12053 days later

So here we are, another year on. I don’t feel any different. Well, I have a thumping headache. I don’t know where that came from. But inside I don’t feel any great awakening or enlightenment.

I’m not really sure why we celebrate birthdays. When I was a kid, I celebrated birthdays because I got free stuff and loads of cake. When I was a teenager I celebrated birthdays because there was an increased chance of getting kisses from girls. These days, I don’t want free stuff and I don’t know any girls.

So I guess the only thing left to celebrate is cake. But even that is losing its appeal.

Yesterday I went to see my Dad. My brother had tried to organise a family get-together at my Dad’s place for my birthday, but the only people who bothered to show were him and his girlfriend. So we sat and ate and talked about the only real topic of conversation we could find; how much we hated the managers at the place where I used to work and where my brother still works. It was amusing at times, but just odd, now that I look back on it.

While I was at Dad’s, he gave me a letter which had arrived, addressed to me. It was from my old school, inviting me to a class reunion. my time at Rugby School was not a happy one. Not coming from the privileged background of most of the students (I got a scholarship which meant the fees were waived), I was seen as one of the filthy unwashed peasant underclass, by both students and teachers. I earned the nickname “Stig” (taken from the book “Stig of the Dump” by Clive King). I was constantly in detention, which was conveniently held at 8pm on a Saturday night for two hours. Every week I was in there, usually with no reason given. Stops me causing trouble, right?

See, they called me a trouble maker. I prefer the term “revolutionary”, personally. I was constantly in trouble for bending or breaking rules. “There’s a set way of doing things,” they’d say. Now, for those of you not familiar with Rugby School, this is the place where Rugby Football was invented. Invented by one William Webb-Ellis, a statue of whom graces the space in front of the school. There is also a plaque, which reads:

“THIS STONE
COMMEMORATES THE EXPLOIT OF
WILLIAM WEBB ELLIS
WHO WITH A FINE DISREGARD FOR THE RULES OF FOOTBALL
AS PLAYED IN HIS TIME
FIRST TOOK THE BALL IN HIS ARMS AND RAN WITH IT
THUS ORIGINATING THE DISTINCTIVE FEATURE OF
THE RUGBY GAME
A.D. 1823”

A fine disregard for the rules. Presumably my disregard for the rules was not fine enough. I mean, my father didn’t have a tremendous amount of money. Other students’ fathers did. Like the student who was caught dealing cocaine, but was not expelled or even suspended from school as his father paid for a new wing of the school library. In contrast, I was nearly expelled for putting yoghurt in someone’s gym shoes (which I still maintain is an hilarious prank).

Needless to say I don’t really have any desire to go back to that place and see how successful everyone else has been, using their inexhaustible parental funding to follow the dreams they never once had to fight for. I guess their level of true success depends on how one measures success. I have no doubt that my criteria is wildly different to theirs. Regardless, I have no desire to go back there.

But I’m getting off topic.

Actually I’m not really sure there was a topic. I’m sat here in the library on my birthday, spilling my guts to the world. Or trying to at least.

Did I mention I was supposed to have a date on Wednesday? Pretty neat, right? Well she sent me an email saying she’d met someone else and that she was calling it off. Now I’ve had a number of people decide that they’re not interested in me from the start. I’ve had a number decide that they’re not interested after getting to know me a bit. But arranging to meet up and then deciding in the interim that I’m not worth the bother? That’s a new one. So thanks for that.

I guess I’ll go back to looking for that redhead riding a dinosaur. She’s gotta be out there somewhere. If I tell her it’s my birthday, maybe I’ll get a kiss.

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5 comments

  1. taehreh

    Yoghurt in gym shoes is a good one. I emptied an entire carton of salt all over my principle’s floor because he kept giving me a hard time. It’s one of my favourite high school memories..
    Anyways, even if it doesn’t feel all that exciting, Happy Birthday. 🙂 I’ll try and use my ginger connections to see if there’s one of us out there with a dinosaur, since sadly I don’t have one, but for what it’s worth… xoxo

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