Something very odd happened this evening. Less than 24 hours before what could be the most terrifying-yet-exciting night of my life, I narrowly avoided a rocket.
After four months of planning, chatting, booking bars, buying CDs, talking to girls I don’t know, learning to DJ, visiting more nightclubs than any health professional would deem wise, pestering friends, drinking beer, then gin, pestering strangers, riding midweek nightbuses, braving Soho, swearing never to go back to Ghetto (three times I never learn) and generally attempting to infect anyone who will listen with my enthusiasm, it is now the night before the dirtyconverse DISCO.
I’m alternately giddy with excitement and supressing small panic attacks. I’ve developed a love of Hercules and Love Affair, and Tiga, gone off the one Elastica song I thought was sort of alright and become fixated with Pepsi and Shirlie and everything they represent musically.
My mouth is dry, my hair is undercut and I can’t seem to say anything without referencing song lyrics. I have to make sure my hands do not shake between the hours of 11.00hrs and 01.30hrs tomorrow night.
Tomorrow some of my best non-London-based friends are coming to London, and those who are here already are heading to N19 for the Disco.
And tonight I was walking up my road towards my favourite local pub for one sedate beer (21.20hrs) when a fucking rocket flew past me. Clearly, some little oik must have been indulging in the age-old right of passage into feral youth by letting off a screaming rocket outside the firework display environment.
He was either a rotten shot – it passed by my chest, so four feet above ground level – or a bloody good aim – SO close I felt the thrust. Whichever, it missed.
Somehow I stopped walking (no mean feet at 4mph marching pace) and did an involuntary Matrix-style backwards leaning body curve. And watched in slow motion as a firey missile wobbled through the air at speed, across the road, past me and into the hedge.
It either hit or scared a cat, judging by the noise that came from the bush. Whichever, it missed me.
And that is the point, I think. I am lucky: Luckier than I often make the time to realise.
After a few stationary minutes I continued walking to the pub. For one pint of Staropramen.