I first heard Raury’s ‘God’s Whisper’ in the closing scene of American Honey. It’s a film about a girl trying to find herself and while travelling the American Midwest selling magazines with other such teenagers. But that’s beside the point. Or maybe it’s not, you can never really know until it’s all over I guess.
The first time I saw American Honey was one weekend recovering from a netball social when I was at Lancs. And that song, in that final scene, stuck with me. Gosh, I played it over and over and over. It seemed to perfectly encapsulate, just, the entire experience. I’d felt, and it’s such a cliché – cheers Chbosky, infinite. And now, any time I hear it, I think of England. I’m listening to it on repeat.
Going back to England I knew would be a shout. You’re never going to have a bad time on holiday. But damn. Visiting Lancaster again was like having the final week I wish my final week had been. While spending 10hrs a day working on six different essays with Frankie was as good as we could make it, LOTR soundtrack on and cracking a Budweiser as soon as was socially acceptable, it was a little tedious. Not the last hurrah one hopes for. But that week in Lancs is what dreams are made of. Bowland winning Founders for the first time in 5 years, which I don’t think was a coincidence at all. Afternoon BBQs at Williamson Park watching the sun set at 10PM or something equally ludicrous – never got used to that either. Becoming heavily invested in Love Island and incorporating it into pres, it is what it is. Extravs, fluffy ducks, games of Paranoia. Dancing like absolute idiots at empty nights in Sugar. Going to Daltons on my first night there and being completely sober but very much on a level. Celebrating firsts and 2:1s with bottles of Prosecco on the hill. That entire week has a sundrenched filter over it.
My first time round at Lancaster I knew I’d met some right sorts. I marvel at how lucky I’d got. The entire application for exchange was done on a whim, bit of a coping mechanism. People asked me why I chose Lancaster, and I really can’t remember why. I think they had a course I really wanted to do. Cancelled it the week before I started. Chose Bowland in the way that you choose the second cheapest option at Coles. You don’t want basic basic, but you are skint. I got placed in Flat 8 of Ash House, in the girls end of the corridor. And everyone I lived with was amazing. But three of those girls were proper nice – Frankie, Anna and Ellie. Organised a lunch at Bowland bar for one lunch, and thus Pie Pals was born.
But experiences like that can just be a little phase. That Aussie girl who lived with us for a while who said words like heaps and punish and called everything chips. Who, like some kind of idiot, thought 5 degrees was cold.
By going back, I made it concrete. These are people I’m going to know and love for the rest of my life. Not just those three girls, but all the other rad humans I met over there. (I’d list them all but then they’re be the politics of what order to put them in and if I’ve left any out.) People who made me feel very comfortable and accepted, by way of bantering and making sure the self-esteem takes some real hits, proper floppy now.
I’ve never found leaving a place this hard. I was thumbing through my little notebook the other day and found something I wrote but don’t remember doing, while at Gate 10 in Melbourne Airport: the cruellest part of the human existence is that you can only be one person.
Future note: do not make a 35hr commute home while hungover.