Sunday 17 November 2019

I'm either last of the free spirits or a loser

It's become clear to me of late that despite having a better job and much better hairdresser, my life remains pretty much unchanged from a decade ago, when I was 24. I still have no self control, make woeful decisions with men, drink far beyond my capabilities and have not a single kitchen utensil to my name, which either makes me one of the last of the great free spirits or a determined loser with nothing but a few twice-stamped coffee shop loyalty cards in her wallet to show for it all.

Take last Thursday evening for example. By 5pm I decide I've had quite enough of work and send a smoke signal to everyone I know in the civil service who can be in the pub by 5.15. We assemble and drink until two of the sensible ones peel off to do something called 'dinner with parents' while me and the other get pie-eyed on white wine spritzers and cider, respectively.

While my friend is inside having the most important and interesting discussion of his life with his new best friend of approximately six minutes, I go outside to smoke and borrow a light from a guy, who if you squint, looks a little like Michael Fassbender.

He and I get talking, I can't tell you what about because all I remember is a brief kiss before I hailed a taxi. I woke up a little later parked outside my house to the sound of the driver loudly whispering: "Miss...Miss...Missssss!'.

The next day I get a text message from someone saved in my phone as 'Fassbender with a light', which as it turns out is better than his real name - Mervin. I'm about to ask Mervin if perhaps he has a nickname that I might call him by to spare my mouth the injustice of saying his real name when I remember a story from my youth.

A friend in primary school told us how when her parents met, her mum fell for her dad, but couldn't get over his unfortunate name (Cyril) so she asked if she might call him by his middle name instead, which was Aloysius. There might be a lesson in that.

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