Pic @ Matthew StoneHere’s part 3 of Bunny’s epic journey to London, told by him. Click to read parts ONE and TWO.
Sometime near when we first met, near when I started staying in your bed at night instead of on the couch, you said Your face keeps changing in my brain, it’s like I don’t remember what you look like. I feel like I stare at you so close when we’re together so I can see everything you’re doing. And then, it’s like, when you’re not there, you disappear, I’ve stared too hard or something. You’re far away, gone blank, like, nothing. Instead there’s just your hair, some hazy colours and a face that’s not a face.
About a month after I come to town, you and I, we crash some fashion party on St Martin’s Lane where they give us two free gift bags filled with lip gloss and a copy of this month’s Glamour Magazine. Oh perfect, I think as I’m ripping off the cover page and using it to wipe away the ketchup stain my shirt has suffered from the chip shop down the street, I feel more glamourous already.
While we stand beside the bar, waiting to collect our corporate-sponsored complimentary mojitos, I scan the room and am surprised to spot Kerri with a kilt on and some sporadic strokes of rainbow warpaint arched across her cheeks. I say, “No offense, but why are you here?” and she slurs right back at me “Fuck you! I was invited by that pretty chick called Blah Blah Blah from that show on Channel Something” and just before I have the chance to pose a few more necessary questions Blah Blah Blah is clicking over in her too tall heels to beckon Kerri to the bathroom. Before they go the pretty chick smiles wide at me and says “By the way I love your shirt. Is that one from Wherever, the collection with the rips and stains? I want one so fucking badly but they’re all sold out, goddammit!” I shrug at her and say, “It’s ketchup.”
“Kerri’s got that new pile of whatever-it-is up in her room and I think she’s started selling it,” you explain to me after they’ve left a couple seconds later. “Oh yeah,” I say, and wonder if I should buy some now or just wait till she’s so wasted that she’s handing out her wraps for free to anyone who knows her.
Later, after bartering with Kerri and a few trips to the bathroom, I feel so drunk and dizzy, dying, lying on a leather couch forgotten somewhere on the far side of the room. You’re way over there, smashing face against an older guy who I think used to be a pop star. You glance up to catch a breath and wave, I laugh and look around and think, Wait, what am I doing. Men with cameras stalk across the room like wild tigers on the hunt. PR girls teeter back and forth between the exits, slinging Glamour gift bags onto every important looking thing’s emaciated wrist. I catch the most familiar ones gazing with ambivalent expressions, something between lust and loathing, at their own reflections in the mirror behind the bar. And me too. I’m here too, I’m doing it all too. Everyone is talking, watching, waiting for whatever. I feel so stupid being here, feel so stupid when I’m like this.
A group of guys with Brooklyn accents–who I later learn are members of an entourage belonging to a certain successful rapper–ascend from the back basement stairs, greeting glares and lip glossed scoffs as they push aside some skinny boys with vests on waiting at the bar to minimal resistance. Then I hear that well-known Scottish squawk from somewhere in the jumble screech “Oi Motherfucker! I was first, give me back my fucking drink!” and see Kerri’s tiny body launch onto the massive back of some stunned bro as he tries to shake her off. Another guy grabs her by the ankles but not before she lifts a bottle from the bar and sends it flying into someone else’s face. Soon there’s so much shit being flung across the room, everyone is screaming, squatting terrified beneath the tables or sucking in to save their lives, pressed up like paper on the walls. A gaggle of girls in glitter mini dresses is shrieking helpless “Murder!” as they carry off a fallen friend whose face is bloodied, lodged with the shrapnel of a wine glass stem, one of several casualties I witness in the massacre.
As the understaffed security is struggling to calm shit down, I start to feel real sick and hurry out onto the street so I can puke inside a potted palm tree just beside the door girl. As I wipe my mouth, some actress presses past me, pushing through the paparazzi flashing crazy as she picks a chunk of glass from out her hair and a mint leaf from what must have been a bomb made of mojito off her face. “Fuck this“, she seethes through twisted mouth, then turns to me and says, “Here Have It” as she shoves a trophy and an XL bottle of Moet Chandon into my arms. She runs into her waiting car, I look down to read the trophy’s plate on which is etched her name and underneath, the words “Woman of the Year”. Oh, I think, and shrug my shoulders.
When I try to go back to the party, the door girl refuses flatly, saying “This is a private party for guests of the Glamour Magazine awards ceremony only.” I hold up my trophy, telling her “But I’m, like, the Woman of the…” and she steps into the club and shuts the glass door in my face.
You emerge some minutes later and I ask you “Where is Kerri?” “I just saw her doing drugs with all these black guys from New York in the boy’s toilets,” you say. “Why, did something happen? I was giving head to that weird man in the stall right next to her.” You grin oblivious, like no big deal, and we walk towards the bus stop.
On the ride home we take turns chugging from the champagne bottle, trading stories from our night, and just as you’re recounting getting fingered on the dance floor, out of no where I start crying. “Sorry,” I say, “this is weird, the first time that I’ve cried in like four years” and I start crying even harder cause I know it’s really true. You hug me, saying “Just a comedown, that’s why I cry like every day.” “No,” I say, “it isn’t that, I think it’s that… I don’t know what I’m doing.” I go on, shaky between tears, “I like, just don’t know what the fuck I’m doing. Why did I even come to London? I wake up every day with no idea where I am or why I’m here or what my point is, I just feel so fucking… stupid.”
“Hey,” you say, stroking my arm, “I mean, we’re all a bit retarded right now but it’s what makes us sort of… better. Some people are just people and some people are just better. You’re one of the better ones. I think that there’s a reason you came here to Squallyoaks, to London. Maybe you haven’t figured it out yet but I know that there’s a reason. But, whatever the fuck happens, I think we’ll be kind of ok. Better than ok. Ok?”
I nod my head and rest it on your shoulder, we stay quiet. After a while, we both fall asleep and accidentally ride the bus ten stops too far past our street. But as I sleep I dream about you swimming in the sea somewhere, deep underwater like a mermaid. Your face is white and blurry, hidden by your hair, and even though I try so hard, I can’t remember what you look like.