I was doing the ordinary school run and shopping trip today and stopped for a petrol at New Cross. When I was getting out of the car and reaching for the pump, I had two short memory flashbacks.
One was my first filling at this very same petrol station near Sainsburys 3 years ago. It was in the evening, I was alone, half scared and half amazed by the fact I am actually doing it by myself. After I filled the tank, screwed the top back on, closed the door and went to pay, my knees were bit wobbly. Coming out of the shop, starting up the car and putting the music on felt like a scene from a movie. I was the main star there. The feel of freedom was imminent, you could smell it, breath it, hear it, almost touch it.
The second flashback wasn’t a big jump in time. Two weeks ago, I was at the same spot, the same pump perhaps, after we just made a journey from Prague. Car boot filled up with bags and stuff, inside three sleeping bodies. Two little ones at the back and one tall, curled up at the front passenger seat.
Did I really make it there and back? It seems and feels like ages ago. Like it never happened. Like I haven’t travelled up and down the country and, indeed, Europe.
I felt suddenly strong sympathy for this old rusted piece of metal, for taking me there, for not letting me down. What an adventure! Shall we do it next year again? I bet we could!
Still. After all those years…
On my way from work, snapshot through the window of a train. Blackfriars Station.
The girl went to the cubicle on very unsteady legs. In fact she was trembling. “How am I gonna make it home?” went on and on in her head. She couldn’t stop worrying. She sat on the toilet seat, fully dressed and rested her head on a locked doors (which was not very difficult as they were just centimetres away). The wood was scratched, painted on, written on, shouted on, cried on. She wasn’t far from any of it. But strangely enough, for a while now, she actually felt safe, untouchable.
The loud music from upstairs was not so overwhelming now, she didn’t have to make her way trough the crowds to get a drink. And boy she had a few of them! She couldn’t recall the exact number of drinks (number of ways from the table through the dancing floor to the bar) but she was pretty sure that her wallet will be empty tomorrow. “not bothered!…Why all my friends have to ALWAYS leave early?..I’m on my own, again! “ she slowly shaked her head in disbelief.
The boy whom she met in the corridor leading to the toilets was so good looking! She didn’t expect him to start talking to her. She found herself answering all his questions shyly as a schoolgirl. What the heck was she DOING? She acted as if she wasn’t drunk, as if she was just randomly passing by. “Why is he talking to me? Who is he WITH?” but she didn’t have the power to detach herself from him. “I’m perfectly independent and happy! I’m definitelyy…ehm..definittellyyy not in need of a man’s company!” she tried talking herself out of the situation.
But few hours later the couple could be spotted outside the bar, leaning on a parked by motorcycle, sharing a joint, laughing like crazy, the girl was doped by the reggae music, by his dreadlocks, by his smile, his lips.
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