Ever so often, something pops up and reminds me of my past. My strange, patchy past. And while I can bleat on about how I should’ve been more responsible, less promiscuous, taken fewer drugs and been, generally, a nicer person, I cannot deny that I had an absolute fucking blast.
Look at me, talking like it’s all over, as I make my way through a bottle of McLaren Vale Shiraz (with the obligatory Wild Turkey chaser) with Chicks On Speed blasting from my stereo like it’s 2003. But I am 37 years old. I do have these adult things like a proper job, a couple of civilised dinner parties a month. I understand shares and mortgages and grape varieties. But I suppose, deep down. I’m the same fucking idiot I’ve always been.
Regular Pinky Brown.
Recently, however, I’ve been thinking on my past. I don’t think it’s fair to say I miss it, but I do look back on it with a certain fondness.
In my early twenties I suppose I was popular. There were two clubs in my little hometown that my friends and I would frequent regular as Westboro Baptist churchgoers. One was on a Wednesday (which was responsible for a work appraisal about my “consistent Thursday absences”) and the other was on a far more socially acceptable Friday night. My friends and I – and I’m talking ten, maybe twelve of us – would congregate in the basement bar of a local pub and get fucked up from about 5pm. We’d then stagger down to the clubs for opening time, which was 9pm.
I’d always make sure I had 40 cigarettes on me. Camel Lights if I was trying to impress someone, Marlboro Reds if I was in a bad mood, and Mayfair Smooth if I was skint. I’d have enough to chain smoke all night and a few spares to hand out to whoever I was flirting with.
9pm was a good time to hit the club, because the DJ was more likely to play my requests. Undanceable shit, that I would dance to regardless. Tracks like Unsolved Child Murder by The Auteurs, If You Can’t Live Without Me Then Why Aren’t You Dead Yet? by My Life Story, or Mongoloid by Devo.
As 10pm drew closer and people milled into the club, the first thing they’d see would be me and my friends making odd shapes on an empty dance floor. We were posers, and we did very well for ourselves because of it.
I remember one night, around 1pm, someone was passing around a bottle of poppers. I disliked the song playing (I think it was something by Jamiroquai), so I grabbed the bottle and rolled it onto the dance floor like Navy SEAL sending a smoke grenade into a hostile room. The fumes of the amyl nitrate wafted up and soon nobody was dancing, they were just holding their heads in agony and mouthing ‘Why?’
Back to 2017 and my adult life … Last weekend I was dressed sensibly whilst wandering around this new apartment block being shown nice, plush places to live by the serious, commission-driven estate agent. We talked figures and this and that, and whether I’d prefer the my mirrors to have a smokey effect and whether I like the dark finish or the light finish in terms of the furnishings and paint job (dark, obvs).
And suddenly, I thought, I can’t do this. I’m the prick who rolled a full jar of poppers onto a dance floor in a crowded nightclub in 2003.
So I made my excuses and left.