M Describes the various characters that turn up to Al’s parties.
He both describes them directly, but also in conversation with those he went to the parties with.
One morning, whilst walking back to their house, the group discuss one character that hangs around so long after parties that it appears he doesn’t return home.
Al turns up unannounced, a few weeks later, and declares to M that they’re going to have lunch in central.
M suggests getting the tube but Al insists on taking a taxi.
During the taxi ride, Al asks M who he’s been talking to at the parties.
M explains that he rarely remembers much from the parties, as they’re usually a little hectic.
Al explains that a lot of people, even the friends that attend his parties, tend to bad-mouth him.
He details his past, explaining that he’d like to set the record straight.
He went to University in the states, fell i love with the culture, and tries to recreates that as best as he can now that he lives in London.
He left Uni early, but is not clear about why.
He explains that things seem to come easily to him, including money and sex, and that this often results in resentment from others.
In testament to this, Al explains how numerous times the house has had the police at the door due to complaints from the neighbors about the noise. And they haven’t had a party investigated, shut down or any drug checks ever. The police calls have never resulted in anything.
He goes on to say how his neighbors, unbelievably, are still overly friendly, despite the frequent noise problems.
Once in central with Al, M is introduced to a cockney geezer named Craig.
Craig is a professional poker player.
It is also openly discussed that Craig is a dealer, although whether or not Al had done business with Craig is left unclear.
Later when talking with Z, she talks about going to Uni with M’s cousin V.
There, V had had a boyfriend that left her to return to studying in the states,
They had tried to make it work long distance but it fell apart over MSN messenger.
Z hadn’t realised Al had studied abroad.
Z explains that Z had briefly been in contact with the boyfriend a week before she married T.
It wasn’t a coincidence that Al moved back to London, despite being in love with the US and living there.
Z says that, having spoken to Al briefly on the phone and bringing the situation up, that Al wants to organise a surprise reunion at one of his parties, ad if M and Z could bring V along.
Z: Hey babe.
Z: How was your trip over?
M: Super Awkward. T got on the same train.
Z: T’s here?
Z: So what happened? When did he get on?
M: King’s Cross. I switched at Baker Street, and then he got on at King’s Cross…
Z: What was he doing in King’s Cross?
M: Is he not allowed out of Kensington? He got on with a girl. He was clearly weirded out that I was on the tube, super uncomfortable, he says “Hello M. This is H. H this is M. V’s cousin. Where are you headed M?” I say…
Z: Who’s this H? Do you think that’s the girl? Is she here at the party? I will fucking kill that bitch.
M: I don’t know. The weren’t holding hands, or close or anything when they got on the train. He looked uncomfortable though. I said “I’m meeting Z at a house party in Shoreditch.” He looked like he was going to fucking die. Goes completely pale, breathing slows. Says, “Coooool” really slowly, “Not Kelly’s place?”
[int. Shoreditch house-share]
[K holds out fist]
M: Thanks bro. What’s this? Rizla?
K: Swallow it.
M: What does it do?
K: you’ll feel like your head is having a nice cuddle, and then you’ll want to go have a dance. If you’ve got enough energy to get off this sofa.
M: It hasn’t done anything.
K: It’ll take a few minutes to kick in.
[int. Dining Room]
M: Nice place V.
V: So where are you two living now?
Z: Still in Kensal Green, just in our own place now.
M: I can’t believe you never came and saw the old house.
V: I know! We’ve lived so close for so long and never managed to get organised. I’ve been busy at work, T’s been doing this new “house-husband” thing… So where in Kensal Green?
Z: Fairly close to the tube station.
M: It’s great for both of us. Means I can get up at 8.45 every day and be comfortably in work by 9.15.
V: And where is work?
M: A creative agency down by Trafalgar square.
V: You see, mum was supposed to tell me all of this. I’m clearly the worst and least sociable cousin in the world.
Z: So you’re not working T?
T: I’m between things. Since “Lactic” was sold I want to come up with a new App, see if this is more than a one trick Pony. Is there any room in the health sector you think?
Z: Always. I always thought an app for Doctors and their patients. A private social network while you’re in hospital…
T: Too small, not accessible enough to enough people. The reason Lactic was so good, and why I imagine both of you have it on your phones, is because anyone can use it and everyone does. They won’t use it forever though. Hence the sale. My phone’s buzzing, I’ll take this out on the balcony.
V: Who is it?
T: Work. It won’t take long.
V: Calling on Friday night?
[ T exits]
V: You two need a bit more meat, ill go grab it from the kitchen and you can serve yourselves.
Z: So that’s the other woman on the phone then.
Z: Part of our girly chat earlier. V thinks T’s cheating.
M: Mum said that’s happened before but It’s not spoken about outside the family.
Z: And she puts up with it?
[int. Hallway, Apartment block in Kensington.]
[Opening front door] V: Helloooooooo! You’re here! Welcome to our humble abode!
M: Hi Cuz.
V: Favourite cousin!
M: Favourite cousin…
[Shouting backwards into flat] V: T! M AND Z ARE HERE! T’s in the kitchen, not cooking, I’m the chef. He’s been watching/complaining whilst I’ve been slaving away… Anyway, in in in, Z, let me take your coat.
Z: Thank you.
V: M, go and find T for a beer, he might be putting the little one to bed, otherwise he’s ignored me and is sat watching telly. Z, girly-catch-up time!
[Int. O’Neill’s Pub, Carnaby Street]
M: …and then I’m shown around the house a bit, which became more of an ordeal when everything started to kick in.
P: Is this the party where someone blew up an oven?
M: How did they blow up the oven?
P: Maybe it was a microwave? Probably a microwave. I think someone was tripping and put a fork in, trying to heat up some noodles. Although that’s the kind of thing i would do even if I wasn’t high. Anyway, so was it that house?
M: So you’ve been to the place?
P: No. I was supposed to go but then had something else on. I think I knew a guy who was friends with someone in the house.
M: Small world, although with the amount of people living there there was a chance we’d be going to the same places.
P: So no, i didn’t go. What’s so great about this house?
M: First off, it’s massive. The whole project was inspired be this guy Al…
P: (Heard of him.)
M: …and he lived in the States for a year during Uni, lived in a Frat house…
P: I thought you had to pledge for those or something? Can a random Brit just turn up and be accepted? Seems weird that he could go over there and be living in a Fraternity house already.
M: Erm, he didn’t explain that.
P: So this house…
M: Massive entrance hall, huge staircase, one of those balconies that looks over the entrance hall. It’s all wooden pannelling inside, three stories high, those massive greecian pillars (collumns?) outside. It doesn’t look out of place against the other houses on the road, but it’s probably different to the others inside. I think he completely remodelled the inside…
P: Dude, sorry to interupt, I sort of asked out of politeness. You think you’re a little obsessed with this guy’s house?
M: Err, no, his house is rad. I want to move in.
P: Would Z be up for that?
M: I asked her, I think she would. Don’t think there are any rooms going. But, yeah so, you need to come to the next party!
P: How many rooms are there?
M: 25? 30? The loft is rooms too. They’re not tiny rooms either. Just a lack of loos.
P: Where is the house?
M: Up towards Kilburn/Cricklewood area.
[Z opens the door into a bedroom with a group of people huddle on a sofa, leaning over a table.]
Z: M, this is…
[she waits for Al to finish]
Z: …Al. Al, this is M. Right, my bit done, I’m off to find S.
Al: M, Z talks about you alot,[laughs] obviously. You having a good time?
M: Dude, your house is amazing! So it’s you and…?
Al: Some of the guys and girls downstairs, it’s easier if I just walk you round and introduce you. Although, it’s that thing where you meet everyone and then immediately forget all their names…
M: I get that. How do you afford this house? Where did the idea come from?
Al: I spent some time at Uni in the states, became obsessed with the Frat I was part of, Zeta Beta Alpha. Yeah, I say it “Zay-ta Bay-ta”! The accent thing rubs off… When I left Uni, I moved back, found a house and found a couple of friends willing to pay rent. Then we found an investor willing to buy it.
M: That must have been a tricky sell…
Al: Fortunately, whilst a lot of the time my mates are drunken drug-addicts, we have the ability to shape up and look respectable, should we need to meet important investors or, you know, for work and stuff.
M: Sweet, you mind if I leave my man-bag in here? I figured I’d fill my pockets with cans.
Al: Noproblems, I see you have an unusual beverage preference!
M: Ah yes, Home-brand Ruby Port, a grandparent introduced me to it. It gets me there really quick with none of the pain. I can’t drink vodka like the others can.
Al: I’ll lock the door on our way out, let me know if you need the key at any point.