Drinking At The Castle

Pickled eggs. Eggs pickled?

About twenty of them float in a screw top glass jar, sat between Tuckins teacakes dressed in red and silver foil, and packets of pork scratchings, my favourite snack, 80p. I’ve never eaten an egg that was soaked and stored in vinegar. What could have been a hatching of life is now preserved in a post war mentality of delicacy. I’m queen of The Castle. As usual, I have arrived an hour early, and it is inevitable that he will be the best part of an hour late. This is gained time but not the quiet night for solo drinking, though I feel in no mood for social drinking- avoiding eye contact, dismissing half-hearted chat up lines whilst sipping half pints of ginger ale and pretending to read Perec. But really I am contemplating the eggs. Eggs fried, poached, benedicted. I feel my own un-hatched eggs on either side of me, reminding me of their urges for reproduction. I’m feeling scrambled. I think I’m in love.

Try something new today, says the bored cliché of suggestion from the man sat next to me, as dairy produce once submerged in malt now lays on a plate with a small fork and a white napkin.

“There an acquired taste love, but a high protein, low carb option.” Diet advice from an overweight barmaid, who would probably benefit from a month on Atkins is always going to be questionable. The mere smell of them makes me feel queasy. I finish my beer.

A few days later, the same friend and I are sat on a bus-stop bench in Stevenson’s Square. We are not waiting for the bus or planning on going anywhere, it was just a place to sit. I read my £12 Apartmento magazine, which, whilst aesthetically pleasing, is definitely overpriced. The street ephemera finds are more entertaining- he picks up a post it scrawled with the statement: “You have a small penis”. I’ve found the nine of diamonds and it is a millionaire moment, there is nowhere else I’d rather be. This contentment lasts for about a half hour until the bluebird bus fumes are becoming asthma attacking and we make the regretful mistake of really looking down.  Beneath our feet, a pavement of sinful lust- too much of a good thing sprawled out in a mess of post indulgence, the remains of a Saturday night: sick, butt cigarettes and a used condom.

Let’s find a bar.

There are three places in the city to drink but it’s a hot summer day and I am determined to get drunk on grown up milkshake, White Russians. It is my theory that for this, there is only once place in town that serves them properly but it is haunted by ghosts of girlfriends past- his- and there is a refusal to run into the bitch that broke his heart.

Back in The Castle, and back to the eggs. I still can’t eat them.

So are my recent days. I’ve had a three-week sprawl of capital city visiting, with cheap dates and nights spent sleeping on sofas. I miss the two shot vanilla latte convenience that my local small town instant coffee cafe can’t provide. I want sex, drugs, cigarettes and alcohol. I’m moving. TC mark

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