Every person you will ever see on Derby Road
There is no escape
Living in Lenton there’s no way to avoid it. Derby Road has delighted the students of Nottingham for many years. It is our Route 66, Stairway to Heaven and road to nowhere. Anyone is who is anyone graces the Derby Road catwalk.
Adidas Brand Manager
He’s your next door neighbor, he’s the boy you picked up in Crisis last night and he’s the one rolling a cigarette outside Hallward. He’s everywhere. The Adidas guy dons all things tracksuit related. The vintage jumper. The tracksuit bottoms that get suspiciously slimmer as they make their way down his weedy legs. The bright, bright trainers that glow as he struts down Derby Road. And to top it off, the snapback, positioned backwards because who wears a hat properly these days anyway? As he walks up to Sainsbury’s bus stop, he slaps his best bud from the home countries on the shoulder, pulling him into a bear hug because he’s so secure in his own masculinity. This guy thinks he’s the don, and there are hundreds of them.
The walk of shamers
There’s something off about that girl wearing the men’s sports hoodie, her hair is slightly dishevelled, her make-up somewhat smudgy, her eyes are hollow and colourless. And that guy, his attire is formal but his demeanor suggests anything but. His tie is loose, windsor knot askew, jacket crumpled and if you look closely you would swear he is only wearing one sock. These people have just had sex.
They are not walking down Derby Road but swimming down it through a sea of remorse and regret. The journey to their own bed is brisk and desperate, hoping beyond all hope they will not see anyone they know under the cover of dawn. Not long until they can try and forget last night ever happened, at least until someone calls them out on the squad chat.
The person you banged in freshers
It was the first night in Nottingham. You were nervous, keen to make a good first impression. You had just finished unpacking your doorstop, leaver’s hoodie and the bottle of vodka you sneaked out of mum and dad’s cupboard in the kitchen. You can’t really remember how, but it’s two hours later, you’re deep into a game of ring of fire, absolutely smashed and you catch the eye of someone’s mate from a different floor. You shared a horrendously awkward night of something that was very far from passion, but now every morning when you’re on your way to intro to Chinese studies there they are. Neither of you say anything and you act like you didn’t ask them to do that weird thing that your ex did.
The person you matched on Tinder, but it never really went anywhere
They know you, you know them, you both ignore each other.
The obvious computer scientists
Shit knitwear, questionable glasses, and a shoulder bag. You can spot them from a mile off. They’re the sort of person that has a phone made by Dell, because it lets them program on the move. Their skin betrays to the world how long it’s been since they spent a sunny day outside. They move in packs.
Guy from your seminar that’s just a little bit too posh
George has round turtle shell glasses that you think have clear lenses. He drives a BMW that his dad bought him and his signet ring clicks on the gear stick. On the rare occasions he walks to uni, you’ll see him with his snapback on backwards talking to his friend Lou about their great times at Harrow/Stowe/St. Pauls and you just think you know what George, not today.
The un-irionic northern lad
One syllable name, probably from Yorkshire somewhere, it’s as if the last 10 years didn’t happen to him. You have to be careful because if you let him nibble even a tiny bit, he’ll hold you up for hours talking about his weird sexual antics in Ocean with his mates’ little sisters and referring to girls as birds. A lot.
A guy that went to your school
You feel like you should be mates with James, you’ve been through a lot. A-levels, prom, the awkward squad trip to napa, where you all fell out because someone tried to get with Tom’s missus. But you’ve changed, he’s got his mates, you’ve got yours, you’re in a different place. You might half-arsedly offer him a lift home at Christmas, but you don’t really mean it and he won’t be bold enough to take it.
Someone you’re actually friends with
It’s rare, but occasionally you might bump into someone you really don’t mind spending time with. You might get a pint.