I spent my first few weekends in London with my friends, walking through art galleries, drinking at a local pub, or wandering the cobblestone streets.
One weekend on Chinese New Year, we gathered in Trafalgar Square for the performance of the lion dance. Amid the throngs of people, we cheered and clapped for the dancers. We swayed to the traditional music.
Then, we went to an Asian restaurant close by to enjoy each other’s company and a warm bowl of noodle soup on the chilly day. After the event, I traveled home with my roommate to the home-stay I was living in in the North End of London.
I thought back on my first few weeks in another country, my first Sunday away from church, spent with good friends, good food, and good performances.
Every one of my friends outside of the church had told me I’d go wild when away from home, but I didn’t. I liked simple things: a cold, crisp cider, cultural events, museums, and long walks through the city. I discovered that I liked this person who could write academic papers before clubbing with friends.
I became a person who wore pants during the day, unafraid and comfortable in those jeans. I wouldn’t go wild. I wouldn’t get sloppy drunk or try drugs or whatever other people thought I might do. I maintained control without the abstinence of the church.
I was a good person without the church.
Need more great reads? Find more at the MockingOwl Roost.
- Girl in the Sand – Fiction
- A Deal is a Deal – Fiction
- An Elegant and Whimsical Moment – Review of Harney and Sons’ London Tower Tea
- My Favorite Things: Hot Tea on an Airplane – Nonfiction
- Alone in St. James’s Park – Nonfiction
Ammanda Selethia Moore
Ammanda Selethia Moore (they/elle) is a non-binary poet and writer who also teaches English at Norco College. Their poetry has been published in Synchronized Chaos, Literary Yard, and The Journal of Radical Wonder. They live with their partner in sunny southern California.