Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Manchester: Level Complete

Many moons ago I attended university in Manchester, a portion of my life which I have mentioned the significance of before. As a result the city itself has been close to my heart ever since and I returned many times while I was dating my ex and living in Nottingham to go to parties and spend time with old comrades. We were always quite popular in our friendship group; she could light up a room with a smile and I tend to get on with anyone so we did well at social gatherings.
sometimes however I get too relaxed. Usually after a few beers
This weekend however I returned to my peers as a single man for the first time. My ex was thankfully absent from the gathering I had returned to attend but I was worried I would feel her everywhere, hear her laughter echoing down streets long abandoned, smell her perfume in crowds of strangers and catch her reflection in the rear-views of a thousand parked cars but this was not the case. While Manchester was the city in which we fell in love and lived a life suspended in a happy world safely tucked away from the desert of the real it was also my city. I built myself there and walked my own path through those streets. As I  followed familiar routes through the cityscape of Manchester it wasn't her I sensed, it was me. Remnants of all the nights of frivolity, days of study, friendships forged and moments of stillness in cool echoing halls filtered through from every place I saw and I felt the weight of history press down on me.

This was not the history of Manchester itself but it was my history, written into everything I had touched and every place I had been. I bought a coffee from the Starbucks I always used to call my parents from and walked the same route down the tram tracks towards the station I had always followed. As I entered Picadilly station the crowds of weekend commuters enveloped me like the arms of an old friend and I realised I was never coming back again.

While I may return to Manchester to visit old friends and confidants l'll never be able to return to my Manchester. That place is gone now. The chapter is finished. To everyone who I lived, loved and laughed with thank you for helping me write it. I wish I could remember two of you more fondly but no story is interesting without a little drama and I don't have the energy to hate you and still have lots of fun so I'm picking fun.

The strange thing is that I dont feel regret at what I've left behind. It's more a feeling of completion. I've finished the level with a reasonable score (although the last boss was pretty tough) and now it's time to move on. The next epoch is starting and I've heard it's going to be the best one yet.

Stay Crunchy Internet

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