I just wanna know if Bran was that horse

I. AM. BUSHED.

Throw your expectations out the window. Let’s see, what expectations can I give you here? We just got back from our cottage, so I might go on about that. Game of Thrones just ended, so I will talk about that [consider this entry to be a big ol’ spoiler. You’ve been warned]. Who knows what else? I’m making it up as I go along, as per usual.

It was bittersweet to say goodbye to the palatial country home that’d become our abode over the weekend. Frankly, I think we were all tired enough that we just wanted to get home. At the same time, getting into a car was a curtain call to vacation. Work was on the horizon (and still is, so you’re not worried about tenses here), and traffic came first. We spent the morning in varying states of busy-ness. The gals all went out on a horse ride with the onsite saddle club. They learned to ride, had a brush up on techniques, then had a little trail walk. As the three guys left at home, we fixed drinks, snacked and generally cleaned as we went. Unloading the dishwasher, clearing people’s stuff out of the various areas, sweeping for anything left behind. We did dishes, took stock of the fridge inventory and also lay back checking out Game of Thrones memes. We had a late checkout and the time to do things at our own pace. As far as cleanups go, it was pretty damn effortless.

Okay, Game of Thrones finale time. It happened, it’s done. We got a lot of contemplative shots of Tyrion walking around the rubble of the city. He also got to have an extensive monologue that seemed built from the cutting room of The Quality of Mercy and any number of wedding speeches that started “Websters dictionary defines _________ as…”. It felt lazy, plodding and overly indulgent. What was up with all the time jumps, going instantly from Jon killing Dany to the small council. You’d think such an action would’ve thrust the remainder of Dany’s forces into some kind of civil war or upheaval. Was it just too hard to write that conflict? It was all a little convenient. With no remaining Westerosi leadership from Dany’s advisors, how did they gather all the leaders? Would the unsullied have wanted to negotiate? Did Grey Worm really have an agenda beyond Jon being punished? All interesting questions that probably got cut through time and budget concerns. What narrative purpose did Arya really serve post Night King assassination? Was it just so her arc of revenge could close with The Hound’s arc coming full circle?

Why Bran as king? Are we to believe that he has any desires and motivation? Didn’t he leave that all behind as the The Eyed Raven? Wouldn’t it make more sense to install someone with the qualities of a leader, and for Bran to provide assistance? Wouldn’t Sansa have made an exponentially better ruler? Or are we supposed to believe that Bran specifically played the game, orchestrating events subtly to bring himself to that position? My thought is that if they wanted the Bran storyline to be truly convincing, they could’ve given him some barely noticable tell when he was warg-ed. Maybe uniquely coloured eyes or something. Then eagle eyed viewers could’ve noticed that he’d been subtly influencing outcomes in the background of the series, and actioning his own ascendance. But the show made him out to be overly passive and dismissive. If the thought was that he’d learned how to climb the ladder of chaos, the writers didn’t make this terribly apparent.

Oh well, it’s over, and we can all fixate on something else now. Failing anything, that’s some small mercy. Perhaps we’ll see Hollywood take a chance on other beloved fantasy franchises. Maybe they’ll finally adapt Wheel of Time and discover the horror of their hubris. Give the nerds (myself included, obviously) something else to complain about. Oh yeah, did you hear the Game of Thrones writers are tackling Star Wars next? This is perfect. I’m sure there’s bound to be no backlash at all.

Wait, so is Arya a WesterWesterosi now?

Advertisements

Ice cream and granola is my ascendance to divinity

Oh, don’t mind me. Just testing the limits of hedonism here.

I’m on vacation, and apparently that means I’m inhabiting my trashbag persona to the max. I’ve been downing Maple Bacon Moonshine Caesars and Jaegar/Mountain Dew all weekend. Coffee has come spiked with Butterscotch Schnapps. Yesterday I lay on my back outside with my eyes closed, listening to the natural soundscape play scenes around me, enjoying a gentle pull of CBD weed from my vape. This morning I had ice cream and granola for breakfast. This weekend is defined by “what do I want?” and “when do I want it?” Without time constraints, I’ve been able to drift as I desire, doing what I want and enjoying the inherent freedom. My vacation, apparently, is from any stress. Who knew that I had any?

By our second morning here, the place has found a sense of equilibrium. None of us are 20 years old, we generally clean up after ourselves. At intervals throughout the night, people go around and pick up empty cans. We’re running the dishwasher once or twice a day, making sure we have enough plates and cutlery. Or, more realistically, cups. There’s a loose notion of “tidy as you go”, or “last up cleans up”, that means we’re not stewing in our own filth. I’m a trashbag, but a responsible one. It’s kinda nice to be at this point of life, where we can all party without instantly creating a hovel.

It’s been awesome to have such a mix of personalities, and flowing between activities. There’s usually someone hanging outside by the stream, or having a smoke. The gaming room has a big ol’ comfy couch, where people hang out. The kitchen lounge has a table with people clacking away at their keyboards, taking care of errant work with a drink by their side. Someone is usually preparing a shareable snack of some variety. There’s often leftover food that people offer up to others. There’s abundance everywhere, and it’s amazing to be able to offer and share. Oh, and the hens lay fresh eggs we’re able to take and eat. All needs being met at all times.

Speaking of which, it’s about time I started with an afternoon drink. Hedonism demands that I finish up and sit back.

Sorry, them’s the rules.

Goat see, goat do

Oh hi there. I’m currently in vacation mode, which is basically my Fun Dad setting. Won’t you come and join me?

The first thing you’ll notice upon arriving at the property is that yes, this very much is a Saddle Club. You’re in horse country now, buddy. Passing through the lengthy driveway you’ll see that you’re flanked by large fields. Large horse fields, to be more precise. Horse fields with real, bona fide horses roaming around, eating hay mostly. At the top of the driveway sits a large barn, smaller barn, little red cottage and enormous house. There are fields stretching on as far as the eye can see. More pens with an assortment of animals. Goats, a pig, two sheep and three alpacas. Chickens, rabbits and ducks, oh my. There’s a small pond with a few geese loaming closeby. The property backs onto a tiny trickling stream complete with rock features. It’s eerily idyllic. The stage set for a horror film. Act 1 begins.

Entering the house, you’ll notice that when they said it was horse country, they weren’t fucking around. There’s a photogenic horse on the front door, horse wallpaper, paintings of horses, a horse towel holder. The children’s bedroom on the ground floor has no less than four horse toys. They committed hard to the theme. It’s hard to really fathom just how huge this house is. Lofty ceilings grace every room on the ground floor. It seems they had too much space, and made any number of lounges with variations on a theme. There’s the smoking room up the front, with leather chairs of a rich mahogany, fireplace along the wall. Another fireplace sits at the centre of the kitchen lounge, which not only has a couch and chairs, but a little table complete with pew style seating. This will not be the last table you see, ’cause there’s also a dining room (with additional lounge) and gaming room. Air Hockey, Croconole, PS3, dartboard, karaoke machine and Beer Pong table. The listing specifically said this was not a party house.

Look, it’s a fucking mansion. It’s ridiculous. The rooms all have 2-3 beds, and they’re spacious. Ammenities plus, a fridge with all the extra settings. There’s a Google Home (which paranoid ol’ me just instantly disconnected), all the kitchen gadgets, central heating, large clawfoot bath. We can actually go right up to the animals and hang out. There are staff on the wider property during the day If they’re around, we can go into the animals’ pens and pat them. Do you know how goddamn fluffy an alpaca is? I do, because I went right up and pet one. It quickly retaliated by kicking my leg, but it was worth it. I spent a long time hanging out with the horses, and they’re all super friendly. I got to feel a goat’s goatee, and look directly into the weird sauron’s eye that is a goat asshole. I cradled a bunny in my arms. This place is magic incarnate and everything I needed.

I hope the takeaway here isn’t that I needed to peer into a goat’s asshole.

Imagination, life is your creation

Oh, I am well off my rocker today.

I woke up too early, started working from home, took my meds, ate not a lot, drank lots of coffee, and now my brain is being pulled in at least 11 directions at once. So let’s go with that. We’re leaving for the cottage in roughly 150 minutes, and neither my girlfriend nor I have packed. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve intermittently walked around the house ranting about irreverent things, and every once in a while I’ve dropped clothing onto a pile on my bed. It’s kind of packing. But also I’ve been working at the same time. And planning logistics with my girlfriend. And digging into old Ricky Gervais 80s popstar clips. And contemplating what I need to pack to go to a farm, when we’re probably gonna be stymied by shitty weather, spending most of it inside. Also it’s a working farm with animals. I’ll get to meet my first alpaca. So I possibly need to consider packing extra undies lest I shit my pants out of excitement.

It’s gonna be a full on weekend.

We’re driving down in my friend’s adorable pink VW convertible. It’s the epitome of a Barbie car, and it’s awesome. There’s also limited space, so that’s a concern. I might not be able to fit my 1kg tub of kimchi, which is where most of the concern kicks in. What happens when I get a craving that only fermented cabbage can satisfy? At this point in my life, I’m eating irresponsible quantities of it daily. Perhaps a weekend intervention is wise. If the weather is nice and we get to roll down the roof of the Barbie car, maybe that’ll make up for it. If nothing else, the rush of wind through my hair, communing with nature at its most spirited, will remind me that there’s life beyond impeccably spiced vinegary deliciousness. Mostly. I’ll still want kimchi, obviously. I have a problem and I’m not convinced I can stop any time.

The cottage has WiFi, so while I’m not gonna be spending a ton of time on the internet, rest assured that my entries will be coming hot and fast off the press with their usual lackadaisical timeliness. Expect very little from them, because I’m likely to be hungover, immensely tired or having my arteries filled to the brim with complex carbohydrates. I might even let loose, eat granola for breakfast, y’know? Get a little crazy. I don’t think we’ll approach Montreal levels of bread toxicity, but it’s not outside the realms of possibility.

More than anything, I’m tremendously excited for a weekend of unplugging from routine and spending intimate time with friends. There’s an element of headroom, where without having to think about scheduling, transit needs and all those other tethers keeping me locked down, I get a bit of my brain back. It sounds lofty, I know, but I always notice it when I’m on holiday or unencumbered by timelines. I feel more free to be myself (which says something, coming from my usual manic personality), and generally inhabit my mind more consciously. Three whole days of it. I can’t wait.

And I won’t have to for long, because I’ve been fucking around a bunch while writing this. Crunch time, see y’all.

You may ask yourself, where does that highway go to?

How often do you live an alternate existence?

In peak “Once in a Lifetime”, I took in my surroundings and wondered how did I get here? I did a macro level zoom out and rewind. My friend and I were lying on wooden benches in a homey log cabin sauna. The sauna was inside an idyllic Russian bathhouse facility. Said facility was inside a larger warehouse. The warehouse was down a sketchy alleyway behind a block of strip mall shopping. The strip mall was in the middle of nowhere (Mississauga). The path to get there was strange and meandering. We’d smoked a joint in the parking lot, after having taken the local bus system from Islington station, near the end of the western subway line. I’d written on the subway heading out there, using my time efficiently. Before we got on the subway, we stopped off at a local weed store and grabbed the aforementioned joint. This coming after we ducked into my friend’s childhood home so she could grab a swimsuit. I’d been looking for one out and about, but no dice. We even checked Dollarama, where a homeless dude sweetly asked if we’d mind buying him a drink. We said sure, so he came with us and chose a pepsi from the fridge, mildly asking if we’d mind getting him some granola bars too. No swimsuit, but it was nice to do something for a stranger in need of help. This entire adventure, of course, was inspired by lying around on couches at a tea room and spontaneously deciding to try something different.

What a novel, stimulating and grossly ideal evening. The Russian bathhouse was a wholly different experience for me. I have so much trouble relaxing and taking time to chill out. At this place, there was literally nothing else to do. It was an extravagant night where I put a fear of costs aside in lieu of soaking up everything sensory. We were already relaxed from our trashy parking lot joint, and checked in at the counter. They gave us each locker RFID armbands, a towel and a bathrobe. I didn’t have any togs, but the lady behind the counter said there was a big basket of clean ones I could borrow from. We changed into our fluffy robes, then made a beeline for the restaurant.

The food was hearty and warming. We each ordered a bowl of borscht and split a plate of dumplings. The borscht was warming with a tingling sour nature. The dumplings were teensy meat pockets covered in sour cream. We dropped a couple into the soup and stirred in the cream, thickening it up. The combo was a real dream team. Even better, my friend suggested pairing it with Kvas, a Russian drink made from fermented rye bread. It was crisp and refreshing. Like a cider without that weird saccharine aftertaste. They added the bill to our RFID bracelets and, with full bellies, we set out to enjoy the bathhouse’s delights.

First was the sauna, a wooden room styled after a country log cabin. At the front was a big oven contraption. A ladle hung next to a bowl of water. To head the place up, all one needed to do was open the oven and spoon in some water. It was warm without threat of suffocation. We lay down, stretched a bit, and eavesdropped on most everyone hanging out there. Outside the sauna was a small courtyard. In one corner were chairs for people to lounge on at room temperature. A freestanding shower stood in another corner, and a chilled pool was inlaid outside the sauna. It was bitingly cold. We went in for maybe 10 seconds, then came out freezing. We let our bodies acclimate, then went back in for longer. Maybe 30 seconds the second time. It was such a strange and electrifying feeling, bodies adjusting to the polarised temperatures. It felt like a pleasant prickling sensation spreading throughout my extremities. Little spots of cold manifesting, warming gradually. We next tried the steam room, a beautifully tiled spot with a lovely blue hue. It was pretty damn hot, contrasting hugely with the chilled pool we’d just escaped. We took turns filling a bowl with cold water from a basin, then trickled the water over each other’s head and back. It was oddly almost sensual, incredibly calming. We bounced around between the cool pool, the sauna, steam room and dry sauna, taking in the sensations of heat fluctuation on our bodies. It was unbelievably relaxing, perfect after a bunch of late nights in a row.

After we’d had our fill and midnight was fast approaching, we showered up to rest in the lounge. Still clad in our robes, we lay down on the plush leather couches and drank peppermint tea. It was like all our stresses had dissipated, floating off into the aether. Midnight struck, and we gathered our things, heading back to the city together. Sleepily sitting side by side on the subway, we shared a set of earbuds and made a playlist on the fly, alternating tracks. Now we have a wonderful night to remember, and a playlist to remember it by. The whole evening felt like a dream, as if we’d gone on vacation together to someone else’s life. An entirely organic, spontaneous adventure to put us outside common routines.

Why settle for “same as it ever was”?

Be careful what you wish, Thor

“Thunderbolt and lightning very very frightening me” – Gallileo

Massive thunderstorm last night. The sky was alight with shock. The rumbling shook our house. It was awesome. We were wrapped in blankets, watching a film as the rain beat down outside. Ideal circumstances for nature to throw a tantrum. Every now and again we’d count the beats between light and sound. Noticing a flash, we’d take stock of how long it took for the crack of thunder to kick in. It was far away, but still overwhelmingly vicious. Removed as we were from the effects, it was still quite the marvel.

I so desperately want the experience of living through awe inspiring weather conditions. I’m not asking for a plague of biblical proportions. I don’t want anyone to be hurt, or people to be displaced because of my fanciful whims. I just want to know how it feels to witness nature at its most majestic and terrifying. I’m thinking something like seeing a tornado rush by within direct and actionable line of sight, but to surface unharmed. I want to know what it is to have lightning crackle and light up the ground within my proximity. To come so close to death, but emerge unscathed. Yeah, this is bucket list stuff, and I’m sure once it was over I’d question why I ever sought it in the first place.

The closest I’ve ever been to extreme weather was during an American road trip. A group of friends and I had rented an RV. We were driving from place to place, staying for a night or two, then moving on. Lots of highways. A large portion of our funds were going to gas. The driving itself was mostly non-eventful. We had this system going whereby someone would drive, whoever was in shotgun would navigate and do music. Everyone else got to relax in the back. At the time I was navigating, but ostensibly just trying to find apt tunes. Like I said, it was a highway. Should’ve chucked on some Cochrane. It started getting a little bit windy, which wasn’t hugely noticable. Wind happened, and our RV was stacked tall like a double-decker. It didn’t seem worth any worry.

The wind picked up and suddenly it was noticable. Our friends in the back chimed in, saying that this seemed abnormal. In the front, our centre of gravity was probably more aligned with having a horizontal view of the road. Things seemed slightly strange, but not altogether untoward. The wind kicked up another notch. Our vision of the road ahead became limited. It felt like anything could happen. Suddenly even in the front we felt alarmed. I don’t know how often you’ve driven and felt like your vehicle was in danger of tipping, but it’s even more concerning when you’re driving a small bus. It felt like the entire thing was lurching to the side. We were unsure how well we were sticking to the road. People in the back were actively and vocally alarmed. My friend was handling as best he could, but even he felt unsafe. We all agreed to pull off at the next exit and take a break.

Winds had picked up to a full scale maelstrom as we approached the exit, and we took it with the utmost caution. Nobody seemed to be behind us, and we slowly drove around the turn off and took refuge at a nearby Wendys. I had a frosty dairy dessert, I did the chip dip thing. It was great. After an hour the weather had settled down. We felt less spooked and more capable of jumping back on the highway without fear. We took the onramp and hit the road. No more than a few minutes had passed, than we found ourselves slowing down. There had been an accident, and it was taking time to move past it. Of course we rubbernecked, and saw a 12 car pile up at the next exit. Chances are, if we’d kept driving we would’ve been part of it. We were all a little shaky, and absurdly thankful to settle into the RV park that night.

Lighning though, lightning would be hella cool. Even if Gallileo’s a bit of a wuss.

Oh, the buck is only just STARTING here

Ready to get buck and/or doe?

I’m always up for an adventure. Always. When my friend floated the idea of crashing a Buck and Doe party in her hometown I immediately said “PICK ME! PICK ME!” Then I was all “it doesn’t change my answer but what’s a Buck and Doe?” The short answer is that it’s a wedding fundraiser. The longer answer is that it Is An Experience. But we’ll get there.

I’d slept not enough, and coffee’d too much. Which bode well for a frenetically chatty train ride from Union Station to Brantford. It was exciting. My friend and I don’t hang out that much, but every time we do we’re like “why don’t we hang out more?” So having an hour’s train ride to catch up was a stellar way to start a neat trip. More importantly, she hadn’t had breakfast yet (I on the other hand tore chunks of chicken from a rotisseried carcass and dipped them in tomato sauce, while crafting a big ol’ chicken sandwich for the ride. I’m trash inarnate and I’m okay with this). She was talking a big game about the snack cart and avidly awaited its arrival. An attendant came by ot check our tickets. “Oh, you’re getting off at Brampton. That’s the next stop.” The snack cart FINALLY arrived just when we were about to offload, so my friend got her ham and cheese croissant and we tucked in hurriedly. We finished maybe a few minutes before arriving, then jumped out all hopped up on snack induced pep. Second wind time!

Her dad picked us up at the train station, and drove us back to their home in Simcoe/Norfolk. Look, it’s one of them, but amalgamated provincial town politics ain’t my specialty. They have no Starbucks. They do have three Tim Hortons. More importantly, they have a Giant Tiger (which we did visit, and I narrowly avoided dropping $34 on a colossal human sized teddy bear. It was touch and go, but I knew I’d need to carry it back on the train). We arrived at her place and met her mum. Her parents were so goddamn nice and friendly, it was crazy. They were practically falling over themselves to be hospitable. Her mum had expected a larger group (who were coming later in a packed car), and had set out enough spreads for a Greek wedding. Mini muffins, chocolates, several bags of chips. A toddler sized bag of popcorn. It was just like being back at Nana and Papa’s house as a kid. Just couldn’t do enough for us. It was very sweet looking around their place, a comfy spot with so many treasures, baubles and memories from over the years. The customary baby photos of my friend were around the place (I’m usually not good at seeing adult features on babies, but she looked IDENTICAL). We hung out and chatted for awhile, before she and I walked into town.

I hope I didn’t imply in any way that it was a journey. Town was maybe ten minutes’ walk. We visited the aforementioned Giant Tiger (which I guess could best be described as a small town discount Walmart?), and walked around a bunch of closed signs. It was 4.30pm on a Saturday, most establishments had closed for the afternoon/weekend. We went into an adult store and chatted with the owner a bunch about the ins and outs (okay, pun kinda intended) of running an adult store, locals with specific tastes, and competing with Amazon. She was a friendly chatterbox and we managed to get out my invoking a need for coffee. We wandered the streets, and looked around. It was quiet, nay, empty. A few passing cars, maybe, but mostly a gentle state of serenity. We walked through a lakeside park, all untouched snow and wintry trunks. Geese flew overhead, no doubt shitting over everything. Ducks swam idly though the lake, occasionally taking brief flight only to come skidding back across the surface of the lake. It was like they were skating. We bought personal NY cheesecakes from a local food truck and roamed the streets, amazed at the size and stature of local homes. We weren’t in Toronto anymore, Toto.

Oh wow, I haven’t even gotten to the Buck and Doe yet. We did around 9pm, after a few beers and evening game show watching. Her mum had prepared a big dinner for all of us, but everyone else was still stuck back in Hamilton picking up travellers. So we just ate a bunch. There was KFC (I mean, I needed to accomplish the chicken trifecta. Breakfast, lunch and dinner), sweet and sour meatballs, rice, coleslaw and pasta salad (and of course we were offered dessert post dinner. I swear her mum was just about to ask if I was eating enough. That I’m just skin and bones, etc. I also shit you not, as I’ve been writing this at the kitchen table she just dropped off a plate of meat and cheese, a fruit platter, mini muffins and chips. She already made us bacon and eggs. Jesus it’s an onslaught). So we arrived at the Stag and Doe already stuffed. Her mum had a sore foot, so she was driving. I told her I couldn’t in good conscience accept a ride for the 200m or so to the event. I was sure my mum would astral project and guilt trip me into walking regardless. Also, more accurately, I wanted to smoke a bowl and I was already bonded to my friend’s parents. Even if it’s totally legal, I didn’t want them to be disappointed in me.

We walked into a community hall, packed with people. There were small games lining one side of the room. The other side had lottery prizes stretched across the length of the wall. Blue Jays tickets, spa packs, a fish prep table, a mystery man cave pack (whatever that meant. It sounded ominous). There was a ton of stuff, and I didn’t remotely want any of it. But there was something about the event, that I just wanted to find excuses to give the happy couple money. Who, in a weird and mercenary turn of events, I never met. Even if I’d crashed their party. There was a “pick a key” game, where everyone bought a key and only one key would win a prize. There was booze curling, where participants would slide loonies across the ground towards liquor bottles. Whoever got closest without touching, won the bottle. Some dude plonked down $10 and managed to get himself a bottle of Grey Goose. Not bad, eh? I tried the “strong man” game, knowing full well I had no chance of winning. You had to hold a 35lb dumbell straight out in front of you for as long as possible. I looked at the times on the board: 24s, 35s. 55s was the time to beat. I considered 30s to be a decent goal to hit. I braced myself with liquid courage and held tight. Time ticked by all too slowly. I got past 30 and my arms started trembling. At 40, they basically convulsed as I struggled to keep the laughter in. It was so impossibly hard. 42 seconds was not a bad innings, far as I was concerned. I looked up, and dinner had been served. A full buffet table with pulled pork and all the fixins. I tucked in and made myself a big ol’ sandwich. Surprisingly, it was a chickenless meal. I looked to the dancefloor, with the DJ doing his best to hype up attendees. Like any good middle school dance, it was just the gals, as the dudes were clearly too cool (sober) to join in the fun.

My friend and I were shooting the shit, and this tall, muscular dude walked up to us. He turned to me and patted me on the arm. “So, go to the gym, eh?” I shot a look at Lily, eyes wide. Was this dude THIS brazen? I’m not used to getting hit on, and definitely not so obviously. We chatted amicably, and I tried moving the topics all around. Drunk, he kept coming back to me and my gym habits. Sure, he was heavy handed, but he was a friendly enough dude that we were sure was pretty benign. He turned to us. “So what’s your deal? Are you guys fucking?” We laughed and I replied “nope, just friends as far as we know.” He pressed on “c’mon, you can tell me. You’re fucking right?” My friend chuckled “I mean, we’ve seen each other naked, but never had sex.” “Wait.” He replied “you’ve seen each other naked and you’ve never fucked?” My face contorted to horror. “Dude, how many people have you seen naked? It’s heaps, right? How would you even have the time in your lifetime?” He lost himself for a second, then shook himself back to normal. “Okay” he responded “so you’re GOING to fuck?” We shrugged, my friend chimed in “well not tonight at least. We’re staying at my parents’ house.” He then took an unexpected turn and mentioned his girlfriend. “Yeah, she was a virgin when we met.” Beat. “She was 29.” Beat. My friend and I stared holes into each other’s eyes. The story grew. “WAIT. I HAVE SO MANY QUESTIONS.” I implored. He changed the conversation back to the gym, questioned why I was eating pizza if I wanted to keep my body in good shape. “Oh dude, you have no idea where my priorities lie here, but they’re definitely with the food.” I replied. His girlfriend came over and unprompted, started showing us photos on her phone. She was also pretty handsy. Eventually they got distracted and wandered off (don’t worry, he came back to squeeze my biceps at least once more). My friend and I stood in stunned silence. “Did the town swingers just try to pick us up?” I asked. We had a couple of drinks and headed to the dance floor.

Naturally the dude already had his shirt off and was eye-fucking the shit out of us. He had moxie, I’ll give him that.

The event all closed up around 1pm, and we meandered back along the short walk to her parents’ place. They’d set up bedding in the basement. We settled into bed and stared at the ceiling, all warm and cosy. We felt like kids having a sleepover. After a full day of fun, we said goodnight and drifted off to sleep. It was fucking charming.