Back in the 'pool for Christmas. Went to see Liverpool play. Reds won 4-1. Had a pint with an old Scouser in a pub. Cost about a quid. Saw the folks. Talked about the neighbours caravan (really). Felt the urge to run back to London within about 5 minutes.
The problem with running from something is that it's not authentic. I fear ending up being back in Liverpool, but in the Liverpool of the early 1980s when unemployment was rife, my parents were screaming at each other and I was writing terrible poetry in my room.
But there isn't any chance of that. What I need to do is understand what role Liverpool plays in the narrative of my life, and acknowledge it.
My Mum was telling me a story about working in the libraries in Merseyside and Cheshire - places of great polarised wealth and opportunity. (Not the libraries so much as the counties). Bear with me on this one.
She was talking about serving the public and everyone was commenting on what a pain it must be. And I made a joke about some of the old bats that come in and say 'Gorrany Catherine Cooookson?' in a big Scouse accent, (cos I used to work there too and I met them). And my Mum laughed but then said 'Yes but I'd prefer them to the posh rude ones' and told us about a middle class woman who refused to pay her fine and was all rude.
And there it is. That's the bit of Liverpool's narrative that stays with me. I'd prefer that too, like my Mum. I'm on the side of the poor ones, the ones who'd give you a cup of tea with their last tea bag. The ones who like Catherine Cooookson.
I don't want wealth if it means I've done nothing in my life to help the underdog. I'm on their side, like it or not. It is part of my narrative, part of me.
And if that doesn't stay with me meaningfully throughout life, if I don't struggle to do something about it, then I've failed utterly.