I exhaled heavily and looked around the Edge Hill University Hub building to see if anyone had noticed. The attack of last night’s complimentary bottles of beer were going toe to toe with this morning’s toothpaste, holding ceremony and battle on my tongue, using it as a battle ground, and the beer had the high ground.
The vast airy ceilings and the hustle and bustle of quick feet and fast food and instant coffee’s, make for a clinical, airport-esque feeling, an all too familiar thing, it doesn’t help dragging this weekend’s suitcase of dirty clothes around with me, not quite knowing which direction to take, dodging people left, right and centre, not feeling all up for an empty conversation with anyone and with people dragging their heels around in plain sight gave that traditional Monday morning feeling, not that anyone had forgotten it, not that it was some sort of foreign feeling.
They were here, there and everywhere, were new people starting new days, new courses, with new friends, strange new surroundings, new smells, new smiles, new keys, new lives. I take comfort in knowing I’m adaptable though. I’ve been half way around the world and back, a citizen of the World. I missed Paris though, winding back streets to quaint piano bars with cheap French wine and fresh divine croissants scenting the air, filling the nostrils with sheer delight and the grandiosity of the Eiffel Tower and the feeling of wanting to bathe in the Seine.
All that seemed a million miles away, with no tinkling of the ivory keys in a hidden gem of a Parisian bar, but there was only burnt toast in the air and overpriced soft drinks on offer and busy footsteps, as a pair fade down the hall way, another two tune in and echo around, picking up where the previous had left off, and the clatter of a breakfast plates, stacking high for the new batch of customers, and the sounds of a bin nearing it’s capacity for waste.
The breakfast smells fade together and linger, clinging to the walls around it, and the scent amplified by a rumbling stomach and lack of good food plaguing my weekend away, as the students crunch into overdone toast, and slurp urgently at tea and juice, as if in case a table clearer or a passer-by were to snatch it up for an honest crust.
Feeling over tired and small, my head detached, no longer a full entity with the rest of my body, my fingertips indented and coarse from where the guitar strings had been pressed hard the night previous. I placed my headphones in my ears and pressed hard on the keypad and volume button and turned it to maximum, I needed a kick in the teeth kind of song, so I played the new Babyshambles record, blaring it in my ears and a grit of the teeth, I was now back in the game, I was awake – or as awake as I’d felt for days, realising I’ve clocked up roughly four hours sleep in as many days and longed for home, or at least my comfy pair of shoes, I’d have settled for them, I’d travelled miles, bags in tow and my heels were wearing away in the shoes on my feet, a comfy pair of shoes are a good start.
In a matter of hours, I’d gone from a stage to a classroom, known to an unknown, and as I sat there I noticed similarities where my world’s collided, I’d be critiqued, with a spot light watching my every move, whilst I attempt my best to impress a bunch of people I don’t know much about.
A lot of passing people too, people I’d forget or blend into another or remember something about them, I’d remember a face but not a name, or a name without a face, the days and people in them blending together into one, with Friday and the weekend seeming a century ago, and a century away, a time away, but the assurance that Friday will come and visit, is not just briefly, before inevitably fading again into another Monday morning.