Eventually we do manage to leave for brunch. Late but fine nonetheless. The streets of Clapton are soaked in sunlight and there is nobody not wearing sunglasses. I keep asking myself why I live in the country with probably fewest sun hours in the world during winter when its light makes me this thrilled.
We go to the Latin American restaurant Candela for brunch. One of the male waiters welcomes us as and shows us our table as the place fill up with smoke followed by curses coming out of the kitchen.
The other waitress is new and just lovely. She forgets dishes people order and pours us some concentrate juice straight out of the box. It’s the kind of juice one don’t even have to keep refrigerated but that will still last for three years and you can taste the chemicals from it’s sourness. And isn’t that a relief in contrast to all the freshly squeezed, gluten free, organic, non-lactos, diet-friendly and mega healthy options the world is so obsessed about. Maybe not always, but sometimes. If more people could focus on solving problems like girls suffering genital mutilation and the fact that people are actually still starving in 2014 instead of getting wealthy people feel even more better about themselves I’d be a lot happier at brunch. Hopefully our generation can get our shit together.
Daniel and I discuss this among other topics. Like the confusing feeling of annoyance and flatter when friends buy same outfit as you after having seen you where it.
The food arrives and it is so much better than a full english breakfast. We eat and watch people come and go. So far Clapton isn’t too gentrified. The rest of the restaurant are made up by couples all classes and races, so much unlike Stockholm. Two young women are sitting in the corner next to us. The must be coming straight from the party with tangled hair and old makeup climbing down on their cheeks. Impressive to be including a brunch in their walk of shame. But thankfully they do it without any shame.
Daniel pauses my thoughts and points at the witch hat blowing past the window. Life is too filmlike at times.
We pay and the lovely waitress hands me the worst coffee I’ve tasted in my entire life. How can I not forgive her though, with an eyeliner sharper than a dagger.
Together we walk down to cash my check from the British Tax Office (thank you thank you, I am not that poor any more) and cross the street to enter the Old Ship In still in its Halloween costume.
Behind the counter I find my babe Danielle, looking more like a movie star character than ever. Currently working as a barista and bartender, not knowing how to make coffee and strongly disliking interacting with strangers. It’s a perfect match.
She started the trend of us emailing each other about our youth miseries since being apart. Long and short anecdotes about love and work and desperation. They always make me smile when reading them because Danielle is out of this world with her reactions. I can just see her rolling her eyes or not knowing how to act in the most awkward situations that she seems to fall into more often than I have every heard any person do. Somebody just have to write a film about her! For now she is my own real time drama series.
She goes on her lunch break and over hamburgers we catch up for real.
Her brother Anthony joining too.
When Danielle has to get back to work as a hen-do enters the bar and are craving their 3pm shots we say bye and walk through London Fields to Broadway Market.
Because there are the dreamiest of dreamy: Kajsa, Mikey, Elsie and Saboune!
It doesn’t feel like I ever left, but at the same time I feel attached to reality over all. We talk about my coding websites, doing weird shit at school and about all the billion side projects I’m working on. But then we drop that, and we just hang out like before and I love them for it. I think that maybe they can sense the hurt in my voice, having to recount the life I don’t live with them, making me feel further away than ever.
Instead we talk about who’s sleeping with who and crazy parties they’ve been to, somebody’s new girlfriend who tells them off for pronouncing dishes the wrong way and what they dressed up as for halloween.
I don’t think about school once. Instead I just enjoy myself, and isn’t that what being twenty two should be about.
Being in London drinking beer at broadway market with my favourite people in +20 degrees in November whilst having a dog in my lap. Oh my fucking god.
As the sun sets I don’t get that sticky panic in my body like I do in Sweden. There that means I have few hours left to do what I need to do at school. In London it means that the party is about to begin.
Changed into a new leather dressed that’s clinging to every single curve I possess and ends just about where it borderlines between being a dress and just a long top. I am ready and we are ringing the bell of Daniel’s old flat mates and their gorgeous flat in the middle of Shoreditch.
We kiss each others cheeks and drink red wine out of fancy glasses and are so sophisticated to the sound of all the guilty pleasures in the world. Alex makes a heavenly carbonara the real italian way, which is apparently without cream, and we gossip tons but also talk about Algeria and how we are all going to move to NYC in a few years.
My Frida is also there. <3 Her internship is a success, obviously, and she is recruited to the team who will compete at Cannes and has also got the most handsome man from another department wrapped around her finger.
At eleven we take a taxi to Netil House, like we’re famous or just wealthy. That’s one of my favourite games to play.
Mikey and Kajsa and the rest of the crew are already there, tipsy and dancy, and even though it’s almost illegal, they are dressed up for Halloween despite Halloween being the night before.
But my friends don’t give a damn, and that’s exactly why they are my friends.
Outside on the terrace we sip beer straight from the bottle and tell one shocking story after another.
People I haven’t seen in an eternity show up from nowhere and we sit on the balcony trying to nestle out each others lives. I encounter another girlfriend throwing up in the unlocked toilet stall I happen to enter and instead of embarrassment she just shows an overwhelming happiness about seeing me.
Danielle joins as soon as she finishes. She spends the rest of the night making out with some Englishman in the corner, blaming it on that my pure presence is turning her into a devil child every time I’m in town. <3
If you look out the windows you could feel all the excitement from the preparties, house parties and bars around London. The city is endless and everybody in it seem to sense it. I wonder how many thousands of people will wake up in a bed that’s not their own.
Out of nowhere Hevin grabs my arm and throw herself around me. There are too many words at once but they all include her falling in love and changing her life because of it. And I tell her that there is nothing more beautiful than that.
I can’t believe she’s moving to Stockholm. Hopefully she’ll bring hell of a lot of London with her.
I have the complete inability to sense when it’s time to go home because I never seem to stop having fun. The dj plays Prince and Snoop Dogg and the Arctic Monkeys all in a mess. Around four I am still dancing like I’m made out of wilderness and I spin around and make Daniel laugh and just dance dance dance. But seeing him smile a drunken smile and blush when I catch him, all I want is him. So I whisper in his ear and we leave. On the bus we share a £3 pizza and then we crash into bed.
Please don’t let me grow old and boring.