A couple of years ago, Simon Macbeth was on the computer surfing around the Friends Reunited website. I went on to the Leeds College of Art & Design and found Lee’s name on it. What I found really hurtful was that he’d said on his profile: “Hi to anybody who remembers me from Leeds/Bradford college of Art (Matt, Spud, Lisa…) get in touch, let’s go out for a shandy!” I don’t blame him for forgetting to mention me, as he was always good to me and it was me who’d messed that all up.
The first time Lee and I went out and got pissed together was in the first year at College. It was a few days before I was due to go to Paris with my course and it had been a real struggle getting the money together to pay for that and find money to spend while there.
We were due to go early on a Saturday morning. I’d managed to scrape the money together to be able to go. On the preceding Thursday, I was feeling a bit down because I’d only got about 30 quid spare. Lee wasn’t coming on the trip because he couldn’t afford it, so we went into the university to go on the racing games. While we were there, we nipped into the bar to have a quick drink. Lee didn’t have any money on him, so I bought us a pint each and we got a double whiskey chaser to go with it. We were only in that bar for a little over an hour and a half, consuming a couple of pints and a dozen whiskeys each. When it came time to leave, we were more than a little wobbly.
I remember going back to college. We didn’t want to go in to college really pissed and get into trouble as a result, so I sent Lee in first to try and take the attention away from me a little bit. I’d reasoned that if you went in by yourself, no one would be aware of you. If you went in together, for some reason everyone would notice you. A couple of minutes after Lee had made his entrance I followed him in and got my stuff. There was a double door in one of the corridors where one side was locked and the other open. I walked slap bang in o the closed one at full throttle.
It was eventually time to try and find my way back to my Gran’s where I was staying for a few days before I moved into a new place. I got in to Leeds City Centre, jumped on a bus, and although I’d been to my Gran’s house hundreds of times and had been brought up in that area of Morley, I had no idea where I was. I was on the back of the bus attempting to conceal from the driver that I was being violently sick whilst looking out of the window trying to work out if I was on the right road, or even the right bus. I was getting a bit panicky in my drunken state, so I decided that the best thing to do was get off the bus and try and get my bearings.
I should have known where I was. I was on the main Dewsbury Road and I’d been up and down there a thousand times. I walked to the front of the bus and asked the bus driver if I could get off at the lights and he wouldn’t let me. I just said to him really nicely, “If you don’t let me get off now I’m just going to puke up all over your bus,” at which point he stopped rather hastily and I stumbled off.
Now I’m so out of it that I’m moving at half speed, whilst everything around me is going at 100 miles an hour and my eyes are not focussing properly. I formulated a plan that the best thing to do was just go to sleep and wake up the next morning, sober and more able to find out where I am and sort it all out. So I sat down on the pavement, leant against someone’s garden wall with my head between my legs, and tried to get some sleep.
After a little while, a lady came up to me. She had been walking her dog. She stopped to ask me if I was all right and I just told her as politely as I could that I was, that I just wanted to go to sleep and I would appreciate it if she just left me alone. She was concerned. She said, “You can’t go to sleep on the side of the road,” and she eventually convinced me to go with her to her house, which was behind the next wall along to where I’d been trying to get to sleep.
I collapsed on her doorstep and she got me a glass of water and offered to get me a blanket, so if I was intent on sleeping outside I would be a bit more comfortable. I thought she was being nice to me, but it turned out she had her own motives for the little blanket story. Ten minutes later, a couple of policemen turned up. Although I was still really drunk, I recognised who these guys were and what they stood for. They helped me up, put me into the back of the car, and started firing questions at me.
I had no intention of giving them my name or address, so I played on my drunkenness a little bit and made some strange noises. I told them that I couldn’t remember my name or address, which they found a bit difficult to believe. I tried to pacify them by telling them that I was stopping at my Gran’s for a while and couldn’t remember where she lived. I knew full well she lived in Morley, but didn’t want these policemen to take me around to her house in the state I was in. So I was stuck in the back of the police car with the policemen not knowing what to do with me. I refused point blank to identify myself, so they decided to take me down to the detoxification centre where I spent the night.
I remember being put into a room that resembled a cell, which housed a bed and a door that wasn’t locked. I fell asleep on the bed, woke up the next morning tired, thirsty, emotional, and completely disorientated. I went across to the door and opened it up and found myself looking down a corridor. I could see a window and it was still dark outside. At the end of the corridor there was a light and I could hear people talking and a television on. I walked down the corridor and asked the people where I was. They told me that I was so drunk the night before I’d slept through the night until now when it was about 5.30 am.
I asked them if it would be all right for me to leave. I was thinking I might still be in some kind of trouble, but they were cool and said, “Yeah, off you go.” I was pleasantly surprised when I left the building that my college was right next door. I arrived at college at just after half past five in the morning, so I was early for a change. I sat in college, it was all dark, turning on all of the lights myself and trying to get a little more sleep on the table in the classroom.
In the months after leaving college I had split up with a girlfriend named Sarah and didn’t want to spend a long boring summer kicking around Leeds. I had no idea what I was going to do with my life. A year earlier, I had stayed at Lee’s house. I just picked up the phone to Butlin’s and asked them if I could work there again. They gave me a start date of a week later. I got on a coach and endured a five-hour ride to Skegness. I didn’t know anybody there.
I got there in the evening and spent that first night alone, having a bit of a wander round to get my bearings. The next morning, I found out where I was supposed to be for the induction training. I made a friend there named Paul, who I hung out with for the rest of the time I worked there. It was great to get away from home. It was good to be doing something that was fun all of the time.
I worked as a waiter there for eight weeks and in that time I never had a full week’s work. I don’t think there were two consecutive days where I got to work on time. I wasn’t there for the work, I just wanted to get pissed, shag as many women as I could and have fun. I was about as far away from the perfect employee as it was possible to be.
Learn More About Simon Macbeth Leeds
You can find out more about Simon Macbeths life, from being a child and growing up in Leeds, to where he is now. A successful, award winning, business owner and web designer that owns high ranking websites. He is active on Google+ and Facebook where he creates interesting content.
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