I’m still in shock. Fuck, fuck, fuck. But swearing out loud or on paper doesn’t give me any sense of relief. Not this time. Feelings of angst, anger and sadness are nibbling away at me like maggots in a food recycling bin. It’s sadness that caught me by surprise. I was watching the coverage on the referendum, comforted by our cat lying on my lap, and suddenly I couldn’t stop the tears from rolling down my cheeks. Immediately I felt silly and semi-aggressively wiped my cheeks dry.
For a few hours I watched people talk about this historic and depressing result in a daze. I, only just, resisted jamming my fist through the TV when Farage or Gove appeared. I had a day of writing planned, but my recent new-found motivation to work on my novel had been shattered. What’s the point? I asked myself and the cat. We’re all doomed. It was my partner, Ross, who suggested writing about how I felt. It made sense. I absolutely love writing; it’s the reason I get up early in the morning before going to work.
So here I am reflecting on my inner turmoil as the word LEAVE, which is now dripping with unwelcoming connotations of alienation, is unwilling to exit my brain. Suddenly this word has got a negative vibe. I was never offended by John Denver’s song LEAVING on a Jet Plane. This may seem like a lazy reference but it’s one that immediately sprung to mind. I’ve just been listening to the song a couple of times and even sang it out loud. I hope that, for their sake, our neighbours were out. I don’t possess the soothing vocal cords of John Denver. Maybe a tad sentimental but I’ve declared this song my soundtrack of today. It might be Led Zeppelin’s Immigrant Song tomorrow but I’ll stick with Mr Denver for now.
In 2002 I left the Netherlands to come and live in Edinburgh. Not because I hated my home country, but because I wanted to explore. That’s the great thing about being part of the EU. Well, it was until the early hours of this morning. Will I have to leave this country that I’ve called home for almost fourteen years? Apparently it’s going to take two years of negotiations before it might come to that, but still. There’s not been a knock on the door yet telling me to leave. NOW! Today, I don’t even want to leave the house. I want to hold onto feeling safe and comfortable at least in our own home. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think I’ll be grabbed by the scruff of the neck and chucked in a taxi to the airport, but I just don’t want to face the unknown. Not yet, maybe tomorrow. It’s this sense of unease and uncertainty that is almost paralysing.
Who knows, maybe I’ll be leaving on a jet plane and as the engines roar I’ll shout: ‘Don’t know when I’ll be back again.’ But I don’t want to leave. Edinburgh is my home. I fell in love with Scotland’s capital and almost thirteen years ago I met and fell in love with my amazing soulmate at Edinburgh Castle.
In the words of John Denver: hold me like you’ll never let me go.