Mhairi came to stay in the flat for a night last week. She was jetting off from Glasgow Airport to Canada the next morning, so it made sense to come down and crash here instead of travelling from Dundee/Inverness dead early.

There’s a memory from my ‘youth’ sometime where someone made a comment on the lifestyle of students – possibly in a disparaging way actually – remarking that they’d spend all day in coffee shops and bars discussing Kierkegaard and Nietzsche.

Thing is, I’d never known any real students to do such a thing, or if they did, it was always ‘philosophy 101’ as Douglas Coupland would describe it – repeating half-understood ideas with vigour as if they were their own.

Myself and Mhairi used to write really long letters to each other, back when she didn’t really use the internet (she still doesn’t) and we were too young to afford or get round the familial politics to visit each other in our respective cities; cities which at the time may as well have been across an ocean. The letters would often end up pages and pages long, filled with observations and ideas and emotions and feelings about life and the world.. There was no attempt to squash our experiences into the mould or words of anyone else, and no effort to try and explain it away with reference to philosophies..

so I had to laugh at the irony when we found ourselves sat in ‘Home’ with a couple of beers talking about existentialism. Despite resistance to the idea for a long time, it’s become clear (for me anyway), that my reliance on experience and addiction to emotions – be they bad or good – is a trait of the existential. I’ve known it for a long time, but I’ve finally given in to it.

It’s not something to be dwelled on or really to talk to anyone else much about, as the inevitable cliché quotes and preconceptions will be spewed forth, but it was nice to delve into it all for a night with an old friend.

Dundee, May 2010
Hasselblad 500CM – Kodak Portra 160NC (expired 2006)


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