Special Relationship

24 hour news on the bar TV. BBC. An unshaven man next to me, with yellowing bloodshot eyes says “these guys don’t report, they present. Haven’t had an independent thought in years. It’s a non-stop advert for destruction and consumption.

You know, there are websites where cannibals can meet up with people who are desperate to get eaten.”

We can be Super Heroes

After I dropped the tab I thought – is this escapism, or have I just taken a step towards the real real world? And then I spent the next stage more than understanding the interconnection of everything alive, I breathed it.

Sunshine Superman – as famous as Purple Haze.

That was ’81. And now in the age of corporate rape, pillage and plunder – crusade asunder, I stand beneath a Wonder Woman poster and feel it’s a similar idea but while all living things buckle and boil together, there is in fact no Justice League. Just us.

No Future

If you ask how I view things – half empty or half full – I’d say not only is the glass drained, it’s dry. It’s all a question of survival. A well-trained eye – for a bargain, for a mug – you know, prey. Bread and butter. I move like a shark, mate. Better to be the nutter alone, than swim about helpless with a school of bait. It’s the age of the individual, believe anything else and you’re a fool. And fate has made us the generation that cashes in. It’s either take my slice of pie or end up easy pickings.

Forever Young

We were both 18, I expect, when she said: “I don’t want to grow old. This here, now, is perfect.

Will you promise me one thing?”

And I said: “Yep, sure, ask away.”

“If I reach my 30th birthday, I want you to kill me without regret.”

“Simple, you’ll stumble into a grave you’ve been visiting for nine years and break your neck. It’ll be mine and you’ll be holding a ring of flowers. And eventually crows will descend and peck out the years, months, weeks and hours, until all that’ll be left are the few seconds we have now.

The time that is ours.”

She was lying on her back, smoking a cigarette. On a cliff-top in Dorset.

I think it was Purbeck.

A Quick Drink

I seem to be the only bastard sober enough in this place to recognise a complete knob-head when he’s in your face – and we’ve got one now, occupying every available space with a TV screen. There’s dozens of them here, just in case you miss anything they want you to know, or see, while you drink your way back to sanity. And now some flabby-cheeked aristocrat is telling us about economics. No-one here cares, they’ve got more pressing problems to fix, broken dates and lives and the sheer emptiness of all that they do. Or could ever hope to.

But he goes on and on about pulling our weight, necessary measures, tighten our belts and curb our excesses. This from a man more likely to die from gout than hunger, who has the look of certainty in his eye, like an arresting officer. There’s nothing to be surprised about here, except for the absolute victory of a spiritual chasm – that no-one in this bar except me should see a red mist, because the only freedom in this society is our right to exist spoon-fed by TVs in an open prison.

Decisions

Ideally I would have thought this through and not just taken a big step forward into the wild blue sky. But there you go, I always was impulsive, inclined to fail again where others only try once. For example, when I insulted my boss by calling him a nonce to his face. He deserved it, the way he chased the work experience girl around the place, disgraceful. And I thought: somebody ’round here ought to give him a face full of truth – sycophants.

Been out of work for six months and the rants from Sally reached such a point I drove her away.

“If you don’t like it – fuck off!” I said, and she did. She always had her head screwed on. Now I’ve lost the only person I ever could rely on – the structure of my days. My curtains have been closed for so long I think I’ve lost my way around the passage of the clock. The TV: my confessor, the message and the dock of judges I stood before. And after two weeks deliberation, maybe more, the verdict was…

And all those occasions I shoplifted for the thrill of it. And how I went and got married in a Vegas drive-through one Easter break in the USA, to Sally who worked as a PA in the company where I used to develop product concepts. Until I went and told the head thief he was a dirty old nonce, at which point everything changed.

…why not stop it all now, step off the 22nd and take a final plummet into liberation? It’s dawn and the city splutters below. Yawning and stretching as it comes up to face me…

And the time when I took on a debt to mortgage a little apartment nest, overlooking the canal and it was the best year of my life – I felt like I’d won on the roulette table. And then, not only me sacked but my wife presented with a humiliating test – your dignity or your pay, as the sex pest opted for ransom.

… I wish I could have told her how sorry I was that from a handsome salary we both should lose our jobs because of me and my rash decisions. If I could rewind a bit, I would talk to Sally and get all this said, but I’m past half way and rushing ever downwards…

What finally did for Sally was the loan sharks when they gathered and my days from then on were always going to be numbered. It was better she left than get herself lumbered with all the problems I’d brought upon us.

Now I come to think of it, there could be a solution if Sally still had it in her to try, but it’s too late the step’s been taken, damn I was too hasty again and I’m falling towards…

Oh God Sally, I don’t want to die!