And so, today was the day I packed all of my things up and waited for my ride to come so I could haul it all into the back of a van and be surprised how comparatively, I have very little. I accidentally finished packing almost 4 hours too early so have just been sitting here watching things on the laptop and thinking about this huge step I’m about to make. The idea of it is making me excited and nervous so I took a diazepam, I think they were prescribed for situations like this.
I keep finding myself on Google maps working out the best walking routes to Heptonstall to see Sylvia Plath’s grave, to bars and cafes in Hebden I’ve been told all about, to see friends in Todmorden, the jobs I might get. The thing that excites / terrifies me about this move is I have no idea where it will take me. Who will I meet? What will my friends be like? Will I make friends? But I felt like this the time i first moved to Manchester, years ago. I knew a change needed to be made because my life was hitting a bit of a low, and I thought I’d have to have a huge change of scenery. I’d always wanted to live in Manchester, so I hurriedly made the arrangements to do so and arrived without much warning. This is how I’m feeling about West Yorks. Life has been a bit hard recently, the break-up (which comes and goes in waves, in terms of grief), the mental health crisis, my poor diet, my decadence – a decadence I used to welcome but now feel awful about every time. I need a quiet life. I need a lack of chaos. I need the most exciting thing in my life to be: “I’d better head off, my last train is at midnight”. I need that Cinderella thing. You never saw Cinderella going out until 3am, drinking shots in some random guy’s penthouse, cadging drinks off gullible single men, and going home to a pile of unopened letters that might have bad news like “YOU OWE A SHITLOAD OF MONEY TO PEOPLE”.
I’ve taken this metaphor too far and I don’t know where it’s going. Also the valium is kicking in. I think what I’m trying to say all in all is I’m sitting on the bed that has been my bed for 9 months, this bed that I used to lie next to my boyfriend in. This bed that has now seen several people pass through since then, all of them with different names, occupations, purposes. The bed I slump into when I return home in the wee hours alone, drunk. The bed I spent so many hours lying in, beaming wide with pride when I looked at the man sleeping next to me, the bed that subsequently became a place of loneliness and where I refused to climb out of recently, where I rotted into it, an sunk into the mattress for days on end wondering when this whole shit would be over. The walls of the bedroom haven’t changed much, the posters were still the same, but some post-it notes got taken down. They were from my ex, or to him. “I love you” notes and “You are beautiful” notes. This wasn’t the worst place I ever lived and for a long time it was one of the best, but now it’s a nothing to me. The past 9 months never really happened, now. This place feels strange. I’ve scrubbed it of all remnants of me, and of any evidence that he was ever here. There was another boy who’s been visiting, but it would mean so much more to me if he’d never seen this place at all. I want to see him in different places, places where we belong. Maybe once I’m closer to the countryside, things will start to make more sense to me. Who knows. All I know is a change is needed.
So long, Manchester. I’ll be back eventually.