London Diaries: Eyes Wide, Mouths Agape
That winter, I was hell-bent on becoming myself.
I wanted to hit the city like a tempest. Rip its innards out and fashion them into something that would feel like it was tailor-made for me. Unlock what felt like the biggest mystery. Become friends with the local drug dealer. Walk around like the richest man in town. Turn into the enigma I had always wanted to be.
Spurred on by the power of a posh accent I had picked up as a careless accident and mastered over the years — a handy byproduct unhappily always finding myself in the company of people who spent their childhoods in boarding schools — I decided to reinvent myself as a modern-day Princess Diana, only clad in cooler clothes and, if possible, more aloof.
I never succeeded. I never managed to perfect the poise needed to be the person I'd always wanted to be. I got lost in a vortex of dead mice in the kitchen sink and parties that stretched into the early hours of the morning until we all found ourselves in the park trying to stand on our heads. I shared my home with thirteen people, and the city kept on reminding me that really, it was all temporary. That we were all children. It felt like we were living an endless summer that had just mistakenly decided to manifest itself in the heart of winter.
When Georgia moved out, winter had turned into late spring.
The day she left, none of us remembered how the night had turned into dawn. She finally drove off, her car full to its brim with objects that had eavesdropped on our confessions about the things and the people that we were both in love with and terrified of.
The day I left London, I couldn't feel a thing.
It felt like the city was never mine to keep, anyway. Its streets had been the backdrop for what felt like three lifetimes, none of which felt quite real. When I'd speak of London later, I'd speak of it like a funny dream I once had. A mirage of lonely nights and drug deals and night buses
— the loneliest, most demented and most hilarious dream anyone could ever have.