Monday was Halloween. There was a party in town for students living in Halls. I have obviously aged because I was well and truly shocked at the idea of a party that started at 11:00 on a school night. Before the party, all the boys showed me their costumes. Mainly because I told them they weren’t allowed to leave until I’d seen them.
There was an Arab sheik. There was a pair of 118 guys. A Rubberbandit. A zombie American footballer. But then I started offending them.
I didn’t recognise the Joker. He was just a guy in an odd shirt and tie combo. Then I didn’t recognise Jedward. A brunette Jedward with short hair. Hardly my fault I had no idea who he was meant to be.
Because they weren’t going to town until 11, the party started at home. I’ve often seen a motorbike delivering pizza to Halls. In fact, Dominos in Rathmines lays people off when the students leave Halls at Christmas and in the summer. I’ve never seen a beer delivery before, but apparently off-licences deliver. Who knew? Boxes and crates of beer arrived for the pre-party party. And then our house was invaded. I think the whole of Halls (1000 people) had been invited over. I hid in my room.
It was very, very loud. There was music, chat and cheering, but that wasn’t a problem. I put in my earphones and watched TV on the internet. But that didn’t filter out the sound of drunk 18-year-old girls. Nothing on this great planet is as high-pitched. One girl, from Monaghan, dressed as a pair of scissors, stood outside my room and shrieked about make-up for a good 15 minutes.
It was a blessed relief when the buses came and they all left. It was just me and the sick guy down the corridor. Eventually, however, there were three of us. One of the boys, who’s the least likely person in all of Halls to make any trouble, came home early. He hadn’t got in. I’d forgotten about that. “Not getting in” is no longer part of my vocabulary. Because I am old. I felt offended on his behalf.
I slept through the post-party party. And had a good Tuesday.
I had a good day at college. And then I went for a run. On Sandymount Strand. In the dark. It was most excellent. My running buddy had clearly read my sulky post about not running in the marathon. And he took it on himself to inspire me. And he did. He made me sprint. He cheered me on. He stamped on my negativity. He was a great big anthropomorphic tonic.
Little pulses of post-exertion pleasure were coursing up my legs when I got home and sat down to have a cuppa with the boys.
I explained to them what a PhD was. Completely unsuccessfully.
We chatted about politics. And college. And psychiatry. And money. And England. And Harry Potter.
According to one of my flatmates, he was upset at the end of the last Harry Potter film, because it meant his childhood was over.
His childhood is not over. But I’m not going to spoil the illusion. I’m not going to tell them about debt collectors. About nights spent in cars. About achieving none of your goals. About how it doesn’t get better. Because I believe it does and it will. And when I grow up, I know I’ll make one hell of a go at life. But till then, I’m perfectly happy to have days like yesterday.