the start of the best years of ur life

Hello, my names Edward

My friends call me Eddie

I’m sitting here on new sheets

Next to my old teddy

Says ted to ed, don’t worry mate,

This is quite a nice new place

But reassurance from a teddy bear

Can’t dry the tears hanging on my face

Reflecting in the heavy droplets

Are the photographs on my wall:

The sleepy orange of a holiday sunset,

The pink faces of mates from school,

The serene blue-greens of trees and streams,

And the hills around my home,

The twinkling hazel of my girlfriends eyes,

From that trip we took to Rome

But even tears evaporate,

Leaving me fresh-faced: the slate clean,

Think of uni as an empty canvas,

Stand up, walking forward’s easier than it seems

Stand up, walk forward, out my room, down the corridor, be sure of yourself Edward, come on, into the kitchen where they’re all sitting, drinking, sinking nervous shots inbetween thinking of the next polite thing to say: hey! who are you, where do you come from, what do you do? Philosophy? Oh you must be smart! I do art, I do geology, I do politics, I do biology, my names James, Jack, Tom, Dick, Harry, Sophie, Katy, Caitlin, here take my number, for safety, in case anything goes wrong, but it’ll be alright, we’ll have a good night, put this one on its my favourite song

And so I’m sat here at the table

With the 8 strangers I now live with

Playing cards, having a laugh,

Aided by this vodka I’m now drinking

I have to try to make this work,

Just be nice, polite, yourself,

I’m frightened of the blank future

But so are these boys and girls

They’re in the same position as me

And it’s an experience that we’ll share

We’re all new to the city, to being away from home,

Each one of us just as scared

The walls start to shake as I take another sip, another glug from this jug of beer, where we going? To a club. Is it near? Don’t fear comrades, says jack the biscuit, I know the way, we won’t risk it, we’ll leave in twenty, plenty of time to quaff piss in a tin, Lucozade and gin, I wanna get steaming, we’re all getting steaming, a team of late teens living the dream: young, drunk and full of rum, ho ho holy shit, quick, better leave if we wanna make the bus, we all run, skip, jump on board, take us north, south, east, I wanna get west, here take two of these mate, fuck, that tastes like hairspray. We’re queuing to pay, Harry’s getting shirty with a guy in front, what you say you cunt? Take him away says billy brute the bouncer, the rest of us get in though. I stop and look and my eyes are thrown around by the ricocheting sound of a pounding bass drum, a sea of young bodies moving like a wave in time to the beat, the beat, shuffling feet, spastic jaws, elastic arms, limbs moving with fluidity through the wet, the steam, the sweat saturated humidity, heat, lights, the beat, what a sight, the beat, tonight, the beat

Where am I? What is this?

What do I do? Look at my fists

Why are they clenched so tight

What is it they want to fight?

This is everything I ever wanted

Everything I’d hoped for

Growing up and getting out

But this is all, too much and more

My eyes are wide, my breath is deep

I can only stand here, still

My eyes get wider, my breaths get deeper

Absorbing it in, I start to feel

A moistness in my eyes,

A warmth in my chest,

A rhythm in my veins

It’s starting to make sense

I could go home, nightbus alone

Be back by just gone two

But actually I’d rather stay

Introduce myself to you

Hello, my names Edward, my friends call me eddie, you have the most beautiful hair, sorry I don’t mean to stare, it’s just amazing, I bathe in the lights, a fluorescent bath, technicolour warmth, my muscles are taut, they’re lean, this is a dream, this is a tune, I move, I groove around the snare that pops in my brain, I’m an animal that can’t be tamed, I’m flying like a bird, writhing like a snake, each breath I take fills me with molten gold, my thoughts twist and turn and hurl and dance and prance, happy memories, I love you, don’t forget your packed lunch ed, you want a drink mate? Touch me, I’m Edward, don’t stop don’t stop, my teddy bear, I’ve lost my mum, can you help me? Swimming in the sea, the beat, drink, drink, the beat, red, green, blue, white, joy, happiness, pain, hurt, tears, hurt, hurt, somethings hurting my back, it’s a boy in black big as a boulder, he’s grabbed my shoulder, he’d leading me away, he’s grabbed my shoulder, he’s hurting my back, he’s hurling me out

I stumble, tumble, am expelled like a belch out of the doors, hit the floor, on all floors, I’m crawling away, to the safety of a quieter place, my face aches, the thud of the bass dwindles replaced by my pulse pumping too fast. At last, somewhere to sit

Somewhere to breathe

Calm down

What happened?

I’m in a busstop. I’m sitting there removed from time. Hours could be passing. I’m just sitting. Sitting, accompanied only by an ownerless dog as he licks a puddle of sick. The couplets and rhyme that comforted and structured my brain have now gone. Thoughts are slow, empty, alone.

Tears form unconsciously on my eyes even though I feel nothing. Reflected in them is the glaring red of a minicab sign, the dull yellow of street lamps, the frenetic blue lights of a policecar, the shadows between two fingers holding a cigarette, the smeared pink lipstick of girl stumbling into the night.

I wanna go home

This is the beginning of the best years of your life

Where is home?

This is the beginning of the best years of your life

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