I never could get the hang of Thursdays

The Crush
08/07/2009, 1:48 am
Filed under: Writings

My first attempt at writing. Comments welcome.

I’m craving the city.

I’ve carved a new life out for myself there. Thrown in at the deep end into the second floor of a 60s tower block, low enough to have stones thrown at my window and not high enough to get the cityscape views.

It sucks you in. The jobs, the night-life, the affordable flats are all there and you can’t escape it, like a black hole where the closer you get to the middle the more intense it becomes until you’re a tiny person, one in a million inhabiting the same five square miles.

At first you’re miles away.. orbiting at a slow speed in a sleepy village, which in turn is orbiting another sleepy town. Ring roads and commuter villages like cosmic bodies and natural forces making it easier for you to slip towards the centre of population, where everything moves slightly faster and a bit more expensively.

High density population is something scary. The constant background noise is like sleeping next to a fridge. The prosperity of asphalt over grass gives you an idea of the climate and the car is the dominant life form.

Eventually you give in and take the plunge, and start getting closer, dipping your toes into the atmosphere, doing something new every week, accelerating faster towards the inevitable crush at the centre, everyone gives you a little nudge in the right direction on the way. Everything gets left behind and what was day to day life becomes something completely alien to your new friends. Your past life is another world.

Finally, you take the final step and reach the middle. Everyone else who’s been sucked in is milling around you, trying to get what they came there for, finding what they were looking for, and you have to squeeze in and start getting what you want out of the pile of consumables that gets brought there by other people. What you bring with you suddenly acquires enormous sentimental value, a pint from your local becomes the best pint in the world from the perfect establishment.

Of course, you wouldn’t be there unless you were drawn. It’s not like you’re there against your will. You start to enjoy wandering around the streets, in a crowd of people you’ve never met and will never see again, not knowing who lives where. The bustle is exciting, full of young professionals, quirky bars and three-hundred person nightclubs.

Your memory of the local loses its shine, and it’s just another pub that serves beer at about the normal price. Occasionally you escape the crush to take a deep breath, filling your lungs with fresh air. Your heartbeat slows, your system filters, and before you know it you need the rush again, and it lures you back in, like a cigarette you said you’d only try once.

Presumably, when you reach middle age, and all the excitement is too much for you, you move outwards, towards suburbia, getting as far away from the noise as you can. You will inevitably end up back where you started, living off the fruits of your labour earnt in the centre. You bring parts of it back with you, cars, lifestyle, mock Tudor houses and live in Boston Spa on a street of people you never talk to.


1 Comment so far
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this is very atmospheric and well structured, i hope you go on to write more šŸ™‚

Comment by lucy

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