stupid blanker

Mmm, she’s crazy hot, purred my sleazy drunken brain.  Across the table, Friend’s droopy eyes looked over at me, disapproving, telling me not to be quite so obvious in my admiration.  We were sitting down on the bar’s comfy seats, her bottom and legs were cutting and thrusting and swooping around at my eye-line.  I couldn’t help admiring and didn’t care.

From there the evening became blurry, and remains so now.  Virtually no words remain; only faint outlines.  Trying to remember is like visiting a gallery where the paintings become gradually soiled and obscured to the point that all you see are the frames, the parts around the edges.  Memory is like that of a silent film I half dozed through.

We’d had a good night up until then across a number of different central venues.  Friend had done his usual painfully tortured ‘oh I really shouldn’t..’ – although we both knew what was on the cards when he unexpectedly called in on my flat at 6pm.  It was Saturday night, his fiancée had gone out with a friend who was visiting.  He was free and notoriously weak where alcohol was concerned.  Opportunities to go out like this are rare for me now, chances to behave like a drunken idiot who’s perhaps a little younger than I am.  I fed Friend a couple of tantalising beers at the flat before suggesting we go the pub.  We hadn’t played any Xbox at all, which must have meant we were growing up.

After attending the birthday party of another friend’s friend in an upstairs function room – a place populated almost exclusively by well dressed, enviably good looking, shiny-faced homosexual men – we made our way back across town into the mainstream district.  We stopped in two pubs before coming to our final destination: a highly swanky looking late-night bar.

We’ve intermittently enjoyed nights like this, here in this city for over ten years; impromptu, long, fuelled to the point of memory blackouts.  While I knew they wouldn’t happen as often as in our early twenties, the chance of them, even if only now and again, incentivised my decision to move back here.

“Five quid entry,” a doorman said as we walked enquiringly towards him.

“Or is it four?” his female colleague asked.

“Three!” I interjected, charged by several large whiskies.   “Two fifty, one pound ten?!  Let’s barter!”  Friend glared disgusted, what-the-fuck-are-you-doing? daggers at me.

But something incredible happened.  They laughed, relented and simply waved us through.  “Go on., before I change my mind,” she said.  We walked in, giggling incredulously.

Memory holds reasonably firmly for an hour or so, before the dancing girl with the body.  Then she’s sitting next to me and we’re chatting.

How did you do that, you genius?

Not a clue.  And I have absolutely no recollection of our conversation.  She’s German and has a German accent.  That’s it.  No memory of her face either.  A loose recollection of her outline and basic, impressive dancing shape, dark wavy hair, but my memory stubbornly refuses to colour in a face of any kind.  There’s only fuzziness around the edges.

Friend is around, maybe chatting to her friends, or sitting on his own in a drunken stupor.  Both are plausible.  She stands up to dance again and there’s a time lapse before she prepares to leave.  Her handful of friends (could have been three, could have been seven), male and female, look all set and mingle around the top of the stairs.  I’m sad she’s leaving.  She approaches me again to say goodbye and I stand, smile, possibly leer, disappointed.  Words must be exchanged but I have no idea what they are.  (I’d guess “nice to meet you”).  I kiss one cheek and pause, then decide to go continental and kiss the other, and pause.  Something must happen in this pause: a raise of her chin, a smile or a look in her eye.  Or maybe it doesn’t.  Maybe I’m just drunk and fearless.  Either way, we’re suddenly kissing properly.

Me!  Dowdy loner bloke!  In a hip late night bar on a Saturday night, drunk, snogging a German female who I’m positive is really quite attractive!  She’s kissing me back!  Quick, someone take a picture to show to my Grandchil.. um, well: Great Niece or Nephew!  (See, I wasn’t always like this).  This might never happen again!

We must break off and smile coyly, no numbers or details exchanged.  Why the hell not?  Did she say she had a boyfriend?  Was she just visiting friends here?  So what?   What was her name?

ANYTHING, brain?  Anything at all?  One slender grain of detail?

Nada, zilch, a big long flatline bastard.

She follows her friends down the stairs and presumably out of the bar.  I make no attempt to follow. (Again, WHY?  Prick.)  I sit back down with Friend, who’s talking to new people.  My intoxication means I’m now riding the crest of legal chemicals and temporary confidence; I’m surprisingly not dumbstruck.  I enter this new conversation with a cocksure gusto, like nothing just happened and I’d forgotten it already.

From here even the edges of memory start to blur.

*

Knowing that I don’t have a clue what she looks like annoys the hell out of me.  I privately pride myself on being good at remembering faces, being able to quickly identify people even if I only see them for a second.  Earlier that evening a Swashbuckled follower sat behind me in a pub and, not having too many followers, I felt curiously smug.  Then strange and uncomfortable.  I tried explaining this to Friend, who I don’t believe has ever visited a Twitter page.  I couldn’t argue with his deduction, “..fucking weird mate.”

Point is I enjoy my ability to tell immediately who someone is with a half second glance at their mug.  And I’m a decent listener, attentive, and will remember the key details of a conversation and usually more besides – especially if the interlocutor happens to be an attractive female.  I don’t forget.  And I imagine I came across as attentive and interested and not a complete moron, or she wouldn’t have come over to say goodbye.

But it’s academic.  Despite plaintively scrolling through my phone numbers more than once (why are you doing this, you wanker) the upshot is that I have nothing at all.  We must have spoken for a while and were attached at the face for several seconds.  Yet she could plausibly pass me in the street and I wouldn’t have a clue.

This irks me.

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