Subtitle: What's A Scrawny Raving Freak Like You Doing In A Nice Place Like This?
Whilst waiting for My Mate Milly last night en route to an artsy magazine launch (because we're proud, proud media wankers), I grabbed a beer and a crossword and perched at a table at the Three Weeds in Paddington.
I was halfway through entering the word "tarragon" as the answer to 3-down, when a young gent, skateboard under arm, sat down and didn't introduce himself.
Sipping his water, he started quite well, saying that I looked like a strong, secure, beautiful girl – words which any young woman enjoys hearing at any time.
Unfortunately it all went a bit pear from there.
He started rambling. It all really came at me in a speedily-expressed, unpunctuated rush, but I'll try to capture the key points:
· He believes in the power of positivity. Any time I disagreed with him, I was apparently "embracing negativity".
· On the way out tonight, he gave a girl on the train a box, and promised her bananas and pineapples.
· One of his parents was in the military, and the other was in the ministry. He thinks Jesus might be okay. He's very spiritual.
· He asked me to define 'love'. I said "That's like trying to define 'funny'". He said "Love is power. Love is dolphins. Love is rainbows". I argued that he was just describing love, not defining it. He said I was embracing negativity.
· He used to drink and take drugs and be bad, but he's trying to be good now. Because his mum came to stay, so he doesn't hate her anymore.
· He thinks he'd make an excellent television star.
· He's a musician, and when he's famous, I'll see that I was wrong about him. Would I like to hear one of his songs? No. How about just some of the lyrics, then? More dolphins.
· He wasn't forthcoming with his age, but apparently I look great for mine. But I shouldn't call myself an "old bitch". That's embracing negativity, see.
· He's still in love with a girl after nine years, so he's clinging onto that dream. I should cling onto mine.
When Milly finally arrived, he got up to leave, stopping to ask a final question. "Milly," he said, "Why do the stars shine?".
"Because they're on fire", said Milly.
I would normally shoo away a raving nutter who invites themself to my table mid-crossword, but he was harmless enough, so I indulged him. Every now and again, you have to stop and smell the dolphins.