This is a guest blog the writer of which has asked to remain anonymous.. artist pic by Isaiah Stephens
This story is not strictly about a date. I was out for celebration drinks with my female flatmate, who’d just closed a big deal at work, and our adventures continued from then.
The plan was to meet up in Camberwell with a crowd of political friends I’ve been getting to know. We were two hours late – the party had moved on. My flatmate and I shrugged and had one of those lovely pub chats where you share some of your deepest insecurities and assure each other things will be alright. Pretty therapeutic.
As it goes, I shared my fear that I am too straight-laced and haven’t let my hair down enough. My flatmate shared that she’s considering meeting up with her ex that she was with for three years and thought she was going to marry, before it all went pear-shaped.
The night progressed, we saw a huge queue for a club but decided the crowd wasn’t for us. As luck would have it, we heard some music emanating from a gig, and the funk-rock-rap was exactly the sort of music my flatmate loves. She started dancing away, happy as larry, getting chatted up by guys. I bumped into one good male acquaintance but the lack of other interesting convo meant my tiredness began to set in fast.
Looking after female friends is a strange duty. When a bloke looks at you like you’re the potential cock-block it’s unnervingly like a dog looking through a gate, all hope and sadness at once.
When this venue closed I was about to throw in the towel when we went in one more venue a few doors down with a dance floor and my flatmate bought us samba shots. It was that nice time of night where there are only twenty or so people left but those who were there were really smiley and going for it. Soon I’d found my second wind and was dancing wildly to Michael Jackson with a pretty and curvy girl (let’s call her PCG). “You have all the shapes!” she beamed. I thought she did too.
The venue closed and everyone was herded out but a small group of six of us who got chatting (me, my flatmate, PCG – a doctor, and three of PCG’s friends – a sweet doctor chap) still wanted to party. A sketchy promise of “fire and music” from a disarmingly smiley man hailing from the Dominican Republic led us off. “He’s wearing a fedora” we thought, “he’s nice!”
Where he tempted us to – eventually and with a lot of cajoling and stops to buy supplies – turned out to be a scary-as-fuck empty yard with no lighting. A fight had already broken out around the entrance as soon as we got there then quickly dissipated. Against our better judgment we’d gone in (we’d come this far…), quickly decided against it and split – but not before thinking for a terrifying thirty seconds that we’d been locked in!
What was this fedora guy’s game? Once we’d left he kept following us on his bicycle, all disorientating charm compared to the bleak yard we’d left, and eventually gave up, muttering “stupid facking people”. My Scottish flatmate said that if that party was in Glasgow someone would have been shot. (Apparently stabbing is small-league. I love Glaswegian grit.)
We decided to head back to ours, as we were twenty minutes’ walk away and the rest were planning a crash in Old St, which would be an hour on the bus. The stroll to ours took twice as long as it would have at a business-like pace. At one point the front half of the group lost the back half, so I ran back and found them to check my flatmate hadn’t got murdered. She was relaxed but lost. ‘It’s true’, I consoled her, ‘all these streets do look the same’.
We arrived at ours at around 5am. The six of us got to sharing YouTube-DJ duties at ours. Well, five – one dude sat on the sofa and fell immediately asleep.
Within an hour it became obvious that one of the party – a guy called Sam – was the most irritating man I’ve met for a long, long time. Nearly everything he uttered apparently demanded a high five or Fresh-Price handshake (“don’t leave me hanging… bro… BRO”), he spilled three drinks on the rug, demanded we play a loud rap song about a Bugatti at 6am when we’d just traded our favourite acoustic artists, put crisps in the sleeping dude’s mouth and was joke-but-hard punching him to wake up, and insisted on debating Syria with me. “Ok hear me out right… those chemical weapons… Yeah atrocities are fine but…”
“They’re not fine,” I replied incredulously. “They’re atrocities.” Who says there’s not humour in civil war?
He got the gist at some point “why don’t you like me man?” punched his poor friend awake and left.
All this time me and PCG were snuggling a bit on the sofa. Nearer 8am, we were lounging together on the sofa sensually twirling each other’s index finger.
We retired to my room, had a snuggle, then did more than snuggle.
“You were such a slow mover” she said the next day. That’s because I wasn’t hitting on her! I don’t know, I was relaxed, and the bell-end guy was using all my patience.
Noon we awoke, beautiful day, PCG did an elegant yoga pose in my decked garden. We both said we’d had fun, and she headed off.
My thanks to my flatmate for helping me let my hair down!
“Ships that pass in the night, and speak each other in passing, only a signal shown, and a distant voice in the darkness; So on the ocean of life, we pass and speak one another, only a look and a voice, then darkness again and a silence.” Henry Wadsworth Longfellow