On the tube I notice that someone is wearing one of my old after shaves. Ripples of nostalgia tickle my conscience. It reminds me of my ex-boyfriend Christian & Switzerland (the connection being he was Swiss). As a get older I’ve discovered I’m nostalgic about things much faster. More to miss I guess.
I get off at Leicester Square and notice a movie poster where someone has stuck a sticker over the word “want”. Except they’ve written the word “want” on the sticker. It strikes me as very pointless and slightly subversive but I don’t quite understand how.
On the way to meet Lizzie I think to myself “Joe Orton probably walked up here once.” It’s nice to see a city through someone else’s eyes every now and then - stops it getting stale.
Lizzie’s late but I bump into Len and stand with his group of friends. I love the gay Costa coffee house on Old Compton Street, but it’s always stressful. The place is designed to make it as difficult as possible to carry a full cup of coffee. The mugs are like bricks. There are the Stairs of Death
, and at any given time, about 25 men watching your every move.
Soon Lizzie arrives. We drink my coffee together and she cleans out her purse. We both munch on the chocolate biscuits I’ve smuggled in.
“Do you like my coat?” she asks
“I just thought I’d be all cool and Sex and the City and not mention it”
After the coffee we cross the road to Balans.
“Smoking?” asks the maitre d', his hair drastically slicked.
“I might have one of yours” I say to Lizzie as he leads us to the table avec ashtray.
We buy a bottle of Rosé that the waiter suggests as a compromise because I want red and she wants white.
Lizzie offers me a cigarette.
“I must get a real job," she tells me, "It would be nice to have a meaningful-ish reason to leave the house but I’m just so lazy. Even if all I had to do was shag Brad Pitt once a week, I'd still be pissed off about having to get the train there or something.”
We talk about her ex-boyfriend. She’s still in love with him. It’s been over a year, he broke up with her for another woman…
“..But I found the one, the person I wanted to be with for the rest of my life. And they never tell you when that happens it might not end happily ever after. If he phoned up right now, I’d be cross with him but I’d take him back. I know he’s a cunt but I love him. They don’t tell you that.”
I’m not sure what to say.