I was in a London nightclub, drinking champagne and popping the odd pill. I’d
long ago lost the people I’d originally gone out with, and some ed-up and coked
up posh bird had strangely latched herself onto me. She had a St Paul’s school
for Girl’s accent and was obviously up for a bit of rough. Her name was Isabella
and she was blonde and slim, with nice tits, but totally out of it. It was New Years
After intro’s we brought a bottle of champagne and retired to a chill out area.
‘The way to understand the personality of a guy is to check out his wallet,’
whispered Isabella in my ear at some point
‘What, like how much money he’s got inside?’
‘No, read his supermarket receipts.’
‘What if he hasn’t got any?’
‘Then the guys a freak and you have to walk away.’
Oddly, I wondered if there was a supermarket receipt in my wallet.
I French-kissed the girl for a while, but my thoughts kept spinning off into a
thousand different directions, supermarket receipts, supermarket receipts, how
long can a dolphin survive out of water, do astronauts shit into space?
Then Isabella pulled her head away. I was glad because she slobbered
somewhat, and I felt like I was getting a rash around my lips. I sipped some more
champagne, straight from the bottle and then burped. Isabella twisted a lock of
her long blonde hair around a finger and then went bossed-eyed,
‘Do you have a supermarket receipt?’
This posh tart was starting to freak me out, but I went along with the nuttiness.
I pulled out my wallet and fumbled around for a shopping receipt. I found one,
Tesco’s. Isabella snatched the strip of paper from my hand, rather rudely, and
read it avidly. Then she began making some strange clucking sounds, along with
lots of interjections, you know like, ah, oh, erm, yes, etc.
‘What?’ I asked.
Isabella looked up, ‘There’s not much food on this list is there?’
I grabbed the receipt. She was right, there wasn’t much food, it was mostly
alcohol, beer, wine, whiskey, and a bottle of Kaluha because I like to have a
large Kaluha and milk before going to bed each night.
‘I’m not a big eater,’ I said by way of explanation.
‘No, no, you are not, listen what are you doing later?’
I wasn’t doing anything later, aside from crashing out and trying to forget how
much money I’d spent on another wanky NYE, ‘Nothing, why?’
Isabella looked me up and down and then kissed me somewhat wildly, still
slobbering. I pulled away and wiped my mouth with the back of my hand. Then
Isabella grabbed one of my hands, the drools free one, and pressed it tightly,
‘Listen, some friends of ours are having a party, it should be interesting, would
you like to come as my guest?’
I rubbed my beard thoughtfully. ‘Ok,’ I said simply.
Outside the club the erratic Isabella led me to a black BMW convertible parked
on a double yellow line,
‘You’re not going to drive are ya?’ I queried.
Isabella handed me an electronic fob, ‘No, you are,’ she said with a
giggle, a giggle that instantly irritated me. So this is how it works? This is how these rich
bitches fuck you over. I was at least ten or twenty times over the legal drink drive
limit, with seven points already on my license. If caught driving under the
influence, it would be an immediate ban, hefty fine, and maybe even a custodial
sentence. Taking these factors into consideration I thought it prudent to suggest
an alternative, ‘What about a cab?’
Isabella leaned real close to me and rubbed a thigh against mine, ‘Oh darling
don’t be silly, it’s only around the corner.’
With the thigh rubbing and darling thing going on, I felt a stirring in my groin
region, and knew I was doomed. ‘Ok let’s go, but it better not be far, and let me
know if I start weaving.’
We drove slowly along empty early morning New Year’s Day streets. A fine
drizzle was falling, and everything seemed blurred, lights, reflections, etc. I was
hunched over the wheel trying to concentrate, while Isabella rambled on about
whose party it was, who would be there, and snorting coke every five seconds.
Apparently it was some city whiz kid millionaire, but I wasn’t really paying
attention, it was taking all my powers of concentration just to drive straight.
Eventually we pulled into the complex of some brand new riverside apartments.
These places went for over a million each, but they were bland, badly
constructed, and devoid of any character. It could’ve been any apartments, in
any city, in any country, in any world.
A tall black guy, who vaguely resembled Will Smith, answered the door.
Isabella was all kisses and hugs, why I just stood there like a plank,
‘Who is this?’ Asked Will in a strong African accent.
I held out a hand, ‘I’m Joseph Ridgwell, underground writer and minor poet, now
where’s the beers?’
The black guy shook my hand weakly, ‘Hi, I’m Jeremiah, and erm there’s
refreshments in the kitchen.’
I strode ahead, but behind me I heard Jeremiah whisper to Isabella, ‘Oh my
god Izzy, where the fuck did you find him?’
Immediately I wished a cancer on the African prick, but forget about that as soon
as I walked into the living room.
The living room was huge and done out in the minimalist style. There was a
Rothko and a Warhol hanging on the walls, they looked like originals, but I was
distracted by a small crowd of people gathered around a white fur rug. They all
appeared to be watching something. I edged closer, barging two men out of the
way in the process. Then I nearly fainted at the scene that confronted me. Jesus
Christ, an Asian girl and a white man were stark naked and making love right
there in front of everyone. I watched voyeur style for a while, but soon got bored
and then realised I didn’t have a drink.
I looked around for Isabella and found her in the arms of the African. She was
slobbering all over him like she had been with me in the club. Everywhere I
looked couples were getting off with each other, kissing, blow jobs, doggy-style,
etc. I’d walked into a full blown orgy, but something about the whole set up didn’t
seem right, and I felt my stomach turn.
I poked Isabella in the side until she stopped kissing Will Smith and looked at
‘What?’ She demanded.
I felt like giving her a slap, but controlled myself masterfully, ‘Is it ok to get myself
Isabella looked at me like I was a minor inconvenience, ‘Of course it is you’re my
guest, now run along.’
Red and green lights flashed before my eyes, ‘Anyone else want one, what about
Jeremiah looked at me in mild amusement, ‘Did you just call me Jerry?’
Now I was properly pissed off, ‘Yeah, that’s your fucking name ain’t it?’
Isabella pulled a face, ‘Easy tiger, drinks, I mean beers are in the kitchen.’
I strolled to the kitchen in a huff. It looked like I wasn’t going to get a shag with
Isabella and now I was stuck in some rich cunts apartment on the other side of
London, with an orgy taking place. Bollocks, just my luck. In the kitchen were a
group of coke heads. I edged past them and opened the fridge door and grabbed
a cold beer. The cokeheads didn’t acknowledge me in anyway.
With beer in hand, I strolled around the massive apartment. Nobody took any
notice of me; it was like I was invisible, not the first time this has happened in my
life. The sex show was still going on in the living room, and couples were still
going at it in full view, in various nooks and darkened corners. Most of the
women looked like prostitutes, high-class ones, but still brasses. Terrible rap
music was playing on an impressive Bang & Olufsen stereo.
Then suddenly it dawned on me, they were all prostitutes, they had to be.
Suddenly everything clicked into place. The millionaire had hired them all to
entertain his guests, his male guests.
I sat down on a settee and smoked a cigarette. But why had Isabella invited
me and was she a brass? It was odds on that she were. Well, prostitution was
just another form of employment, but it seemed strange for such a pretty and
privileged girl to be on the game, but then I guess no rich man would want pay to
fuck an ugly. Suddenly the night seemed to becoming a very weird one.
Then I thought about my life and all the strange unconnected things that
happened in it. For some reason weird shit was always happening to me. I mean
not all the time, but more than normal. I wondered if it was my abnormal
personality, or whether some unseen force was making it happen to me, to give
me material for my writing. No, that was crazy; it had to be down to me.
I sat there for a while observing the scene and wondering if I could use the
experience and turn it into literature. Somehow I doubted it; it all seemed so
contrived, lacking in spontaneity and ultimately soulless. I drank another beer
and then saw Isabella disappear into one of the master bedrooms with Jerry. I
felt low and blue. Outside the first light of dawn had already begun to illuminate
the eastern sky, a smudge of pink on the horizon.
When I saw some partygoers shooting up I decided it was time to make a
move. I didn’t say goodbye and nobody saw me leave. On the way out I saw a
pair of gold cufflinks on a side table, and without thinking I picked them and
dropped them into my pocket. I’m not a thief, but I took them as a memento,
something solid to prove I hadn’t imagined the whole episode.
I walked along the embankment for a goodly while. At Westminster I stopped
at gazed at the river Thames gliding past, the dirty brown water sparkling in the
early morning sunshine. I thought about telling my friends what had happened
and seeing the disbelief appearing in their eyes, but when you think about it
anything can happen on a night out, nothing normally does, but the possibilities
Then, for a split second, I thought about jumping in the river, but the water
looked very cold, too, too cold. Eventually the suicide thoughts passed and I
walked along in yellow sunshine. It was New Year’s Day and I was alive.