a memory from fall

I get into central way too early for my liking so I pop into an overrated cafe to kill time. The barista sees me and before one could even say ‘coffee’ he perkily screams in my ear that I am getting a flavoured cappuccino. I cringe and think that perhaps I’ve been wasting too much money on this place. It’s either that or I’m fucking predictable. Drink sorted, I go to my usual spot outside to watch the city wake up and harbour on people rushing about. I shiver as autumn creeps into London with a slight temperature drop. Here comes the chill, I think, sucking up the new morning with ten thousand cigarettes and a coffee way too sweet for my liking.

The BlackBerry blinks. It’s M, koala bear personified from Sydney. He says he needs to talk so I call him. He was already quite miserable yesterday but he sounds really defeated today. You have to understand that this bloke is quintessentially Mr. Positive so this sporadic bout of drama is really… well… heavy. I listen to him vent; I listen to him curse his twisted fate. I think of telling him it’ll be okay. I want to be there for him, to hold him and to tell him all the right things; I want to make the hurt brought about by a complex truth go away. However, it’s one of those situations where listening is enough so I keep my mouth shut and my responses short to the usual ‘uhms’ and ‘okays’. My heart bleeds knowing he’s broken. Him and a handful of people I care about. And I can’t do much about it because I’m so far away.

I say goodbye and get to the office just in time. I soldier through the working day with a heavy heart and a robotic stare until I see the time. Wow. Where did the day go? I shut down at 5.30 on the dot with a strong urge to get a drink. Just one, I think. Just the one.

I walk into my local and D, my favourite bartender, welcomes me with a lychee martini. He says in his adorable Genoan accent ‘I kno dat’s what yoo want becaws dat’s what you drink first lalala’. I graciously accept, forgetting that I actually wanted an espresso martini in the first place but his Italian charm worked wonders. And the drink was spot on. Too spot on that I order another one. And another one after. It’s never just the one in that place. I leave after the fifth cocktail. Something with balsamic vinegar. And strawberries. It’s still a school night after all and I’m expected to behave. Oh, okay then. A shot for the road.

I’m home late and my housemates are snoozing. I traipse to my room and swim under my duvet to find warmth and I wish I had someone over. I remember B. I remember coming home to a nice dinner, warm open arms and a good conversation for three and half years til it was all finally over this year. Did I really give all that away? Am I happy giving all that away? You see my life was going down a clear path up until the breakup, but I guess at the time I was unclear whether I wanted to go down that path at all.

Quite frankly, there’s no turning back now so it’s really pointless to stress much on it. When I called it off I said I had to find my independence first because I can’t be with anyone unless I’m able to catch myself too. He called me selfish. Ironically I thought it was actually a selfless act to give up someone and something comfortable even though it meant breaking his heart and mine. But I think I made the right decision because despite the scary idea of not being domestic enough, for the first time in ages, like my old self.

My eyes feel heavy and I’m in between sleeping and waking up. I yawn with the last thoughts of the night. I’m slightly at a loss and I begin to wonder whether I’m the right person I need to be. Then again, I live in one of the most beautiful cities in the world with opportunities at my doorstep. Maybe there is something good here. Maybe I’m getting there. Who knows. Maybe.

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