Sunday afternoon began simply enough. With charming birthday drinks in a nice quiet bar with lovely people.
I moved, gently, from not drinking to drinking, and felt none the worse. It was all terribly civilised.
Things perked up when a group of men came in. One of them was very pretty. It actually turned out to be the man from last night. Now, as I can't remember what the etiquette is when you bump into a shag in real life ("Hello! You probably don't remember me. I look taller when I'm not on my knees..."), I simply sent him a text message. He got it, grinned, and we politely ignored each other.
At some point, he and his party left, and our party quietly broke up (they started playing Oasis in the bar).
I went on for more drinking with the lovely straight Joe. People are always warning me about Joe's ability to drink, but I figured - what could be the harm in a couple more drinks in a gay bar doing Karaoke?
By the time I left (many, many hours later), we'd made new friends, Joe was refusing to leave, and we'd sung ourselves hoarse. But I had to go - a nice young hairdresser had come up to me at the bar, said "I like your jacket!" and snogged me. He refused to give me his phone number until I followed him to a club.
So, there I was, in Club X, trying to sober up, and get a phone number from a hairdresser. If you've ever tried dating a hairdresser, you'll know it's easier to get into their pants than it is to get a phone number out of them.
Gareth really seemed to like me. "That's such a great jacket," he repeated, "It's couture! You're so stylish!"
I blinked, and wished my London friends could hear him. I fancied I could hear a distant, disdainful cackling on the breeze.
"You're gorgeous, really classy, and I love how you dress," he breathed, "I really, really like you."
I wasn't really surprised to find out that he was on drugs.
I got chatting to his designated driver - an old school friend called Andy. Andy had left gone off for seven years in the army, Gareth had gone into hairdressing. Now Andy was back in Newport, and was coming to terms with "Gareth being a bit loud these days."
"I feel a bit like his dad," sighed Andy as we shared a cigarette and watched Gareth and another hairdresser dancing in a mad topless whirl.
"I know. I'm supposed to be trying to take him home and shag him senseless, but I do feel like making him some toast."
"I know," Andy nodded, "I wish I knew what they've taken, but they were quite normal earlier. He's actually rather nice when he's sober. Has he asked you back to Newport?"
"Yes. It sounds quite fun, you know, waking up in Newport."
"Trust me. It isn't. And I bet he's not told you he lives with his old auntie and uncle."
"No, he didn't."
"They're really charming, you know. Used to bring us peanut butter sandwiches in the tree house."
The hairdresser comes bounding up, grabs me by the hand and, a few minutes later, nearly gets us thrown out... After the bouncer has to come and bang on the toilet door. "Enjoy the night, lads," he says with the boredom of a man who's seen it all before and finds it tiresome.
"I think I'm going home." I tell the hairdresser. 12 hours of drinking mean that it's all getting a bit muddled.
"Stay for five minutes," begs the hairdresser, poised to return to the dancefloor. He leans in close, "Come back to Newport for romance."
I blink. And he's gone, wheeling across the floor.
I turn to his friend. "He's not leaving in five minutes, is he?"
Andy shakes his head sadly, "No. You got his phone number?"
"Call him sometime. He's honestly a nice bloke."
"I know. He loves my dress sense."
Andy smiles. "Look after yourself."