Tales from Coopers Townhouse Part 3: I Want To Believe
The whole place stopped for a moment when she walked in, which is strange for this place – usually nobody takes too much notice or gives much of a damn of how anyone looks or anything like that.
We were sat opposite the bar, and I swear Jerry nearly dropped his drink – we were practically scooping his jaw off the floor the entire time.
She was this immense, statuesque, never-ending woman with legs that looked the same height as most people. Just skin and bone, she was wearing some kind of a vintage prom dress that hung off her frame, practically baring her tiny breasts. Her head, I should add, was completely bald. That’s what threw most people – you don’t often see that on a woman, like. Her skin was as pale and white as a seashell, so that it was practically translucent.
She stayed by the door for a while with this fussy but vacant expression, like a computer with a glitch, her bare legs locked into a pair of complex, strappy heels that resembled little black straight jackets for her feet.
No-one spoke. A man walked out of the toilet and re-entered the room, pausing with mild panic as to the whys of the atmosphere, yelling, What the flamin’ hell’s up with everybody? before getting shushed by Auld Roger in the corner who pointed him towards the woman at the door. He uttered in a small voice, Oh, right, before sitting back down.
The room began to come alive again as she started to move – an action that looked like somebody walking an animal that was far larger than they were, as though her limbs were totally separate from her body and they were taking her out for a walk. She took stumbling, shaky strides looking for all the world as though she’d just woken up in this body and this outfit, and had how no idea how it worked yet. Like she’d just popped into a body shop and said I’ll try that one please! and was now taking it out for a test drive.
She walked past everyone and the bar as if upon a wet catwalk, dragging herself along completely oblivious to us all gawping at her, but at the same time examining us in some way that couldn’t exactly be read by her expression.
She stopped when she reached the end of the room and turned back around, swinging her leg out like Basil Fawlty insulting Ze Germans, and walked back the way she came.
The barmaid, a little sick of the spectacle and suspicious as hell, called out You having a drink, love? to which the woman stopped at the bar and nodded, pulling a handful of change out of an unseen pocket (I still dread to think where she was stashing that) and getting a pint.
And then – swear to God – she picked up that pint, and in one quick gulp downed the entire thing, wiped her mouth and then started dragging herself back out of the pub again. The door banged behind her and we saw her enormous silhouette slope past the window outside.
The barmaid stared into the empty pint glass, and looked around at us all. Jerry shrugged his shoulders at her and got up to go the toilet.
Everyone got on with their conversations and as the music resumed you could hear people speculating about the woman. A lot of She looks like she’s been on it since last night, probably not even been home yet! and God love her, that girl looked like she needed a pan of scouse down her.
When Jerry got back he offered his own opinion of the situation – An alien, he told us with absolute certainty, before taking a swig of his pint and rolling himself a ciggie.
Seriously, he continued, I’ve done a lot of reading on this and seen a lot of documentaries and shows about it as well and that woman most definitely was an alien. Did you ever watch that Battlestar Gallactica? Wouldn’t surprise me if space aliens were making themselves look like humans now – you know, to infiltrate us.
The barmaid, overhearing the conversation, offered this pearl of wisdom which only seemed to encourage Jerry even more, You know what, love, it could have well been an alien, but she could have also just been rotten drunk. The fact that it’s hard to tell speaks volumes, doesn’t it?
I was sat there again today with Jerry. He was wearing an ‘I Want To Believe’ t-shirt which probably fit him fine back in the ‘90s but was looking a little tight on him now, and he had with him a small video camera with which he hoped to ‘Procure substaintial evidence as to the existence of extra terrestrial life’.
The barmaid told him that he’d stand a better chance of capturing that round Concert Square, before pouring us another round.
Photography by Pete McConnell