I can’t remember when it started or finished. I remember unfolding the turn-ups of my trousers and cigarette butts falling out. I remember vommie pashing a guy called Gant. I remember putting a joint by my alarm clock before I went to bed, so I could light up when I opened my eyes. I remember going to brunch with friends one Sunday morning and having to leave the table every five minutes to puke. I remember my boss looking at my tits, raising his glass and cheering, “Another Friday Night!”
Each day would blur wonderfully into the next and each hangover would find itself eventually able to make room for another nice cold glass of wine, and so it rolled round like a wheel, over and over.
I remember lying on a couch with a guy called Ollie in an underground nightclub, sweating, high on e, watching people dance, all the world seeming to make perfect sense. How loose and free everything felt. There was a place I could get to where everything felt just right, just so, like things were meant to feel, where the walls between us and everything else were playful and moveable and there was nothing to be afraid of. After this, if I had another drink or two, I might pass out or be sick. I always vomited in the end. It was like flying, getting up there to soar for a while in the sweet spot and the rest was worth it.
I don’t remember quite where it started or where it stopped, maybe it hasn’t. I have friends I cannot remember meeting, though they tell me all about it. I have numbered city trash cans I have chucked up in, toilets I have slept in peacefully, while patrons bashed on the door, back streets driven squinting, me on the wheel and pedals, Jax on the stick.
I remember another guy called Ollie, squashed in close against the bar at the Matterhorn, telling me that his wife had left him. They had met and fucked and settled down after only one night, got pregnant immediately, had a big family. He had gone home that week to find a note saying that she was leaving, returning to her work as a prostitute.
“How do you feel?” I said.
“Hmm.” he said. “It’s strange. Honestly, you know, it’s like the whole thing was a kind of spell.” He waved his hand in front of his eyes, clearing his view. “I read her note and then it was over. It just kind of left me. I don’t even know if it was actually love. Just that it’s gone and I don’t feel sad, just like I can see again. Like I woke up.”
I nodded, lifted my cold beer to my hot face, looked around the place. A buddy was pressed against the back wall talking, another dancing in the garden under the colored lights. I turned back to Ollie and shook my head.
“Far out.” I said.
“Yeah.” he said.
And so the night continued, and so it all continued, on and on.