Coming down from a four day hangover, I realise that I am still somewhat prone to dangerous bouts of excitement. On my 25th birthday party, I found myself accepting the kind offers of drinks from all my friends. At some points the drinks were lined up as if forming one long continuous booze funnel. Within about half an hour I was prancing about like a pickled idiot, gibbering and giggling like I'd invented sport.
Bless my parents and my better half for putting up so heartily with my nonsense. It was a grand do indeed.
In fact the last week has been an interesting one. During an attempted act of intimacy with my beloved, my knee accidentally found her face. A brief moment of “oww ooh!” and “sorry whoops, tee hee!” So it goes.
Given that the pain was not in my face, it was all but forgotten until a little later on, when I noticed that my darling sweetness Effie had a big shiny black eye. A whopping great lumpy yellowing black ring around her upper cheek and lower forehead.
The next day she went to visit her old boss, a proud Israeli business man with a brewing undercurrent of potential violence.
“Who did this to you? Was it Danny? I'll kill him. I'll have him beaten.”
Laughingly, she managed to persuade him that despite the rather incriminating clues to the contrary, I am about as likely to beat my girlfriend as I am to subscribe to Horse and Pony.
The next day at college, surrounded by her colleagues in Chinese Medicine, an eerie silence followed her. People were smiling but not quite talking straight to her. She could sense an unspoken sympathy from those around her. The silent denial became too much,
“Er, guys has anyone noticed that I have a big fucking black eye” (always one for subtlety)
“Yeah, yeah!” They all gasped with relief. “Yeah, what happened? I was wondering about that.”
“Well actually Danny did it by mistake. But what if he hadn't! What if he had been beating me up? You'd have all just quietly wondered amongst yourselves what had happened? Fucking hell, you're so English!”
By the following day, the thought of appearing at my birthday party with the face of a retired boxer was too much. I was dragged into Boots, muttering and blushing and brought to stand at a cosmetics stall manned by a strange woman painted and dressed like some kind of mutton cheerleader. It was all rather confusing.
“Hi. Yeah, I need some concealer.”
“What for?” said the girl woman, doing a good job of feigning ignorance of the patently apparent facial wound.
“For this” (pointing at eye). “He did it.” (pointing at me).
“Thanks.” I, gazing off into the distance.
“Well, he can pay then,” said the woman.
I did as well.