It’s 9am on Sunday morning and my feet are already pounding the pavement. It wasn’t easy getting out here, but now I am I’m revelling in the coolness of the air, the absence of cars and other people. I run on through the concrete jungle, noting all the signs of last night’s excesses; a used condom outside a pub, a pool of vomit by a telephone box. The perpetrators of these crimes are long gone, most likely now lying in a bed that isn’t their own beneath a blanket of self-loathing. One group of young adults are still partying on a rooftop, cans of lager clasped in their hands, teetering on the brink.
I run onto the common, relishing the green space even though it’s flanked on all sides by road. There was a festival here last night and there’s still a trace of sweat and booze and hot dogs in the air. Men in orange jackets clear the remnants as occasional dog walkers and clusters of military fitness groups pass by. Everyone is resolute and unswerving in their purpose, like worker bees. I take a lungful of damp air and look up at the grey sky overhead. My feet splash through puddles, catapulting splodges of mud onto my calves.
I run on.