Running down the escalators is always a bit risky, isn’t it? On one hand, you’ll get to your platform quicker, you might get a seat and not have to stand up, squished against the other commuters, overheating in your wool blend coat until you can shoe-horn yourself out at your stop, 40 minutes later. On the other hand, you could fall arse over tit and break yourself.
Normally I quick-step it down the escalators, stairs. Not tonight, though. My handbag has barely anything in it, but feels like it’s full of boulders for the rockery. And besides, my other hand is holding a bag with a full bottle of whiskey in, from my friend and colleague. That’s my colleague who is a friend, not two separate people. Just wanted to clear that up.
A quarter to eight in the evening, on a Friday night, and the platforms are still three, four, five people deep.
It’s all very normal, boring, banal even. And it’s bliss. The taste of mundane normalcy is sweeter than I thought. But this is a ‘new’ kind of normal. It’s the other end of another story that I used to be terrified of. It’s almost Bridget Jones-esque. It’s hangovers, and University Challenge, and running 15 minutes late for work. It’s Chip Shop Tuesdays, it’s arguing with my sister over use of the bathroom. It’s writing ‘pickles’ on the shopping list, and combing through Gumtree for house shares.
I’ve been normal before, I’ve been a stereotype, and I was smug about it. Married and a Mother to two babies by the time I was 25, a stay at home Mum who had left her job before it had the chance for it to turn into a career. I left it hapilly and willingly. ThankGOD I didn’t need to worry about the future, how relieving that it was all set out in front of me. I was, by my own admission, a smug married.
I hate the term ‘drama’, so I won’t use it. There is no more noise, there is no more crash, bang, wallop, there is only companiable silence, and it’s bliss. It’s not time to be bigger than I want to be, and it’s not a time for screeching. It’s a time to be so small.