desk in a small room on my own for over a year, although remaining solvent, doing ok; but also roundly failing to find a female who would believe I was worth expelling any effort for.  The almost three years since arriving haven’t exactly flung me forwards so I return west, tail between legs, shrugging, mumbling fuck em like a bitter old drunk.

I have little to be grateful to London for, but still she’s just as much a cruel temptress as ever she was.  I have flirted with the idea of cancelling the move and retracting my notice and staying put, trying to find somewhere else in London.  Not allowing her to beat me.

Although I still want change, the whole reason moving was implanted as an idea was because I want change, difference, space which is properly my own.  I want to close this chapter and open a new one, “start afresh” – although starting afresh loses its freshness when you start afresh roughly once every eighteen months, which I seem to.

So I wondered if I could stay in London, when the allure fell away of moving all that way back to a smaller city riven with ghosts – an antipathy aided through being conned by a private landlord at the first attempt at moving.  There MUST be something within budget in London, maybe a bit further out from the centre.

But there isn’t, not really, not of the standard I want.  My property-seeking motivation has wilted; I should just do this and cease my infernal, overly dramatic whingeing.  It’s beginning to bore me.

Running through the park, I approached one of the main bisecting roads where all traffic is restricted to a 20mph crawl.  A red car was coming from the left while a clutch of serious looking spindly cycles attacked the incline to my right.  I easily had enough time to cut between the two and make it to the other side.

Injecting a degree more pace, I pressed down hard with my left foot, then my right fell further than anticipated, deep into a soft crevice a yard before the road’s edge.  I buckled over and the road loomed up to meet me, smashing gravel into my right knee.  My momentum carried and I bowled out into the middle of the concrete strip, rolling once or twice (momentarily wondering if this might even look cool – not the falling over bit, the rolling bit – like I’m an accomplished stuntman who does this thing all the time) before finally halting myself with my head, grit pricking the right corner of my brow.

Did it look cool?  Doubt it.  Definitely hurt.  Hurt quite a lot, in fact.  Ouch.

There I stayed for a brief second, sucking it up, feeling stupid and hurt, yet realising I still had a firm grip of my iPod in my left hand, both earphones were in place and music was still playing (there’s a result at least, well done!)  The red car must have slowed to a stop because it hadn’t hit me.  I rolled back onto my heels and stood up.  “You all right, mate?” a passing cyclist kindly enquired.  (No, everything really hurts).  I waved an embarrassed hand in acknowledgement and gingerly hobbled across the road, conscious not to look down at my legs, struggling to breathe with the pain management.  I waved an arm of gratitude towards the red car too: Thanks for not running me over.  Also meant to infer ‘I’m fine, Go.’  It went.   I ripped a piece of dangling skin from the palm of my right hand, inspected grazes to upper arms and hip, felt blood trickle down my right shin and began to run again.  It was the sort of pain which could be run off and ignored if you just kept going, stretched it out.

There might be some kind of glib metaphor here: when it comes to moving, crossing, making decisions, just keeping going when you’ve tried to move quickly and taken a clumsy fall in front of an audience, emerging cut and bruised, uncertain and wary of fully inspecting all the damage.  That’s what you do: clumsily fall, injure yourself but ignore where, get up again.  Run it off and it’ll get better, Forrest. Keep fumbling forwards.


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