Blushes Winebar across the street -- cattycorner, actually -- was what I’d consider the Other Side of Main Squeeze. Its address was 52 King’s Road; the Main Squeeze, #23. Some of the staff over at Blushes (who weren’t open as late as we were) counted as even more interesting to me than the crew of seasoned misfits over at Main Squeeze.
For one, owners Roger and Kevin would saunter in without rhyme or reason (why not? They owned both places), usually kind of tipsy from wine, their drink of choice. That happens to be mine now, too, but at the time I drank very few alcoholic bevs. I hadn’t developed a taste for it yet. Besides, I was watching my girlish figure, you know!
All right, Roger would ask for a glass of Aligote, which I later thought to rhyme with “cuisines haute” in a song. . . I saw him do this countless times over at Blushes, where I’d sometimes go in the afternoons. I always chuckled to myself, hearing the English speak French. They sound natural and at the same time, affected, so it appeals to my sense of humor.
Another thing (person!) that appealed to my sense of humor was a waitress named Phyllida. First of all, I’d never met anyone named “Phyllida.” Secondly, she was a sort of large, frowsy woman, possibly in her thirties, who always seemed kind of blurry. No sharp edges on that one!
And then there was Tim, a really beautiful man in the mold of Bryan Ferry (tall, big shoulders, handsome like a young coal miner), with dreamy greenish eyes, lanky brown hair, and a smile like Ray Bolger, the scarecrow from the Wizard of Oz. Am I making him sound strange? Hope not! The combination in him created, as I said, a very cute guy. He wasn’t as sharp or smart as his looks, but charming and very appealing, nonetheless. We had a flirtation that resulted in my going with him one weekend to Herefordshire (or was it Hertfordshire?). Wherever: it was the cutest little town, with one pub and a post office. His family’s home was a lovely place, very upscale English cottagy.
I later learned that Tim called me “The American with the cute butt”. . . geez, it’s nice to be appreciated, right?!
Besides Tim and Simon, the manager (who I mentioned a while back in this blog: he was a little older than us all, very street smart and working class, excellent people skills but with a very thick working class London accent. One day I walked into Blushes and asked for a small advance against my paycheck. “Are ya skint, luv?” he kept asking. Now I had NO IDEA what the eff he meant, but at last it dawned on me: “Are you broke?” he was saying, in the local vernacular. Nice one, Simon!).
That was just one of the many examples of people “taking the piss” out of me. . .