Invisible Stranger

Invisible Stranger

Collecting Crises on Old Compton Street and Beyond

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Little Tinker

Currently clicking:
- bboyblues
- bitful
- blue witch
- diamondgeezer
- glitter for brains
- london calling
- naked blog
- troubled diva

Usually Playing:
- ute
- neil and chris
- peter and anna
- june
- kurt

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Friday, May 09, 2003
Empty Chairs At Empty Tables
A few nights back, I had a pleasant pint or three in the Salisbury in London's Theatreland. If you don't know the pub, drop by next time you're in the area. It's a bit of a tourist trap, especially in the evenings, but putting up with the odd Teuton or two thousand is worth it for the interior magnificence alone. It's a glittering example of late-Victorian opulence, dazzling you with splendid frosted-glass windows and giant, beautifully etched mirrors; polished mahogany, plush velvet banquettes, and bronze, art-nouveau lamps and fittings. If a preservation order hasn't been slapped on it, there should be.

God knows how many years it's been since I was last in here. Way, way back when I was a regular, it was the capital's biggest gay pub, and the only homo alternative to the notorious Golden Lion, where Dennis Nilsen regularly dropped round for a rum and rent boy.

Over there, where the pay-phone used to be, that's where Miles and I… And that place at the white marble-topped bar: yeah, Ben and David always stood there… And do you remember when Alastair…? And wasn't it a laugh the time Stephen…? And then New York Buddy, of course…

"Phantom faces at the window,
Phantom shadows on the floor,
Empty chairs at empty tables
Where my friends will meet no more."

It's OK. I snapped out of it and back to 2003, and, as I said, ended up having a thoroughly pleasant evening. But I don't think I'll be returning. For much the same reason as I just can't see myself ever going back to Heaven on a Saturday night.

Too many ghosts, my dears, just too many bloody ghosts.