I am a body in free fall. I am like Wile E Coyote in those first deluded moments, treading the air like it was earth, unaware of the chasm beneath me. This is the point I was at a few days ago – stage 1 of the fall. Call it bliss.
But now that I’m officially halfway through my holiday, I’ve entered stage 2 – realisation. I know that this suspension of woe is temporary. In a few weeks, Rosie and I will return to our home in London, back to our tiny flat on the western bank of a dual carriageway, back to school for her and work for me. Back to a whole cauldron full of trouble.
You see, now that Ben is in detox, I have enough head space to devote to the other major worry in my life. In a few months, I am going to be made redundant. This might not have been such a big deal if times had been less straitened. But this is no time to be losing my job. I am the sole earner in our household – I’ve got a mortgage to pay, mouths to feed, bodies to clothe. If I think too much about the disaster awaiting me, I go into paralysis. I claw my way back up to that first airborne moment. I cloak myself in delusion. And when that doesn’t work, I panic.
The truth is, each time I pass a homeless person on the street, I think, that will be me in a few months. I know I’m prone to melodrama, but who amongst us isn’t a few steps removed from a cardboard box? Few of us are so financially secure that we can comfortably weather a few months without an income.
I know I have options. In fact, I probably have quite a few. But right now, they seem rather fantastical and foolish. I’m not one for believing in fate and luck, but I keep telling myself that something has to change for the better – at some point, something good, and I mean really good, has to happen.
Perhaps I need to look at my impending joblessness as a sign (even though I don’t really believe in those either). Maybe it’s telling me that my time in London is over, that it’s time to move on and make a home somewhere else.
The world is big – really big. And somewhere in it is the right place for Rosie and me. I just hope it doesn’t take too much longer to find it.