You guide me round Bangor, opening the city up like ripe fruit, and I’m lost in the Wordsworthiness of it all. Spreading blue skies, clear as hotel pool waters, pour down wide-yawning sunshine, and I am speechless.
At the pier we eat sandwiches, gradually emerging from hangover, and gaze out at yachts like they might be our dreams, bobbing just out of reach, promising warmth. Never mind that we fucked for three hours the night before.
We take tea in a poetry café, and talk about study, migration, growing up. There comes a time when the carefree dissolves to responsibility; when we must lay down the accoutrements of rebellion and join society. I shiver.
Your friend calls. She has locked herself in her back garden, and though she lives in a sprawling shared house, there are no communal areas and she knows none of her housemates. This is what life, out of necessity, becomes. Living with strangers we never see; being rescued from our own back gardens by best friends interrupted over cinnamon and ginger rooϊbus, on dates with men four hours away by train we picked up when drunk.
Now three of us, we wander shops for fancy dress. Cowboys and the American South, although you can’t take out a toy gun. We sit at the foot of the cathedral after making do with some plasticky tat and talk about my hometown and why I could never live in London. Soon you’ll be moving to Reading for work, and you were the one that chased me.
When the time comes to leave, you take me to the train station and tell me to sit on the Western side of the train so I can see the sun setting over the sea. I smile. We might’ve worked, even if just for a day, but we both know we’ll never see each other again.
At high school I chose History over Geography, and I’m still living with that choice now.