Thursday, 17 February 2011

'One of these nights ...'

Long drive home after arduous day at work. Arrival at my unspeakably messy flat in New Brighton. I needed a drink. Badly.

So I went across the road to Tallulah's bar, nice and quiet. Good. Large red wine, please. I was in a reflective mood.

But my meditations were drifting into sadness so I decided to do the crossword in my newspaper as a distraction. Tallulah's has very subdued lighting which changes colour slowly so reading the clues was difficult.

One clue particularly I was stuck on ... 12 down, "tilted window". Whatever could that be? I thought of "skylight", "louvered", even "Velux" but none of them fitted. So I pressed on with the rest of the clues.

My next glass of wine was in Hell's Waiting Room, which has better lighting. Still I couldn't find a solution to the clue "tilted window".

I stared and stared at it. Then I realised, my eyesight not being as good as it was, I had misread the clue ... 12 down "titled widow" is what it actually said. Straightaway I got the right word - "Dowager" and then went on to complete the whole puzzle.

The pub was quiet, but I didn't really want company at that point, so it was OK.

I started to mull over my so-called life - bit of a mistake that was.

I am solvent, just about; I am employed and not by a branch of the State (quite rare for a Merseyside resident); and I have known the love of three good women in my life so far ... one of those women being exceptional, extraordinary.

That's more than many men can claim. To know love is one of the things that makes a person truly human; to have lost love also does that, but not in a happy way. Sometimes we lose love and then find it again, which gives cause for hope.

Such thoughts were playing in my head as I drank red wine by myself on an empty stomach in Hell's Waiting Room last night - instead of going home for my supper like a sensible northern Englishman.

I left the pub briefly and went for a walk around the streets of central New Brighton. That didn't improve my mood. These are classic boulevards of broken dreams - for me, and for countless others.

Back to the pub, a third glass of red wine. I chatted briefly to Geoff, the nice ex-Army southerner, who invited me and to join him and his chum on a visit to nearby Peggy Gadfly's pub. I politely declined. I was not in the right frame of mind for a proper drinking session.

So I stayed in Hell's Waiting Room, calm but subdued, and wondered if I should join my pal Harry O'Potter at a pub up the road, just for a swift nightcap after the match. He'd gone there to watch the Gunners beat Barca. But I didn't really fancy the walk up the hill to where he was.

Then I started to text various friends in New Brighton to get them to come and join me at Hell's Waiting Room. The trouble is the pub is in a cool spot for mobile reception, so despite several attempts I just couldn't get the text messages sent.

No matter, I went home about 10.30pm, I think. It was too late for a proper supper so I just had tea and toast and watched an old episode of the sitcom "Not Going Out" on Dave. That cheered me up a bit. I stayed up for "Family Guy" but BBC3 were showing episodes they had shown only a few nights previously. I wish they wouldn't do that; it is unforgivably lazy scheduling.

Feeling not too bad, I went to bed at 11.50pm, said three Hail Mary's for causes dear to my heart, asked God and my Guardian Angel to look after me in any difficult times ahead, then I slept the sleep of the just...

... because I know, to use the words of Tupac Shakur, "God ain't finished with me yet."