Something about today makes it feel that I am not to be here much longer, yesterday it still felt like I’d be here a little while. I would like to be here a few more days. The atmosphere is a little surreal in so far as the group of people I’m hanging out with here are here for the longer term save for myself and Nick. Me, I return whence I came back to my life on Thursday, house, children, work etc. Don’t get me wrong in so many ways I appreciate what I have, I’ve worked hard enough for it after all. When I didn’t have security it was something I craved, I’ve been looking for a chance to find somewhere to put down roots for ages, I guess when you wait for something for a long time and then you kind of achieve it you wonder what it is you ought to do next. I try to make up for this with meaningless possessions and gadgets, nothing more than playthings to prevent me getting bored. It doesn’t work. This is the only thing that prevents me getting bored. Writing and politics is all there is really when it’s broken down below the surface.

I guess it’s the lack of adventure really, the uneventful security now of a job and a house. I could see trying to stabilise my finances as a challenge, an adventure but it bores me, money bores me, I need enough of it to survive, I don’t like the struggle but anything else is overkill. I was talking to Warren about life and his plans and things. He’s only a little older than me and he is currently working for a catering agency getting work on a sporadic basis and as a result he is forced to live on a shoestring. He is thinking of being a pedicab driver but what he really wants is to be a writer. He might just do it, he certainly has the potential, but then so many of us do. (I presumptuously lump myself into the ‘us’ here based on other people’s views on my writing rather than my own.) Warren is prepared to take the risks which may just stand him in good stead, ultimately he needs to succeed to give everyone else hope, I wish him luck for it.

As for James, as time goes on he seems more and more the Peter Pan figure, slightly tragicomically I sense he doesn’t have the inner peace he wants but then how hypocritical it would be of me to regard that from a distance. I have no idea how James actually makes any money, but he is responsible for the nightly dope intake, I think mainly because his dealer’s just come out of chokey so he might have had to abstain for a while! Most of the evenings in the hostel has been spent sitting in a group of around 6 people getting caned and laughing for hours. It is easy to release such emotion when the next day is not beset with the notion of needing to find a job by the end of the week so you can pay for your bed for the next 7 days.

When I look at this situation I have to be thankful for the lifestyle I have, but I envy my friends here the sense of communal living and camaraderie that they have. They have to have it it’s what gets you thru’ the night I guess, not everyone gets involved, some keep themselves to themselves but to me it’s infectious, in the short time I have been here already I have become concerned about people’s welfare, Renata’s job, Elias getting bleach poisoning or something (!) John and Warren and their lack of a decent job.

There are some who are eminently capable and just seem to have the fortitude or just the confidence to get thru’ it and sort their lives out quite adequately. Elaine from Winnepeg is like this, she is quite assured, she has obviously been around long enough to have got a pretty good idea who she is, she has grown up, it, and the fact that she’s a bit of a fox, make her really quite alluring. Her problem now is wondering whether to go back home where she’ll be a big fish in a small pond to a degree, someone who has grown up and spent the necessary time doing so but as a result will be seen by many of those around her at home as someone 4-5 years behind everyone else because she hasn’t settled down with a job or family yet, or should she stay away and see how things go and take that step into the unknown. It’s a quandry I remember, whether I made the right choice…?

I am not really that concerned about Elias’ welfare either, he’s a very intelligent bloke, he is also mad as a fish but he’s savvy and has a good dose of realism. A chemistry graduate who smokes the same pipe tobacco in his roll-ups as my Dad does in his pipe, l will not forget encountering him in the morning when he’s in full toilet blitz mode and I haven’t quite woken up yet. Every now and again in the evening when we’re all horsing around he’ll mutter some spanish phrase which for some reason I alway found hilarious. He is here for the Summer learning English, he doesn’t actually seem to ever sleep it’s up early do the bogs then off to classes then back home, bit of study, stay up till at least after the rest of us have gone to bed. the place wouldn’t be the same without him.

There are also a hell of a lot of Poles here too. Some travelling, some looking to stay around a while. There’s Krystof who busks on Calton Hill, he’s a pleasant affable chap, and again I really hope that he is able to make a living playing his flute because I like to think there is still a chance to be Bohemian. Besides he is a courageous and proud man and I respect him for the principled way he lives his life. I saw him on Calton Hill on Monday, he had obviously been there a while and had collected around £5, it’s slim pickings really because he plays very well. Adam and his girlfriend/sister I never did find out which were around most nights, I tired to keep Adam in decent beer, he seemed to enjoy it, the both of them are very friendly and they were practically the first people I met here. They don’t speak a huge amount of English but more than I do Polish so conversations tended to involve sign language and bits, but it’s nice to make the effort to talk to people that you wouldn’t otherwise get the chance to.

Song Of The Day ~ The Libertines – Can’t Stand Me Now

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