Whilst running round the Opera House I met and told my sorry tale to an intelligent, elegant –he had an Errol Flynn moustache- and courteous young man also waiting in the deserted lobby.
“Well I golly, I hope she doesn’t turn up” He said hopefully.” Then startled at himself added, “Good grief, I’ve never said anything like that before.” I work on a web site called IT. It happens to me all the time.
By seven thirty I was beginning to get my hopes up. If she’s thirty minutes late she’ll never make it now. I waited the next fifteen minutes in increasing anxiety. Just one minute after the curtain went up I was safe. One minute before and I would own an Embarrassing Situation.
You see, I have a fiend who is a Friend of the Royal Opera. I go with her to see bad arsed stuff like Schoenberg that most people would pay £300 to stay away from but I know how much I have to learn and I am glad she asks me. But someone at her end got ill and she could not go and said, “Yougo” and gave me two tickets.
Now, I think that July Goldsmith has got more hits on IT than anyone except Heth and Monty the Graffiti Poet with her first two posts because she writes news for people aware enough to know that counterculture art crit. is Hard News. And I would like to be popular so I asked IB, who writes diamond stuff, to come with me and write opera crit. And I lost the tickets. And they were sold out. And the O2 network went down. And I had said we’ll meet by phone outside the Opera House. But the Opera House is a whole block so I went round and round the block looking out for her and the elegant young man’s good wishes came true because the O2 network came live and IB had had a shit day and was still home nursing her wounds.
So I drank a couple of generous double Gins at the Globe, got a tube home to Golders Green and Cantonese comfort food in the Water Margin, which was full except for a single spare place at a table with two Oxford mathematicians, with whom I had worked many years ago, and who had washed up there for the most improbable, separate, reasons. So I got an evening of probability theory rather than opera and did not go hungry.