5 On radio silence:
I haven’t posted at all since the 17th, and nothing interesting since the 15th. That’s nearly a week. That has never happened before. I feel a bit strange about the whole thing. I wonder why it happened. Anyway – potted history in the form of an unordered list:
- Tuesday 15th
After work I run to meet Fenner, an old friend from University at the Pitcher & Piano near Charing Cross Road. He has been out shopping for clothes for the X-men première. We have to fill in a little time before wandering around to the Odeon Leicester Square, which is a slightly daunting experience as there are huge crowds of people and metal fences and policemen surrounding the cinema. Eventually deciding to bite the bullet, we stride past the hoards of photographers and fans, realising that absolutely none of them are paying even the slightest attention to us. On our way into the cinema, we see an X-men actress (name not remembered) and a member of Five (name not remembered).
Before the film starts, the director walks out before the assembled throng. He looks about five years old, but, we remind ourselves, this is the man who directed the Usual Suspects, and who therefore must be pretty cool. After a very brief speech, he calls most of the actors and actresses from the wings, who come on to applause. The applause is all fairly muted until Halle Berry comes out, but even her response is completely overwhelmed by the astonishing applause for Patrick Stewart. He looks mildly awkward about the whole thing.
The film is really pretty good – the atmosphere of the comic book is captured pretty well, Ian McKellan makes a pleasingly evil Magneto, and even Wolverine is pretty good. Best lines of the film come exclusively from Wolverine and are: “My, this is a big round room…” and “You’re a dick…”
The party afterwards is astonishing. The Roundhouse is a huge circular building, as you might expect. In the centre of the room is a podium about large enough for two people to stand on simultaneously. Above the podium is a huge white sphere with images projected upon it swirling and shifting to the techno music around it. Surrounding this hub is a circular bar, where free drinks are served. Equally spaced around the hub of the bar are four spokes, each one of which is used as a high table, which people sit around, slurping on their free drinks. About half way down each one of these spokes is a set of stairs on each side, so you can walk up onto them and see what is happening around the room.
Each quarter of the room (as divided by the spokes) has different things in it. One has a fully functional free sushi bar with conveyer belt. One has a couple of performance art pieces (two people hanging from the ceiling in sheets, a person inside a huge white sphere with only their shadows visible as they dance. On the central podium a woman dances in flourescent clothes, with a metal plate on her chest. Occasionally she rubs a power sander over it and sparks fly across the room in a great big arc. The whole party is, needless to say, astonishing.
Theme of the day: Tom likes to be over-stimulated.
- Wednesday 16th
Unbelievably hungover, I still manage to get to work, where everything is extremely aggravating.
Theme of the day: Tom finds work frustrating.
- Thursday 17th
For the second night running I think that I stay at home. To be honest I can’t remember, which is probably not a good sign.
Theme of the day: Tom finds work unsatisfying and exhausting.
- Friday 18th
I’m finally recovered from the première party just in time for Rhonda’s work leaving party. In fact this clashes with Fenner’s birthday party, and I decide that I can probably manage both in one evening. During the day, Francesca, Matt and I buy her a Suffolk Survival Kit (pens, paper, champagne, Kinder eggs, keyrings, badges etc. all in a novelty fake fur camoflage case), a book on Architecture and a Polaroid camera. In the evening we all get really drunk. I have a lovely time until about ten, when I suddenly realise that I am the only gay person in the room, and while everyone else is allowed to get a roving eye at this point, I am supposed to just sit there being witty and/or drunk. Suddenly frustrated by this state of affairs I leave drunkenly to head over to the next party. But before very long, I realise that my sleepiness, drunkeness and newfound beligerence are probably not required. So I go home and sleep.
Theme of the day: Tom feels slightly deserted and is a bit overwhelmed by people.
- Saturday 19th
Get up early and head to Huntingdon (1 hour train journey) to see some old friends from school that I have seen once in about three years. We agreed to see X-men before I knew I was going to get to go to the première. On the way up on the train, I get to within a hundred pages of the end of the fourth Harry Potter novel (despite my hungover state). When I arrive, Glyn and Simon arrive and I am delivered back to Simon’s house where their respective partners (married, engaged) are waiting for us. Feeling mildly fifth wheelish we head off to the cinema, everyone likes the film, we go and eat in a strange theme restaurant, we get out The Iron Giant on video, I get back on the train and get back to London around midnight. Exhausted, but with Harry Potter finished. Have read all four Harry Potter novels in eight days.
Theme of the day: Tom has a cool time, but feels like a bit of a freak.
- Sunday 20th
I start the day by catching up on some well earned sleep, but by lunchtime my flatmates have summoned me to Selfridges. Kate wants to buy herself a dress for the Snatch première which she worked on. Mella and I are also invited. General opinion seems to be that I should buy some new clothes although I have absolutely no money whatsoever. After three hours we finally return to the flat, Kate with a £305 dress, and me with £20 worth of dubious foodstuffs from the foodhall. I shower immediately, throw myself in Nick’s car and he drives us both to Toby’s housewarming party in Swiss Cottage. I am asleep until given large amounts of caffeine, and then bouncy until it wears off. I see many of my oldest and closest friends, say a few stupid tactless things and quite a few intelligent, amusing things (I think), and try not to make scathing comments about people I don’t like. I return home and flop into bed exhausted.
Theme of the day: Tom loves his friends, but wishes there was more time for just sleeping.
- Monday 21st
My new Buffy the Vampire Slayer box-set arrives to my delight. David, my boss, is returning from holiday, to my delight. I have written in my weblog, to my delight.
Theme of the day: Tom thinks things might get a little less confusing now…