Youth Of Today

Entry by: Corone

15th February 2016
Youth of Today

Tommy is clearly off his face as the five of us spill out of the club. He’s only got his coat on by one arm and the first thing he does is stagger towards a nearby wall and throw up. Melanie is staggering a lot too, but that’s mostly because of her shoes. She falls over, laughing her arse off and takes off both of them.

“Traitors,” she yells as she throws them both across the street.

Alison is helping her up, having already taken a look at Tommy to make sure he’s alive. She’s laughing like the rest of us but been on lemonade for most of the night. She seems to think she’s our designated driver, even though none of us has a car. She’s alright though.

Darren is the last one out. He’s taken a couple of pills and is moving very slowly, staring at his hands. I’ve had some myself and I can feel the buzz coming up from under the cider I’ve been drinking all night. I kind of want to just hug all of them, but instead I’m giggling as it looks like Darren is going to start talking to a nearby lamp post.

Melanie falls over again, probably that last Jaeger-bomb, so Ali is hugging her as she helps her up. Both of them are laughing so hard they start Tommy off again, and he falls over. It looks like we’re going to take a while to get home, but it’s Saturday night so who cares.

After throwing up for the third time, Tommy seems to have sobered up a bit. He barges between Mel and Ali with an arm around both of them and growls “Chips!” We all take up the chorus, like wolves shouting at the moon. “Chips, chips, chips!” and then we fall into laughter again. Tonight is proving to be fucking legend.

The kebab shop we usually get chips from is near my bus stop, and the place is packed. All the clubs let out around now and Camden is buzzing. Loads of people are shouting, but we all squeeze through the queue. One by one we hand over a quid each for a parcel of chips. Darren is a bit flush tonight so he’s having some scampi as well. When I get outside, Mel and Ali are talking to Jason the homeless guy who’s always there on a Saturday night. They really want to pet his dog Boris but they’re sharing their chips with both of them.

Tommy and Alison both live in another direction, so they set off for the other stop once we’ve finished our chips. Tommy makes a big show of walking Alison home, but we know she’ll be the one to make sure he doesn’t go to sleep on the pavement between here and Regents Park again. We all pull in tight for a group hug, and then someone makes a fart noise and we all piss ourselves laughing. It’s mainly the drink and the pills, but Tommy does have awesome timing.

Darren and Mel and me all go north on the N20 bus. We pile in on the top deck and Mel snuggles up to me, which is unexpected. Darren sits in front and starts talking at me. I’m not really listening because I’m really out of it by now, but I think it’s something to do with fish and how important love is. How they relate I couldn’t tell you. Darren is not really that articulate with his metaphors when he is off his face.

I’ve slid my arm casually along the back of the seat, but it’s Mel I’m holding. She’s pulled her hood up and dug herself into a ball by my side to snooze. Her bare feet are cold as she tucks them up my trouser legs to keep warm. I’m feeling this glow, not just because I’m smashed but because Mel is well fit and we’ve just slotted together like lazy jigsaw pieces.

When the bus gets to Highgate, Darren and Mels have to jump off. Darren has barely paused for breath, but neither of us has noticed. Before we disengage, Mel leans up and kisses me on the cheek. She pulls back with a big sleepy grin full of promise, but not for tonight. We just stare at each other for a moment, feeling the buzz that is so much more powerful than any of the shit we’ve taken tonight. Then she’s away, running down the stairs before the bus drives from their stop, dragging Darren behind her.

I’ve got a little way to go before Tufnell Park and so I close my eyes. Behind the warm feeling from the drink, and pills, and Mel I can feel it there. What will I do if I can’t go to college when they want a degree to stack shelves in Tescos? How much of the planet will be left for me now the older generations have burned it? Will there be any help for me when I’m sick if the NHS is sold off?

I push it back and let it drown for tonight. We need the weekend; we need a break from the wreckage we have been left with. All we hear is what a waste of space the Millennials are. The youth of today have everything so easy. Well, I’d swap my smartphone in a second for a future.