Seven fucking weeks and I’m getting giddy, man. I don’t have a long winter stretching ahead and the slow climb into summer and living tree branches – I’ve got this gorgeous gleaming severance, a runaway, a hop and a skip and a great big fuck off all the merry long dance to sunny Elsewhere. And it’s this that’s keeping me going through this cold sad winter – filling every day with dreams of hostel beds and foreign bars, mountains and heat cracked motorways and all of it, all smashing together, clacking like marbles, clacking like judging tongues.
I just feel like there’s something in me – in everyone, I’m sure, but I can only speak for this’un – that needs to be captured, maybe harnessed – exploited? – utilised, burned up, burst out – man, I don’t know – before I get old. Before the energy wears off and my body stops being so quick on the rebound. I can take punishment, mental and physical; I’m good at getting battered, it’s all cool, but that won’t last forever and while I’m fresh and easy I’m determined to have my fun and get away with murder and make it all happen.
Because I fucking love it. I love being a disaster, being 24 and aware it’s all fleeting and it’ll all be gone in the blink of an eye – it’s the slim years of existence coupled with the realisation of impending responsibility that cracks you into overdrive, buzzing with anticipation to light away into the big wide whatever. RIP comfort. I get high off the arrogance of sitting on the train and seeing my reflection and knowing that time is on my side, smiling to myself in a haze of daydreams while the mean old men eye me and look away in disdain because I once spilled some paint on my jacket and it wouldn’t wash out.
You read the paper and see your generation loathed and insulted, and those sourpuss wine-nosed Telegraph journos’ll give a million reason why all the kids are wasters and ruining everything, but come on – nobody without a grey hair cares about houses and cars and money and all that dull shit because they’re rolling in stacks of something infinitely more gorgeous – time.
I don’t feel like I’ve peaked yet. Nowhere near. I don’t feel like I’ve ever had the chance to be the best version of myself, at least not for any real length of time. I’ve met him now and then, this elusive happy chap inside that I’m so fond of. You know those holidays and festivals and swirling mad weekends back in the day, when you felt like you where living the life you deserve – being the person you were always capable of being? The holiday you – the one you know in your heart is the real one – bold and energised, impulsive, headstrong and charismatic?
October 2016, in the hostel when I first moved to Berlin, when I was terrified and vital and making so many mistakes and friends and memories, greeting faces and learning and bursting with enthusiasm – that was pretty close. 2015, Cuba, drenched in a lightning storm, five of us dashing for shelter off the malecon in Havana with a 2 dollar bottle of rum underarm – I reckon I was the best me for a moment then, laughing in the rain. 2014 and New Zealand and Fiji and the USA – those times I got close too. And now there’s India 2018. India India India India India. Seven weeks, man. Fucking come on.