The first customer walks in at 9:20 and I was sitting peacefully, drinking my tea, window shopping from my phone. It’s Saturday you see, and in the retail world it’s supposed to be the busiest and most profitable day of the week but not for me. The Saturday shift is a drag and any customers who walk in with their supermarket bags have already spent all of their money and as far as I’m concerned are just stealing my precious oxygen. Isn’t it amazing how bitter you become in such a small space of time? I don’t mean it really I’m just bored. Bored of life.
If I try hard enough I can imagine myself back on the summit of Ben Lomond breathing in the pure air and almost freezing to death. It was the most alive I had felt in years, my knees were failing me, I was exhausted and emotional at the thought of hiking back down the mountain and terrified of needing to use my ice axe. We sat eating KitKats and talked about the TGI Fridays meal waiting for us in Glasgow Fort. He told me how proud he was of me and I won’t forget that feeling either.
We stayed in a Travel Lodge by the airport and rented our walking boots and cramp-ons from the outdoors shop and my heart skipped a beat when he decided we didn’t need them. No way was I going to be able to master spikey shoes, I already felt two feet from the ground wearing the walking boots.
I thought the trek up was hard, people were almost sprinting past me and my snail pace, I felt ashamed and I had lost count of how many times I had threatened to turn back but once I was there… I was there. Every fibre of my being could feel every air particle, every microscopic shard of ice and the dirt and bricks four inches beneath. I could hear every tiny sound, each crunch of the frozen snow as we shuffled in our waterproofs as well as every whisper on the mountain top. The rustle of my chocolate bar packet echoed across the surrounding hills and mountains.
It was the definition of freedom. That home feeling you get when you see the fields and farms in the English landscape when your plane is preparing to land and you’ve been staying in a bad hotel for two weeks. That hug when you really needed one. I’m getting all soppy now but you get what I mean!
Since that very long day I have searched for that feeling in my mundane life to no avail. There is no equal to standing frozen in bliss staring down at the world where silly little problems like mine are meaningless and nothing matters but that moment, that breath of air, those pains that were worth the struggle to get to the top. Hugs don’t quite cut it. If I close my eyes I’m there forgetting my reality and creating a new one.