I realise everyone else in the world is focussed on the election today, as they should be, but this blog is stuck in a timewarp, having failed to record my lost weekend.
My daytime at the MayDay rally already had me tipsy (note the passive voice, as if it was out of my control) and was topped with a bellyful of Class As in anticipation of the Fall's gig. We'd sold our spare ticket to a stranger on Vicky St, but on arrival the queue at the Liquid Rooms was suspiciously short. The promoter at the door had the task of telling all who rolled up to the sell-out show that the gig was cancelled because Mark E Smith was still pissed-up in Aberdeen. How many times has this happened? Deja vu, or what- Mark has cancelled on me before, and it's entirely in character.
I was pumped up, indignant and garrulous, so complained volubly about MES in Anglo-Saxon to the promoter and anyone else within hearing distance, bought a backlog of Fall fanzines from a dad who'd driven up from Bolton that day to see them, sympathised with another 40-something couple who'd planned the gig as a birthday treat for the wife and spoke to another group who'd come all the way from Inverness for nothing. Mark is class, but (like me) unreliable. The gig is rescheduled for 23rd May, but I shall be in the US at a conference then, so this was no comfort to me. And so the adventure began.
My BF raced off to offer to buy back the spare, now redundant, Fall ticket from the wee 18-yr old business studies student from Kirkcaldy to whom we'd sold it, while I 'vented' (as psychologists say) to the world at large. We then coalesced as a group- me and BF, 40s couple, wee student- for some alternative trouble, which I suggested should be the rival gig by BombSka/BombSkare (a local ska group) at Bannerman's pub nearby, to where we repaired.
Bannerman's was heaving already, but I spotted a sofa being vacated and asked the dodgy-looking guys at the table if we could take it, to which they assented on condition I was a Hibee. Although entirely lacking interest in any sport except men's gymnastics and the luge, I was happy to lie my ass off in order to get my bum on a seat and a glass of wine down my gullet. Within half an hour I'd become best friends with the blokes- a long-distance truck-driver (R), an 'interior decorator' (D) and a failed accountant (C). They shared my conviction (at that time) that I was irresistible, sexy and interesting, and donated me yet more Class As at the table while I delved their psyches and life experiences. Meanwhile my BF was looking after our newly-adopted teenager (G- the wee student who'd bought the spare Fall ticket), introducing him to radical socialist political thinking (G is business studies student) and trying to get me to go in to see the band in the backroom. G is worried about getting home to Kirkcaldy until we offer him a crashpad that night.
But meanwhile, I'm enjoying the crack and the attention at the table far
too much, and we're getting into my favourite topics- history, etymology, anthropology, politics. The boys (BF and G) went into the backroom while I continued my slide into debauchery with R, D and C, and helped them explain that night's Beltane festival and the 'Silver Bough' (Florence McNeill)
to some Norwegian & Canadian tourists.
I was still fully intending to bunk into Beltane
on Calton Hill (they were charging 5 pounds this year- scandalous), but became distracted by the conversation and D's surrealist meanderings, his Cockney gangster impressions and his remarkable cheekbones and face. I persuaded D to come outside so I could treat him like the bitch he is and make him pose for me. Photos below. Meanwhile, I'm having rhythmic auditory hallucinations that PJ Harvey is playing 'Rid of Me' in the background.
Quite suddenly it's 1am, I've kissed most of the blokes in the room, and the pub and gig are being cleared. The boys (BF and G) want to go clubbing instead of to Beltane, and I'm being lured back to strangers D and C's nearby, evil den for music and smokes. And I went. D is off-the-wall, witty and a complusive confabulator (see Oliver Sacks essays on Korsakoff's Syndrome
), but I'm just enough with it to see past my usual gullibility as he tells me about his grandmother, Lady Lorimer. A clue is that at every song he puts on the CD, he starts a spraff with 'This reminds me of the time...', then paints an imaginative, richly-embroidered and fictional scene. I see pictures of their kids, tell them about the midnight sun in Iceland and we discuss allsorts, singalong to classic psychedelic music and swap experiences. The boys, G and BF, picked me up at approx 4am after their techno club and we got home without any mishaps, unintended sexual activity or recriminations.
I left my digital camera that night in the pub, and the chances of it being handed in were approx 200 to 1. But I had loads of good karma from my spontaneity, my misplaced trusting attitude and taking care (maternally) of G without deflowering him. In the morning, the pub still had the camera behind the bar. There is a God, and she notices random acts of kindness.