Dream girl, London baby, speeding through a concrete jungle, wide eyed, a half drunk body in a black cab. ‘Driver, can you circle back over Blackfriars Bridge, yes I know the bar is in the other direction, I want to see the city again.’ All the lives intertwining, interspersing, a heavy feeling of sonder washes over, so much intricacy hiding behind these small flashes, these cars dashing, a double-decker, a couple strolling, a late night runner. ‘Turn left here please, Victoria Embankment.’ ‘But Ma’am the meter’s running high.’ I don’t care, I want to study the architecture, the tree lined pavements, the swanky cars stopped next to this one, the waters’ edge, the mismatched buildings with hundred year timelines, show me the Savoy.
Magnificent cloud formations, a sunset to die for, mile high en route to Barbados and it leaves me in tears, madly in love with the universe tears, blinking them away before offering the elderly woman to my right another Werther’s Original. ‘It’s fine, have another, it will help with the air pressure.’ We fly in metallic birds, over lands and oceans, we’ve put men on the moon and sent monkeys into orbit and yet, nothing makes me feel limitless like London can.
What makes a Londoner? What is the requisite amount of time one must live here before adopting the name? A year? A decade? A lifetime? I don’t know where I’m from these days, I cut my ties, I’m floating in the in-between and I know I miss my grandmother, but I miss the life I play out in my mind even more. The life they tell you not to strive for, the life I’m trying to make for myself, the life the howling winds seem to promise you on a drab English day. ‘I know everything seems fucked up now, but you will be so much better than just okay.’
The world is yours for the taking, if you dare to take it. Most people don’t you see, they are the stragglers in the marathon, no… they are watching the marathon on television, flat screen, silver screen, right after the Kardashians; but your only competition is yourself and life is not a race. Life is an expansion, not a linear timeline represented by semi-mundane outwardly focused events. You’ve graduated, you’ve bought a house, a new job, a boyfriend. ‘Congratulations darling, I bet you cannot wait to settle down with him.’ Did you forget that you are the universe in human form? I think it’s time to leave the gilded cage. There are so many worlds to see.
There are SO. MANY. WORLDS. TO. SEE. Yet, sometimes I like to think that if London was the only place that ever existed, if everything else just silently fell away, I would still be okay. I would still be happy. I would pile into my cab late on a Saturday evening, hazy, half asleep in the phone light. I would study the late night revellers by Old Street, bagel in hand, glass smashed by their feet, life is a blur. ‘Driver, can you turn the music up please.’ There’s hair in my mouth, a scent of wine on my clothes, I’d like some fries now, but I’ve heavy eyelids, that familiar droop and it’s time to shutdown. Bathe in the music and slowly I can hear that proverbial promise seep through, ‘You will be okay, baby girl, you’re limitless.’