Sunday, 3 December 2017

#331 Bright shiny baubles

I'd been particularly impressed with the decorations that hung from various parts of the city this year. Canary Wharf had been graced with the presence of an extravagantly high number of trees, most regal in their splendor. The heights of Oxford Street proudly bore a smart and memorable NSPCC message. The South Bank was no exception. Rows of blue and gold bulbs illuminated the pavements, which were lined with a fine outdoor Christmas market. There wasn't much chance to admire the stalls though. It was freezing and I wanted to be on time.

Had it been a smaller venue, Royal Festival Hall might have seemed crowded and loud like everywhere else on a Saturday. I'd had no idea what was playing but the gamble had paid off. A smattering of concert attendees stood talking at a satisfactory volume. No queues had formed at the glistening bar taps. A few small wooden chairs were dispersed about the well-lit, high-ceiling ballroom. On one of them sat Hetal.

We'd been emailing for a while recently and since her christening in Tulse Hill coincided with my room viewing in Brockley, we'd decided to meet for a quiet drink and to play QuizUp on our phones. The poor creature was evidently in some distress though. A slightly delicate girl in some ways, my ex-girlfriend was not pleased at having had to leave the safety and comfort of her home town. She recounted with intensity the frustrations of her experience for perhaps half an hour and then on to matters closer to home for another half, with no lapse in intensity.

It was as though Hetal had been storing all of her energy in a bottle since I'd seen her last and was now releasing it out into the night. After drinks, by which time I was already a little on the tired side, she expressed a deep longing to do something spontaneous and together we conjured up the makings of an idea which turned out to be playing pool at Namco. My kind of fun.

What happened next I can scarcely recall as I was so incredibly pooped that I became monosyllabic. The white rabbit continued to bounce around frantically though and I followed it to SoHo and beyond, where there was no Christmas, just rows of seedy shops, crowds of drunk people and bars that never closed. At around half past two I had clearly become almost comatose with exhaustion and after some effort to find Ubers, we eventually parted ways.

At the end of the night, I realised it had been exactly a year since our first date and that we'd had almost exactly the same kind of evening.


Running on empty said...

Christening? Shower?

Hey, I found my password again.

Dan Copping said...

Thanks Cath and well done on the password recovery.