Wednesday, May 09, 2007

proper soho celebrities

Right, you may know Paris Hilton and China White but I don't. I know real people and real places where you don't have to buy Cristal Champagne at £1500 a pop and apart from anything else the slebs who come my way tend not to recognise me again (despite the third eye) and so I go through life like most people, remembering slebs who don't remember me. However Mark and June remember me and Mark and June are seen more around Soho than Paris or China, if you see what I mean.

Mark is a bit of a likely lad who never taps you for a quid. It's always £4.65 or £11.82 in order to get a travelcard, buy fags, or pay his gas bill. He's clean, doesn't appear to do drugs, and is always laughing and gobbing about Dean Street, Old Compton Street and the intertwining paths of Soho. He likes a laugh and is too bright, way too bright to be on the street. Where he's been for 8 years.
There used to be another guy, Derek, who's apparently in jail now for doing a guy in while high on some cocktail of drugs and drink. He was bright too, came from Sussex and by all accounts a good family. I used to talk to him like he was my brother and then bang, he just disappeared and went straight to jail, didn't pass go, and didn't come back.
Anyway, Mark's got a job now. Kitchen Porter in a smart Soho Club and the last thing I said to him, apart from "Sorry, I've only got £3.27, I'll owe you the rest" was "don't fuck it up, I can't afford to be your client anymore"

And then there's June, who's looking a bit clean these days too, despite the missing teeth and sleeping bag around her shoulders. She knows me so well she comes up and kisses me on the cheek now, before getting the required quid, staring at it forlornly, then asking me how I am which is code for "is that it? Are you havin a laugh?" June and I go way back and Iwonder what June did before she started wandering Soho. She's Scottish, from Motherwell I think, but gets so out of it sometimes that you can't believe a word she says. Told me she had cancer once, was about to die, and could I therefore give her two quid. She'd be shit at the Big Issue.

Anyway, so there I am slumming it at French's with the American producer who's decided that Soho House and the Groucho are so last year and I'm telling him all about Gaston and the York Minster and the Coach and Horses round the corner with Norman Balon blah blah blah and first of all Mark comes up, bouncing around, greets me by name and starts the five star routine, which gets about three quid from me right away (this is stage one) and a further two from the yank - whose fatal mistake is to reveal that he's got more money and isn't quite sure what it's all worth.
Then June comes up (kiss kiss), she greets me by name too, and gets a further quid (each) then Mark comes back and explains that he's missed his lift home and needs a further two quid for the bus, plus three for fags if that's OK, and the yank relents. Then the all day drinkers start to get chucked out of French's, the pensioners who knew Francis Bacon and Lucian Freud who've just discovered that they've spent all their money on small glasses of Cote du Rhone, so they start tapping the pavement clientele for money, well dressed that they are, (although mostly so drunk they can hardly speak. What an example to give the young generation of media types around Soho) at which point Mark comes back and says that he's been thinking, that his gas is about to be cut off and if he doesn't get another £18.73p now he'll freeze to death when he gets home.
At which point the yank looks at me and asks if I know anyone who's in work, and can we please go to Soho House. I agree but tell him there won't be any real slebs there.

And then, some considerable time later Paul - who has not been mentioned thus far but is also prone to hanging about outside the Groucho and so on - gets famous because Alan Davies is pissed out his head one night after verity lambert's funeral and nearly bited his frikkin ear off.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

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