Girl Half Empty

//What an odd thing a diary is: the things you omit are more important than those you put in//
- Simone de Beauvoir
/June winner of the diary competition/


11. //Let your soul expand//

20th June

I can’t really explain how I love the morning but I can explain why. I cannot explain how I am happy to peel myself from my bedsheets at half past five for three-hundred-and-sixty-four days of the year but I can explain why:

The morning tastes like space; it is a labyrinth of drifting roads and leaves and crisp packets and it is metallic rain sponging into the roads and it is the balance between bird song and traffic. It makes me think of the parts of me that reside in Cornwall, somewhere near the coast path, and I weave between the traffic cones and feel the wind weaving apart all my complexities. I feel the batter and the weight of the newspapers on my back and the stiffness of the gear my bike’s locked in and I delight in the way that it hurts to pedal hard. Because I love the way that I can glide home like bullet freed from the chamber and my bike lilts beneath me as I bend low over the handlebars, almost kneeling on the saddle. Like a teenage extra in some American coming-of-age film.

I remember that I used to pretend that my bike was a horse that had aligned itself to my every command and we used to grace the gallops of my town and the fields of tarmac and the bridleways of grey.

I remember that I used to wake to walking boots and the Cornish sea and the sound of gulls that grew fat on the ocean, not the school tennis courts. I remember everything was exciting and fresh and smelt of opportunities I’m no longer granted.

I remember that I used to watch the paperboys buy sweets with their wages from the corner shop that employed them and I used to imagine that that was the life to live. I remember that I used to skip the paving cracks down to the store on Saturday mornings with my dad and I’d feel so agonisingly hungry for breakfast and the day that followed that my flip-flops could hardly be permitted kiss the floor as we chased our pint of cereal milk.

That’s why I do a paper round.

That’s why yesterday I didn’t care that the Saturday Telegraph felt like an Argus catalogue and that my converses have holes in and that my brakes are faulty and that my night was short and that the sky was hot and heavy on me. My mornings are hands full of water, water that drains as the day falls away.

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