Midnight, or 12.04am to be exact. The Piccadilly line is taking an age, and there are people scattered on the platform. I’m exhausted, in the way that’s starting to feel more and more like London. I wonder what I’m doing out here, at night alone, doing a mediocre impression of a mole. Bruno Mars tells me to raise my pinky in the air but only if I’m a player. I am not.
I feel now that I can turn anything into a story; any mundane event, like walking, deciding what to eat for dinner, even a dull work meeting. They pass the time, these stories. When I’m telling them I’m not thinking about the stinging in my eyes, the ache in my thighs, the bent inward stance of my back due to the lazy posture I’ve adopted of late. I can’t distract myself forever though.
Winter is coming, that dark cloud that settles on my chest in preparation for periods of pause; what others excited around me call “holidays”. I worry that they’ll see behind my facade and the exaggerated Grinch character I’ve inhabited, to the real reason for my “bah humbugs” and extended sighs. Perhaps they’ll see my descension into unhappiness, and they will want to make room for it.
This is my December, a grey overbearing cloud covering the whole sky, waiting patiently to drop cold balls of white, to wipe out my thoughts with a blanket that is inescapable and familiar all at once. A kind of yearly suffocation that reminds me of all the winters that have come before, sprinkled with flecks of enjoyment amongst too many difficult days to count.
Here I go, bracing myself for the cold.
Image credit: Cold by parkjisun from the Noun Project