Ring friends for commiseration. "Column, what column?" "On Saturdays," I wail, "My Lofty Life." "Oh," they respond blankly. Tatiana most put out. "Does that mean I won't be in the papers no more?" Make hollow promise I will do feature on her later.
The Derelict shakes his hoary locks. "Same as what happened to me ... one day I wuz on top of the world, next I wuz in the gutter." Shudder. See future of haunting doorways with sleeping-bag and beer-stained parka.
Yasmin counsels course in bereavement therapy. "Iss a boomin' business, Kaz." No jobs in cool Britannia unless you are literati, glitterati or mediocritti, apparently. "You gotta embrace the positive, you know ... 'ave a party."
Decide she is right. Will invite all who have been involved. Even the Bosnians. Bars Banana, Bizarre and Roscov booked up. Forced to hold wake in suitable dank, underground car park. Denzil DJs. "I thought heavy metal thrash, Kaz. Get it out of your system."
Despite warning looks from the boyfriend, have several Buds before tottering on-stage to make speech. Noise of screaming guitars from speakers so loud, doubt anyone can hear me. "Thanks for your support," I say to sea of blurred faces. "If anyone wants to, you know, like, object, they should write to the Independent." See crowd of Bosnians by the bar pointing and laughing. "Not surprised iss gone," says Syd. "It was a bit skanky." "Duh?" "Rude, dirty ... you know ... offensive." "To whom?" I respond, huffily. "To me," says Syd, passing on and taking the tray of cocaine with him. "I'm surprised," says Shena. "I mean, they've got this campaign about legalising drugs, and you bang on like you're some sort of addict."
"Sorry to hear your bad news," says Deen (who invited him?) "What was it again?" "My column," I seethe through clenched teeth. "Ah," he gives a smug smile. "'Fraid I don't read it."
So outraged I am lost for words. Later recall should have boasted about novel bought for telly, film deal on another and being pursued (not sure in what sense) by extremely cutting-edge editor.
Move through crowd like a lost soul. Cassius juggling canapes. Syd dispensing drugs. Yasmin in a frenzy of name-dropping. She gives me newly respectful look. "'Ere, Kaz, 'ow d'you know all these famous people?" There's Paula in Versace, Rosita in leather, Jim in a sling, Brandy in flagrante. "Bye bye everyone, bye bye, bye bye."
The boyfriend takes me home, weeping. "Look, babes, how about a few weeks by the sea?" Curl under the duvet, with Bullit licking my tears. "Can we take boat and a beach-hut?" Hum. No building site, no traffic, no noisy neighbours...
Sit up and demand cornflakes with sugar and cream. Can already feel new column coming on ... "Views from the Beach Hut?"Reuse content