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The occasional downtime of Daniel W. E. Light

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Friday, 11 January 2008

A bar called 'Daytime'

I hurried through Lower Clapton, fleeing from the clutches of someone. Or something. The night was cold, dark, full of strange metallic objects, and I had none of the direction or purpose you would expect to assume as one in flight. The scene stole from Graham Green, and owed much to Fleming.

I ducked into a nightclub, tucked away in a basement decorated by nothing more than neon light and exposed brickwork. It was as much bar as nightclub, hell, I can't tell the difference any more. Unusually for whatever it was, everyone was up to their knees in water.

I waded up to the bar, and took a hard fast slap in the face from the price list. It's no wonder everybody's on the gak these days. It's not cheap, but at least you get to piss your money away in the privacy of a toilet cubicle.

I gradually became aware of one particular group of punters over in the corner. They were being increasingly vocal about one another's various moral shortcomings, and how these blended into one moribund morass of deceit and sexual deviance. Everybody could smell blood; it was going to spill over into violence at any moment. We were spellbound.

At one point, just as they were starting to get somewhere, a barman leapt up onto the bar, kicking a couple of his customers' overpriced drinks into their laps. He lobbed out some provocative pronouncement, an observational hand grenade, and sent them back into a dizzying nose-dive of acrimony and mutual recrimination. He was a cocksure character - in fact he oozed cockcertainty - and had a mean streak a mile wide. The best you could say about him was that he seemed to have a decent sense of dramatic timing.

We all frowned and appeared to disapprove, but none of us wanted it to stop. The water level wasn't rising, and the place would have quickly grown tedious without them, this bar called Daytime. They were awful people, and no-one really understood why they had decided to parade this fact for our edification, but it certainly made us feel better about ourselves. By the end we were all patting one another on the backs. "We may be bad, but they're much, much worse," our faces said to each other. For once, our faces were right.

I woke up. I had fallen asleep on the sofa in the middle of the afternoon. On the other sofa sat Emma, buddha-like, breastfeeding and watching The Jeremy Kyle Show.

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posted by Dan Light  # 20:12
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