We Are All Gloria Bell – ‘Storyhouse’

‘You’ve just bought a drink and you’re stood alone at the bar, maybe you’re not as drunk as you would like to be or maybe you don’t drink. Your friends are on the dancefloor or in the bathroom, and you look around and see everyone else. All the sweaty people dancing, the group of eighteen year olds doing shots, the barman sweeping the room for empty glasses, the couple snogging in the corner, and you can feel a sort of sadness. As if maybe everything is somehow passing you by and you’re standing alone in a bar at 3am wondering how? But you can also see some possibility in it. Maybe in that room there is someone you’ll end up having sex with, or you’ll meet someone in the smoking area and they will become the most interesting person you’ve ever met. You might run into an old friend or make some new ones. Maybe your favourite song will play and you’ll feel some kind of exuberant ecstasy as you dance there’s no tomorrow on the dancefloor, having the night of your life. But more often than not you go home alone and a little dissatisfied, wondering why you bothered at all, just as Gloria does.’

 

Jon Paul Robert’s new essay, ‘We Are All Gloria Bell’, is available via Storyhouse

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