Monday, August 30
For Those Who Thought It Wouldn't Ever HappenMost notably, myself.
This is the story of Friday night. There's a few other things I want to write about, but on the grand scale of things, this is so very important that it requires being told before anything else.
Who was she? I'll get to that. Let me start at the beginning, for it is there that we find the start of the story.
Friday was my last night of work at Y before I head off to Germany, and in many ways it was a strange night's work. The previous night, I really hadn't been in the mood for work, and meandered aimlessly and unenthusiastically through the night's shift. On Friday, however, I was in a much better frame of mind, and was really looking forward to a busy night, working non-stop and probably staying for a few drinks afterwards in the pub.
I think this was because I'd been busy during the day, doing a shitload of stuff that needed to be done before my move on Wednesday. I changed my details on a number of contracts I'm party to, cancelled the gas, electric and water for this house I'm leaving, and basically had a productive time. On my way from the tube station at Goodge St to the pub, I practically had a spring in my step; life was good, I had some decent tunes on the iPod, and I was really looking forward to the night's work.
It let me down, as per usual when I'm looking forward to something like that.
For some strange reason, the pub was really quiet. In all of the Friday nights I've worked there (i.e. the last 9 in a row!), it's never been that quiet, both in numbers of people and atmosphere-wise. The whole place just seemed dead.
It probably didn't help that I was left at the bar by myself for the vast majority of the evening. My manager and her assistant both disappeared up to their respective flats around 8 o'clock, leaving me on my lonesome to get on with things. The pub was busy enough to keep me occupied behind the bar, but the flow of punters was also a little too great to enable me to go out and collect glasses from the tables and from outside.
Now, usually when this happens, one of my managers returns from upstairs at some point (generally coinciding with the first 30-second period when there isn't anyone waiting to be served at the bar) and I can see her inwardly sigh at the amount of glasses on the tables. Sometimes you can even see how annoyed they are by the expressions on their faces. I can't help it though, it's just a touch too busy to be able to clear tables!
Anyway, this Friday they didn't actually come down at all, but I was able to grab the odd 60 seconds to clear tables and tidy up the place before rushing back to serve someone anew at the bar. I wasn't able to actually stop for anything longer than 5 seconds, which made me resent them slightly more than I usually do in that kind of situation. This didn't help for my enjoyment of my last night.
For the first time, I even bitched about it to a couple of customers. A couple had noticed that I was on my own for the whole evening, even when it did get a bit busier, and commented on it as I cleared their table at some point. I didn't launch into a rant or anything like that, but I think my expression of resignation and boredom got the point across as much as my words.
But I'm getting sidetracked, as I so often do here. I can't help it, I have an almost obsessive attention to detail. Yes, sometimes it can get to the point of obsession or anal-attentiveness, but that's just me.
But who was the girl, I hear you cry! Patience child, patience.
The pub was decidedly quiet, but a good number of the regulars were still there. They were all well on the way to getting pissed, but were still good for a chat and a laugh. Mostly, we talked about last Friday, when it was both my assistant manager and a fairly regular drinker called Kaye's 21st birthdays.
Kaye was absolutely battered by about 9pm that night, and my assistant manager (aM) wasn't far behind her. We'd decorated the pub with some balloons and banners, unbeknownst to her, and by the end of the night there was a lot of drunken balloon volleyball being played in that corner of the bar.
Kaye left that night with some co-worker who got her home, but the rest of us didn't leave until gone 2am. We all had a few drinks, even those who had been working behind the bar that night, and there was dancing on the bar and tables by a few of those present (not myself, I hasten to add). Basically, it was a fucking good time, and very funny for me, since I was sober until around 1am, and even then I was still pretty clear-headed.
This Friday, Kaye was amongst those regulars drinking again, and claimed that she had no memory of the previous Friday from about 8pm onwards. She didn't even remember me being behind the bar, which was a little exasperating, since I had been there, and had been supplying most of the drinks to that side of the bar. Meh.
All of the regulars knew that this Friday was my last night, including Kaye, but I couldn't drink with them during my shift because I was the only one behind the bar. I did manage to grab a swift pint when my aM came down around 10, but after that it was back to work.
It was whilst I was having that drink and chatting about languages to one of the guys there that Kaye came up to me and told me that she was heading off to a club, and that I should go along if I fancied it after work. I'd caught her looking at me a few times that night, as well as once or twice in preceding weeks, but this still caught me a little off guard.
I gave a 'maybe' as my answer, adding numerous stuff about not knowing what time I would be leaving the pub, or how drunk I would be, but the answer was still a 'maybe' when she left.
Within seconds of her leaving the pub, the various guys that know her and work with her were immediately on my case, telling me that I probably shouldn't go, because she was "a bit of an easy girl", or that it was "a guaranteed shag" if I did end up in the club. They didn't know my terrible (ahem) secret, you see?
I kind of put it out of my mind whilst I finished off work, since I was too busy trying to clear up and clear out the late, non-regular drinkers. I even got complimented by a couple on how well I cope with that situation, being polite but having authority at the same time. Perhaps I should join the police force.
By the time 11.30 rolled around, there were only two of the regulars left, who are always there at that time, and often much later, on a Friday. I joined them for a drink, having the first of the good few Stellas that I'd been bought during the night. I thought that I would be there for at least an hour, but my manager was knackered and wanted to go to bed, so we all left just before 12, heading in our own directions towards home.
I knew that the club Kaye had gone to was at the other end of Oxford Street than my pub, but I also knew that I had to walk to Oxford Circus to get my night bus home anyway. I figured that I'd might as well walk that far, and then make a decision to go to the club or not.
When I got to Oxford Circus, I realised that there was another bus stop for my bus even further down Oxford Street, near the big House of Fraser there. The club was on a side street opposite House of Fraser, so again I put off making the decision for a few more minutes. Indecisive? Me? Hell yeah.
I got to the side street, had a quick look down it to make sure it was the right one, and sure enough saw the purple glow and accompanying sign that signified the location of Loop, the club in question. It looked, from a distance, like it was going to be a little too pompous and up its own ass for my tastes, but then something sprang to mind.
Remember that card I talked about in an earlier post this week? The one which I refused to quote from? Well, now is the time to quote from it, because I used it and applied it this Friday, with a positive result. What did it say? Well, amongst other things, the most poignant was this:
If you doubt anything, do it, because it's sure to be awesome
If there ever was a situation to start applying that simple piece of advice, it was then and there.
I thought to myself, fuck it, I'm going for a few drinks on my last Friday night in London. I might meet this girl, I might not. Something might come of it, something might not. But fuck it, I'm sure as hell going to go in there and at least give anything that could happen more of a chance to happen.
A positive attitude or what, ladies and gentlemen? For practically the first time in my life, I took a chance on something like this. I was bolder than I usually am, and I wasn't particularly scared about it. I was doing something purely for myself, and I felt good about it.
The bouncer almost put paid to that. I strolled up, took of my headphones and was asked "You alright mate?" by a big black guy with a headpiece on. "Yeah," I replied, "just coming in for a drink or two mate."
"There's an 8 pound cover charge to get in mate". "Yeah, no worries pal." Like I wasn't expecting to have to pay a small fortune to get in...
"How old are you?" "I'm 20 mate." No worries, I've got plenty of ID on me, and it's sometimes nice to get asked from time to time. Boyish good looks, and all of that shite.
"21s only here mate" came as a bit of a shock then. Fuck, what the hell was I supposed to do now? I was only going to meet a girl, I couldn't give a shit what crappy club it was in. I didn't need some arsey bouncer being a twat with me.
Of course, I didn't say any of that to him. Bouncers generally don't like being talked down to. As I said in my post about being in command and control when I'm behind a bar, bouncers have that same authority on their doors. You just don't mess, especially if you want to get in at some point in the immediate future.
I asked him if he was sure (stupid question, I know, but you think of something more worthwhile in that situation), to which he replied with another question: "Know any more bars round here mate?" I said yeah, but that I was only here tonight to meet someone. I wasn't fussed about going anywhere else.
That must have melted his cold, black heart. Either that or he felt sorry for me. Whatever, I was in. Not getting in would truly have put me off trying anything new for ages. For that, I thank that unknown yet arsey bouncer.
I wandered down two flights of stairs (they build up and down on Oxford St, not out to the sides), dropped my iPod off at the cloakroom and headed straight for the bar. Well, I was in a club, it would have been wrong not to. I needed something to calm the nerves after that fucking bouncer, anyway.
I turned around after getting my drink, and was really surprised to see Kaye standing right there. The other shock was that she was chatting to another bloke. My already fragile self-confidence took another blow to the stomach, but I still went over to say hi to her.
She was very pleased to see, which was a bonus, and was also very surprised at the same time. Apparently she'd rang Steve, a regular in my pub, and had asked him to pass on her number to me, so that I could get hold of her if I fancied going to the club. Incidentally, it wouldn't have helped, because my phone battery died as I was leaving the pub. Meh.
He'd refused to do so, and in no uncertain terms had told her to fuck off. I'm not sure of the history there, but I think he's a little disapproving of what he sees as her willingness to find and leave men. Meh, I knew what I was getting myself into, and I was even leaving the country 5 days later, which is a good failsafe device for not getting too involved.
We had a few drinks, spent some time chatting to a random Irish guy called Fergal, who couldn't stop telling us how much he loved London, and that it was his first time here, and that he loved London, and that he'd never been before, and that he truly loved all of London. He became my new favourite person in the whole world when he buggered off.
We had another drink or two, paid for by me because I am indeed the perfect gentleman, before she asked me to dance. Oh yeah, the music there: it was weird, a combination of early / mid-90s dance classics and some more up to date housey stuff. Very strange indeed, but good stuff nonetheless.
And so we went to dance. That lasted approximately 5 seconds before we were kissing. I forgot to mention that she has her lip pierced, the bottom one, right in the middle, and has a ring through it. I've never kissed a pierced girl before, either lip or tongue, and it was fucking well cool! A different sensation from the usual one you get whilst kissing.
We stood there for what seemed like ages on the edge of the dancefloor, kissing quite passionately, before she suggested finding a seat somewhere. Again, being the perfect gent, I didn't refuse, and we found an unattended booth at the side of the room somewhere. The kissing continued, and didn't let up for a good half-hour or so, save for a swift trip to the bar.
I popped to the loo, and had to almost pinch myself to realise that this was indeed happening. These things just don't happen to me. Ever. I'm always the one who keeps seeing people kissing and gets really jealous. I'm not the guy in those pairings. Until Friday, it seems.
I went back to the seat, and we started kissing once more. It was then that she brought up the subject of going somewhere after. Instantly nervous, I figured that now was as good a time as any to bring up the subject of my virginity. Well, when is a good time to mention something like that?!
I whispered in her ear, in a brief moment when my lips were my own again, that I had something to tell her. That brought about an immediate halt in proceedings, I can tell you. She asked if I had a girlfriend, to which I may have laughed: I can't quite remember. Me? A girlfriend? That'll be the day, which is in fact the phrase I seem to remember using.
No, no, I said, it's not that. It's just that, well, I'm still a virgin. Oh, and I was accompanying this bombshell with my 'I'm sorry, and ashamed' face. Puppy dog eyes and all that...
She was a little taken aback, I think, which I guess is a compliment, but then proceeded to ask if I did want to go ahead and do it with her. I swear the question "Are you sure?" must have passed her lips 10 times before the night was out. "Yes, I'm sure" came my reply, which was absolutely true.
Why was I sure, you may be asking. I'm kind of unsure myself. It just felt right. She's a very nice girl, and is very attractive. She was genuinely making sure I felt comfortable all the time, which is a nice thing to do, and she has a great body. It was one of those times when it just felt right, all things considered. Who cares if a couple of the guys back at the pub thought she was a little too easy? I liked her, and she liked me.
Christ, I feel as if I'm almost trying to justify it to myself, when I know full well that it needs no such justification. It was the right thing to do, 100%.
I slipped off to the gent's to grab some condoms (I don't keep any at home, because this kind of thing never, ever happens to me!), and my night was once more almost over before it had begun. The toilet attendant let me put two pound coins into the machine before telling me (after I'd asked him) that it wasn't working. Shit!!! How could this be happening to me at this time?! Fuck! Why do these things always happen to me? It's like a crap Hollywood comedy, my life, I swear.
I had to go back to Kaye, tell her what happened, and let her go to the women's instead to get some from there. How embarrassing! But nevertheless, we were set. Now all we had to figure out was whose place to go to. She was staying at a friend's, who refused to let us go back there, so it seemed as if my place was the only option.
I wasn't hugely inspired by that idea, since my room is so spartan at the moment, and also the entire house is just a shithole. Various bulbs have gone, including the one in the toilet, so it doesn't exactly scream out as the place to take a girl back to. We had no place else to go though, so 'twas back to mine, as they say.
[Shit, over 3000 words already. Well done for getting this far. Unfortunately, there's a fair bit more. Sorry!]
We had to get a night bus home, from the very stop that I was heading too earlier in the evening, and wouldn't you just know it, the bus took fucking forever to arrive. I can't remember ever waiting that long for a night bus, although that might also be due to the fact that I was almost stone cold sober, which is quite, quite different from a usual night out...
Luckily, I had Kaye to keep me company. More kissing followed, and was accompanied by her telling me that I was (and this is a direct quote) "a fucking good kisser". I take compliments like that well. I actually think that I'm a pretty crap kisser, because I never quite know where to put my hands.
Do I go straight for the ass, or do I gradually make my way there. Inexperience is a terrible thing sometimes, along with my unwillingness to offend in any way, shape or form. Compliments like that help, nonetheless.
The bus eventually arrived, and we somehow got a seat together, Christ knows how. I told her what my house was like, and warned her about the emptiness of my room, and the various pitfalls of the rest of the house. I did mention the coup de grace, our roof terrace, which she seemed quite taken with.
And so it proved when we eventually got back to the house. There was a brief panic / comedy moment for myself once more when I discovered that between seven of us we had no toilet roll. After a frantic dash around the house and exploration of empty bedrooms (loads of my housemates went home this weekend, for whatever reason), I found a roll, which was a Godsend. Fate was toying with me, forcing me to panic and then providing a solution to my worries. I hate fate now.
It does make me question my atheist status though. Life surely can't be this much of a git unless a real bastard of a God is controlling everything. If he does exist, he sure as hell has a fucker of a sense of humour. And I'm not talking about an Alanis Morrissette "meep" sense of humour, a la Dogma. I'm talking toying with a person's (i.e. ME) hopes and desires in a comic fashion. The fucker.
After that moment of panic, we went up to the roof, to sample the incredible view that I now take for granted. It's been a while since I've been up there at night, so it hit me once more just how fucking brilliant it is to see the entirety of Central London lit up in all its glory.
We were standing on the ledge that divides our roof from next door's, because it's the highest point on the roof, but is not incredibly safe. It's barely 18 inches wide, and has a good 3 or 4 foot to fall to the roof should you come off of it. Nevertheless, we were kissing once more.
And then some.
OK, at this point, I'm unsure whether to go all Weggly's Pillowbook on you, or to keep the details private. I'm pretty sure you don't want to read about how be both ended up naked on the roof, shivering, before heading back inside. It was pretty funny at the time just how much we were shivering. I'm sure mine was due as much to the nervousness as the cold. At any rate, we gave any neighbours that happened to be watching at 4am a bit of a show. Lucky them.
Hmmm, I'm going to go on the 'less details, more drama' path, hopefully. I just don't think my descriptive skills will do the scene justice, and I'm also fairly sure that you don't want the details here to read. This isn't a smut site, don't you forget!
Saying that, though, it doesn't leave me a whole lot to write, since the drama is in the details. Bugger. I may have to tread this line gently.
What was it Simon wrote in the Observer article about the trademark teenage fumblings? I think he was referring there to my inability to realise that a relationship was starting between me and Girl (Christ, that seems like far too long ago.), but here it becomes a little more, shall we say, applicable.
It's that beauty of inexperience again, I guess. We were all at that point once; it's just that mine was this Friday, whereas most people's were a long time ago. Can you even remember it?
It's at this point that I must ask my sister, who does occasionally read this blog, to stop reading. You probably don't want to be scarred for life by reading this material. She's only 16, after all!
And now, drawn like Pandora to the unopened box, her own curiosity will be her downfall. I told you to stop reading, but you wouldn't listen, would you...?
I don't know whether to write the rest of the night's events in this meandering, unpoetic prose, or to revert to a list of firsts. That's how I half-planned to write this post yesterday, but now, 4000 words in, I think it could be a bit of a cop-out to revert to such a mechanical structure, especially when the subject matter is anything but. Perhaps the juxtaposition will be interesting.
Fuck it, here comes that list of firsts. Friday night and Saturday night was the first time that I...
- ...had sex
- ...had sex again
- ...got completely naked in another person's company
- ...got completely naked on my roof
- ...had another person completely naked in my company
- ...had another person completely naked on my roof in my company
- ...wore a condom
- ...got head
- ...got head from a girl with a pierced lip
- ...went on top
- ...went on the bottom
- ...went on the side
- ...had my hands on a girl's breasts (no sniggering at the back, I told you that I am the innocent, inexperienced one...)
- ...woke up to find a condom in my bed (not nice, I know that already)
Fucking hell, Friday was the first time I've had sex in my life! Now I know what all the fuss is about... Yay for me.
Do you know the best thing about it? The fact that Saturday wasn't at all awkward. She had a train to catch to get back home to Dartford, so I took her on the Tube all the way to Southwark / Waterloo East station, having stopped on the way for some lunch. We said our goodbyes as her train arrived, and she asked me once more whether I was still sure that we'd done the right thing.
I truly was, which is what I told her, and she seemed pleased as punch with that. She asked for my number, which I gave her, and that was that. I stayed on the platform to wave her off, and then headed back down to the underground platform and the Tube home. Which I sat on, not incidentally, with a big grin on my face all the way back to West Hampstead.
I got a text from one of my housemates, who'd been around in the morning, but who'd all left the house before Kaye and me did that afternoon. He'ld left me a note asking me to feed his fish, so I texted him to say no worries, and also to continue a joke that he'd started in the note.
He'd replied, following up the joke, and also asked who the girl was, since he'd had to come into my room to grab my laptop around midday that day. I'm not sure if he actually saw her, because he only mentioned that he'd heard a female voice, but I told him nonetheless who she was, and said that I'd gone to meet her in a club, and that "one thing led to, well, another..."
His reply made me laugh out loud. It was a single word: bo. Bo is yoof-speak for something good, and we've sort of adopted it in our house, mostly to mock those who say it all the time because they're so very cool and in touch with the yoof of today. You know the type of person I'm on about.
His follow-up text was even funnier: "Oh, and 'funny how a few words...'", a lyric from a Justin "Timberlake song that we particulary like. The lyric, not the song, that is. We're not the biggest Trousersnake fans in our house. He's got a beautiful girlfriend, so we're allowed to hate him. That, and the fact that he's a dick.
So there we have it. I will have to rewrite my bio, and may have to get in touch with Simon at the Observer for a follow-up article, but I do believe it was worth it...
Not a bad way to prepare for leaving the country, all things considered!
Oh, and well done for ploughing through 4,641 words to get here. Much appreciated. I hope you enjoyed reading it as much as I did, erm, preparing for it.
reading this was like watching a feel good movie with the warm and fuzzy feelings attached.
i love a good virginity lost story.