to every saga, a beginning
i set out to meet my friends at the pub, no plans, sixty silk cut, a pill and a fair few j's to last me through the morning. Such was my unambitious, but perfectly respectable plan, to hang about, get in adventure, and smoke til the dawn came up, then head across the road to Pancakes at the Rocks for some sugary goodness, then a sleepy taxi ride home (i mean i'm my own perfect date).
We drink for a bit, and watch the world go by, and compare notes on the girls, as you do. Nikz token foreigners of the night, a French guy, a French girl, and a Swede, join us and we smoke, chat and go on. The Sadist and i get food, and i pop my Superman tablet (they have a cute little superman symbol on them :)) and wait. After an hour or so i start to get fidgety, and smile a lot, and i can feel it coming on. We take the foreigners to go see the midnight fireworks, the other three opt to stay, and keep drinking, thought Boof promises to come and find me later. It's been forever since he and i have spent much time together, let alone while on drugs. We bid the guys farewell and walk on.
the concept of needing chewing gum has taken on vital importance to me for some reason, so i stop and buy a pack. We walk to the Quay.
i think my heart stopped beating.
The fireworks are very pretty, and go on for quite a while. I'm feeling pretty cheery at this point so decide to light up a j. A couple of drags and i pass to Nikz, who then passes it on, i start another and pass it to my left, to the first stranger that says "yes". I'm feeling nice and socially progressive and rebellious against authority, when it returns to me somehow, at about the same time Nikz gets his.
I raise it to my lips and hear "Hey you!" uttered with measured authority. I turn and look over my shoulder at the five cops five metres away, who appear to be pointing in my direction. My heart stops beating for an instant. I mean i knew it would happen eventually, but the whole getting arrested experience isn't really on my wish list, but it serves me right for being so bloody arrogant.
Anyway, i drop my hand to my waist, refusing to waste the j. And the cops shoulder past me and start yelling at the kids standing on the ticket booth. I am away on me toes, before i have time to be properly amazed. Nikz and i end up in the same place moments later. Neither of us are particularly happy to have seen that fate quite so close. He tells me he dropped his, i drag and then hand him mine.
Some Pommie kid insists on buying some joints from me, much to the ire of his cute pommie girlfriend.
We wait and meet up with the others. The sense of expectation is gone, and the streets begin to clear a little.
It's heading to two am, no-one is answering their phones, damn you! and Francoise is out on her feet. She's put onto her bus and gone. One of our travelling party gone, one less to walk with, one less to look out for, after the next person leaves it'll just be three of us, and i should probably go... so the cracks form. The Swede and French guy want to "do zometheeng", and i advise them going back to the pub is the likely plan which involves sitting on your arse drinking beer. They shrug.
I don't have ID. I don't drive, and that's kinda the only thing some places will take. I've got photo ID membership for licensed clubs, but that wasn't good enough for Mr Bouncer. Let me point out this is same Mr. Bouncer that glared at us for most of the afternoon because he thought we were making fun of him. Oh and a reminder. I'm supposedly thirty.
So i can't get back in the pub. Nikz checks for the others, they're inside watching the fireworks on the tv... He comes out and i offer to go seek adventure on my own and bid them adieu. The foreigners have got beer in their bags, so Mr Bouncer won't let them in either. They opt to part ways, and Nikz stays with me. We wander about looking for a bathroom, or an alleyway. There's a pub i know a bit, and i make for that. The bouncer is too busy on the phone to argue so he just waves us in. I make for the bathrooms.
the sex toilet
the bathrooms are in surprisingly good nick for a fairly dodgy pub. So i'm in the cubicle, and then i hear girls voices kinda hushed, getting closer. and a third male voice. they go into the cubicle next to me, and there is giggling. Then zzzzzip! Slippers kicked off, whispers, more zipping and assorted clothes rustlings, and i'm thinking "no fucking way"....
I mean i do have my nifty superspy zippo camera that arrived today, i mean, i could... i couldn't... could i? i mean that's the kind of thing is supposed to be for... and... two girls one guy in a toilet cubicle, i mean this is all class, it could be educational...
My thoughts and the noises, are interrupted, when other people come into the bathroom. There's another authoritative voice. More giggles, and "Hey what's going on in there?" Giggles. "Hey come on, get out of there. This is a pub. We should be charging you for the venue. I'm going to call the police down". To which there is much hasty zipping, ruffling, and cries of "alright coming", "hang on", and "ok ok". I have to see this play out. I know it's a drunk guy taking the piss, but the kids sure don't. As i come out, one of girls dashes past as the kid approaches the drunk, while the other girl lurks behind.
"I want to see some ID." Says Drunkman.
"Do you work for the pub." says the kid "Or are you a cop?"
"No. I work for the cops."
The kid sighs and pulls out his wallet as the i follow the girl out.
Nikz is transfixed, staring at a spot nearish me, and there is a bloke that glares at nikz, and eyeballs me, as we pass.
"The Strangest thing just hap-" i start.
Nikz shakes his head. "Let me fucking tell you this..."
It turns out NIkz and this gentleman have had a disagreement of sorts, and this guy thinks that Nikz is after his girlfriend or something. Nikz has defused as best he could, and was busy trying to be unnoticable as i arrive, and just wants to get out of here. We put two and two together and decide that makes fifteen, but also maybe four and decide that this guys missing girl was one of the two in the cubicle.
Exit. We walk and chat, and stop and think out loud and basically take it easy. After a while we figure on getting away. I don't really want to leave the city, but am a bit too spaced out for excitement! adventure! on my own right now.
sleepy and the quest for nipple
A search for a taxi is fruitless, and the walk to the bus stop is quick. Nikz and i have been marvelling all night at the sheer number of open shirts on girls, with those kind of tops that you have to "tape down" according to Penny "to stop from flashing your tits at everyone". I mean i can't say i fault it, and we've got a decent sample thus far to make a guess on the percentage who don't tape (roughly 30%). I reckon it's a game, the girls must know that all the boys will be checking them out. Anyway, once i saw Nikz onto the bus, mine was along momentarily, and a sulky girl with this open shirt thing going on ends up sitting just on the edge of my vision, which is distracting to say the least as she has a dazzling smile when she chooses to use it, and starts chatting to random people.
Next to me, is a guy pretty much on the edge of consciousness. We've all been there, whether drunkenly, or just that afternoon nap that creeps over you on a warm summer day. He's lolling and falling and catches himself everytime. Until he slumps forward at some pace and smacks his head into the back of the metal framed seat before him. He snaps up, swears, and then is lost in the struggle again. Moments later he does it again, i am sure he's going to get off the bus with a concussion. his head zooms forward again and i grab his shoulder.
"Stay with us, Chief."
He rouses and starts to be quite chatty. Telling me his night is "good but bad. Girls. There's a girl," he tells me.
"There always is a girl." I agree
He goes on, wonderful girl for so many reasons, not just that she's pretty. He's smitten, but she don't like him the way he likes her. Sad story. Been there. I can relate. We're nearing my stop, he's going all the way to the end of the line. I ask him if he smokes and i give him a j, wishing him the best. The girl and her friend get out at my stop and head off into the night. And no i did not get to see her nipples. boo.
"My excellent good friends...."
I walk in the pub, i'm a mess, i know it, but i have no idea if i look it. Stop at the front door to talk to security who i know thankfully. It's our cricket pub, so i know most of them. He doesn't know if any of my gang are there, so deep breath and i go on in. There they are, the same three idiots i started the night with, all fairly well gone.
We catch up and swap stories. They got thrown out of the pub i got carded at, a little after we had tried to get in. They'd been refused entry everywhere else and just got a bus back here. Paul is a mess, Cam's the same as usual, although with the added thrill of the pill, which was sure doing great things for my thought patterns. The Sadist is approaching his usual narcoleptic state.
More familiar faces stumble in, Miss Laurac, Claire, Forrest Grump and Forrest Grump's strange sarcastic and terribly gay writer mate, among others. It's good, some new blood remotivates us for a while. I empty my pockets looking for the chewing gum i bought about six hours ago, and can't find anywhere.
the final destination
Five a.m. rolls by and they start to close the bar, the party such as it is, is kicking onto Forrest Grumps for Scotch, smoke and bulbs. (Whippets, i think they're called? You inhale this gas like from the whipped cream cans or something.) We step outside and there is a chorus of "Urgh.... Daylight..." Time for a snack stop it seems. I get a drink and some gum to replace the still missing pack.
one last cat-fight
We head out onto the back balcony and scatter over the few chairs and cushions there. We talk, and smoke and bulb for a while. There's a bit of bitching going on, clearly a bit of dislike or rivalry between some elements. But we all have a laugh while they dig at each other, and we all make stupid jokes and basically laugh ourselves out. I've got a giggly, stoned Laurac sprawled next to me, sharing the lounge chair.
Eventually, a couple of people flake out and disappear to beds, couch or floor inside, and Claire curls up like a cat. Laurac nestles up against me, and the rest look to the sky or stare silently. The conversation is over. I don't want to leave, i've really enjoyed tonight, i want it to keep going, but that is just folly... there is a time to just let things go. i take my farewells a make the four block walk home (ha ha ha ha - which is a block and a half further than Hawkman's place, my usual stoned walk home in the dark.)
It was a good night. It's been a long time since i've had pills, and i really enjoyed these, more than i have in the past. I've still got four more...
Just to have started the year like that, with good friends, beer, accents, some excitement! adventure!, lots of laughs and feelings of general happiness, and just feeling the warmth of a girl in my arms, and that girl being Laurac, even though it didn't really mean anything, it was an omen to me. It was a signal that it was all about to change, things were going to get better. I mean they have to right?