Things are bad and they're not going to get any better. That's generally how you feel at fifteen. That was the year my mum moved a strange man into the house and my first boyfriend dumped me for someone that put out faster. But, a year later, there was a glimmer of hope. I stepped into a nightclub for the first time. Alright. There is life beyond the unrelenting shit.
Stepping into the dark of a club is so much fun. Music blaring, no one telling you to turn it down. Hundreds of other badly dressed teenagers. But happy teenagers. Smiling teenagers. We were loving our run down building with dirty blue walls, mirrored columns, and wall-to-wall hormones. Everyone was young. Everyone was wanted to dance. Everyone wanted to live. Everyone stank.
In da club
The first drink I ever ordered was a Bacardi and Coke. I had no idea what it was but had copied my best friend Kellie. She had no idea what it was either. Taboo? Mirage? They sounded so exotic. Snakebite and black? Sounded a bit rocker. Malibu and Coke? Yeah we liked the look of the bottle. We sipped it cautiously in our ski pants. You then perfect a walk around the club. We used to go up on the balcony, past the bloke in the Hawaiian shirt, nod at the short bloke who always offers us a cigarette. Half smile/grimace at the girl you hated at school. Then its generally a night of OMG have you got ID, do I look good, will I get served, do I smell of sweat, will I snog anyone, can I dance, have you got the tickets, do we need tickets, I thought so and so had free entry, will I get a fag burn on my dress, will I get kicked out, shall we walk around once more, is that girl in the corner totally giving you the eyes, she's the one who got off with Mike, the one with the back fat, no, not her, him... lean closer to me, look like I'm saying something really funny, Stu's walking past hahahahahahahahh! He didn't even look at me. Ill get off with his mate to piss him off. Oh God my heels broken. Come on, your dad is coming to pick us up. This goes on for ten years. It's the best fun EVER.
Same old same old
Then, suddenly, not so much. Clubbing gets a little samey - who knew? we must all be dead inside - usually around the time you have your Second Serious Relationship. Not the First One, where you go clubbing with your boyfriend and there are the inevitable rows because you see him eyeing up someone in a little black dress. No, the second one when you start wanting to Stay In and Cook and Shag and Go to the Pub. In other words, you're getting whisper a little bit old for clubbing. That's OK. For everything there is a season. But, pause.... Don't step off the nightclubbing circuit too lightly. Learn from your Aunty Esther. Because, before you know it, you'll be hurtling towards middle age, wearing Joules tops and trying frantically to book festival tickets to recreate your youth. And it'll all be over.
Someone else's time
It's actually my brother's time now. He's 18 and just gone to his first festival, Mutiny. I listened to his tales of the boys from Luton, the bottle of vodka in the hollowed out loaf of bread, selfies with Snoop Dogg, and felt like an alien who had just landed on the planet Youth. "Really? Drunk you say? Up all night you say? How very dare you!"
It's a little bit sad. But mainly a relief. Truth is, your youth is a bit like the end of the film The Hangover. Its just numerous hazy snapshots of wild nights, boring nights, where Oops Up Side Your Head seamlessly mixes into Salt n Pepa's Push It. R Kelly's U Got That Vibe blends with Bizarre Inc's Playing With Knives. The best thing about clubbing was always the music. Growing old is fine. Until you hear the old songs again.