Raw day

It’s ok to feel sad. It’s part of the process.

I’m having another one of those evenings. I went out.

You can walk around outside in London with a memory of not needing a coat, but there’s still a chill. I’ve driven the car up to Knightsbridge and I walked around the empty high street. The excuse was shopping for food – there’s a mini Waitrose up there. In truth I just wanted to go to one of the bits of London near me that would normally be busy. It’s Friday night. It’s so unfamiliar.

There are no laughing people spilling out of noisy doorways onto the pavement. The roads are floods of unstable and badly lit moped drivers playing with their lives to bring you that Five Guys Burger. It’s just delivery drivers overtaking empty buses. The honking crowds of pissed off uber drivers and minicabs have gone. The hordes of people desperately connecting after a week in a cubicle are on Zoom. The black cabs are still driving around with their lights on, hoping. But there’s not much to hope for. It’s still a ghost town.

I’m outside Harrods. Mecca for Mammonites. The lights are on, as they are across this empty town. You can still stand on Primrose Hill and look over a brightly lit city. The lights are on. But everyone’s home.

Before Christmas I came very close to booking a week at at Airbnb in a small skiing village in France early next month. “It’ll definitely be over by then,” I found myself believing. I figured I could drive out there and then go very fast for a few days and try and leave some of this emotional shit stuck to the mountainside and get my adrenaline kick. I’m kinda glad that caution got the better of me and I didn’t book the place. I’d have wasted my money. Even if it’s possible with Covid we also have Brexit to contend with. I expect by the time I’d filled in all the forms to get into France I’d have to leave again.

Home is nice, but progress was slow today. Mao-Mao helped by letting me play with him for about 8 hours and then watching me fold a shirt. He seems to have integrated immediately and even made a little nest for himself in the bedroom cupboard. But he is wonderfully fluffily distracting.

And yet I still got sad, despite the friendly fluff. It creeps up on you. I think the thing I miss the most is the idea that I could go anywhere tomorrow. Even if I don’t go anywhere, to know I could. Some day…

I’m going to drive home, stroke the Chairman a bit more, eat pie and fall asleep. Tomorrow will feel less raw.

Author: albarclay

This blog is a work of creative writing. Do not mistake it for truth. All opinions are mine and not that of my numerous employers.

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