Stand in a doorway and hold your arms down by your sides. Push them outwards to the door frame and press your hands, faced inwards, into the frame. Now step forward. Your arms will lift upwards naturally and without effort. Imagine this is how you feel all the time, as if you have to make yourself as big as possible, as wide as possible, in an effort to fill all that space. Imagine that space buzzes with static, it needs to have something done with it. Like the sea, there’s just too much air, and it doesn’t serve a purpose other than to make you feel lost. Imagine that in a big empty space, your head feels as though it is disconnecting from your neck, that if you don’t box yourself in somewhere soon, all your limbs will separate from your body. You hold onto your bag, your Mum, the rails or sides of something, the trolley, in a supermarket, or fruit and veg. You hold on because if you don’t, something bad will happen. You don’t have the vocabulary to deal with this so you just hold onto something. That’s all you can do for now.
Imagine that each and every road looks exactly the same. Motorways are the worst; just a block of grey and bits of white, with the occasional roundabout and green sides. They weave a web across the country; north, south, east, west. You spend hours pouring over maps and find the country and county borders impossibly fascinating. You love travelling, cities, other countries. You love towns with a grid system, left, right, straight on, or towns next to the sea. When you lived in Padova, it took you three weeks to find the way from the train station to the town, and another two to realise it was just one straight line. A limitation of the feet is that they don’t take you fast enough. Someone should have given you a moped. There were so many distractions when you went on foot; cars, students, ice cream parlours, chapels. You loved the train line from Padova and onto Venice Mestre then Venice. The fact that the train plunged into the Laguna and cut into the station as though piercing it with a needle. That the train was so confident with all that water and air.