The ex reflex
by Red Velvet
Why do some of the most potent emotional casualties seem to take place at the Candy Bar? There is almost a weary inevitability of ending up in that narrow galley of nostalgia every six months, when after a healthy fill of vodka lemonades it always seems like a good idea. Until you arrive that is, and see an ex who you have dexterously managed to avoid with all the cunning and guile of three years intensive work.
Let me backtrack, there was an actual reason why I headed to the ‘Randy’ Bar that fateful night last month. Two dear university friends faithfully betrothed, who were in need of a escorted pink tour. Love it or hate, Candy Bar remains a Sapphic landmark in W1 that was, and still is (to some extent), a prerequisite to assist the development of every ‘newbie’ who needs to co-exist in a dimly lit room full of other certified lezzas. Plus, of course, everyone knows that Candy Bar grants you access to the cheapest strip nights in the borough of Westminster. You can happily cop an eyeful of boobs and arses of varying pedigree, aided by the creation of fake branded dollar bills which fit oh so snugly into latex.
Anyway, taking my mind out of the fantastical gutter and back to the complexity of that inauspicious evening it was upon entering the bar that I clocked my ex. Not just any old girl, but the ‘big love’ ex variety of which we all (should) in theory be familiar with. The ex reflex torpedoed into the darker recesses of my memory, as I noticed that the woman she was with was her (not so) new love, who I’d been acrimoniously dumped for. Now, there is nothing more deathly dull than a 1000 word rant on an ex diatribe (especially on a first date), so I’ll spare you the amateur dramatics and painstaking details.
The feelings subsequently felt were as follows: after five minutes – hate/love (delete as applicable), after ten minutes – rage, after fifteen minutes – platonic regard and childish competitiveness as I realised I had aged significantly better than her, commenting inwardly that mahogany didn’t suit her complexion half as well as dirty blonde. Bitchiness aside, there is a warning in this tale. Soho is a magnet, like any other gay hub of a metropolis. Rely on the randomness of coincidence to bring ex lovers, foes and long lost friends together. It is a foregone conclusion.