Underneath the trees. April heating up. Standing beneath the pollen fuzz, sky-blues stretching right over Lambeth. The first spring has blossomed and offered and peaked and left nobody wanting. It is rejuvenating and promising Ė there is nothing further ahead because this is everything and it is all I want it to be, without having known what it was I actually wanted before it happened. Underneath those trees. I can smell the spring. The exhaust fumes and the power of the pollen. House-roofs through bracken. And somewhere at the back of the garden I hear the speed garage from the estate, the choruses blooming as the celebratory winter-killing sun comes from behind the clouds, bronzing my face as I watch the overgrown green garden. And somewhere on the platform the happiest man alive serenades me (the hero) with optimism for the summertime ahead, and he wins me over, and Iím winning, and the carriage pulls away into the humid tunnel, and Iím still winning, for what feels like forever until itís over. But it hasnít stopped yet and the new tube gnashes through the darkness with purpose, getting to home at great speeds. Getting to the escalators and going fast to home, to the top of the hill and gliding over the cherry-blossom carpets. And somewhere the last snippets of winterís gusts disappear in the haze of the Tulse Hill Tavernís blissful April heat, with the light going all soft and melting and turning dark backrooms golden. I can hear the rising commotion from where the others are and it gives me solidity in my soul. The thought of everyone there, so innocent and boundlessly celebrating that jubilant day. ĎIíll bring you flowers in the pouring rain.í Through the trees, the music like molten sun right towards my face and ears. I hear it so crisp. In my memory it is like this: I wanted to laugh and then I did and then I did a victory salute, how a child would when it has no past and no pain or fear and can see only whatís just ahead; no-nonsense, pure belonging.
I stepped into that spring as if I was that child, and there was so much clear air in front of me and between me and any feelings of dread, and I basked in the immense space. It was so calming there, that place where I wandered and forgot who I was, thinking that I could hold off the chaos of the future forever, and remain timeless and ageless soaking up those vitamins, with no pressure in my mind and a calmness knowing that I was not expected to fulfil or attempt to aspire to any emotional obligations or commitments. It was just me with time to breathe in the sun, walking to a place I did not know and didnít expect anything from. Time gave itself up to me and I laid back and basked in someone elseís love, a love that felt like my love too; a communal love that seeped into the sun itself and gave a residual glow that hardly dimmed as we headed into the evenings with the tender taste of pollen on the air as it came through the kitchen windows. A lime-blonde sunset. Club tropicana. Thereís enough for everyone. Going into that spring as though it was forever, as if I was that child who had just been born into it and with no bad memories to throw away. The lining of the borough offered a tenderness that was created in high definition and made to the extremity. I stepped into that spring. The spring that fills me up with madness now because the feelings it gave me are lost somewhere to it in their fullness. Locked there. And if I could wake up into that spring one last time, with the wisdom I have now, then I would smile and go towards it with a serene purpose that might render me complete. That may allow me to forget the disappointments of the following times, which themselves offered little snippets of promise - as of course they must - but promise mingled so much with other forces as to be distorted. And it would enable me to forget that the best, heartfelt passages of time are tiny and that they disappear into clenched hands before I ever get the chance to gauge a proper value of the feeling.
© Copyright 2016 John Maher