Out on the road, getting a few two-legged kloms in since the pool’s closed today, just me and Nikeplus. And thinking.
Much as I’m enjoying my time at Warwick, I am looking forward to getting back to London. The bright lights, the thronging crowds, the galleries and museums and architecture. Even the Tube; I still get a buzz out of taking a train through the Earth’s crust. Not because it’s better, but because it has action. Excitement, adventure, really wild things, 24-by-7-by-363*. I love London precisely because you can’t get used to it.
Life isn’t fun unless it resembles a movie script starring you. Every passing vehicle should hint at the possibility of dark secrets inside (even if you know they’re Russians). Every door without a brassplate should hide billions in wealth (think of those anonymous offices in Mayfair.) After dark should be full of delectable pleasures in still-smoky underground dens, dawn light tinted with both regret of the previous day and hope for the forthcoming one. Life should be a riot of conflicting emotions, intense experiences to cut that searing pain of mere existence that never goes away.
I’ve joined the Skydiving Club and I’m doing my first solo jumps in March. Jumping out of a moving aeroplane at 4,000 feet will take the edge off, but a tightly-governed thrill ride isn’t the same as being in a theatre of action, where anything could happen and it’s up to you to survive and thrive.
As HC said, life should contain constant action. Inside my head I’m an action hero, even if it’s limited to pacing campus after dark, wearing black trenches, and leaping the desks instead of going round them. Action. I need action.
(Aside: I’m seriously disappointed that nobody has replied to my class spam asking my MBA cohort to join me at 4000 feet. There are at least two guys apart from me fitting the action hero sensibility – Si***** and Io*** and you KNOW who they are – but neither has responded.)
If I walk down the street and only three or four bullets get fired at me, I find it hard to stay awake.
But skydiving will assuage the emptiness a little. And it’s surprisingly cheap. “Subsequent jumps are cheap” (hopefully that’s not because second jumps are ‘subsidised’ by people who paid for a second jump but, er, didn’t quite excel on their first.) Although it’s wrapped up the cotton wool of British Health & Safety: why, for example, do you have to wear a crash helmet? If at the end of a 4000ft fall your head’s pointing downwards, you’ve got certain issues a fibreglass hat isn’t going to fix.) Skydiving has some action, but it isn’t Action.
So that’s why I think that after I graduate, I will return to London, even though my shoebox of a house down there could be exchanged for something detached with four bedrooms up here. London means Action. And without action, you’re already dead – you just haven’t stopped moving yet.
(*363 because the trains stop Dec 24 and 25 and nothing happens.)