Evenings with my friend Mark always start well, and end messily. Last night, for example, began with fine cuisine and a pretentious 1928 Maury, and ended up in Barcode where someone tried to remove my nipple.
There was a lovely bit in the middle where we went for a nap in a grassy square. A genuine, rather lovely nap - but it was simply the calm before the storm.
Whenever we go to Barcode, it always appears to be a reunion of Mark's exes. You could throw a glance and hit four of them. Last time we were in there he pointed at a man and said "See him? I jerked him off in speedos on a rock in Mykonos."
This time, Mark managed the immortal comment: "See that Dutch guy? I pissed on him in a car park."
These things appear to happen to Mark. He has a messy magnetism around him. This is a man who swears his Pride included sticking his hand down the pants of Will Young.
Barcode was just a blur of exes, including said Dutch piss artist. It appears that, having been urinated over, the Dutchman then drove Mark back to his flat and introduced him to his boyfriend and a big pile of drugs. On subsequent occasions, he met a large number of useful media contacts. And an old man in stockings and suspenders. He stopped popping round after that.
The absolute low point of last night, though, was Mark's ex Ian, who shambled drunkenly over, announced he was off on holiday to buy boys in Sitges, and then tried to amputate my nipple. He just made a sudden grab, clawing into my breast like he was trying to squeeze a spot or open a jam jar.
I screamed in pain. He didn't let go.
So I lost it for a few seconds to the Red Mist. My normal personality just left the Red Mist to get on with tidying up. In this case promising to "fucking shred you if you touch me again you drunken shit".
I like my Red Mist. It's terribly effective, and I only have to use it a couple of times a year. Normally after some near death experience while cycling or photocopying.
By the time I was back in the building, Ian was shuffling away. And I was rubbing the bruised site of the attempted mastectomy.
Mark coughed. "Sorry about Ian. He's like that. We used to beat each other up all the time on K."
This morning I have welts. And a weird question: When he drove Mark home, did the damp Dutchman put his clothes back on, or do it naked?