(The picture is a detail of a wonderful photograph by Terry Barca. It was what inspired this story. In the photograph, every face could tell a story or two.)
Yeah, well I’m standing there outside in this pub’s beer garden, and I’ve got a bottle of beer, Haägen I suppose, or something like that because the bottle’s green as far as I remember. And I’m talking to this chick. And she’s really boring.
Then this other guy comes along and starts talking to this chick, and they talk and talk like I’m not there. And I’m stuck with my back to the wall, and they’re in front of me, and there’s no way I can escape. I’m trapped. So I nod and smile like I’m interested (“so I just fed it some crushed cereal” she said), like it’s the biggest fucking deal in the world.
Then he asks if she’s got any other pets, and she said she had a cat but gave it away when it got the goldfish. I take a swig of the Haägen only to find there’s nothing left in the bottle. I say I’m going to get another drink, and it’s like I’m not there, he’s so into her fucking cat.
Eventually I say excuse me and push right past them and go to the bar and get another Haägen. And when I turn round, over at the chick there’s this big hulky bastard smashing a bottle over the head of the boring cat-lover. So I think, fuck this, if we’re going to get entertainment I might as well get a proper drink.
Like a bourbon and coke.