Gritty, or the Place I Grew Up?

I grew up in Tottenham, a northern suburb of London, which, according to several news reports of the August riots, is a “gritty” and “disadvantaged” neighborhood of the English capital. From London, my family migrated to Sydney, and I moved on to Denver, Lansing, and Lexington, each move, to a smaller city. The U.S. cities came, it seems, through little of my own volition, as is surely often true of big decisions. I’ve expended more thought over omelette or waffle than in deciding my final move (to Lexington, Virginia, following a job that randomly occurred.) Being only a jot, I had no choice with Tottenham, but I thought it a good place, to the extent I thought of it at all. It was the park with my best climbing tree; the slope for the makeshift skateboard (a loose board on a single skate); the field where we boys sieved sandy soil into buckets for an important reason I no longer remember. So it’s a shock to me, that Tottenham is gritty, but I’d left by the age of twelve and, in childhood, the sharp whiff of gritty dust on the tongue is more precious than gold.

No comments:

Post a Comment