Kindness and vodka

If lots of people were to reel off a list of adjectives describing me, I expect the word “fashionable” wouldn’t appear in many of those lists. I tend to wear whatever I fall into. Sometimes it works, often it doesn’t. Let’s call it Haphazard chic. With this in mind I have no idea why I’ve been invited to a fashion show by someone I’ve just met. But this trip is all about the unfamiliar and saying “yes” so it seems wrong to say no. And I remember her as being open and sincere. We met on a dance floor. In the interest of life, I rearrange my weekend plans, which were going to be a trip to a national park and deep country. Instead Lyndon and I head off to a great big catwalk on Melrose. 

I don’t think either of us are expecting such an involved affair. We’ve been at the beach and Lyndon is still in jogging bottoms. But it’s big, this event, and people have made an effort. Shortly after we arrive the show kicks off with a set by Rilan. I’ve not heard of him before, and ask my neighbour about him: “Rilan? Yeah he’s like Gaga. But he’s a guy. GuyGa.” And on he struts. Laddie GuyGa. He’s a consummate performer, and seems more at home on the catwalk than some of the models that follow his set. His songs have punches in them that speak of a sharp mind, he moves with flow and poise, he doesn’t feel like a cookie cut pop act at all. He feels like a showman, and for that reason I enjoy his set.

Unfortunately as it goes on people keep topping up my drink, and as I watch the models after him flow down the catwalk I am getting progressively sozzled without noticing. By the time the final collection has been shown I must have had half a bottle of vodka, I think I’ve spoken to Rilan but suddenly I’ve fallen into conversation with a vast formidable Russian. She has her young daughter with her, who I suspect will be big on the scene in a few years time if the mum has her way. I find myself telling the daughter that she should always remember to be kind, through the vodka haze. It’s good advice, and advice I hope she takes, although I don’t think I particularly recommended myself as a source. My logic and my head this morning tells me that I might have been visibly smashed. Giving drunk advice to young models. Hmm. If I’d stayed sober and spoken to the right people there is no doubt in my mind that I would now be the new Kate Moss. I’ve got the figure for it. Damn.


Lyndon and I wander home and the hour changes for daylight savings. My phone automatically deducts the time. I just look at it through the haze and an hour has passed. What the hell? Was I abducted by aliens? Was the fashion show and the vodka all some sort of false memory put there to help my traumatised brain overcome the experiments and the drilling? Oh God the Drilling! Do I now have a super power? How will it manifest itself?


So far the only evidence of a super power that I’ve seen this morning is a temporary immunity to caffeine. I’ve dragged myself out of the house in order to see daylight, but it’s so hot I’m sitting in the car with the air con on full. I think I’ll try to go for a walk to shake off the foreboding. It’s an all too familiar aftereffect of too much to drink – that vague sense of foreboding the next day. “What did I say / What did I do?” But the fact is I didn’t strip down to my pants, climb a flagpole howling curses and throw oranges at the models. All I did was remind someone to always be kind. Unless something happened in that missing hour…

Author: albarclay

This blog is a work of creative writing. Do not mistake it for truth. All opinions are mine and not that of my numerous employers.

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