A walk with happiness

On the weekends, I wake up in my apartment building to a whole different place. The frantic frazzled nature of footsteps and shuffling are silent, as the lifts stay empty and you can almost hear everyone exhale, as it marks the two days of freedom.

Two days where you don’t need to rush anywhere, do anything or say all the right things.

Two whole days where you don’t need to pretend to be perky at 8am, race off to the gym or squeeze in that dog walk before madly scrambling to get to work on time.

You can throw the schedule and the need to check your watch every few minutes out the door. Grab the morning coffee not because you need it, but because it’s waiting for you, whenever you decide to show.

Or on amazing mornings, the coffee comes to you in bed (not all the time but when your lucky).

I use to think joining the 9-5 grind, would be defeating, however being in my final year of uni I can’t help but fantasise about it.

Working all weekend and studying during the week makes your days off kind of elusive. I thought after years of living this hospitality/retail life I would be use to it by now- but it’s always felt rather weird and unstructured.

On Fridays after work, I wait for my friend at our favourite bar. My friend is always late, but it’s okay as I usually view it as Karma, for wearing the title of ‘the late friend’ for the past few years. His excuse is he’s Columbian- ” I work on a different clock, gorgeousssss, ” he tells me rolling his ‘s’ all in a pretty line. He usually buys the first round as an apology.

The place is one of the best underground bars in the city. Camouflaged down a dark alley way with no lighting, it’s not accessible to the street. Making it an impossible first date location and too hard for tourists to find.

Down a dirty stairwell, the door opens to what looks like a different world, with barman’s in bow-ties and white button-down shirts and leather seats with golden fairy lights hanging from the rafters. It’s kind of like a 1920’s cross Wild West feel, complete with candles dripping down wine barrels.

There is never enough room as you must wait to snag a spot at the bar, where bartenders hand you bowls of pretzels. Padded in leather stools with dark wood and mis-matched brick; men sit without company at the bar, making friends with whoever’s next to them. The barmen double as therapists, giving their patients helpful advice with a side of whisky.

I perch myself on a stool, as my friend takes his time to show. The barmen usually never engage with me further than topping up my water or pretzel supply, which I always found odd since we’re of similar ages, however I think they prefer to talk to the older men because it’s easier. Somewhat sentimental, like talking to their dads.

I don’t mind as I love listening to the male-conversations around me. I realised rather quickly that women usually don’t come to drink alone, whereas men seem to rather enjoy it. Like being alone doesn’t really matter to them or their confidence.

After a while a man to my left or right asks me what I’m drinking. My friend usually shows up soon after and places his hand on my back which makes whatever man I was chatting to disappear.

My friend and I then chat about everything and anything. We unravel what happened to us that week at work, funny things that customers said, trying days, the ins and outs…

If the mood strikes, by the time we finish our bowl of pretzels, we head off to the closest place to dance. We both have work early tomorrow morning, so dancing doesn’t happen often.

But when it does, I love borrowing that taste of freedom and energy from those who’s weekend is just beginning. Letting stress dissipate into the night air as the lights climb all over the room, like a hungry spider searching for something. And the alcohol and eyes in the club making everything smooth and sultry. Bodies in crinkled cotton move like liquid, as time takes a much needed smoke-break…

The next day, I’m off to work early for a full day of brides, stress and trying to make budget before leaving exhausted and sick of people.

And before I know it, I blink my way to my way to Sunday.

My favourite day of the week.

On Sundays, work usually starts late and it’s a half-day, meaning half of the day still belongs to me.

I like getting up whenever I want, reading my book without rushing and then taking my dog Loui for a bigger walk than usual. The sun is out and I feel myself coming back, as I welcome her with open arms and a coffee.

Loui is always the happiest when we’re out of the house and walking together. He’s blissful, even despite his tail looking rather mangled, with a single puff of fur right on the end.

The wind caresses his toffee-tones, like fingers through hair as the sun is the perfect temperature of warm.

We sit in the park next to the pool, as we can hear the water sloshing around and the scent of the Frangipani trees wafts over, filling our noses.

I selfishly absorb Lou’s happiness as he bobs next to me on the lead and it too becomes my favourite things.

Just him and me, walking with the sun out and nothing in our heads.

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