It’s one of those parties you never should’ve gone to, you know it, before you go, in fact that’s why you do, cos these people don’t know you. Like anyone and everyone they have an idea of you, which, admittedly, is a fable you’ve more than likely helped to create…So, tempting fate, you dispose of a cask of wine before eight; it was rubbish anyway. And further from nine, you arrive, nearer to ten, when some guy, whose name you don’t recall, would love to say it’s not important, but you remember Mrs Wood, that unimportant schoolteacher from primary school. And she wasn’t cool. Mind you, this guy, never made you stand on the table and recite your seven-times-table in front of your peers…right, now where are these beers…
So, the guy who shall remain nameless (you settle on it being his parent’s fault – for not naming him) appears in front of you and with a crowd, in full view asks you what you’re doing with yourself, you can see the urge to mock tattooed on his lips, so you attempt to quip that you do everything with yourself, it being the perfect romance – he chuckles falsely, head held high. You can tell he drinks from a brown paper bag. Worse still, he knows that you slurp from the box…He wants to know more fully why he’s three years out of university and you’ve – conservative estimate – perhaps got another three to go? But hey, weren’t you and he together Back in Pols 110? His point is laboured, It’s designed to annoy. You toy – briefly, falsely – with the idea of dismissing him quickly. A crowd now well-assembled, you could pay him out badly. Like maybe you could just call him FAT but the obvious notion of a pot/kettle/black comeback swiftly silences that.
Oh fuck – and here we go. It’s time to play the music, time to light the lights, you didn’t know it when you first left home but you’ve arrived on set at the fucking Muppet Show.
Two prototypes of Wellington’s Quasi-religious sect: the clone cult of fashion androgyny:
They both have horn-rimmed specs, plain glass lens/no prescription – you correctly guess.
And they won’t eat meat, and they don’t get drunk, and they used to smoke pot before it became passé. And “class a” is cliché. And they’ll have their say about yours, cos if they wanted your opinion they’d give it to you…in a strictly no-violence, non-threatening sense, cos they hate all stereotypes, and hate people who judge, the two maxims they made while creating their own judgmental stereotype of sorts – and of course you can’t be bothered with them and you know that they hate you so you resort to the sort of trick your horrid flatmate thought was clever. He posited that whoever says fuck up first wins the argument. You thought that was stupid and you gave it a go explaining just why, and then of course and right on cue – he shouted out to “Fuck Up” right at you and skulled his beer like it was the golden trophy. So you decide to try it now. And shit it feels good when you lower your standards to just the right level.
You’re sweating and you’ve spilled red wine down yourself and smoked four cigarettes end to end. And now, the two prototypes are staring at you as you look blankly straight through them. And a wave of soberness rolls in, offering to take you away, but you’re too pissed to catch on to such a change of tides, and as you slowly – but quickly – click, that they are looking at you looking at them, you think about hiding, but it’s too late.
Anyway you came to this party to tempt fate. One of them suddenly recognises you, and what can you do, you click too that he remembers you as the “Wannabe Music Writer” that obviously failed to understand his band. And so what – just because you said you wished they all were dead; he shouldn’t have taken it so personally… he goes over to you and you agree to move towards him, you came out to insult on a whim and have fun and talk shit, and so far you can tick two boxes, might as well try for three and see what fun can be had. So you tell him not to feel bad for what you said, you didn’t necessarily want him dead you were being “controversial” and besides there’s little decent music these days and all the best guys are dead, so maybe you were just equating him with Hendrix and Bob Marley and John Lennon instead? But he doubts you and he’d be right. Then you engage – though you don’t want to but can’t help yourself – in what musicians call a fight: You don’t want to but you’re fiercely competitive. And you can’t let him win. It’s not to show off assumed knowledge. (Ok, ok it’s not just to show off assumed knowledge). You figure that you’ve got a point that, drunk and belligerent, or not – deserves to be heard. And besides, He fucking started it! So you engage in a heated debate and it’s purely music-wank bullshit and you want to get out of it quick. It’s like animals preening for a prospective mate, humans have different rituals, and being a different breed yet again, musicians attempt to prove their own personal knowledge more, erm, sound than whoever will take them on. You have no idea what tangent he’ll take, but you’re confident to sort out and pick on his mistakes, if and when he makes them. He moots that ‘Whiter Shade of Pale’ is the biggest one hit wonder of all time! And with that you’re sucked in you can’t let him away with that. So you tell him a “fact” that there’s no fuckin way Procal Harum can hold the throne, no group can beat the feat of what Scott McKenzie achieved alone. Backing this up you argue fervently in favour of “(If You’re Going To) San Francisco (Be Sure To Wear Some Flowers In Your Hair)”. But he doesn’t care. And she – the other member of Wellington’s self-styled, self-assured elite arrives to join in, you of course, stink of gin and reek of wine, but you’re having a great time spouting Johnny Walker Wisdom all the while. And with another one near you relish the opportunity to poke fun at them both. And you eye the alleyway gap n a political yarn that she starts, and it isn’t hard as the occasion presents itself for you to tease as they state their beliefs – collectively – against eating meat. You say, purely to stir that is seems weird… “What seems weird?” they query rightly, politely – “Well,” you slur, “if vegetarians love animals so much, why do they eat all their food?” They leave in disgust at all you’ve discussed, they, of course, find you rude. But just before they go, you get a chance to further disgust them both, by pushing two chicken drumsticks in to your mouth, one in each corner, before beginning to sing “I am the Walrus”.
It goes down like a cup of cold sick, you gurgle and chuckle, maybe that’s why the Beatles never performed it live? – you think. See they weren’t so much in awe of success, just scared of failure. But you’re not scared of any such thing. You bumble and bump into two little bunnies from your old school. They rabbit on and on about how they’ve really found that there’s a shortcut to everything, but have learned through some harsh experience that it is often best to just do it the way it is presented. “It’s like my daddy always said”, the less attractive of them starts, “Why take the easy road that gets harder; why not take the hard road that gets easier…?” “Why not just get your husband or boyfriend to pay and do everything”, The more attractive one comments, But on hearing her comments, she becomes far less attractive. Of course they aren’t actually talking to you – you never did when at school so why change the rules? They are talking to someone else. In fact with such contrived and selfish views they’re probably talking to themselves.
“You’re a superficial bitch”, you rather smoothly butt-in. “Yeah, but that’s just on the surface”, the gold-digging prodigy offers, and though you hate her for that, she’s suddenly become very attractive again.
“Hey look ladies, there’s, ah, more than one way to skin a cat…but personally, I’ve always preferred a fucking big knife”. It’s obvious; and obviously they leave, leaving you alone at last. You gasp and take a breath and spit and crumble the empty cigarette packet like you wish it was some pencil-neck’s throat the next time he got on your nerves. But you’re too weak to ever do that, or have any conviction behind saying that, and you curse and cuss, reminding yourself to only lie to others, never be untrue to yourself, and always be kind to your mother. Cos you’re starting to flip out, but there’s more drinks on the table. You stumble and tumble your way around, drinking wine from a glass that’s in your left hand. The bottom is broken; the stem fits inside closed palm, Tapering to a flaky point: Mental note, next time crush empty smoke pack with the right hand, it’s the sort of mental note, that even a drunk cunt such as yourself understands, but the flecks of blood on your fingers exacerbated by the berry of the wine, make you look tough, as tough as you want to look, an ambivalent cool-charm, doing harm only to yourself… Besides, you can’t put this drink down now so it’s an excuse, like you need one still, for both you and the glass, to always stay full…
The best logic you can offer of the night – an ethos of sorts – is that it’s not a waste of time if you’re wasted all the time, again when you aim word-darts at the joke’s bull’s-eye you miss. And someone yells loudly, calling you a dog on the piss. You bark back that you’re not an alcoholic if you can lie on the floor without hanging on…And that is when you fall. (Victim to your own cross-examination). While you’re down there, face pressed hard on the rug, it’s a long time since you’ve been there in that position, you have a suspicion that these hairs will taste sorta similar, so you lick away at the carpet thinking it funny and kinda thinking it’s neat, it’s been a long time…and now everyone knows…at least those still watching, most have ceased to believe that you’re even and actually there…
Carpet hairs; cunt hairs? Who cares?
Your friends that you’re sure were there, turned up with you at least, can’t be found, they’re not here to see you drown and wallow in self-pitying detail but back on your feet, you’re last seen and heard (at least you think you are) telling the Women’s Rights Officer of Victoria University That the last four letters of the word Women spell out OMEN – you tell her it must be some kind of sign. But bad jokes aren’t all – as you’re later reminded, that you confirm former carpet suspicions, lift the blanket of thought to admit to a hell of a lot of people, who never asked, and never wanted to know that you’re crap in bed – but so what, you’re only repeating what you know three women to have said. And god knows why but tonight it works – it’s how you flirt, apparently. As one woman takes a shine to the awkward truths revealed amidst your lies. You’re forced to think quickly, it’s not mind-fuck, and if it is just a test, she’s already said she’s happy to take the practical. Still somehow, some way you’re sure she’s taking the piss. In best foot forward form of defence you call her a slut. She calls you a wanker, slaps your face hard. You wear that slap well and tell her she’s likely to be buried in a “Y-shaped” coffin. You’re lucid but lost and losing more and more and even losing more and more hope. But you couldn’t have had it with her tonight. Even if you could have – it’d be like trying to play pool with a coil of rope. You try for one more joke of the night, saying that there’s a new drug they made in Auckland or L.A – called Viagra-Light: It’s for wankers.
The dribbled wine stains, now a river of their own, estuaries form from under each arm, not only suggest you to be a mess that won’t be capable of any more harm, they introduce you more efficiently than you yourself ever could, as you continue to hunt and find favour forever lost. These stains seems to spell – in a form of shorthand – that you’re an obnoxious pissed cunt. And sure, so you’ve been covering your butt all night long. So you must be bright, a wiser man however, might Just have kept his pants on…
And you’re aware that people are starting now to tease you, now that it’s too easy, an irony you hate to acknowledge as that was your sole reason for going to the party anyway, as you hear one girl, whose mother was most definitely never told to shut the fuck up, state, in her own defiant tone, that she doesn’t at all know how people like you can just let themselves go and you think, fuck: If I had a dollar for every time I’ve heard that (and it actually registered) I’d at least have enough for a taxi home. You’re left wanting one more drink, which you won’t even finish, a cigarette to help you throw up, a keebab to replace what you intend to lose on the street and all you want to do at this point is get home safe and avoid any more shit, as you start sobering, enough to realise the error of some of your ways –
You want to avoid those two animals that you always seem to bump into but it’s no good.
There’s no vision of actually getting home and no memory as you awake, next to no-one. Again. Then the sun fingers its way in through a gap in the blinds and casts a shadow of your former self. At first wake there is first doubt as to whether you even went out.
But those two animals have called past again; yep sure as there’ll be debt collectors on your trail soon, cos you told the dentist to do what a duck can’t and stick his fuckin bill up his arse, those two animals have called – again. In fact you struggle to remember a single night drinking when that mule hasn’t kicked you in the head and that bird hasn’t shat in your mouth.
First phone call provides first flashback:
Standing on the table with your pants down round your ankles, you were screaming your seven times table at some guy
who you hardly knew…