Streetkids and loud northerners

We bought the game back to 4-2 and for a short time looked like pressing to reduce the defecit again.  But I had to leave soon in order to cycle back to the flat, shower, take a bus and then a tube to the coach station.  Playing the whole game would make catching the coach extremely tight.  We conceded a fifth and I left immediately, stripping off my kit and leaving it in a pile before throwing on a different pair of shorts and top and cycling off.

Some extremely ‘street’ kids, complete with hoods and chains, aged 14-16 got on the bus and sat behind me along the back seat.  They discussed the previous night’s antics.  One of them had been cautioned by the police again.

“I can’t believe I got my fifth warning, man.  I ain’t no criminal.”

“Yeah you are, a little bit,” his mate replied.

“Fuck you, I’m a nice guy,” he said, sounding sincere, like he believed it.

The conversation moved on and they discussed their girlfriends.

“Show me a picture on your phone, man.”

“No way, blad.”

“Come on, I showed you pictures of Chantele on my computer.”

“I aint got no naked ones though..”


“Ok, I’ll show you half of one.”  He presumably covered part of the screen as he showed his friend his mobile.  They breathe admiringly.

“Man, I am so nicking your phone when you aint looking.”

I make the coach with about three minutes to spare.

The house party I attend is so thickly populated with young people from northern England that it feels like I might be up there.  A group of two or three guys are particularly loud – almost as if competing in volume, uncaringly brash, and wantonly racist.  They do it for effect, to be funny and shocking.  It makes me uncomfortable and quietly angry but I say nothing.

The girls too seem to have little by way of volume control. Drunkenness becomes widespread after a time and some suffer worse than others.  The evening peters out surprisingly early with a number making up their beds in the lounge by 1am.  Roughly eight or nine of us stay overnight.  I shiver without any cover on an inflatable mattress, sleeping only sparingly through the night to the backdrop of various alcohol sweat, farting and snoring.

Before eight in the morning, one of the young, racist northerners returns to the flat after locking himself out and spending the night in his car.  He demands his girlfriend, a beautiful girl he doesn’t deserve, and the rest of their party of two or three leave immediately so he can play football for his pub team later on in the morning.

He’s probably not yet sober, and neither is she, yet she subserviently agrees and sets about packing up their gear with little protest.  There are only a couple of murmurs of discontent.  I crack open an eye and see her rolling and squeezing air from one of the mattresses.  Does she look sheepish, ashamed, embarrassed when she momentarily catches my eye?  Difficult to tell.

They take FOREVER to actually leave.  The blokes especially, fiddling with things, stomping loudly back and forth without much identifiable purpose, chattering and shouting loudly along the way, oblivious to the other dormant bodies in the room.

One tries to put the stereo back on, which is down by my feet.  I click it off immediately.  I can’t bear dithery people who take an age to leave anywhere, even in coffee shops; it makes me want to shake them.  I snap a little, “are you still fucking here?!”  My tone is ambiguous but I think it’s taken jokily.

One or two better hours of sleep are retrieved once they finally leave and I’m given a sleeping bag which had been originally intended for me.  A tall, big-set Irishman, who is part of the northern group and also has a single booming foghorn setting, displays a complete lack of any consideration as he wakes.  He chats to his girlfriend normally, which stirs everyone else.

They speak of their friends and how selfish the guy had been to demand his girlfriend drive him back up north to play football when they were both still over the limit. “They were both selfish,” a girl says of the two guys who had demanded they leave immediately.  I’m not sure how loudly it’s intended, but I sleepily emit, “they were both wankers”.  The following short silence suggests it was audible.


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