Tuesday, November 10, 2009


Tuesday 10 November 2009

Dream: somehow I find myself in the role of some kind of social worker making decisions regarding the futures of a group of needy individuals. My paternal side comes through as I discover a young lad with the intelligence and demeanour of Ralph Wiggum boarding a tube on his own in Leytonstone to visit his Nan. We wind up in some kind of decision scenario where a team of us are deciding which person to help out. The group includes the restaurant manager trying to persuade me to choose his cause as being the subject of assistance. His cause is a total non-issue as I become focused and passionate about the wellbeing of the little kid. Eventually the mother of the boy turns up seething at our good intentions and when the decision is announced that he is the person we are going to “save” and look after the mother explodes and gives us his papers screaming “take him.” Meanwhile as I am watching this scene play out the manager approaches me as tries to hand me a large pile of pound coins in reward/gratitude for us saving his cause.

I awaken tired this morning.

You know its going to be an interesting day when you walk past a car and set off its alarm without even trying, as with the car at the station car park today. Such is the power of my presence I guess. What does that say about the extent and length of my aura?

Everyone seems to be wanting to sit in/on my lap on public transport today. What does THAT say about the extent and length of my aura?

Again I have the fear. Life feels as if it is slipping through my fingers and there is nothing I can do about it. I need time to work out and through this shit, to get things back on track. Unfortunately this is not a luxury I feel I am being afforded.

As I step into the restaurant today it is empty and feels abandoned, nobody else is home. I hope this is not some kind of sick premonition.

Slowly people filter in and the day sort of begins but ultimately I never really manage to pull my finger out, instead finding myself fascinated and distracted by the mini politics of our organisation. Some people, mostly female.

For lunch I have sausage, beans and mash and then on top of this the chef sends up a bowl of fries with it. This is too much for one man alone. I endeavour to get some assistance from the others in polishing it off but ultimately they are just pussies. This place will cause me to have a heart attack eventually.

In the afternoon I attempt to redeem myself and rediscover some velocity but this is hard in the light of receiving a barrage of flat queries. I have no answers for these questions, I just view them as pedantic quizzing that acknowledges and cements the existences of all those with stakes in the finance department of this company. Eventually I respond just with power and the authority of assertiveness (in the form of an email). With a degree of management comes the acceptability of petty mistakes and errors, the luxury of being able to turn a blind eye to such items.

Despite my best intentions this however does not prevent me from hitting the singles adverts on Gumtree for the first time in a year (the first time since Szesze). 500 Days Of Summer let an indelible mark on me and as Mindy changes her profile photo to display the Nth moronic pose of her with The Teeth I’m beginning to feel envious and desperate. Surprisingly I find the perfect girl on the website. Too perfect. Her profile dates back to September, I have left it too late. Or have I left it too late? With blind na├»ve optimism I still send her a message while agonising over which photo of me to send her. Slim pickings in the most obese way.

Around 5PM Stevo phones up to talk to me and tell me about Millwall v AFC Wimbledon. Rather than ranting about Millwall taking the piss and pretending to be hard he is cool about things despite the fact that my team beat his team 4-1 last night. We trip through conversation as once again I suggest we hit Kunt And The Gang when he plays in Colchester next month.

Eventually 5.30PM comes around with me sat on my throne. As I emerge from the toilet not for the first time today the place is deserted. In no rush to leave as I have plenty of time to kill before hitting the Roundhouse I continue doing some work until 15 minutes later my boss phones from downstairs calling me down for a drink (with view to getting business drunk). I head down to join him sporting hesitation conscious of recent developments.

During the course of conversation I mention that I am heading over to Chalk Farm and the boss points out how walkable this actually is from our restaurant so at 6.15PM I head off along Adelaide Road guided trustingly by the map application on my iPhone. As I walk along the road I listen to “Street Hassle” by Lou Reed which is the perfect song to accompany such times and this evening all feels right with the world.

This is a part of London I have not walked through before. It is Hampstead and its real advantage appears to be that it does not necessarily look like London. This is an area that brushes up against Primrose and with it looks like Disney London. I genuinely wish I lived here.

When I eventually reach the Roundhouse it is in good time. Sharply I am brought back to reality by the sight of a street fight trying to occur between an Asian and an old black guy. In between them is a little Asian fella in the middle trying to break things up. There is always somebody trying to break these things up.

It is just before 7PM as I step into the Roundhouse and with the doors at 7.30PM I get a Becks and sit down, Mr No Mates yet again.

The WILL SELF and RALPH STEADMAN talk turns out to be a pretty sedate affair. It opens with the pair of them looking at and reviewing a number of STEADMAN’s paintings being shown on a screen behind them.

It begins with paintings by STEADMAN documenting the fall of the Berlin Wall now 20 years ago. Unsurprisingly they resembled a skewed view of proceedings, often focusing on the smallest detail of the piece and an element that may not have been considered by other media. Also of course he spews out distorted versions of the most triumphant and striking of imagery attached to the nation and its finest recent hour. There is a sense of the bemused attached to the review of recording/recalling such a moment in time. Rye comments that entertain emerge from both as they accompany one another’s observations and immediately it is plain to see that there is a great chemistry between.

The paintings move onto the illustrations by STEADMAN produced directly to accompany SELF and his “Psychogeography” books. These are real pieces of work as you would expect, unmistakably taken from the warped images than frequent STEADMAN’s vision. One of the focal destinations is Dubai which together the pair of them tear apart, generally tending to unsubtly hint at the tackiness and pomposity of their surroundings. The impression that I get is that the place is fast turning into the new Las Vegas but this is a distinction neither of these guys make. I guess it needs the gambling.

It takes 56 minutes for Hunter S. Thompson’s name to be uttered and it is swift and soon concealed like the elephant in the room it is. All in all it does feel as if SELF is attempting a brand of his own variation of Gonzo writing in what he is doing, which is anything but a gripe from this perspective. This is no overnight thing as it comes as a true shock when STEADMAN points out that they have been working together for 13 years now.

The name of J.G. Ballard also looms heavily over proceedings appearing to be a large inspiration for SELF and the starting point for one of his expeditions. The talk eventually turns into a Q&A session to which they are both very accommodating, especially when faced with low end questioning.

By 9.15PM it is all over and the billed book signing ensues. Like a sucker I get involved. Tonight I really want to shake the hand of RALPH STEADMAN, the hand that helped Hunter S. Thompson reach great heights. In the hand however is his trademark dagger pen.

Once more the pair of them prove to be incredibly accommodating to a baying group of fan boys and girls. This is even more pleasant to realise considering just what a spiky personality WILL SELF is regarded as having but actually he turns out to be far more polite than a person would expect/imagine. When he signs my books he does so with gusto and while I wait for STEADMAN to doodle in my copies I have a brief chat with SELF asking him if the word “iranu” appears in either book. At this point STEADMAN asks “what’s that?” and SELF responds “oh just a TV show I used to do with Jim” and he promptly draws a picture of himself saying “iranu” in my book. Even more gold arrives as STEADMAN sets about quickly illustrating my books before inscribing his signature and finishing it all off with his trademark swish. This is more than lush.

It is perhaps a very sad statement about myself and my own state of affairs but these gestures are truly exhilarating to me. Suddenly very happy and goofy a couple of random strangers look at me and go “happiness?” I nod with enthusiasm as I lay both books out open and hope the ink dries before I take them home (to smudge these would be a crime).

Eventually I close the books and give the artists one last look of devotion.

From here I hop aboard a train at Chalk Farm and head South on the Northern Line. When back at Liverpool Street I hope aboard a 10.18PM train to Clacton which is full of the usual characters. Anyone of this region can imagine the difference degrees of passengers on a train ending at Clacton compared with a train ending at Norwich.

I get back to Bohemian Grove just after 11.30PM celebrating a total victory of an evening.

Tonight I sleep well.

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