A fancy dress party. Not my sort of thing.
But sitting in alone again made me think twice. Everyone out there having a good time. Why not me too?
What can I wear? I know. My check shirt, old jeans. Rummage through the children’s old toy box. There it is, a toy gun and a small cowboy hat. A cloth round my neck. The final touch – Grandad’s old boots, complete with authentic spurs.
Look in the mirror. Not too bad for a last minute rush. Won’t win any prizes, but that’s not the point. It’s about getting out, being part of the old gang again, having fun like I used to.
A few odd looks on the bus. To be expected. It is a Thursday evening after all, and there aren’t too many cowboys around Glasgow, especially wearing toy-sized hats and making a clanking noise with each awkward step in ill-fitting boots.
My feet are in agony after the fifteen minute walk up the hill to the address in the West End. I can hear the music, the chatter, the laughter.
Doors open. In I go.
‘Stick ’em up!’ I shout. Everyone stops talking. Everyone looks at me. No-one is in fancy dress.
Most of the faces are unknown. Wrong house? I lower my toy gun. The faces turn away.
An arm round the shoulder. My old friend, Martin.
‘Halloween party is next week,’ he says, guiding me to the kitchen and placing a drink in my hand.
I’m still glad I decided to come. Just have to think of a new outfit for next week now.