Monday, 20 August 2012

Retarded Moment from my Student Days



Back in 02-03 I was living in the Student Village- practically the only smart building in the area being surrounded by Oxford Road’s aging metropolis, which consisted of the BBC building (now vacant and covered with a huge asbestos warning poster), The Spar and Monsoons chippy (the former now rebuilt, the latter now closed) and the Dancehouse (still in need of a lick of paint).

The Manchester Student Village is eight stories of student accommodation rebuilt on / converted from an old soap factory. I had a flat in the top floor, which had an incredible view of the Palace Theatre. People pay thousands for skylines like that. I was paying £60 a week. (Now, of course, the cityscape is probably obscured by another multi-story car park.)

At uni, there was too little work to do, the deadlines were months away and the distractions were impossible to ignore.

One night, me and my flatmate T were clowning about in the flat. Occasionally he’d set a fire extinguisher off, or we’d stand at each end of the corridor in our underwear throwing tennis balls at each other as hard as we could, trying to catch them. You got a bruise if your hands / body weren’t in the right place.

This particular night I was chasing him ‘round the flat for some reason. I saw him bend down quickly and in my peripheral vision I saw him pick up something large and brick-shaped and yellow and he turned and launched it at me full-pelt and I dodged-

There was a bang- loud and close to me, and my head hurt from something. I felt dizzy, and there was a cold wetness on my face. I touched my nose, feeling a dislodged nub of skin. My hand was covered in blood.

T started laughing- that kind of whooping, muffled laugh you make when you know you shouldn’t find something funny, but I couldn’t hear it for long as the ringing in my ears was getting worse and, fuck, my head hurt, and then came the grey…

*

I could see the ceiling of the lift, and part of the mirror. We were going down.

*

In reception, I could hear the accommodation manager on the phone to someone, saying “slipping in and out.”

*

Some guy crouched next to me. He was wearing green, and had a green bag. I sat up slowly and he held my head, thumbs under my eyesockets, and checked my vision. I felt tiredness and latex. He told me to follow his finger with my eyes.

I’ll be fine, he told me. I should get some rest.

Louise, one of the girls from over the corridor, had taken pity on me and dragged me to the lift, presumably. She’s one of the people stood around me like I’m being buried.

The security guard, a suspicious, stony-faced type, popped his head ‘round the side of the reception office. I first met him when I needed him to lockpick some handcuffs that the girls had used to attach me to a trolley.

This is the guy who pulls faces at the camera in the lift,” he said. Louise started to laugh.

*

When I got back to the flat, it occured to me that each door has a small sign displaying the room number- a strip of plastic nailed in. The corner of the plastic sign was what caught my nose, and the rest of the door what slammed into my forehead, knocking me clean out. 

T was still laughing. “That’s what I threw,” he said, and pointed. On the floor, there’s a kitchen sponge.

2 comments:

Tomleecee said...

so what hit you then? How did you black out? This doesn't make any sense Matthew.

CageFightingBlogger said...

It occurs to me there's some info missing here. Impromptu rewrite ahoy!