Last week I decided to trade my cave of uncapped WiFi and tracksuit pants for a night out at one of my university’s local grimy bars. This one in particular plays rock music and encourages table dancing and general unruly behaviour, it’s also been the location of some pretty radical stories. I went out last week particularly to numb the growing feeling of frustration and boredom that has been creeping up on me since April. It worked to some extent, I came tearing into my room at 2:30 in the morning, grabbed a pen and wrote in my journal until I had nothing left to say. I know more than anyone how fickle inspiration can be when neglected, inspiration struck and what I had to say was this:
I went out tonight. I went out because I needed it, because quiz night seemed like something I could win at. Because I wanted to yell and beat my fists on a table like a barbarian. I wanted to prove I could use the useless information in my head. I wanted a win.
I didn’t win. It was okay because I drowned myself in liquor instead. I stomped my feet on the beaten table; swaying, gyrating, losing my troubles in songs I only vaguely recognised. It was hellish paradise, surrounded by pierced thugs and drifting wallflowers. We were the misfit toys- desperate for love, for life, for balance. We found unity in the dingy corners of a grimy university bar, and we were triumphant.
I saw him dancing. He looked like someone I had to force myself not to message and he was taller as well. We danced and had our first conversation using body language and eye contact, our second was more refined- sitting in the cold discussing philosophy and poetry. Suddenly I felt like I was dabbling with a nightmare long past; except his eyes were kinder and his movements less demanding. He wanted to listen. He drank up every syllable I stumbled over like he couldn’t get enough of the rough draft that was me. It was textbook seduction: he slow danced with me under the early winter open sky and then kissed me precious.
And I felt…nothing.
There was no spark, no puddle, no mind-numbing happiness. I was dead from the heart outwards.
“What are you doing with your life Harriet?”
“I don’t know”
I was numb. Incapable of human emotion, lost again in the whirr of self-doubt and dispassionate thoughts.
He brushed the hair from my face and asked me what I was thinking.
You can’t really explain an internal pep-talk.
“You are a shell of a human being, trying to fill yourself with someone else’s heavy heart. And I hope some day you find your abandoned passion because you can not keep giving away something we don’t have.”