Unemployed and homeless, #81 was staying in my living-room, which was pretty handy because it was good to have some company while I was housebound. I’d had almost six weeks of unexpected sick leave, and would return to work in a few days; I’d tentatively started to go out and about again. Not just to walk to the shops, but to meet friends and go to the pub and drink. So, one night I met #81 outside Teviot and we skulked around looking for students who’d pretend to be our friends so we could get in. We made it to the indie soc club just before they started charging entry, sat upstairs, and talked about death and relationships and defensive heterosexuals. There weren’t many people there, but we made up stories about the characters we saw: Tarquin the foppish yah in the cardigan; the Chinese rock star with the fingerless gloves; and Stacey, a sweet, innocent-looking type who wound up dancing with the Prince of Darkness.
#144 showed up and it took us a while to remember who our mutual friends were. He told me that he’d come to my 21st birthday party, back when I lived with #28, and somebody had handed him a joint and that had been his first time and then he turned into a complete stoner. #81 talked to his friend, who became rude and dismissive after she came out to him. #144 and I danced to Le Tigre. He kept trying to drape his arm around my shoulder, which I wasn’t into, but I gave up trying to stop him when we were walking home, me with the pint of cider & blackcurrant I’d smuggled out up my sleeve. I kissed him goodbye on the corner of my street, no doubt passing on the majority of my sore throat germs, as I felt significantly better the following day. It was all nice enough, I figured, but there are two types of people in the world, and he was the type that I lie to about what my tattoos say.