What London Makes

Today I took a different route to work. There’s nothing special about that except that I got to see how London is still vines of roads and pockets of alleyways. People still rush and zoom and frown and avoid eye contact here. People do that in lots of other places too, to be fair. But you know, London has its own special way of doing things.

I was sat upstairs on a double decker, listening to Robyn on repeat and watching all the wandering people below, with their important things and jobs to get to. I knew it so well, it was like watching my previous life being acted out before me. Back when I really cared about getting to work on time, about making coffee conversation with colleagues, being sociable; both out and about in London town, Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays. I wasn’t ever a hard partier, I don’t think it’s in my DNA. But when I was willing, I was willing.

I watched a man with a grey scarf hop across a busy road as if he were the vehicle and the other cars were pedestrians. I miss that London confidence, but it’s about the only thing I miss. I thought about being young and having the energy to graft within this city, to push against everything else that was trying to push me down; mental illness, microaggressions, bullies, terrible men, family issues. I was so willing to keep getting up, fighting the good fight, or what I thought was the good fight, again and again and again.

There’s a reason revolutionaries don’t begin their crusades after thirty. You need energy for that and I ran out of mine for London a while ago. But maybe all of this is besides the point.

Because I took a different route to work today and my desire for big change is not just showing itself in my frequent swap of hair colour and style anymore. It has seeped into my daily routines, drawing me to difference, even in the smallest ways, to compensate for the bigger change I know that I need. And is it really change if you’re going back to the newer, greater life thing you found? I don’t know. London always makes me pensive. I know that much.

Image credit: Double Decker Bus Solid by Creaticca Creative Agency from the Noun Project

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Maame Blue

Writer| Poet| Blogger| Ghanaian by heart, Londoner by nature

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