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Hollow Chit Chat


Sometimes it takes an unpleasant experience to spark self-reflection, to make a
person look in the mirror and think about whom they are, what they are, who they
want to be and what they want to be. For me, it took an alcohol fuelled fight with
my girlfriend in full view of the press and the ex-England football team manager.
Sarah called me at work on Friday afternoon just after the yearly round of
redundancies had been announced, she seemed excited yet I detected a hint of
reservation in her voice. She had called to tell me that she’d managed to get me
an invite to the charity event at her wealthy friend’s pub later that evening. The
reservation in her voice I detected was probably her fear of my lack of
appreciation for what she had done for me, a sign of how things had got between
us by this point. Her excitement, well... the former England manager Sven Goran
Erikson would be in attendance at this lavish bash, along with the local media,
press and many cash drunk ‘players’ from the local business networks. Great! this
won’t cost me much I thought; just a new suit, a haircut, as many cocktails she
can throw down her neck and a smile to wear on my face for the evening. If I’m
lucky I’ll even get to pay for the taxi ride home, just the thing I needed whilst being
put through redundancy. I remember hoping for a moment that maybe the charity
night was in aide of me, and then saner thoughts prevailed, but never the less, I’d
get to meet Sven Goran Erikson and hob nob with the local hierarchy.
After being looked up and down by the doorman at this supposedly
friendly, family establishment, I was greeted by two ageing female socialites,
which to me felt more like a confrontation. Peroxide blonde hair, Botox grins, and
faint wrinkling seemed to be the dress code for this occasion. As they demanded
twenty pounds worth of charity from me to enter, I couldn’t help but notice that
they shared the same vacant, slightly desperate stare. It’s as if they had one
thought on their next Louis Vuitton handbag and another contemplating what they
would have to do to get it, that though I could only imagine.
SHORT STORY BY WALTER LO
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Hollow Chit Chat
 
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