The first bottle of perfume I bought was Amarige, by Givenchy. I had decided to transition, but had no idea when I could, so I just went down the trans club every Wednesday. I sprayed the perfume on my wrists, and even though I showered next morning I could just still catch its odour. So I went round the office, working, often sniffing my wrist, delighted and hoping no-one would notice.
It is not good to drink as much as the people you are with unless they drink little; or not for me, anyway. They hold it better. I went for dinner with friends. Gin before, wine with and whisky after. We had a bottle of wine each, and the single malt tasted sweet and soft, all the fire mellowed out. Then I got a taxi home, and the taxi driver did not speak to me.
I cycled to a friend, who gave me two glasses of strawberry gin before we went out. It’s like sloe gin, but with strawberries- shove lots of strawberries in to the bottle, and leave for months. It had a lovely fruity aftertaste, and her husband said I was drunk before we walked off into the mild night under a crone-full moon to the pub. For the Glam Rock night the landlady wore a sky blue jumpsuit with rainbow frills from knee to ankle, elbow to wrist, and after midnight plied customers with a mixture of tia maria and bailey’s. I should not have drunk the tia maria and bailey’s. A fireman with a lightning bolt painted on his cheek told me of the Grenfell fire, which started in someone’s fridge. The fire brigade put it out, not knowing it had spread to the cladding outside. I danced, and it felt that I was dancing brilliantly. I collapsed on the sofa in the living room, rather than my friend’s spare bed. I cycled home, careful as still drunk, about eleven.
I applied for an overdraft. What do you want it for? Only as a cushion, I would hate accidentally to overdraw my account without agreement. I don’t intend to use it. I was given an overdraft of £100, and it did not matter that I had two years before cancelled an agreed limit of £2000 to preserve the discipline of avoiding being overdrawn. Unable to afford it, I went and bought a small bottle of Amarige, a symbol of hope.