I haven’t seen Dotes in nine years. Before that I hadn’t seen him in about seven years. There are many people who I know that I wish I could see as infrequently as that but Dotes isn’t one of them. I have no idea why I haven’t seen him in all that time but it’s probably a mixture of not having enough time to see the family when I’m over here and being a big lazy bastard. I met Dotes when I was eight but it wasn’t until we got into secondary school and, more importantly, drinking that we became good mates. One day when we were eighteen we sat under a tree, sheltering from the rain. We sat in silence for ten minutes and then Dotes eventually said "Aaaaaaaaah, Leonard Bernstein". We laughed uncontrollably for hours. Don’t know why. We just did. I’m sure you’ve got a friend who makes you laugh just by mentioning the name of a dead composer and if you don’t then I pity you. You’re living a half life.
So, I met Dotes in Roma’s, a bar that we used to go to pretty much every day and while I walked there I started to get nervous. It’s been nine years. Dotes has proper kids, a proper house and a proper job. When I knew him he had dole money, a snooker cue and The Joshua Tree. He’s all growed up. We’ll have nothing in common. Well, we do have one thing in common. We’re EXACTLY THE SAME. We both think everything is shit and we hate everyone. I think it’s rare in this life to meet one person with that cynical a view of this pain in the arse planet but if you’d gone into Roma’s between 1 and 4.30 pm you’d have seen two of them. Our sense of humour has only darkened with age too. At one point we actually laughed about a boy we used to go to school with blowing his own brains out. Instead of thinking about how someone could be so unhappy they’d got to that level of hopelessness we laughed about how a twat like that managed to get a gun. Besides seeing Dotes himself, it was great to hear how people we once knew have turned out (well, maybe not the twat with the gun). Alfie’s a divorced alcoholic, Mark (a wanker) is now a policeman (what a fucking surprise), Sharon is now bald and Nigel, a girl-avoiding Bananarama fan, is now gay. The last one wasn’t much of a shock.
I had nothing to be worried about. We laughed pretty much the whole time we were together, talking about our stupid lives and the way we stupidly live them. Drinking beer and talking about our fuck-ups and our triumphs but mainly our fuck-ups. Fuck-ups are way more interesting than triumphs even if we actually had triumphs. And who uses the word triumphs anyway? Mark the wanker policeman probably but not me and Dotes. It won’t be nine years before I see Dotes again (it fucking will, says Dotes) and I advise you to go and see a friend you haven’t seen in nine years too. It’s mad and brilliant and totally worth it. It was like the best episode of What Ever Happened to the Likely Lads? that I’ve ever seen. Good on ye.
The rest of the day was taken up with more booze with the family and THAT inauguration. It’s been such a great little trip and its crap that this is my last day already. I’m surrounded by good people and fun times PLUS I’ve shaken the need to find out and Celebrity Big Brother. Has Coolio been kicked to death yet? Don’t know, don’t care! It is 11.40am in my parent’s house. The drinking will start any second.
By the way, Dotes’ real name is Darryl just in case you thought his parents were mental.