Saturday, 16 November 2019


I am with two or three other, older, (business) men. It seems like we are on a lunch break or something, looking for a place to eat. The discussion seems endless and we're totally undecided and cannot agree. Two of us go off to eat, leaving myself and the final guy to go to a pub. I think it's called 'The Turret' and the outside is painted in a very thick, exceptionally glossy Royal Red paint. I have a sense the place is very “British” (and it unsettles me so). On entering the bar is on our left, beyond a fixed upstand for drinks at which two capped old gents slouch, one on wither side. Straight ahead there is a huge, sturdy bald guy – complete with white t-shirt – drinking. He looks very tough but, despite my concerns, he pays us no attention. We go to the bar and, after some deliberation, I think I order Tomato Soup. I have no recollection of who served us as I am looking away from the bar to the two older guys at the upstand. We sit over to the right and I am looking over my companion's shoulder towards the stocky bald guy. I look up. The pub is small, but very high, almost a double height space,and bright in a cold light. The ceiling, with impressions of the underside of semi-demolished spiral stone stairs to one corner and its' incomplete white paint job – I can see brownish tiles that haven't been covered – suggests an entire floor has been removed at one point-

There is a fresh, young-ish couple at a table just to our right. They are both dressed in Umbro-style tracksuits, mostly white with blue flashes and red piping/stitching. They pull, to my apprehension, their table over and shimmy in their seats next to us. The young woman has centrally parted hair down to her neckline and a plainly pretty, if slightly boy-ish face. The youth is maybe 18 years old with short, shaved hair, longer on top, and tends to address the floor rather than us directly. He says something about “shaped by our immediate environment” - I am so surprised by how articulate he is that I don't quite process what he means. It seems they are commenting on our surroundings and not, though they look it, actually a part of it (in the way the other drinkers seem to be). I am concerned that this analytical attitude will be overheard and will be unwelcome. The woman talks to my companion – who has suddenly turned into an older woman herself – and asks (somewhat awkwardly) about the affect bullying has on people and if she was ever bullied. The bald guy gets up to leave. He is (or is he with?) a girl with long straggly hair. I see her as they leave and they are very similar facially (but younger than I thought and far less intimidating)-

No comments:

Post a Comment