“Do you think maybe you’re a junkie?”
That wasn’t the question I expected to be asked as I sat pondering the lunch menu at Carluccio’s in High Street Kensington. This wasn’t a meet up with my therapist, counsellor or any other such helpful-minded-bothered-about-me person. This was actually a first time lunch meet with a potential business associate.
And so I was rather taken aback.
I took a large gulp of wine, before wondering if I now looked like an alcoholic on top of a junkie.
“Interesting question” I replied. Which I find is always the best response when you haven’t got a clue how to respond. “Interesting” is a catch all for a whole range of emotions – including WTF do I say or do now! Which is how I felt.
But there is only so long you can play for time before you start to arouse suspicions when you have been asked such a direct question. Unless I answered soon to whether or not I was a junkie I was going to be seen as guilty, regardless of if I later protested my innocence.
I twisted a coil of my hair in my fingertips and fluttered my eyelashes in what I hoped to be an alluring manner, rather than the nervous twitch of a junkie. Looking coy, I thought, should be the distraction tactic.
It didn’t work.
This time the question was asked more forcefully and with *meaning* accompanied by one of those deep and meaningful “You can confess all to me” expressions which you often find in deep and meaningful movies. And it was deep. And meaningful.
I bit my lip, nervously gnawing off a whole swathe of deep pink waxy lipstick (worn because of my outfit – not the deep and meaningful look). The outfit had been planned…the conversation hadn’t been.
Before I knew it, I had reached for the wine glass again and swigged the entire fizzy pink contents down.
And, then I found myself blurting. Blurting until I could not stop.
Yes, I confess, I am a junkie. I admit it. I am addicted.
“It must be the adrenaline” he replied pretty nonchalantly, which I felt was highly inappropriate given the size of my confession.
But, he smiled at me encouragingly and bathing me in a warmth which felt like a snuggly, fleecy baby’s blanket, he said: “I can understand how you could get hooked. In fact, I would love to join your AAA club”.
I looked at him quizzically.
“AAA club” I asked
“Auction Addicts Anonymous” he guffawed as he filled my wine glass right to the rim.
Deftly I reapplied my deep pink lipstick and passed him a sheet of paper.
“Here, you can sign up right here” And I passed him a pen.