I have a hard time letting go. It’s why I wrote about it for 31 Days.

I find myself thinking I need to twist and turn and conform to some better version of me. Usually in the afterglow of feeling confident. It’s a place I seem to return to often, a conversation with myself like the lines of a play I’ve memorized all my life. My intonation and voice never quit good enough. To me.

H and I wind our way into the center of city life on the wrong side of the road. The chaos and nonconformity makes me feel at home and strangely significant, uniquely fitted among the messy and broken fragments of life.

We walk pressed together under the canopy of an umbrella H holds over us, rain spitting from heaven. But I want to feel it, cold and wet on my face.

The gold chain of my purse hangs diagonal over my black overcoat, white polka dot scarf loosely wrapped around my neck. Rows of black bowler hats idle in front of Harrods waiting to be haled for their paycheck. But we keep walking the familiar path we traveled the same week last May.

Choose the square table for two in the large plate glass window, next to the family speaking English with heavy accents. The family behind us speaks French. Or is it Italian?

“You sit facing the window,” H says, “so you can watch people.”

We order gnocchi and stems of chianti, sipping and savoring time. And suddenly, someone nearby screams a sneeze at an unusually high decibel. And the entire restaurant breaks out in corporate laughter.

Perhaps we find ourselves best in the comfort of what isn’t home.


Joining the Five Minute Friday community at Lisa-Jo’s with a snatch of time from our journey through England this week. Pictures from Oxford and surrounding villages. The word prompt is Comfort.