I'm trying to peer through the rain that's pelting down the windscreen as I'm speeding through town.
I flick the wipers on full and lean forward against the steering wheel, trying to make out the junction to Central Street through a mess of smearglossed roads and traffic lights. A group of tottering women in eyebleed-bright dresses clatter out up ahead of me in a flurry of splashes and high shouts.
I have to slam the breaks on hard.
"Fuck's sake!" I shout. The women disappear into the rain and my shaky foot finds the
accelerator: I pick up speed again. Finally, Central
Street thank Christ. I take a sharp right: the car wheels screech a
little, popping through puddles. Central Street is stretched wide and huge and packed
with people trying to shelter from the downpour. They bunch up outside
shop doors, crammed into alley ways and under pub awnings.
Fuck this. I'm on the verge of abandoning the car on double yellow lines when I catch sight of a neon sign about a hundred yards ahead saying ‘MOONLIGHT'. I swerve left and jounce up onto the pavement. Someone bangs on the passenger side door and calls me a fucking idiot. "Fuck you!" I shout, more to myself than anyone. Then I'm out on the road, slamming the car door shut, running round the bonnet, rain cold and slamming into my face, heading straight for the doorway to the club.
to drill my way through every fucking lemon-faced twat standing there
staring at me when she comes hobbling out, her arm around the neck of some
clean cut guy in a black jacket whose basically carrying her.
"Hey," I shout.
Charlotte sways and wobbles like she's drugged. Her eyes are half-closed, lids hooded. She has a thin line of something (vomit?) on her dress. "S'my dad," she slurs. "S'fine, s'my dad…"
The guy unwraps her arm from around his neck and guides her towards me. "Here," he says, his face dripping with rain. "She's fine, she's just totally pissed. She keeps going on about a rocking horse?"