He realises he does not fully occupy the space that he stands in. Time is a cascade of moments and impressions that collide into one another, he is always waiting for the next to arrive and never fully realises the present
The last thing you need at this point, alex says, is to be more of a prick. This is as we’re walking through town after I’ve rolled my eyes at yet another admiring teenager. You haven’t grown up dude, he says, and it’s getting really weird.
It’s a saturday night at the pav tav when a fight breaks out. Two kids start pushing each other when one of them picks up a glass tumbler and slams it against the other boy’s cheekbone maybe three or four times. The guy getting pummelled by the glass, which has somehow not broken, is trying to hold the other one off who then suddenly drops the glass and sinks his teeth into the back of his victim’s neck who then just freezes with this vacant look in his eyes and he’s either unconcious or in shock but either way the kid is out on his feet and he hangs there between this guys teeth for what seems like forever.
Everything else is pretty standard after that. People from nearby tables intervene. Two bouncers show up. They stand either side of the biter, grab an arm each, pick him up and then run him out of the pub and into the street. Some people from nearby tables sit the bitten kid down, his face purple and his eye bruising shut, his white shirt now mostly red down the front. I look at alex who looks furious and ready to intervene in something that’s already over, bristling with energy that no longer has a focus and full of adrenaline that must now be metabolised. I look down at the table, my hands are shaking and I want to throw up.
Later on in the haunt it’s 2am, it feels good and I’m enjoying it. The blonde girl I’ve been flirting with makes her move as the dancefloor separates. My friends leave, her friends leave and we’re dancing centimetres away from each other with no one around us. She’s very beautiful and she’s dancing in circles and when she’s got her back to me she’s looking over her shoulder and firing off glances and coy smiles. I offer her blankness and allow her to make me whatever she needs me to be. As she turns around completely to face me she smiles, I change my mind and leave, literally walk out of the club to find my friends. I see her waiting for a taxi later, smoking a cigarette and trying to ignore me.
On the drive home I think of the exact moment that I fell in love with you. It was in your car before you left on a week-long work trip and you told me that I would miss you. For reasons that now escape me I just laughed and said we’ll see, I got out of your car and walked up the front path. I maintained the cool facade until I reached the front door to my house and then it hit me, physically. I wanted to walk back and kiss you then but I knew it would happen soon. There were no choices after that night, events took care of themselves and I simply went along with them neither trying nor surrendering.
I’m standing in a bookshop on a thursday afternoon, it’s quiet and deserted. Some middle-aged guy sidles up to me and puts his hands on me. I push him over, he gets up, I push him over, he gets up, I grab his neck, push him over and then walk away. He’s smiling the entire time. No words are exchanged.
I buy clear-pore strips and a group of five teenage girls pass me. They are thin and beautiful and they smile at me as a group although as soon as they have passed I cannot remember any details of any faces. They all had the birdsnest hairstyle du jour though, and they resembled expensively put together scarecrows. Only in this city is it possible to look like an expensive scarecrow and in this moment I realise that I no longer love this place and that I haven’t for a while. Later I buy white converse and knock over a stack of shoes the sales assistant scowls at me and makes me wait five minutes before she serves me.
I read the story of echo and narcissus and really wish I hadn’t.
I realise my father would be disappointed.
I watch into the wild and it’s an epic bummer, it’s also 142 minutes which I did not sign up for