A Love Letter to London

Dear London,

Hi.

How are you?

I heard it is sunny there today. And if I am not wrong, people shouldn’t be but they are breaking the rules by turning up at Hyde Park to bask in the sun and have a picnic with some Pimms and oranges. I don’t know why specifically oranges, but oranges. Oranges and grapes and strawberries.

London, I am from one of the most beautiful cities in the world, but you have my whole heart.

See, I left without saying goodbye to you, so sure that I would be back, but now I don’t know when I will see you next. And every night, I see you in my dreams.

The big Whitechapel sign, the Idea Store library, bus 25 and Aldgate East, in particular, are regular visitors.

I really, really miss you, but I would politely like to ask you to stay away from my dreams. You see,  you visiting every night makes it all the more harder to stop missing you.

And missing you is just too painful.

You see, London, you gave me so much in such little time and I am eternally grateful for that.

You gave me friendships and kindness and a sense of community. Dare I say you gave me a lifetime of memories. Cheesy, I know.

But above all, you taught me how to be friends with myself.

I’ve forgotten how to do that now.

I’ve forgotten a lot of things now.

But here is what I remember.

The nights at the pub and at the park getting piss drunk with my friends. Dancing all night at queer clubs and getting free drinks from strangers. Coffees at Starbucks and walking along the Trafalgar Square. Exploring Camden town and Hackney Wick. Devouring the art at Shoreditch and going to the temple on Green street and Wembley. Crossing Tower Bridge and back, often in between tears and sneaking in a smoke. Getting high as a kite in my balcony and watching the most random of movies. The fireworks from the 12th floor and going on dates. And the list goes on and on and on.

I miss you quite terribly.

I miss your cold breeze. I miss your ‘please mind the gap’ and ‘the next station is Aldgate East alight here for the Whitechapel Art Gallery….’ and whatever came next. I miss your ‘please place the items in the bagging area’. The crowds of people who were always, always in a hurry. I miss the ‘innit’ and the ‘you okay?’

Yes I am okay, what’s wrong with me, thank you very much. I was always confused when people said that to me when I first came to you.

I miss the communities of spoken word poetry and the nights at Hungama and chilling with my sisters.

You allowed me to be me, you gave me space to be me, and accepted me as me. And here, I’ve mastered the art of putting on a performance. Always complaining aren’t I?

I am running out of words, and this has ended abruptly.

I love you London. And I leave you with this quote.

“I don’t know when we’ll see each other again or what the world will be like when we do. We may both have seen many horrible things. But I will think of you every time I need to be reminded that there is beauty and goodness in the world.” – Arthur Golden

All my love, always, all ways.