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I'm slightly jealous of the teenage me. He did a lot more dancing than I do

I met the ghost of my younger self this week.

Or rather I saw him lurking - shy, spotty and insecure - in the corridors and corners I used to know.

I had gone to Stirling University to talk to a lecturer - a lecturer, mark you - who was not even born (1) when I first turned up there as a student in 1982. How much more humbling a reminder of years passing could I need?

Then again, apart from the odd veteran academic, I guess most of the people on campus during my latest visit were not born back then. Looking around, there are hundreds of teenage students just getting going with life.

I was once one of them. And after I talk to the lecturer (2), I take a wander around, stirring up memories, conjuring up wispy phantoms of the boy I used to be. There is the playing field where we lost the semi-final of the six-a-side intermural football (3). There is the bit of grass where I swapped midnight kisses with J, surrounded by a multiplicity of mating frogs (a scene clearly directed by David Lynch). And there is the lecture theatre I would invariably fall asleep in during that week's Michelangelo Antonioni movie (it took me another 25 years before I managed to see L'Avventura all the way through).

I first came here 32 years ago, a Sunday. Musical Youth's Pass The Dutchie on the radio. Thirty-two years. That's a big number. I am not sure I even know the 19-year-old boy I was then, a boy who was just getting going with life, having spent most of the previous three years "doing a Morrissey" as we would later learn to call it (ie, hiding away in the bedroom for the duration of teenagedom as his Mozzness had done). Then again, the shyness and insecurity are still present. I'm not as spotty. Well, most of the time.

In a way I'm slightly jealous of the teenage me. He did a lot more dancing than I do now. He could play a game of six-a-side football without keeling over thinking he was having a heart attack. He did not have to worry about his 12-year-old daughter having a boyfriend. He had the innocence - and energy - of youth. What I still share with him is my general fecklessness. In those days I was more than capable of pulling a just-boiled kettle down on myself. But I didn't break any bones. Maybe I'm getting worse. I suggest as much to J. "There's no maybe about it," she says.

Come to think of it, when is the last time she kissed me? That excuse about there being no mating frogs in the vicinity is wearing thin.


[1] He's 28. Not that I'm jealous or anything.

[2] Did I mention he's 28? And has already written two novels. No, not jealous at all.

[3] My team-mates were mostly English. So naturally we went out on penalties.

Twitter: @teddyjamieson

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