THE DIARY OF EMMA D MAY: Bigger than the Taj Mahal

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Indy Lifestyle Online
SUNDAY 12.01am: Everyone sitting in Bengali restaurant in Brick Lane. Dylan announces he's going to India. To live. "To, like, discover yourself," says Anna, unkindly. "No," says Dylan. "To, like, discover some seriously good gear actually." Point out he has never even been to Calais, let alone to Asia. How will he know he likes it? "That's why I wanted to tell you in Brick Lane, over a curry," he explains. "So you, like, get my drift." Behind his head is large mural of Taj Mahal. Offer to take his picture with the TM behind, as would be cheaper than going all way to India. "Look"' says Dylan patiently, "It's like this. I, erm, the other day, I ate a McDonalds burger, a fucking great big whopper of a burger. After ten years of vegetarianism, I ate a burger..." (He pauses dramatically, while everyone tries to get heads around idea of D eating a Whopper.) "And since then, I've been having these dreams where Linda McCartney keeps telling me that I have to atone for the burger by going to India and doing some hippy stuff like people did in the Sixties." Vikram coughs. "So you're going to India because Linda told you?" Dylan nods. "That's about the size of it. I'm going tomorrow. Who else is coming?"

1.05am: "Mate of a mate's got some cheap air tickets," Dylan is explaining over his six bottle of Kingfisher to get him in the mood. `Have sudden flash of panic. "Did he ask you to take anything over for him?" I ask. "You know, like a parcel or some shampoo bottles or a teddy bear stuffed with smack?" D rummages in bag. "This, actually. It's a present for his sister."

1.08am: Have slit open parcel to reveal potential drugs mule Teddy and mutilated him. No sign of any drugs. Now everyone feels bad looking at little headless bear and thinking of little girl in India waiting for him. "I'll sew him up," Anna offers, pathetically.

2am: Have been making mental list of reasons to stay. 1. Friends: would miss them.

2. Work: am now earning nearly pounds 10 per hour for a bit of typing, which is cool.

3. Shagging: have just met v handsome boy with nice car and white teeth who also has added advantage of being drug dealer.

4. Money: am skint.

5. Family: parents would loop the loop.

6. Drugs: Cannabis plants coming along well.

7. Health: prospect of amoebic dysentery.

8. England: a green and pleasant land.

Reasons to go:

1. Friends: Dylan going anyway. Others would visit. 2. Work: Hate job and especially Evil Bitch Boss who is always mean cow except in mornings when irritatingly chirpy.

3. Shagging: already a bit bored of handsome boy who shares fatal chirpy- before-ten character flaw with Evil Bitch.

4. Money: it's cheaper in India.

5. Family: already loop the loop.

6. Drugs: better in India

7. Health: suffer from amphetamine dysentery most weekends anyway.

8. England: it's crap.

2.45am: Swear headless Teddy staring at me. Pause between mouthfuls of vegetable biryani to announce: `I'm coming'. Anna looks appalled. "What d'you think this is, Emma, When Harry Met Sally?" "I mean to India," I say. "You can't," says Anna. "You're my best friend." Tell her she'd better come as well then.