It is a very strange thing to return, after so may years, to the town that you spent much of your childhood and all those oh- so painful years, spent as a slightly plump and not quite pretty enough teenager.
It is also completely exhausting, not at all dissimilar to being in some weird Si- Fi movie, or using that strange and mysterious, transportation powder from the land of Harry Potter, where you are just innocently walking along and all off a sudden your body is totally discombobulated, as you are violently hurled into a parallel universe of being 10 years old and there your are, huddled around with your friends, trying hard not to vomit over the boy you secretly fancy, who is standing right next to you, which in itself has made you want to faint with excitement, inhaling some sick- making French cigarette, that one of you has strategically stolen from your parents, with the hope that you might look cool and work your way up a level, in the ever so important, unspoken, but highly sought after popularity streams of your school.
Hilariously, I can honestly feel myself wincing as I write this piece!
If you had only known then, that vital piece of information, the school kids holy – grail, for all those young ones, struggling through the constant humiliations of daily life. If you had only known that returning after 15 years and what feels like a life time of various adventures, that the one, COOLER than COOL guy, that everyone wanted to either date, befriend or even completely embody, will actually be the one, that is propping up the same bar that you all used to frequent with your fake ID and bad curly perms and all that charisma and groupie – following popularity, that he may have once had, has now been replaced, with remarkably bad teeth, grey thinning hair and very, very empty pockets.
Whilst for one second you relish the fact that you have done or become something or someone, that feels like it amounts to so much more than ‘him’, what you are really, REALLY grateful for, as you put your ego aside and buy him a drink, is the fact that the years that you spent working so painfully hard, to leave far, far behind, have, in a split second, turned into a critical part of a journey, that has actually and wonderfully, brought you to a destination than you never thought possible.