“You’re not going to school, you’re going to Uni”, Ben says to me yesterday to object to my infantilisation of our common activity during the day. He’s wrong, because sometimes, I want to say that I’m going to kindergarten.
English houses are so small, and ours is no different. Waking up in the morning you’re directly confronted by the fact that you’re two guys sleeping in a smallish room; farting, sweating, and other things. You can sometimes cut the stuffy air with a knife until the point where you can open a window to allow the fresh cool air of industrial pollution and traffic gases in.
That first hour of the morning when you’re staring ahead, not thinking and just resisting the need to go back to bed for just five more minutes while mechanically eating the cereal in front of you, is not a lot better than that first awake whiff of the morning bedroom.
So this is adult life, huh? Paying the bills, waking up in a stuffy room every day, trudging off every other day to lectures and seminars. Every other thing is a departure from the routine; an exception to the daily flow that you’ve accustomed yourself to. Sometimes you welcome the interruptions, seek them out, and sometimes they’re imposed on you.
The idea of life being a challenge, an adventure, a process of discovery seems far away on the Monday mornings when the alarm rings in my smart phone and it’s time to get up for another day of exactly the same. While I love it, and feel deeply content with what we have, I’m under no illusion that it’s special or particularly important.
The biological and social imperative of the hairless great ape which the human is has been hard-wired into our nature, and so it’s what we do and what we want. And then, in school, you have Ben telling me I’m not going to school, but to University, and I can’t really tell him that I want this to be a school, a kindergarten, a special place where the humdrum routine of the naked great ape breaks a little bit. I wouldn’t even mind a bit of teenage angst and drama because the alternative is to be one of those ‘adults’ who never do anything which is not routine or planned or habituated.
Sometimes adult life seems like waking up in the same room you’ve woken up in for years, with the same person next to you, and both of you have farted and stuffed up the room with mere chemical and biological processes. There’s not a lot of imagination and creativity in that stuffed room; just the need to sleep more, and struggling to get out of bed. It’s like Winston Churchill’s damning of democracy with faint praise, isn’t it? “Adult life is the worst thing, except for all the other things”.