Saturday 13 April 2013

A4 : S5 - The Wonder Crew

I guess to be able to explain this story, I'll first have to describe my best friend, Pistol.

I'm not even entirely sure as to why I haven't mentioned him before. I think it's partly because I know that the story surrounding him is so complex and inter-linked to bizarre connections here and there, that I've been putting off trying to explain it. Also partly because I don't want to give him the smug gratification of him knowing I blogged about him.

Because the thing is, Pistol and I have a friendship that next to no-one understands. 

Everyone always says "Well you clearly like each other" or "Everyone knows that they're sleeping with each other", and it just makes us laugh. But it's not because we have this 'spiritual connection of kindred spirits above normal friendships' or anything like that, in fact, its hilariously quite the opposite. 

It's because we absolutely hate each other. 

I met Pistol at start of my second year at University, around the same time as the Interesting Boys, and to pinpoint how exactly we met isn't quite possible. Initially I met him through sport as he was the ex-quarterback and me being the Senior Captain of the Level 2 Cheerleading squad, but it turned out that our mutual friends and interests spanned very broadly.

He was the friend and course-mate of Jasper of The Interesting Boys, love interest of my housemate (the one who had a brawl with Sarah) and also, hilariously, lived in a house with both Liam and Alex. Talk about complicated. 

So regardless of what I was doing, what ever drama I may be caught up in, who I was hanging out with or where I went, he always seemed to be somehow involved. In fact, he'd been present on all the adventures I'd gone on with Alex.

And the very first thing he said to me? 

"I genuinely don't understand why people think you're attractive."


I strongly disliked him from the very beginning, as you can imagine, but most of that resentment came from the fact that I didn't dislike him at all. Because as much as it pains me to say it, he was insufferably charming and charismatic, and knew exactly how to work people. (I can't even explain the stick I'm going to get if he reads this.)

Also, our interactions reminded me a lot of the friendship I have with my friend from home, Harry. The kind of friendship where you are as competitive as feuding siblings, gloat endlessly if you achieve something more or better than the other, piss each other off to the point of physical aggression, yet deep down share the very same fears and ideas, frustrations and dreams, and are the first person to be there for the other when shit goes southward. 

And all of this in a completely platonic way. 

Although he'd been saying it to get a reaction, what he first said to me was entirely true, and mutual. The reason we can be such good friends is because we're simply just not trying to have sex with each other.

But anyway, back to the story.

On the adventure with Alex which had resorted in us crashing in the penthouse flat of a top city banker in Islington, this banker had actually been of Pistol's older brother's colleagues and good friends. For reasonable reasons because of reasons, let's call her Jasmine. 

Jasmine had partied with us all night and didn't think twice about letting us crash at hers. She was great fun and I was immediately fond of her. She, alongside about 12 or so others, including Pistol's brother, were part of this group of friends, which for reasonable reasons because of reasons, shall be called 'The Wonder Crew'.

About six months after that one random night, Jasmine sent out invites to all of us who'd stayed over, to attend her 30th birthday party, and come party with TWC. 

I remember telling Pistol about being invited, and we both sat in contemplative silence for a moment before bursting out laughing. Because we suddenly realised that we were the only ones left. Everyone else who had been with us then, had either fallen out, slept with the wrong person, found a relationship and disappeared or just generally fucked off in a weird estranged loyalty to people they liked, who didn't like other people, who liked us. 

In a sad way it was laughable. It's incredible how much things can change in as little as six months.

Everyone seems to always be so caught up in all these immature little social situations, pointless disputes and dramatic arguments, that they miss out on what life really is about. The adventure. In fact, the only ones who'd remained, were the ones who hadn't had sex with each other. Me and Him. 

High five, Pistol. 

So, along with our little Spanish friend Pedro, we set off to meet Pistol'd brother, who for reasonable reasons because of reasons I shall name Marcus, then head off to London to meet with Jasmine and the rest of TWC.

It was a daunting, but overbearingly thrilling prospect.

I'd never met any of them before, but the stories I'd heard of their adventures were ridiculous. Pistol had certainly painted quite the picture of this bunch. Also, I was a bit concerned because I just felt so... young. There was a ten year age gap between Pistol and Marcus, and an almost two year age gap between Pistol and I. All of the members of TWC were in their twenties or early thirties, and I'd only just turned twenty. Hell, Marcus was married with a son. I just hoped I didn't come off as immature.

I guess since my birthday, I've lived in fear of turning 21. Let alone considering anything beyond that. The future has always scared me because I'm so conscious of wasting time, desperate to make the most of every second because I'm so aware of how fleeting this all is. But as soon as I heard about TWC and got a glimpse into their lives, every single fear I'd ever had immediately evaporated. They were living the dream. My dream. 

 I was added into their message thread and introduced to all the other members - I've never seen such a bunch of good-looking humans. It was like I'd almost been adopted into this little exclusive group of the social elite, and it was kind of a little bit more than exciting.  

That evening was one of the most ridiculous nights of my life.

Like naughty teenagers we swigged vodka on the train, skipped through Kings Cross Station drunk, got kicked out the toilets for trying to squeeze into the same cubicle, bumbled onto tube trains and into black cabs, cavorting all across London trying to catch up with the rest of the party, before finally arriving at The Supperclub in Notting Hill. I'd never seen a place like it. The club looked like one huge bed, with people sprawled out or jumping around barefoot, sloshing Belvedere vodka everywhere, under what looked like a washing line strung with sheets of canvas with trippy images projected onto them.

We were escorted through the throbbing club and upstairs to the VIP area and presented with a plethora of free drinks. Jasmine arrived with the rest of TWC and I was blown away by not only how glamorous and they all were, but also so damned friendly. It was hard to believe that they were actually a real group of friends, they looked like the cast of a TV drama, like Gossip Girl or something. 

They were all pretty well-off, successful  and most of all, they all looked so happy. I suppose that was when that I got that same feeling as I did when I was stood in Mr X's flat. This is the life I want to live.
It was then something clicked in me. 

Every week at university, there seems to be the same routine.

"Are you out tonight, Kate?!"

"Uh, I doubt it..."

"Er, why?"

"Just don't really feel it."

"But you never come out any more!"


"Whatever, be anti-social. Bye."

I'd started to think I'd finally become a full-blown cynic. I just didn't see the joy in it anymore, and to be honest, I didn't care much for the people either. I just wasn't like them. I'd grown weary of the drama.

But that night in Supperclub, I felt electric. I felt alive. Pistol, Pedro and I danced the night away, drinks being handed to us from all angles, laughing and tumbling about the place with the most incredible bunch of people. I've always been an old soul, far too wise and cynical for someone of my age, but despite being the youngest there, I finally felt right. This was the mischief, the adventure, the life, the people, I'd been craving.

I don't enjoy going out at University because we were all still just children. There's no adventure in getting drunk, taking things you shouldn't and kissing people you definitely shouldn't with people that do nothing else but that. It just becomes so dull. 

The real thrill of mischief, comes with people who should probably know better. 

As I stumbled across the uneven cobblestones toward Warwick Avenue tube station at 11am the next morning, I couldn't even find it myself to worry that I was definitely going to be extraordinarily late for work, that I'd absolutely destroyed my shoes and my bank balance, and there was a painful ringing in my ears. 

Because as the ever elusive spring sun finally danced down upon the City, Pistol trudged beside me, laughing at my stumbles, Pedro behind, clutching a random bottle of Guiness he'd just picked off the street because it had a note on it saying "Take Me", I felt a stir of change in me. I've always lived in fear of the future, in fear of growing up and getting older... the whole time never actually noticing that in my mind, I've been there the whole time. 

I've written before of my perfect future, but now it all just seems one step closer. I feel like being in the City is good for my soul. I feel myself falling in love with London, despite it being on my doorstep. I wouldn't want to be anywhere else. I genuinely cannot wait to grow up, move to the city, find a job, fall in love, go on adventures, write, thrive and live.

I also cannot wait to adventure with The Wonder Crew again.