I'm a tiny bit drunk. On the British Summer Scale, I am slightly overcast and a little breezy.
Tiredness has enveloped me like a Tescos Chicken Caesar Wrap, probably because I got to bed at 2am last night. The Nothing Man and I had ressurected our Tuesday night catchups yesterday, the first of 2007. And we were both maudlin. He has his issues, and I had my usual discombobulated self. I admitted that I was out of sorts, although I soon drunk myself amiable, particularly when a barmaid stared at me like an enigmatic blonde Mona Lisa and I drunkenly beamed in reply, and she actually smiled back without vomiting.
'Nothing' regaled me of a one-night stand he had many years ago in the dreary Northern town of his youth, an evening where he found himself regaining consciousness at 4am in a strange bed with a snoring Northern lady next to him, so he desperately crept out onto the street until he realised he had no money for a cab or even a bus. Such was the estate he found himself in - local youths had begun throwing bricks at his head - that he desperately snuck back to the girl's flat and rang her bell to ask her for a cash loan (She told him to go fuck himself).
And despite all my plans for a lengthy sober night, Jamie called half way in to say he was round the corner. So my quiet night became rambunctious.
As was my hangover this morning, so it came as no surprise that I had second thoughts about attending karate/ martial arts tonight, as they put you through an hour of hell while they play at Drill Instruction.
'20 press-ups, GO!' which you find yourself doing with gusto, only to stand up and hear '20 squat thrusts, GO!', then '20 Star Jumps!' et cetera, et cetera. And I always finish this with a half-hour cycle ride home. But not tonight. My Dad's second wife Iris is out of the country on holiday in a disputed territory, so I thought I'd make good on my promise to go out for a fun meal with my Old Man.
And fun it was. Particularly if you're amused by Jews. We went to a deli near the long since demolished clinic where I was born, and drank wine while a gaggle of well turned out elderly women sat in silence with their hen-pecked husbands and looked down on everyone. Dad complained; his computer's broken, he took a man's credit card details as payment for a job, then remembered he doesn't have access to a PDQ machine and none of his friends will help him, and his borscht was too peppery. (My salt beef sandwich lacked a certain je ne sais quoi, my chips were cold, and I resented paying £2.50 for a plate of pickles that in New York delis would be free) ~ all this for 50 fucking quid. A man was sat in the corner while my Dad whispered - loudly - that he recognised him but didn't have a clue what his name was.
Our waitress with teeth braces was extremely friendly towards me, until I realised that I was the youngest man there and probably the only one without a pacemaker, or at least a bad back. But Dad and I bonded through whinging and gesticulation. I could've watched him all night as he turned to see who was coming in to the deli every time the door opened, as he pulled the most astronomical faces simply shovelling stuffed cabbage into his cake hole, and as he made the periods of silence entertaining just by sighing or looking more and more like my dead Granddad* with each passing minute. (*Paternal similarity with dead Granddad was during Grandad's living phase).
I hardly ever see him, and at 73, I know our time together is precious, even if all we do is get together over food and bitch about the world.
And I don't mind missing karate for that.