Englishmen had activitiesWednesday, 24 November 2010 | 22:04
Has it really come to this?
Weeks slip by, unnoticed: time refuses to stand still. I’ve always been acutely aware of the passage of time, yet this doesn’t seem to make me immune to the shock of the realisation that a stretch of time has suddenly passed without fanfare. It’s been weeks since I’ve posted, though I’ve been writing almost daily. Nothing fit for public consumption – and I do use the term ‘public’ rather loosely. The past month has been a frenzy of work-related diversions, little bursts of productive energy punctuated by long walks, endless music, and not enough sleep.
I’ve recently fallen into a bit of a musical memory hole, dusting off albums that I haven’t listened to in years. Each song calls forth a memory of a time, a place, a glance, a touch, a scent. It’s odd how seemingly insignificant remembrances can appear to us, so achingly real that we feel them in our very core. A re-experiencing of the past? Or is it just an illusion of the past? When it’s that vivid, I swear that I’m re-feeling my past… but how can that be? Isn’t it really my past as viewed through the lens of the present? But then how can it seem to feel so authentic?
The city is once again covered in an ever-thickening blanket of snow, returning it to its virgin state. The trash carelessly littering the sidewalks and back alleys, the small oil spills and puddles, the crosses laid at intersections where lives were lost: all have been covered completely now. It’s this city’s endless second chance; a chance to start over once again.
I feel a cold coming on. Trudging through the snow on the walk home from work, I felt the heat rise through my body, up to my cheeks. I knew my eyes were glistening. Whilst waiting at a crosswalk, I got lost in the falling snow. Mesmerised by the flakes swirling around me, I momentarily forgot where I was. It didn’t matter that I was surrounded by noisy cars and exhaust fumes and ambulance sirens and the glow of orange fluorescent streetlights; for a moment, all was calm, and all was beautiful. For a moment, I lost myself, and time stood still.