On Returning

Two weeks in Australia. Really, it was a fact-finding expedition. I was done with London. Done. The tube, the crowds, the rich versus the poor, the free fucking newspapers and everyone avoiding eye contact.

 

I don’t want this to morph into a travel blog, so I won’t wax lyrical about the beautiful beaches, the glorious food and the debauched nights out (although I did managed to get myself banned from a small town RSL). Instead, what hit me is that, well… I’m not really an outdoors kind of guy. I don’t surf and I don’t watch football. Perhaps Sydney isn’t the place for me. Somehow I fit better under the sodium glow of London’s streetlights. Late night. Darkness. That sort of poetic asphalt crap that people bleat on about when they declare their love for cities. Although it’s not like Sydney isn’t a city. It’s just that London is the city.

 

So when I landed back in England, after a gruelling 25 hour journey filled with screaming babies and neglectful parents, I was relieved. London. My home. I jumped in an Uber and reeled off my postcode.

 

The cabbie – a second-gen Sri Lankan – quizzed me about Brexit. He said he was voting to leave the EU because he didn’t like immigrants. Well, I thought, it’s nice to be back.

 

But it wasn’t.

 

We drove up the North Circular and through Hangar Lane. I used to see a girl who lived in one of those fucked up terraces. It didn’t end so well. I unpacked my suitcase and flicked on the TV. I tried to be content. Happy.

 

The next morning, I took the train into work. Moorgate 7.28am. Cunts everywhere. I worked through two weeks’ worth of emails in 45 minutes and then spent the rest of the day online gambling. I was 2 grand up by the time I skulked off home (4pm).

 

I put my feeling of unease down to jetlag, but this morning it had grown from a nagging irritation in the back of my skull to my entire body shaking with hate. I think it was the guy by Moorgate escalators, his hair slick with pomade, knocking the back of my shins with his Fred Perry gym bag that did it. Enough.

 

So I got into work and typed out my resignation. I post-dated it to 19th December 2016. That’ll give me enough time to sort shit out and collect my end of year bonus. Three month notice to work through and then who knows…?

 

It’s sitting in an envelope in my desk drawer.

 

Oh, and in case you wondered, I’m still writing. Still trawling through short stories and edits and that sort of endless writer shit. I even knocked up some covers. Trouble is, I think I like them better than I like the words inside.

 

 

 

10 comments

  1. No no no – don’t doubt the words. At least a few are good words and quite a few are great sentences in brilliant paragraphs. Anyway you’re back. This blog was good. Australia sounds amazing. Resigning sounds healthy (I’m doing the same soon but don’t tell anyone). AND I’ll get my edits sent over to you (my computer ate its own hard drive but it’s alive again now – walking dead though it may be – so I no longer have word but I’ll check the formatting and if it’s gone all fuckety, I’ll send from my work desktop asap).

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Too kind, Harriet! no rush whatsoever with the edit, but looking forward to receiving it nonetheless 🙂
      Congrats on deciding to resign – liberating isn’t it, when you realise you have control over your life?!
      Hope you’re well. Will catch up on your blog this afternoon (I have blocked some time in my diary for it!)

      Liked by 1 person

      1. SO liberating. I have no idea what I’ll be doing next or how I’ll pay for life (let alone London) but it’s this or another two years of anxiety, self-loathing and wishing I was writing. I want to give this a go and if I fail, so be it.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Jack, this is good. Great, even. You have no idea how gloriously appealing it all sounds… This American girl might want to leave after November elections. November might spawn a monster… Meanwhile summer brings more light, enjoy! And write on.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Nice Moz reference there doc!
      Yeah, you might have Trump and we’re dangerously close to leaving the EU. Interesting that the main card used to swing those two outcomes is xenophobia. Anyway, we can swap if you like..? I’ll take your place in the US and you can take mine in the UK. Although, in all seriousness, I’m thinking I might move there next year anyway. I’ve always liked New York. hope you’re well. I’m going to start on your next novel in a week or so…

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Ah, fantastic! Except if we swapped you’d have to learn how to drive! New York is tremendous, I visit regularly. Doing well-ish. Spinning my wheels on projects right now… I hope you enjoy the novel!

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Ah! I went to Melbourne. Really enjoyed it. And everyone smokes. Seemed a lot more laid back and less money-orientated than Sydney. And I had the best Asian food of my life at Chin Chin. It’s certainly on the cards.

      Liked by 1 person

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