Realisations Among Friends

Saturday 11 October, 2003

Yesterday Aubrey and I headed up to Manchester for Sonny’s belated stag weekend. Aubrey was lovely company. I talked to him about his life and his future. He takes things one day at a time and does not care what he does so long as he is happy. He is a person who is clear about what he wants, likes his home comforts, but also enjoys a good time. He is happy in his marriage and looking forward to having a family.

We checked in to the hotel, got changed and met up with Sonny in a pub. We drank, laughed together, and moved on to a restaurant where we laughed even more. I sprained a rib laughing so much. Ed and Peter arrived late in the evening. It was great to see them both. We chatted for a short while and then, close to midnight, all of them went off to a few bars while I went to bed. I was tired, my back ached and I was not interested in going on.

Today there was more laughter as we reminisced about the infamous weekend in February at Aubrey’s house. I also talked to Ed about his future. He is learning Spanish again and seriously looking into a move to Barcelona, either within his company or to another advertising agency.

Four others arrived, including Kelvin, and we went to the pub where we watched the England v Turkey game. I was not at all excited by the prospect of the game or the match itself. In fact, even though we had found a ‘quiet’ pub for such a potentially explosive game, I still felt the intensity and closeness of the negativity from the English fans. For the last twenty minutes of the match I just wanted to get out. Thankfully, England got the point they needed and we left at the final whistle. I was glad to be away from it.

Three more people arrived. Tom and Noah were among them. Some of us went back to the hotel to freshen up. I could easily have stayed there because I didn’t feel like going out again. Aubrey was not feeling good either, but we encouraged each other out the door and we all went to a club. Clubbing really is not my thing and I cannot see me doing it again in a hurry.

Back at the hotel I chatted with Ed, Peter and Sonny until 04:30. Then, when the others returned, I sat with them for an hour. I joined in the conversation but, as is always the case when I tell a story, I felt self-conscious and analysed myself instead of relaxing with who I am and what I want to say. As I listened to Kelvin, I realised how naïve I am. I also saw how emotional I am. I seem immature next to my friends, yet I am older than all of them.

Summary: I did not really take part in the day fully. I see why I missed out on a lot of the camaraderie at college. (They have more stories of their time together than me). I have seen that I am not really in my world. I don’t want to be in it. This is not my thing. Everyone was drinking all day; I had a couple of bottles during the game and smoked a few cigarettes but even that was not my thing. As for the clubbing, everyone is so much more into the dance music than me. What the fuck’s happening to me?


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