A candid tale of 20-something humanness and extended note to self.

Wednesday, 7 June 2017

Joy: a reminder


It is the soothing stillness of the world when you wake before the sun has risen, and the first, hurried mouthful of your morning toast. The last light of the day: red and orange and pink, and how it caresses and engulfs the sky: a sunset so spectacular it makes you feel smaller. Better, somehow.

It is the bright, beaming, unguarded smile shared between friends on the tube, and the kindness of the stranger who tells you how lovely your eyes are, or what a beautiful dress you are wearing. It is the lady with thick-rimmed glasses and a jazzy shirt, sat opposite you on the bus, who notices the book you are reading, and recommends another you might like. It is the Sunday afternoon you lose to reading that very book, and the sentence you find written on a random page that says something about yourself that you couldn't articulate.

It is the way the latte warms your hands in the depths of winter, and the brushing of clean, soft sheets on your naked skin. The tickle of grass on bare feet. Waking up in a fluster, at 3am, and realising you have hours left to sleep. It is the locking of intrigued eyes across a room, and the unforeseen brushing of lips in the darkness. The nestle into the slope of their neck. Watching goosebumps appear where their fingertips dance. Not wishing to be anywhere else. 

It is the moment you do the thing that weaves knots of giddy apprehension into your stomach: when you lean into discomfort, and your courage is rewarded. It is saying yes, just because, and putting the world to rights over a glass of crisp white, just because, and taking a last minute flight to the city that stirs your soul, just because. It is buying an overpriced sandwich in South Bank: too much flour, not enough guac, and sitting by the river devouring it all, because London isn't half pretty sometimes.

It is that spark of curiosity, and the idea that you believe in, and feeling the wings of the butterfly in your stomach. The chance encounter that enriches your life, and the tub of mint choc chip ice cream that enriches your evening.

It's asking someone a question that you have never asked them, and finding more in the answer than you imagined. It is saying thank you and I love you and I'm sorry, even when those words don't come easily. It is the tender look between the elderly man and his wife as they eat scotch eggs in the park: the couple weathered and wiser, but at home with each other, always. It is dancing like primary schoolers at a disco on the kitchen tiles, and the laughter that fills the room when you are together, and the creased photo you discover that reminds you of blue alcohol and blistering naivety and a time when all that mattered was now.

It is catching yourself nude in the mirror and feeling a bit, sexy, for the first time in weeks. The phone call with the brilliant news. The way those words you needed embroider the air, and the hope, the hope, the hope. It is the wagging of the tail when you walk into the room, and the comforting hand on the curve of your back, and the vibrant bouquet of flowers you weren't expecting. It is the warm embrace of an old friend, and the gentle crackling of the old vinyl. The song to which you passionately sing every word, and the reason you connected with it in the first place.

It is the teasing dance of the flame, and the smell of the candle when you blow it out. It is the night you stay up a little later than you should because you end up sprawled on the carpet trying to figure shit out. It is every conversation that leaves you humbled or inspired or listened to or appreciated or less alone in the world. The love that burrows deeper, still. It is you, and him, and her, and this, and that. It is everywhere.
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