On the Wall

I hated college more than I ever hated high school. A fact that came back to haunt me. At least at high school I could escape at the end of the day. Here I was stuck, stuck, stuck in the muck of human flesh. They pulled at me, dragged me down. And there was no surrender.

Outside I could hear the sounds of children laughing. But no, that wasn't right. They weren't children, not any more. I wasn't a ghost, to be separate from them, eternal, non-changing. If they weren't children any more, then surely I wasn't, either?

They certainly thought they weren't children anymore. I could hear them fucking from down the hall. I witnessed the vomiting, the giggles, the stupid happy empty looks. I wished I could tell them how childishly they were behaving. They would only look at me with pity, and perhaps some disdain.

So this was how I passed my freshman year. Empty. Alone. Smoking cigarettes perched on the wall outside my dorm. I watched them come and go every day. They loved to stare at me. I became expert in giving them hostile looks. Pulling strange faces.

I was sat on the wall when the red haired boy walked past.

He was one of the people you see every day and never forget. I think what attracted me to him was the initial strangeness of his appearance. A long, dusty brown coat. Shoes pointed and polished. More than that, it was something in his manner of speaking, something in his face, that pointed him out as a kindred spirit.

At least, that was what I told myself as I sat on the wall.

That was what I continued to believe.

Even when I saw him talking to people. When I saw him smiling. When I saw his face book profile. A generic profile. A generic person. The compulsory squeeze back home; the mandatory clique here.

I don't know what I was expecting. Someone as cool as me, perhaps. Someone as isolated, as lonely. As fucked up and strange. As worthless, unpredictable and moody. Someone as alien, as other, as separate, as apart, as visionary.

That was what I told myself as I sat on the wall.