CROYDON

Hi John

You’ll never believe it, I’ve ended up walking all the way into town, right up to the top end, to the dentist, and then all the way back again!  Not sure I’ve ever even done that before – how things have changed!

Got to the end of the road and didn’t want to turn right to that bus stop (you know why, because that’s where it happened), so turned left but then the road was closed, so just kept walking all the way.

On the way back, sat on the bus stop by the dentist for ages but all the traffic was snarled up, so eventually gave up and walked to West Croydon.  But no sign of any buses there either, and hordes of people waiting as ever, so just had to walk all the way home.  And it’s freezing and I had too thin a coat on.

I want to show you my new filling, but that’s the sort of day to day thing that I won’t be able to do any more.

I can’t help feeling SO anti Croydon.  I know how you hated it when I expressed my dislike; I know we were agreed we had to sit it out, and that we were starting to talk about where we would move to when you got your redundancy.  But now – circumstances have changed, will you allow me to express my hatred for the place, on both our behalfs?  The atmosphere just feels threatening, I feel like I’ve got nothing in common with the people.

The point is that before, when you were here, it was all just background.  Everything in the world was background to YOU.  You were such a towering presence in my life, the central thing.  Your familiar figure, your familiar face coming out of a crowd made everything bearable.

Now everything that’s left in the world seems pointless and trivial and inane.  I hardly feel any of it is worth sticking round for, not round here anyway.

But walking back home in the cold (to this empty house), I was sort of thinking – I must find some strength.  I know how you hated the word ‘resilience’, with all its business abuses.  But I need resilience now, in order to go on.  If I have to go on without you, I have to adapt.

But maybe not here, maybe I’ll get away from this place, however familiar it was to both of us.

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