We find ourselves in the same ball party. He’s one of those people who, when they’re around, I find myself trying not to try too hard to get their attention – or say anything stupid. As such, most of the time I’m mute (see Matthew), and when I do speak, what I say is invariably stupid or rude, or both (see Nick). After a few drinks, apologising for the aforementioned rudeness seems like a good idea. I haven’t planned what I’m going to say, but the gist of it would be, sorry, I’m only like this because I think you’re beautiful and charming and you have big hair. Or just, you have big hair.
I’m chatting to a girl at the bar. She breaks off to order a drink.
‘Excuse me one sec,’ I say.
I’ve just seen Sebastian come in. After our pavement boogie earlier in the evening, we have to have a dance.
‘Shall we?’ I say.
He takes my hand, turns me between the tables and leads me to the floor. His style is distinctive, showy, slightly clownish, lots of flourishes and flicks.
I take the rare opportunity of being face-to-face with the guy to say, ‘I can explain…’
He spins me into a drop.
‘The fact I’m so…’
‘Amusing?’ he says. ‘Funny?’
The dance continues. My speech fortunately does not. I’m too busy laughing and generally having a good time. With the end of the track, he says,
We work well on the dancefloor, better than at the dinner table, where I tease and mock relentlessly.
‘It’s tiring,’ he said earlier. It was the kind of candour which only comes with drunkenness.
I blushed. ‘Sorry.’ And turned away.