And there’s a traffic jam in memory lane

Puressence - Puressence

May 25th 1996

Chapter 14

I had the hideousness of going back to our shared house yesterday morning. I have avoided that place for as long as possible, unable to face both the long and short term memories. I have been making  the most of Harry and Ruth’s generosity and have spent most of my time either at their house sleeping or at the library studying (unbelievable but true!). A tedious couple of weeks where recreation has been put on hold and mine and everyone else’s life has become a red eyed, nicotine stained mass of exam stress. Nearly done now though, one final Mickey Mouse exam in a week’s time and I will be free.

Anyway, I had to face up to some unavoidable practicalities today so I braced myself and entered No. 10 again. Luckily none of the housemates were about so, like a nervous intruder, I grabbed what I needed and made for the door. At that exact moment the phone rang. The inevitability of it being someone unpleasant at the other end eg The Landlord or even, almost unthinkably, Him didn’t stop my automatic reaction of answering it.

Thankfully it was Liam’s welcome voice on the other end. He asked me if I wanted to spend the afternoon with him at the park. It sounded romantic, like a proper date. Really bizarre that he got hold of me here as, even though he had my number, I was never here. Pure coincidence that he would phone the exact brief moment I was at the house. Meant to be? Anyway that was that, a date.

On the sunny walk back to my borrowed home, listening to Puressence on my CD player (a band Liam introduced me to and a band I have listened to almost non-stop since) I didn’t feel what I thought I would feel. A surprise phone call from a cool dude should evoke excitement, giddiness and at least some skipping down the road. But no, even though my ego was flattered as I held him in such high esteem,I was not beside myself with joy. An afternoon of chilling with him in the park sounded nice. But ‘nice’ is such a crap word.

So we met up, and I cannot deny that this man was stunning and lovely company. We sat in the beautiful park, surrounded by perfection. The sunshine, the flowers, the lazy days of summerness of it all. We got on well, drank wine and chilled out. He held my hand as we strolled passed the river. Sublime, except it wasn’t where I wanted to be. Spoilt brat or what?

As the afternoon ticked along pleasantly but not ‘Oh my God this is amazingly’ I kept on fighting the urge to catch the girls before they went out for their usual girly Saturday night. What was I doing? One of the reasons we went out was to specifically find a man like this. Finally, after battling with myself for over an hour, I made my pathetic excuses and he walked me to their road. It was an awkward good-bye as the date had disappointed us both, for different reasons. As I watched him walk away, I can’t say that I didn’t have my doubts but, when Harry opened the door incredulous that I had returned empty handed so to speak, I couldn’t wait to join my mates for an evening of drunken stupidness.

We spent the evening at Cloud 9, in the Terminal dancing to often good, sometimes very shit music. Avoiding the  froogs and the wannabes, flirting with the usuals and wandering around in a pissed up, giggly haze just looking for trouble.

So did I wake up this morning full of regret about choosing my mates over Liam? Not really. When we dragged our vile, hungover selves down the road to Ramones Cafe for a cure-all breakfast and analysed my decision over shaky cups of tea, we all decided it was for the best. Let’s bloody hope so because I’m not suramonesre I will ever get another Liam moment in my lifetime.

2 thoughts on “And there’s a traffic jam in memory lane

  1. I really, really liked reading this. You know things that are almost perfect, but not quite; beautiful when put on paper, but lifeless when lived – you nailed that feeling here. What is it about doing silly drunken things with friends that is so perfect? I guess I’ll never know except that I know it’s awesome.


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