If you look closely, you can see the child I was before the city.
Manchester is what flung me into adulthood. Before this, I had no idea how many people there were in this world. So secluded was I, tucked up in the South-Western corner of Scotland, that I spent most of those seventeen years chasing fairies and leaping around fields like a lunatic.
Rumour has it that when I was a baby, the wind was once so high and my body so light, I flew. You heard. I was lifted up into the air like a little leaf, holding my mother’s hand so I wouldn’t fly away.
Galloway was magic.
I remember swimming in waterfalls and falling asleep in long meadows, hair sticking up at right angles. Not a care in this old world.
There were several companions; my brother of course, we pretended to be Hobbits or Rivendellian elves, dashing the hills, attacking any and all enemies (mainly gorse bushes and the occasional invisible Ork.) Creating dens in the undergrowth or down by the old lightening-struck tree. Sometimes fishing (we’d throw them back in of course,) sometimes running, sometimes hiding. Then there was Bronwen the cat. She liked to follow us around the fields sometimes. She would come sloe-berry picking with us at the bottom of the hill. My brother and I used to pretend she was our protector and she would lead us into battle. And of course, there was Kelpie, our prize wolf. Or as you would see her, a dishevelled rescue lurcher; half greyhound, half Scottish deerhound. She cost me my first baby-tooth! It was dislodged from my jaw with as much elegance and velocity as a champaign cork. That is to say, it hurt. A lot. Blood everywhere. It was my own fault though, I should never have put the lead in my mouth.
And later, brother and I respectively found music.
He, before I.
I because of he.
What child doesn’t want to be like their big brother? I imagine quite a lot, but I did.
Now ever since, I’ve tried to row myself back to my little island of a childhood, in my mind. Sometimes a shot of mindfulness meditation and my imagination just won’t cut it.
It’s then I find the need to sing. It sounds cheesy as hell but it’s sometimes the only thing that keeps me sane. Or insane, it’s much the same. I could go back, physically I mean, but what use is the countryside when you’re my age? Now is the time I should be around cities and life and people. There is a lot of good in the city, it just takes some time to find it.
I just need eyes that can see.