It had been a shit week. My demoralising officer-interview with the Marines added to a long list of bad Cardiff memories. “Your shoulders could be a bit bigger” mumbled the military man. Yeah thanks mukka, that’s the encouragement I need to be the best.
But Saturday came, as it always did, and I was working upstairs in the velodrome of noise and nuance. Who needs a gun when you’ve got the calming tones of Ceirion Rees? That boy has good vibes. Something spiritual. He’d make a great priest.
Rob and Mel were in the kitchen, laughing. They laughed a lot. Both were always pleased to see me, unless they were putting on a fucking good face. It was the same with my brother. They loved him, even when he turned up looking like he’d been out drinking with Macho Man Randy Savage the night before. (When in reality it was probably Wakeham. It was definitely Wakeham.)
“How was the interview, Al?”
“Dog shit, Rob. I don’t think I should be an officer. I don’t even think I should be a soldier.”
Mel was trying not to find my predicament funny, but her sense of humour always got the better of her. She changed the subject gracefully, she was good at that.
“Well, young Willmott, it’s going to be packed up there tonight, get your head in gear. You didn’t collect your pay last week so we spent it on wine.”
It wasn’t possible to be in a bad mood for long around them.
Rob joined me on the back stairs ascent. Jolly was knocking about somewhere, can’t believe he dropped Andrew WK last week. I mean, I wish he had actually dropped that prick. Imagine Jolly scrapping with Andrew WK. How’s that party going now Mr WK? Shortest party in the world mate.
There are not many absolute truths in this realm, but one thing is certain, Claire and Hayley have been drinking already. Holy shit, there’s rugby boys in here. Bracey looks like he’s having a whale of a time. I see Daniel is proposing to the first girl he’s seen on the dance floor. Something about these alternative girls, isn’t there lads? These boys are more than welcome here, even in their straight leg jeans and white collared shirts.
Why is there someone wearing a werewolf mask? I mean, nobody wants that. Though Jessop finds it funny, and that’s gotta count for something. Lyndsey Handscomb, grace incarnate. She’s fucking cool that girl. And there’s Richie Wakeham, back to his best and throwing some big ones up front. Superb.
Why did the military man keep talking about the Middle East? Imagine an RM’s equivalent in the Middle East. Middle-eastern versions of all of us, jumping up and down to beats written by the heroes we’ll never meet. If there was, even the Iraqis would fucking hate Andrew WK. Surely.
I couldn’t go to war with people who party like this. People who know good music when they hear it. People who welcome everyone onto the dance floor even the rugby boys. Fuck going into the marines, I couldn’t kill anyone who liked Placebo.
The party kicks off at around 10PM. How many more of these will I see? I can’t work here forever, though this place will definitely be here forever. It would be collective lunacy to let this place close.
Rob’s at the bar door, he often kept himself back from the noise.
“How’s it going, Al? Fucking busy up here.”
“Yeah boss, it’s going alright. Gav and Jolly dropping some absolute bangers up there.”
“Nice one! And don’t worry too much about that fucking interview. You’ll be fine whatever happens.”
It was the throw away stuff that meant the most. I’d be fine whatever happened. I like that. I could see it, years from now. Me, Rob and Mel laughing at the characters who came and drank our bar dry twice a week. They’d take the piss out me, of course. Remember that time when Alex almost got a job carrying a gun. The shittest marine of all time he would have been.
Anyway, I’d rather be a barman here in RM’s than bobbing overseas to kill people who may or may not like Placebo.
Shit the bed. Andrew WK is on again. If only I had a gun.