Sunday, September 02, 2007

Ladydrunks, Ladytramps, and Ladydates

Chopper's birthday meal in Richmond just now. Pleasant, mild inebriation on a Sunday night when I would otherwise be winding down for bed and a week of work. And due to the fact that I spent all day Saturday writing, I felt it quite well earned, thank you very much.

So I leave early. The first to go, in fact. Large Northern Flatmate had cycled down and was going to cycle home, whereas I had to wing it on public transport. (To the amusement of many, Large Northern Flatmate had attached his bike to railings near a riverside pub in Richmond. The Thames then did something I've never seen before: Rise heavily. By the time we came to leave, he had to wade in to retrieve it.

I leave the restaurant and ultimately arrive in Hammersmith. Beginning the long walk home, I become aware of a person trying to get my attention. I take my iPod out of my ears, and am confronted by a young, if frail ginger lady. She seems slightly mental, and is babbling something about her 2-year-old and her mother. I begin to worry that I am about to get involved in someone else's domestic. She continues gabbling and apologising, then says something about her electricity. Then she says, 'Have you got...' and begins to cry.

'How much do you need?' I ask.


'My name's Lorna. I live at 21a...'

'Ok, ok, look, here's £9. That's all I've got. You are going to spend this on electricity, right?'

'Yeah, yeah.' She composes herself. Then, as I began to walk away, she asks if I have a spare cigarette.


I walk off, content that I have helped a panicking lady in her hour of need.
Then I muse that she did seem kinda wired; not quite drunk, more out of her fucking incoherent mind.

I try not to think about what I've done.

We have gained a new employee at work, of sorts. The young lady in question has taken to sleeping next to our warehouse opposite our office, on the main road, where she passes out roughly between the hours of 8am-6pm. It has been quite problematic walking heavy boxes past her prone body, and even more problematic for the middle-classes, i.e., us, to work out her background without having actually talked to her.

An ex-con, my boss is convinced.
Drug addict, claims our driver, who has also added that she's quite attractive, and that "He would" - This, ladies, is the kind of man you tar the rest of us with. I would rather help the vulnerable than sleep with them. Or perhaps I'm just a sucker, as demonstrated above.
I believe our new friend is possibly a drunk, and extremely down on her luck. I want to help, but short of giving her money and coffee as we have done, the only person who can help her, cold as it may seem, is herself.

And finally, a miracle has happened and I've had a date. On Friday night. A ladyperson who isn't blind or desperate or mad, at least not to my knowledge. It went well, and we have agreed to see each other again.

But I haven't contacted her since. This, I'm lead to believe, is The Rules.
Sorry, not mine, just Society's.

Oh, and my stalker, 'Anders Nokram', was at the gastropub tonight. He has flown himself in from Boston, Ma. to admit to his nefarious deeds. Scumbag.


Jo said...

No no no no NO! Those are *our* rules. Not texting is *girl* rules. Bloke must text to show interest, but not too much interest. Girl must wait for boy's text. Fact, true story, etc.

Z said...

If you'd like to speak to her, do. By not getting in touch over an entire weekend, you've played it cool enough to last quite some time.

While quite disgusted at your unsympathetic reaction to LNF (I'd have gone and helped him), it was funny enough for me to play it twice...

Peach said...

GREAT to hear you had a good date! Hope by now you've at least sent a text to say you had a lovely time...?

Anonymous said...

Oh please. Rules schmules. If you would like to contact her, you should. As Peach says, at least let her know you enjoyed yourself. Obviously there's a line where you cross over into too much, but anything up to that point is flattering. Nothing... that's not so flattering.

Angela-la-la said...


Dave Fishwick said...

They're right. Don't piss her about. Oh, and I believe that you've been on 17% of your tome for a while, no?

isabelle said...

rules ?

there really are no rules.

if you like her and want to see her again, call her.
( oh and good luck with your novel, how's it going ? )

londongirl said...

PLEASE TEXT HER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sod the rules. Ok, so if the date goes well, don't text her ten times over the weekend and call her three times (as happened to me once) or she will run for the hills. But a friendly text to check she got home is good. Or a follow up text on Sunday or Monday is good. Waiting til Wednesday just makes us annoyed. So there.

chopperbomb said...

You didn't get me a birthday card or present yet you give nine whole pounds to a junkie weird person?! That sounds about right!

Vi vi vi vooom!!!!!!!! said...

I know that EXACT spot in Richmond. Happens all the time in King tides. One time we were sitting in the White Cross pub (well, on the tables, the beer garden was flooded) and watched an idiot looking in dismay at his bmw he left parked there. One friend waded up to it and he asked 'is it alright inside?' She said yes 'Then came back to us and said 'I didn't have the heart to tell him the water was lapping at the steering wheel!'

fwengebola said...

Jo ~ You can't own The Rules. The Rules are out there and can be stolen and re-used by those with testes too.
So there.
Z ~ I've re-established contact. And trust me, LNF would take an inordinate amount of pleasure in not helping if the bike-waterlogged roles were reversed.
Pee ~ Maybe. Just maybe.
LFM ~ I gave it the weekend, then sent her a text on Monday morning. And now, of course, with nearly 2 days more silence, I suppose I should do a bit of chasing.
Bloody hell. You'd think these things would be simple.
Ang ~ I HAVE! STOP SHOUTING! And I am not a fish of any kind.
DF ~ But you are, of the wick kind. I've stopped the piss. And no, I'm not on 17% for a while and have jumoped up to 20. That's a fifth of a very shit novel.
Is ~ Oh do I have to call? I'm trying to write. It's going ok. I really need some sleep and at least half a day's concentration on it. I can't believe some 'Wrimo's are afforded the luxury of doing theirs at work.
LG ~ I HAVE!!!, oh Queen of The Rules. I didn't do the safely home? text either. That's for later dates. I once did lots of that, and lots of 'Call me so I know you got back alive's, but that was a little OTT. I really fancied her, and SHE KNEW, dammit.
CB ~ You're like those tabloids when they compare one man's six year jail term for general thievery with that of another man for a hideously disturbing attack on a person, yet with a lesser jail term.
Yes, juxtaposed, it does seem odd that I only got you a pint but gave a complete stranger £9 a few hours later. C'est la twat.
Vooom!!!!!!!! ~ Yep, twas outside the WC. I didn't realise it rose that high. I can't believe some poor sod had water inside the car. That's brilliantly tragic.

elif said...

i once met this lady on the street who said she took her mother to the hospital and ran out of money. she had lab reports in her hands. i gave her some money. weeks after, she tried to pull the same trick on me again at the very same place. i asked her if she had no shame. she didn't answer. maybe she was killed traumatically and was forced to repeat her last living moment again and again. or not. yeah well at least your lady in need seems genuine.

that is one fun video - too bad for the bike though.

ooooh i almost forgot: text her. sorry, peer pressure :P

luna said...

hahaha Genuine wildlife documentary,with bashful subject communicating embarrassment by waving its flipper.
Reminds me of that Greek genius Eureka in his bath,when he discovered I can't remember what about weight and volume.
Bet after LNF waded in the Thames rose up a further inch all round hahaha

Yep,you got scammed.I've had the "got locked out" theme, a friend the "I lost my dole giro and my baby's crying',another friend "my boyfriend threw me out and he's got me handbag"...
Always offer to call the police for advice viz their problem...

fwengebola said...

Elif ~ Really? I've been scammed, haven't I? Looking back, the lady in question did seem to be very fucking dosed up and rambling on some kind of drug, and she 'came to' very quickly once I got my money out. Blast.
Yes, yes, yes, I've texted her already!
Luna ~ That's actually an excellent future idea, to mention the police. In fact, that's bloody perfect. Why didn't I do that? It shows some kind of empathy on my part, and would very quickly have shown whether or not she was genuinely in distress or...
Ah, bugger.

Bostonian friend of Anders Nokram said...


Bostonian friend of that notoriously nefarious scumbag, Anders Nokram, here. I was wondering if you might amend your September blog to include an entry about that interesting encounter you had the following evening with that 'Fatuous, Half-Cocked, Deranged Frenchman' who tried to make a pass a you?


fwengebola said...

I'd rather not mention that, Mar..., sorry, BFOAN, as I went to Gallicly kiss his cheeks while I recall a disturbingly wet pair of lips homing in on mine.

But thanks for the fucking reminder.