Comrade added a blog entry in Comrade's ScribblingsSenses Prevail - Chapter 10 (part 2)Hello. I've finished the second part of Chapter 10. It is a bit of a climax for Williams. I've tried to capture the sense of being carried away; a lack of control and being caught in a blur with moments of lucidity. It's based heavily on something that happened. Really the theme of this chapter is that you can't escape: just going somewhere else - the same rules apply. You're the same person with the same demons and the something will happen to you, and when it does, it just gets worse the further you run from it. Included is the last paragraph of the last post, to help it flow. Please do let me know what you think, if you have any thoughts.
Beyond the mismatched music, the voices were a foreign hubbub of conversation, laughter and arguments. Mostly it was in Spanish or pigeon English, but behind them were some northern lads wearing loose vests over toned, tanned bodies beneath well-groomed high and tight haircuts. Williams studied them, enjoying this moment of illicit ethnography. In contrast, across the plaza, and spread throughout the crowds were gaggles of pale, excitable Irish girls darting between groups of men and groups of each other, giggling and clasping their smart phones. A group of them had started making their way over to where Jamie and Williams were sitting, exchanging amused expressions.
‘Oh my God you look just like Tom Daley! Doesn't he look like Tom Daley?’
‘Oh my God he so does!’
‘Can I get a picture with you Tom Daley?’
‘I want a picture with Tom Daley!’
‘Oh my God is Tom Daley here?’
‘No Sorcha, this boy just looks like him.’
‘No he doesn’t’
‘He so does, look…’
And so the girls had swarmed the table, one group crowded around Jamie, about whom they had descended into an argument, in doing so drowning out his protests such that he simply sat and stared blankly at each of them in turn. The other group, smaller but older, had sat with Williams, who sat grinning in triumph with Jamie – triumph at nothing other than having been left alone.
‘I don’t know much about Ireland,’ he shouted above the racket, ‘big O’Driscoll fan though.’
‘Oh yeah, in BOD we trust right?’
He hadn't caught her name but he had got her age; she was nineteen and had straight dark brown hair and pink, sun warmed pale skin. She had a toothy smile; proud white front teeth that were not unattractive, over which plump cerise lips stretched into a warm smile at odds with the oceanic ice cold of her irises, which stood out even in the yellow-stained dark of the plaza.
‘I don’t know these gals,’ she explained, ‘they just tagged on to Nic and I when they heard our accents.’
She spoke with a soft Irish accent, that typical melodic patter that so many people find enchanting. Indeed, her voice carried a certain magic to it, softly toned yet loud above the roaring chatter of the higher, sharper voiced of the girls around Jamie. Williams was struggling to keep track of what she was saying, and harder presses still to keep a grasp of his own utterance. He gave her a smile and signalled that he couldn't hear her; she drew her chair closer. Williams hadn’t wanted this, but he was leaning forward, elbow on his knee, hand supporting his chin – not to hear her, but to remain upright. That alcohol was hitting. The table, with its mottled glass surface refracting the yellow light into shards of bright yellow and deep ochre had been cleared of the bottles and glasses. He’d missed that.
‘You alright there, Jack? You look tired.’
Williams sat upright. Jamie looked overwhelmed by the chattering horde, who were now standing around the table and talking loudly over and across it. Some of them were bickering over the table, talking about the two young men;
‘They must be gay, they’re on holiday together.’
‘That doesn’t mean shit.’
Jamie, for his part was speaking with one girl who was crouched by the table. Orange hair, very pale, wearing braces. Williams guessed at her being young – fifteen perhaps at most. Jamie’s body language was that of a defeated father.
‘Youse two need some pep, it’s only half eleven.’
‘Watch it, you, Irish.’
‘He’s got some fight in him, Nic.’
‘Don’t see that in an Englishman every day, huh?’
Nic, the other girl, was larger with a soft round face and an awkward fringe that made her look a little big rounder and a little bit paler – her hair being dyed black. Large watery eyes peer from beneath her bangs, nit the rest of her features were lost to Williams, who was mustering himself a rally against the onrush of alcohol flooding his system. He forced himself upright.
‘Alright girls, I’m having none of that.’
‘Slurring your words there Jack.’
‘Just because I’ve actually had a drink.’
‘Well then,’ said the teeth girl, ‘jagerbombs it is, come on Jack: show us poor gals how it’s done.’
The word 'no' ricocheted around Williams’ head, but he thought she was flirting.
‘Ok then, your round though.’
‘What a gentleman.’
‘I’ve already bought loads!’ Williams gestured to the now empty table before sharply retracting his hand. ‘I’ll get the next round.’
Williams looked blinkingly down the mikado yellow-li street, the white paving tiles and whitewash walls stained the colour of urine by the dull street lamps. The only other colour was black, or its ochre-tinged shades, stretching out beneath Williams’ feet in both directions in a grid and sharply swallowing the air behind anything sheltered from the lamps. Jamie stood wavering in front of him, facing away. A cash machine. Williams heaved a foot forward, catching himself against the wall with an outstretched arm so that his head hovered over Jamie’s shoulder.
‘Done yet?’ was all he could manage.
‘Fucking thing…my card.’ Spat Jamie, struggling to punch in his PIN code.
Someone called after them from a long way off, a male voice – Spanish. Williams swung too far around and lost balance slightly, but managed to find the source of the voice a little out of sight but across the street behind a corner. They were at an open intersection, and the voice was diagonally across from them.
He looked at the bag of weed and then back up to the man who had given it to him. He was olive skinned, beneath the piss-coloured light, and had stubble. Very heavy set. Broad jaw. Dark eyes. He might have been wearing sunglasses. Williams was fumbling with a note in his pocket.
‘Si, Enjoy. Is strong stuff. You’ll like it.’
‘Gracias,’ replied Williams, who automatically went to shake the man’s hand, but it seemed like a bad idea so he stopped half way, resulting in a jerky raise of his right arm, the bag of weed still in that hand, ‘smells good dude.’
‘Si, kill this, friend.’
A second man who had been standing behind the first, with a heavy Spanish accent, and who Williams had not noticed before stepped out from the shadows under a porch; his position given away only by coils of feathery smoke, the smell of marijuana and a dull orange glow at about Williams’ eye height. It was a disconcerting aspect. He passed the butt of his joint to Williams and left with the first man, the pair talking hurriedly and quietly. Williams felt a disarming sense of unease; he felt sized up and measured.
At that moment, Jamie brushed past them, walking towards Williams who had been unaware his friend wasn’t even by his side. Placing his left hand firmly on Williams shoulder, partly with affection, partly due to a genuine need for balance, Jamie raised and waved in his right hand a small bag of powder, a crazed, completely vacant smile painted across his face, which was beaded with small jewels of perspiration. It was a warm night, over twenty degrees and the atmosphere, heavy with the smell of weed, thick with the sound of incoherent dance songs vying over one another and the babble of the square around the block pressed in on the pair.
Williams looked up, slumped as he was against a cold wall. He was directly before a street light; a spotlight on his iniquity. His mouth was dry and acidic – no – it was bile. He looked between his legs, knees up and feet planted, to see a puddle of vomit, dark in contrast to the brightly-lit white stone paving tiles, about five inches across each. As red wine and Chinese food pooled uneasily between his legs, Williams became dimly aware that it might stain his shorts. He wretched at the smell and concept, and after spitting, hauled himself sideways about two widths of himself, and fell without catching himself sideways. His head lolled on the pavement, and his eyes rolled around their sockets making him dizzy. The coldness of the stone steadied him somewhat. He saw, retreating into the shadows at the end of the street, Jamie pounding hard and running the other way.
Williams blinked back into existence, still under the toxic artificial mustard stain of the street lighting, to see Jamie curled in a foetal position beside him.
Jamie had laid in Williams’ sick.
They clawed each other to their feet, dipping their fingers in the white powder and rubbing it in their gums like some bleach-flavoured medicine. Arms around one another, they looked up and began walking in any direction that led up hill, eventually stumbling onto the main road, which led them directly to the compound on which the villa was located. Jamie leaned into Williams’ ear;
‘This is fucking crazy, man.’
‘Shit. What happened to the Irish chicks?’
‘I dunno, call them.’
Jamie sniffed dismissively, ‘aad night, it’s warm. I don’t need this.’ He unbuttoned his sick stained shirt and tied it loosely around his waist. He was dripping with sweat. Williams was damp too.
‘The stars man.’
‘No, look. Stop.’
Williams pointed upwards. They were out of the town now, and the night was cloudless. Their eyes, with pupils like hub caps adjusted quickly to the darkness of the sky, greedily hunting for any of the millions of pin pricks of light which burned whiter and brighter than ever before. The multitude of simmering silver candles, fixed points of astral beauty burned and overwhelmed Williams’ consciousness. The darkness grew lighter and the cosmic band of blue-purple dust, seemingly held in place above them by a hundred million cosmic pins revealed itself in layers of clearer and more infinite colour and detail. Williams was so small. So alone. So preoccupied with maintaining an aesthetic, so enamoured by a philosophy that was collapsing around him that centred on the pleasures of the world which no longer gave him any hint of satisfaction; it bored him. This torturous night was a fit of subconscious boredom; a challenge to his subconscious from his conscious – ‘always you make me want more; always nothing is enough; always trying; always watching; always tempted; always the senses; well how about now? How much can you handle? How much until the pleasure you crave is the poison that makes you wince?’
‘Uh Dude. Dude, dude, dude,' said Jamie, patting a stargazing Williams on the arm repeatedly, 'I think I recognise those guys.’
The universe above pulled away from Williams’ eyes as Jamie’s voice ushering in a sudden vicissitude shattered his train of thought. He looked down the hill and saw four burley men. The two at the front – one of them was. Thick set and had a familiar aspect. He wore shades, his broad jaw darkened by stubble. He was pointing in the direction of Williams and Jamie. A bolt of fear shot through Williams. They were vulnerable and outnumbered. The shadows circled them, waiting to pick their bones. The crickets in the bush had eyes and were waiting to sing their songs to the sound of a pummelling. His breath caught in his throat.
‘How far to the villa?’
‘About five minutes this way.’ Said Jamie.
‘Lose them in the compound.’
The two, spurred on by a sudden adrenalin spike shot through their system by a very real fear of the Spanish drug dealers and aided by a healthy paranoia, broke into an uphill sprint, taking great breathless bounds across the road and flying through as many of the warren-like alleys and path ways between villas as they could. There was a blur a moon-lit whitewash, shocked cats eyes glaring out from beneath darkened lemon trees and the occasional an occasional square yellow portal burning through the night revealing night time scenes of human consciousness blurred by the boy’s speed and toxic breaths. They simply made sure they were always heading up the hill, first going far further west than they needed and beyond their villa before treading with light footfalls without their shoes south down the hill and east to where they lived, which they entered by climbing over the back all and slinking through the back door, hidden from the view of the street. Both, once they were at a standstill, were violently sick in the garden. After a quarter of an hour heaving and retching they went inside leaving the lights off while they sat in darkness for a short while, panting heavily, both soaked with sweat. They each voraciously consumed a couple of litres of cold liquid and with a faint glow in the eastern sky, their night was no more.
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Comrade added a blog entry in Comrade's ScribblingsDrinkDrink
These chains that are crawling through my veins
Are tightening the rasping in my throat
Under the guise that they are pleasing me
If I take all of the things that I've learned
Stripped, edited down to a single word
Lit up by the light of the loves I burned
What, I wonder, would there be written down?
What, I wonder, would you call beauty now?
One word, one scrawl - one of the multitude
A torch adrift the thronging solitude
Wherein I scream your name, bound yet by chains
A scream of silence; of pleasures and pains
That drifts with me from the club to the bar
To the street in the dark that clings as tar
To the sides of my mouth - awake come day
The soreness of ulcers, biting to say
And it speaks to me, sometimes it whispers -
Sometimes sweet words, and sometimes so bitter:
"I am beautiful, your one true amour,
Come, acquiesce and take me more and more;
Mine is the divine glance that breathes new life
Mine is the claw that shall sink like a knife
And never let go, though I may yet fade
I'm the noise in the scream that e'er pervades"
And then I awake, those chains in my veins
Wracking once more my dehydrated brains
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Comrade added a blog entry in Comrade's ScribblingsSenses Prevail - Chapter 10 (part 1)Going has been slow but ever is it heading forwards. I don't have too much time or energy to devote to writing at the moment, but every couple of days I chip away a few more words. Mostly disjointed quotes, phrases and ideas for descriptions, or revisions to that which already exists. I've made a lot of revisions, actually. I've managed to get a bit of the way through the next chapter though, and such is the slow going and my impatience, I've decided to disseminate what currently stands of Chapter 10 and see if anyone is willing to give a little feed back. Even a 'that's not bad' or 'what rubbish!' will do.
Williams' behaviour has caused him to hide a way a bit, but luckily the one man he can trust has come calling...
‘Honestly Jack, she had the mouth of an angel,’ said Jamie, standing in the middle of the living room, proudly thrusting his arms out energetically and spilling his drink slightly, ‘could have drawn spunk from a stone, I kid you not. She may be the mouth that got away.’
‘You have her number,’ said Williams.
‘Yeah but I won't call it. Christ I don't want to marry her. Besides, it's more romantic if I let her go.’
‘You're a mad-man.’
‘From the mouth of the maddest of men,’ exclaimed Jamie, beaming at Williams as he took a sip.
‘One does one’s best.’
After a week of laying low at home, Williams had opened the door earlier that day to greet Jamie, who arrived with a burst of energy. He had taken the train from London, having finished touring with his band in Europe the day before. Sixty gigs in dive bars and pubs across the continent had blurred the time passed since the last meeting between the two, and Jamie looked beat. His hair was longer and ragged, and his face thinner – his skin sallow and drawn from lack of sleep, but his energy never once flickered. His gaze was one of endless enthusiasm and tenderness towards the world, in which one could sense every moment he had lived; every face he had seen and ever mad-cap idea that had come to pass, and that none of these were enough. The bags beneath his eyes were laden with the poetry of sleepless consciousness; he resented rest and willed himself into constant action. The young men had shared a long, firm hug in Jack Williams’ doorway, during which Williams could feel Jamie’s bones – he had lost weight – but also his strength, which he retained with his vitality. Somehow, months of boozing and drug-fuelled hedonism had yet to take their true toll on Jamie, who despite all of this mad energy and vitality, was teetering on the edge of collapse. After a pot of tea and a few hours in Williams’ bath, he had emerged revitalised and beaming, a little colour back in his cheeks, and had launched into his stories from the road. Some others had come round too, Mark and Liz, who had brought Anne, and Joe was there for the first time in a long time too. In front of a crowd, Williams and Jamie were in roaring form.
‘There was this girl,’ exclaimed Jamie, once more in the middle of the room, words tumbling from his mouth at pace between sips of wine, ‘gave a truly stunning blow job. Really thorough; not just the shaft but the balls as well. She wouldn't just handle them, shed play with them with her tongue. Sometimes she'd even involve my arse crack. Suddenly I discovered that I'm into light anal play. Honestly, I thought at the time that it was true love but now I've realised that,’ Jamie paused, leaning back and shrugging, ‘she was just a bit slutty.’ He paused again and the boys laughed and the girls rolled their eyes and said nonchalantly, ‘still, at least I know what a porn star blowie feels like now. My life has been enriched.’
‘As has ours by your delightful volubility. Thanks for that, Jamie,’ laughed Williams.
‘My pleasure my friend. And when I say that, I mean it. It really was my pleasure.’
‘Christ. Well I too have had a number of eye opening experiences, and let me tell you there is no sexual prop more interesting or sensual than the trampoline,’ said Williams seriously, as if discussing a bank loan.
‘Do you two have any shame?’ Asked Mark, amused disbelief curling his lips as he spoke, casting a half-look towards the girls, who were smirking.
The pair, without a glace towards the other, answered as one; ‘no.’
‘But we do have,’ continued Williams, ‘an extensive and highly creative archive of sexual and narcotic experiences though which we may begin to divine the sensual beauty and wonder of the world in which we live, through the bodies with which we perceive.’
‘Also; we're just degenerate perverts really,’ said Jamie.
‘Well yes,’ Williams feigned annoyance, ‘that too but it sounds somewhat less sophisticated.’
Jamie turned to the girls, ‘the sex to no sex ratio in this room makes me sad girls, can someone liven this place up or do I have to do it on my own, come on!’
The two friends continued catching up with each other, sharing outrageous stories in front of everyone, acting as the night’s entertainment. When the others left, they carried on, culminating in Williams sharing with Jamie his current predicament. That evening the pair resolved to go away, Jamie recommending a friend’s villa in Nerja which was currently deserted.
They booked the tickets for the next day and sat talking into the early hours, taking it in turns to walk about with excited animation; they would spend the week away feverishly writing, drinking absinthe and listening to the sounds of evening through half open doors in the late October warmth. Next, they would be hiring a boat for the week and lazily drift along the shore, picking up local girls from small fishing villages and treating them to wine and olives; they would eat every meal In a different restaurant and become known for their excellent taste, and drink wine into the night as a senior strummed his Latin music while young couples held hands under the street lighting. Both were hungry for something entirely new; faces, people, food, language – women. Where Williams had been confined to his various routines for too long, Jamie had been confined to the road and his band, with little time to escape the cycle of shows and parties, which after months of nothing else had become a thrilling bore. Whatever happened in Nerja, they would be isolated from their respective worlds, and from the temptations of them.
The pair made their way to Gatwick airport by train the next morning, taking a brief detour through London to pick up the keys to the villa from Jamie’s friend who lived in Edgware, a well-to-do sort who introduced himself to Williams as Robbie, an old dog who had been a tour manager for bands in the 1970’s, who had seen and done it all and had fallen quiet – bored by whatever the world had to offer him, but keen to tell his stories and help those in whom he saw something. Jamie had played a gig with his band at Robbie’s local and piqued the interest of the veteran, who had in turn introduced the young musician to some friends still in the industry, who were now behind the band. The two spoke for an hour in Robbie’s living room while Williams looked on, not paying attention. He felt hung over. He browsed the gold and platinum disks on the walls, the pictures of all manner of stars and greats – the memories, displayed as a boast, or perhaps a simply a reminder of days past. Williams felt a little second hand nostalgia, and settled by the window, thinking. This house was a temple to other people’s fame. Jamie was on his way there. Williams felt a stab of envy; how he wanted to be adored. Fame would suit him; he had the disposition to peacock, he was detached, unaffected, in control. Fame robs one of such control, and if one cannot control the perception of oneself, the part being played may well become the real element, and in doing so, the true self becomes condemned to a degree of irretrievable oblivion. He could not allow this. The true problem with fame is that it is perceived, in the twenty-first century, as salvation, whereas it is in fact the loss of everything personal.
They arrived at the Villa early in the evening after a hassle-free journey. They had bought several bottles of wine and whisky in duty free, with clanged in their bags as they let themselves in and abandoned their things in the kitchen. The villa was spread over two floors, open plan and all white, as is typical in warm countries. The tiled floor was covered in ivory-coloured tiles in a diamond pattern with smaller black tiles at the point where the corners of the lighter tiles met. There were few pictures or decorations; some low tables with old magazines and some fake flowers, a picture of Robbie fishing out on the sea, which the villa overlooked from its hill at the top of town. From the balcony, upon which there was a glad-topped table, the sun could be seen hanging low over join between the sea and land in the west, casting over the red clay rooftops long shadows and orange highlights, the sky in the east darkening to reveal the twinkle of stars which took on a foreign light away from home, and seemed filled with a new mystery to Williams. The air was warm and soft, and carried a soft smell of dust from the mountains and moisture from the sea, which mingled with the sweetness of the grass, and the African breeze rolling in from the south; the very air had charisma.
Into this setting Williams uncorked a bottle of wine after a short shower, and with some cured meats, bread and olives, the pair began drinking, looking down at the town. On Jamie’s insistence, Williams read some Baudelaire translations, the French poet’s prose-poem Drunk particularly delighted him, before moving on to reciting passages from Byron’s The Giaour and a rendition of She Walks In Beauty. Jamie replied by softly playing Libertines songs on the battered acoustic guitar be carried everywhere with him, occasionally breaking into a mumble of a song. The music, foreign warmth, the crickets’ playing, and the spice of the Spanish wine – they fired the boys’ imaginations, making them receptive and wonderstruck; they were beginning to get drunk. Invigorated, they started walking into town for a meal.
They wandered aimlessly for a while, coming to a stop at the end of the Balcon de Europa. Here, Jamie looked back at the town as it rose behind them up the steep hillside, the honey cone of yellow windows fading gently into the distant night, the dark earth absorbing the warm moonlight that sought to pick out the white-walled houses and villas. A soft southern wind blew in from the sea, carrying the sound of the breakers as they spawned white crests to punctuate the black water stretching towards Africa. Williams was watching the waves crawl towards the coast where they shattered against the rubble of La Bateria, an old gun battery based upon where they stood, destroyed by the English centuries ago. Williams gripped the black-coated railings with both hands, his gaze lost in the waves. It took for Jamie to place his hand on Williams’ shoulder to snap him out of it, and together they walked back down the promenade, towards a square with a variety of restaurants. They settled at a Thai place and with a fresh bottle of wine they ordered enough food for four; the alcohol and sea air had made them starving.
By the end of the meal both young men were drunk. The lights were a little brighter, the shadows a little darker, and the pair were talking excitedly without remembering what they had just said. They left the restaurant, paying a generous bill – not because they wanted to, but because they had miscounted, which would later cause confusion when paying their tab at a bar, where they argued with the waitress, saying that they were twenty Euros short so they must have paid their bill. They settled the dispute and took a moment’s pause. In forty-five minutes they had populated their small table on the edge of Nerja’s central plaza, a large square ringed with bars with dance floors and a cocktail of dance music mixing into one homogenous off beat, with eight empty shot glasses reeking of cheap tequila and eight glasses with the dregs of Jack Daniel’s and coke. Two bottles of Spanish beer and two wine glasses, one with a few drops of white wine on Jamie’s side, one with red on Williams’ also stood proudly amid the wreckage. The barrage of alcohol was yet to flood their blood streams, so the pair were feeling proud and delightfully light-headed, and took in the square.
Beyond the mismatched music, the voices were a foreign hubbub of conversation, laughter and arguments. Mostly it was in Spanish or pigeon English, but behind them were some northern lads wearing loose vests over toned, tanned bodies beneath well-groomed high and tight haircuts. In contrast, across the plaza, and spread throughout the crowds were gaggles of pale, excitable Irish girls darting between groups of men and groups of each other, giggling and clasping their smart phones. A group of them had started making their way over to where Jamie and Williams were sitting, exchanging amused expressions.
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Comrade added a blog entry in Comrade's ScribblingsA Student's Room At 3AMA Student's Room At 3AM
A girl knocked on my door almost every night
And in they'd come, cool and sad;
And we'd chat and fuck and smoke weed
Breathing in the same air
In a low lit lip sync affair...
We'd think that it was normal
If we ever thought at all
That it'd be forever, that it'd never end;
Not even aware of youth, let alone it could end
And sometimes I would turn them down
Just because I could
Sometimes we might steal a kiss
Because we felt we should -
Sometimes they'd just come round to sleep
And sometimes they would;
We'd wake without our clothes on
But all we'd done was sleep
That nostalgic twenties intimacy
The naked secrets that I keep
‘Cause I was trusted to be shallow
And I was trusted to be deep
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Comrade added a blog entry in Comrade's ScribblingsFriendsWhen I've sat down to write recently, there has been a lot of reflection. It has taken a long time for a lot of old dust to settle, and now it has, I feel emotionally free to explore it, as if watching someone else. There is a little whimsy in it, a sense of nostalgia - but no regret. There are a lot of very sexually charged, anxious, excitable emotions viewed through a rose tinted lens. It all feels like another life, but it's right beneath the skin.
I've lost a lot of my friends
Chasing pleasures for my own ends
Infatuated lips and delicate touches
Do you fancy any of my mates?
Don't get me wrong I'm only asking
'Cause it all depends
Are you high or drunk?
I'm only asking
'Cause you were the last in
Since then we haven't stopped touching
And I know you kind of like him
Over a couple of large whisky cokes
You've got me riled up on hope;
I'll confess all my desires
And all the feelings that transpire
When I talk to you;
I'd never lie to you
And I'll confess all of the things
The moral world considers sins
That I've tried to do
That I won't hide from you
That I want to do to you
But it all depends
Are we just friends?
Realise every time I'm high I've been there before
The haunting of nostalgic dreams that keep me craving more
Now I realise how my parents felt the year that I was ten:
Now the 90's twenty years ago like the 70's were then
Now all my friends are different
Can we just pretend
That the night doesn't have to end
I'm only asking 'cause I like you
But I have to pretend
That we're just friends
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