January 20, 2009
Regent Park, London
It is cold tonight, and I just returned from a journey I spent exploring the many neighbourhoods of my mind within the context of a foreign city. I took 5 buses, 2 trains and walked from east London to it’s centre, all whilst listening to one looping track on my iPod and drinking all sorts of coffee my stomach can handle. So many things happened today, so many things to tell. I don’t remember most of them, but I remember this: Today, I saw you walking here too.
I saw you walking along Tottenham court road, stopping by Pret A Manger for a some coffee, and continuing your steps to a direction I chose not to know off. Were you carrying a bag, your laptop or nothing? I wasn’t sure, I was only certain that you were there too.
I saw you secretly stealing glances at people walking and shedding around you, all while listening to music that blocks the sounds of an unfamiliar city. I saw you stopping in front of Foyle’s bookstore, and contemplating whether to spend the last 20 pounds you have for the day on a book you will probably not read.
I was not following you, and you were not tailing behind me, we were both walking along the same lines. Living parallel lives with different directions in sight. We no longer belonged to the same dream, we no longer walked to the same destination. And it was then that I felt an awkward cautious sense of relief.
That awkwardness scared me at first, you can perhaps label it as fear of the unknown. I was also freed.
As I continued walking, I aggressively tried to confront that relief and understand it more. I felt I needed to give you or rather us really some momentum, after all it was us, the Me and the You. But I couldn’t think of anything and was just hoping for you to start disappearing into the crowds.
It was then that you stopped to look at me and smile. I pretended to be rushing and neglecting, but the sincerity of the look in your eyes stole a smile from my lips too.
I don’t know what you were thinking at that moment, I know I was still hoping you’d disappear.
1 minute, 40 seconds later I decided to continue walking.
9 years, 1 minute and 41 seconds later, I let go.