These things happen like an avalanche. A sense of foreboding. The tiniest of movements. And before you know it, the world is in freefall.
I set off this morning on a low. Emails were typed without feeling. Conversations were held without engagement. I went out on my bike with a familiar urgency to just BE at my destination, not travelling to it, yet without the slightest shred of motivation to get me there.
My mind wandered through dark streets and the first rock fell.
I’d replaced the tyre on my bike last night in a sports super store where the assistant, whom I knew from a years back, leant me the tools and pump to do so. I took the inner tube off the shelf, switched it over and thought about walking out without paying. No one would have noticed and the money would mean so much more to me than this international chain.
Two pounds and ninety five pence.
I paid up and pretended I hadn’t thought about anything else.
With each revolution this morning my front wheel jerked against the pavement where a bulge in the tyre stuck out. I’m not sure if I had damaged the tyre by cycling it flat to the shop last night or just hadn’t put the new tube in properly. Or maybe it was just the ugly welt of Karma.
And the rocks gathered speed, picking up accomplices as they tumbled.
I lacked impetus for work that morning because I had no idea what to work on. There are plenty of projects that need attention but why? Any fool can fill their days working on a hobby but what’s the point if it doesn’t help me or anyone else? How can I justify my time, my existence if I’m flitting away my days on meaningless ambitions? How can I eat other people’s food, sleep under their rooves, use their precious time if I have no plan of my own?
My bike shook the familiar shake of a tyre without air. It rattled my heart to the bottom of my stomach and giant boulders down the mountainside.
On a dual carriageway, eight miles from home, no pump, no repair kit and no train station or money for a ticket, I rang a friend but was too proud to ask for help. No, not pride. Just sick of relying on other people without justification. I put my helmet in my rucksack and began running.
It’s me that’s in freefall now, amidst rocks the size of houses. They tumble around me, knocking me this way and that. I feel helpless. And I feel pathetic for thinking I feel helpless. I lack the energy to run but can’t see another way, my mind now lost in a maze of unlit passageways.
My phone rings.
“I’m coming to pick you up. Where are you?”
The boulders crash into the floor and for a moment the air is a haze of dust. But quickly it settles and silence follows. The all too familiar feeling of the calm after the storm.
What was all the fuss about?