At the airport I ate lunch with about twenty middle aged ladies – perfume sprayers, booze pushers and jaded checkout assistants with fingernails that could probably cut glass. Every conversation ended with ‘You don’t have to stand for that, you need to make a scene’. One lady would grab my hand and in a thick accent say ‘You go to the union and you say, I have had enough! They will try to take your very blood here’. She was later caught stealing and was fired, and when the police took her away she tossed her magnificent head of rock-solid, hairsprayed hair and spat on the ground.
My favourite game was to take fun customers over to the Bombay Sapphire representatives, who would make cocktails in plastic cups and talk about the aromatics and flirt with the middle aged men or relate really heavily with the women about where they were staying in Fiji or Bali ‘Oh, that sounds beautiful, I would give my lift tit to go with you.’
One day I’d been late to work, as Bridget and I were really sad and drank way too much wine every night, and I really needed coffee but had no way of getting it, so in desperation I drank a bottle of V. I’d never had an energy drink before, and because I was doing it sneakily, I drank it all in one quick go, and suddenly I had the briefest moment of pure euphoria, where all the fluro lights turned into sparkling rays of diamond, where the future was laid out in front of me with easily accomplished goals, where I smiled dreamily at my jittering hands sticking out of my ill-fitting suit cuffs.
This passed, and I was immediately nauseous and confused, and tried to hold on to that feeling of confidence and destiny that I’d briefly held, and while I scrabbled vainly for that I watched one of the Bombay women drop a bottle of gin onto the tiles, and a shard of glass punctured her eye and everyone was screaming except for her.