• Vol. 05
  • Chapter 06

an absence of chaos

There was something fateful about early morning walking, a liberation from Time and its constructs. There was no such concept of Routine, of two cups of coffee and a cereal bar, of squeezing oneself first into a pencil skirt and then into a train carriage. The solitude was comforting, an isolated individual enveloped in the blushing smog. There was still the edge of apprehension that women feel when alone in that liminal period, a buzz that she’d get stabbed or mugged or raped, but she was mad as hell and she wasn’t going to take this any more. That’s what she wanted to scream as she – now running, thudding shoes – seamed through the streets. A deliberate break in the stillness, a change, uprising, revolution, more than a new leader or political party or lifestyle. Damn mindfulness, damn hygge, damn it all. She didn’t want – or need – to be taught how to breathe. A rejection of serenity, the morning air and endorphins were getting to her, stopping only to bend double and gasp. Straightening up, ready to run and keep running, she observed the city. It crept alive reluctantly, hands reaching out from under covers to silence alarms and children and dogs. The silence was not so much shattered, but systematically broken as the public moved logically from bedrooms to bathrooms and kitchens. No chaos, just regularity. Regulation. Omniscient, she fancifully bowed again to the metropolis – an archaic mark of respect to the mass – and ran again. She didn’t know if she was running to, or running from. She didn’t know if it mattered. She still corrupted the daybreak, and took pleasure from it.