I am way out here now. Way, way out here in the middle of somewhere. To someone, somewhere, someone who is not here right now but somewhere else, this place is familiar, holds meaning which is linked to the past; they know about that tree. That tree over there and that barn, which may not actually be there but should be, out here in this wide, curving field with the sun at three o’clock and the wind sitting still like a great big silent blanket, folded neatly in a jam jar draw.
It could be that this is the widest, most openest place I’ve ever been, riding now up towards the centre of it with my shadow behind me, maybe fifty or a hundred or a few hundred meters, riding behind me with some effort, but not too much, maybe thinking what I’m thinking, but maybe not – we are sort of together me and him, sort of pretty much absolutely kind of connected and have been since we left, but we are sort of alone as well, as is our wont, and there might not need to be anything said right now, we might just be ok here, without needing to comment or say or do much about a lot of it at all.
I take my hands off the bars and stretch my arms, let them hang by my side and just slow a bit up this little incline, this false flat, this tiny little, immense, wide, lost, significant, meaningless, perfect little huge microscopic place I’m at right now, way out here in the middle of somewhere, my shadow riding now otherwhere behind me, maybe twenty meters back and closing, just closing in on me as we reach what could be called the middle of this place.
And me and him, right, we don’t know each other much but we know each other well now and that’s ok because that’s all that’s needed to share this moment, which doesn’t have to be shared but can be and is being and must be noted actually, for its meaninglessness and significance, its lostness and foundness, for its immensity and width and for how absolutely tiny it all is too; that all can’t just be overlooked here.
Here, now in here. In the middle of somewhere else with all shadows outside of me and the wind kept out by four square walls with a roof on it. But still. We will always have Ingatestone, Doddinghurst and Kelvedon Hatch, that bit will always be there actually, and I’m happy to cry a bit now, not outside but inside and not really crying at all but laughing. Considering it now as a meaning which is linked to the past. A past where the children of Essex sleep sound in their beds with the jam jar wind in their pocket watch heads, as the whispering elms speak of sleeping to strangers, and the Nisa at Stock stays open till late.