Edmonton Episode 1

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March 18, 2013 by Wayne.

I’ve been putting this off for ages (well, almost 2 years) so what better time to get down to it than before finals?

I still talk and think a lot about my time in Edmonton, mostly to relive it but also because it’s interesting to work out how the experience changed me as a person. And yeah, I’m worried I’ll eventually forget most of the things that happened (what a silly worry, eventually I’ll die and it won’t matter and the experiences will be lost forever when the last one of us in the group dies too, but might as well make the most of what we can so far amirite) so I thought I should get around to typing out what I can remember.

I guess I should start somewhere close to the end of it. Not quite the actual last day – about 1 and a half (or so) months before that. We were celebrating the end of exams + Julian’s and Bo’s birthdays. We were at Richard’s (and Jack’s) house. Had a few drinks. Took pictures. Then we headed down to the club on this limo-ish vehicle.

The thing is, I can’t describe how I felt. It was an odd combination of uninhibited exhilaration (like when you finally gather up the courage to talk to a blazingly hot girl and it’s actually going really smoothly and she’s witty and sharp and shit like that but your heart is still pumping really hard and you feel flushed as fuck), an intense melancholy that comes from trying to remember every single moment and bask in it because you’ll never get to relive it again, and particular scenes sticking out like jagged jigsaw pieces in random bold letters because you’re in that sweet spot of alcohol imbibing where everything flows together – sometimes with things that actually happened in a previous night but you can’t differentiate them when you sit down to recall – at least until certain random things stand out and slap you in the dick. Like when I momentarily lost control of my right arm and hit my own gonads. That was a weird point.

I kind of get the same feeling (but dulled down) when I have some alcohol in my system and I listen to L.E.S. by Childish Gambino. I’m mostly feeling happy and in love with life – not super pumped but primed and, well, satisfied – but there’s that slight bittersweet undercurrent to the entire thing:

I’m 20 or 21 or 22. This is it. My teenage years are over and despite all the jokes and nonchalant good-riddances to them, it’s worrying because I can’t get them back and because it means I’m getting older and creeping towards The Working Life, which is almost as bad as death. This is the end of partying. The end of wasting an entire day on Reddit and Ragnarok and going out rock climbing until the afternoon and gorging on banana leaf rice that you actually don’t really like at all afterwards. All that shit’s done for, here’s to a solid two years of investment banking 24/7 and if you decide your personal identity and the concept of a life hasn’t taken too much damage after that, you can continue on and graduate from life with a degree in i-fucking-spent-my-life-on-M&As. Fuck living it up, no more drinks, son. And you know, that’s even if you get in, assuming a lot, aren’t you?

Danny says to me: Let’s get some drinks.

To assuage the prejudiced reader – we do not drunkenly make out afterwards.

There’s a sense of ‘Hey look at us we’re a group of asian guys but we don’t give a fuck, we have a limo that actually looks more like a minibus but there’s a stripper pole inside and – there we go, someone’s squiggling on it. That’s uh – it’s a guy. It’s a guy. TAKE PHOTOS’ and also the brief flash of feeling that flits across my chest when I let my mind wonder about the girls in my life. Are you okay? What the hell are you up to right now? Should I have said yes, and fucked you anyway? I’m kind of sorry? And so on.

So I say yes, and we go to the bar top. It’s kind of packed. Just darkened bodies mashed next to each other until the lights sweep past and I’m like yeah that dude I just bumped into looks fucking mean. He’d snap me like a dry twig.

I’ll pay, Danny says. I’ll pay.

Thanks man.

We get a couple of shots of…I can’t remember what, really. And we head back to the sofa area thingy that we kind of reserved. Just alternating between sitting and getting into the cramped dance floor and wishing there was cheaper alcohol. It was good, yeah.

And – by the way – I kind of mentioned before about not being able to relive this shit anymore, right? To a certain extent, that applies to everything (high school too etc etc), but Jesus this was like getting an entire life ripped from me, man. Life in Edmonton wasn’t perfect, it just became the new standard. And nothing since has ever lived up to it.

I can’t remember how the rest of the night went.

We went to McD’s, right? I think so. I think we walked all the way and it was cold as fuck though I might be mixing memories up with another night. I’m pretty sure we walked to McD’s though. God, that was so bloody far.

It was an amazing night, though.

This whole writing thing is making me feel pretty melancholic. I’ll get back to this soon. Promise.

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