It has started to rain and all the kids keep asking is ‘Can we go to soft play?’, ‘Please’, ‘pleeeeaaasse Mummy’, ‘You said if it rained we could go to the soft play’. So off we go heading to Tower Park in Poole to visit the soft play there. We spotted it the other day when we went to the cinema and I was a bit surprised to note that the nightclub of my youth had turned into a soft play centre. We walk in and climb the stairs and the transportation starts, I am being thrown back to early 1992 when I was 18 and living in Bournemouth. A big night out was planned to The Venue nightclub with my good friends J and M. We had all got dressed up in very dubious clothes and thought we looked the business! Having saved our money from our student jobs we were planning a fab night out with lots of booze, dancing and girlie fun.
This was a night long forgotten and I am not entirely sure that I want to have found this memory lurking in my mind but none the less the more I walk round this centre the more I can remember. The coffee bar used to be a cocktail bar with a small dance floor and where the sofas are now, there used to be sofas too. That night back in 1992 I was on a break from my then boyfriend J and I was devastated. I think at the beginning of the evening I was hell bent on revenge, finding a nice man and snogging him and getting fully plastered but by mid-evening the booze has entered my system and all rational thought has left me By now I am just thinking about how much ‘I love him’ and want him back and what an ass he is. The more and more drunk I get the less I can think about dancing or moving in general to be honest. I remember the girls patience wearing thin and them leaving me in my own thoughts on a sofa to cool off and sober up.
‘Mummy my need a wee wee’ brings me back to the present day. The kids seem to be having a fab time and dh is running around the soft play with them, leaving me free to read my book and have a relax on my own – very much appreciated. Off we go to the toilet and bam it is like a smack in the face, these are exactly the same loos as back in 1992. I can see myself curled up in the end cubicle having been the sickess I have ever been in my life and the sick has gone everywhere. When completely drunk I seem to have no aim and everything looks a total mess. This must have sobered me up a bit as I remember trying to clear up with toilet roll and it not being that effective. Knocks on the door ‘are you OK in there?’. Yes I whisper and continue to alternate between crying uncontrollably and being sick. Isn’t it amazing that you think your life has ended when you are 18 and in love.
After this spectacle I decide that the best thing for me is to go home and I find myself in the lobby picking up a pay phone, shouting ‘taxi, taxi I want to go home’. The bouncers help me to get a taxi and I manage to give my address. The taxi must cost a fortune as it is well after midnight and we live a fair way from this nightclub. I manage to get home and into bed and I am so pleased at the relief of being there. I think I fell asleep almost immediately. That should be the end of that sorry tale except what about those friends I left at the nightclub? The ones who have no idea where I have gone. The ones looking worriedly around the whole club until it closes and find that I am not there. The same two girls who share a student hotel with me but have no key to get in. Well their evening did not end so well, as they are left outside the hotel in the early hours of the morning trying to wake me or one of the other students who live there so that they can get in. Someone does eventually let them in and boy do I receive the silent treatment the next day from M who I have to share a room with. J is a little more gracious and understand the remorse I feel but I have to be honest, if it had been me stranded at the club and left outside the hotel (and if I remember rightly M had to go to work that next day too) then I would have been well pissed off like M too.
So that is just one of many memories that have come back to me this week while I holiday here in Dorset. Being at University was one of the greatest times of my life and it was where I met my best friends ever, the ones I never want to lose contact with. Such as life, times change and people move across the world or stay in the same country but fundamentally change their lives so much that it is like they have emigrated. I know that if we were all ever put back in the same room again, even for just an hour it would all be fine and like we had never been away from each other. I do have a real sense of loss that I do not share the everyday things with these friends anymore, in fact I feel quite choked up with how much I miss my friends, especially M (who did finally forgive me for the venue debacle).
This post was written using the prompt ‘Found’ from Josie’s Writing Workshop. Her prompts were great this week and I was hard pushed to choose but this memory of that night long ago was too vivid not to write about and put to bed. However, I could not resist mingling in a second prompt of sisterhood and thus the ode at the end to three of the best ladies in the world, M, J and K. K I am still lucky enough to regularly see you, J I get to see you sometimes but I miss the way things used to be and M I just miss you, lots and lots. I am so sorry we do not get to see each other and I feel really guilty about that. NZ is a long way but now I have my laptop perhaps we could skype?