A night of little sleep, poetry and lots of rain

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Daniel Hunwick (he/him)

Art by Anest Williams

A dive into 80’s night at the Queen Margaret’s Union found me drinking a few cranberry vodkas and hopping jubilantly to many songs from the 2000’s and 2010’s. The DJ was quick to segue into Mr Brightside, barely 2 minutes into a bass boosted remix of YMCA. The line to the bar was so long that I was sober from my first cranberry vodka before getting my second cranberry vodka. On the outskirts of the dance floor I met a fellow Canadian who was holding the same drink as I was, which I found to be a little disconcerting. I walked home with an ex hard-punk rocker turned chef and Rick Astley up to Cairncross Road, and played a French game called Jungle Speed. We had to put down a square tile, and if the colour or shape matched someone else’s in the circle, then both players had to grab for the wooden baton in the middle. Many of the shapes looked very similar but weren’t, so this made for a good deal of intrigue. I ate Cheddar cheese Doritos conservatively. We went to what was going to be a ‘Chippy’, which turned out to be McDonalds, and I and two others pretended to be a car in the drive-thru because the store was too full and the line was too long. We didn’t get away with it, as the receiving employee mentioned he could see us through their surveillance cameras. I ran off across the street without saying goodbye and wandered to find a taxi. The rain began after 15 minutes, and for a good half an hour I accepted the inevitable and unchangeable in my life, and felt the rain drench my head, my clothes, and my soul to a clean slate. The city streets were laden with the remains of regurgitated meals and missing keys. I grabbed a chocolate bar from a convenience shop, as I never did get a Mickey D’s except from three floppy fries from a Liverpudlian, and was catcalled by a lady, “Only real men eat Yorkies!” I waited at the Nite Bus stop, with tens of other hopefuls, before bolting off again in impatience and risking my 4% battery life to order an Uber. While waiting for my ride I began contemplating the year gone by and the legitimacy of slow consistent progress, and how nothing showy to the naked eye ‘equals’ the framework of a stable foundation. Such as building upon knowledge from the structure of a Bachelor’s degree, as opposed to jumping on a plane to JFK and trying to work my way up to be a dancer/actor in those grimy independent studios in Queens. This serves as an argument of how the humble mind reaps greater crops later. You can fake humility to others, but when you are studying for a degree, or practicing a musical instrument, or working out every day, there is no way you can lie to yourself in order to complete those trying tasks. To dive into a discipline is to dive outside of, not only your comfort zone, but your pride. Wordsworth says something similar in respect to work ethic and authentic progress from ‘An Essay on Criticism.’

362  True ease in writing comes from art, not chance

363  As those move easiest who have learned to dance 

384  Avoid extremes; and shun the fault of such

385  Who still are pleased too little or too much

386  At every trifle scorn to take offence:

387  That always shows great pride, or little sense 

I was picked up at around 4:45am by a man who also seemed interested in literature. “The Romantic poets are the most influential to modern day literature in all of history” he taught me, and proceeded to quote a Robert Frost comic monologue about a man who wanders into the city at 5am and is asked questions by several people who believe he may have committed a terrible crime and is hiding the fact. I was amazed. I thanked him and tumbled out of the black automobile and trudged through five hundred fire doors to my toasted, heat radiated room, or what was left of it long past 5am in the morning. While mummified in my five fleece blankets obtained before I learned how heat radiators worked, I continued pondering the meaning of having genuine control over your progress and trajectory in life. In classical ballet and yoga, to find the ‘centre’, requires focus and coordination, which is neither relaxed, nor suffering. Overly negative or positive emotions cloud the mind of the possibility to achieve this state because the disruption of mental equilibrium impacts your core, and thus you become ‘off-centre’, off-balance.


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