Introduction To “Pixie Dust”
The air is different in central Bristol; it’s a cool, crisp, and cold shoulder wind with a hint of mystery to make it have an edge above London. Realistically, the shroud of Banksy covers almost every small corner of the city, which is more of a unique hinge London already doesn’t have. It was where psychedelic patterns and plaid with ripped jeans coexisted in a mutually exclusive relationship over a few “tins” as the locals called it. It was also home to Joseph Grey for the next two years, and if that name sounds American? Well, that’s because it is. Only, he always questioned why his last name is spelled “Grey” with an “e” rather than “Gray” with an “a,” considering that’s the British spelling. Destiny, maybe.
You see, Joseph left his small town of Cedar Key, Florida, a population of 690, when he was 18. Why? Good question, he doesn’t know either. Call it the thrill of adventure or flying 4,000 plus miles as the crow flies to see if he could get lucky in a city for once. Being a wannabe animator in a city that’s known for animation is as likely of working out as being a director in New York City, at least. He figured it was. Everyone wants it, so nobody gets it. Then again, he was from Cedar Key, Florida, so he didn’t know.
It made sense not going to the biggest city on the block for him though. London got all the rage. Harry Potter made people back home think everyone went to Cambridge or Oxford or something. Frankly, Joseph liked that he had to do a little digging to find Bristol. He also liked that upon arriving he realized it was a city that took a bit of getting to know before you felt comfortable. Unlike Florida, where smoking and graffiti are “gang behavior activities,” all the people his age were doing both- at the same time.
His high school previous would have had a conniption. They always had these obnoxious green and yellow posters that said in bold text “JUST SAY NO” strewn amongst the hallways with a cutout silhouette of what was clip art of an officer blowing his whistle. They picked the worst colors too. Neon green and yellow, highlighter green and yellow, but Joseph always assumed he was the only one who noticed or cared about the use of color theory on low-budget Cedar High school posters. That alone was enough to drive him out of Florida.
He took another long breath in. Yet here he was, months later, graduated with his diploma-ticket out of there (hung in his room?) sitting in the Bear Pit. A Bristol central hub for vendors, musicians, druggies, and foodies alike. Joseph liked this spot a lot; he could see many eclectic personalities coming through the four connecting tunnels from each main street above. He didn’t smoke himself, tobacco made him sick, but the friends he has made loved it, and the Bear Pit was a great place for it.
Most of his friends smoked anyway, but not Ellie, Ellie in her usual ripped jeans and fishnets underneath with a Sublime T-shirt and red beanie. She always had a tendency to cuff her jeans to show off her matching red Doc Martins (A popular brand in the UK Joseph learned). Joseph liked Ellie’s demeanor; her light brown bangs cut in the typical British style, straight across with jagged pieces making her carry an expression that seemed melancholy, but under that? She had a Mohawk of blonde and shaved sides. There were many layers to Ellie, same as there were to Joseph, same as there were to Bristol and he loved it all.
Unlike Florida, Tuesday afternoons, like this one, were PROPER afternoons, the sunset at 5 pm and by 6 pm you’d damn near freeze to death, from Cedar Key standards at least. There was no strolling till an 8:30 pm sunset and stripping down to boxers to sleep, avoiding any humidity like the plague. No, it was frigid nights with the same group of friends on a pile of autumn leaves. The backdrop of graffiti whilst hearing the crunching of nature on your boots.