Rooted by Samuel Wilkinson

It’s been six years and so many months since arriving on that train, and the boundaries have shifted since then. I mean the edges or spine of what the world was. In this place it’s beautiful, like that tree in the park with the sun over it. And desperate, outside Euston. Empty and crowded; everything with nothing. The sharpest cold minds sit with the warmest rough hands, reading the same metro next to one another. I believe you don’t know a city until you’ve been sick on it; that moment in the evening where you suddenly find fresh air and the drink hits you and the most important thing is to immediately navigate blindly home, walking your memory so as to vomit on a quiet street, away from shame like a cat disappearing to die. One summer night, a few years ago, I threw a bottle at a railing; it’s hard to explain why except that it was there to be done. Conflict resolution with the city.

In our free time we come to terms with the idea of settling here (darling, should we get a cat or a child? I’ve been wondering that too, dear. Well, our combined salaries and ages are definitely supportive of the notion of the latter. The real question though is, do you love me enough to be stupid enough to think we could?), suggesting the ways in which we could live in Leyton near the cheaper terraces. It would be nice to believe that this place has taught me about love. The psycho-geographical landscape of living in a man-made labyrinth and its inevitable associations. Over time, the roots grow and graft us to the place. The tough tissue of memories and your various endeavours in exploring this local corner of reality. Now, the abstracted meal of all these ever-changing people and increasingly familiar places finally find structure.


Wilkinson author photoSamuel Wilkinson grew up on the outskirts of London and now lives in Camden. He has recently finished studying to become a doctor with his research on fluid dynamics and machine learning. When he grows up he would like to be a writer, like Roald Dahl in the shed with a blanket over his legs and a packet of decent biscuits.

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