I've always struggled with goodbyes. I am a romanticist and hate things ending. Graduating school was traumatic rather then celebratory, leaving home on my first trip alone gave me proper fear, heck, I even feel some sadness when my bus arrives at the bus station. I am everything a movie should not be, a wild beginning, enjoyable middle and undesirable end. But here we are and this day has come.
GOODBYE GLASGOW: A FAREWELL LETTER
I don't know how we ended up together. There were, of course, a range of factors that made me place you as my number one choice for international study abroad. Your proximity to an Urban Outfitters, your lack of Australian population, your low mark requirements for acceptance at my home university. Everyone told me you were unattractive, boring and rough. You were the 'ugly' sister of the stylish and beautiful Edinburgh. I guess I could relate. I didn't know what to expect from you so I didn't expect anything. For once my wild imagination did not run in speculative circles and I was an open canvas for you to draw on.
I didn't sleep on the morning Ryan Air Flight 150: Berlin to Glasgow. Perhaps the hangover from the months of partying and exploring hadn't hit me (and perhaps it never will). You first sketched a Facebook group chat, of all things, and a drunk voice message from a boy named Tom. His repetition of my name into the microphone through thick accent would have scared most people off, but the humour reminded me of a homely place 17,000 km away. I soon came to realise that every shenanigan involving a drunk Tom, and others, would evoke such a feeling.
I arrived to a set of steep stairs towing 3 months of my life on my back. Not long after I danced in my room, just because, I was interrupted by a ginger haired girl named Abbie. She was then my first flatmate and now among my dearest friends.
The sketch introduces some new figures from the Forbes Hall group chat. It's Rachel from the Chat's birthday and word has spread that there's a party. Would I normally turn up to a strangers birthday party an hour early by myself knowing no one else attending? No. Would my second night in Glasgow and a superior level of keenness change this? Yes. Sketch in squad. Erase a questionable American exchange student who used the phrase 'why don't you bring your pyjamas back to my flat' as a pick up line.
The drawing continues. The time I met my dearest friend Mark and we convinced everyone we were a couple despite his sexuality saying otherwise. The night at Kushion I thought I kissed Tom but it was actually Dan. The Sub Crawl that ended in tears. Belting out Loch Lomond whilst standing on furniture. The Halloween Party where I put myself to bed at midnight. Every party in A7 where I put myself to bed at midnight (all of them). The Hummus. The skipped and failed classes. The Tinderbox dates and Deliveroo Waffle life interventions. Iona's Aldi man. Dan's chopping board. Sean's dancing. Lorna's jacket collection. Rachel's accent impressions. Americans getting spiked. Spice boys getting cheeky nandos. The list is endless and the canvas is filled.
I look at this work and it's so fictitiously beautiful, except it is not fiction. These things happened. They were a short but wonderful period of my life and I will be eternally grateful for them. I am eternally grateful for these friends who have become my family, for the growth I have experienced and for the love I have felt. In their song 'Glasgow', Catfish and the Bottleman exclaim 'you make me fall in love with Glasgow'. Glasgow, you made me fall in love with life.
So here we are then. The end, the goodbye. Flat 01's playing the final song of the night and by a work of miracle none of us have been thrown out. And we're so sad and drunk and coming down from whatever's been taken. Blue Lagoon is open and with our chip's and curry in tote we're back at Forbes Hall. And just as we ready to head off to our respect A7D's, Ewan turns and says 'so A1?'
See you at the after-gaff.
Queen of Forbes Hall