At 3.45am on Saturday morning, we were walking across Waterloo bridge, the previous night still hanging in the air on our right, while the coming day was surely creeping up the sky on our left. It was a spectacular sight. Half and half, bisected by the bridge, my companion and I strolling along in a supernatural light. Wonderful. ‘To think,’ he said to me, ‘it does this, every day.’
Every day. That sun rises every farking day, without fail. It just so happened that we were there to see it for once, as it bleached out the horizon a bit more behind London, and as we mooched along Southbank, caught in a moment which had lasted a whole night – a lengthy moment, which, for me at least, existed outside of normality – I was happy.
I’d like to think it wasn’t just lack of sleep that gave my time in the nocturnal capital a magical quality. Obviously the person I was with, the café-bar we sat in, the things we talked and laughed and cried about, the places we walked (I can thoroughly recommend Covent Garden without another single soul in it, so much easier to navigate) and the sights we saw all contributed to what was, so easily, a perfect all-nighter. But it was something else as well. I think it’s just because it wasn’t me. It wasn’t anything I usually do. I don’t stay up late. I don’t drink tea in Italian bars at 2am. I don’t generally want to try and find somewhere that’s open at 5am so that I can have a long overdue piss. I’m not that kind of gal.
Only for that night, I was, and I loved it.
My normality sucks huge arse-balls right now. I have daily troubles which scare the shit out of me, if I’m honest. I knew the weekend away would be a good thing, and yeah, it totally was. And the all-nighter? Well, it’s damned cathartic to just really enjoy time spent with someone without letting everything else get in the way. Cathartic and life-affirming and so farking precious, you want to desperately cling on to every single fleeting second. I don’t get that a lot. Not recently. I needed it. I needed Waterloo bridge. I needed to see that sunrise.
Now, back to normality. Bah and fie. The bitter-sweet crash of that old bastard normality. If I could have bottled that sky above Waterloo bridge, I would have. I’d be drinking it in right now. Normality doesn’t even compare.
When was the last time you did something outside of normality?