One thing I’d come to realise about living in the city was that movement was different here. At home, in the countryside, there was a slow ebb and flow to life. An adagio to the city’s allegro. But it wasn’t the speed as such, more so that the currents of life seemed hindered here. Momentarily dammed. It was stop start, staccato. At home, my walks to school flowed freely down narrow lanes and I could go miles without having to come to an abrupt stop. There was a sleepy somnambulance to motion, where pothole, grounded pheasant or wide wheeled tractor were the only things that caused pause or deviation. At worst it would be a side step or a gentle leaning into an obliging hedgerow. Even the transition of day into night seemed freer. Day handed over to night with ease, a blowing out of the candle that seemed accepted and respectful. But the city was different. Here there was a ‘rage against the dying of the light’ from neon shop fronts, street lights and the blues and twos of police cars. Walking here seemed angular and unforgiving. It needed concentration. Attention. While the countryside seemed to ask for little from those moving through it, the city felt possessive and needy in its navigation. Chicken shop bones, black bags scarred from scavengers, street peddlers and broken paving slabs turned walking to my new school into an act that demanded deft footwork and turns of torso. It demanded that eyes were drawn to floor rather than horizon. It was about the immediacy of now rather than what lay ahead.
Amazing as usual. I never can stop reading, because just when I get acclimated to the beauty of the words, the story takes a turn... and when I get acclimated to the story, a keen and insightful sentence draws my attention to the beauty of the words.