gra-dult-hood n.

1. A stage in life between graduation and adulthood.
2. Gradulthood often involves jobs that don't fulfil a graduate's expectations.
3. A term coined during the recession.

A stranded gradult

If it wasn’t for the tube I wouldn’t get further than five minutes from my house. In fact, I’m still so utterly reliant on it that once they shut the station gates at midnight, I’m stranded. This can sometimes be tricky on nights out.

When it gets to two, I’ve usually had it. I can simply no longer commit to my dancing. If I’m honest I started going through the motions twenty minutes ago and if you think I’m going to stand here and pretend I know the words to the new Britney song you’ve misread the situation. Then I remember where I am. Where I’m stuck. Ok, one more song. If someone cut the music right about now, it won’t reflect well on me.
Right, come on. I try and rouse myself. Unless you want to sleep on Tottenham Court Road tonight, you’re staying here till your mates want to leave. I look over at them, laughing, joking – how dare they! He said he wanted to go as well. Traitor! They might as well set up camp here. Would it be socially acceptable for me to crawl into the cloakroom and steal a cheeky hour’s shut eye? Instead I make do with a bit of micro sleep on the dancefloor. Call yourself a gradult Richardson?

Two-thirty. I’m swaying to Pitbull in a thoroughly unconvincing manner. In my head I’m doing some mental arithmetic. How much can I justify for a taxi right now? What’s my absolute limit? To feel that cold pillow against my head. I’d pay a hundred. I say my goodbyes, walk to the door and... remember who I am. What am I doing!? This goes against every thrifty bone in my body. Got to grind it out.

Quarter to three. I’m going through the motions with a warm lager. I don’t even know where this bottle came from. If I was in Nottingham now I’d be in a lovely alcohol induced coma. Then it hits me. Nightbuses! I can get a night bus. I’m always hearing about nightbuses. Sure, the stories usually involve menacing gangs, but I’ve got no money in my wallet and I hate my phone. They can have them both if it means I can sleep for a couple of stops.

So I ask around. You get the 36 from that stop opposite the McDonalds we passed, then get 77 from outside Oxford Circus. Say it again... You get the 36.. Hang on. Let me get a stone and a chisel, you might as well write it for me in hieroglyphics. Because I do not have a clue what you’re talking about. If I set off for this bus now, the next time you see me will be a passport sized photo in the Metro.

3 AM. Salvation. The lights turn on and appear at the end of tunnel. I’ve made it. I’m within touching distance of whatever sofa I’m calling a bed for the night. And not a moment too soon. This gradult is quickly learning that London is not a forgiving place for flagging revellers.

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