I have a small group of friends, back home, that I used to hang out with. One of the best moments I remember was when we first started meeting outside of school. We went to one girl’s house, and someone assumed that their mother wouldn’t let us in. So we hung around outside the door for a while. A while turned into a little longer, people who had been standing sat on the doorstep and the pavement and eventually, her mother opened the door and said we were welcome to come in. We never got round to getting up.
We sat outside as evening fell. We sat outside, a circle of pale faces, and talked and talked into the darkness.
We never made that mistake again. We went round to that girl’s house every week and watched youtube videos and films, until her mother became too passive-aggressive and we started going round to mine. Where we watched films. And youtube videos.
One of the group understood. We used to go for walks, and we’d sit on the grass and talk and talk. One day, it threatened to rain as we were leaving. We only grabbed one, large umbrella. We sat on a bench as it started to rain. We huddled under the one umbrella. We watched the drifts of rain, the banks of clouds, the foggy lights of the city beneath us. We talked. Every time we tried to get up, the rain got worse. We sat down, and continued our conversation, deeper and deeper. We agreed- we were glad we had only brought one umbrella. It forced us closer.
Hours later, the rain stopped. The familiar world had become different, breathtaking. A beautiful, shared experience.
Within the last year, I’ve fallen in with a crowd who, I’ve just realised, have spoiled me rotten. They have this unspoken habit of finding some quiet room or garden in which to lounge- going to some event and then almost deliberately avoiding the actual event, just hanging out with the same old people in strange new places, as dusk falls, transfigures. As the dark draws in.
As the dark draws closer.
I was thinking, before I went to uni, about how to capture these moments, make them happen more often. And here- well, I’m in the middle of a sudden neurotic episode caused by the combination of my periodic “Oh god, I’m aromantic. How can I have the relationships I want while people won’t commit to me because we’re ‘just friends’” and the new “oh god, I need to go out and make some friends, but I’m incredibly ill with freshers flu.”
And every single event on the freshers week programme was in a nightclub, apart from the mother and baby group.
And the girl who’s likely to be my best uni friend hates walking even five minutes, which caused some tension today when I just needed go get out and stretch my legs, because that’s practically how I emote (I even wear holes in my hallway carpet).
And I just feel so scared that I won’t find anyone who does this thing of collecting moments, moments of non-conformity, of the elements, of coming together through the weird places you find yourself and the wonderful people you find yourself with.
And I just want to be back on that doorstep, on the corner of the street next to mine, as the light fades.