When I was younger, I had a trampoline. When I say younger, I mean from around the ages of 15 to 18. But being a bit too old to derive such ecstasy from what was really just a toy was part of the appeal. Although, I used it less as a device to defy gravity, and more as a second bedroom. It was a home a couple of metres from home.
It trudged the two-minute walk with me from one house to the next when the family divided. To begin with, I sought comfort looking out of the unfamiliar window and seeing how awkwardly it stood in its new, smaller surroundings. Looking out of the same window after we'd sold it was painful for a lot longer than it should have been.
It made exam revision bearable. It carried my textbooks and acted as the perfect surface to throw them at. And then our relationship became temporarily strained as I irrationally blamed it for my getting sunstroke and missing my English A-level exam.
My fondest memory was in the Easter holidays of 2007. One morning, after a sleepover at a friend’s, I got the bus home and realised I’d forgotten my keys and no-one was in.
I went to the shop, bought a stack of magazines and sugar in various forms, and dumped them and myself on the trampoline. It was a really hot day, and I remember eating a melted Bueno. The trampoline turned the trauma of being temporarily homeless into a memory I’m so fond of I can remember it better than most days that have passed since.
On summer evenings I would lie on it, look up at the sky and listen to my iPod. Useless thoughts would drain out of my head, and the important ones would file up into a straight line. In my teenage bedroom my problems would feel like the size of the earth. On the trampoline, I could lie facing the universe and feel embarrassed for ever thinking such a thing.
The start of summer makes me think two things: I want to shave my head, and I miss my trampoline. I recently moved into a flat where there’s a neighbour’s trampoline taunting me when I look outside the kitchen window. Last night I was told that the lucky trampoline owner doesn’t mind sharing, so tonight is the night. I’m going to take my iPod and my scattered thoughts, clutch one in my hand and wait for the other to line up neatly.