I am genuinely far too tired to write anymore than a sentence right now – but stay tuned, I will post an update of my tragic life soon!
I’m stranded over fifteen miles away from my house with no food, water or phone battery charge. But that’s not the full extent of my predicament; I’m also stuck with a lethal hangover and haven’t eaten since the night before. What do I do? I just keep on walking. But then the most embarrassing event unfolds…
At around three hours into my journey, about halfway down the main road leading to the bridge that would eventually take me across to my home county, Fife, I pass a school. I hate schools, and I always try my absolute best to avoid them at those awkward times when teenagers flood out. However, with no phone battery or watch to check the time, walking from the capital back to my house was a dangerous game because to put it frankly (gaha!), I had a more solid idea of what type of cement they used for the pavements than what time it was.
By this point in my journey, it would be a terrible understatement to say that I wasn’t in a bad state – my nose was running inexorably, my legs shaking like maracas and my entire body dripping with sweat – so when a blood-curdling bell sounded and around one hundred premature teenagers began pouring out of the exit of the school as I approached its passing, you can probably imagine the trembling shudder that ricocheted down my spine.
As much as I tried to avoid the army of students charging in my direction from the main exit of the school attempting to force my tired legs into turbo mode, it didn’t seem likely that I would be able to escape. Before I knew it, I was surrounded, scraping my legs along a pavement next to a bustling road with a battalion of prepubescent teenagers, all screaming and giggling their way down the the road as they headed to their normal semi-suburban houses. I would have died to have been able to cross the road in order to avoid the agony of looking like I was one of them, but I saw no opportunity as vehicles flew past at startling speeds.
I was trapped – a pack of what looked like thirteen-year-old girls blocked the front while a company of other loud male teenagers blocked my retreat from the rear. I was just waiting for a bottle of anything to slap me on the back of the head followed by a roar of laughter from behind. As embarrassing as it would have been to have been bullied by a group of young teenagers, it probably would have been worth it for a sip of whatever was in the bottle they might throw at me. Instead however, they all just stared at me as if I was some kind of giant hobo. I suppose I sort of was to them. After three prolonged minutes of running sweat, snot and pure embarrassment, I eventually shook myself free from the cluster as one by one they disappeared into unknown streets. Thank…FUCK.
With the relief of no longer looking like a child stalker, my levels of thirst seemed to sky-rocket as I stepped into the final two-hour push towards the bridge that would take me back to Fife. I could only hope that there was just ONE shop that had a bathroom with a water-running tap on the way. I’d already scouted four different shops, including one of the UK’s largest supermarkets, but to no avail. Even a mirage would have been nice as I walked like a lost idiot in the blazing sun. Well, I was a lost idiot.
Prior to thirty minutes of wiping an endless stream of snot from my nose, traffic lights and a lot more pavement, I reached the one thing I really did not want to see: a fucking motorway.
Quick summary of how I feel about the previous few months of my life:
My life no longer seems to follow the tragic comedy of any of the characters you may find in The Inbetweeners, but instead closer resembles that of a plot-line in one of The Hobbit movies – (spoilers) – a lot of shit goes down at the start but the good guys all go on to live happily ever after.
After months upon months of treacherous uphill struggle, cigarette scrounging, loose-change rummaging and the modelling of some of the worst clothes I’ve ever hung from my body in my entire life, I’ve finally reached what I believe is a major U-turn in the life of me, Frank.
I’m not quite ready to change the name of this blog to “The Glorious Life of Frank” just yet, but the grim title that this blog does currently exhibit probably won’t be very relevant in the coming months. After being sacked from my job at around Christmas time, I’ve finally found a company brave enough to employ me into a position that almost seems too good to be true – a full-time salaried position as a chef at a four-star country estate hotel shrouded in the heart of Scotland’s most stunning countryside, miles away from the darkness of society. The place also offers live-in accommodation and free staff meals!
Not only will I be able to bring the church mouse-worthy numbers in my bank account back up to first-world digits, but also experience the freedoms and excitement of departing from the nest for the first time. That’s right, I’m moving out of my parents house!
The thought of strolling casually into a shop and buying my own cigarettes, sandwich, video game, blue suede shoes, tin of beans, crate of beer, DVD, t-shirt, can of deodorant or any other normal consumerist item with my own money is a thought that strikes an uncanny grin on my face not pulled for countless months.
There’s a candidly high chance that I’ll fuck this life-changing road to success up, leaving with it an earthquake of a million pot holes, but that’s definitely a risk that I’m more than willing to take to reach the yearning pot of gold at the end. I’ve finally reached a U-turn on the slip-lane to failure on this rough road of life, and I couldn’t be more proud.
The only downside to this new beginning is that when I move into my new home next week, due to the fact that the estate sits 13.5 miles from the nearest city, is that the WiFi is pretty much as weak as a newborn kitten – so I don’t think I’ll be producing much more content on this blog.
However, in the event that I do post something after next week, you’ll know for certain that I did in fact, fuck it up.
Congratulations, me! Feel free to not give a crap.
Subsequent to waking up at girl’s house on a harrowing Sunday morning with a lethal hangover and an empty wallet, I embarked on a journey that even Bear Grylls would have been proud of. With no food, water or phone battery charge, I trudged along the bleak pavements of Edinburgh in the vague direction of which I believed to be my house – merely sixteen miles away. Not only was I forced to walk through the capital and beyond, but the burden of crossing the Firth of Forth (a one and a half mile wide river connected to the sea) was also glued to my mind as I almost slipped of the side of the kerb while crossing yet another gloomy street. My odyssey was one of many obstacles, and I would have died for a McDonald’s cheese burger.
My first dilemma came only thirty minutes into the seven hour journey – unrelenting thirst. The drunk version of myself had spent every penny I had at the pub the night before with the girl so the convenient option of strolling into a shop and buying a bottle wasn’t available. This left me with two really quite shit options – to either find the nearest public bathroom and drink shamefully from one of the germ-ridden taps, or to steal a bottle of water from anywhere and everywhere in the ultimate heist of thirst – I did say both were quite shit.
As the sun blasted its rays onto my dripping forehead, I began to scout for any shop, supermarket or building that I suspected may be in possession of a cold-water tap. Surprisingly enough, I found one after a mere ten minutes of walking. Giant yellow letters spelling out Morrison’s, one of the leading supermarket brands in the United Kingdom, began to emerge from the trees obstructing my view and my face lit up in a way that it never had before – the sort of face you’d pull if you had just found your dog after it had been missing for a week. I stepped inside Morrison’s with a heavy ambition on my shoulders, but turned away just a few seconds later when I read the sign on the men’s bathroom door reading: “Cleaning in progress”.
What are the chances of that?
The woman’s bathroom was more open and free than Gandhi, and I was tempted for a brief moment, but my morals declined the opportunity.
The search continued for the next three hours of the journey, but to no avail. I scoured corner shops, mini-supermarkets, anonymous buildings, restaurants and I even pondered a few houses, but the sight of a tap never came into my dizzy vision for as much as I wanted it to. It got to the stage where when I entered a shop in search of a bathroom, I would actually stop by the cold-water bottle section just to stare in awe at the water for a brief moment before leaving. Sad, I know – I’m sure I could easily have scrounged fifty pence off a generous customer for a small bottle, but my confidence that day was virtually non-existent and I had no courage to speak to anyone, barely even myself after what I’d done to myself. Three hours of walking with no food, water or phone and I honestly felt like I was going to die, but I kept going.
I hate schools and I’m not sure why. There’s probably a high chance that it has something to do with the fact that I was mercilessly bullied from the first year to the last, but I’m still open to other reasons. I tend to avoid schools at all costs, and whenever I’m about to pass one, I glance at the time in order to determine whether or not it’s lunch time and I will get ambushed by a group of studious teenagers. I think there’s around the region of around three schools of different varieties on the path that I led home on my journey. I glided past one with ease, the second with only the sight of a few senior students, and the third, well; it was probably one of the most outrageously humiliating experiences of my life.
I really don’t want anyone to read that title and assume that I’m some sort of sex-trafficked whore that’s been imported to Central Asia on a barge run by a group of bearded women – although that does sound a lot more exciting than what my actual life entails. The title stems from a thought I had while walking in the woods a few weeks ago with my dog; the best time to unravel my eccentric thoughts. It began with the familiar thought that I’m not very attractive. However, to perk myself up from the demoralising thought of not being attractive, I began to comfort myself with the thought that I CAN and WILL be more attractive in the future. Megan Fox wasn’t a supermodel in her teenage years, was she?
I’ve got a number of attractivity-enhancing items attached to my body and ego that will help me with my quest to become the next Brad Pitt:
I’ll be wearing these until I’m at least twenty, but the investment of straight teeth is a valuable one in my pursuit of global woman domination.
2. Facial Hair
I need some of this, but it’s difficult when you have a face that resembles the softness of a baby’s arse. With the way things are going, I should have at least one patch of bum-fluff to shave off with pride by the time I’m twenty.
Hopefully I won’t still be asking my mum for cigarettes by the time I reach my twenties. Money makes the world go round, and it prevents the embarrassment of asking a girl to buy you a drink because you spent all of your money on getting to the pub.
I want to be an astronaut, but I’ll settle for coffee boy for junior customer service advisor’s assistant’s apprentice if the money is right.
This is a key investment for any girl that attaches themself emotionally to a guy. I still laugh at the planet Uranus and I don’t think I’ll be able to accept it as just another planet in our solar system until I’m at least twenty-one.
By the time I reach twenty-one, I want to be at least eighty-five kilograms of muscle steel and sex appeal.
I seem to magentise the odd attractive girl from time to time and I’m convinced that it can’t be because of my current affairs or appearance. Girls must surely see me as some sort of manly investment. I may not hard to get in with right now, but by the time I hit twenty-one, I should be a mature, wealthy, enterprising philanthropist with a dainty beard and an uncanny smile that only Zac Efron will be able to compete with. Walking in the woods is dangerous thinking time…
The balance of life on this planet is so unbelievably toxic and frustrating. It seems far too easy for one to get themselves into a shitty situation than it is for one to get out of a shitty situation and this is something I’ve certainly learned the hard way. One moment I was blissfully snogging the face off this girl I’d recently met on Tinder outside one of the most beautifully decorated flats I’d ever set foot in, and just four hours later, I found myself trudging along a closed off pavement next to a bustling motorway while pitifully swigging from a half-empty (it definitely wasn’t half full) bottle of lukewarm Volvic water. I’m undecided whether or not I believe in karma but if it does exist then it definitely doesn’t work in the same way for me as it does for the rest of the human race. For me, it’s been a sort of spontaneous canon that spurts out pleasure and pain in unpredictable sequences at any random time. I digress, but the fact that I ended up trekking sixteen miles from Edinburgh to my house last week definitely helps my case: that life’s a bitch.
It all sparked from the origins of what I believed was going to be an immaculately superb weekend – and it sort of was in many aspects. I set off on the train to the capital to meet up with this girl I’d been flanting (flirtatious banter) with on Tinder for the previous few weeks and we went out into the city for more than a few drinks and a banterful time. The whole night seemed to flow astoundingly smooth and I even ended up staying at the girl’s flat for the night which on its own certainly breached my pessimistic expectations of me stumbling drunk to the train station at midnight with my trousers down at my ankles in a hopeless attempt to catch a train. As fantastic as my time with the girl had been, I still awoke from a deep slumber at her house and somewhat knew that the day ahead of me was going to be tough. A splitting headache accompanied by an unstoppable temptation to throw up all over her beautifully white cotton bed sheets was quite an explicit sign of what was to come – hell on earth.
The most painful thing about a hangover is not necessarily the piercing headache or agonising stomach pains, but the feeling you acquire when you dive into your pockets and find nothing but a measly collection of bronze coins and an empty cigarette packet. Unfortunately for me and my legs, I’d blasted all of my money at the pub the night before and to my own demise, train stations in Scotland don’t accept crumpled cigarette doubts as a valid form of currency to purchase train tickets. My only option: to ask the girl snoring to my left for a fiver so I could catch a train home. I could easily have done this, but I seriously didn’t want to strip myself of the title of ‘cute stud’ she had coined me as the night before and replace it with something of an annoying leech for her cash. So to avoid the shame and embarrassment of asking her for cash for my train, I decided not to – and left her house an hour later having only taken a few sips of water from her bathroom tap. I had eaten nothing.
It was around twelve o’clock in the afternoon and the last blip of joy from the day came from an intensely passionate kiss with the girl who knew little of the impending disaster of which I was about to embark on. Oh, and my phone had also died – not that it was useful anyway given that I had no texts or calls to use. The only useful commodity I had at my disposal was my unrelenting motivation to make it home alive. Edinburgh is sixteen miles away from my house and there are many obstacles in the way inclusive of one of the busiest motorways in Scotland and a gargantuan bridge known as the Forth Road Bridge which connects the capital of Scotland to my home county, Fife.
Upon beginning my trek in the vague direction of which I believed would lead me back to my house, I was only slightly parched and barely hungry; but after a quint half an hour of walking, the thought of H2O and homemade macaroni cheese became torturous in my head. The alcohol in my system had drained every drop of water from my body and the glaring sun overhead seemed to fry my sweaty forehead unforgivingly. It became quite obvious that if I was to make it home alive, I would need to find some source of water; whether it be through the cunning act of theft in the sketchiest corner shop I could find, or through the less than graceful deed of gargling water from the tap of the men’s bathroom in Morrisons or Tesco. You know your life has taken a turn for the worse when these are the only two options of salvation on offer in the inferno of tragicness that I found myself in. I travelled on through the craggy streets of Edinburgh, winding off into unknown lanes and alleys in search of water and the distant house that probably didn’t give a shit about my horrendous ordeal.
After enduring a train journey to the capital in order to meet an ex-stripper I’d befriended in the summer while working at T.G.I Friday’s, I found myself at the entrance to a place I never thought I’d gaze my eyes upon ever again – T.G.I Friday’s. A fantastic restaurant to many, but a sanctuary of horror for myself and my self-esteem. There are literally hundreds of pubs, bars and other alcohol-selling hotspots in Edinburgh, but by my tragic luck, the ex-stripper had directed me towards the exact place I’d ridiculed myself in just a few months in the past – let’s just say that while working a shift on the busiest night the restaurant had ever seen, the pressure of relentless service slowly emancipated into a hellish purgatory of sobbing tears and shameful tribulation and I stormed out of the restaurant mid-shift with a wet face and minimal dignity.
She must surely have heard of the breakdown I had in the summer at this place, surely! I mean, she still works here to this day for fuck’s sake.
Regardless of the embarrassment that lurked behind the black pine doors of the restaurant, it was the ex-stripper that had kindly offered to pay for all of my drinks so I had little choice but to humour her choice of settlement on that cold night. With a slight pause and a grimace on my reddening face, I opened the heavy doors and advanced straight towards the bar with a burst of adrenaline flowing through my veins. I whipped my phone from my pocket and began meaninglessly browsing Facebook in an attempt to distract myself from the impending doom that awaited me. Waiters and other familiar staff members filled the room, floating from table to table as I hurried towards the bar with my phone plastered to my vision. As much as I was expecting the indefinite looks of horror and disgrace from each and every employee I’d worked with in the summer to shoot daggers through my skull as I darted towards the bar, this was shockingly not the case.
I meandered towards the bar, the ex-stripper following closely behind, my eyes darting in every direction and my ears tuned-in to any murmurs of laughter or gossip that may begin to fill the room. I painfully recognised the bartender as someone I’d regularly exchanged small talk with while working here.
“Hey, can we have two pints please?”, I asked solemnly.
“Sure thing bud’, Tennents yeah?”.
The bartender calmly poured our drinks, without as much as a whisper emerging from his mouth. He clearly didn’t give a flying fuck about my unorthodox presence, and this sort of bothered me. After all the thoughts of horror and apprehension that had flowed through my mind over the previous ten minutes, not a single recognisable person could even bother to give the slightest shit towards my dilemma. Ten minutes flew by and not one ex-colleague of mine had even batted an eye at me, not one. A waiter I shared lunch with a few months ago even accidentally brushed against our table as she glided past, but still, not a single odd look or malicious word was directed towards my shattered ego as I sipped cautiously on my pint. As much as I would have loathed it if my expectations of crude frowning and awkward stares were correct, I was sort of hoping for some kind of bemused reaction from my fellow colleagues. Oh well, life went on.
I enjoyed a pint with the ex-stripper before indulging in some of the more costly beverages displayed on the drinks menu. A few cocktails later and the ex-stripper and I were in delirium. As tragic as this may sound, the two hours that proceeded the clenching awkwardness upon entering the restaurant were probably the most enjoyable two hours I’d had in years. A blissful optimism swept over me as thoughts of sex and other far-fetched fantasies began to conquer my mind. For most nineteen-year-old guys, the notion of taking an ex-stripper out for drinks in the capital is almost certainly a guarantee of some form of sexual contact, but for me, the tragic one, it was almost certainly wishful thinking.
I wanted two things to occur at this point; either that we would venture off to a night club for another two hours of delirious intoxication, hence increasing my chances of waking up at her house the following day, or that we’d take the direct route and head straight to her abode. Either way, the alcohol in my system forced a very strong desire to wake up at her house the following day. Contrary to my own endeavours however, the ex-stripper disappeared onto a bus soon after and I found myself staggering solo back to the train station at eleven o’clock at night with a crinkled cigarette hanging out of my mouth. I was inexplicably fucked and the escalators leading down to the platforms were an immaculate symbolisation of how my night was momentarily about to plummet downhill.
After surpassing the escalators, tipping my head up to the looming electrical boards to identify my train was more than challenging given the state I was in. But it wasn’t long before I was able to identify the correct train, and not much longer after that before I realised it had been cancelled. The last train back to my house had been cancelled due to “someone being hit by the train” and I was therefore trapped in Edinburgh for at least another hour before another train, only stopping at a town close to my house, would arrive.
What a selfish little shit. I busted a gut to get here tonight and you’ve gone and thrown yourself in front of my last chance of not having to walk home tonight.
After half an hour of perilously waiting for the wrong train to take me three miles from my house, I sort of began to wish that I was the one that had been hit by the train – it certainly would have made my life a lot easier than it currently was and I probably wouldn’t have felt any pain due to the significant amount of alcohol I’d consumed. At this point, I would have died to have called up the ex-stripper and inform her of my horrific situation in the hopes that she’d feel sorry for me and invite me back to her house; but once again, life decided to slap me in the nose and my phone had decided to die on the way to the train station. I sat helplessly drunk on a freezing metal bench amid the bustle of the train station for nearly one and a half hours before my train finally arrived.
I careened aboard the train half-lashed and tumbled onto the nearest seat to a gloriously warm comfort only to be remind myself of the three mile trek that fate had paved for me upon my exit from the train in just over half an hour. It would be a cold, miserable end to my night and I could do nothing to help it.
I hate you, life.
“I’ll write it at noon and if not, then I’ll write it tomorrow!” – one very unsuccessful writer
Every morning I find myself perilously rummaging through endless quantities of Google searched landscape photographs, motivational videos and other miscellaneous crap scattered around the web in the belief that if I search long enough, I’ll eventually stumble upon the catalyst of inspiration for my next article of writing – but this doesn’t always seem to do the trick, and it’s often the case that I’m left sitting stagnant at my keyboard at six o’clock in the evening watching an unspecified episode of Friends. Finding suitable inspiration to fuel the pen towards the paper (the fingers towards the keys) is the most frightening hurdle for any writer, and to overcome it requires strong motivation, perseverance, and a bundle of wasted time.
Procrastination is the most destructive human trait. It clings to us like that hand thing out of Harry Potter in Diagon Alley, wreaking havoc among every creative individual. Lack of inspiration is the direct cause of this harbinger of writer’s death, manipulating the writer into thinking that if they just watch one (or ten) more episodes of Breaking Bad and indulge in a hot cup of coffee (or five), then they’ll easily be able to at least start the next piece of writing that they’ve likely been planning on doing for weeks now. But the more it waits, the more the writer slowly begins to distance themselves from the final goal, lose momentum and fall into that bottomless pit of failure.
There’s one piece of advice I can offer to counter this anti-productive disease. In the words of a non-procrastinating bloke at Nike: “Just do it”. Three simple words with a very powerful meaning – don’t speak, run, walk, talk, watch or snore – just feckin’ dae it! And dae it well! I’d be lying if I said I hadn’t scrolled over to Facebook and/or YouTube at least a few times during the production of this article. However, as much as your phone is only a foot adrift from the prizing fingers tapping away on your keyboard, it’s crucial for any writer to persevere through the task at hand and win the battle against the temptations of Netflix and other related allurements that seem to taunt your frazzled brain while you fiercely try to complete that first paragraph.
Ideas are infinite, but sparking them is difficult. I guess the most common cause of the absence of a writer’s content is due to the writer simply not possessing any ideas worthy of writing about. This morning I woke up thunderously, hopped into a warm shower of ambition, devoured a bowl of sugary white porridge and then settled down on my bed for what I imagined to be a quick and easy writing session. It wasn’t until I’d opened up WordPress that it dawned on me, there wasn’t a single blip of an idea in my mind worth putting on the screen, not one. This can be fixed.
YouTube is the most powerful tool accessible to any human being lucky enough to be born into this new age of rising technology. A gargantuan library of infinite ideas and thought-provoking anecdotes will almost certainly bring an inspired pen to paper with over 100 hours of video uploaded to the site every minute. If you can’t harness some form of inspiration from this magnificent stream of endless multimedia content then you should probably seek some form of professional psychological help. YouTube is the ultimate inspirational learning tool. Vimeo is also fun.
If you can’t seem to provoke inspiration from YouTube and can’t afford a psychiatrist, then your best bet would be to stick in a pair of earphones, initiate a hasty exit from your house and take your idea-less body for a short walk in the woods, park, or even just through the streets. This will clear your mind and possibly ignite a few ideas that you never thought existed before, triggered by the crisp surroundings that put your monotonous bedroom wall and computer screen to shame. This genuinely works. Your bedroom probably isn’t too inspirational unless you have some kind of magical wardrobe that transports you to Narnia in an instant. The world is beautiful, enlighten yourself with its endless surprises.
I’m sure the words ‘never give up’ have been instilled into your cosmic brain on many occasions. The post-powerful phrase has unfortunately fallen into the same category as the words ‘sorry’ or ‘I love you’ – a category of words and phrases that have lost their original values due to the creation of Facebook and the ’emoticon’ which have diluted their impacting meanings. But the phrase ‘never give up’ is the most supreme advice for anyone yearning for success in any aspect of life. It’s simple, quitters never win and winners never quit. If you don’t find a way to muster up the inspiration to write and stop procrastinating, then you’ll fail. If you do however, then you’ll win. You could be a terrible writer with no ideas and the mind of a sea cucumber, but if you persevere, and relentlessly strive towards success, then you’ll win. If you don’t, then you’ll lose. Now get out there and write the next Hobbit.
“Happiness is the truth”
– Pharrel Williams
Blue cheese and Scrumpy Jack cider – an interesting combination of items that offers a night of unprecedented pleasure, tearful laughter and broken lighters. If you’re familiar with this combination then you’re likely on the same boat as me; a boat that is of a very old age, in dire need of a paint job, and possesses a gaping hole in the hull that’s causing the boat to sink rather expeditiously. However, if you’re not familiar with the two commodities above, and have no idea how these two items could possibly decipher a blissful Tuesday night in an abandoned warehouse with a friend, then you’re not only missing out, but you’re also probably not a junkie. Tuesday is the day of the week in which nothing significant ever seems to happen. It’s the day of the week that just seems to float by in the calendar without as much as a glint of purpose . Even Monday and Wednesday uphold more crucial purposes than Tuesday whereby Monday represents the beginning of another riveting week ahead and Wednesday signifies that there’s only half of the week left to endure before the next. But Tuesday however, only holds the purpose of informing everyone that there’s only three days left until Friday, nothing more. This is likely the reason that Jimmy and I received a lot of concerned looks last night in Asda as we where shockingly spotted by late-night shoppers attempting to drag two crates of Scrumpy Jack cider over to the check-out in the hopes that our Tuesday night would be considerably more eventful than that of any of the frowning onlookers. Perhaps another reason for the bewildered looks of passing shoppers was due to the fact that stuffed in Jimmy’s pocket was two grams of the most pungent, formidable blue cheese cannabis I’d ever had the pleasure of inhaling in my entire life. It’s eight o’clock on a Tuesday night, and Jimmy and I have decided to meet up at our usual spot in anticipation of our first smoke together in over a month. The rain is pathetically drizzling down and the crisp glacial air is fighting its way through the multiple layers of clothing that I had squeezed on just an hour before. Jimmy also looked the part. His shaggy brown cotton hat in partnership with his untamed patchy beard made him look like a drug-addicted serial killer, while I just appeared chubbier than usual due to the three jumpers and two pairs of trousers that I decided model upon meeting him. Due to not having a house to smoke in that night, we decided to rendezvous at the all too familiar abandoned warehouse just five minutes away from my house. After hastily dragging two crates of premium Scrumpy Jack cider we’d purchased just ten minutes before from our local superstore over to the entrance (gaping hole in the wall) of the derelict factory, we slowly began to trudge our way in. Directing ourselves through a pitch black warehouse on a Tuesday night in an ambitious attempt to the find the seating area we’d conjured up with a few planks of rotten wood and an ancient crate of beer the previous time we had smoked in there, was not a challenge for the faint of heart. The whole warehouse had been trashed by our junkie predecessors. Every inch of the floor was hidden by some form of rotten debris and the structure of the ceiling was bare and open. Sharp elements of splintered wood, shattered glass and twisted metal posed as common obstacles as we stumbled our way through the eerie corridors and rooms of the darkness. After taking a few frustrating wrong turns, we eventually managed to reach the pitch black room which we planned to reside in for the rest of the night. The room was stuffed with familiar aromas of corrosion, waste and smoked cannabis but our make-do seats still sat in the corner in immaculate condition, touched only by a few droplets of moisture since we’d last seen them. However, it was at this point that we realised a new challenge awaited us; the rolling of the joint. Of course, Jimmy had been rolling joints since his prepubescent days and had done so in almost every environment imaginable, but the ice-cold consistency of the night was clinging relentlessly to our numb fingers and the room lay in a thick blanket of darkness that not even a bat could survive in. The fiddly job of rolling the joint seemed impossible, even for the masterful joint-rolling abilities of Jimmy. There are three components required to roll a joint of cannabis: paper skins, marijuana (or pollen) and some form of ignition. Unfortunately, it came to light at this moment that not one us had remembered to bring any skins, adding to the impossible problem that faced us while we stood motionless in the centre of the visionless room. ‘Fuck! How did not one us remember to bring the skins!?’, Jimmy blared, enraged by our complacency. We began to recklessly hunt through the abundance of pockets that hung from our endless layers of clothing, digging up a Narnia’s worth of ancient receipts, empty cigarette packets and other pointless miscellaneous items that not even a homeless person could find a purpose for. To our own terror, not one of us had bothered to bring the first most essential item for any cannabis joint, the skins. A return to the superstore abruptly appeared back on the cards. One (or both) of us would have to trek all the back to Asda and purchase skins from the same woman who had reluctantly just sold us the cans of cider and cigarettes just twenty minutes previous to this dilemma. Jimmy hesitantly volunteered for the mission and I sat like a duck on the two corroding planks of wood, sipping away at a freezing can of Scrumpy Jack cider while he was destined to embarrass himself asking for one single packet of skins in the superstore at half past eight on a Tuesday night. I had an eternity to contemplate my life over the fifteen minutes that Jimmy was away. It was then that I stumbled upon a surprising revelation; that the only problems I really faced at this point in my life was the petty issues caused by a lack of money, such as that our lighter wasn’t working too well, or that we only had half a cigarette left to roll the last joint with, or that Jimmy didn’t have enough money for his taxi home. These are only problems fought by people who sit at the bottom of the chain of society, the bottom feeders. For normal people, if a lighter stops working or they lose a few cigarettes, the problem is swiftly resolved with a casual five-minute drive to the nearest store for a few cigarettes and a new lighter, but for Jimmy and I, it’s a night ruining experience that involves a panicked walk to Jimmy’s gran’s house in the hope that she’ll have a lighter that can be smuggled from the counter of her kitchen. Every time we venture out together, there’s always an issue, and it’s usually derived from some for financial trouble. This caused me to ponder about what the future holds, and if I’ll still be craving this lifestyle in the years to come. Jimmy returned with a full packet of skins and a look of despair on his face. He’d been questioned over the purpose of buying the skins and asked to present formal proof of age before being allowed to make the purchase. ‘I’m never doing that again you wee fuckin’ dick!’, Jimmy cursed, the embarrassment still evident on his blood-red cheeks. ‘Got asked loads of questions and the woman looked at me like I’m some kinda fuckin’ drug addict or something!’, he continued, fuming by what he’d just had to do. All I could do was apologise and excite over the fact that in five minutes, we would be igniting the strongest joint of weed I’d smoked in over a month. To our own amazement, the joint rolled beautifully, with the skins unwrapping smoother than a babies bottom into an immaculate rectangular shape and the miniscule beads of cannabis crumbling delicately into the bed of nicotine and paper which proceeded to roll elegantly into an impeccable cylinder. The joint was ready and all that awaited was ignition. Jimmy proceeded to pluck a lighter from his jacket pocket and held the mighty joint up to his frozen lips. Click, click, click–silence. Click, click, click–silence. Not a single spark flew from the dark grey metals of the lighter, not a single hiss of flame. ‘Fuck! What we gonna do now!?’, Jimmy spurted, still incessantly trying to force any form of fire from the forsaken lighter. Subsequent to around ten minutes of frustration and discussion of our next move, Jimmy furiously asked me if I had any money so he could march all the way back to the store once again to purchase another lighter. We both began scouring through our pockets, digging out crumbs of nicotine and cannabis from the depths of our clothing until eventually Jimmy stumbled upon the skins he thought he never had before and I discovered just enough loose change to buy the cheapest plastic lighter. Jimmy snatched the money from my brisk dry palms and stormed off through the engulfing darkness of the warehouse, clattering into metal objects hanging down from the ceiling like bats as he did. Once again, I sat in the stingy room of the warehouse, contemplating the future and what it may hold. Jimmy returned with even more rage in his voice than when he’d left ten minutes ago. Jimmy returned with even more rage in his voice than when he’d left ten minutes ago. ‘I didn’t have enough fuckin’ money so I had to pay the rest with my card!’, Jimmy ranted. I couldn’t believe it, Jimmy had actually had to whip out his debit card in front of the woman he had already seen three times in the previous hour and pay for the rest of the lighter with the crummy change he had left over on his card. ‘How tragic is that?’, I whispered him nervously, to which I received a look of disgust from the ashamed man. Nevertheless, the only thing left to do now was pop open another can, and inflame the fetid joint that seemed to be crying out to be lit. We lit the joint, and the euphoric sensations and emotions commenced. After a couple of cans of cider and the first joint, I couldn’t even engage in human conversation – Jimmy would toss invoking conversations of deep meaning and sincerity towards me and I’d just laugh hysterically in his face or stare at him as if he’d just spoken to me in Mandarin. My altered brain could only concentrate on the tunes of happiness and truth echoing through the murky corridors and halls from the rusty speakers of my phone. It might sound crazy what I’m about to say, but what I felt at that moment was genuinely the most euphoric sensation I’d ever felt in my entire life. Feelings of absolute relaxation and elation slowly began to shiver down my addicted spine, alleviating every burden of stress and pressure as it did, leaving me in a floating state, away from the corruption and exploitation of Earth, placing me in a nirvana of freedom, truth and paradise. I think it’s safe to say I was quite out of it, untouchable by any external forces and unable to even think about the walk home. We triumphantly demolished both crates of cider, and that’s all my memory permits me to remember. I was awoken abruptly the next morning to the loud thud of my laptop crashing from my bed into a heap of dirty clothing, cigarette packets and crushed cider cans. I love my life. The only thing that seems to frighten me at this stage is the uncertainty of the future – but that’s everyone’s worry, right? I can only hope that in the years to come these will be the sort of tales that I can enlighten my grand children with on some cold Tuesday night in a hospital bed attached to a feeding tube while I ferociously battle my late eighties. Youth is what defines you as a person. Youth is your one opportunity as a human being to indulge in the sort of lifestyle you choose – whether it be studying every night for a business degree that will eventually see you work in an office run by some sanctimonious bitch that treats you like a scrunched up piece of paper, or whether it be taking a gamble every night and doing something that will ultimately lead you to crawling home in the freezing cold of the night praying that your has mum left the front door open so you can raid the fridges and tumble into your bed. Life is short, and I plan to make everyday as joyful an experience as possible. Even if I am junkie, I still love my life, and everything that it entails.
Life couldn’t be any more perfect right now and I’ve traveled such a long way since failing all of my exams at high school two years ago. Boasting a delightful job as chef at an Italian restaurant with imminent future promotional prospects, I’ve got oodles of money, an abundance of loyal friends and a life destitute of problems and worries. I just can’t get enough of this wonderful thing called life.
Taking a large step back into reality however, life couldn’t get any more tragic. I’ve quite exceptionally regressed since leaving high school, I’ve lost my most recent job, I currently have one friend who I’m fairly certain is a killer, and I’m haunted by the sad fact that my bank account holds minus fifty pounds. The phrase ‘rock bottom’ is often shallowly thrown around in modern times by the common Starbucks coffee drinker that couldn’t connect to Twitter for ten minutes, or by the mother who’s son’s hamster just passed away, but I for one, as an enemy of caffeine and an owner of a live hamster (with a pulse), believe that the rock has genuinely struck the bottom – even perhaps crumbling the foundations as it came flying down at thunderous speeds.
Today was a solemn day for me and the future that I was so perilously trying to pave into a path of success. This morning, I was let go from my chef position at the Italian restaurant I had been working at for two months, and for one harsh but simple reason, I just wasn’t good enough. After dragging myself out of bed at five o’clock this morning, I forced myself to walk five miles as a zombie in the bitter cold for the best part of two hours in order to make it into work for 6.30 AM in time for breakfast service. All of this painfully cold walking was due to the ridiculous ‘Sunday service’ bus policy that some rich successful man probably implemented in a villainous attempt to make my life harder by running less buses on a Sunday.
It was then, proceeding a surprisingly successful solo breakfast shift, that I was sacked by a waitress who had received orders from the manager to release me from my position as a chef at the restaurant. Apparently, my attitude to work wasn’t satisfactory and I just wasn’t grasping the technique that was required. Voraciously holding back my tears of anguish, I tried to make the conversation as short and painless as possible and soon left to catch the bus that incidentally, I missed. Midway through my harrowing walk of shame home, a frightening thought emerged from the saddened shadows of my mind, that my rock had just smashed against the foundations of my path to success.
I’ve hit rock bottom for a number of reasons. For one, I’ve got a laughable amount of money and a questionable number of friends. I left my previous job on a mere ten hours a week and became unemployed for a few weeks, tumbling into significant financial turbulence. I only received a crummy two weeks worth of pay from the company I’ve just been fired from, which almost lasted November, and I now possess only enough money for a small bag of Space Raiders from my local corner shop – which I’m considering doing now as a numb to the pain of the tragedy I’m currently living.
Scrolling down my Facebook feed is painful business for me. Watching the fly, popular university guys and girls that I used to know from school post countless pictures of driving test pass certificates and relationship status updates is a soul-destroying task as I sit unemployed in front of a 22-inch TV watching Mean Girls on Netflix. I literally only have one friend, that’s not counting halves. I find it tough to find friends courtesy of my unique personality and after shifting from high school to college to the working world in such a hasty transition has left any friends that I did miraculously manage to make, left behind doing other (likely more successful) things. I can only hope that when/if I find a new job, I can finally establish that group of friends that I’ve been aching to have for years now.
Perhaps a more minor problem to add to the avalanche of dilemmas I’m facing at the moment, is the fact that I literally don’t have a single girl in my life right now. I was taking great pleasure in texting a girl who I’d met on Tinder about a week ago, but unfortunately, that turned into a frantic disaster after she accused me of being a ‘chronic liar’ after I sent her a quote from a video I saw on YouTube. She claimed that I had not seen the video on YouTube and that I had definitely seen the video via a link that was posted on her Facebook page about a week ago, deeming me indefinitely as a ‘stalker’. Looking back, it was probably the most brainless argument I’d ever fought in my life. Needless to say, I think it’s safe to say that no female’s beds will be seeing any action from me in the near future.
Life can only get better, right? I’m 19-years-old and I feel as if I’m wasting these ‘golden years’. This is the final episode in the saga of my ‘free’ teenage years and the perfect time to take advantage of the liberties that come with being young – like partying, socialising, meeting girls and not lounging around the house with a teaspoon of Asda price Nutella hanging out of your mouth. I’m never going to look as magnificently beautiful as I do now given the fact that I smoke like a chimney and devour food like an overweight horse. These are the critical years of my life for shaping my own destiny and securing a decent future for myself, and as far as my teenage years have gone so far, I’m definitely zooming towards a life of selling magazines on the street and smoking second-hand cigarette butts.
I can say this though – life goes on, friends come and go, the perfect girl will arrive (hopefully) and no matter what, I’ll stay relentless in my pursuit of success. I’ll always look on the bright side of life…doo doo…doo doo doo doo.
Over the past few months, and since becoming strongly acquainted with my best friend Jimmy, I’ve become quite accustomed to a combination of things that certainly doesn’t guarantee a night of premium comfort, sophistication and royal banter. When Jimmy first introduced me to cannabis, sitting on top of a giant metal sign in the middle of the night wasn’t exactly what I had in mind. But heck, we were only ever half a Valium tablet away from having a dreamily fantastic time on top of a traffic control sign.
How do I get myself into these situations? It doesn’t matter who I’m with or what I’m planning on doing, I always seem to end up in situations that no one else on my Facebook friend list could ever possibly get themselves into. This has advantages and disadvantages though because it means that it regardless of how monotonous I predict the night is going to be, I’m always aware deep down that a major plot twist is inbound and I’ll end up doing something crazy, like climbing a giant 20 foot tall traffic control sign next to a busy dual-carriage way.
Marijuana is the best thing that’s happened to me since my discovery of masturbation. Yes, it’s that good. The sudden injection of euphoric joy and comfort are sublime, and it hasn’t affected my everyday life in any noticeable way whatsoever. I can now officially call myself an apprentice ‘toker’, having been smoking at least 3-4 times a week for the last couple of months, a title I’m not sure if I can be proud of yet. The only thing that marginally concerns me about my newly found love for weed, is the idea that it’s a gateway drug – that it’s a drug that will lead me onto consuming other, more harmful drugs, like Valium for example. It’s also painfully expensive.
For those of you lucky individuals out there that haven’t got a clue what Valium is, it’s a small (often blue) anti-anxiety tablet prescribed by the doctor for people who struggle to sleep or for people (junkies) that require strong pain relief. I may or may not have devoured a full blue tablet last week due to an uprising of curiosity regarding the drug. Needless to say, after thirty minutes after taking the pill and a couple of joints, I was positively ‘rekd’ and could barely walk. It was a novel experience though, and as much as I try to stay away from tablets (because I know they could be genuinely harmful to my life) I’m sure it will happen again. I’m just not sure when, or where.
Jimmy and I have a very odd tradition. Every time we meet up, I always seem to end up manipulated into walking him half way back to his house, and en route, we pass this large metal traffic control sign – the ones with the big orange writing that warn drivers about traffic and weather. By the time we approach the sign, we’re usually in our own dreamy worlds and about a month ago, while passing, we decided to climb the 20ft. giant for the sheer purpose of feeding the unrelenting curiosity that was slowly chewing up our insides. We usually pass the sign at around midnight, when there is little traffic, but scrambling our half-zombified bodies up the freezing cold ladders (which only start halfway up the sign in order to prevent idiots from climbing it) and perching our cold skinny arses on the small metal platform where workers do all the electrical maintenance, is no mission for the faint of heart. Once you’ve committed to the climb, there’s no going back. And, you’re in plain sight of any oncoming traffic.
After reaching the top for the first time, hearts racing, we knew it was totally worth the risk of being caught and arrested. I mean, the view was nothing short of crap and it was achingly cold and damp at the top but the feeling that we’d actually just climbed a 20ft. sign and the world didn’t give a single fuck, was a feeling I’ll never forget. We laughed hysterically the entire time we were up there, without a thought about how we would get back down again. That was the first thing in my life I had committed to that could genuinely have gotten me into a lot of trouble, and the thought of that gave me an authentic buzz I’d never experienced before.
One might have thought that after the first, second and third time of the pointless ascension up the sign, that the curiosity of the whole ordeal would have deceased. To our own surprise every time we pass that sign, a peculiar instinct kicks in and we’re off and up, trying our worst not to get spotted by the bustling traffic of the night.
A certain procedure is now unknowingly executed whenever Jimmy and I decide to meet up. To kick things off, we rendezvous at the grit bin located at the end of my street. Then, we head of to the stuffy old abandoned factory to smoke our blissful indulgences and talk about ISIS and other conspiring theories. And after that, we walk towards my local petrol station for munchies (sandwiches), trying to avoid eye contact with any sane human beings as we do. After this, Jimmy usually doesn’t have enough money left for a bus or a taxi (likely due to the petrol station’s extortionate sandwich prices) and therefore manipulates me into walking him half way back to his house, to which, I usually do. Halfway back to his house stands the sign. We then climb the sign, laugh, eat and smoke. These have been some of the best nights of my life.
I’m trying to enjoy every second of this crude lifestyle while it lasts.
Jimmy initiated his final move, hounding the panic-stricken man in the face with an unrestrainable succession of lethal blows to the face. The man could only do as much as let out a silent gasp of pain and fear as any sound that dared to attempt to make it way out of the man’s mouth was only battered straight back in again by the frantic strikes to the face by Jimmy. Bemused viewers jeered and roared at the immense scene of destruction and torment that was flashing before their eyes while the the bearded man’s friends readied themselves for intervention.
All of this happened in the space of around thirty seconds, with the bearded man’s friends stepping into the fight just before Jimmy was able to gauge his eyes out. A large, bear-like gentleman with stale red hair and an Adidas tracksuit bolted across the scene of the fight and trucked Jimmy square in the face with a clumsy heavy right fist to the back of Jimmy’s head. The drugs and alcohol devoured by him earlier seemed to soak up most of the impact and pain as Jimmy appeared remarkably not phased by the momentous blow he’d just eaten to the back of his frazzled head. Needless to say, the punch delivered by the bear-like character did enough to barge Jimmy up and away from the bearded man who was struggling to inhale a breathe at this point, never mind walk. Astonished by what I had just seen, I strutted over to Jimmy, who looked adamant that it wasn’t over, and asked him if he’s alright. Evading my question, he triumphed his abuse towards the bearded man. I told you I would f#cking do you! I warned you all, fuckin’ c#nts!, he sneered. The bearded man, desperate for retribution in another round of ‘let’s see if I can lose my eyesight this time’, taunts Jimmy with the same childish phrase;
‘Faggot! Faaaaagot! You’re a faggot!’. The man was clearly lost in a bottomless pit of pain, dizziness and drunkeness but everyone in the car park at that moment still looked incredibly sober in comparison to Jimmy, who barely even knew his own name.
Jimmy, who knew he’d gotten the better of the bearded man, now did something that I can only show great respect for. It was this very action that restored my withering faith in him.
He walked away. He didn’t run, speak or even create eye contact with the gang, he just walked away in the direction of the bar entrance, saying nothing as he did. Slightly confused to why he was headed towards the entrance of the bar that had closed at least ten minutes ago, I followed him.
One of the bartenders stood eagerly at the door perplexed by the rumours of a fight he’d likely just been told about. Jimmy, who had lost all touch with reality at this point, ignored the shower of abuse that was pouring over the roof from the other side of the building, and quite simply, asked the bartender (to whom he worked with) for a bottle. The bartender casually replied stating that the bar was closed and that he could no longer sell alcohol. A look of total discombobulation swept over Jimmy’s face as if he’d just been asked to dissect the meaning of the Universe.
‘You’ve had far too much to drink anyway, Jimmy’, the bartender consolidated.
Jimmy then said possibly the most self-destructing thing a man could ever say to a person who shared the same workplace as him.
‘It’s not for the alcohol! I need a bottle so I can kill every last one of those pricks ’round the corner there!,’ he exclaimed, essentially signing his own resignation form.
The bartender naturally laughed, the casual look of the bartender mysteriously looking as if he could relate to the situation Jimmy found himself in, as if he’d been in identical situations time and time again. A hideous tumour of anxiety was growing in Jimmy’s brain, haunted by the bearded man and his friends around the corner. The drugs and alcohol controlling Jimmy’s mind and body then decided to dismantle Jimmy’s job security prospects even further by bluntly asking the bartender for something even more grave than the bottle.
‘Go into the kitchen and get me a blade’, Jimmy directed, as if it was a common question asked on a daily basis.
‘A blade!?’, screeched the bar tender, taken completely off guard by the severity of Jimmy’s question. Jimmy scowled at him furiously and then began ravenously searching through his own pockets. The bar tender discretely closed the bar entrance doors, locking them comprehensively on while he did.
And there we were, back to square one of the night – standing directionless in the freezing cold of the night under a phantom of dark grey clouds.
We began to walk away into the night, bombarded with the childlike abuse from the bearded man as we did. The man’s friends, who knew it was over having seen him beaten to a pulp on the floor of the car park, tryed their best to contain him. He continue to ring the words “Faggot! Faggot! Faggot!” through the hollow streets of the night but Jimmy, surprisingly enough, wasn’t in the least bit vexed by the man’s taunts and continued marching away from the building without a hiss. We blundered shoulder to shoulder along the pavement for five minutes before Jimmy eventually cut the silence.
‘I was ready for it’, he musked.
‘Ready for what?’, I asked.
‘I had my thumbs ready! I was seconds away from pushing my thumbs into his eyes! I could easily have blinded him!’
‘Oh yeah, right’, I said with a convincing sincerity in my voice.
I made it a temporary policy that night just to agree with everything Jimmy said in order make the journey back to my house seem like a walk to the post office rather than a hike up Everest as much as possible.
‘I just wish I had my blade on me, I would have shanked every last one of the little c#nts!’, he exclaimed.
‘I know Jimmy, I know you would’ve’, I said.
I took nothing but pleasure from the entire scene of the fight. From the verbal abuse to the physical chaos, the entire thing was a free show of horror and excitement that was like nothing I’d ever experience before in my entire life. I know, it’s a terrible thing to say given the fact that Jimmy could easily have killed someone given he had been armed with the appropriate tools. It was an eye-opening experience that gave me a deep insight into a world that I’d never seen or heard of before.
Jimmy’s rare honourable side meagerly began to shine through to me as as we continued to trudge down the icy pavement, Jimmy persistently apologising for what he’d forced to watch. I appreciated that, but at the same time my thoughts could only tell me to thank him for the gift of an experience that he’d created for me; a lifetime experience that I’ll never forget.
But it wasn’t over, for we came across a long set of stone stairs leading up to a hillside forest a couple of minutes later, to which Jimmy flew up frantically without a whisper and disappeared into the darkness. I reluctantly began ascend to the top to greet him slouched at the top with his drowsy eyes focused absolutely on the base of the ancient steps.
‘What on Earth are you doing!?’, I quizzed.
‘Shut up! We’re waiting for those wee c#nts o walk past so I can burst everywhere single one of them!’, he insisted, in a calamitous tone. ‘Just you wait, I’m going to smash every single one of those dirty little scumbags’, he continued with significant grit in his tone.’
I tried many times to tell him that the bearded man and his friends whom he’d fought earlier had left the bar in the complete opposite direction to us, but Jimmy was having none of it. We sat there silent, time dragging on for more than fifteen minutes before Jimmy’s fried brain realised that I was correct in what I had said, and was not “just trying to suck the fun out the situation”, as Jimmy had so crudely put it.
Our odyssey through the silver of the night continued for another five minutes, Jimmy wreaking of alcohol and damp car park. The night was over, but the experience had just begun. In hindsight, Jimmy made a lot of tragically poor choices that night, but any form of consequences for his actions were non-existent. By some miracle, he kept his job and in his next appearance in my presence he appeared with only minute bruises exclusive to his lower back. The only retribution he faced was waking up early afternoon the next day to a blistering hangover. As for the bearded man and his friends, I haven’t heard Jimmy mention them since the incident.
Jimmy is likely a negative influence on me and anyone he has and will ever meet throughout his life, having already exposed me to drugs and violence after only knowing me for a couple of months. But what he has given me is worth more than most other friends could ever offer me; a lifetime experience. A life experience that will grip my conscience until the day of my final breathe, one that will guide me through significant paths of my life until I eventually witness something even more striking. Although I’m fairly sure Jimmy is a killer, I will stick by him as his best friend for as long as the nights are black and my blood runs red. I am his apprentice, and he is my best friend.
After dashing up to a stranger and shouting the words “What you saying!?” in a tone that even Satan would be proud of, Jimmy committed himself to a pointless confrontation with an older man who had the safety net of his friends to back him up if this things got messy. In the curious eyes of those watching, Jimmy had just thrust himself into a position that no man would ever desire to be in. Surrounded at his own workplace by a group of startled, half-drunk older men, the conflict began with a number of harsh pushes and minor punches being delivered to the now nervous looking Jimmy who did nothing but look like an innocent puppy that had just be told off for pooping on the floor.
It wasn’t long before Jimmy was flying around the car park like an out of date potato skin in gale force winds. I was stunned, not just because this was my first taste of real life violence, but because Jimmy did nothing to fight back other than a few meaningless pushes. After all the legends of fighting he’d proclaimed about in the previous few months, I was just waiting in immense suspense to see him in action. The enraged bearded man, backed up by a shadow of friends, progressed on to hook Jimmy on the left side of his face which sent him tumbling to the glossy black ground of the car park. This would have been an ideal time for someone to jump in for the greater good of humanity, but I was far too immersed into the vigor of the action to even consider trying to prevent any further violence from occurring. Not that I could have swayed too many decisions anyway as by this stage, the group of older men, specifically the one Jimmy had devoted his rage against, was livid with anger, and now very keen to see Jimmy bite the pavement that night.
Jimmy bundled gravely to the ground a few times in the car park that night but the only words that came out of his mouth were “This is my work, I don’t want to fight!”. This was followed by a rather desperate preaching that he “didn’t want to hurt anyone” and that it was “all just a big misunderstanding”. However, it wasn’t long before I realised that this was all part of Jimmy’s master game plan.
This was Jimmy’s workplace! Of course he couldn’t be seen on the cameras as the one that instigated the violence. Obviously, Jimmy had made the crucial mistake of blatantly sprinting up to the bearded man’s face and shouting in impending fury into his alcohol curdled ears, but Jimmy had made certain that he was not the first one to envelope the first physical contact and this therefore placed Jimmy in the position where he could now escalate the violence on terms of self-defense. I am also quite sure that Jimmy was audaciously waiting for the opportunity to fight alone with the man, who had now allowed Jimmy to pick himself back up from the hallowed floor of the car park.
Jimmy had manipulated the bearded man into thinking he was any easy target by giving him the honour of the first few hits, which had enthralled the man with confidence. The apologies and desperate acts of kindness only spurred the bearded man on by giving him certainty over who would most likely come out on top in the event of a proper fight. He had him exactly where he wanted as he solemnly invited the bearded man to a one versus one brawl fight on the soggy patch of grass behind the bar building, cleanly out of the exposure of any gazing cameras. To the bearded man’s delight, it was game on.
The two opposite characters marched around the twisted corners of the building towards the dark dampness of the grass in unrelenting fury and passion. The man removed his tight cotton t-shirt unveiling an armoury of candid bulk and an array of muscular dominance as enticed viewers began to multiply into a horde closely behind. Jimmy launched his jacket at the ground revealing a neatly ironed checked shirt, not in the slightest bit fazed by the stocky bearded man and his notorious six-pack abdominal stomach of steel. The man’s friends issued Jimmy a final warning, chanting things like “You’re just young! You don’t know what sh#t you’re getting into here!” which only bolstered the confidence of Jimmy and his ferocious opponent. As I followed anxiously behind the band of men and anticipating viewers of violence, all the stories Jimmy had enlightened me with in the past were all fitting together. The movements he described and his methods of fighting seemed all too familiar.
The unforgiving wrath of the two opposite characters gave in to impatience at this point and they froze to face at each other at the left side of the building, desolate from the soft grassy haven of the lawn that lay just ten feet away. In a jolt of movement, the eyes and arms of the two men locked on to each other, leaving them stagnant, shooting fierce dagger’s into each other’s. Eyes to eyes, the alcohol and drugs of Jimmy shot evil into the man’s unknowing soul. Jimmy had always said that he did that before a fight, and that if the other person stopped making eye contact with him, then he knew he’d already won. I can’t even contemplate what it would have been like to gaze into the wide, towering eyes of Jimmy at that moment, but I could somewhat sense the pounding fear off the man who evidently lost his confidence at this point as he glanced over at his friends for reassurance. Jimmy knew exactly what he was about to do, and he knew he was going to win.
I wasn’t sure what would happen next. In fact, after seeing what happened to him at the front of the building in the car park, and the compelling physique of the bearded man, I was seriously considering trying to draw the conflict to a close and talking to both sides of the party from a neutral point of view as I now feared the worst for my best friend Jimmy. In the flash of a snakes eye, Jimmy seized the torso of the bearded man and frantically flipped him under the palm of his, where he then advanced on to slam the now forsaken man to the crisp hard floor of the jagged concrete ground. Bare backed, the man struggled like a drowning fish on board a fishing a vessel under the terrorising weight of Jimmy. All that could be seen at this moment was the tall thin back of Jimmy and the occasional sight of the fist of the bearded man stretching round to try to contain Jimmy with a few lethal blows to the kidneys. By some miracle, the inexorable strength of the bearded man enabled him half-way up off the cold hard floor of the car park, but merely at knee level, as Jimmy tenaciously kept his upper body strength wrapped around the shoulders of his enemy like a boa constrictor tightening its grip around the helpless body of an antelope. Locked tightly, Jimmy then made his final and most engaging sequence of moves. He had the man’s face exactly where he wanted it, tucked down low and exposed perfectly for a few glorious uppercut punches to the face.
And that’s exactly what Jimmy did. The ever-expanding crowd of shreeking half-drunken girls and jeering teenagers and men looked on in vicarious horror as the dominant blows from Jimmy began to shudder off the aghast face of the bearded man.
For a nineteen year old male teenager, being banned from your own local pub is probably the worst thing that can happen. I wish my goldfish had died instead. This is genuinely how I feel. ‘The Tavern’ was a big part of my life. Four nights a week after work I would scramble to the bus stop, hop on a bus, bolt to my house, throw on a shirt and any kind of cheap Christmas gift standard aftershave, and then bomb it to the tavern (all three metres next door).
Major tragedy inbound: Due to my best friend deciding to carry what he called, the ‘dankest stinky stink green’ (weed) he had ever obtained, into the pub, and then roll it inside the tiny bathroom located directly behind the bar, we both faced a permanent ban stating that we could never step through the glorious black pine doors into The Tavern ever again. Just like that, my social life was obliterated into a million small pieces and thrown to the dogs.
The Tavern was a delightful wee pub located right next door to my house – that’s right, my own neighbours have banned me from their house. Everyone in the Tavern knew everyone, it was a very diverse family of learned drinkers. The jukebox was cheap (free Mon-Tues) and the banter was as sweet as the cider. The owners even had a small dog named ‘Stella’ that would pleasantly weave in and out the vintage furniture greeting all the regulars to a belly-rub invitation and a lick on the foot. Honestly, this pub is (was) the best thing since Gangnam Style.
I later found out what type of marijuana my friend was carrying, and it turned out to be the premium ‘tangerine dream’. Research told me that this dry and crispy weed is one of the most pungent type available on the market which likely explains why the bartender scouted the toilets instantly after my friend came out. Admittedly however, after smoking the ‘dank stuff’ at a bench in the woods the same night I was banned, it did bring me an abundance of salvation which brought with it a temporary blanket of comfort (or forgetfulness) over the horrific events of the previous hour that would almost certainly hit me like a torpedo in the morning upon my awakening to a killer hangover.
That last sip of Blackthorn cider at The Tavern will stay with me for eternity. Sure, I could just go to my local Asda and buy a large plastic bottle of the stuff for a cheaper price, but the junkie-like, wholesale essence to the taste will never match the ice-cold taste of a pint of cider in the place that existed as a major component of my life for just over a year. Now the closest I’ll ever get to that beautifully varnished wooden bar is through sticking my head into the fireplace and listening eagerly to the classic jokes and fables of some of the more ‘experienced’ drinkers at The Tavern.
It wasn’t even the alcohol that most attracted me to the The Tavern. On a good night I would only be able to skirt around the region of 3-4 pints before falling into a great pit of drunkeness. To be quite honest, I’m more surprised that I didn’t get barred the night I stepped into the dangerous territory of having six pints and broke the bathroom door off it’s hinges. At least I actually had something to do with that, unlike the current reason for my ban – I never possessed the drugs nor did I try to roll them into a joint in the bathroom. But, if you fly with the crows, you get shot with the crows, fair enough.
My legacy at The Tavern has now deceased and my social drinking life has entered into frantic turbulence.
‘But Frank, there are plenty of other pubs out there?’, they say. ‘Fuck off’, is what I say.
Over the space of the last ten minutes, I’ve been contemplating my own life and where I stand as a human being on this strange planet. Basically, I’ve just judged myself. I’ve come to the conclusion that my life is nothing short of tragic (but in a sort of enjoyable way). I feel as though I could do a lot more, see a lot more and meet a lot more people. I like to think that I’m a very bright teenager that’s capable of doing a lot more than what I’m currently doing (sitting on my arse letting Netflix slowly devour my life). However, here’s the problem. Well, here’s a list of ALL the problems that have seemingly snaked their way into my life since I turned the age of eighteen last year…
In no particular order, here is a list of problems that range from serious (from my perspective) to possibly laughable (in your perspective) – don’t you dare. I can only hope that there are people out there that can relate to these:
1. I gamble too much (£100 gone last night)
2. I only have one and a half friends
3. I can’t seem to hold a job down for any longer than two months
4. I have been smoking marijuana for the last two months on a regular basis, and last night for the first time, I took a tablet of valium.
5. I have no money
6. I can’t see any future vision of myself
7. I’m fairly sure my best friend is a killer
8. I am a love/hate kind of guy, but it usually turns into hate after a sufficient amount of time
9. I have one ear bigger than the other
10. I smoke cigarettes, which bothers me (I still do it though)
11. Last night I got banned from the pub I live next door to because my friend rolled a joint in the bathroom
12. I have no girls in my life right now
13. I am not close to my step-dad, whom I’ve known since I was five years old
I’m sure I’ve missed a few, but those are all the only issues my mind can conjure up at this moment in time. The list will more than likely take pleasure in hitting the triple digits by Christmas at the latest.
Over the months to come, I am going to discuss these problems in more embarrassing detail and on the way, share some of the most mortifying stories that I force my face to wince upon even just thinking about them – there’s a considerable amount of roasters in there somewhere.
Before I go and smoke the cigarette doubt that I may or may not find near the compost bin at the back of my garden, I would just like to point out that I am in no way a depressed or even suicidal person. I love life and the sheer excitement that anything can happen at any time. I am a very positive and motivated (Well, I’m motivated to become motivated) individual. The reason behind the creation of this blog is to investigate whether or not there are other people out there that can relate to a lifestyle that is similar to my own.