A New Perspective

Posted on Sunday 28th January 2007 at 00:00
I'm at a party that's been laid on for the staff from Catering Services. Sort of like a Christmas party, but not Christmas themed, thank God! The food is devoured, the wine has flowed and begins to run out and naturally everyone's attention turns to the dance floor. Despite not having had anything to drink myself and regardless of my many protests, I find myself being dragged from my seat to partake of a dance or 10.

As the night wears on and the dancing continues, I find myself once again stuck in that strange place between childhood and adulthood, where a previously inconceivable notion presents itself as a newly understood truth. I'm no longer the boy spending time with a group of adults who are tolerating my presence because I am polite and occasionally funny; I'm the adult spending time with other adults who see me as an adult in my own right and as an equal. They aren't dancing with me because I'm a novelty but because I'm one of them and they want to include me.

Suddenly everything I see in them changes. As they see me as their equal, so too do I begin to see them. They aren't my elders, at least not by very many years, they are my peers. I see them as people it is ok to dance with, joke with, laugh with and even flirt with, should the opportunity present itself. This simple change in outlook equates to a whole different perspective on my life. I realise that actually, here is a whole group of people I can socialise and spend time with, rather than simply work alongside two or three days a week.

After a long period of little or no socialising at all in Bristol, beside the odd coffee with someone on my course, or the infrequent chats to my housemates, here is potentially the opportunity for more regular and fulfilling experiences with those around me. A small group of us move on from the party to one of the student bars on campus where, despite none of us being students, except for me, the whole group blends into the crowd, and the line between adult colleagues and friends blurs even further.

At the end of the night I give a few people a lift home and eventually arrive back at my own house a little before 3am. I walk into my room and survey the devastation. About 10 minutes before leaving for the party I discovered I'd lost my cufflinks, an essential part of the outfit I was already wearing. I'd then proceeded to tear my room to pieces trying to find them before eventually giving up and leaving without making a start on the tidying.

My first thought on seeing the heaps of clothes, books, stationary, electronics and toiletries scattered all over the bed and floor is Thank God I didn't pull tonight, I could never have brought anyone back to this! I've never really seen this as a problem before, not just because the chances of my pulling are zero, but also because the level of socialising which I tend to do at uni is so low that I know I'll never get caught inviting someone into a messy house.

Perhaps that isn't true anymore though. If the people I work with are potential friends now, then who knows how many people I could potentially find myself entertaining. The days when the only people I expected to see were the people on my course are clearly long gone.

This morning I woke up inspired. I decided that I'm going to turn this room into the sort of place I'd actually be prepared to let someone walk into at a moment's notice. I've been sort of thinking about this for a while as part of that desperate desire to transform from poor student to trendy bachelor. Among my other plans is one to overhaul my work space, since this is where I spend most of my time. I began this today with a trip to PC World, where I bought a new wireless keyboard, which matches my mouse and a new mouse mat. The idea is to go for a minimalist desk, free from all the clutter and cables that are slowly sending me insane.

In addition to this I've just ordered a 20? flat screen monitor for the computer, which will double as a decent sized screen for watching DVDs on, since I can't see a thing on my TV unless I'm sat pretty close to it. As well as clearing the desk, I'm aiming to remove some of the clutter from the rest of my room if I can. There is a limit to what I can do of course, what with having to squeeze into one room what most people fill their entire houses with, but I think with a good clear out this place could be made to look pretty cool. At least that way I won't outgrow the room before my time at uni is up.

In case anyone reading this is shaking their heads in disbelief at my seemingly out of control spending, I should point out that this is all part of my grand master plan for life, such as it is. IE to continue to increase my earning potential as much as I can, and as I do so, gradually replace and upgrade various possessions in order to keep up with the times. When my old keyboard came along, about 7 years ago, they were just getting the idea of having extra buttons for email and web browsers etc. That keyboard came with three extra keys. This one came with 24. Go figure. When I'm earning a little more I'll be able to switch from upgrading my computer all the time to buying a succession of properties and working my way up that ladder. Funny the things you plan in advance isn't it?

P.S I'm sat here with headphones on and it is a couple of minutes since the last track I was listening to finished. Suddenly a hidden track starts playing super loudly, beginning with the sound of a car engine starting. I very nearly soil myself.

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