After the party in our flat we got up late, cleared up , lolloped about, ate a fried breakfast and then had coffee and cake for afternoon tea, before CC and I got ready to go out again. We were heading first to Waterloo to celebrate another birthday and then we planned to meet up with some other girls for dancing at Crimes Against Pop in Islington.
Somehow we managed to arrive before the birthday boy, but not too much ahead of him. It was good banter and I stayed long enough to see him kiss a blonde girl with red shoes and size 3 feet (happy days! happy birthday!) before heading to Waterloo Bridge to take a bus north.
Crimes is always so much fun and the djs there play great music. I had a great dance. RH nabbed straws from the bar and made us wear them behind our ears like Madonna-style hands-free microphones. We looked totally ridiculous but then a coupld of guys clocked what we’d done, found straws of their own and got involved. You could tell that they couldn’t believe their luck, dancing with so many pretty ladies at once.
At about 3am, CC and I decided to head back to her flat. As we were walking past the kebab shops and late night newsagents towards Angel, we got stopped by a guy who wanted to give us some sweets because it was his birthday.
‘It’s my birthday this weekend too,’ I said. Turns out we were both turning 30. They walked along with us a little way and then started trying to persuade us to hang out at their mate’s flat, where all seven or eight of them were going. They were a mixed group of guys and girls, so when we got to their flat we took a calculated risk, because they weren’t very drunk and we’d had nice chat, to go upstairs with them. Some would say this was highly reckless. Others would say that we are too suspicious of other people and that accepting hospitality from strangers isn’t a dangerous thing to do. I suppose you weigh up the risks at the time, and we didn’t feel it was dangerous so we went in.
Everyone was introduced to us and we were offered drinks: ‘Can we have a cup of tea?’ we asked. Nobody seemed to be phased by this in the slightest. And so the guy whose birthday it was headed off to the kitchen to find teabags and mugs and boil the kettle. He could only find one teabag though so CC had to go and help him turn it into two cups of tea.
These guys and their girlfriends had all largely been friends from school. We chatted about them being altar boys and boy scouts when they were kids. I got embroiled in a philosophical conversation with one guy about the existence of God and about absolution. It’s bizarre what people will talk about when you get them going. In the meantime I was largely oblivious to what was going on around me. A guy had arrived a few minutes earlier to a rousing cheer, but our conversation continued – I think we were talking about the fact that life has mysteries and questions we’re not meant to be able to rationally comprehend and about the transcendent nature of love – when one of the guys came over and said to CC and me ‘Would you like some coke?’
‘No thank you,’ she replied, and it was all very polite.
‘You can if you like,’ he said, earnestly.
‘No we don’t do drugs.’
She looked at me and we said our goodbyes and left in haste.
I have a reputation for being completely oblivious to what goes on around me. CC, on the other hand, was paying full attention and her version of events was probably something like this: While we had been drinking tea and I had been chatting away about religion and spirituality to a complete stranger, the local drug dealer arrived, greeted with the enthusiasm of Father Christmas, the stove had been turned on, and gradually, one by one, everyone gravitated towards the kitchen. The guy whose flat it was started talking about most people doing £25-ers, and CC was trying to get my attention so I would clock what was about to happen. Only I didn’t clock it until we were offered it.
At no point did I feel we were in danger and it was only a few hours later that we wondered if we had failed in our civic duty by not reporting them to the police. In all honesty, it never even crossed my mind – ‘Yes officer, I was drinking tea and talking about the transcendant and I didn’t even realise I was in a flat full of crackheads…’
That’s definitely one of the unwritten things to see before you’re 30 ticked off the list.