For the last few days I’ve been struggling for ideas of what to write next for this blog…
And then Friday night happened.
To set the scene, I had been having a blue week. Nothing particularly wrong or out of the ordinary, but I spent most days feeling slightly flat and weary. (I am in the midst of writing a piece about this, but it has to wait now, this story needs telling asap). Because of that, I wanted a chill weekend, filled with self-love and relaxation. So, when I made Friday night dinner plans with Em (my friend from sixth-form, part of a four-piece welded by shit matching tattoos), we agreed that it wouldn’t be a late one: I’m sure you can already see where this is heading.
We went for dinner and planned on booking our annual group holiday, on which we get extremely intoxicated and do Christmassy things in European countries. I had my laptop with me so that we could book properly at dinner, over a pizza and a glass of wine.
We left the restaurant and stumbled across a bar with neon lights and funky music, we both looked at each other and simultaneously said ‘Just one cock won’t hurt’ (cocktail).
And how wrong we were.
We sat at the bar drinking two for one cocktails, chatting shit to each other and anyone that would listen. We even spotted Em’s brother across the bar, I mean, not her real brother but honestly it was uncanny. At the end of the night we started chatting to two middle-aged men, Mike and Nick/Nige (neither of which are his name, its Neil but I don’t think I called him that once). They were interesting, and at first, I thought that they were a couple, telling tales of how they met and what they both did for a living. The bell rang for last orders, and Mike suggested we all go to his private members club.
We’re in the toilet, I’m weeing and Em is standing over me saying,
“Obviously we’re going, because you never know when you’ll next be invited to a member’s club”
*we swap positions*
“Good point, also fucking brilliant story for the blog”
“Lol G, you and that bloody blog.”
We returned to the guys, grabbed our things and left the bar. Mike hailed a black cab, like he was in a movie on the streets of New York. We got in and arrived 5 minutes later, at what looked like a normal town house. I’m not sure what I was expecting to find, clearly an amateur at blending in at members clubs, but I took out my phone, as if it was a recording device, and walked around Mike’s tour as if I was Louis bloody Theroux. All I learnt is that the building was an old brothel, which consisted of grand staircases, bookey (pronounced boo key) drawing rooms and endless suits and espresso martinis. No sex rooms, or S&M dungeons (shame).
Drunk and disorderly, we managed to spill most of our dark brown cocktails over our fronts, quite like a toddler drinking a hot chocolate. We’re in the toilet again, both racking our blurry minds for how to make our white T-shirts look less infantile. I decided to just do the buttons up on my coat, Em however, decided to take her top off, whack it under the tap and get some hand soap involved on the stain. To her horror, the hand dryer that she had reached for was in fact a paper towel dispenser. Now she looked more like a contestant in a wet T-shirt competition, which I assured her was better than someone that persisted to miss their mouth.
Back on the dance floor, both wearing our coats fastened securely, constantly reassuring concerned party goers, “no, no really, man’s not hot, thank you”. Really drunk now, like the kind of drunk you get after the drinks reception at a wedding and before you’ve eaten anything. We found Mike and Nige/Nick/Neil again, and decided that Mike’s idea to go ‘back to his place’ was a good one.
I have to pause here for a second. Yes, this story isn’t sinister, and yes, we’ve both lived to tell the tale, but this was NOT a good idea. They gave no indication to us that they were dangerous, and I know that I’m a good judge of character, but we didn’t know them. Anything could have happened and it doesn’t even bare thinking about. It’s a fucking great story because they were lovely and respectful, but god forbid if it had gone any other way. Slap on the wrist for us and lesson number one of this story: The after party is never worth it, so don’t go home with strangers after you’ve had a great night. (maybe unless you’re hooking up with them? I dunno, just asking for a friend x)
Mike’s place was in fact his office, a weird combination of beds, desks, neon lights, gin and tonic and an AstroTurf roof terrace. I don’t know how long we sat chatting for, but it felt like we pretty quickly realised that we were far too drunk to be there, with no-one, not even us, really knowing where we were. I’ve never ordered an Uber so quickly in my life, we said our goodbyes and rushed down the stairs giggling about the ‘quiet’ night that we had just had.
Anyone know where my bag is in this story? Nope, me neither. I know I was drunk because my heart didn’t even sink. I found it hilarious that I had to make the Uber driver turn around back to the place that we had just run away from. In the pissing rain, we stood knocking at the door, no answer. It’s an odd one as the only entrance to this office is a fire door, there is then a second door to the actual flat on the top floor. No-one, apart from the sleeping neighbours could hear us. Even the Uber driver fucked off and left us there. Still half funny, we got in a new Uber and went back to Em’s, a problem for our future selves.
My head was pounding, my body was aching and opening my eyes felt like getting punched in the face. I rolled over to Em and said very quietly and very sadly “I’ve lost my shit”. Both metaphorically and physically. I had lost my shit, my laptop, my keys, my purse, my gorgeous new bag from my friend Ruby, which says self-love on the side and reminds me to practice what I preach.
I rang Lu, because I was too scared to tell my Mum and she’s the next best thing. She said we had to get up and out, back to the flat and just hope he answers this time. We pulled our clothes on, leaving the stained tops at home and headed back to the scene of the crime. We bumped into neighbours and asked if they knew anyone who lived/worked there: “Nope, but are you the girls from last night, you were very loud” of “Nah, I only see them late at night and it always just smells like weed”. (GREAT) We apologised profusely for the noise, feeling like sex-workers or groupies. We weren’t of course, it was all very innocent, but you try telling this story without it sounding like ‘night-cap’ is code for bang and you ended up leaving your stuff somewhere because you’re a silly slut.
Now of course it wasn’t the end of the world. Eventually someone was going to go there and I would get my bag back. But I had a deadline on Monday for a module that I’m failing. And like I said, I’ve been feeling a little gloomy recently, so it really did feel like the cherry on top of a very shit cake.
We tried everything. We googled companies registered to the address, we rang the members club (who definitely thought that I was a silly slut), we left a note, we spoke to the neighbours, we knocked until our knuckles hurt and we even contacted a locksmith.
Not knowing what else to do, we did what we do best, we went for brunch. We met Lu and her flatmates and I reeled off my anger at myself. I have a tendency of upscaling everything that happens in my life. I felt disappointed because, my laptop is probably the most expensive thing I own, and I just left it lying around like it was piece of scrap paper or an empty food wrapper. Lesson number two: have more respect for your things and look after them, or just don’t take your laptop out to a ‘quiet dinner’ with Emily Morrison because you know full well it won’t just be a ‘quiet dinner’. Lu also pointed out that you can’t really get through life with having important documents in just one place, so lesson number 3: Upload important work to google drive or invest in a memory stick.
The longer I left it, the more anxious I became and desperate times called for desperate measures. I rang the locksmith and asked him to meet me at the Office in an hour. This I am aware is breaking and entering BUT, I did explain this to him on the phone, and he didn’t give a shit, and at this point neither did I. The entire journey on the train was spent discussing the pros and cons of getting my laptop back vs getting a criminal record. We decided the best idea would be to ring the police and ask if they could do anything about my bag, and how illegal it really was to pay a professional to pick the lock of a door to a building that doesn’t belong to you. Very apparently, very illegal. Also, the bag isn’t lost property, so they can do fuck all about it. FAB. We cancelled the locksmith in a bid to stay out of prison (dramatic), left another note on the door and headed home.
All we could do was wait and as Ali and Lib, who were not emotional or disgustingly hungover, said, wait for him to see the note and call.
Which of course he did, the next morning at 8:30. He was lovely and apologetic, explaining that it was his office we had gone back to but he had stayed at his home in North London, and Neil/Nige/Nick had gone back to his hotel. I felt so silly for making such a massive fuss because in the end, I hadn’t even spent more than 24 hours without my bag.
I like to think that it was because I was so dramatic that the Universe aligned things for me. I took the lessons being thrown at me so seriously. I was disappointed with myself, I was annoyed that I’d left everything to the last minute and I was annoyed that I just couldn’t seem to get it back. I did however, so now it really is just a good story, and a fun night.
- If you take a bag out and about with you, look after it and keep checking on it.
- Don’t get so drunk that you’re incapable of looking after said bag.
- Don’t go home with men you don’t know – just in case.
- Always say yes to an invitation to a member’s club.
- Check the hand dryer is a hand dryer before you take an item of clothing off and put it under the tap.
- Don’t be too hard on yourself – you’re young, wild and free and there’s plenty of time to be in bed by ten.
- Don’t put a blog story before your own safety.
- You’re not Louis Theroux.
- Always get the last name and number of the strangers you do go home with – just in case you need them again.
- DON’T GO FOR A QUIET MEAL WITH EMILY MORRISSON. (or me).