Monday 11 December 2017

#339 Settling back in

My eyes opened at 11am to a clear, bright morning. I planned on shifting my sleep pattern back to its normal routine but would do so gradually. I got up and entered the bathroom. It was small and basic but served its purpose. The walls were decorated with a pale orange mosaic, which gave the feel of a three star European hotel.

After showering, I carried my shoes downstairs and sat on the front door mat to put them on. One day, I'd be doing that and someone would open the door, surprised to see me there. Then they'd point out that I could tie my shoes on the stairs if it was easier.

I walked down the road. My road. In my town. Deliberately taking the long way round to the high street because it'd been so long since I'd taken it. I smiled at the people I saw. There were no alcoholics. no drug dealers, no discarded laughing gas cannisters and no groups of kids in tracksuits loitering outside the shops.

I started the day with a full English at the cafe. The manager recognised me and asked how I'd been. He gave me extra toast. I grabbed issue 10 of the Dulwich Diverter on my way out and went for a walk around the park. I sat watching the squirrels chase each other and rummage for their nuts.

After the park, I went up to my hill. I wondered if the landlord knew about it. Not many people did, even among the locals. Back at the house, I spent two hours unpacking. It was the fastest I'd ever unpacked after a move, including when I'd gone to university. I felt liberated to have ridden myself of so much unnecessary baggage.

In the evening, I ran a lap of Peckham Rye Park. Afterwards, I called my dad and told him I'd moved back to East Dulwich. He was pleasantly surprised as he liked the vibe when he used to visit me here. I showered before dinner and made myself use the kitchen, even though I always found it daunting to cook in a new house. When I first moved to the Isle of Dogs, I'd lived off takeaways for two months.

I decided to start with a baby step and heated up some soup. Not the most ambitious meal but it was still my first day. The important thing was that I was using the kitchen. Once I'd become more used to the new environment, I could try being more ambitious.

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