Another story from Allnighter (see above).

The idea behind this was some kind of distorted Time Out guide:

Friday Soho drunken binge is used to collect amusing foreigners. Mexican in Oxford Street attempts to burn a twenty pound note because you won’t take it from him. Basques waft amyl nitrate in your face, Sufis convert you. A Saturday morning is a time to compare your collection with your friends.

Saturday night the experience is repeated, this time maybe Brixton. Here the aim is gangsters, encounters with interesting tramps will not do. In a club you slide down with your back against the wall and comment on people’s legs. Markets are the place for picking up real bargains. Camden is both inexpensive and fun, very crowded so don’t be misanthropic. Danger of meeting goths in the Electric Ballroom.

Conversations must start more ambitiously than what’s your name. No one knows the secret, pluck it from out of the air to fit the occasion. Loud laughter will signal success or humiliating failure.

Hanway Street is for late-night drinking. The landlady’s name is Helen. The chat is of creative projects: rub your face against the velvet curtains and feel the Fifties slip through your fingers. A shower of fag ash leaves you in a drift. The stairs to the toilet are for sliding down, to make a long painful graze for later.

You are at the only occupied table in an empty establishment. To find where they’ve all gone, check Time Out for details, or walk down Greek Street calling and peering into darkened windows. A fashionably dressed man standing on the corner won’t tell you, even if he knows. The cab firms add your name to the list but your number never comes up. Start walking and you’ll regret it; streets all look the same in the dark. Kneel on the pavement and sob into the gutter. This will get you nowhere, fast.

About Emma

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