Scotty, let me tell you this for a fact. If I was taller, better looking, more confident, more interesting, popular and generally a better human, I’d ask Linzi Perriman out for a drink.”
Making Scott laugh at the bar was always one of my rock night highlights. That and watching Ceri Williams taking the piss out of the locals downstairs. She was amazing behind the bar. Rob and Mel had gathered a team of people who truly loved RM’s, which is half the battle in running any business, and business was good.
Romance at RM’s was as brutal as it was fleeting though. I saw tears at the bar, mostly from men. I offered a sympathetic ear to the feckless and the forlorn, as long as they were paying customers, of course. Rob didn’t want stragglers chewing up all the oxygen without parting with a few pennies.
“If they’re coming in, they’re fucking buying something”.
Between Incubus and P.O.D. some group of geniuses had created what can only be described as instillation art with cans, bottles and greasy packets. This has Nathan Williams’ work all over it. Good one. Now I’ve got to come and disassemble it like a game of fucking Kerplunk. It’s funny is it Miss Oakley? Fantastic. Brilliant. Honestly, I’m honoured to be able to clear away such a creation. The frame-fitter for Picasso will be riddled with envy right now.
Shit the bed, it’s soaking.
Ah bollocks to it. Nothing a bin bag won’t solve. Ha! Have some of that! Yeah, yeah, I’m an arsehole and blah blah blah it took you ages. If you don’t like it, Koolers is about to open. Me and my bin bag are the tag team champions of the world.
Before I left the scene with the glorious instillation piece dripping through the bin liner, someone kisses me. It doesn’t taste like Bob Marley’s pockets either, so it’s not one of my brother’s mates. Who the fuck is this? I put the bin bag down carefully, mindful of its artistic value, and standing in front of me is a stranger. A female stranger. She must have thought I was someone else. Nope, she still standing in front of me, smiling. This was intentional folks. Green light for the ego. I repeat, that’s a green light for the ego.
And Mel has seen it. And now she’s telling Rob. And now Rob looks pretty pissed off.
The walk back to the bar with my dripping bin bag in hand, and Mel and Rob stood like lighthouses of condemnation, would have been excruciatingly embarrassing, but someone had just kissed me. And not by accident either. It felt good. I’m no freak on a leash. I don’t care for any rules nor regs. This is my night, my time; I don’t need no roach from Papa, I’ve got my own thank you very much.
“Like a mini-Lloyd.”
Mel’s smile was truly disarming. Rob stood unmoved. Something was bothering him and it wasn’t the exploits of a neurotic-to-the-bone barman.
“He’s not pissed off with you. Someone has been saying things about this place. About me and Rob. Don’t worry about it, we’ll sort it out.”
Rob was staring at a guy sat about twenty feet away. I turned to Scott at the bar.
“Scott, I’ll tell you this for a fact. I wouldn’t want to be stared at like that for all the cider in Swansea.”
Rob and Mel saw that place like a family. Like a pack. All were invited, but if someone came through the doors and up the red stairs with bad intentions, it was a fleeting visit.
I’ll cheer him up.
“Yo Rob, a bin bag full of cans in one hand, and she still couldn’t resist me.”
Rob averted his stare momentarily to the mysterious girl who had stolen a kiss from your’s truly moments ago. His face lit up, he was laughing. I had done it. I had cheered my boss up.
“Well at least it wasn’t sloppy seconds this time, Al.”
Barely 45 seconds had passed and she was kissing someone else.
Scott was laughing. Rob was laughing. Mel was laughing. Nathan Williams was still laughing.
And now the bin bag has split. Scott turns to me.
“Al, I’ll tell you this for a fact, this isn’t your night.”
But he was wrong. Papa Roach has just come on. So fuck it.