I jogged into the crowded pub and saw nothing I recognised and no familiar faces. So I hid at the bar and relied on twitter to direct me to the table at which a group of sexy strangers sat. I was sweating, a little hungover and my body was wrecked with strains and bruises. I’ve made better first impressions. Like the time I walked in on my new girlfriend’s mum fellating my new girlfriend’s dad, him stood hands on hips in imperial triumph, her kneeling, fully clothed, like a conquered Visigoth. That was a better first impression than I made in Soho last night.
I shoe-horned the word ‘Visigoth’ in there, because I’m in love with that word at the moment. I’m also in love ‘parallax’ and ‘vertiginous’, so don’t be surprised if they turn up in some horribly contrived sentence later.
Let me lay the scene. Saturday was spent in a nightclub in Southampton, training with my old krav maga club, doing this:
We were doing realistic nightclub fighting simulations – in particular, training to hurt people who wanted to hurt us with glasses. It was high tempo, high impact stuff, and by the time it was over I felt like I’d had the shit kicked out of me by thirty guys. Because that’s exactly what happened. I got home and drank vodka to dull the parts of my body that the Anadin Extra couldn’t reach; namely, my front tooth that has somehow migrated further around my face. If I take another punch to the mouth, I think my tooth might end up in my ear. Or better yet, it might finally get knocked out completely and I can finally get it fixed.
My neck was so stiff afterwards, and I bruised my foot so badly that walking was a tall order. Krav maga is the only activity that can make me limp and stiff at the same time.
Eventually I got home, and some time later, Sunday morning occurred. Apparently. I don’t remember much apart from the fact that I couldn’t move without considerable pain. I had to change some plans around, particular with regards to clothing. I had been given an informal invite on twitter to attend a small gathering of erotic writers and sexy, smutty creative types in Soho, and by gum, I was going to get there even if I had to run, which I eventually did.
I jumped on my bike at 3:30 pm, giving me two and a half hours to get there. It’s 21 miles from my flat to Soho, and it usually takes me an hour and a quarter. This time though, it would take more than four hours.
I picked up a puncture outside Croydon. At least, I assume that’s what happened. I mean, it’s Croydon, so I wouldn’t be that surprised if some asshole in a grey hoodie had simply stolen the air right out of my tyre.
Panic ensued. I don’t like to be late, much less miss appointments, and all the bike shops in the entire world were closed. So I jumped on a train and landed in Victoria, chained my bike recklessly to a barrier, and ran to Soho from there. Parallax. It’s not a long run, just long enough to turn me into a bag of sweat. I got changed out of my running/cycling clothes into my smarter clothes in the filthy toilet of a KFC, and walked to the Spice Of Life, an appropriately named pub on Moor Street.
I arrived sweating and smelling like a KFC toilet. And then we had a great night talking on and off topic, drinking, smoking and looking at artistic pornography on MrOhYes’ laptop. It was the kind of night I’ve been craving since I moved to London last year, and long may it continue.
I was there in a semi-official capacity, to get in the trenches with the authors of erotica that the company which I represent would like to get behind. I failed in that capacity and was far more informal than I should have been, but it was incredibly useful nonetheless.
Special thanks go to MrOhYes for the copy of his book which I’ll be sure to put under the nose of the head media buyer at work, and even more special thanks to Miss Player for being outrageously sexy – so sexy that I was actually afraid to flirt with her – and for doing most of the legwork for the event. But mainly for being outrageously sexy.
Visigoth. Parallax. Vertiginous.