Monday, August 26, 2013

Going back home from the university to the Bigg Market at three at night on a weekend is like living in a badly made remake of Dante's Inferno.

The first circle of hell - the 24 hour McDonald's at Haymarket, without a doubt brimming with emotionally wrought couples fighting over the betrayal of the night. In the midst of their sordidness, the drunken busker croons love songs on his guitar. I cross the showers of tears, screams and Geordie abuses and make my way forward.

The second circle of hell - the Monument. Swarming the square are groups of Lads, leaving havoc in their wake, whilst I try to avoid their advances with deft, Matrix style moves. Basking in the yellow moonlight bouncing off the medieval stones in the square, there is always a lone man, sitting quietly amidst the turbulence as if in a bubble, under the Monument, charmed by the fantasies of some faraway world.

The third circle of hell - Bambu. The squeals of women in irrevocable pain from wearing freakishly high heels (the illusion of height seems to be the greatest pathway to redemption here), and the drunken slurs of men who intoxicated themselves into a stupor so they would no longer notice their vixen like high pitched sounds of death. I make my way through the suffocating maze of bodies and sweat, the chaos of ambulances and engulfing fumes of vodka and cigarettes, onto the very last circle.

The last stretch of the journey - the fourth circle - the final frontier - my street. I am greeted into the alley by arches of men facing each wall, releasing the intake of vast amounts of liquid. I must cross this raging river of urination, and like a ballerina, make my way to my door. Finally the quest comes to an end. I am safely ensconced by the embrace of my refuge, my home.

As my journey comes to an end, I can still hear voices of the lost, inebriated spirits, singing disenchantedly, slurring loudly, beckoning. I shut the window, climb into bed and breathe a sigh of relief.

I hate bank holidays.

Saturday, August 10, 2013


"I think we should stop talking."
"Okay. Why?"
"Because I'm scared."
"Scared of what?"
"Scared of holding on to the past too tight and not being able to accept new things."
"Fine then, don't talk. Bye."
"Wait, don't go."
"Make up your mind, woman!"
"I'm trying. I'm just confused."
"About what?"
"About us."
"What about us? There is no us. You have other guys now."
"It's not the same."
"What am I supposed to do about that?"
"I don't know. Nothing. Tell me, what are we?"
"Us? We're nothing. You got rid of me remember."
"Don't say that. How could I get rid of you?"
"You didn't love me anymore. Simple."
"But I did! I do!"
"You don't. Otherwise you wouldnt be with other people."
"My heart hurts."
"What now?"
"I don't know. You're going."
"But you left a long time ago."
"But you're going now."
"What difference does it make?"
"It feels weird. You were supposed to stay. We were supposed to meet again."
"You weren't going to come back anyway."
"Of course I would come back. Now you're going to leave. And start a new life."
"Well, now you feel how I felt."
"I know. I want you to be happy. I don't want you to think about me anymore."
"If you don't want to talk anymore, you should just say so. Don't put it on me."
"No, you don't understand. It's hard moving to a new place and still thinking about the past. Living in the past."
"You live in the past?"
"Yes. Always with this hope that we might work out some day. But I know it won't work."
"And why is that?"
"Lots of reasons. You want to marry someone Christian. Then there's all the fights, the jealousy. Would it go away? You used to bring out the crazy in me."
"I didn't think you were crazy."
"You didn't?"
"No man. At least, most of the time I didn't."
"I can't live in that constant jealousy anymore. I feel like I'm drowning. It makes me gasp for air."
"Then you should stay away from me."
"But I can't. I tried so many times. I don't know what to do. I'm so tired."
"That's great to hear."
"Please don't be mad."
"I'm not mad. You just never realized how much I loved you."
"Jesus christ."
"I did know. But then other things happened. They blocked everything else out."
"This again?"
"No, no. I don't know what to do."
"What do you want?"
"I want for you to move on."
"Really? That's what you want?"
"Yes. No. I don't know. If you don't move on, I can't move on. I keep hoping for the future."
"But you moved on!"
"I tried."
"Didn't succeed?"
"No. Kept them all away."
"I don't let people get too close now. It feels uncomfortable."
"How come?"
"I don't know. I just don't feel like going through the crazy again. Not for a while."
"Are you okay?"
"Yes. I'm getting better, I swear."
"So what do you want?"
"I want you to live your life, and not be hung up over the past. I don't want to keep you from new things and new people. I want you to be amazing in your new world, and I think that won't happen if we keep talking."
"It will be alright. Breathe."