Not too long ago I’ve had two nasty surprises. The primary was discovering my flatâ€™s again home windows shattered (â€œWas it a babyâ€™s soccer? Or a burglarâ€™s fist?â€ I fretted). And the second was discovering my automobile damaged into. These occasions arenâ€™t uncommon, however as a result of they got here in fast succession, I couldnâ€™t brush them off. I felt diminished, weak and paranoid.
This, I do know, will not be my pure state. In my early 20s I used to be captivated by the concept of the flÃ¢neur â€“ a French phrase for a person who roams society observing, usually at evening. Tellingly, flÃ¢neuse, the feminine equal, has by no means gained a lot traction.
However nonetheless I attempted, absorbing the town at its most trustworthy and wicked, blithely unaware of the grim reaper absolutely ready a couple of bar stools over. Once I assume again to the precarious conditions I discovered myself in, I shudder: there have been too many shut requires consolation. But additionally a lot pleasure, and lots of kindnesses: the lady who gave me some flip-flops when my heel broke, or the person who gave me his jumper on the practice station.
How was I so fearless? Stupidity, in all probability. Just like the time I demanded a 6ft pickpocket give my purse again, holding out my hand like a mother or father saying, â€œSpit it outâ€ to a toddler who has eaten a marble. Such issues appear unimaginable now. (He gave it again.)
I fear for others, too. Maybe an excessive amount of. Not too long ago, I discovered a younger lady, drunk, in a pub rest room. It was solely proper to inform employees and convey her water. It was possibly an excessive amount of to demand ID from the person who collected her â€“ whom she known as Dad â€“ and to check him on info I had gleaned from nothing greater than her drunken ramblings.
Maybe as we age we take fewer dangers, realising we have now a lot to lose. However I really feel I’ve misplaced one thing by retreating. So whereas my automobile is out of motion, Iâ€™m taking the chance to stroll, and to trip the evening bus. Itâ€™s time to flex my flÃ¢neuse muscle groups once more.