A Night Out with flaca
Lena and I off to Flaca in Broadway Market for PV of show with Matt Bryans, Sam Basu and Lillian Vaule. We meet up with John Hayward, we say 'hi' to Tom Humphreys who runs the place, and get chatting to the lovely Nina Madden, who we all like and adopt for the rest of our evening. She is introduced as a high profile art critic/writer - she denies the high profile bit - but we like her anyway. She is five weeks into giving up smoking and says things like: ' I want to be 44 and to be able to say, yes, darling, I gave up smoking 10 years ago'; and 'I don't smoke anymore, so now I just google all the time. Google, google, google. I will google you all later'; and finally: 'I really want to smoke a cigarette'. (Later, at home, I google her. This I what I get: she is in fact not even a real person (!!), but the fictional heroine of the bestselling trilogy by Mariah Stewart. Who would've thought that? How bizarre. Then I came across this.)
We see a few people there we know and I say hello and well done to Matt Bryans and Lillian.
Water starts dripping through a light fitting in the ceiling above us. Tom races out of the lower gallery and bans anyone else from using the toilet...
We retire to the Dove; me, Lena, John and our new friend Nina, and drink until closing. Spilling out back on the street a small, committed bunch strike forth for the Bethnal Green Working Men's Club, all of us following Tom, who is now riding a bike...It seems to take hours. When we finally get there it's dancing and music and people in fabulous outfits. We bump into Jamie from Plexi and I say is it ok to take your photo? 'Sure', he says, 'I'll do one of my poses. When I was young I got three rolls of film and photographed myself in the mirror. I now have any one of ten poses I can do successfully when someone photographs me'. I can't decide if this is a) suitably cool b) stunningly narcissistic or c) something I should have seriously considered in my own life...but hey, what a pro, eh? Guy's a genius.
And then there's a little more drink and then it's quite late. Lena and Nina have melted away some time before and John is confused. They have similar sounding names and he can't quite remember who was who. I can barely remember who I am. I look around the club and see Tom, still dancing. As he whirls around on his heels I think: In the future, I'll be able to say, 'oh, yes, darling, 10 years ago I was on a night out with flaca....'