Sitting in the sun, smoking, listening to ‘Major Leagues’ by Pavement and drinking a Sprite

[Trying out something different with this one; just trying to channel some of my thoughts from earlier in the day and seeing if I can glean anything from them. It’s been a while since my last post and I don’t want to exhaust all of my short stories just yet. I apologise for the self-serving nature of this post, but writing explicitly about myself isn’t something I do often, so please, forgive this indiscretion.]

I was surprised by the weather. I don’t know why, it being the vague start of summer and all, but you never know in England. I was sitting in the sun, smoking a rollup, listening to ‘Major Leagues’ by Pavement (from their final album, 1999’s Terror Twilight), and drinking a can of Sprite. Things seemed to line up nicely for a moment. I was at university, waiting for the final cut of the short film that I’ve been working on for a while to export. I was alone. I often enjoy being alone, especially when I can make everything line up perfectly like that. That song was the perfect one for the moment, the can of Sprite was cold, the cigarette was not too tightly bound and not too loose either. I was thinking about things.

The time spent on this film have been hours well-spent, and I’m pleased to have taken additional hours after the submission to perfect it, lengthen it, tighten up some of the cuts. I worked with some wonderful people, people who I may not see for a while once university life truly ends. It already has, mostly. All that is left is the graduation ball, and graduation itself. I’ve spent the past month or so mostly making a fool out of myself at parties or out drinking, making small errors in judgement that I like to spend hours criticising myself for. Whether I deserve that criticism or not is irrelevant, but I like to think it is quite warranted. I don’t know what’s going on right now, now that everything is ending here.

Leaving the North for London; it’s been so long. Eight years that I spent away from my place of birth, and I found many homes along the way. They’ll never accept me in London now, not with the inflections that have built in my accent. But I suppose it’s nothing unusual. Belonging doesn’t come naturally to me.

As far as it goes, I’m doing okay. Walking through the near-empty halls of university filled me with an almost parodic sense of nostalgia – nostalgia in the purest sense, the wishing for the past. But it doesn’t take me long to start wishing for the past. All it takes is a couple of beers and I start going on about— well, you know.

I’m trying to be healthy. I’m trying to quit smoking. But sitting outside today with that cigarette felt so natural – it’s not something that’s easy to drop. I quit carbonated drinks a while ago, but that doesn’t stop me from enjoying the odd Irn Bru or Sprite. [Fitter, happier, more productive.] I’ve tried to quit nostalgia, too, but thats the hardest vice to cut out. It can become a real habit. When you can’t appreciate what you have, it’s easiest just to return to where you came from.

There are many people that I’m going to miss. People I’ve grown with, and allowed to understand me, and attempted to understand myself. I’ve tried to be there for them, but God knows, I can be tough sometimes. Forgiveness paves the way, and I know that I am lucky. I know that things could be a lot worse. They could be better, sure, but I know to be grateful for what I have. Or, at least, I am trying. Like I say – it’s difficult. I’ve hurt people. Even recently. Backed out of contracts that were supposed to be bound, now untied and loose in the wind. Retreat, or thrive. Advance, or decompose. Create, or allow to fester. It’s all a choice. Supposedly. Maybe it isn’t.

But I was sitting, smoking, listening to ‘Major Leagues’ by Pavement and drinking a Sprite. Everything lined up. And, yes, bring on the major leagues – it’s all I can do now. It’s what I have to do. Maybe it’s even what I want to do. I’m sure I’ll get plenty of opportunity to make a fool of myself, but maybe I’ll get a chance to impress, too. One day, I won’t be so self-contained. That is surely something to live for.

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