As I type this, it’s 18 minutes past midnight on a Sunday morning. What I should be doing right now is enjoying a few drinks and throwing a few shapes to some indie rock dance tunes at a pokey club in Portsmouth. What I’m actually doing is sitting in my pyjamas and waiting for the oven to heat up so I can cook some potato waffles with baked beans and cheese.
“But Cat” I hear you say “Why aren’t you out throwing those shapes and having all of the fun whilst you’re still young?”. The truth is, I wish I was.
The evening started well. We had one or two drinks before heading out and catching the train into Portsmouth. Sure, once we got there it was super cold, raining and full of twats. But hey, I spent several years living in Portsmouth and wouldn’t expect any less. When we arrived in Portsmouth, we walked to our favourite haunt, The Honest Politician. Well, it used to be a favourite but it seems to have gone downhill since the Uni days.
Anyway, one drink in and I’m starting to feel a bit uncomfortable. Not with the environment, but physically. My back is starting to become a bit sore. I put it down to the wooden benches we were sat on. I try and ignore it. I’ve already gotten to the point where I regularly need to pee…because y’know, that’s what happens when you drink, so at least I’m regularly stretching my legs. But the pain is just getting worse. When sat down, I have to keep fidgeting to try and stop the searing pain in my lower back. I start trying to sit up so straight that the Royal family would be proud of my posture, but damn it, nothing is helping.
At this point, I’m hoping against hope that the walk from the pub to the club is going to sort me right out and I’ll be ready to hit the dance floor. I get a bit desperate and order another drink. Alcohol is good for numbing pain, right? But I just can’t ignore it. My eyes are literally stinging with tears at this point…what the hell is wrong with me?! Every second feels like an eternity as I wait (as patiently as possible) for my companions to be ready to make a move.
Finally, the time comes. But I can’t hold back the tears any longer and let out a little sob to Liam “I’m not sure I can make it” I say – but perhaps a little less melodramatically than that. I don’t want to go home, but I don’t have any choice. I give myself one last chance on the walk to the club before I just have to give in. I’m not prepared to spend money to get into a club where I’m going to spend the time writhing with pain and trying to style it out as a dance move.
Like the gents they are, Liam and our friend Jack walk me to the taxi rank. I won’t lie, I’m not the biggest fan of getting a taxi home on my own in the middle of the night, but what I hate even more is making friends miss out on a good time. Luckily, the warden at the taxi rank, and the driver made me feel incredibly safe.
And that £28 taxi ride takes us to now – after a quick change into my pjs and a turn of the oven dial, here I am recounting the experience to you. Why? Because I feel cheated. I’m 26, and my body is feeling at least twice my age.