Monday, June 27, 2011

London or bust...part 2

So, a month ago I sat alone at a pub in Leicester Square.  I enjoyed, perhaps, the best glass of wine I've ever had.  I had a little time before the curtain went up for "Much Ado About Nothing" at the Wyndham Theatre.   It had rained on and off most of the day, culminating in a thunderstorm.  Anyone who knows me knows I hate thunderstorms.  I am terrified by lightning, convinced that its sole purpose is to kill me.

Late in the afternoon, prior to my trek to the Leicester Square pub, I walked alone across Green Park, adjacent to Buckingham Palace, while pouring rain and lightning danced around me.  I walked briskly,  all the while chanting to myself "I am not going to get struck by lightning and die in London."  Finally, I made it back to my hotel, while the storm continued.

I was soaked from head to toe, and had about an hour to get put back together and out again to make it to the theatre by 7:30.   By the time I was ready to head out again, the rain had stopped.  The sun poked through the remaining storm clouds.  By the time I got to the pub, the late day sunlight was streaming down, reflecting off the wet streets.

And so I found a seat outdoors at a pub, with a name I now cannot recall.  I took a deep breath, and a long, slow, deliberate sip of wine.  I had made it through the storm, and now all was calm.  I was at peace,  happy.  It was a moment of such simple pleasure, and yet the kind of moment that is  so elusive in my real life.

I keep asking myself what I have gained by traveling to London on my own.  At the very least, I have found my "happy place".  When everything seems to be falling apart around me, the mundane routine exacerbated by frustration, I think back to that moment at the pub.  I take a deep breath and remember that I  traveled on my own, I made my way through a foreign city on my own.  I am strong and brave, and will never be the same again.

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