There was a time when I noticed everything because I was a part of it. Sometimes I can feel it again too, for a split second when I see a raindrop hit the roof outside my bedroom window and come out of myself again to notice that other things exist outside my head. Things exist like streets and people and whisky and blackcurrant and plans. Once I notice I’m feeling the feeling then it’s gone, like déjà vu or the lingering of a gentle sneeze or an optical illusion. I try to catch it sometimes but it always catches up with me when I’m not looking or I’m free for a moment, when I’m walking streets we might have walked once upon a time, when I don’t feel old or finished. When I don’t feel like my best years aren’t ahead of me.
You are the display living rooms in Ikea, perfect and unabashedly so brightly lit. You are me at five years old climbing onto my windowsill watching trains pass on their way to London, my rushing view of what adulthood looked like from inside those snug compartments. And now I sit on those trains going back and forth to nowhere feeling restless and hungry and I take it all for granted because I’m already dull without you. You’re the first book I ever learnt to read and now the more I turn the pages the less I take it in. You’re the first time I looked at an Atlas and realised the world wasn’t just my mother and my house and my cuddly toys. You’re the first gifts I remember getting, back when the contents were even sweeter than the anticipation, when I felt like I deserved something from somebody else just for being me. You’re me not taking care of myself at all because I’m really taking care of myself for once. You’re living and I want to live again.
You are all the stories in my mind and everything I’ve ever done. You’re the reason I didn’t eat and the reason I eat too much. You’re the reason I’m not even me, because I am so wholly and truly you. The feeling surrounds me for split seconds each day now. It catches in my throat and flutters in my heart. I see life. I see something different. I see the past without the memories and nothing is black and white, it’s pink sunsets and ice cold clear water on my palms. The longer I stay here the longer the feeling will surround me and I’ll know it soon. I’ll know when I’m ready.