The 30th Birthday party wasn't as dreadful as it could have been. I only flirted with one straight man, many of the people I was at school with have put on a pleasingly vast amount of weight, and only one person appeared to be horrifically successful.
I was adopted by three marvellous women, one of whom, Irma, clocked me at once. "You smoke, they're menthols, and you're wearing hair product. Are you gay?" she wailed happily.
Irma had grown up on the corner of the gay scene in Toronto, which meant that she'd been drinking with drag queens since she was 12. She'd briefly been out with the host of the party, "but then I left him for a photographer. What can I say? He was dumb and very pretty and lived in Paris."
Her friend Stella had an interesting job as chief pharmacist at a prison. She'd once arrived at work to find that convicts had broken in with bombs made out of Oxygen cylinders. She also admitted that she'd stolen a set of handcuffs from work.
Stella's other claim to fame was that she's once turned down Robbie Williams. He'd clocked her on the dance floor, sidled up and said, "Hi, I'm Robbie. Want to come back for a private party."
"I'm with friends."
"There are eight of them."
"That's too many. It's just you I want."
"Oh, well. See ya, then," said Stella, and got on with dancing.