We'd been there a month and a bit and things moved away from the kind of extended holiday-type summer-fum adventuring into something that was officially 'real life' but was pretty fucking far from any application of that phrase I'd ever previously encountered.
Seven years after I wrote these words I found them again.
So for what it's worth, when people ask why I came back - there's something here that might click. Not the only reason, nor even in truth one of the major reasons, but this dislocation... I still feel it.
I saw it, more than once. You can't live somewhere for the cheese wedge of a decade and not. Let’s be honest. But I’ve surprised myself in my cups tonight by exhausting my work, sorting, soccermanagering and surfing.
Two hours ago – mas o menos – I finished my Spanish class for the day. It was boring, but worth it for the chance/being forced to think/speak a little Spanish. And back to the house for cheese on toast,
Tortuga brand mango chutney and a
little rum. Overstimulated, really, with thoughts of work and things to chase
for the morning.
And now, here, it’s midnight. And it’s warm. The last couple of days have been humid, which made my walk into town yesterday quite an experience of water-wishing, petrol-station-stopping fun. Not so good when trying to sleep; the air-con dries you out very quickly.
But it’s cool, I sit here wondering if I should go for a midnight swim and brave being bitten by insects and lizards; probably not a good plan in the shared pool here. I can wait. So I’ve checked the Citizens’ Choice page, wished for
trips, hoped to heave another day and smiled and
breathed deep and tried to make sense of it all. It’s just so ludicrous, still,
to be unreal. The whole damned thing is soaking with rum-sung rambunctiousness;
scrapped and wracked, but here we are nonetheless. New
And so here is midnight; an hour I know well. An hour I’ve always been friends with, like most of my friends have. And even if I’ve had proper jobs I’ve kept myself awake to see it if I didn’t crash earlier: the only times I’ve missed it is after whole days on the piss in Bangor games, or following no-sleep nights and early flights back from Iceland and cheapRyanairholidayland and fantasticville and everywhere else.
But when you can’t sleep and you’re out of inspiration for even surfing and it’s a Tuesday night stroke Wednesday morning, what is there to do aside look up webcams of places you’ve been? Places that you’d like to be, maybe, fleetingly, or for longer? It ain’t hard really: what’s most comforting is what you like and where you might like to be.
. Bangor . Reykjavik . Homes, and holidays.
Worktimes, wastrel times. Valencia
now it’s 6am. The city is waking, and there are cars beeping already. The
webcam on the top of the gives a gorgeous image; a vista of the city I learned to love and loved to learn in. Crowne
A huge pang hits me. Pang for the time we’d all drunk port and made up new words, surfing on chatrooms of bands on the label we worked for or were signed to; pang for the time I drew a map on the back of a fag packet, or a bill, that led from the house to the nearest off-license that was going to be open in two hours; pang for just waking up, looking at the slate sky and then the clock through one half-open eye and realising that there were two hours more to snuggle in warm blankets and make smoke-ice-air-breath. And, above all, pang for all the people who’ve been there, who’ve left there, who’re still there. Under that dawn sky, in the snap and sharp of an English autumn. The webcam points perfectly at the
Too perfectly, really: it’s a perfect image of a perfect time. Liver Building
But nine years – just under – is far too long a time not to have seen that, once or twice. The best bit is that at the time you just don’t give a flying fuck about it, or anything aside from making a map, finding more port, talking rubbish about music or crisps, way too late and long a night to even consider that a new day is starting.
It’s always that kind of dawn, somewhere.
Noble, foolhardy and beautiful.
Tear it up, tear it up, tear it up.