I feel strange.
More than usual, I mean.
I have just listened to the 20 minute 'Best Student Radio Station' award entry for my old university station: RaW.
There are an awful lot of familiar voices on there. People whose faces were conjured up by their voices, bringing with them memories and smiles. The excitement of being on air, experimenting, playing, making mistakes...all of it, rose up inside me again.
Ten minutes later I was explaining the difference in the basic methods of mixing with vinyl and CD to my boss.
"And you can do that, can you?"
All of a sudden I feel like something I cut off has grown back - as though a part of me is there again.
For those of you who don't know, I left university a little...unconventionally.
The details of what happened are so long and packed with vital, boring facts that even I would shy away from blogging them.
To keep it simple, I was due to stay for a fourth year, but I crashed out with honours.
I was made for university. Such an enormously fun and open social scene, so much to do, to see, to run, organise, make bigger, improve...make more fun...
It was a lifestyle I loved, coupled with doing things that I loved, rolled up with a huge group of people that I loved.
And it was taken away from me.
While a student I was involved with a number of societies with strong links to their alumni - ex-students who would come back and chip in, help out and enjoy things. Some societies had ex-members that were in their thirties, who everyone only knew as ex-members, everyone else who they knew from their time at university having stopped coming back years ago. To me, it seemed an unhealthy preoccupation - to harp on back to lost days for so long.
So when I was cut off from that life, I resolved to do the opposite. I returned once to DJ a night in the Union - I enjoyed it enormously, but I didn't want it to get beyond that.
I was so scared of that unhealthy preoccupation that I slowly and gently began to remove the reality of my student days form my memory, leaving only dry anecdotes and tales of alocohol, music and attempting to swap an uprooted tree for a packet of crisps at three in the morning.
"We can't ever go back to old things or try and get the 'old kick' out of something or find things the way we remembered them. We have them as we remember them and they are fine and wonderful and we have to go on and have other things because the old things are nowhere except in our minds now."
Nicely said, Senor Hemingway.
But through the shock I even cut off what was truly in my mind, and now I've got all that memory back. It was real. It was me. I am so definitely alive, here, now, but I was also there then, and we are the same person.
It was electrifyingly painful, but it has softened.
I feel good.
And goddamn I want RaW to win that award.