I love my *busband, of course I do. But I found myself thinking the other day, ‘When I’m old and you’re dead I’ll live in Tooting Bec again.’ I sometimes imagine conversations with him when he’s away, but I would never say this to him out loud.
Tooting Bec has this power in my head. I think of it as a magic place. I used to stick stickers on the posters, and believe its streets were paved with tigers, and shiny balloons ,and nomad puppets, not to mention the muffins and the magic number 5. The place felt cluttered with all this magical nonsense, and that meant a lot to me at the time. I still can’t bring myself to write, ‘there is no magic of Tooting Bec.’
I suppose I mythologized the place because it was my home at an important time in my life. I lived in Tootng Bec when I left my parter of 13 years, when I struck out on my own for the very first time. I reinvented myself there, and found out I was someone I liked. It was hard work and it took tube station magic, home made stickers and a daily blog to do it. But I was happy for a little while with that. Life was even quite exciting. I was the heroine of my Tooting Bec blog adventures.
Now I live in Kent, and perhaps I need to reinvent myself again. I can’t really have changed that much from the character who starred in those magical adventures in that ordinary (or extraordinary?) zone 3 London suburb. But I don’t feel I recognise that magic-seeking heroine any more.
Maybe this new blog will help me find her again?
I started my first ever blog years ago, as a way to persuade myself to leave my partner, then I quit that blog and started another to sort my life out when I’d left him. Now here I am, happily living with a busband I love, someone who doesn’t even like blogs, someone who wanted us to leave Tooting Bec…
My last Tooting Bec adventure was the birth of my little boy. He was born at home (he arrived in a rush) delivered by his dad on the landing floor outside our bathroom, with help from the 999 operator – although at one point the phone was dropped on his newborn head. Our little boy was born at 22B, just off the Upper Tooting Road. I could tell you all the magical significance of all that, only I don’t know if I should believe it anymore.
I know I want to.
I left Tooting Bec a week after our baby was born. I started my new life in Kent with my son, my daughter, my busband. There was no more blog-fuelled silliness, and I don’t know why it was, but there was no more magic.
Sometimes I feel lost with these people I care about so much, and I’m starting to suspect I care too little for myself. I realise that I’m no longer a hero with adventures to share, and I now feel very ordinary indeed.
I don’t want to wait until I’m old, and my beloved busband’s dead to find magic again. I want to be a hero now, wherever I am, and whether I write about it or not.
I left Tooting Bec but I have to try to find the magic again. Before I’m old and dead.