Annoyingly the school made a mess up with the dates so I find myself back in Brighton. I walked to the seafront and stumbled into Buddies, Brighton’s only 24 hour restaurant.
I’ve been here before. When I was 18, the summer before k started university. I was going out with a girl called Eliane. We ditched our other friends and spent the summer driving around Lovejoy country in the little red car I called Clint. Toward the end of August I booked us a weekend away in Brighton.
Well, Rottingdean to be precise. It was all I could afford. But I was a dizzy boy filed with images of mods and rockers twatting eachother on the beach and it was Brighton that we were going to be spending our time in.
Taking my girlfriend away for the weekend was the most grown up thing i’d ever done but I approached it with the zeal of kid at Christmas. I had never driven further than Norwich before so worried about getting the most of our time away I made Elly get up at six and I drove down the a12 at 100 miles all the way. It was a Saturday and there were no cars on the road. It felt brilliant going past those two weird pillars on the a23 and seeing that was so close.
We arrived on the seafront at the ludicrous time of half seven. Nowhere was open except Buddies, so we sat looking out to sea eating bacon sandwiches. That night we got pissed, told eachother things we had never told anyone, went to Zap until I couldn’t stand.
Elly was great. We both knew it wouldn’t last and neither of us really wanted it to. That September she went travelling and fell in love with a Swiss scientist (I think, something like that) and I came to Norwich and met the love of my life and starting doing poetry gigs every week.
I love my life. I have worked very hard for ten years to make it what it is. I love my family and work and friends. Ten years ago in Brighton I had none of that and I wouldn’t want to go back there but this morning I had enjoyed the memory of Buddies at seven thirty on a Saturday morning i have enjoyed the naivity. I have enjoyed the limitlessness.