The darkness was comforting, like a loving friend wrapping a blanket of stars around your shoulders.
It was 2 o’clock in the morning and the air was crisp with cold, but not uncomfortable. Underneath the music in my headphones, I could feel my feet pounding the pavement I was walking with intent, but without clear direction or purpose, across parks and through maze-like housing estates.
Occasionally, I would stop to sit on a bench, smoking four or five cigarettes, before gathering my thoughts and continuing my nebulous journey. The faux-fur hood on my navy coat was pulled over my head, covering most of my face. I felt protected and hidden from the occasional passerby – if I couldn’t see them, they couldn’t see me.
After an hour of striding through the outskirts of the quiet city, I came to stop at the foot of a busy bridge. The orange glow from the the street lights masked the starry sky and I felt my comfort blanket quickly snatched from my shoulders.
I removed my headphones to be greeted by a torrid of traffic noise. I had walked as far as the city allowed. This was the end of my journey and the air felt colder now.