LITTLE NIGHT OUT
19 October 2000
barman is a 19-year-old boy in a Jim Rose Circus Sideshow t-shirt.
She doesn't know he's 19 at this point, just that he's young, that's
all. He looks perfectly normal except that his teeth stick out from
his mouth. They protrude. It's majestic, she thinks. They unfurl
like a rose in bloom. He's so.... intoxicating. He could do damage
with those teeth. He's a shark disguised as a boy.
Her friend chats to a bald man in a Burberry shirt and a belt with
an enamelled pic of Queen Mary on it. They talk Dutch together.
The pub crowds go away. The barman switches off the lights and blows
out all but one of the creepy candles. He locks the door and pours
them another drink and puts on a Pixies song...Pixies! They
start talking about the Breeders and Black Francis and Slacker and
Clerks and oh my god, says the 19-year old, you were there?
At the Brixton gig? and she's caught off guard, somwhere
between proud and jaded.
to her a man with a huge beer belly is telling her all about the
Ripper and she really does not want to know. It's a masonic
plot, he explains breathlessly, his eyes unfocused, staring past
her shoulder at the street beyond as his beerbelly rubs up against
her hip. And then he's telling her how good he is at guitar. And
then he's feeling her fingertips to see if she really does play
guitar like she tells him she does. He's making her feel his fingertips,
the hardness on the pads of his fingers, like small flat stones.
And all she can think is of a line from a tv drama, where the nasty
boy looks at the geek's dirty fingernails and says what kind
of girl would let that inside her?
The candle flickers, the boy puts another set of drinks on the counter,
and she smiles up at him, pulling her hand away from the fat man.
The boy smiles back, teeth bristling in the candlelight, gleaming
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