With the benefit of hindsight, I am forced to admit that the howling heart of a winter storm might not have been the most well-considered moment to run away from home. Of course, adolescents have never been renowned for their unerring wisdom, and I was no exception. All I knew then, the one thought running continuously through my mind as I belted on my dressing gown, stuffed my feet into layers upon layers of stockings and then into my brother’s over-sized boots, and threw a heavy woollen coat over all of it, was that I had to get out. It was all my fault, I had ruined everything, and the only thing left was to run.
And so I ran.
I had no plan – as I have said, this was not an intelligent decision. It was an impulse born of powerful emotion, fierce, chaotic, unpleasant, as thoroughly divorced from the guidance of intuition as it was from that of reason.
Divorced from self.
There was a bizarre sensation of separation. I felt I was barely in control of the hands that fumbled