Much dust to brush
from the hair and shoulders
we rise from stiff knees, older soldiers
blink away acid flare from our eyes, lifted
up at dimpled light like surfacing divers
to sift among each other for familiar survivors.
24 hour news on the bar TV. BBC. An unshaven bloke next to me with nicotine hair, bloodshot eyes says “these guys don’t investigate, they present not report. 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.”
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.
Bit of a let down.
Some clown’s dream from the 60s.
I blame, um… Pisces.
If you ask how I view things – half empty or half full – I 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, you’re a fool. And fate has made us the generation that cashes in. It’s either take my slice or end up easy pickings.
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.
From the chapter Three Accounts of the Band Splitting up, this is an excerpt from Keith’s point of view
From the chapter entitled Losing a Family from Two Points of View – this is Tom’s story…
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.