A good night tonight. A rare sociable one. Basil got another job somewhere else and he had his sendoff down at the James Squire bar/restaurant thingo at Darling Harbour, and since I always liked ol' Basil and since I once got a case of James Squire Strong Ale and it was so damn good, I went along to it.
It was a good spot because we were all sitting out the front near the wharf, at a long table with benches on either side, outside in the open air so we smokers could smoke freely and not be forced to go into some stinky gambling room like at so many other places. The beer was excellent - I was hitting the India Pale and Highwayman's, quite a treat compared to the usual Victoria Bitter (but at $6.50 a schooner, man, that's like nightclub prices. Oh well, that's Darling Harbour for you).
Other people from work came and went, but I was mostly sitting with Basil, Ryan, Terry, Mitch and Andrew. When I got there the conversation was going on about teachers from schools who were busted for fiddling with kids. Somebody also mentioned a friend's mother who killed her husband. Not the usual conversation; it was pretty cool. The best conversations I had, one with Mitch - a 45-year-old dude with long wild rockstar hair and always wears blue jeans and leather jacket. I always see him outside smoking, and ever since I flipped him the Metal goat horns he always does the same back. He looks like the quintessential Metal Dude and I can't help but get a big dumb grin whenever I see him. He's one of the IT dudes. He was talking about his favourite bands (like Journey and Yngwie Malmsteen) and his 800-strong CD collection, and I told him about the Japanese prog dude Motoi Sakuraba and his soundtracks for JRPG games like Baten Kaitos and Star Ocean 3. He was rattling off album titles and talking about musicians, dropping names, and I would say, 'Who?', and he would say 'Oh, blah blah from Journey' and naturally I was fascinated and impressed. His forte is mid-eighties melodic metal, but later he was talking to Terry about Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin like he knew all that stuff back-to-front and my eyes popped out, like, 'How about that? He knows about all that stuff too!'
I also had a big conversation with Terry and he told me that music for him was 1977-1980, then nothing, or something like that. He got into the Sex Pistols and Dead Kennedys, and nothing since. I've heard that he and Louise have a house that looks like time stopped at 1958 or something. They are like those dudes in my Eccentrics book who have a house with nothing after 1900 in it... well sort of like that, very dedicated anyway, really into older things, like Robert Crumb with his old jazz and blues records, rejecting all modern stuff (which doesn't seem like such a bad idea sometimes, ha ha).
A few of the women from work were there, one who I have had a massive thing for, but she is married anyway, I think, so what the hell. She looked at me and I looked at her and we said 'Hello', and I felt like saying 'Did you know that I am enormously attracted to you?', and she would say, 'That's funny, because I have been obsessed with you ever since I came to this place. Let's go. Right now.'
Over time, almost everybody left and then there were just Terry, Mitch, Basil and me. Basil said he had to split and catch the train and demanded Mitch scull his beer. Mitch said something like, 'Sir, I do not scull my beer - I am an expeditionary drinker!', or something like that, but he finished up before Basil got frantic (he had to get back out to the Mountains and if he missed his train he'd have to wait another hour).
We left and walked up to behind Wynyard where the three of them went off to catch trains. I walked across the road and down a bit and spotted a Krispy Kreme, went in and bought a Lemon-filled and ate it as I walked up through Martin Place, up to Elizabeth Street and got a bus home, making it back just in time and pissed like racehorse.