Coming back to university after Easter this time was hard. I had assumed travelling home and back again would become easier the more times I did it. But waving to my determinedly cheerful family from the train window, I reached two conclusions; 1) My fantasy of meeting The One on a train to a lilting, romantic soundtrack as our eyes meet over our respective dog-eared novels (mine Austen, his Orwell) was never going to happen if I continue to pick train carriages that contain only retired professors and pre-teens, and 2) I'm never going to enjoy leaving my family behind.
The constant anxiety of what soap opera dramas awaited me at university didn't exactly help matters. I've been considering selling the movie rights of my university life to Universal Studios, on the grounds that I will be played by Audrey Tautou (she'll have to wear seven inch heels) and that The Killers must be used in the opening sequence.
"There might not be so much drama next semester," my sister had quite fairly pointed out a few days before I left. "You've been at uni for seven months now, it might have all calmed down."
I made an unconvinced mewing noise, feeling as anxious as a cat that has inexplicably found itself stranded in the middle of the ocean on an inflatable lilo.
"We'll see," I said.
It was Lauren's birthday so the plan was to get her thoroughly drunk and shower her in much-deserved gifts before her party the next day. We spent the night at Viper Rooms, where upon arrival Lauren shouted, "GET ME A COCKTAIL" and managed, rather heroically, not to fall off a kerb and bruise her knees. Which is a first.
We spent the night pointing none too subtly at a drunk girl attempting to pole dance in the club while Patrick shouted "You sexy minx!" at her as she bashed her head against the floor.
"When I was in Hong Kong this Easter, I got horrendously drunk," Patrick confessed to me as we spread ourselves across the sofas, while he fed me Amaretto and I pretended to like it.
"I was staying with my friend who is an exchange student. After a night out, I ended up in the Student Union after we got locked out of his flat. I woke up in the morning on the floor in the canteen with all these Chinese students around me chattering. My hair was all sticking up and I'm pretty sure I threw up in the kitchen. I felt just like Ke$ha."
The next day was Lauren's party. We pre-drank to Missy Elliot while Ollie fished on the floor and Will surfed the nomad air mattress down the corridor. As it was a Saturday, the choice of good club nights was limited.
However, our chosen club Replica was not as bad as expected. The drinks were cheap which was fortunate since we spent the majority of our cash on entry.
The night progressed in a state of interesting events. Namely, Alisha and I rescuing a girl in a state of unforeseen levels of intoxication while she murmured "Protect me please" while the bouncers stood by, patient and quietly intimidating and whispering menacingly into their walkie talkies.
I ventured outside afterwards to find two of my friends crying on each others shoulders when moments before they had been merrily screaming Nicki Minaj lyrics at each other.
"What have I told you about heart-felt conversations in night clubs?" I asked severely, separating them. "You can't handle it!"
I was beginning to feel like that cat again. My claws have punctured the lilo and I was starting to sink.
The next day I arrived at the flat and was greeted by Lauren in her tartan pyjamas.
"I had a banging time last night," she said. "But tell me, did I cry at all?"
"Yes," I said, gratefully accepting a cup of tea from Maria.
"I thought so," Lauren said cheerfully. "I wondered why my mascara was on my cheeks."
Back in my room writing up some articles that afternoon, I tragically dropped my Fab lolly in my left shoe. I gave up and I rang my sister.
"It's the same!" I wailed. "I wish I was lying in front of the wood burner listening to James Naughtie!"
"No you don't," Maria said. "Nothing much is happening here. And Dad keeps talking about the 'Harlem Shuffle'."
So my new vice is watching Green Wing while I prepare myself for the inevitable craziness of this semester. I wouldn't have it any other way.
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