From my favorite spot on the couch in the living room, where my butt is comfortably imprinted and I usually have my coffee and work, when you look out the window, all you can see are the drab brown rooftops of the exact same housing blocks in the rest of the neighborhood. It’s only when you make the effort to get up and stand next to the window that you are rewarded with the beautiful views of Canary Wharf in one direction, typically with lights on at all hours of the night, and The Shard and The Eye in the other direction, backlit against the sunset.
It’s that time of year again. I’m sitting in the living room at 6:41 AM, having breakfast, and the sun is rising outside my window, although sunrise doesn’t officially start until 7:05, meaning that the sun runs like a Swiss train. When I woke up 25 minutes ago, it was still nearly dark on the side of the house where my bedroom is. Less than three months from now, sunrise won’t officially be until I’m at work already, and it feels like ages ago that I basically didn’t see darkness on weekdays.
One of the reasons I’ve been so bad about writing for the past year or so is because I am a master procrastinator. Anything that doesn’t urgently need to be done at that exact moment can wait until the next moment … or the next. So a lot of things – like writing – don’t end up happening at all. A lot of what I write about can wait, because it’s not especially topical and whether I write about it now or next month makes no difference. The exception to this is travel – I take plenty of trips, and I always mean to write about them, but the road to hell, blah blah blah. Anyways, by the time I get to three weeks post-trip, it feels a bit silly already to write anything.
There’s nothing in the world that I can say about Cheeto Jesus that isn’t already floating around my Facebook timeline, and if I’m being honest with myself and I know my audience (about 1% of my Facebook friends on a good day), it’s just a matter of preaching to the choir. And clogging up more gigabytes with He Who Shall Not Be Named – and the only people I know who will vote for him unfriended me about four months ago. And it’s not even because I bashed Cheeto Jesus online (I haven’t, however tempting) – it had more to do with questioning the mental age of someone who would use the word “libtards” with no irony at all. (Side note: when a Canadian Jew with Russian heritage starts complaining about refugees, you do have to question their capacity for reasoning a little bit.)
When I was thirteen, my parents took me on what might be described as a new-age Judaism bicycle retreat, which are a lot of words you might associate with my parents, but possibly not all in the same sentence. My memories of that weekend aren’t many (Kiddush wine got me like whoa), but one of the few involves having gone to a meditation session in a pagoda and dozing off. My head started rolling from side to side, not in that zen way that you do at the beginning of a yoga class, but in an overtired teenager way. I conked out.
In two and a half years in the UK, I’ve managed to get away with never once driving a car. I’ve almost driven when I’ve gotten in on the wrong side of the car (happens a lot), and I’ve cycled a ton (shoutout to Henry), and I also know how to cross the street by now without getting killed (on most days).
Part of being a 6 AM-loving, recovery-drink guzzling bike racer throughout my teens meant that spring break, or Spring Break, the institution, was out of the question. With collegiate season starting in March, and the elite season starting in April, every hour not spent on the bike in the spring was … actually, every hour was spent on the bike.