Continued from The time I (almost) shagged Russell Brand – Part I
What a beautiful thing to say…
At one point, I glance over, and he is making out with a tall, thin brunette. She is typical. It is predictable. Plether pants, bejewelled mid-drift out and a halter-neck top. Part of me feels disappointed that he has gone with the foreseeable. But the night is not over yet. He dallies his way over and we finally get our moment… All the pretence of playing it cool goes out the window as millions of words tumble out of my mouth in a disgusting waterfall of star-struck gibberish… something along the lines of, “your show was brilliant! I am such a huge fan and I love all of your stuff!” While I am talking, I am struck by the way he is looking at me. Genuinely looking at me. He is not distracted by all the others in the room, he is giving us each our time to bask in the sunlight which is Brand. And I love him even more for this. He is nodding his head as he listens to me, and when I finish, his eyes still stuck on mine, he touches my shoulder and says, “what a beautiful thing to say…” and I wish you could have heard it, because it sounded so unpretentious and so English… so genuine and so genteel. And then, in a moment that still gives me goose bumps as I feel him leaning in close, he states, “you smell amazing…”
Me, in my head: Is this real life?
We pose for photos and to this day, I will never forgive Cynthia for taking such a bloody shitful photo of me with the man, while I snap her and him in all their perfect glory… Life can be cruel.
Even through the hurried, hazy blur you can still see me hanging on for dear life, clawing him into a bear-hug as if my very life depended on it.
Still on the prowl…
We finish bathing in his glory, and he is whisked away to another group of smitten kittens. We look after him longingly, giggling like tipsy school girls. It was only another 15 minutes before Brand wound his way back to Miss Dime-a-Dozen. And I know you’re thinking it – I’m being cruel and catty just because I’m jealous… obviously. I’m sure she was a really lovely girl… they probably sat up all night working their way through the Karma Sutra and discussing the Dali Lama’s philosophy on re-incarnation and divinity.
I’m sure you’re all sat there thinking, “I came back to read Part II just for that.” My dear little love bugs, how little faith you have in me. I wasn’t ready to throw in the towel just yet. And so, our night continued.
Walking through the rapidly emptying room and helping ourselves to another champagne (I hate the stuff but hey, it was free), we found Mick and Russell’s security guard sitting down on some couches smoking e-ciggs. I know this seems daggy and the epitome of douchebag-ness… But this was 5 years ago… this was when people thought vaping was a term new mothers used when talking about the air humidifiers they set up in their new-born’s nursery. Introductions were made and that was when I realised that Mr Big Danny, as the head of security was affectionately known by the crew, was actually quite a strapping lad… For obvious reasons, Mick took quite a shinning towards Cynthia, and they were chatting the night away, while I tried my best to act coy and ladylike next to the ridiculously over-sized giant sitting to my right.
After the after party
Minutes ticked away and before long, there was only a hand full of people left in the now shabby looking VIP room. Big Danny is talking and smoothly slips in that they are all staying at the Park Hyatt just down the road. I nearly die; I have been researching and googling and creeping for months and this peanut just casually lets slip where the whole entourage is sleeping?! I am already formulating a plan in my head; something involving a head torch and a stakeout in front of the Hyatt in the early hours of tomorrow morning… but I have barely have enough time to work through the logistics when in his next breath he says, “you guys should come back for some drinks?”
I look over at my partner in crime and without exchanging a single syllable we both know what’s going to happen. They offer us a lift and I nearly want to vaporize her on the spot when Cyn turns them down and says we will meet them there. We assure them we will see them soon… and on the (38 minute) walk back to her car, Cyn explains that she needed to reapply her makeup, before she could possibly consider going to such a soiree. Being the kind of girl who rarely remembers to even bring out her chosen lip-gloss for the evening, I actually wanted to smack her across the head… But I trudged along behind her in the hope that the after, after party would still be rocking R. Kelly Ignition style, once we finally arrived.
I’m not exaggerating when I tell you it took us about 1 and a half hours to drive the 1.8km from Rod Laver arena to The Park Hyatt hotel. Between make up re-applications, traffic and parking issues, I was about to have an absolute meltdown in anticipation.
Working it at the Hyatt
We finally arrived and were escorted down to a private bar. There were 3 or 4 guys, Mick and Big Danny, and about 20 loud and scantily clad females. It was like a movie. Mick rushed up to greet us, and I genuinely agreed with him when he expressed his concerns that we weren’t going to make it. We ordered a drink each (on the tab, of course) and nestled in amongst the baby chicks perched on and around the couches.
Big Danny was obviously the man of the moment, with the head honcho gone, the vultures were swooping down for the scraps. I was no exception. Who doesn’t like a 7-foot man who could hold you up in one hand and strip you bare with the other? I scooted a little closer and perched myself one girl away, hoping to weasel my way in. His English accent was like an elixir, I can’t help it, it just makes me melt. I looked around at my competition. Yes, this was doable. I knew I was in with a chance when he reached his 2.7 metre arm around the girl between us both and rubbed my back as he asked me how I was enjoying myself. I muttered something idiotic along the lines of, “the night is still young…” (I know, I know, but stay with me…).
So, slowly but surely, the people started melting away back into the night. Someone proposed a club named along the lines of ‘Pop my Cherry’ and that knocked out around 7 competitors in a mass exodus.
I feel it imperative to note at this time, that although there was a tab at the bar, I didn’t see any powders or pills or party favours of any kind at this little rendezvous… how positively refreshing… It was explained how Russell was very heavily into his yoga and was practicing sobriety with an abstinence even from alcohol, and he encouraged his entourage to do the same… what an enigma…
Remember that Sex in the City episode where Samantha sits through a gag-worthy raw meal at a swanky restaurant just to perve on the hot waiter, then in a play of marathon proportions, out-waits the 50 other women ’til the end of the night just to ensure she got her man? I was channelling Samantha Jones in that moment. I waited, I chatted, I played my cards right. I told Big Danny and Mick how I was planning to move to London at the end of the year, we traded numbers, we got shooed out of the bar… and it was at that moment, when we were walking through the lobby of the grand Park Hyatt, that I realised I was the last woman standing. I had Samantha Jonesed Big Danny…
In a hurried, breathless, barely audible conference that all girls are familiar with, the kind that usually occurs at the pivotal point at the end of an evening, I assured Cynthia that I would be fine, Big Danny wanted to show his master suite, and how could I pass up such an extravagant invitation. I gave Mick a big cuddle, and assured him I would hunt him down in London (if only he knew how serious I was), and followed the hulk up to his grand suite…
The view from the top was amazing. A balcony that looked out over Melbourne, a mini bar stocked with Moet and chocolate coated raisins, a TV the size of my bathroom… a bathroom the size of my apartment… We talked… He was a proper English gent…
The midnight blue sky melted away into sunrise and the stark sunlight cruelly brought me back to reality. Mr Big Danny turned to me and told me they were going to Sydney that afternoon, and I should join them… And because I’m an ABSOLUTE IDIOT… I responded… ‘Oh thanks, but I have to be at work at 9’… I still cringe when I think about it… WHAT WAS I THINKING!? I want to go back in time and punch myself right square in the face!
Needless to say, I was walking on air for the next few months. I had my brush with fame, and I’m pretty happy with how it ended up.
Fast forward to the end of the year, a bubbly, touristy young girl, just arrived in London, based in a hostel and walking the streets trying to rid herself of google maps and find an area to call home, and the most bizarre thing happened… I’m walking the streets of Shoreditch for the first time (little did I know I would end up moving down the street and walking this same road countless times over my many months living in Old London Town), following my little map and trying not to look like as much of a tourist as I felt… And crossing the road at the lights I happen to glance across to the swanky looking black car stopped right up front. A double take confirmed my suspicions… MICK! Unbelievably, he recognised me and wound down his window, welcoming me to London and inviting me to get in touch with him… Just as I’m assuring him that I will take him up on his offer, the back window winds down, and there is the man himself… “‘ello girl from Australia!” says Brand… The lights turn green and they are gone in a flash, while I am left frantic, trying to open Viber to face time *everyone* to tell them the ridiculous thing that has just happened to me on the streets of East London, in my first week in England…
I took Mick up on his offer and accepted his invitation to see Russell’s slightly more political stand up show in a quirky East London pub. I was seated in the VIP section and was gifted a Deli Lama inspired cupcake baked fresh by the Hari Krishna’s (apparently Brand gives them loads of cash, so they pump out some baked goods for him every now and then).
Mick was the perfect English gent, making sure I was ok during my time in London, and eventually hooking me up at Translate, the bar I worked at which happened to be right around the corner, literally 100 meters from Russell’s apartment. That bar saved me. I was genuinely down and out, hating teaching, 9 kilos heavier from all the shortbread and Tom and Jerry’s I had been consuming out of depression and solidarity; I met my family at that bar. My London family. And it was all thanks to Mick.
So what I’m trying to say is, although I didn’t quite get to shag Russell Brand, all’s well that ends well, right? I brushed with fame, I have witnesses to my story, I live to tell the tale… I am a testament to the power of positive thinking… kinda?… almost?
In the words of the great Brand (and I’m sure many wiser men before him…
Namaste, my little love bugs