The Press Club

Post length: 2,612 words, about 11 and a half minutes.

Either my new look is working, or at least two people were very drunk on Saturday night.  Given that I know at least two people were very drunk on Saturday night it doesn’t sound all that promising, but I’m not going to let that get me down.

Vick’s birthday was a few days ago and she had her party this weekend.  I wasn’t sure if I wanted to go — it’s a long way and I wasn’t sure how many people would be there that I would know, but I decided that if Tiffany would go then I would too.  So on Wednesday I rang her.  She didn’t answer (this isn’t unusual), so I left a message on her answerphone.  Thursday night Vick rang asking if I was going.  I said I wasn’t sure and sounded a bit unkeen.  This didn’t last long, she soon told me that I had no excuse and was going.  That night I had a chat with Sarah to find out if she and Andy were going, she said they were for a bit, so I felt a bit better about it.  I tried to ring Tiffany again on Friday night and but she didn’t answer again so I left it there — if she did want to go then I could accomodate that up to about 12 on Saturday, and I was sure she’d know that.

I set off around 2pm on Saturday and made my way up the country on various trains.  The trip was very straight-forward — the Virgin Train from Euston to Manchester on the way there was delayed by a few minutes, but that didn’t bother me.  I got to Manchester just about 25 to 7 and met Vick at the pickup point.  After meeting with Hannah, a friend of Vick’s from school, we went back to the flat.  Waiting there was another of Vick’s school friends (I honestly can’t remeber her name, she has very ginger hair…) and Matt from University.  So we all chatted and got to know each other a bit.  Soon Vick’s work mates began to arrive.  I’d been a bit sceptical about meeting them to be quite honest.  Vick’s a journalist for Century Radio and having seen a few things on Facebook and met a few broadcast media types of my age, I was bracing myself for them to be a little self-obsessed and generally irritating.  It seems I was wrong — although I didn’t talk to them very much, the few I did talk to were really nice.

We had some food at Vick’s flat (I say ‘we’ in the widest sense given it doesn’t include me) before heading in to the city to Apotheca, a cocktail bar in the Northern Quarter.  It’s quite a nice little place, but was very busy.  I stood for most of the time we spent there and chatted to Matt and Aaron.  I also spoke a little bit to another person who had lived with Vick while at University but who we had never met.  We were also joined by Vick’s current house mate, her boyfriend (for a little bit, although he headed off quite quickly), and Rachel who is currently studying for a masters in Lancaster and who I also knew from the radio station.  We stayed in this bar until about midnight (or possibly slightly earlier, I’m not exactly sure) and then headed out to find the Press Club…

At this point I should mention the first of the two people I brought up in my opening paragraph (although I’m not sure if I should make it three — while I didn’t talk to her much, I realised a few times that Hannah had tuned out of what was going on around her and was looking at me.  I kind of got the impression that she might have fancied me a bit (this isn’t a bad thing, she is a nice girl), but didn’t say anything.  I think we’re both quite shy when it comes to that kind of thing, so didn’t really talk to each other.  This suspicion was backed up (perhaps) when we were in the Press Club and her friend (the ginger one whos name I feel bad for not remebering) asked me if I would go and dance with Hannah: “will you do me a favour?  Will you go and dance with Hannah — she wants to dance but I’m not going up there.”  I wasn’t the person right next to her and she had to make a point of asking me rather than someone, anyone, else at the table.  It did cross my mind that maybe maybe she was trying to get us to interact for some reason).  The first of which was a very brief encounter as we were going in to the bar.  I was walking down the pavement and there was a girl coming the other way.  I didn’t really notice her until I realised she was looking at me.  We made the most fleeting eye contact.  She had very light blue eyes, quite nice really, but over all I got the impression she wasn’t quite the kind of person I was looking for.  I broke the eye contact and we passed each other.  Dispite this being possibly one of the shortest bits of contact possible, it was suprisingly nice to have that kind of attention paid to me — it feels like it’s been a long time since that kind of thing last happened, and it (along with the other person I’ll talk about a little later on) made me feel good about going out there and enjoying the thrill of  that kind of interaction.  My previous relationships have been with people I’ve known for a long time — who I’ve kind of grown into relationships with — and this is a bit different.  It’s really rather exciting.

So we got to the Press Club at about half 12.  The entrance is a small gray door hidden away down the side of an insignifican building with a couple of, as Vick described them, ‘pretty bouncerish bouncers’.  They stopped the group and the door and wanted ID.  This wasn’t normal ID — they wanted press cards.  Vick had hers and was trying to get the other members of the group to get theirs out (which was slightly harder than it sounds given people had been drinking by this time for a while already).  In the end we managed to muster a set of ITV issued cards and a BBC ID which got us all in.  Once through the door there was a table with a woman behind it.  To this woman we paid £5 and in return got a stamp on the back of our right wrists, presumably to allow us back in if we went out to smoke.  From there we went downstairs.  At the bottom of the stairs was a little hatch through to the cloak room and a bouncer telling us not to forget there was a coat policy… we had to use the cloak room, so I took things out of my coat pockets, handed in my coat and scarf, and headed into the main room.  So far the place hadn’t been very impressive, the entrance hall bare and the cloak room more like a store room (although to be fair to them, it did all it needed to do as a cloak room!), but it was still a little bit of a suprise when we went through into the main room.

Vick had so far told us that it was “so bad it’s good”, but that’s about all those of us who had not been before knew.  Matt’s first comments sum it up well: “you could easily think you were in a social club in a small Yorkshire town like Keighley”.  A small ‘dance floor’ in the centre with a disco ball in the centre, around that sets of tables with padded but not very comfortable chairs, a DJ/MC at one end with speakers and lights which look like they have come from a 90s school disco, a bar along one wall, and a few red simulation leather sofas around the edge.  A couple of the tables were taken up by groups of 4 or 5 middle age people, and there was a middle-aged (although not unattractive) lady dancing drunkenly by herself in the middle.  We got drinks, pulled three tables together, and sat down.  After a while the MC called someone up from the room — it turned out there was a bit of karaoke going on — he wasn’t great, but it put the idea in Matt’s head that he could go up and do something.  So he wandered accross to see what he could find in their collection.  Upon returning he revealed that they didn’t have a list — you just requested something and they had a look to see if they had it.  Very soon he was called up to do his turn singing Sex Bomb by Tom Jones.  He was pretty good, and I thought I’d get a photo.  Just as I got ready to take my picture I got called over by the MC “cameras aren’t allowed, take the picture quickly”.  A little puzzled, I did and went back to my seat.  Having thought about it a little their policy kind of makes sense.  The place is designed for the press to hang out, and it sometimes attracts some famous names wanting to go somewhere they can let their hair down without having to worry about ‘normal’ people hanging about (as if the press are more moral people than the rest of us).  If you mix these things up with a bit of alcohol and allow cameras in there’s a recipe for tabloid gold.  A little bit of time passes, a few more people do karaoke, including some more from our group (one duet got mic crashed by a girl from another group) and a few more groups turned up.  There were a few more people around our age now including a group of girls at the far end of the room.

A while ago Dana and I watched a few documentaries by Dawn Porter, and if you’ve ever seen her then you might be aware of her retro dress sense.  This group of girls reminded me of her — one of them had a kind of 60s black dress on (she was also a similar build and had similar black hair) while another a multi-coloured, yellow based, dress.

Some more time passed and the place got more and more busy.  I had some more to drink, and people from our group got up and danced a bit (I even joined them at one point for about 40 seconds, before the song I got up for changed to Girls Aloud).  We slowly abandoned our table and as more people turned up a few of our chairs were taken by others.

It was about 20 past 2, while I was sitting happily minding my own business, that a girl came up to me and offered me her hand to dance.  It was the yellow-colourful dress girl.  It took me a moment to decide what to do — for some reason part of me wanted to turn her aproach down, like one of those times I have done something similar and then regretted it later on — but in the end I got up.  It didn’t take very long before we were dancing very close.  It moved on from dancing holding hands, to her putting her hand on my shoulder, me responding by putting my hand on her hip to us kissing all in about the space of a song and a half.  The kiss (in fact two, really), wasn’t very expected.  We were dancing looking over each others shoulder when she moved her head and just came in for it.  I wasn’t going to argue, but it wasn’t really what I was expecting.  After the first round of kissing I moved my face back to just over her shoulder, snuffling through her hair a bit (she had shortish (about shoulder length) blonde hair).  It crossed my mind to kiss her neck, but didn’t.  A moment or so later we were kissing again.

Following that she asked me if I had to leave with my friends and indicated the table where Matt had just got up.  To be honest I didn’t really hear what she said, but I said yes (I suppose it was true — had they been leaving I would have had to go).  She asked me for my phone and we stood there, heads together, while she saved her number in it… or at least tried to.  She’s called Amy.  I slinked off to the bar through the crowd and got another drink.  For the rest of the evening I tried to avoid her — I’d told her I was going (kind of) and I didn’t want her to see me and think I was just making excuses.  I saw her around the place a few times after that, once with her coat on sitting playing with her phone, but I don’t think she saw me.  One thing which did strike me is that I didn’t see her dancing with anyone else for the rest of the time I was there.  Perhaps that was a silly thing to do.

When I got back to the table I sat down, Vick sat on a near by seat, and looked at me.  “What?”, I said.  She looked.  “What?”, I shook my head questioningly.  “You’re a fast mover.”  I had been spotted.  I tried to explain it wasn’t much to do with me, but it didn’t work.  We left the club quarter past 3 and got taxis back to Vick’s flat.  My kiss was mentioned again in the taxi, I told them she gave me her number but that everyone would have forgotten by the morning, especially her!  Vick said she’d remind me.

I thought a lot about what I should do with her number.  Half 6 I decided I would text her, that way I could let her known I remebered her and that I enjoyed meeting her, tell her my name, and give her my number.  The ball would then be in her court and it would save me too much embarrasement if she didn’t much like me and was just very drunk.  I wrote the text and hit send but it wouldn’t go.  I tried again, but still no luck.  A closer look at the number showed it was one digit too long (in fact, on further investigation when I got back home, I discovered that the number is completely wrong — the code isn’t valid for a start).  Since then I’ve wondered: did she just get it wrong because she was drunk, or did she make it up?  Given she volunteered her number and I didn’t ask for it I think it must be the former, but that begs another question I’ve been asking myself: did she think about it next day wondering why I hadn’t got back to her?  I guess I’ll never know the answer to either of these questions — sadly it’s very unlikely that we’ll meet again, for one we live hundreds of miles from each other.

It would be nice to know, but I think I’m just going to have to chalk it up as a nice couple of moments and leave it at that.  Either way, a cute blonde journalist (who, to be honest, I’d like to know more about) isn’t a bad way to set about completing my new year’s resolution!

Posted on Wednesday 21st January, 2009 at 3:24 am in Life & Love, People.
It was tagged with , , , , , , , , , , .

1 comment

[…] of course I know how the media works — I’ve been involved in one way or another (snogging for example) on and off for years now — and I know they didn’t have much time to find […]

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