["I love you all! I want to make all of you famous!"]
["yeah here's 20p go and phone someone who gives a fuck"]
The conversation has taken a sudden lurch towards the morbid. Jarringly, someone has asked: "Well, if you were to go, how would you like your body to be disposed of?"
Faces are heavy, silence around the table as people are thinking of something to say that would move things back towards lighter subjects. No bright ideas from anyone. Hm, pretty much like I expected. I don't want the conversation to die a grisly death and it's up to me now, so I venture: "Well, since you brought it up, I'd like to be cremated, I suppose..."
"WHAT?!? Do you think I'd fucking waste £2.50 on a bottle of white spirit just to burn your stinking corpse? That's two beers, you know..."
This is Mr Arofish (see sidebar link under Photography and Art), who once said to me: "Not everyone can afford a good death." I mis-quoted that on to people as "The best thing we can hope for from this life is a good death" and later realised I had actually developed a glib aphorism of my own.
Oh, but what the fuck? That nutcase is threatening to break his own nose for drunkenly blurting out some inadvertently filthy suggestion to the girl across the table. I slap him across the side of the head. "Ow! My ear!" He stomps on my foot, nearly breaking some toes.
"No fighting! No fight in here! Calm down now!" Sara is pleading, exasperated but amused, and others are looking semi-alarmed.
"But everyone knows your room is the fighting room, for the whole street," says Mr Arofish. "I mean, that's well established. You want to fight, you come to Sara's place to settle things. She adjudicates. Fair fights. No elbows. No weapons. Gum protectors. Masks. Rubber suits. Snorkels..."
"...and then when Sara is finally sexually satisfied... OH NO! I did it again! This time I'm really going to break my own nose. Don't try and stop me..."
We get drunker and drunker, people wander off to crash. No sleep for the wicked or withdrawing, respectively. We decide (after some feeble excuses from the artist that he doesn't have the right colour paint) to go and find a nice blank wall in the Docklands somewhere. I keep inebriated look-out for potential twin cop cars driving side-by-side, while the artist sets to work with spray-cans. He is harshly critical of his work afterwards, but considering the prevailing blood-alcohol levels, I truly can not fault anything:
I steal some cachaca from Paulette as she sleeps (don't tell, please) and after one more drink and a joint of high-grade Maroccan, I finally manage to lose consciousness on the nearest sofa.