Drink was my new drug of choice but, I just couldn’t bring myself to sit in the same bar night after night. With the cute barmaid now out of the question after hearing of my Glasgow lesbian story, I left that old man’s pub and ventured out further into the world of concerts, but as it would happen, even just a straight forward concert could lead me to all kinds of shit and mayhem.
. . .
Standing in line outside the venue of the Satanic band of the moment (that venue being an old church) I read to my dismay that due to a dispute with the band the concert has in-fact been cancelled and my coming into town has been a complete waste of time.
While sharing my grievances with a fellow metal-head we decide that a few beers in the nearest rock bar/club would lighten our spirits and somehow be good for the soul. We have just been to church after-all. Almost.
With wild raven-like, blood-red hair and charisma that catches my breath from across the room I try not to stare but I just can’t help steel a glimpse every minute to make sure she’s still there. She is and she’s coming this way.
In a blastingly cute Canadian accent I’m asked if there’s anything good to do in Edinburgh and resisting the urge to say “me” I fill her in on a few places of interest and pass my details to her if she’d care for a tour tomorrow.
Returning home from work the next day I find a message on my answer machine explaining that she’s off to Inverness tomorrow before heading back South and across to Ireland. Would I like to meet her tonight for a drink in Edinburgh?
WOOP, WOOP! I’m there!
We float around a few establishments and as the night winds up we make our way to a taxi rank. Her hostels around the corner but she stays a moment as I wait for my ride home. But I don’t want to go home.
“You know, It’s so expensive for me to get a taxi from here and the queue is so long. Could I maybe just stay with you tonight”?
Making my way towards her bedroom my mind fills with exactly how this night’s going to unfold. I took a cheeky chance. It paid off and I see no way that I can fail now. In the blink of an eye my hopes are dashed as I look around this full dormitory of ten, maybe fifteen people all crammed in snoring and smelling like the cock-blockers they are. I lay down beside her in a separate sleeping-bag and she’s out like a light. The next morning I crawl back home while she shoots North for the Highlands.
My e-mail hinting at how much I’d love to visit Ireland has a response and I’m invited to meet with her in Glasgow where we’ll make our way to Dublin via Liverpool for a two and a half week tour through the land of shamrocks, Guinness and bare-knuckle gypsy fights.
In Glasgow she immediately falls into the arms of another Canadian she’d met before and now I find myself stranded in a fully booked hostel with nowhere to go. I sleep on a fold out couch in one of the girls dorms surrounded by fit Spanish girls who snore like bears in exchange for working a shift at the desk while the owners go clubbing.
Later when asked by a Kiwi girl if I’d care to follow her for some oxygen I assume I’m being led to a balcony for fresh air and a chance to get away from the romantic Canadian couple now getting it on in front of me –that would be the girl I came here with-. Instead I’m led to the kitchen where I’m presented with a bottle of vodka and a large canister of oxygen complete with face mask. Different, but OK. We devour that vodka and our tanks now empty. It’s time to drift off to the sound of bears being bum raped. *That’s just imagery as to how loud the snoring was. I didn’t do anything bad!
Two days later and I’m ready for going back to Edinburgh when I bump into my friend who still wants to go to Ireland. With me!
After a few nights of smuggling her into hostels where I’d only paid for one, we leave Liverpool behind and set sail for Dublin where I’m still convinced romance can still blossom.
Treating ourselves in a cosy little seafood restaurant I’m served my meal of oysters in an oyster sauce –I’d heard there a sexual aphrodisiac- and settle down to learn all there is to know about anarchist feminists. This wine and oyster mix isn’t working for me and I’m starting to feel a little shit.
Subtlety I lift the large foldout napkin and place it to my lips keeping eye contact and nodding at the end of each sentence and as the napkin expands to within bursting point I take a moment’s pause to carry my vomit filled balloon towards the bathroom where I flood a cubical with my attempts at stinky napkin disposal.
We hitchhike to Galway on the West coast and I lose her for a day after I freaked out at some house party. I got on a coach and had a change of heart ten minutes into my journey East deciding instead to try to find her and apologise profusely for leaving her like that. I find her in the town centre only by chance.
Our hitchhiking – not to be mistaken with highjacking which I once told a nervous local-consists of me hiding in bushes and behind walls while my friend waves down possibly pervy motorists, by the time they realise they’ve got two pick-ups it’s too late and they feel obliged to give us both a ride. Maybe with the one exception of an old guy who tells us adamantly that he was just stopping to rest-yea right- this method would take us from East to West coast, across the border North to Belfast and then back South to Dublin.
In Belfast we met a couple of Russians who, stereotypically happen to have some homemade vodka leading to my calling of an ambulance and a fun filled night in hospital having one Canadian stomach pumped.
Even on our way out back to the hostel we’re approached by a group of Italian teens who try to take her to a ‘house party’ two blocks away while another one tries to lead me away to another friend’s house that he’s owed money from. “Fuck off. You’re not taking either of us anywhere”. They’re really crawling out the woodwork round here!
Another bust up and this time it was me who hit the roof after my jealousy takes hold. I think I was just pissed that I wasn’t getting any. I was a bit of a twat you see!
Waking in the night I find her fully dressed with her bag on and heading towards the door. I wake again five minutes later in a fit of panic. “She’s escaped”! Is one bad choice of words as I fly past the receptionist, out the door and towards the end of the street wearing nothing but my under-wear.
“She got a taxi” I’m told as I walk deflated and heartbroken back to my room. Yeah, thanks for that info after I streaked past half of Northern Ireland!
She did return the next again night. I’ve been out of my mind with worry as this part of Belfast is not good for a young trouble finding girl to walk alone –I’m not just saying that- and all she’s got to say is “you’re still here”?
What the fuck!?
My head is fucked!
For many years I considered those three weeks of my life to be a major factor in my fear of women although I now see that I just had to grow a pair of balls and get over it. Just because a girl smiles and spends a little time with you doesn’t mean she becomes your property.
I’m still happy I went as it was certainly an experience and to think it might never have been if that concert had gone ahead. We still chat online from time to time and I believe that we just met each other at difficult times in our lives. Glad to say that the only real scar to come from those days lays in form of our souvenir tattoo’s – mine just below the back of my neck of which I still have no idea how it looks- although I would have killed for a few sex bruises at the time!