I’ve never seen someone so drunk before
Dressed in an ivory silk blouse, sleeveless, with slightly smudged mascara eyes, her upper lip wriggling slightly over her teeth, Fear’s perfume wafted over the cold, hard, pavement and tickled my skin. Terrified. A fortnight in Uni and dark brown eyes are fixated on the wraith like body shaking and shivering in a futile attempt to get warm, as alcohol pulses through the bloodstream, vomit trickles colourful globules over tarmac, and proactive yet inexperienced friends babble on, rubbing pale hands over a school-uniform clad body. Back2School turned into Back2Basics.
Learning limits and limitations is an ongoing process in the race for life that humans are, unwittingly, without consent or choice signed up to once their heads crown between squeezing legs and certainly after the placenta is birthed. There is no going back, no pulling out, unless the fleshy paw of Death is a welcome presence, come to smother your very pores.
Yet, as limits are broken, readjusted or discarded, Fear is always present. The fear of what if? What if I get in trouble? What if s/he doesn’t make it? What if s/he was going to be my friend? What if it was me?
Those were the unspoken questions that danced behind made up eyes and brave faces as the Fresher’s acted out what they saw on T.V. and realised just how unglamorous spending sunday night outside da Club with an unconscious friend really is. How painful, worrying, frustrating and tiring.
And the world-weary of us? The second years, who had seen it all, spent a year coming to terms with it, serving it, growing angry at it, laughing at it – as we shushed the uncontrollable babbling, enforced the recovery position and waited patiently for the ambulance, we realised –
we had grown up.
And we wondered – what kind of form would Fear take on for us this year?