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MODERN LIVES: Number 267

'The Way They Act, They Way They Carry Theirselves'
Kezia Richmond

'The way they act, the way they carry theirselves'.. That is from Lauryn Hill, who I absolutely bloody love. It's this boy talking on the album about people he fancied and when I look at a boy, I always try and see if that little phrase applies, and if it does then I may just decide to take things a little further. Every single bloody muscle in my torso is absolutely killing me. I spent most of Sunday being sick Man, it was absolutely completely bloody mad on Saturday night. I was so drunk on the way home that I couldn‚t actually see properly. But now, if I remember how much I actually drank, it ain't really surprising.

We ended up in 'Shooters', the metal club. God knows why. I think it was the queue at 'Kaos' was too long or something lame, but I was so wasted that I hardly remember. I'm not trying to make out that being wasted all the time is really cool or anything, coz I know that it isn't a good idea and I do actually agree that if, like, you were really having a good time then you shouldn't actually need to get so drunk, but after a few drinks, I don't even know what I am drinking anymore. Nicola said that the more you drink, the more accustomed you get, so I said that I should cut down to save myself money! But that never happens.

Actually sometimes I do begin to worry that I have a drinking problem, but then everyone is doing it the same more or less. Secretly I kind of like being off my face, just for a little bit. But I was so sick on Sunday that I think I might have to cut down. God, my Mum was not impressed. She said I need to begin to seriously take responsibility for my actions which is what she has been saying since I can remember. Man, don't even get me started on my Mother. I know she is the best really but just sometimes... I have this one friend, Janine, and she never has any problems with her parents and they let her do almost anything she wants. But then like, Saturday night, she passed out for a bit in the toilets and luckily Sarah saw her boot under the door and so she climbed over and slapped her face a bit and then she woke up and she was all right after a few minutes. She looked really better and she was out dancing again for a while, but eventually, Sarah had to take her home and I wondered if her parents really know what she gets up to.

So, they left me on my own which is how I ended up on my back in the cemetery. But that was because I had met up with his boy who I went to Junior school with, called Mark. He looked well grown up actually and I didn't recognise him at first. He came and talked to me because he said I still looked a bit like I did back then, which really annoyed me and then he apologised quite a lot and whilst he was apologising I sort of checked him out and thought about Lauryn Hill and decided he seemed all right. He is at college now doing his AS levels which, I have to admit, made him a bit more fanciable. Ahh, no man, he was well cute. He's got really dark brown hair and it's really short and he dresses skate-y which is not normally what I like, but then everyone in the club was like that or dressed in black and chains which I can't fucking stand. It is so sad all that Goth stuff.

Sarah said we were getting looks because we were all dressed up for Kaos. She was wearing this absolutely mad top that I really want. Anyway, Mark apologised quite a lot and so I forgave and then they started to play some music that I actually liked for once, coz before then it had been all nasty thrash and Marilyn Manson shite. Mark said he never saw me there and I said too bloody right mate, and he looked a bit pissed off so I explained that I was much more into R+B and Hip Hop. He said he absolutely loved Cypress Hill and I agreed a bit, but to be honest, I was bulling it by this time because I like Eminem and Puff Daddy and I could tell that wasn't really his thing.

I had decided that I liked him from the moment he looked so sweet at insulting me. I mean, with older blokes they always seem like they are doing you a bit of a favour by chatting you up which is sick, as everyone knows that blokes like young women. God, men are such dicks sometimes. Anyway, by this time, Sarah had come to find me to tell me that she had lost Janine, so we went off to find her and I thought bugger it, because that was it for me and Mark. It never happens that it works out after that first chat when you meet someone in a club, unless you are completely trollied, and then it all gets a bit desperate. We got Janine sorted out like I explained, and then we went and danced. For a little bit, I felt fantastic, because we looked really good, us three on the floor. There weren't so many Metalers around - we could kind of do our thing and take over, and just for a few mad minutes, I actually liked that place better than Kaos. And it is a metal club for God's sake - that tells you how wasted I was!

Then some bloke started to lech all over Janine and the silly bint let him and I have to say it, he was no prince man, you know what I mean? I mean, he wasn't awful but he looked a bit sweaty and he had long hair and he just launched himself on her coz we were dancing. His friend started to dance with me and Sarah and he looked a bit better but not my type and to be honest, I was a bit annoyed with the whole scene. It was like, there are these three girls on the dance floor when everyone else is looking moody or too pissed and we looked good and fresh and just a damn site better than all the black clothes and red hair brigade, so all these blokes start to come on to us. I shouted to Sarah that that bloke was trying to chat us up but she just laughed to me and I thought - let her have him - and stomped off to the bar to get another drink. I was feeling kind of sober at this stage but I was in a bad mood. It always happened that way. We always had a great time to start with and then someone would pull and it'd all get a bit messed up and someone might end up crying because she was too sloshed or something.

The bar was still really busy and whilst I was waiting to be served the weirdest thought came into my mind of what my Mum would think if she were here. And I don't know why but I felt really guilty and then really annoyed because this was nothing to do with her and never would be. I wasn't the only girl from school there, there were quite a few and every Saturday at Kaos there was a whole group of us from school and I really feel that if any of us got into trouble we would help each other out. But parents worry all the time, like almost like they do it without thinking. You say can I go to this club and they think - Now what can I worry about here? as an excuse to not let you go. But my Mum was all right. But, anyway, it really annoyed me that Sarah and Janine had pulled because now I would either be on my own or I would have to get pulled and I could just hear them on Monday at school going on about this bloke on Saturday night.

Janine was always trying to make out like her and Sarah had so much in common and stuff when everyone knew that me and Sarah had been friends the longest. I was just about to be served when Mark turned up and said he would buy me a drink. Now I never refuse an offer of a drink unless it is from some real weirdo so I said I would have a J.D and coke as I was in the mood to get even more pissed then. He laughed at this and said I looked like an Alcopop person and I remember thinking what a patronising thing to say, but he smiled this really cool smile and bought me a double and I was happy to be with someone safe, so I let it pass. We chatted for a bit and I downed my drink really too fast Mark told me all about his skateboarding. He said that he was doing photography of skateboarders and that he was sending some of it off to this magazine which I have to admit, is really cool. When he talked about it he went on for ages, like he was really enthusiastic, which was so ace as most men just get all lechy, especially if they are drunk. They just tell you how gorgeous you are and then it makes you feel really crap, because you know that even though they mean it, they are just saying it to get you to like them Like I said, men are wankers mostly.

While Mark was talking, I tried to see Sarah and Janine. They had moved to some sofas over the other side and Janine waved to me, which made me feel good because I was getting annoyed that they hadn't come to get me. I waved back and Mark suddenly got a bit moody and asked if I was listening to him. He looked really hurt and when I said I was really interested he didn't look much happier so then I kissed him on the cheek and told him I thought he was really nice and then he started to kiss me and that was it. It was kind of really inevitable. I reckon I actually thought, here we go again or something. We didn't really talk much again after that whilst we were getting off with each other. And soon, after the good feeling of having someone, like Sarah and Janine did, after that had passed, I felt a bit bored. It was just like, here I am again going through the motions and while I hope something more might come from me and Mark, I knew that it probably wouldn't go anywhere.

Sarah came over to say she and Janine were leaving coz Janine felt really sick, and then Mark said I should stay. Sarah and me went into a huddle and she was laughing loads because of Mark. She asked if I really liked him and I said yeah, because I wanted to make her jealous. She explained that her and Janine's blokes were actually brothers and one of them was 25, and that they thought they were a bit pervy and then Janine had actually been sick on one of their coats so they had left pretty quickly because the blokes looked a bit pissed off.

Mark got some drinks and Sarah went, and then we had a downing competition and all Mark‚s mates watched and cheered and he beat me, but only just. After a while it must have been getting late because the bouncers started coming round, so we all decided to go. Mark's mates were all boys and when we got outside I felt a bit self conscious being the only girl and I felt a bit young looking as well. Mark's mates had grabbed a taxi and he said did I want a lift back but I knew the taxi driver wouldn't let us all in and so I lied and said that my Dad would be there any minute to pick me up. God I felt stupid as soon as I said that. My DAD! Mark did look a bit weird at me I think, and he offered to wait but I said I had a mobile and I would ring home, so it would be fine and because the taxi was there he had to go. He kissed me goodbye quickly but I could tell it was already over.

It was weird, like, when we got outside everything suddenly seemed more real, like everyone was back at school again. I actually felt really young for some reason. I started to walk home but I realised how pissed I was and I was so tired all I wanted to do was be in bed. I decided to take the shortcut through the cemetery which would mean climbing over the fence. When I finally got there it was all muddy and slippery and I was in my heels and feeling so drunk I couldn't really focus properly so I slipped over the fence and landed on my back on this big white rock. I just remember lying on the ground next to this fence and looking up at the stars, like I had just come to or something, but I don't think I actually passed out. Then I could feel where I had landed on the rock, on my shoulder, and it really hurt because I was saying - Ow, Ow without really feeling any pain. I think I cried a little bit. Not because of the pain or anything, but because I was on my own. I know I had made it that way, but for a little bit I thought that, if I had a boyfriend or something, then he would never have let me do this, and even if I had, he would have been really annoyed at me and worried. But I was just being drunk and silly.

I got home in one piece anyway. My shoulder really killed though and there was a massive red bruise. When I told Janine and Sarah about it on Monday, they just went all adult about it, saying I should never have walked home alone and stuff, but it is all such rubbish because it is only a fifteen minute walk and nothing much bad ever happens in our town. Anyway, I can look after myself if anything happens. It isn't like I was passed out on the toilet floor like Janine. I was sick as a dog on Sunday and it was difficult trying to hide it from my Mum. I remember thinking, I would give up going out ever again if only I would stop being sick. I remember thinking there must be better ways to have fun than this. I remember thinking that I don't actually know if I have fun anymore. Everyone says that as soon as you are legally old enough to get into clubs you don't really want to any more. That means I have got two years left and I am already beginning to wonder, what is the point? You never meet anyone decent when you're out; everyone's always so wasted.

© Kezia Richmond 2001
Also by Kezia
Gap year Hell (Published in the Guardian April 27th 2002)

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