My jaw ached from laughing so much. I washed my hands, shook them vigorously to compensate for the lack of a hand dryer, and pushed my way out of the men's toilets with the aim of finding my way back to my seat for the second round of intelligent stand-up comedy. On the way through, I passed the welcome desk where I had originally bought my ticket.
"Do you have any vegetarian sweets?" I asked as I passed, vaguely remembering the promise that by the interval there would be free sweets that weren't part of the Haribo range.
"Chocolate Orange slices with popping candy inside?" offered the girl who, at that moment I realised, wasn't the girl who sold me the tickets at the beginning of the night.
"Aaaaaaaaaaaaaah," said my brain as I meekly took the pieces and my eyes took in perhaps one of the best-looking girls I've ever seen. It was dark, but it was unmistakeable how she looked. I said a thanks and then tried to walk away, but my legs stopped working. I had to say something or I'd have looked like more of a moron than I already did.
"Do I know you?" I said. This wasn't a ploy. She looked very, very familiar, like a memory of a dream or something. It wasn't a generic face, so I was sure I'd met her before. Certain of it. But I couldn't place her.
"I'm not sure, where might you have met me?" she said.
"I'm not sure either, but you're very pretty," I said without being able to stop myself.
"Thanks," she responsed. "I come to a lot of these, maybe you've seen me here?"
I debated in my head whether or not to lie and say that I'd been to these too, but this was my first time at this particular small-scale-standup-and-music thingy. "This is my first time," I admitted. And then, to avoid an uncomfortable silence, I ploughed onwards. "Well, if I remember where I've seen you before, I'll let you know!"
"I'll be here!" waved the girl as I managed to crawl away. "I'm on in the second half, wish me luck!"
"I look forward to it!" I said with a grin. I returned to where H was sitting, having kindly bought me a drink, and awaited the second half. She was first on and I did a lot of staring. And thankfully laughter.
On the way out, I caught her.
"I remember!" I said. "You're like my friend Louise. She plays the 'cello, and you play the double bass... well, I tried to envision you behind a double bass when you said it, and although it's a totally different instrument, the picture in my head associated the two! So I haven't met you!"
"Ah... well, okay!" she said.
I walked off. I hadn't meant to namedrop swallow so blatantly, but it seemed like the right thing to do - and to be honest, the red hair mixed with playing a bass string instrument does ring vague bells. But there was someone else, other than swallow, who I'm sure reminded me more of her.
I got back to wondering who as I attempted to sleep last night. At about midnight, I suddenly yelled the name of my sister's former housemate. In bed. I hope nobody woke up. Or heard.
But at least I'd solved the mystery. Next step: acquire some damn confidence.