Two-way streets

August 17

I had forgotten the liberating feeling of being on your own. Words have paths forking out in all directions, and so, right now, if I look to one side, the lane stretches beneath shady green trees and the sun sparkles gold like a child peeking out from behind curtains, racing ahead and stopping every now and then to look through the leaves, blurring edges in drops of gold. Freedom, independence, solitude.

The other path twists and turns, dim, dark and dinghy: alone, lonely, sad, without.

I had forgotten the sense of standing on your own. And yes, I'm not even on my own yet, I have people helping me, appearing out of the smallest doors and unnoticed corners to tell me which bus to get, how a student ID works, picking me up from the airport. But the small pockets of friendly comfort can't be there - and they aren't there - all the time.

I lay awake on the sofa, thinking of time zones. Did you know travelling to America from Pakistan is like stepping back into the past? You leave and a day and half later you're at your destination but it's just fifteen hours later than when you stepped into the airport back home. You have half a day extra but no idea where or who to spend the free minutes on.

But tomorrow. Tomorrow I will get my own apartment and I might have to spend the night alone there (my roommates come later), hard wood floors, empty and hopefully a mattress and pillow. I must get some music immediately! Freedom, solitude. Time. I hope I can find trees to make me happy.


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