After Claire dumped me in June 2004, I ended up going out with Lulu shortly after. Okay, rebound relationships not a good idea.
Anyway, I went out with Lulu for a good few months but she dumped me (on election night of all nights in 2005) because I couldn't commit. We remained on friendly terms, however. In fact, Lulu was attractive, intelligent, generous, humorous and kind but I was too mixed up (still in love with Sharon and Claire) to appreciate her at the time. I was also occasionally shagging another woman too. Okay, I’ve been a bit of a rat in my time.
For her birthday, however, in June 2005, she had invited me to a barbecue at her friend’s house. Her friend by the way is the spitting image of Julie Walters the actress.
Anyway, apparently, I learned later, Lulu had invited me to the barbecue partly to show off her new toy-boy and make me jealous.
When she had dumped me, she had immediately regretted it, me being so handsome, witty, sexy and modest. The next day she had pleaded for me to have her back, but I had turned her down.
Back to the barbecue.
To be honest I don't really like barbecue food that much and because I’m not that keen on food poisoning too: burnt to the crisp on the outside, warm and pink in the middle. Thanks, but no thanks. So, I decided to eat beforehand.
From the supermarket I had bought some cooked ham, bhajis and a quiche which I had eaten when I had got home. I had also picked up a couple of bottles of wine for the party and a card for Lulu.
A little later I had turned up at the party with Jeremy, my childhood friend, who was also invited.
The party was good. I had a lot of laughs and ended up chatting to a girl who I thought at the time I may have a chance with. But it turned out she was just flirting. A couple of months later she stirred it up with Lulu and me because underneath she hated Lulu – a story for another day, maybe.
After a bit I started to get tipsy on all the wine.
Lulu was also a bit cheesed off because the toy-boy failed to show.
Whilst there I had observed everybody gorging on the food and feeling smug because I knew I wasn't going to be the one suffering with my gut in the morning.
Out of the blue my message alert had sounded. It was Claire who I still pined for. I thought, What the fuck does she want?
Well, it turned out she wanted the number of my one of my colleagues. It was a ploy, of course, to make me jealous. And it worked too. She'd already got a fella, the one she dumped me for. I was beginning to believe that she was a game player. A tease. A wind-up. Later when I was really drunk, I told her that by text which just about scuppered any slim chances of getting back with her.
As time moved on Jeremy and I got an invite to join some others down-town which we accepted but just as I was about to go, I suddenly experienced a mild stomach pain – I needed to go to the loo.
I walked back into the house which was quite small and at the end of a terrace. It also only had one toilet; not enough to cater for about twenty or so guests. In addition, there was no lock on the door and when I sat down, I realised that I had a dose of the shits. Big time.
My first thought was, This isn't supposed to be happening to me, me who cleverly ate at home in order to avoid tummy trouble from dodgy barbecue food.
So, I then realise that I have terrible flatulence interspersed with 'pebble-dash' diarrhoea and every time I think that there can be no more it starts up again. In the meantime I'm having to keep the door pressed shut with one leg because there’s no lock on it to prevent people getting in. Finally, I got over it and I flushed the chain. But to my horror I then saw that the water wasn't draining away due to the fact that I'd used a hell of a lot of loo paper. The level of water and raw sewerage rapidly began to rise and any second, I feared it was going to overflow. Mercifully it didn't but it was still blocked. With one foot against the door to keep the other desperate toilet users at bay I'd pumped repeatedly with the toilet brush with my free hand. Finally, there was a loud sucking noise as the bowl had emptied.
As I opened the door, immensely relieved in more ways than one, a young woman grasping her crotch had rushed in.
When I got outside Jeremy had been waiting for me. He said calmly, “I hate to say this Matt, but not only could everybody hear you, but you have also completely stunk the whole house out. I think it may be best that we go.”
“Yes, you're probably right.”
We walked out and I wished everybody left there a cheery goodbye. Few had responded and the rest had just stared disgustedly at me.
I guess it had turned into a bit of a shitty evening.