A Dream from Portsmouth
I love looking over things that I have written in the past, trying to describe an emotion that I was feeling.
Here is one such occasion, I was in Portsmouth, England.
I moved there 4 years ago, straight after graduating from high-school in Canada, Kelowna, BC. I moved in with 3 of my closest friends (they still are — despite the distance that separates us). These were one of the most transformative years of my life. Very valuable. I treasure every moment — every memory.
I remember working every day from September to April. No days off. Not even Christmas. Not even sick-leave.
My first job was at a horrible Fish & Chips restaurant. The boss never thought I did anything right. They also underpaid me. Yes. It was illegal. And they paid me with cash. You know that something’s wrong, if your boss is paying you cash out of his wallet.
Nicole, someone I purposefully went to my Slovakian high school with, and arguably got baptized because of, moved to Australia after a month living with us, to get married to Josh. They are happily married and living just out of Brisbane.
Then there were just the 3 of us: Mark, Thomas, and me. It was interesting. There was definitely some miscommunication between us. As is always the case. Mark barely spoke to me. And I barely spoke to him. It was probably my fault, as I reflect on the past. But he did show a preference in spending time with Thomas.
I realized that I could get envious of someone spending time with someone else very easily.
Even as I write this, it seems so far away. So different. So incomplete. It’s like a word that I am about to say, but completely forgot, at the same time.
What is it? This memory.
We walked by the Ocean. I remember thinking, this is the reason I believe in God. I was a firm believer at the time. I no longer am.
And my University Studies began. I was studying Forensic Psychology at the University of Portsmouth. It didn’t work out in the end.
I remember playing a lot of guitar. Reading a lot. Writing a lot. I was desperate for something. Ed Sheeran’s story was my consolation. I thought — should I move to London? Pursue something similar to him. Give up everything, and pursue my dream.
I dropped out of my studies. I was spending too much time reading theology and playing guitar, writing songs.
I met some English girls. I still have one on Facebook. Mark’s siblings visited over Christmas. Mark left after that. He moved back to Slovakia. Me and Thomas had to find replacements. Rent was extremely high. Thomas was doing all the heavy lifting. He is quite something, that guy.
First a Lithuanian girl moved in. The a Belgian gent, that was big into graphic design. His girlfriend moved to a city close by — Southampton was it? We lived with him for some time. That’s when it happened. I landed a job at the pub where I was cleaning at. My Belgian friends went to Wales for holiday. Thomas went to Slovakia for holiday as well.
I was alone in the house. And I worked all the time. I remember feeling so sad. That is maybe why I took the offer. I didn’t realize how crazy it was. But it was something. An opportunity to live in one of the most romantic and scenic cities in the world.
It was when I was cleaning.. I received a phone call. I applied to a pub in Oxford. The Trout Inn. The lady on the other side of the line asked, “Hey, I see you applied.” I was dumbfounded. I finally received a response. The amount of times I applied to places and never got answers. But these guys responded. It was fantastic.
“And by the way, I had a question.” She paused.
“Your last name. It’s similar to mine.”
“Nie si nahodou ty Slovak?” She starts speaking Slovakian.
I start laughing. I buy a bus ticket to Oxford that day.
I moved again. I was laying in bed.
We used to go to the same school, I remembered.. I laid there, thinking about the time that flew by, how seven years ago at this time I would be in front of my friend’s apartment, in an apartment complex neighborhood. I walked down the railroads everyday with my classmate, to school. Where did these days go?
Sitting on this bed, cushions lay close, everyone was sleep on this side of the world.
I remembered. Yes, we laughed laughed together. I loved those moments!
I can never bring them back. I am living too far away. Did I really have to lose those moments? I want to feel sad.
Memories were sweet, I was witnessing time flying by. What could I do about it? Nothing. I was desperate, clinging on to my past.
I have not seen you in so long, the time flies by. It seems as if a day, but in time it becomes a year. And now it has been 5 years. You are something quite different.
Before you go…
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