We walked from Marston to Wolvercote, and from there down over Port Meadow, picking our way through the remainder of floods in the gathering dark, and by a commodius vicus of recirculation back to Jericho and environs. A lovely walk, just at this kind of time of year, with the air bright and knife-edged and glittering with yesterday's rain. And thinking of that takes me back to a later time, crossing the river in the fog with a new partner on the way to watch a meteorite shower, and I felt that we were standing in a place out of time, on a bridge between worlds, bound up in clouds and the hopes half-glimpsed like indistinct shapes in the darkness, and he felt ... well, I never really knew what he felt at all.
The conversation that reminded me of this started with Kidlington, though, and I've never really been to Kidlington, only passed through it one time when I started cycling North because it was out of Oxford, and I had no idea where I was going except Away but I got to -- what's the one after Kidlington? -- before giving up and turning round because it was dark and cold and raining. And on the way back I passed a sign to "The Midlands" and burst into tears because The Midlands was the closest to Home at that point, where my parents were, and I wanted more than anything else in the world to go home.
I can't remember why I was feeling like that, there were so many things that hurt in those days -- was it me who broke my heart? did I have a heart to break? -- but I'm older and harder now and if I have to run away and hide I stay out in the open where nobody can tell I'm hiding. But I think it's just that sometimes you just have to go as far as you can go in one direction before you remember that you don't have anywhere else to run to because the things you are running away from are tied up in a bundle of rags on your back and the things you are looking for are right there in your own back yard. And if they weren't there in the first place, why then, you never really lost them.