(Photo by Franz Meran from Popular Photography Magazine, February 1962)
Having a day off work the other day, I managed to do something that I now only rarely have the opportunity to do these days - have an afternoon nap. It brought back those times when I lived in share houses as a young student/waiter/unemployed wastrel. Afternoon naps were de rigeur then. They were a most effective means of shutting out the real world. More importantly, they were crucial for the avoidance of housemates. They were a sign that we had too much time on our hands, and I miss that luxury.
I remember the sensation of lying there, somewhere between wakefulness and sleep, in a darkening incense-filled room, listening to something like Blue Valentine. And the sensation of knowing that my housemates were lying in their own little rooms, listening to something equally sad. Equally avoiding me. And we'd all be furiously day-dreaming. Furiously convinced that our real lives hadn't started yet. In love with the wrong people but putting on a brave face. Wishing we resembled someone more attractive. Wishing we were more motivated. Better off. Imagining that everyone else was living the high life except us. Hating having to live with other people. Wondering why art school was such a bewildering disappointment in so many ways. Wondering what security really meant. Longing for novelty. Longing for a design for life. Longing for a Deus Ex Machina. Being hungover from cheap cask wine and rolled cigarettes. Thinking we were getting old when nothing could be further from the truth. We were only wasting precious time.
On the other hand, we were most resourceful (I have to keep telling myself that I'm nothing if not resourceful. And that there'll always be a way). We were expert scroungers in so many ways. Although this was taken when I later lived by myself, this photo from 1995 this shows the high-tech home entertainment system accumulated during my sharehouse years. In my mind, I've never moved on from this primitive technology. In so many ways. But then again, in my mind, I mostly feel as though I am still a 13 year old boy.
Oh, we were such silly dreamers.