Once in a blue moon 2
I fucking hate Christmas. Actually, I hate the whole of December. All the pubs are full of part-time drinkers whooping it up for Christmas and making absolute twats of themselves.
People like Terry. Terry was always a lightweight when it came to drinks with the boys. We’d meet up on the south bank somewhere, a bunch of us who had gone to school together in Cardiff, converged in London after uni looking for jobs, finding them, getting bored with them and then just settling in and living for the weekend. Gradually, though, they all succumbed to careers, relationships or marriage. Some moved back to Wales and my Cardiff Crew were slowly replaced by a shifting crowd of southern English teenagers just starting out in work and eager to test themselves out on one of my legendary sessions.
But last month we were out for Terry’s birthday with all the part-time drinkers. Some of the boys even came up from Cardiff and we met up near the Borough Market. I always get the first round in; after that I just go at my own speed and make sure I’ve always got a pint in front of me as the others scratch heads and try to figure out whose round it is. I got Terry another one for his birthday and, coming back from the bar managed to smuggle some MDMA crystals into it and made sure they’d dissolved. I was bored now and fed up with all the talk about home and how shit the Wales football team were.
I was bored, Terry was pissed. I offered to get chips to line his stomach a bit and managed to smuggle a couple more crystals with the salt I put on them. He said they tasted weird but not bad (‘more vinegar’ I said and went to find some). I was practically rubbing my hands looking forward to watching him come up. He’d have no idea what was going on. Would he be able to enjoy it? I wasn’t bothered to be honest. I was going to enjoy it.
‘Where’s Terry?’ I asked the boys when I came back with the vinegar. Nobody knew, but looking out of the window I could see Terry in just his shirt and work trousers - no shoes - dancing on the zebra crossing shouting ‘Zebra! Zebra. I’m dancing on a zebra Col!’ No driver stops for zebra crossings round here and it freaked me out. I got Terry back into his shoes and jacket and inside the pub, found his keys in his pocket along with sweets, wrappers and one of those stickle bricks kids build things with. I was starting to realise it might be turning into a weird evening in this pub full of noise and all my drunk lightweight friends. The whole room, the whole pub was shouting and squealing at the top of its voice. Suddenly I wanted a kebab so badly. I was feeling lightheaded myself suddenly. Me! Worse for drink… copper bottomed Col, feeling tipsy?
But there he was, pride of place as always in the Borough Market Kebab House. My miniature hero, revolving, at beatific peace and giving endlessly of his brown sizzling body for my salvation. Filling me up with his goodness.