Last night I met a woman who jumps off things for fun. (Things like cliffs, and bridges, and hot air balloons, and tall buildings – and yes, with a parachute.) She travels all over the world to do it, and told me how the adrenaline rush affects you emotionally, and how you never know how a jump’s going to turn out – sometimes you’ll cry uncontrollably when you hit the ground, or you might laugh, or something else entirely. And she loves the feeling of not being in contact with any part of the earth; just being suspended above and amongst it, and seeing it beneath her.
And this afternoon I had (yet another) close encounter with a van, after foolishly launching myself into a fast-closing gap on Park Lane, and braced myself for an earful of stupidfuckinbitchgetoutthefuckinroadyafuckinwanker. But the van carried on driving alongside me for a few moments, and the driver leant out of the window, and very calmly – and almost amicably – said
“There’s no repeat button on life, do you know? You don’t get it back again. Once it’s over, it’s over.”
Later on, I nipped into Brixton Cycles to look at forks, and in conversation with one or other of the staff, remarked that I’ve done well over 3,000 miles on the Salsa so far – and then realized that’s the equivalent of crossing a continent, yet I’ve barely been out of central London.
Perhaps there are better places to get my adrenaline fix?