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This could be any random morning in the early nineties. Ewan awakes with a start, most likely because some banging noise disturbed his less than peaceful slumber. He awakes with a trio of things he can’t remember ever having asked for: some random slag who might have been a looker last night but whose snoring next to him is now only disgusting (a harsh “Get out” is how Ewan usually deals with the problem), a stale taste on his mouth that brings last night’s excess back with a vengeance, plus a headache so awful Ewan thinks a vein in his head is about to burst right now. Ewan then crawls out of the bed, the sofa, the floor, wherever he collapsed the night before, and concentrates on finding the bathroom. He’s likely to pass the kitchenette on his way, where Jude is doing the dishes or collecting empty bottles or some other shite, and of course Jude looks smashing and clean and when Ewan finally stumbles into the bathroom, sees his reeking, messy self in the mirror, steps to the loo to take a piss and smells the lemon cleansing shite, he can’t help but throw up.

“Easy, easy, mate,” Jude says, holding him and pressing some cold cloth against Ewan’s forehead and Ewan barks some more, tells Jude to sod off before he throws up again, and once last night’s Scotch and pretzels are flushed away, he yells for Jude to “bring me a fag, dammit, I need a smoke.” And Jude or Jonny or last night’s slag or somebody Ewan has never seen before tosses a pack of cigarettes at him and Ewan takes a drag and wonders why he’s doing what he’s doing and why anyone gives a fuck. He wonders why he’s not dead yet and if anyone would care if he died. And then, Jude or Jonny tells him that somebody called, a director, an agent, who the fuck cares, and that there’s an audition and Ewan has to be there in an hour. And Ewan moans and drags his sore body to the shower and wonders why the fuck he cares.

***

This could be any random afternoon in 1994. Ewan is passing time while he waits for Danny to get his act together with this “fantastic project” he’s always going on about. Ewan is bored and lazy and once again, telly sounds like a good idea to make a few. There’s nothing special about Kavanagh QC, and all Ewan wants is to get it over and done with.

“You’re a bit young for a midlife crisis, non?” is what she says, and Ewan has to shield his eyes against the sun as he tries to look at her. He shrugs.

“My whole life’s a crisis, darling,” he grins, opting for a quick shag in between takes, because aren’t French women easy to get?

Turns out this one isn’t; she laughs him flat in the face, leaves him and comes back with a coffee and two aspirin a while later. “Get over yourself, idiot,” she says with a wink and a smile and Ewan knows he’s in love.

***

This could be any random day in late 1995. Ewan is going to be a father. It’s a thought that scares him more than anything else in the world. Eve isn’t helping matters much. She’s jealous of everyone and everything, she frequently visits him on the Trainspotting set only to argue with him afterwards about Kelly and him and why does he need to do that and why is he naked and whywhywhy.

Ewan is 24 and not able to deal with any of it. He gets drunk before he goes home, he gets drunk before he leaves home, he gets drunk in between. Eve never complains about the drinking. Jonny is there on set with him, but Jonny has enough own problems with his new girlfriend. He wants to marry, too, and Ewan doesn’t know what to think of it. Danny keeps on talking about yet another new project he has in store for him, and how fantastic it will be and how amazing the future for him and Ewan looks.

Ewan doesn’t care. He’s married and about to be a father and still hasn’t made his peace with anything. He plays the addict with such compassion that everybody welcomes him, but Ewan just shakes his head and goes looking for Jude.

***

This could be any random day in the late nineties. Ewan has good and bad days. On good days, he plays with his daughter, is concentrating at work and gives one stellar performance after the other. On bad days, he relies on Eve to cradle him to sleep when he cries in her arms. On bad days, he sleeps on the sofa after he comes home reeking again. On bad days, he misses a day or two on set. Liam Neeson was the only one so far to ever say anything, but since when do the Irish tell the Scot about drinking habits?

***

This could be any random night in 2000. Meeting Hayden makes Ewan realise his own age. The boy is barely out of his teens, swearing and drinking and smoking like a maniac and Ewan remembers another time and another place, in London, living with two good mates and waiting for the one job offer. Hayden’s eyes sparkle all the time and Ewan checks his own eyes in the mirror every other day. He doesn’t see any sparkle.

Ewan and Hayden go out for a few quite often and always end up as pissed as Ewan hasn’t been in a year or two. He never remembers who’s carrying who on their way back. Once they arrived somewhere, Ewan always looks at Hayden and giggles and tells him “just like me back then, mate, you’re just like me”, gives him a wet kiss on the lips and passes out. The last thing he always remembers is Hayden’s face all flushed; Ewan never knows why, but he always thinks “now, that is a sight to behold.”

The bad thing about those nights is usually the next morning. Ewan awakes with a start and a stale taste in his mouth. He staggers to the kitchenette, passing Hayden who’s sprawled out on some recliner or sofa or the floor, opens the fridge and takes a long drag straight from the bottle. It’s Scotch, but who cares, it’s rehearsing only this day.

Three hours later, Ewan tries not too twitch too much while following George’s directions. Nobody says anything to him. As long as he gets his lines straight, nobody cares. Why should he?

This morning, it’s different. Christopher Lee is there, too, and Ewan feels slightly uncomfortable in his presence, why, he doesn’t know.

“You know, McGregor, nobody’s going to say anything, because they’re all scared little pricks and too afraid to piss you off. I, however, am not.”

And suddenly, Ewan realises that Christopher is talking to him.

“Come again?”

“Ewan. What you do is your own business. But don’t drag the boy along. He’s following you around like a puppy, do you even notice? Don’t do that to him. He’s almost still a child, God, Ewan, give him a chance to ruin his life on his own.”

“Sod off.”

Ewan turns and leaves, very diva-like, and finds a pub that’s open already.

The next time Hayden asks for a boys’ night out, Ewan shakes his head. “I have a better idea.”

They go dirt biking instead.

***

This could be any random day in 2002. Turns out that staying sober is not that hard for Ewan. It’s not as much the temptation to drink again, it’s more the nagging feeling of missing something. His friends leave him at first. Not all of them, only the drinking buddies. Ewan tries to compensate, to fill the void. He works more and harder, and better. A second daughter, so much love. New friends. New risks. Ewan thinks he’s on the right path. The question is: where to?

***

This could be any random day in the summer of 2003. Hayden is not a child anymore, Ewan is still sober and Christopher Lee never mentioned anything. Ewan and Hayden still go biking, sometimes, they go out and Hayden has a few, while Ewan nurses a coffee or a coke and giggles about Hayden’s silliness.

“I’m gay, Ewan,” is what Hayden says one random night, and Ewan isn’t sure what to answer.

“That’s okay,” he finally says. “I’m an ex-drunk who once forget his daughter’s birthday, can’t cook a decent dinner and snores. Nobody’s perfect.”

Hayden raises an eyebrow and looks all confused, and Ewan laughs and wonders who’s the drunk of them.

“No, really, Hayden,” he continues once he’s calmed down enough, “pussy, cock, who cares as long as you have sex? You do have sex, don’t you?”

“You’re impossible.”

They never talk about it again.

***

This could be any random night in early 2004. There’s a plan taking shape in Ewan’s head, a plan of getting away from it all and looking for it, finding it, whatever it may be. Ewan has talked to Charley and some other people already, but he doesn’t know if anybody is taking him seriously enough, fuck, he doesn’t even know if he himself takes himself seriously enough. He doesn’t know what he’s looking for, but ever since he swore off the alcohol, there’s this empty space in his head and he realises things he never thought about before, things he never worried about, things he never cared about.

He’s restless and dissatisfied and doesn’t know what to do about it.

And so he stares holes into the ceiling night after night, gritting his teeth, biting his nails, shifting thoughts.

“I have to go,” is what he whispers into the dark one night. He hears the rustling of the covers and a “qui” from Eve, very silent but very serious, and Ewan asks himself what he did to deserve this woman.

***

This could be any random evening in the summer of 2004. Ewan is sitting outside of his tent, smoking by the fire. He’s alone, Charley and Claudio have left for bed already, but Ewan’s still too giddy to sleep. He fumbles for the satellite phone and punches in the digits before he even knows what he’s doing; being where he is, he doesn’t care about timezones or other trivial shite.

“Mmmh, yes?”

“It’s me. Did I wake you up or something?”

Hayden laughs. “Ewan, what the fuck? If you cared, why did you call? It’s okay.”

“Are you high or something?”

“Nope. Not high, not drunk, nothing for you to worry about. I’m just happy you’re calling me, you prick. What forsaken country are you in?”

“Kazakhstan.”

“So how is it?”

“It’s… it’s surreal. Everything is. I saw a sunset the other day and it almost looked as if there were two suns, almost like…”

“Ewan! Stop it! You’re insane.”

Ewan smiles to himself and bites his lip, he sees Hayden, flushed and amused, shaking his head, saying ‘you’re impossible’.

“You still there, crazy biker?”

“Yes.”

“Will I see you when you’re back?”

“Sure, Hayden.”

***

This could be any random day in early 2005. Ewan is back home and the effect of the trip is slowly wearing off. Most days, he doesn’t even realise it. However some days, he feels like an animal trapped in a cage, pacing around, searching for something.

***

This is the evening of 16 May 2005. Eve says she will stay home. Ewan is confused and asks her why she doesn’t want to go to the premiere, but she just shakes her head.

“Non, Ewan. You go. Maybe you need to understand.”

Ewan still doesn’t understand but goes nevertheless.

He welcomes Hayden with a kiss on the red carpet, and Hayden smiles.

“You know what your problem is?” Hayden says instead of ‘hello’, “you think too much. When you were drunk, you never pondered. But that doesn’t mean you now have to catch up with it all.”

And then he laughs and his eyes sparkle and Ewan wonders why everybody he cares about chose this night to confuse him.

Many hours later, Hayden is back at his side. He’s had a few glasses of champagne too many and his smile is lazy and sultry, and Ewan thinks that Hayden is beautiful beyond words.

“Wha’re thinking ‘bout?”

Ewan shakes his head and nurses his anti-alcoholic drink, but Hayden won’t let go.

“C’mon, Ewan! No more pondering, not tonight. Jus’ tell me. Tell me evr’thing. Be your chaaaaming blunt self.”

“I was wondering what it would be like to fuck you.”

“Oh? Figuratively or literally?”

“Literally.”

Hayden laughs. “Jus’ when I thought you’d never ask.”

Ewan finally stops thinking once Hayden is buried underneath him, fists clenched in the sheets, his back sweaty and bent and arching towards him again and again. Ewan can’t think anymore, and not only that: he doesn’t see a reason why he would waste this moment with anything else than watching the rise and fall of Hayden’s back, listening to the small whimpers, feeling Hayden’s feet pressing against his calves.

He grabs Hayden’s thighs and moans, and when Hayden breathlessly asks him “That good, yeah?” all he can say is “yes, oh fuck, yes.”

 

Ewan thinks Hayden is asleep when he’s about to leave, but he isn’t.

“Grow up, Ewan,” he mumbles. “It’s your life. You deserve to be happy with what you got.”

Ewan kisses him goodbye and wonders why and when Hayden grew up faster than him.

***

This could be any random night in the summer of 2005. Ewan comes home from the theatre. His daughters are asleep already, but Eve is still waiting for him. She asks him how his day was and he tells her it was fine, because that’s how it was. He then joins her on the veranda for a few moments in silence, enjoying the warm summer breeze. Ewan checks his eyes in the mirror before he goes to bed. There are fine lines and some dark shadows, but Ewan is pretty sure there’s a sparkle, too.

This night, like every other night lately, he sleeps like a baby. He’s gotten over himself, finally.

 

End