I was eighteen, I think. London: the first time I lived alone. Just me. And a place. I came to know it like you know a person. These parts I explore. These are achingly familiar. Here I avoid. Here I just don’t know yet, or ever. And sometimes I just want to get lost. I hope to get lost. And then, some things…you want to take a whole place and shake it by the shoulders: the subways, ‘the underground’, where no one makes eye contact. No one speaks. Even when your father yells straight into your face, flushed, swallowing, wide-eyed. Just shuffle. Look away. Redistribute your butt cheeks on the hard padded seat. Or when an old man corners you where you’re standing by the doors. Unzips his pants. Pulls it out. Stares at you. Masturbates. Lower your eyes. Straighten your newspaper. One afternoon, in the center of town, just north of Piccadilly Circus, on a busy sidewalk full of rigid commuters, I broke into a run. I ran as fast as I could, like my life depended on it. And my joy kept rising. I pictured a horse bolting through a field. Just grass and sky and a sudden impulse. People startled as I wove around them–as I broke the unspoken contract of decorum–breathless, grinning. I wasn’t running from anything. Or to anything. Or anyone. I was just running to run.

Published by msdeer

I am an interdisciplinary artist, slightly incognito here.

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