King Leopold

Late into the night, the cat raged and fumed with me as I tried to swing her preying body off my first collection books and stop her chewing on new roses in the midst of a phone call with Beansprouts in Strasbourg. Why do I always get into dreadfully feline anxiety-possessive situations in the midst of phone calls…

I feel startingly lonely. I almost need the fantasies that Beansprouts writes about, the ‘elegant women standing on balconies’ in Strasbourg, the glorious edifice of the ECHR, the ‘grotesquely beautiful cathedral with gargoyles everywhere’. Because you see, there are a whole lot of gargoyles surrounding me in my daily life too, and I often feel as though they will turn on me and howl the next moment.

I hate feeling needy and vulnerable and I think it all goes down to a state of unrest and a need to travel again (its been so long since last), a lack of alcohol in the house, unfinished assignments, a need for fulfilling, spluttering, inspiring sudden conversations bordering on Equalia. If it had been London, I would simply get lost somewhere like London Bridge, ended up between one sign and the next, balanced Chinese takeaway with a book on the other hand, holler at poor Beansprouts over the phone about the next state of something which comes through in my mind.

I even miss taking off for a late night party with F and R and dancing all night and having my friends whisked off by strange men while I contemplate possible plots and sipping strawberry milkshakes after alcohol at five in the morning (sometimes the best part of the night). I miss feeling startingly lost and found in London. In a way the loneliness has always been a part of my life, but somehow there was always the city, just as for Carrie, there was always New York too.

So when my dept head asked me what I missed about London, and I thought about it and said ‘cinnamon buns’ – that was not the long and short about it, but there are thoughts I cannot adequately voice about it, though often in my life I have started all over again, and this is one of those times.

But admitably you bring a little bit of that fantasy back, Beansprouts. In the few minutes I speak to you, I often feel like I am off to Zurich and stepping off the pavement in Milan, too.

From July onwards I might be startingly poor – I might be doing the law qualification course after all! Of course, they might be pulling out on the cfa sponsorship which means I will have to self sponsor a total of a cool 11,000 pounds, and hopefully I don’t look back and think I was doing all these for nothing. Would you believe it, I am even excited about conveyancing.


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