Friday 4 January 2013

' Mr X ' - (2/2)

Now, as promised, I shall continue the bombastic tale....

The week's wait was even more agonising than before. 

We'd arranged to meet at London Bridge station at 9.15pm but then hadn't spoken during the week. 

What would I do if he just didn't show up? What if I heard nothing from him then Friday came, should I still go? Should I call? I tried to mentally prepare myself the best I could. From a whole wealth of experience of being let down in the past, I'd learnt that hope can be the most beautiful and painful thing simultaneously.

 Growing into the prematurely cynical old woman I am now, I'd learnt that if you are going to dream big and hope wildly, then you have to give yourself an equally as big buffer of, mostly-pessimistic reality - otherwise you're only going to lead yourself into destruction. So I spent the week forcing myself to be patient, to expect nothing... but of course, wildly fantasising to ridiculous proportions the entire time.

I was rewarded when on Friday he text me to confirm the details of the night and said he was looking forward to it. The usual squealing/ skipping/ butterflies ensued. 

I got myself all ready and even created a playlist of happy songs to listen to on the train into London, making sure all the songs were in a precise order of increasing cheeriness so I arrived in the most jovial of moods. (Although I didn't need the music for that.)

It was just as the train pulled into London Bridge that I got a text from him, beginning "Hey, I'm really sorry...." and my heart plummeted like a stone. I knew it was too good to be true. But I forced myself to read on. "...but I've got held up helping a friend out at a gig in Covent Garden. Would it be too much trouble to meet me here? x"

I beamed, heading for the underground, chastising my quick cynicism. 

As I came out of the underground station he called me, and I spoke to him on the phone for the first time. 

He said he was standing by the Oakley store. Still on the phone, I turned the corner by the market and saw him. 

As it was mid-summer, the sun was still peeking just above the buildings, bathing Covent Garden in a warm, delicate, golden glow. Happy crowds still filled the streets and the surrounding bars were packed full of music and laughing people. 

He looked gorgeous, as usual and was smiling from ear to ear.

"Hey you," He smiled as I approached him, and he kissed me on the cheek. We began to walk side by side. "I'm sorry to be such a pain but the other act didn't turn up so I have to stay a bit longer and go on again, is that okay?" I said of course it was fine, and he led me toward a white door in the wall next to a restaurant.

 "Here." he said.

We went through the door and walked down a long, dark corridor. 

There were muffled sounds of music, laughter and people, but I couldn't work out where from. 

At the end of the corridor and to the right was a tight spiral staircase which descended downwards. He quickly disappeared down it and I followed. The staircase spiralled and spiralled (not unlike Covent Garden tube station's godforsaken steps) but eventually opened out into this huge underground space, a bit like a cave. 

At one end was a stage with lights and glittering curtains, before a series of chairs in neat lines holding a lot of happy looking humans, then the sound deck, a bar, and a small corner booth which made up the 'VIP area.'

"This place is incredible," I said.

"Welcome to the Top Secret Comedy Club." he smiled, getting us both a drink from the bar.  

We sat down in the VIP area (!) and he pulled out a notebook that was bursting at the seams with random pieces of paper and scrawled handwriting. "I have to now quickly put together some material I can use for my second go up there" he gestured at the stage with his pen, "I promise I'm not this anti-social normally" I smiled and said that I really didn't mind. 

In fact, it was quite intriguing watching him flip through pages and pages of his work, frantically scribbling things down.

Suddenly, "Ladies and Gentleman, would you put your hands together, for the second time tonight - aren't you Ladies in for a treat - for Mr X!" He flashed me a mock panicked look and I giggled, before he grabbed his stuff and bounded over to the stage.

I quickly realised that he was performing the same routine as he'd done on the well-known comedy show that I'd seen him on, the routine that had prompted me to send him that tweet.

 I even did a tiny little out loud laugh to myself as I simply marvelled at what had happened since. Like seriously, WHAT?!

I watched him in amusement and a few people stole curious glances at me. The manager of the club even came over and shook my hand with a warm smile and a "Are you with Mr X?" to which I had the sheer and divine pleasure of confirming that yes, yes I definitely was here with Mr X.

After his routine, the crowd - mainly comprised of middle-aged women - went crazy for him, continuing on the applause way past the point of awkwardly lengthy. It was brilliant. 

He came back to the VIP area, bringing with him two of his stand-up comedian friends, an incredibly camp and notoriously sarcastic American comedian who I shall call Sammy J, and an either very drunk or just ridiculously happy woman I shall call Lucille. 

Mr X got in a round of drinks and we all sat, chatted and laughed. Then, (and I know this whole situation is going to sound like it is genuinely too movie-like to have ever happened, and this bit even more so, but I SWEAR IT DID) Sammy J drops the incredible straight-out-of-a-movie-script line "So how did you two meet?"

Mr X and I both look at each other and grin before he says, "Oh... just through gigs and... stuff." His unintentional stress on the last word left a gloriously awkward implied innuendo in the air and they both looked at us with raised eyebrows, before Sammy J, in the most over the top camp voice ever, says "Well fuck me, it's a modern day fucking Shakespeare." and we all fell about laughing.


 It was so bewildering to be sat with them. 

Not only were they quite big celebrities, but they all had such big personalities too. 

Now, never one to be modest and/or shy, I've always considered myself to have quite a strong personality. But around them I just felt dwarfed. In my head I hoped I hadn't come across as boring. 

I spent about an hour drinking with the comedians before Mr X asked if I was hungry and we agreed go get something to eat together. We left the Top Secret Comedy club and wandered slowly through the cobbled streets. 

Neither of us were too hungry, so instead he took me to this place which he called 'his favourite place in London'. It was a frozen yogurt shop called 'Snog' and was an absolute spectacle. It was decorated like a neon spaceship, with white plastic shiny walls, floors and counters and a huge multicoloured neon light tree in the middle of the store - its 'roots' of which spread out in glowing rainbow ropes across the floors and walls. The leaves of the tree were like dangling multicoloured icicles and a large swirling pattern of birds and toadstools sprawled out across the wall.

"Everyone always says I probably like it here so much because its what the inside of my brain looks like" he smiled. He bought us both the most epic looking frozen yogurt pots ever and we began to walk down through The Strand toward the river. 

Somehow we got talking about our families and he mused about how whenever his Mum reads anything bad about him on the Internet or in the newspapers, the first thing she does is phone him to ask if he was okay. 

We laughed.

When we got to the river, we found a cute little bench under a lamppost. As it was pre-2012-Olympic London, the place was spotless and beautiful. A string of simple white fairy lights had been strung from lamppost to lamppost, and paired with the last remnants of the daylight colourfully streaking the skymand an uncharacteristically still Thames, we could have been anywhere on the planet at that moment. 

I remembered I had his hoodie with me, and also one that I'd made. It was a simple grey jumper that I'd painted a pastel galaxy of stars on in fabric paint, and it did look pretty damned impressive. He thought it was incredible and said that we should swap.

"I tell you what, I'll make sure to wear it on the next show I'm on, and if you're watching you can say 'That's my hoodie!' " This pleased me greatly.

It was getting a bit nppy and we put on our respective jumpers. 

He kept looking down at it and running his hands over the galaxy. "It's actually awesome." he said and I thanked him. Then he looked up at me and I realised just how close his face was to mine. "You're very talented." he said quietly. 

My heart was pretty much having a full on brawl with itself inside my chest, and with a flicker of a gaze to my lips and a slow, soft hand against the left side of my face, pushing his fingers through my hair...

He kissed me.


We stayed by the riverside for ages, talking, telling stories and of course, a cheeky smooch here and then. I didn't feel nervous or like a fangirl anymore, it was just as if I was talking to my best friend back at home. 

Then Big Ben struck 1am.


"What is it?"

"I've definitely just missed the last train home"

"Ah, are you sure?"

"Mhmm, 00:32am was the last"



We sat in silence for a few moments, both thinking the same thing. 

As much as I wanted literally nothing more in the entire world than to go back to his, I was a wee bit concerned as to how that would turn out. At the end of the day, he was definitely still a stranger. It would be dangerous. But... then again, I wasn't a fool. I did know how to look after myself. Plus I had flat shoes on so I could totally run away with ease if he turned out to be a psycho murdered, so I reconciled I was all good. 

 He said:

"Well, you could always just come chill back at mine... I mean, you don't have to or anything, but... We could just watch a movie or something, just chill out. Just saves us waiting out here for the next three hours!"

I weighed up the options in my head, but I knew that I'd never be able to live it down if I never saw him again and I missed the chance to have a peek around his house. 

So I said thank you and agreed. 

"Only problem is..." He began and warning bells sounded instantly. 

He's got corpses stacked in the closet. 

He's got ten secret children. 

He's got a Rottweiler with a taste for human flesh. 

"...I rode my bike here. Shit I didn't even think... Wait... I've got a plan" Then he took my hand and together we laughed breathlessly back up to Covent Garden, pausing only for him to kiss me quickly then carry on running. 

He grabbed his bike and we walked across Waterloo bridge to the bus stop overlooking the National Theatre and the South Bank. 

While we stood there, he leant his bike against the wall, wrapped his arms around me and kissed me on the forehead. It was so cute that I actually wanted to be sick. This had been the most perfect night of my entire life. 
"Okay, the plan is," he began ,"You jump on the bus, then I'll put in my bluetooth ear piece, and I'll call you while you're on the bus telling you where to get off, and I'll be just behind, okay?"

I laughed "Got it".


It turned out to be one of the most hilarious and memorable experiences of my summer. 

After strolling completely obliviously onto this bus without paying a single penny in fare, I took a seat by the window, having no clue where I was headed. 

The bus pulled away winding quickly through streets and I began to panic. Then my phone rings. It's incredibly noisy and his voice is loud and crackly.

"Where are you?!" I ask "You know I have genuinely have no idea where I'm going, right."

"Just.... wait...two....more...seconds..."

"For what? Are you behind the bus?" 

It was then that something to the left of me catches my eye, and I look out the window to see him pedalling furiously alongside the bus right next to me, smiling and waving.

"Told you I was here!" I see him say, and hear through the phone. 

I laugh a lot.


His place was beautiful. It was in a block of sparkling white limestone apartments, surrounded by beautifully crafted black wrought iron fencing. His was the ground floor apartment and was pretty much taken straight out of the catalogue in my brain of what I want my life to look like when I am older.

His apartment was lined with rustic cream floorboards with the bathroom and kitchen on the right of the front door, the living room to the left, and two bedrooms at the end of the hall. 

The living room was huge with a big scarlet red feature wall holding a television the size of a small car. 

On either side of the feature wall were two alcoves, one holding countless DVD's and books, and the other holding rack after rack of pairs of trainers. There must have been about 50 pairs of shoes in all different colours, it was pretty impressive. 

There was a fluffy cream rug which held a coffee table in the middle of the room and an L-shaped brown leather sofa. On the wall opposite the TV there was a huge whiteboard resting on the top of the sofa, full with random words and phrases, stories and notes about his stand-up material. All the surrounding walls were full of posters of his gigs and shows, and pictures of him with various celebrities. There was so much life in one room.

We stayed up watching TV and talking for ages before we realised the time. There was a little, awkward "Do you wanna... see my room?" and he showed me round the flat. He apologised for the mess (there were loads of really awesome Victorian-style trunks stacked up in his hallway, they looked like they were from the Titanic) and told me that he'd just got a new roommate who was a famous actor, and he was still moving his stuff in. He was away, filming on location somewhere. 

My curiosity was unbearable but I chose not to question further. 

His room was even more amazing. 

He had a huge double bed which took up most of the room, then a slider wardrobe full to bursting with clothes still in packaging, and a small desk. 

He had purple velvety wallpaper (hilariously the same wallpaper as my ex-boyfriend) and there were three guitars mounted on the walls. We sat on his bed and he said he had to quickly check his schedule for the next days filming. He showed me his google calendar of all the things he had going on and I was genuinely struck dumb by just how busy he was. 

He then told me about three new shows he had to start soon and the Edinburgh Fringe festival which he would be away for, for the whole of summer. He showed me some clips of the American version of this shows they were producing before we realised it was nearly 4am. 

Now, this next bit was the bit I came to a bit of a block with.

 I spoke to my friend about this and asked if I should omit it, or just gloss over it, but she said that the reason why people like reading Scarphelia is because I'm totally honest and don't try and hide anything. So by not re-telling it exactly how it happened that would be cheating my readership. So Daddy, if you're reading this, skip all of this next paragraph please!

We climbed under the sheets in the darkness and laid next to one another. 

My heart was pounding uncontrollably and what made me smile was I could hear his going crazy in his breathing too. He reached out and with one hand pulled my face toward his, and the other slipped around my waist, pulling my body toward his. 

I don't think we got to sleep until about 8am.

 We didn't sleep together, however. 

I think regardless of how things played out after, I would have regretted that if I had, but what did happen.... well, I'll let your imaginations fill in the blanks, you filthy bunch. 

There, I didn't omit it! 


Unfortunately, however incredible the series of events were, a week later he had to go up to the Edinburgh Fringe for a month and a half and I had to go back to my life. 

We made a few halfhearted plans to go out again when he returned, but to be honest, it just sort of fizzled out. But really, that was only to be expected. Obviously I would have loved for it to continue, and we did have an incredible time, but seeing first-hand just how busy he was, and considering his job and my situation at uni, it's not exactly like we were going to chuck in our whole lives and run away with each other into the sunset. 

Because, however much it didn't seem like it at the time, this was in fact, reality. 

But the real purpose of me telling this story (apart from to shamelessly brag about HOW RIDICULOUS AND AMAZING IT WAS) was that, when I was sat drinking with his famous friends, when I stood in his incredible London apartment, when I talked to him about his job in television, on stage and in the limelight, it became so evidently clear to me that he had the life which I had wanted for my entire life. 

So, regardless of how things turned out in the end, that whole experience was life-changing for me. 

That was when I realised that living that life was possible, and if I wanted the life that I'd just experienced with someone who lived it all the time, then I had to do something about it, and I had to do something NOW.

Time would not wait for me to figure out my exact plan of everything I was going to do. 

If I wanted to achieve my dream then I needed to start from the bottom and work my way up. I need to get as much experience and contacts and possible, and I could figure out my plan on the way. If I wanted to 'make it'... I needed to deserve it.

But at the end of the day, yes, that's how the phrase 'If you don't ask, you don't get' got me two dates with a celebrity, and changed my life forever.

P.s to this day, Harry is still annoyed at me for not sleeping with him hahaha.