In the midst of packing, I got a call from Woody. “Mate…” He was drunk. “…mate, do you want to come to a party?” It was about half-nine. “It’s for Clare’s boss’s daughter’s twenty-first birthday. Free bar.” I put down my boxes and brown tape, and put on my shoes.
If Woody was pissed, then Clare and her colleague Sarah was hammered. “They’ve had two bottles of wine. Each.” said Tom. We set off. However, St John’s church, on Edge Lane, and St John’s parish centre, on High Lane, are not the same place. One is quite a bit further away than the other. And hammered Clare had told us the wrong one. The far one. It was raining. It was cold. The girls were hammered. Tom and I marched ahead, trying to find the place. The girls seemed to stop, and then vanish. They just disappeared.
Calm and rational eyes would have seen the simple truth: we’d set out for the wrong St John’s centre, and the girls, going more slowly, had seen the right one and nipped in away from the rain. Calm and rational eyes. But Woody, drunk, thought Clare, hammered, had ditched us. Deliberately. Uh-oh!
A bit of aggression between them at the (not free, it turned out) bar. Slightly awkward. But not that bad. And then we found a table. Two tables. The girls on one, the boys on the other. Woody was doing that thing where you talk yourself up into being pissed off. “I wouldn’t have done that to her… just out of order… no way…” Sipping my first pint, it all seemed a little silly. Still. We came together. I tried to entertain Sarah as the argument began. Sarah’s quite cute, very indie, very my type. Very attached though. So it goes.
Smoking outside, Tom explained that he was a bit stressed about changing jobs, and that was behind the argument in part. “It’s our first ever argument,” he said with a smile. I’m glad I was there to witness it.