"Hi! I'm Lauren! What you doing?"
I am sitting smoking in the rain. This is what you do in Edinburgh.
"All alone? I'm with my mates. You could do with some company."
That's terribly kind, although honestly there's really no...
"My boyfriend dumped me on Valentine's Day. Don't go there. Six years it was, but there we go and since then it's been brilliant. Honest, I've spent the whole time hanging with my gay flatmate. Gay bars are brilliant. My mum's dead worried that I'll catch lesbianism off of them, but no, mum, I say, it's not like AIDS, you can't pick it up just from hanging around them, no the only thing I've got from those gay boys is a love of the cock."
Er. Er. Er.
She takes a cigarette and smiles. "Am I forward? Do you think I am? It's my heart on my sleeve and my love of cock, that's what it is. I'm just off to the bar." And she winks and goes away.
I blink. Her friends lean over. One is called Sally. She's all smiles. The other is called Ginny. She is glowering at me. We talk aboout the trams and the weather. And then Sally says, "Look - sorry, but you're not gay are you?"
Yes, yes I am.
"I knew it!" groans Ginny, disgusted. "Another one."
Sally shakes her head. "It keeps happening. She's spent so much time around them homosexuals she just hits on them." A delicate pause. "You know, she is very good looking..."
Well yes, she is. But no.
Sally smiles kindly. "Just nip off to the loo when she gets back and we'll let her down gently. And whatever you do, don't take her for chips."
Ginny shakes her head wearily.