It is sweeter to wander with the wretched and outcasts than to sit crowned with roses at the banquets of the rich
Elisee Reclus

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

...and Non-Returning

And I should be returning to where I come from. I was born in a (small) commuter town and grew up (later) in the suburbs of South London. And there is so much that remains in me from that time - Fear of random violence from (drunken) random men and from that a sense of my maleness and how to overcome it. - A disciplined sense of territorial space, personal and domestic. - Work ethic and existential angst. - The notion that I must grasp whatever I can to escape (like the films of Relph and Payne and their reflective shots of Reebok guy as flaneur, of necessity of reading, of dancing, of understanding the commodifaction of essential young rebel moves and seeing through it, of birds in the sky against a foot-level monster urban grey banality). - My (self-)defence and comfort of local radical history when the suburbs seem so static and anti-historical.
(My local growing up town centre, turned giga-shopping centre created a 'William Morris Water Feature' in it's pedestrianised zone picking Morris out from a lack of any other famous local notables. Designed to echo the Arts and Crafts Movement's themes and motifs, it spits out water in an eternal return like the flow of money through five thousand local tills. No-one points out that Morris was a revolutionary socialist. Well, almost. From memory, from my Tower high above inner city London, from experience...I suspect that no-one has ever painted 'REVOLUTION' on any wall in any suburb).
I plan to never return as so many people my age must do - Move into inner city in your teen years, rebel or at least play some. Settle down post-30's and save for the move back to the suburbs. Swap your white Reeboks for black leather loafers. Where should I be?
Here, now I find myself re-settled by accident through the sudden legitimacy of a council flat. Unexpectedly, some of that housing insecurity finally rubbed away to replaced by new (rental) anxieties - being verified and on probation for one year. Facing a time when the Benefit just won't be available any more for slack me. Facing up to difficulties of remaining slack when it's the slack years that are behind me...possibly. When it feels like i should be a new person, new tenant, new, new, new...
And not so hopelessly adrift...
And not so hopefully adrift...

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