Friday will be my last day in the Hendon Central office. When people ask me where I work, I wrinkle up my nose and reply “don’t ask”. Hendon has Opticians with faded brown leather upholstery and a brown veneer straight out of 1977. It has straggly students. A website I found recently described the place as “a dormitory suburb with not much to do” and as having “too much nuisance crime: graffiti, fly tipping, dumped cars, people using other people's gardens/fences as toilets (even at 10:30 in the morning), smashed shop windows and bus shelters, arson attacks everywhere (this is getting really bad) - plus more serious stuff when trying to get a taxi late at night.” I have seen a lifetime share of bad wigs – some like haphazard bundles of wool pom poms we used to make as kids. At three o’clock the local schools let out and Hendon is bombarded with the scariest children imaginable – shrieking and throwing chips at the pigeons – or fighting; sometimes the Police arrive and wrestle the loudest into paddy wagons, other times shop owners spray hoses at the monster kids to keep them away from their store fronts. And because there are so many fast roads; accidents every few days – most walls are a patchwork of bricks.
Tomorrow I’m moving house in the afternoon but in the morning I’m doing another job for my “modelling” agency. Myself and a matching girl spokesmodel are, well, we’re not exactly sure – hang on, I’ll read the brief… Kelly and I are “Delegate welcoming, registration management & assisting with general management of the programme.” Standing round feeling awkward & smiling lots then. The brief also says I need to wear black shoes, and since I’m signing the lease tonight and can’t buy shoes after work, I begrudgingly decided to look for some here in Hendon.
I discovered the only shoe shop when I bought new laces for my current (and sole) pair of shoes a few days ago - a tiny cupboard of a shop with a table outside full of neon jelly shoes for a 5 year old and pointy heels with bows for women but which you’d expect to find in the same 5 year old’s dress up box. The owner was your archetypal Jew shopkeeper, instantly friendly but with a dry wit (“Why you wear brown shoes? No one wears brown shoes anymore!”) I left the shop with my 50 pence shoelaces and felt a twinge of sadness for him in his tiny little shop in Hendon with the pointy shoes with bows.
So it gave me a kind certain kind of satisfaction to go back to him today for a black pair of shoes. He was as jovial as before, not recognizing me to begin with but touching my arm like an old friend when I reminded him. I chose a very sensible polished black pair and he fetched my size from the mountain of boxes that engulfed the tiny room. As I tried them on he told me about his background, asked me about mine and before long we were chatting about New Zealand and Israel, terrorists (which he pronounced “tourists” and had me momentarily baffled to why he was so against them. I mean - sure - they clog up central London but I don't particularly want to see them all arrested), America and his many past shops across London. Each time he mentioned Israel he would prefix the comment with “Now, I don’t want you to take sides, but…”
Outside the sun was continuing its guest slot as “weather.” I tried on the size eleven again. The sewing shop man poked his head round the door to chat, coincidentally, about Israel, terrorists and America. As my shoe shop man packed up the selected pair, I had a sudden pang of something - but it was only afterwards on the walk back to the dark, stuffy little office that I realised I’d never looked for any reason to like Hendon. I’ve always thought I was too good for it. And, perhaps, if I hadn’t been so arrogant I would have had a few more of these spontaneous conversations in sunny Hendon Central.
It's been a clear breezy Spring day in London - with sun. I just read on Google news that Alistair Cooke passed away.
Using a screwdriver to lever the lid, the final satisfying plop of air escaping from the tin before turning the cover over to expose the thickly coloured insides. Pouring paint into a tray and watching as it oozes relentlessly. The purr of a roller in the tray and then the sticky, deeper hum as it meets the wall. Flecks of graffiti snow that cover you and make lurid freckles which run and dry and smudge while you paint.
Right, that’s the romantic part done with.
“I’m two seconds away,” I tell Susan, already ten minutes late to meet her at the station.
She makes a barely audible confused sound and I realise that she’s forgotten about day light savings – putting the clocks forward - and so while I’m in the realm of eleven past ten, she’s still living just after nine.
“I was making a cup of tea! I had plenty of time!”
“It’s no problem, get here when you can. I’ll look at paint.”
Having spent Saturday running round getting quotes we’d organised a fool proof plan to get the coloured paint at one DIY store in Clapham before picking up the rest of the paint, brushes, etc at the cheaper shop in Balham. To stay in budget we realised that we’d either have to paint the two bedrooms a soporific pastel or
paint three of the walls magnolia
(DIY speak for beige) and then create a feature wall in a slightly more vibrant hue.
By the time Susan arrived I had sixteen paint charts folded in complicated combinations that would have made an Origami Master jealous. We paused at aubergine
but decided it would be too much. A green would do but because we were resigned to boring beige for the majority of the rooms we dared for something bolder.
“This one then?” Susan asked.
“Are we sure?”
“Fuck it, they’re not helping us pay for the paint. Let’s do it.”
At the house we removed nails, puttied holes and generally beiged it up. The walls were already off-white to begin with so it was tricky to know where to paint. Susan was a dab hand with the roller, I had a keen eye on the skirtings, and having donned home-made rubbish bag aprons we looked the part. We had nearly finished the second room when the owner arrived. He looked very pleased when he saw the rooms.
“I didn’t realise you were going to paint it beige!”
I looked at Susan.
“Well… We’re painting this fourth wall something a little more - snazzy…”
We stifled our laughter until he’d left.
“What is he going to say?”
“It’s his fault; he should have asked what the other colour was. It’s going to look good. It is.”
This was our cue to open the final can. Using the screwdriver I tried to ease off the lid but it sprang off, falling paint-side-up on the black plastic that lined both rooms.
Susan squealed. I think I did too. Maybe it was all the fumes but after a day of beige the new colour was like a bomb exploding. It was mixed at the DIY shop so this was the first time we’d seen it wet and rich. The label called it “Victorian Red” but that was an understatement. It was lava red; crimson blood and fire.
I picked up the shelf bracket we were using to mix the paint.
“I warned him it was snazzy,” I said, beginning to stir, “so let’s paint us some snazzy.”
At nine o’clock we sat, broken but victorious, in front of a freshly painted Victorian Red wall - another drying in the second room – and summoning the last of our strength we slowly patted each other gently on the back.
Tonight I’m going to hear Kate play in Clapham Junction with a smattering of Scoobies and the tall South African I’ve been seeing a couple of times. He looks like Matthew Bomer (which is good
) but I think he’s looking for a boyfriend (which is bad) but is going back to South Africa in a few weeks (which, while I am currently so fickle, is good).
Then tomorrow it’s paint, paint, paint.
Books: Reading the first novel in the His Dark Materials
trilogy. Fantastic fun. I take back everything I’ve ever said about adults reading children books - except for all the saddo’s who love Harry Potter
*belly laugh*. His Dark Material’s
ranks as one of the best book titles ever, up there with Peter Cook’s Tragically I was an Only Twin
. Time Machine: Build. Names: Steal.
Knickers: None. What? I missed washing day, ok?
I’m enjoying the single life. Well, more accurately I’m enjoying having some arm muscle definition
and a single life. The two seem to go hand in hand (or rather arm in arm). I’m invited to more things après breakup. Next Friday I not only have a lesbian hen night to attend but I’m also personally invited, nay required, for a swanky new night where the invitation stipulates “there will be no entry without a gorgeous girl in 6 inch stilettos on your arm, unless, of course, you are one… This is a marvelous chance for all our boys to reward their long-suffering better-halves with a glam night out, after years of covering for you at corporate bashes and listening to your endless heart-breaks over Paco, Nico, Bingo and Bongo... and ladies, well, quite frankly, this is your night to shine and not be upstaged by a pair of pecs and a dodgy latin accent.”
I’m holding open auditions - so if you see Kate, Lizzie, Susan et al tottering down Hendon high street in kitten heels and cursing my name during the next few days, you’ll know why.
Whilst washing the dishes last night I discovered that 1. The landlord had put down glue traps and 2. A mouse was adhered inside the trap nearest me. I thought it was cute until I realised that it was probably trying to gnaw off its own limbs to escape. As I wiped down the counter I imagined that any moment a limbless rodent would start snaking towards me across the lino to enact some tiny, mouse sized revenge.
I think there’s a horror screenplay in that. Stumpy the Killer Mouse. Silence of the Mice. The Walls Have Very Small Ears…
Suggestions on the back of a postcard please.
We have mice. I’ve been staying the past week at Kay Road with Olly, Lorna, Sam & Gavin, - bless their cotton socks - but with one extra person and many more rodents in the house it’s making for a tight squeeze. It also means that I have to sleep on the tiny sofa instead of making a bed on the floor. Being a strapping lad I’m not afraid of mice running over me - no, no, no - it’s that these particular mice have an odd suicidal streak. The other night we were sprawled around the lounge watching a movie when Lorna made the discovery that she’d rolled onto a mouse and squashed it. Lorna then emitted what can only be described as a high pitched mouse-like squeal – perhaps trying to resuscitate the dead animal by calling to it in its own tongue. Quick on the defence I jumped up onto the arm of the sofa to gain a vantage point in case any other kamikaze wildlife decided to act. Fearless I am.
There seems to be no explanation for the frequent rodent casualties except that they have contracted an awful disease (that will, undoubtedly, get passed on to us) or that they suffer from an acute form of depression. Only yesterday a mouse crawled into the middle of the kitchen and died spectacularly. Needless to say I’m checking daily for boils.
Last night, to pay for my board and to cleanse a small portion of the house from the imminent plague I announced I was going to clean the bathroom. The news was greeted, if not unkindly, then with slight scepticism. So, with bathroom gel, pink rubber gloves, bleach and cloth I marched upstairs. I have just one thing to say about my genes; I sure know how to clean. Granted, I hardly ever use this gift but when I do it's like unleashing a latent superpower.
An hour later I emerged from the bathroom with ruddy cheeks and a fragrant lemon smell. Sam was walking up the stairs.
“Have you been in there all this time? I’d forgotten you were in the house.”
“Cleaning” I said slightly out of breath, nodding towards the bathroom which now had an unworldly glow.
Over the next few hours I received several visits from Olly, a new found respect in his voice.
“Bloody hell, you even cleaned the toilet brush holder!”
I nodded virtuously as a dark brown mouse; the size of my thumb ran drunkenly through the living room and out into the hall.
Colours I could paint my room.
Dark Sea Green
But not Terracotta. I don’t want to go into it... one day you go off to school a happy 13 year old with a green bedroom and come home to find that it’s been redecorated and painted “Salmon”. Well, Pink thinly disguised as Salmon. No one was fooled, least of all me. I’ve never fully recovered. Salmon. No wonder I’m gay.
I get a call yesterday from Joe at around 4pm.
"Hi, I’m waiting on the platform for my job interview so I thought I’d give you a ring.”
"Great! What’s the job for?”
“Oh, it’s for an adult shop in Old Street. Dildos and stuff.”
“I know the one, hey, I did some copywriting work for them at my old company, I named a few of those dildos.”
“Nope. I gave them names like Terry
“I’m a bit nervous about the interview.”
“Don’t be, they’re nice there. After a while the porn stuff will just becomes normal. It’ll be like working in Gap
in no time.”
“OK, my trains coming.”
“Good luck! Joe, get them to show you the tiger penis dildo.”
“It’s a dildo shaped like a tiger’s penis.
“Because it’s funny.”
“No, why is it shaped like one?”
“You know, I never asked.”
"I’ve got to go, bye!”
"Bye! Good luck!”
I’m a few minutes early to meet Susan, so I decide to walk around Balham to get myself acclimated (see the Times
, British people can use Americanisms too you know) which for some reason feels very grown up. I mentally note the shops I might need in the future. Supermarket. Check. Cheaper supermarket for the end of the month. Check. Marks and Spencer’s, which I’ll walk by because the foods so nice, but will decide against because it’s so hideously overpriced even if it does come beautifully presented and the potato and swede mash is a dream. Check.
I get to the point I consider to be “of no return” and turn to retrace my steps back to the station to meet Susan.
“It has a nice vibe” I say to her as we walk to the house, her smile broadening, her long brown hair framing her pale, elfin face. She munches on Pringles but my mouth is too dry.
“This place… I can imagine us living there,” she replies, “I want you to make up your own mind so I won’t say too much about it. But it has potential.” She moves a strand of stray hair back behind her ear.
We cross over the road and walk a few houses down. There are two people already waiting outside. We say hello. I presume they’re together. After learning that Susan has already viewed the place they start to ask her questions.
“Does it have a dining table?” asks the girl, a little brashly.
Susan tries to sound optimistic.
“No, there’s no dining room, but the rooms are big.”
“I’m out of here then. That’s my one requisite,” She says, as way of explanation, before picking up her three shopping bags and rushing off, leaving Susan and I with a man looking slightly uncomfortable in a pinstripe suit.
A few minutes later the landlord, Jude, arrives. He’s amiable - Pakistani or Indian - with a pleasant face. We all shake hands and he repeats our names back to us as we say them.
The light in the hallways isn’t working so we walk into the house blindly, up the stairs and into the first bedroom. We each find something to focus on: the man in the suit touches the curtains. We drift through the house silently, mentally noting things to ask the landlord later when we’ve made up our minds.
Three bedrooms in and I’m not sure if I like it. The kitchen is tiny. The carpet is stained.
We climb to the top of the house. The bedrooms are much bigger and lighter here. Still very scruffy but Jude explains that they’ve not cleaned up the place properly. The second bedroom is large. These are proper sized rooms, enough space for a double bed and a couch and a desk.
“Could we paint the room?” I ask.
A crease forms in Jude’s brow.
“Green,” and then to placate him I add, “a nice green. I promise not to paint it black.”
Outside it’s getting dark. Jude has let us alone so we can have the talk
but before we begin Susan looks up and points at a lone star that’s broken through the London smog. It’s one of the things I miss so much about New Zealand; the night sky here offers no release, no lights from other places.
“Make a wish,” smiles Susan.
And we move into the flat on the first of next month.
Me? Oh, I’m having one of those days when your underwear’s too tight - but Dooce
just made me laugh like a tickled Buddha. I want to have a kid just to write about. I think I’m officially clucky. Lizzie said reading the entry made her want to get sterilized and write about that instead. Spoil sport.
Don’t call me baby. No, really don’t.
It all started with my mother. I’ve never called her Mum. Don’t get me wrong, I’m her flesh and blood, but she was a very young, hip mother and she wanted to stay as hip and young as possible. Her family nickname was Sally which I shortened to Sal. Her real name is Sarah (which she uses now she’s a big businessperson) so it’s even more confusing. So Sal to me equals Mum.
Perhaps because of this I’ve always had a bit of a thing about names, and a kvetch about the wrong ones. Never call me baby. Or even worse “bebe”. I will go for your eyes.
The moniker “sir” always makes me wince. Kate used to call me “dude” in texts until I dutifully informed her that she sounded like a ninja turtle. I’m equally not a “mate.” Or a “bro.” Or a "pal."
However, I do call a select few people “babycakes”, but only in a very post modern kinda way.
But I’ve just become an Uncle, and even though the kid’s only a few months old and refuses to speak yet I’m really looking forward to the day when he looks up at me with those big innocent eyes and says “Uncle Drew, teach me how to smoke cigarettes.” Perhaps one day I’ll even be “Dad.”
But for now, call me Drew. Just don’t wear it out.
"Hindsight is always 20/20"
In future, try not to live in the same postcode as your neurotic landlord, let alone the same building.
Never rely on friends, especially if they’re called Joe and have had a few drinks.
If your Man and Van cancels on a Saturday not even sobbing on the phone can procure another one for Sunday.
To get cardboard boxes in London you have to go to a supermarket where they cheerily tell you to come back at 6am and collect them.
Car hire telephonists change their tone considerably when they discover you are not a businessman wanting to hire an E-class Mercedes and especially after you use the phrase “move my shit out.”
You will mutter to yourself approx 6 times under your breath “It would be friggin’ easier to move back to friggin’ New Zealand…”
Oliver is a wonderful human being and will come through, just in the nick of time, with plans C and D respectively.
You will be forced to throw out quite a lot of your books.
But not your “precious” back copies of the Face.
I’ve just hired a “Man in a Van” to take my stuff to Olly and Lorna’s house tomorrow. I haven’t found a place I really like yet and they’re very kindly letting me stash my things for two weeks, while I roam, nomadic-like between friends’ houses, smoking my signature pipe and telling stories of the old days. I’ve already sent a group text which starts “You know how I helped you with ----- that time…” so I might even get a few extra hands to help the Van Man & I move the boxes of second hand books that I flatly refuse to throw out. My friends will not only lift things and raise morale, but will also take it in turns to stand on the carpet cigarette burn every time the mad landlord fraggle makes an unwelcome appearance.
I haven’t found a person to take my flat yet, which is disappointing, but not the end of the world. I’m just happy to be moving on and up (well, South) towards the impending spring, and a hot, electric summer.
Wow I’m restless today. I’ve not completed a shred of work. At the pool I swam hard
, scaring all the housewives, like a hirsute killer whale, turning and thrashing at each end. I’m reading The Glass Bead Game but I get annoyed because it’s all so potentially homoerotic. I think I need a shag.
(Lizzie has signed in)
Drew: *The band starts playing with gusto*
Drew: What, I can't hear you?
Lizzie:*does a few dance steps and a twirl*
Lizzie: I SAID 'YAY'!
Drew: *band stops, followed by rapturous applause*
Drew: OK, don't have to shout
Drew: *giggles mischievously*
Lizzie: Are you on the coffee again?
Drew: Yes, yes I am.
After looking at the flat (nice place except that our potential flatmate who showed us round had a bun, didn’t laugh at my bad jokes and was called Bron), Susan and I had a beer or four in Clapham. We started talking about sleep patterns and I got all misty eyed about siestas. Ah, Spain. We had good times, we had bad times. And the good times looked a little something like this…
No drunk hookers this weekend - in fact, very tame.
Friday night I kicked back with an annoying cough and runny nose to watch the comedy line up of Friends
, Will & Grace
and Sex & the City
. It may have been the head cold talking but I wanted to hit Carrie across her knuckles every time she whined “but I’ve made my decision to go to Paris - you’re my friends - why can’t you just be happy for meeee?” Shut up Carrie. Thwack!
The next morning Susan came over at 11am and we started looked for a flat together. Susan has just arrived in London from Australia. She’s a musician/composer and listen to any of her work and you understand instantly why the Australian Government has been throwing grants at her for years. I like being around people who get things done so I suggested we live together and try and find two rooms in a flatshare. So Saturday we searched online and managed to see one place (too “studenty”) and arrange a visit for tonight.
Oh, and I got a hair cut finally. Olly likened me to Julia Robert’s Tinkerbelle in Hook
– only less butch - but it also makes me look boyish or sophisticated depending on who you happen to talk to.
Speaking of Olly, that’s whose house we ended up at on Saturday night. Lorna wasn’t feeling great either so the two of us coughed in mutual sympathy while Susan and Olly drank wine. We watched a terrible film called Night Stalker
and I decided to stay the night on the couch so everyone could complain about my snoring the next morning (blocked sinuses people!)
Sunday I mooched around their house, drinking cups of tea and watching cable television. Sam had worked the previous night at Shadow Lounge and did his best to convince me to go to Salvation at 5pm. But work today would have been horrid. However, I did accompany him to the stand up sun bed and had a 6 minute session. They played music so you could dance while you tanned. I’m actually a little browner today.
Left the Scoobies just after 4pm to show someone my flat, but they didn’t seem keen. After dinner I had a bath and watched Morvern Caller
- a moody, beautifully acted film (Samantha Morton has this wonderful way of getting completely lost in a character) which gave me that strange sensation of feeling not happy / not sad, just a little emotionally mute.
I’ve started doing this thing where I have imaginary conversations with dead playwrights. I blame the book my Mother recommended; it’s full of this kinda stuff. So on a regular basis Joe Orton, Tennessee Williams, Oscar Wilde and I have impromptu meetings – while I’m doing the dishes, smoking a cigarette, during a commercial break. You’d think in the company of such esteemed writers the conversation would naturally be high brow but it almost inevitably turns to smut (none of them, in my opinion, had nearly enough sex while they were alive) with Joe practically dry humping the upholstery (which Oscar says is vulgar and juvenile but I think he really quite enjoys). Only Thomas is silent for the most part but will always make sure to stay behind and offer some advice about sentence structure or read a poem; usually a thinly disguised ode to a beautiful and unobtainable young man, or perhaps, his Mother.
I believe in the BBC…
I have received your short play ON THE UP, many thanks - I enjoyed reading it and found it a sharp, witty piece. In general, in order to look at new writers, we need to see a full length theatre or radio script which they'd like to offer, as a means to start the ball rolling.
If you have a longer piece I'd be happy to read it. Also thought you should know about the writers’ room. There is a competition going now with a deadline of March 8th, for plays set in lifts, so thought you should check it out.
*Glazed look in eyes* The Beeb called me “sharp” and “witty.” Well, not me exactly - my play - but by proxy, me. I’m going to flesh out ON THE UP & send it in. I think I stand a good chance, I mean, how many other lift orientated plays can there be? My guess is six.
Alistair Cooke has read his last Letter from America. I’ve listened to his weekly reports for well over a decade. He’s helped me form my understanding of politics and American culture and his lucidity, wisdom and wit will be something I always strive for.
Mr. Cooke, I take my hat off to you, sir.
Looking for flats and trying to flog my current one is taking most of my time up this week. I’m not going to get all panicky like I did last time. I have some good leads and I’ve viewing two places in the Clapham area tomorrow after work. If this wasn’t London I’d have Confidence in Sunshine.
Read an article this morning in the Guardian
(Joe had saved for me) - about a young woman with cancer who wrote a blog
up until her death. What’s funny is a friend I’ve known for three years (and used to date) called me up on Sunday to say that he’d have to cancel our drink that night because they’d just found out he might have lymphatic cancer. He was standing outside the hospital about to check in and his voice sounded so normal. I don’t know when to ring again. We only see each other every six months, usually by chance.
The cab driver took stock of the situation and surprisingly didn't mind taking a hideously drunk man in his car. I throw J in the back and have to scrunch up his legs so I can shut the door.
“Angel,” I tell the cabby. We have to stop for money but each cash machine helpfully informs me that they are “unable to dispense.” Finally we find a machine flush with cash and in a few minutes we pull up outside my flat.
After negotiating the stairs with J (the image of the landlord finding us in a pile at the bottom gives me sudden super human strength) I prop him up against a wall while I open the door. Inside finally, I throw him on the bed, take off his shoes and run to grab a sick bowl. My foresight pays off and in a few moments he’s leaning over the bowl while I hold the hair away and wipe the spit with a towel. J groans and rolls onto his back.
“What do you do for a job?” I ask him, not really expecting a response.
“Prostitute” He mumbles, turning to lie on his stomach.
At 1pm I wake up. J is sitting, taking in his new surroundings.
“Hey,” I say, sleepily.
“Hi. Where am I?” J asks.
He mulls this over, massaging his brow. He turns to look at me.
“Why are you wearing all your clothes?”
Because I needed to be fully clothed in case you tryed to stab me in the night - or in case I get arrested for abduction and rape.
“Oh, I didn’t get time to change.”
J looks at the sleeping bag that lies over the mattress.
“Oh god, I didn’t…”
“I’m so sorry.”
“Hey, no problem. I’ll wash the sheets - it’ll be fine.”
He lays back down and turns to look at me.
“My Angel in Angel,” he coos, and I wonder how I can still find someone so attractive after they’ve puked all over my arm and pissed in my bed.
“What happened after that?” Kate asks, packing away her records; music off, lights up.
“We had breakfast. He called his boyfriend. Said he was a student but didn’t mention what he was studying. We had a really nice time, just chilled and then he went home.”
“Do you think you’ll see him again?”
“I don’t think so. He seemed a little… complicated. He said he was going to invite me over for dinner but…”
“And you didn’t have sex with him?”
She closes both the latches on her record bag.
“Mr Davies,” she says, handing me the bag to carry, “I think someday you might just go to Heaven.”
“So I heard you bummed a tramp last night,” Kate said with evident glee, as she paused during her gig on Saturday night to give me a kiss on the cheek.
“Well, something like that.”
Already hunched back over her record box again she tweaks a few buttons on the mixer making no perceptible difference to the music.
“I’ll tell you about it later” I called, but she already had her head phones on.
So this is the story.
On Friday I started my evening with birthday drinks for Melody, a friend I’ve known since I was ten. I bought us each a bounty bar-tini but had to skedaddle to make the one off party in Convent Garden at East West - which was fun until I bumped into the Ibiza snog boy, gave him an uncomfortable kiss on both cheeks and decided to quit while I was ahead.
Well, maybe not quit, quit. At Shadow Lounge I met up with Gavin and his maybe boyfriend Joseph, who was lovely; all irish and sparkly eyes. We chatted for a while, had a bop, drank a few more beers and I was contemplating the bus ride home when I noticed a very handsome man had just arrived. He looked like a hybrid of Jesus Christ and the guy from the YSL M7 ads. Beautiful. As luck would have it I’d just finished my beer, so I sauntered over to the bar, near enough to him to be in smiling distance and bought a drink for the road. I was looking a little rock-a-billy in a retro t-shirt and with my hair slicked back - out of necessity mostly since it’s so long now that the ends are getting a bit ratty. I think it suited me, but I instantly felt over coiffed and under dressed standing near someone, who I now realised, had the most chewable lips and a smile you could easily drown in. It took me a few seconds to realise that the smile was directed at me.
“What are you drinking?” he mouthed.
“Er, beer?” I mouthed back. He nodded and beckoned me over with his finger. When I reached him he held my arm and kissed me on the lips.
“I love you.” He said, beaming.
“Um, I love you too” I said, feeling my face flush red.
He handed me a shot of tequila which I downed in a flash, taking a few moments to make strange faces, poke my tongue out and go “Gah!” a few times. When I recovered I looked up at the handsome Jesus. He was swaying a little.
“Do you want to sit down?”
As we started walking away from the bar I realised how very drunk he was. We reached a little alcove with seats but J missed the chair and grabbed hold of me, toppling us both backwards onto the floor. So much for romance, I thought, picking him up.
His knees weren’t working so I turned to a random man.
“Can you help me get him out of here? He’s very drunk” I explained unnecessarily.
Together we managed to haul J round the bar and up the stairs. Two bouncers helped us along the corridor and out into the frosty street - evicting him quite politely, I thought, for big burly men.
“Are you going to be OK?” I asked. He didn’t reply. His knees kept giving up and I had to hold him to stop him falling. “Where do you live?” Nothing.
Just then a police car drives past.
“Is he alright?”
“Yes, just very drunk. I’m taking him home now.”
J managed to stand up just long enough for the policeman to wind the window up and drive on. I gritted my teeth. “Fuck!” I whispered under my breath.
Now, any sane person would have dumped J on the side of the street and gone back inside; but what with my slight hero complex and my inability to make sober decisions after a few drinks, I propped him up against the wall and ran to get my coat, returning moments later to hail us both a cab.
Continues tomorrow - no really, I promise…