Session….not on the beer, but on the beer!

My alarm went off at 0600, I was already awake but struggle to sit up and turn it off, very little actual sleep again last night, the same reasons, as every other night. Quick wash, dressed and sit on the floor in the living room, a little vacant. I’m not sure how today is going to pan out. I am ultimately unsure if I am ‘upto’ walking into Piccadilly train station to meet the colleagues and staff and be taken to the place where this session is. I know that I didn’t want to get the train in, lucky, my brother who is working in Manchester today has said he will give me a lift in.
As I was walking down the street to where my car was parked, I felt like that this was going to be a bad day, I was feeling down and vacant again… I got in the car, stalled it, started it again and pulled out of the carpark, as I got down the road a bit, a red hot chilli peppers song came on, I felt… uplifted straight away and I started singing… well, speaking the words, within a few lines, maybe to the chorus, not too sure, I had tears rolling down my face, I carried on… and then stopped, I couldn’t physically do it… I tried… today is not going to be easy! As I was sat outside my brothers house, I got a message from sarah, saying how hat she was there for me and she always will be and what not, again, tears streaming down my face. This situation is now within my family unit, how many other people are in the same boat… the families of people that died, the families of the people that are injured, the families of those that were on the scene immediately after… then everyone else that is thinking could have been me, could happen again, I work in Manchester, or whatever else that could link them… that’s thousands of people affected or touched by this, not just me. I sat in the car for a good 10 minutes doing the staring at the window thing again.
I got to the Piccadilly station and met up with a colleague, we had to go into the station to meet another colleague. I said that we should walk up the street way, incase we walked past him, It wasn’t because of that at all, I didn’t want to walk the full way through the station! I was relieved that they both came, the first time I have seen them since Tuesday morning. We walked outside to meet up with some other staff, a few familiar faces from Monday night. We waited for a few more to turn up, whilst we were waiting, the building site over the way was working and going about their business, something dropped and made a bang, not an overly big one, but… none the less I had shit myself!
We all walked en mass to the hotel.
I sat in a room with 10 other men, all of whom witnessed the same as me. We all had a bit of a teary moment a number of times, we all had a laugh, it was very strange. I can’t say that I have any answers, but, I know what to expect and a few things to help. We left together and went for a beer in the sun. We are now part of a club, an exclusive club, not a good one to be in, but at least we can all share it. A couple of the big bosses (not from my company) came by to speak to us and to clear a few things up for us, that helped a bit, they asked us for our input on a few things, which was reassuring a massive reassurance actually! I am so glad that we were invited along to this session by another company, grateful really!
The day started like a tough one but has got clearer as it has gone on. One of the things we were asked was if we wanted a ‘private visit’ to Victoria station before it opens, have a look round and get acclimatised, if you like, but in a controlled environment and with the councillors etc, we discussed it and said yes….
Anyway, after leaving the other lads, I walked a mile or so to meet my brother who had offered to give me a lift home. We set off and I wasn’t really paying attention really, we got to a junction and he said, ‘ahh, shit, I didn’t think, are you ok going this way?’ I said yeah, barely lookin hip as to where we were, we were just driving past the arena car park, I wasn’t paying attention, it was all good…. until we got to the traffic lights, I looked to the right and saw quite a few people looking at all the flowers and teddy bears that had been left… I’m not going to lie, I broke down a little…
I will just add, there was a young Muslim boy, stood, brushing tears off his cheeks as he stood looking at the tributes with his dad stood behind him and his hand placed upon his shoulder…..
An unplanned visit off some good friends and a beer or two sorted that right out for now, that’s Friday over and done with! 👊🏻

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