End of term, the beginning of the holiday season, and for the first time in my life, the prospect of a life beyond full-time education. I had finished early, my last assignments handed in weeks before my peers were relieved of their academic duties. Eager to make the most these new circumstances, I’d make a point of doing things I’d never done before: I climbed onto the roof of my house, visited Blackpool, dressed-up for a catwalk. I was fed-up of student hangouts; I spent long evenings drinking with the locals on cobble-stoned side streets.
It was early summer, pre-dawn, and Max and I had spent the evening drinking around the city. The sky was no longer black but a dark shade of blue, and it was now possible to make out the shapes and details of buildings without the aid of streetlights. Soon the early-morning commuters would be seen coming in and out of newsagents or waiting at bus stops. Max was several paces ahead of me, kicking a flattened Coke can up the hill.
The sound of muffled pop music could be heard shortly before we stepped inside. To get to the bar we walked through the entrance, down a flight of stairs and along a narrow corridor. It was a dark, window-less room, around the size of a large living room. I sat on a bar stool while Max ordered us drinks. Swivelling around, I noticed a solitary couple dancing clumsily in the middle of the room. Elsewhere a few people were sprawled randomly on sofas parallel to the walls. Strobe lights coming from a disco ball in the far corner of the room glistened red, green and blue on the shoulders of the dancing couple. After ordering the drinks, Max sat on a stool next to mine and we both faced the dance floor, leaning against the bar, not talking much.
My beer was warm. We would walk out and it would be daylight.