I've never really considered myself good at making friends. Primary school was a blur of short friendships, people I considered friends but rarely saw outside of school. Only one person from primary school stayed my friend through to high school, and was the base cause of me meeting and becoming friends with more people. We had a small group, but normally there was just the three of us, worse if someone was off. But the strength of the bond was far greater, knowing each other better than you possibly could with a large group. Starting university I worried whether I would continue to stay with just these two best friends, my social skills ridiculously low. Thankfully, people did talk to me. And slowly I began to realize that there can be a place for me, because university allows for more nerds and less NEDs, the extra letter making a serious difference. So now I have a series of friendship circles; whether it be from a society, a class, old friends from high school or indeed the internet. The internet has a wonderful power to bring people together, in a way that so many miss out on. Maybe these people don't need it, maybe they do they just don't know it exists.
And this brings us up to my 18th birthday, on Thursday the 27th. "Legal" Whut. As you can imagine, my memory of the night is a little fuzzy around the edges, but I'll try my best. The day started like many others, with a 9-fucking-am lecture. I was wearing my new skinny jeans and sky blue Soft Kitty t-shirt because awesome. I arrived early, as I normally do, and was sitting with my laptop open when the people I normally talk to came in, some wishing me a happy birthday. J sitting behind me wearing her red "Moriaty was real" t-shirt she had promised to me the night before she would wear. Casual net-surfing had to be done before the lecturer felt the need to start. Ant, Cat, L, Cheese Girl and some others were all there. I hadn't bothered trying to squeeze my laptop charger in my smaller bag so it was clearly started to die, the battery isn't able to hold charge as well as it used to. Coming out of the lecture, our little crew stopped to chat and discuss what to do in the next two hours. Two hours until a maths lecture for almost all of us (L took Chemical Physics, so does a different maths course). Having decided on a "maths party" in the library, we were about to leave when the lecturer tripped over the steps on his way out. "I just did that to make sure you were paying attention" Of course. I'll miss that lecturer and his irrelevant rants about his wife before lectures, his part of the course had been taught already.
This was the first time I had gone into the main Uni library, and was unaccustomed to the method of entrance, swiping the student card to get through the barrier. We wandered through to the group study section, the seven of us picking an area to sit around a screen. The stool were like mini-sofas in their comfort, but only helped slightly against the dreaded maths tutorial questions. Having discussed that google has the same birthday as me (it's so young, only 14), J suddenly realised it was my birthday. She took her pen and scribbled "happy birthday" on her lat bar of Galaxy chocolate, left over from when Galaxy had been giving out free chocolate bars in the campus. Much of the next hour and a half was spent trying to do maths while googling random guys to stare at. And discussing everything from Sherlock to Pokemon. "You don't like Sherlock? Okay I can't hear a word you are saying anymore. Don't get a tumblr, they will find you and kill you" "She hates everything." The disappearing to get an Irn Bru from the library cafe. In total I managed two questions, but that's two more questions than I was planning on doing.
We left the library at 11am, and were soon distracted by a charity selling cupcakes. Om nom nom. That was a good cupcake. Bye bye student loan. J and I reached the outside of the lecture hall first, confused as to where the others had gone. The maths lecture is always crowded, hundreds of people who are more keen than they ought to be for maths. It was tough to work our way through the crowd, some on their way out of the lecture hall, some starting to go in. Up the steps, around the corner. J and I sitting a fair way up, the only place with enough seats for everyone. Despite this, Cat, Ant and Cheese Girl sat near the front but decided against it due to the lack of desk, turning to finally find us further up, with their seats taken. They sat behind us, blaming Ant. It didn't matter where we sat though, the Thursday maths lecturer was difficult to understand, in his accent and explanations. Much of the time was spent texting and trying to teach ourselves from the textbook.
Eventually, we stood to leave and I started on my way home, planning to drop off my maths textbook and eat birthday cake before leaving to my History of Science lecture in the evening (oh why did I pick the elective with evening lectures?). But of course I got distracted by GDC, them choosing the perfect time for a spam thread. A great way to spend a few hours anyway. It took a while to drag myself away from the craziness that is spam, and to go find mum for cake. And present. (Presents aren't of too much note, except the bubble wrap and the Vodka Irn Bru) Had to wait until my little brother arrived back from school before I could blow the candles out and cut up the cake. By this point, it was getting late for me to catch the bus. In order to hurry up, I took two pieces of the birthday cake and the raspberry cake from a few days before and the bottle of Vodka Irn Bru with me. The bus got me in only five minutes late, but still I was confused by the subject. Oh fuck, he was covering Astronomy. GDC. Oh fuck, Flo's sig. Changes tab and hopes no one saw it. Attempts to take notes.
Sat by a table, charging my laptop and joining the spam fest again until my friend showed up. She brought with my presents in a bag. Raspberry coloured jeans I'd picked out the day before, a t-shirt and three pairs of socks (hedgehogs, ice cream and lol pandas). At some point between seven and half seven, Sciffy (Science Fiction and Fantasy Society) started their series night. Sitting in one of the lecture theatres, munching cake and drinking, watching episodes of four different series'. Firefly, Cowboy Bebop, The Big Knights (it's hilarious, you need to watch it) and Darkplace. After this, I had finished my bottle of Vodka Irn Bru, and we went with the majority to the student pub, ten minutes walk away.
Here, I stood in line for the bar, hoping they accepted cards at low quantities. They did, and I bought a bottle of Bulmer's. Chatting to some random people from Sciffy, my friend and I found seats near the rest. One guy, Jack, joked about looking like a paedo, how he "had sweets in his van" and asked my friend (not drinking as it's still four months until her 18th and she's shy, staying for a while before getting a bus back home) to guess his age:
"what? No, guess again"
"Fine. I'm 28"
Jack: So where are you from?
Jack: but you sound American
Me: everyone says that, I guess I listen to too many Americans, like in bands
Jack: there aren't any good American bands. Name one good American band
Me: Green Day
Jack: Oh, fine, yeah....
And of course, Jack announcing how he likes to think woman spend their time feeling their breasts. "If I had boobs, I'd just stay at home all day" "But I wouldn't want to be a woman"
There were numerous others I was introduced to, and discussions about a picture of Jack's penis he used to have on his phone entertained me until my friend left. Second bottle. People changed position, some leaving or coming back. Sat in the corner of the booth was Dan, who looked unbelievably like my old Geography teacher, with his massive width and brown hair and beard, the glasses sitting on the edge on his nose...
Someone played Gangnam Style on their phone, a tiny screen watched by eight people around the tiny pub tables.
"Anyone up for a Tequila shot?"
The Tequila hadn't been there before, the new staff had forgotten to look in the bar next door for the bottle. Now, I joined Rachel, Andrew, Sarah and Steve for a Tequila shot. Salt, tequila, lemon. Sure, that seems easy enough. It wasn't a fail, but it wasn't exactly a win either. Steve just laughed and said it went about as well as it could have.
Decided to go back up to order my last bottle of Bulmer's just before they stopped taking orders. This gave me the slight problem of having to finish it in a ridiculously short period of time. Along comes the man when there's still a quarter of the bottle left at least. And tells me there's one minute left. I know what you're thinking. What I should have said (but would have got me chucked out a lot sooner) was "one minute? one fucking minute? I've been here since quarter to fucking ten. I'm not fucking Chuck Norris you motherfucker! I've got one minute? Oh, look now I've got nothing. I'll show you what one fucking minute means to me. *smashes bottle across the room* One fucking minute. God fucking bless you all. I'll be back."
Seriously, though. Someone suggested I down it. This wasn't even something I wanted to try, not yet. Instead, I tried to drink as much as I could, then passed the rest onto Dan, who had been drinking the same earlier. He, of course, managed to finish it. Now we were leaving, picking up my bag fleece and presents, following the road off to the bus stop, having said my goodbyes. The journey was odd, I was a little unsteady on my feet. All the same, I ended up standing at my bus stop, acknowledging the time for the next bus I could take home. It was half eleven. The time passed in a way which confused me, skipping half of every minute. But as we all know, time isn't linear, it's a ball of wibbly-wobbly, timey-wimey stuff. Anyway, I stood there, my child dayticket in my hand, three minutes until my bus, and noticed a group making their way towards me, a group of people I had met earlier at the Sciffy group in the bar. "Hello again, we're off to Opium. You coming?" Ach. How could I refuse? I had been hoping to go to Opium, but had never found anyone wanting to go. It's an alternative club/bar, like a night club with rock music. Free entry and cheap drinks, what's not to like?
I did wonder how I would get home with no change, and somehow managed to get twenty quid out. I don't know why I thought twenty, not ten. I don't know how I managed to remember to take both the money and the card, but I did. We went to tesco, Rachel, Steve, Sarah and Dan. I hope that was everyone. Someone, I have no idea who, bought orange juice for gin (it took a while for me to realize, but they couldn't have bought the gin then, alcohol can only be bought between 10am and 10pm in normal stores). Some people drunk some, then we set off. Mostly I was following everyone else, my state of confused drunkness didn't help my almost complete lack of a sense of direction. Outside Opium, we stopped, some sequrity guy checking bags for alcohol, I guess.
By this point, the alcohol was starting to kick in properly, this wasn't bad drunk, but I didn't want to be throwing up on my birthday anyway. A trip up the twisting stone staircase to the toilets, led to reading some interesting graffiti. Having stood around a while, Dan pointing out the "slag" by the wall, flirting with some guy, someone decided we were playing pool. The pool room was less crowded, and had a sign on a door which amused us greatly as it looked like it said "oral" as a word went over two lines. Then Josh appeared. Josh, I found out later, had licked Steve's face. He was a "friend" of Steve's, the kind that only shows up when at least one of them is drunk. Josh put the triangle on my head, telling me it was my halo. We picked teams for pool, having already had to get someone to get the white ball back out. I, the worst player, was teamed with Dan (and maybe some one else, who knows) against Steve and Rachel. I think. Our main aim was to hit the right coloured ball. Jack, of course, made jokes about my bad ball-handling skills. Josh stole my glasses, Rachel finally passing them back. He decided my hair was soft, but seriously, his was softer. And the way he talked about hair made him seem stoned. There were times where I thought I recognised songs, but it was difficult to work out the lyrics, so I couldn't be sure, all I could tell was there was definitely some drums, guitars and bass. Which is what counts really.
The game of pool ended with *dun dun dun* my team as the victors. Fuck yeah. No idea how that happened, Dan must be good. We hugged. We considered going dancing upstairs, leaving all our bags together, but it was too crowded so we gave up and left at half two. Jack walked off in the opposite direction. It had been decided that me adn Steve were crashing at Rachel's flat. We said goodbye to Dan, then Sarah. At a corner, at the bottom of a hill, Steve sat down, he had kept squeezing his eyes shut all the way to this point, and didn't look well. I could still taste the salt from the shot. Rachel, the most sober of all that had been to Opium, flagged a taxi down. We took a short ride up the hill to the street her flat is on. The fare was paid by Rachel and Steve, I had no change, and Rachel felt guilty having insisted I come with them in the first place.
Four fucking floors. Rachel lives on the fourth fucking floor. And I was still wearing my little black pumps, and new skinny jeans that tend to fall down a little. Her flat was dark, you could tell that if anyone was home, they were probably sleeping. We sat in the kitchen and Rachel poured us all some water. We talked. Aaand Johnny appeared. No. Wait. Was it Joe? Joe appeared. Joe sounded like, I don't know, Noel Fielding. I said something like this and was told he was reminding me of someone really camp. But with long black hair, and a little drunk himself. I had a 9am lecture the next day. Or that day. Whatever.
Steve slept on the sofa in the kitchen and I slept on the mattress in the box room, with two little lights on, as the room had no windows and the dark kinda scares me. It gradually grew less comfy as the night went on. The first time I woke up, and sneeked into the kitchen to get my phone from where I had left it, it was already almost 10am. Clearly I wouldn't make it to my 9am lecture. My sleep was broken, on and off, texting back and forth to various people. There came a point where all three of us, me, Rachel and Steve, all stood in the hallway, having just exited a different room. It was probably around half twelve. We considered food, but didn't feel up to it enough. It wouldn't have been brekfast anyway, it would have been brunch.
"That reminds me of something *rushes off and brings back a box* would you guys want a dinosaur?" A box full of tiny plastic dinosaurs. Fuck yes. We spent a good while searching through the box, laughing at the one that looks like a kangaroo. Steve chose his favourite, a Triceratops. He called it Steve, then noticed it said China on the bottom. "That means it already has a name" "But they all say China" So Steve removed the party cups from his jacket and announced his dinosaur was called Party China Steve. So we stayed entertained by his antics with Party China Steve, balancing the plastic toy on cup or light bulbs and making up stories about him. He genuinely made more sense drunk.
Johnny came back from his shower (I didn't mention that, but pretend I did, he's Rachel's other flatmate) and words were made with the magnets on their fridge. Johnny was more sensible than Joe, but was a more obsessive gamer. He gave me change for the bus. And was informed by Rachel that Steve thought their kitchen had a drinking problem. "There's a party in my drinking problem, and everyone is invited. Put that on the kitchen door so everyone knows." It was at least half two by the time I finally left her flat, stopping off at the campus then topping up my phone before finally arriving home. The fucking end.
Note how I left #27 for the 27th. Amn't I awesome.