I walked out of Barons Court station with a disgusto cold having left work early when I looked up and saw Matt. “MATT! MATT!!” I shouted. Matt was a good friend from uni that I hadn’t spotted since Melbourne was now standing right in front of me top side of the world 7,893,289,213 miles away from the land of Kangaroos.
After a few, “What the hell are you doing here? Which visa? Work… Uh huhs and I have a cold I’m not usually this puffy faced and ugly” we switched numbers and said, yeah, of course we’d hang out.
I was longing to go to Fabric (a famous club in London that plays Drum & Bass), having wanted to since I was 19, and no-one, absolutely no-one, would go with me. Matt, being from Perth and understanding D&B, was totally keen – but he warned drinks at Farbic were expensive so we needed to pre-load.
Saturday approached, Smirnoff was on sale and we got stuck into a bottle at my house before we tubed it up to Farringdon station and in we went. It was smaller and dingier than I expected, but nonetheless it was Fabric and we were in (albeit 12 years past my wanted-to-go-date but I was super excited about it without any air of cool).
We got drinks and danced to Andy C, while with me wearing a tiny black dress teamed with some throwaway shoes (never, ever wear shoes you want to see again to Fabric) I was attracting attention from the male variety. Matt started to get a bit of a shitty/annoyed/grumpy/not dancing/just glaring type vibe going on. Until 14 more vodkas, toilet trips and dudes trying to chat to me later he lost his shit at me and said he was leaving. After a few minutes trying to shout over music and appease him I let him go with, “That’s fine, you leave but can I have my cloak room ticket please?” He replied with, “I can’t remember which tickets was yours.” And he turned around and lost himself in the crowd. RIGHTO. Cheers mate. Huge club in London, on my own, drunk, it’s 2 degrees outside, and now I have no coat. So I got another drink and kept on dancing – The music was incredible and I’d figure out what to do later. Alcohol – it really does make all your worries go away. And no I wasn’t paying 5 million pounds for a cab home – this is London, we wait till the tube starts again to get home around here.
And then, about 2.5 hours later at 4AM, Matt appeared in front of me again – in a creepy horror movie standing there glaring way. He seemed quite simmered down and said (again) he wanted to go. I smiled and said cool – let’s go get in the 400+ coming-down-off-pills-people line and wait for our jackets. He handed me ‘my’ ticket without a second glace. Hmm I’m putting two and two together now – the vodka’s starting to wear off.
We got to the Tube station and I expected him to get his line home until he came out with, “Oh but I left my house keys at your house…” Me: “Erm, why?” Blank stares all round. Left his keys at my house – Oh how convenient. I was not happy about this. Sure enough we get home he finds his keys and he tries it on.
Oh, I hear you all – you think I’m playing this boy like a vodka-violin and he’s just so lost and confused right now. And I’ve been him giving the wrong signals all night? Believe me when I say I wasn’t. If I was smiling like a puppy dog about his keys being left at my house or paying attention to him all night rather than every tall man at Fabric then sure that’s green-lights-go for any guy. But when you’re friends and they’ve got some warped idea because you’re in Lundun it’s hookup time it makes me really mad. (This a wasn’t first-time occurrence with an Aussie-fella-friend since being top side of the hemispheres.) Do I strike off every guy friend that gives me a flirty look or touches my arm a bit too much when we’re drunk? It sucks when you have a good guy friend that’s suffering the fresh-off-the-boat, thinking-with-his-pants syndrome that never reared its kangaroo head in the land of Aus.
If a guy is good enough friends with you and got some guts of his own, he might want to broach the subject prior to all the misunderstood above. Wouldn’t it be better for everyone? Guess that’s really laying your heart of cards out of the table and not too many of them are up for all that.
I spotted Matt a year later walking down Clapham high street while I was dressed as a playboy bunny en-route to The Church – not actual church, but that revolting bar Aussies go to to drink beer, flash and throw up on each other. I only did one of those. He waved and shouted hello I shouted back, “Hiiiii” and gave a bunny ear flick back and hopped away.