July 30th 1996
Graduation Ball – the morning after.
Last night was meant to be the final fling, a chance to say fond farewells and celebrate our achievements (again!). I had debated over the last few days about whether to go or not. Harry would be there, as would Liam. Did I want to end this chapter of my life feeling awkward, let down and hurt? But, the alternative was to risk potential future regret by not going and to spend the nightstill feeling let down, hurt but also lonely.
So, fully persuaded by both Ben and Ruth I donned my party dress (Ball dress sounds too Cinderella) and faced the music. One tempting attraction being the Leftfield set and another being the strangeness of Mike Flowers Pops. Love it or hate it there is no escaping his version of Wonderwall.
It was great being at a venue and knowing almost everyone if not by name then, at least, by nickname. Carpet Chest Hair, Carpet Side Burns, Frayed T-shirt Man, It’s That Man Again, Phil Frooge, Pasta Paul, Minger Mike, Poodle and my personal favourite Kerchunk (named because his strong jaw was reminiscent of a Transformer). Friends, drinking buddies, one night stands, experimentations, dares and morning after cringes. Wall to wall familiarity, all dressed to kill, high on alcohol, academic success and pheromones. Everyone was very generous with their hugs and kisses, congratulations were shared, best wishes bestowed. Goodbyes and farewells.
I literally bumped into Liam on the Leftfield dancefloor, he was unattractively off his head, unable to string a coherent sentence together. He was a sweaty muttering mess. Such a shame that will be my final visual memory of him. Best off out of it. The wandering continued, the same old faces, was that boredom I felt? I ended up spending the next few hours listening to a particularly pissed Ben reveal his plans for future world domination. I could definitely feel boredom.
So far, so very disappointing.
But, the biggest let down was yet to come as the official announcement was made that Mike Flowers Pops would no longer be entertaining us as the huge success of ‘Wonderwall’ meant he no longer had to do crappy gigs like this.
Instead they had drafted in a Mike Snakehips, who wore fancy dress shop flares and a cheap afro wig. He looked and sounded as though he had walked straight off the stage from a Butlin’s cabaret night. He was hilariously shit but the joke soon wore thin and the inebriated, obnoxious, baying mob ripped him to shreds. It was very painful. Poor Mr Snakehips. I could no longer deceive myself that this night was anything but an anticlimax. Time to go home, alone, and face the future.
Just as I was making my way towards the door I came face to face with Harry. I had successfully managed to avoid her until then. She immediately lowered her gaze and looked away. I had a two second episode of a million thoughts. Save face or friendship? Forget not yet forgive. So, I ran after her. I was ridiculously honest which, initially, incited her defensiveness, but we soon mellowed and our emotions took over. I had missed this girl, as she had me.
So, we did not have a ball but it was a productive night. Friendship won.
So long Cardiff University, you have been mental.