I was going to Green Man festival on the Friday. The day before, me and the girl I thought I was going to marry broke up. I had the bit between my teeth.
Me and Caroline met in the crowd to some band; I told her a few half-truths, we had a dance and I said lets go back to mine where with satisfying haste we were causing a ruckus in my tent. 10 minutes later I heard my mates coming back and when they noticed the kerfuffle going on in chez-Jimi, one of them, Sean- who probably knew the ins and outs of the inglorious mindfuck that was my recently deceased relationship better than anyone- let out a bellow of “yes Jimi!” He then proceeded to sing the duh-duh-duh-duh-duh bit out of ‘Kids’ again and again. I asked if she felt awkward, she said not really which was fine by me.
We went back out to rejoin the party, before alighting back at hers for another shag and a pass-out. In the morning I met her friends who were all equally as nice as her. I gave her my number and scuttled off, smug as a bag of carrots and not really expecting to see her again.
We fell in with the group camping next to us, and were having a lovely day so I avoided her texts. Night-time marched and my friend had bought some pills off some sorry-looking girl who looked like she’d been awake since Britpop. We went and sat by the bonfire, but an hour later the Es seemed to be duds and, cross with myself and our dead-eyed vendor, I texted Caroline.
my friend had bought some pills off some sorry-looking girl who looked like she’d been awake since Britpop
Not long later it turned out the dud pills weren’t dud at all, and I cheered and whooped as some fucking cob dressed as the Pied Piper danced across the fire. I found myself talking the arse off a lady who looked a bit like Patti Smith and wrote books on the occult. I told her I had written a book, based largely about me; she patted me on the head and said “of course you have, dear.” I started regretting texting Caroline.
I was sitting on my knees with my back to the fire and carried on chatting to Patti who was dreadfully nice, taking pity on my increasingly sideward state and rolled me cigarettes. My phone went again and it was Caroline saying she was here. I looked at it, put it back in my pocket and went back to hear something about banishings. 3 minutes later I got another text, from Sean, saying ‘Jim, look behind you.’ I turned round and it was Caroline, hovering over my shoulder, bouncing slightly from foot to foot and smiling nervously. I said hello over-excitedly, sat her down, introduced her to Patti and went to speak to Sean who was a few hay bales along and laughing.
“What’s so funny?”
“Do you know how long she was standing there?” Sean asked.
“She sent that text while she was standing behind you.”
“She said hello to us, then said you looked so involved in your conversation she didn’t want to just barge in and interrupt. She saw you read it and put it back in her pocket. She looked at me and I shrugged my shoulders- afterwards she just stood there until I text you.”
I looked over at Caroline who was looking over me, wide-eyed and terrified as Patti leant over towards the fire, spitting ash, brimstone and Satan-knows-what into the fire, and wildly punching her palm with her fist. I did a “shall we go?” So we went, with Sean in tow, and proceeded to wander the festival site, me and Sean talking mainly in code that she did her best to understand.
Patti leant over towards the fire, spitting fire, brimstone and Satan-knows-what into the fire
Eventually we got back to ours and our neighbours gave us a bag of ketamine which they weren’t going to finish, and we laid out some lines that you could have done chin-ups on. Caroline assured us that she had done it before, and happily gobbled up the chunkiest line. We were in Sean’s tent, and 15 minutes later she passed out face down on Sean’s mud-strewn wellies. He said he wanted to go to sleep, but I couldn’t wake her up so I had to drag her out unconscious by her hands, and lug her onto my blow-up. Obviously I didn’t try anything then. I’ve got my limits, honest guv.
In the morning, she asked me why she had mud smeared across her top and trousers; she was mortified when I told her (I figured I’d let her discover about the state of her face later). I thought it was funny then, and quite endearing in its own way. She hung about for a bit too long and eventually I told her we were going to pack up now, and asked her if her friends might not be worrying her. She got the hint and I waved her off with a cheery toodle-do, and told her she had my number if she wanted to give me a bell in London. In retrospect it would have been more of a declaration of honest intent if I’d asked for hers as well. 2 minutes after she went Sean popped his head out and said: “You cold, callous bastard.”