I've been gabbing on about authenticity, not to anyone other than myself or anywhere else other than in my own head, but the gabbing has been considerable. It seems right that I should put it into practice rather than just standing on the kerb thinking, that looks like a smooth, inviting, freshly-laid idea. I got back from London over a week ago, and have not yet managed to shake the mood I returned with. Within 2 days of arrival I was calling a moody shop assistant a bitch, huffing and grumping all over the transport network, stepping on people, being stepped on. Rich West terraces, overheard cafe society, people putting on such a self-show of equity that I'm now unaccustomed to.
What I always identified London as still rings true; it's a place to take your wares to peddle, ideas to tout, meet benefactors, do deals. It's not a place to hang out, timelessly appreciating beauty and the universe, generally having a nice time. If you're not pushy, you won't squeeze on that train, if you don't run just a little bit, you won't get there till tomorrow, if you don't shout, no-one will even see you, never mind hear you. There's stuff to buy, the cream of the best of the next, capital promises of fulfillment to dull the missing. You earn your money, you buy your things, and if you fit and it fits, well done, it works. But if you find yourself working too many hours, seeing not enough people, and the patches become, patchier, it's time to move on.
Five months ago I followed a light to a better place, and I couldn't wait to retrace my steps. However, on returning, a disgruntlement has set in. Maybe it was the aunties at the party, maybe it was beaming friends looking to vicariously breathe in a projected exoticism. But each time I answered awe-expecting questions about how life is exclamation mark, I diluted my meaning slightly. Notions repeated detach from us, unclaimed, words turn back into letters, turn back into shapes, curls spikes forms with no definition. We're stood here, suddenly unlabelled. Surely the glow counts for something? Stay glamourous, she said, though I doubt it counts as an occupation.
Explain yourself. Pin your meaning. Let me place you. Situate yourself before you even decided where to drop anchor. The gap between leaving and arriving; why am I here, why did I leave? The stories we tell people. You can tell a plain tale with vigor, or talk down a dream; it's not what you do, but the way that you relate to it. When the floor is moving all we can really rely on is our own authenticity, hopping onto each slab and enjoying the freedom of not yet knowing where we'll land. Make mistakes, perhaps look a tiny bit ridiculous, and don't be afraid of truly being seen.