London, I wish I could quit you.
My desire to quit London is an itch. It starts off with barely a tickle, a murmur under my skin. But that little bite will keep itching. It will wait until I’ve got my paws back firmly on the soil and it will itch. And itch. And itch. And it won’t stop until I’ve dug my nails into my skin and caused a scar.
But I love London. I don’t think mere words could do my love justice. Simply and delicately she is the most inspirational energy in my life. She is an anchor for my soul. London taught me to love. She has the power to bring the sense of new possibilities everyday, like there’s always a chance to reinvent yourself, whatever sins you have committed. The power of anonymity runs rampant through her streets.
But if I’m honest, some days she’s not enough. Some days I don’t want to play sardines on my commute or wait in line for a fucking burger. Some days she can’t take my constant instability and indecisiveness and itches. But she tells me that everything will be OK if I just stay here with her. But with her anonymity is also easy routine. And as easily as we reinvented ourselves, we find ourselves in routine. This week Ari called me up and asked me to meet him for a hotel night of sushi and excess. It was an achingly London routine and I wondered whether in a city that is constantly evolving, are there some things that stay painfully the same?
I wish I belonged here but lately I have felt I am owned by London. Every time I leave, I get the overwhelming urge to crawl back. When I am here I am euphoric and then quite suddenly plagued by thoughts of quitting that leave me feeling so guilty. Like I owe something to London. Which is true, I owe her my life. She is as mesmerising as she is intoxicating and once she’s got you, she’ll never let you go.
I’m pretty sure I don’t want to quit London. But it is an addictive place and I think you become easily wrapped up in a certain way of life that it’s hard to imagine that anywhere else could soothe you in the way London does. Some days she just swallows you whole. I think I will escape while I’m young enough and go have an illicit affair with New York or Berlin, someone who might be crazy enough to handle me. Maybe I will come crawling back to London begging for forgiveness. That does seem to be the growing trend.
It has been nearly a year since I came back from Tokyo. Some days I want to quit London but the feeling is always short lived and the itch and scar soon fades away until the next time. I guess I only think I want to quit because I don’t want to belong to anyone, not even London.
Originally inspired by Time Out’s ‘New York, I wish I could quit you.’