Sunday, January 20, 2013

Small Town England

So I had not been out in the Town since I had moved up from London. The Town was now run down since the pit closed. I had lived at Sunnyside for nearly 3 years. I had not bothered trying the local nightlife as I had been warned it was rough and shit. Tough men, who had grown up down the pit, were now reduced to wearing hairnets packing sushi for the supermarkets. You could see the white uniforms through the windows as you drove past in the dark. The factory worked 24/7 keeping those sandwiches coming.
 The Town had an identity crisis. Its claim to fame was that its local hospital (opened by the local golfing hero) delivered the most smack addicted babies in the UK. It had a thriving Goth scene, which says it all. Mick Jones the striker from Leeds retired there to run a sports shop. The local Polish workforce found it an affordable place to be, they brought it some respectability, because they actually got up to go to work.
Gypsies would come into town on a weekend seeking revenge for one of their family who got stabbed in the local nightclub and died. So a taxi driver told me. It had its edge in a strange way. There was only one shooting I was aware of in the few years I lived there.
I worked in the nearby City and Steve would take the piss out of me for living in the Town. He told me I needed to get into the real world move to the City. Safer he told me. Friendlier. Classier.
On my first night out I walked into the Town on my own. It was the Friday before Christmas. People were out to have fun. The first few pubs I walked into, I got a few strange stares, it was probably my black eye. That was a proper cowardly attack from behind. I had been sipping my champagne, in my dinner suit talking to the girl from accounts.
“So you really not wearing any knickers? Show me..” as she opened her legs in front of me, I felt the pain in the side of my head. He hit me from behind, real bad timing on my front.
So much for the City being the place to be. My first night out in the City and I end up with stitches and a black eye. The other guy got locked up though. And at least I have a scar to tell people the tale. I never saw the girl again.  I never finished the champagne.
Back in the Town I am out celebrating the run up to Christmas on my own. All the local girls are dressed in little Santa dresses. Everyone is having fun.
I power through a few ciders, before going on to neat vodka, I just can’t handle the pissing.
I was having a cigarette later on in the area confined for smokers, out the back. It was quiet out there you could hear people talk.
I assumed she must be 18, she was drinking in the pub. She introduced me to her friend. I asked them if they wanted to come back to Sunnyside and they came home with me.
I never felt the need to move into the City.

Jon Pawson

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