Derby – city of the hangovers, heartaches, hidden handholding and half-price promises of my misspent youth. I returned here dragging my feet so reluctantly I may as well have been walking backwards.
A cup of tea, a deep breath, a check of the knitblast utility belt and a trip into my past.
Here was the house where I sat on the kitchen worktop and shared reduced-to-clear smoked salmon with three hungry rescue cats.
Here was the club doorway that I stumbled from at 3am in search of chips, cheese and mayonnaise for the cab ride home.
Here was the flat where I awoke in a tequila-reeking headstorm to find someone had filled my shoes with water and placed them in the freezer.
Here was the beer garden where I said “It’s not you, it’s me” to a soundtrack by Jarvis Cocker and Damon Albarn.
Here was the empty shell of the video shop where I slouched behind the counter reading comics and reluctantly doling out Chuck Norris films to people with tattooed knuckles and horrifying teeth.
Here was the pavement where a desperate suitor dripped ‘I love you’ onto the concrete from his bloody nose, in the most stomach-turning bid for my love I will ever be subjected to.
Here was the lecture hall where I, and every other girl in the class, fell slightly in love with a man who stood at the front and talked about Oliver Stone too much.
Here was the office block where I corrected mistakes for free ‘newspapers’ that even the rats at the dump, who lined their nests with them, wouldn’t read.
Here was where my best friend in the world and I discovered red wine, philosophy and Leonardo DiCaprio.
Here was where the first one that got away, got away.
Faced with a past me that drank pints, broke hearts, and wanted more than anything to grow up to be Batgirl, it was understandable a knitblast was on its way. A shadowy, slight and understandably purple knitblast that swung itself around a lamppost in the sacrosanct shadow of the city’s cathedral.
I still want to grow up to be Batgirl.