God I miss you.
Some days I wake up and the moment before I open my eyes I imagine I am back with you, about to leap from my blankets and mattress and greet the day with enthusiasm and excitement with the thought of exploring the corners of you I am yet to be enchanted by and revisit the ones that feel like home.
It was fun, wasn't it?
I try and explain to others what you did, what you've done to me, how you've challenged and changed me. But I fear now the repetition of your wonder leaves me somewhat saddened that no matter how many times and in how many ways I try to explain it, no one ever really understands.
You bestowed upon me the belief in myself to develop my own style - from the way that I dress to the music I dance to, the company I keep and the dreams that I constantly conjure, the thought clouds and imaginings that some day may (thanks to you) become matters of fact. I arrived in love with your air of anonymity, and the simultaneous, seemingly contradictory quality of feeling like I didn't have to be an anybody here, I could be someone. I left with that notion in my heart and a tear in my eye.
I miss the way you made me ride your slippery streets after winter snow and rain and the smell of curry wafting tantalisingly down Globe Road. I miss Friday afternoon leading into night drinks at the Camel after work and Brick Lane bargains and bagels and feeling like I could be one of those girls on Sunday wearing vintage heels and bright red lipstick and kissing every minute of life with it. I miss riding my darling bicycle Richard alongside the canal and dreaming about what the insides of those house boats look like and how I'd decorate my own with thrift finds and cupcakes and polaroids of my travels. I miss strawberry beer and hoolahoops, steamed buns from China town, the Camden falafel bar and even, dare I say it, the aisles of opportunity at Asda. I miss taste testing at Borough Market, train trips to the countryside, meditation classes and open mic nights, thrift store bargains from Islington and Hammersmith, exploring Shoreditch's bars and brews. I miss calling it the "offie", the "chippie" and inserting "innit" into conversation at every given opportunity. I miss my family of friends, and feeling like a local watching fireworks at Viccy Park, (even just calling it Viccy Park), moving with the masses on Oxford Street and watching the Hyde Park rollerskaters. I miss cold weather at Christmas time and the lights, all the lights, all year round and everywhere, West End theatres and Covent Garden buskers, and evenings spent roaming the pavement in wonder and amusement with a camera in my hand. I miss the man selling coffee from his kombi at Notting Hill Market, cheap film nights on Whitechapel Road, the museums, the galleries, the epitaphs, sculptures, statues, monuments, the incredible tangible history I am yet to really fathom (and I hope I never do).
I miss you. All of you. With all your eccentricities and contradictions, with all your crazy beautiful changes of costume, with all your ups and downs, comings and goings, has beens and yet to becomes.
I miss you so much, my dear and loyal friend.
I'll be seeing you soon. Save me a seat in the front row of your show.