Lines

My mum said life is made of multiple lines.

Not just one. Straight. Direct.

Multiple.

Multiple lines; separate, parallel, intertwined.

Every single line you tread is not omniscient and predefined. It’s always multiple lines. They’re made of choices, possibilities, coincidences. They can be taken singularly or as a whole. You can leap from one to another; you can cross the line or toe the line. 

Most times you have to toe the line: follow rules, legal rules, social rules, behavioural rules, relational and human. In all other cases, there’s not a line you can’t cross, I mean other than the one separating the platform from the train down the London underground stations – unless you don’t really hold your life dear. Pretty much what I do, figuratively speaking, and risk falling into that gap every single goddamn day! 

Like her story.

She had a well paid and secure job in Italy, a solid relationship with a reliable and stable person, a nice house, a cute and lovely doggy – all the comforts and simple pleasures one would hope for when they reach a certain age. One single downside: she just wasn’t happy. 

She would hate that job to the point where it makes you break down and lock yourself in the toilets for a jiff of relief. Her relationship had been falling apart for a long time, no more talking, sharing, sleeping together; no more love, if that ever existed in that form. Her apartment was located in one of those old-fashioned buildings far from the city centre, those family-friendly, boring-friendly, sad-friendly areas, the whatever-friendly type that kills excitement, hopes, dreams, or even the most simple and genuine daily moment you may ever want to rely on. The city itself, for how young and vibrant, was running out of the appeal it was initially offering. She couldn’t stand that anymore. It was being too much, or too little, to bear. To break the routine, she decided to visit a family member in London for the weekend, and on the Friday she landed, they made their way into the local pub for a drink or two. Actually, make it five or six. As soon as they walked through the doors and waded into the cluttered crowd, her look crossed with one of the bartender’s, and in a matter of minutes, they started chatting. It wasn’t more than teasing each other, more than two pretty buddies hitting on each other through the night. 

The bartender had quite a story himself. He decided upon leaving a decent office job, a fun and fast-paced environment, maybe a career in the long term, for the unknown, for no other relevant opportunity. He felt he wasn’t the right fit, that he wasn’t fulfilling his greatest passions, his inclinations, somehow what he was good at. It was a reckless decision, and yes he did regret it for a while. He started looking for more suitable opportunities out there that, with the job market becoming extremely demanding and highly competitive, were late to come. And with time passing by and he getting more and more broke, he had to go back to bartending to cover expenses and debts, and swinging from a place to another, he ended up working at that pub.

The two of them spent the night together, talking, telling one another. It was surreal. If it wasn’t more than making out they were expecting, they realised they were on the same page, somehow on the same line. 

At the end of that weekend, she went back to Italy and faced the truth: that life, that seeming stability wasn’t the line she wanted to pursue. She decided to quit literally everything: the job, the relationship, the house, the dog – her entire life. She decided to move to London, a little scared as in all big changes, but without any second thoughts. She embraced a new life, a new line. Him. Happiness, for once.

Sometimes not all negatives turn out badly. She could’ve opted for another pub on that night, he could’ve found a job earlier and never started working there – all wouldn’t have happened. Their lines would have remained separate, probably parallel, but never intertwined. 

See, life can’t be made of “would have, could have, should have”. It’s made of choices, possibilities, coincidences. It’s made of lines.

Multiple.

Not just one. Straight. Direct.

Just like my mum said.

And I will always feel blissful for the line that took you through that door on that Friday night, the line that gave me the opportunity to meet you. The line that I’m hoping to tread together.

I want to live multiple lines, but one single life.

With you.



Jim
The Britalian Post



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