Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Ach

I've been walking on sunshine since they kicked me out of that job, and despite a nasty cold that bedded me up tight and put an end to my caroling and carousing late-nite beer-drinking celebrations, it's been all plain sailing until today. And then what do you know. It was all going so well. So well I couldn't be bothered to blog. Dancing in rotten old pubs with nasty old blonde harridans who swayed on their heels towards me, "You...are so...beautiful," they were going, blaring fumes of raging red wine and God only knows what else, "The most...beautiful girl. Here. Dance. With...me?" And there was some salt-and-pepper grandfatherly figure of a DJ spinning ancient singles on a suitcase stereo, so why the hell not, and anyway in the deep salt of myself I can more than find it in me to dream of the ancient tits of dirty old ladies in bars. It's always been a bad habit of mine. And Tess -- the philosopher at work in her manual labour bar-job, a total joy to watch her scrub and pull beers and live out her Tom Waits fantasies because at the end of the day she'll graduate and be fine -- got me a Westvleteren 8, which is, for those who don't know, the God of beers.

Not like Bud or Spud or any of that gobshite Lite Michelob rot. Westvleteren has been brewed for hundreds of years by the Belgian trappist monks of that region, and always in much the same way. They brew when they feel like it and not any more regularly than that. It's forbidden to sell Westvleteren; it can only be legally obtained from the monastics themselves, with a maximum of two crates to a car, and yet it goes for a tenner a bottle, on the beer black market, rarer and more wonderful than China tea. It's really fabulous, dark and swirling, makes you high, reaches wondrous zeniths and nadirs in one's abused and rotten taste buds, demands respect. The recipe is religiously protected information, much like the sexual pecadilloes of monks and priests the world over. The great thing about catholicism is that you can repent during the hangover and then do it all again the following evening, compared to the misery of protestant- and calvinism, with their omnipresent Gods and their wet rag Jesuses. And having been brought up a buddhist, I can tell you this. It's the cruellest joke of all. There's no God. There's not even a holy Jesus watching you from heaven. It's entirely your call what you do, and if you fuck it up, it's entirely your problem and you will suffer entirely alone. But then, sheesh, you'll suffer anyway, so what do you know? The trappists must have a terrible but benevolent patriarch of a God, some bacchic blind-eye-turner in the place of the pious and sober cheek-turners of the suffering protestants. Masochism and the Christian sects really must be looked into. But not by me. Jesus died for somebody's term paper, but not mine.

But I digress again. Where was I in the diatribe about my fuckin' fascinating life in all its technicolour glory? Oh yeah right. Good days. Spraypainted my commie-luv-corps mad machine moped Pushy T'mos, the darling, darling thing. Handy Yandy is my American dream, with his greasy nailbitten hands and his homemade motorcycle switchneck sweater with all the punk rock patches callin' out decay and madness all over the place, and I do remember the hands on my biomechanical parts, and he did jump-start my broken-down heart when I needed it. But it would never work out. He needs to get out of the scene but he doesn't know how so he paints his aerodynamic figurines and tends his homegrow as lovingly as he does a woman, fixes everybody's bike but his own. The guy built a jet engine out of scrap metal in a squat in Poland. A piece of my scrap metal heart is welded to his forever. Crankshaft. Air chamber. All his beautiful machine words.

Ach but somewhere it went wrong when the BeerBunny told me he wasn't going to shave his beard. But Bunny it looks like shit. Ah ha, but that's what all girlfriends say because actually it makes men more attractive to other women. Listen, I said, you think I'm crazy? You don't look great at the best of times, think I want you to look worse? He gets all smug with his badass bumfluff. "You don't want me to look good," he goes. I'm kind of goggling at him, thinking, "You are not talking to me, me Jammy, your old buddy and kicking-around sexmate and equal in every way except in some ways that I'm better. You're talking to Girlfriend as society has decreed Her ass. And She is a holy roller of a bitch who plays all kinds of games and sob tricks and doesn't like sex except when she likes it hard from behind and who doesn't let you go anywhere because she hates herself and she hates other women and she hates you too most of the time except when She likes it hard from behind. And you hate her too, Girlfriend, in a soppy half-erect kind of affectonate way that men tend to recognise as love, with the misogynism of Freud and all of his cursed kind."
He says some English guy -- I ask you! It takes one to know a congenital culturally deformed idiot, I mean, can this cultural exile be expected to take it lying down? -- who came in the Beerking had told him these gospel truths and had thereby informed his future shaving plans. And I hate it when some fucker puts in the category Girlfriend, with all the cultural baggage and disrespect that goes along with it, and I hate it when fuckers swallow other fuckers' pills of horseshit because of codes of masculinity, femininity, socialisation, whatEVAH. So I told him to get fucked. And then called him back and asked him was he still coming over. And he said he didn't feel like it any more. So I told him to get fucked because I always at least ATTEMPT to understand him in his bullshit outbursts of rage and nonsense born of fear and insecurity, and he put down the phone on me. So he can, like, just get fucked. With his beard. Puh. Hope it works out for him. Tell you what, any girl who falls for that shit can only be pure Girlfriend material.*

*And you can get fucked too if you can't take a joke, right?

I believe in my complete sobriety that it's time for bed. Don't you? Yes. Yes, it really is.
Good night. Here's to better days (hey, that's a herbal tea I'm hoistin' to clink up a toast! Yes, yes it really is!).

Friday, October 15, 2004

Philosophy

Now that I'm unemployed, everything's been working out absolutely a-okay. More or less. Marred by the occasional spasm of financial angst. And by celebrating too much. Until I'm drunk and lonely. Until I wonder what, exactly, I'm celebrating. But for the rest, everything's sweet as sloe pie.
I was cycling home today from the Beer King when I ran into Yoda and Tess. My two most complicated non-lovers. Sitting there drinking beer with one another. He had a Westmalle Tripel -- my influence, I presume, although I could be terribly wrong or at least incurably self-centred--and she had-- of course -- an Amstel tap-pils. Well, fuck her, anyway, and good for him. Me, I've got a couple of Dutch microbrews in my bag, and if tonight turns out anything like any other night, I'll be let's-be-'avin-you before the evening is out. They were talking Philosophy. True to form. He doesn't know what he's talking about, but he has this lazy-eyed, long-haired, hell-no! way of talking that might maybe just convince the half-cut listener that he's being deep. She, on the other hand, is a seven-year student of philosophy, a Nietzche freak in soul and arse, only gets into the primal stuff when she's had a fair old few. Like sex. Like that one time in the Molotov. And after five minutes of her drunken goings-on, "but life is for living...just going for it...but you know, my mind just gets in the way...thing about you, Jammy, is that you just go for it, man, you're like a fire, man," I'm all, like, can't be bothered with this high-toned conversation, just show me the meat. So I go, Okay. But give me a kiss. She's all, like, "Oh no, it's too soon." So I hoist my shit and make to go. Because I had a date with the Beer Bunny, dog that I am. Whereupon this darling sand-coloured girl does a full well-in-that-case and starts doing things to my upper arm, moving diagonally and upwards, and then we're in the toilet, and then the rest is just History. And Philosophy. Of course. Me I'd have rather had more physiology in my psycophilosophy, but she's not that way and I messed it up by dogging and cheesing and then finally, when she's had enough of my flakiness, deciding that I do want a lesbian relationship after all. And by that time -- sitting in that student bar with Amstel tap-pils and a wall of unread philosophy between us -- it was far too late.

Tess always used to get exasperated with my cynicism and negativity. "But life is great, man!"
"When you're piss-drunk and can't even tell who's fucking you, yeah." It was mean of me to refer to how she gets whenever she goes anywhere in public. All the boys used to say that Tess isn't into sex. I used to tell 'em, yeah right, just not with you. And just because she categorically stated that she doesn't do it with girls, you know, I just had to prove them wrong. But what did I know? Don't know much, two years on, still don't know. I just don't know with her.
"You're so down on everything, man."
"That's because my soul is like a helium balloon and I've got to be draggin' on the motherfucker all the time," I said. "Or it'll go tweezling off into the heavens. You, on the other hand," and I took a drag on her cigarette, "have a soul like a sink-tank. You've got to be tweaking it or it'll, like, go all the way down."

At least she conceded I was right. And she laughed, which is something. With her.

Anyway, right. So I invited Yoda to dinner because I'd had enough of their wittering on. You know, I don't understand any of it anyway because it's really nothing to do with Philosophy and all to do with some weird shit they're having with one another. Great. She and he both, like, together. Of which more later. But Yoda's just showed up and he's going to read over my shoulder, which I can't handle. So that's it. Until a more interesting episode.

More philosophy from this hairy punk who's standing at my left hand side, listen to him. "I think what you're writing now is a lot more real than what you were writing then." And he's talking about Woody Allen movies. Fuck him. I'm going to go and cook him dinner, for my sins. Goodbye, nobody.

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

Good Bad Day

So today I got fired. I mean, thank God. It was such a bad day, a brooding day, a sulky arsehole of a day despite the unusual sun, that something had to break, like a storm breaks. And I say thank God because quite frankly I've been looking forward to this moment since I started this job.

I kind of knew it was coming. And despite the I've-got-my-period-and-my-life-sucks feeling biting at my tear glands, I walked away with this huge release, like getting freed. And you need money, right, to live, and if I could buy all the non-commercial dreami-creaminess of the CrimethInc folks about the vagabond life as the only way out of our situationist consumer hell, well, I would. But maybe I've come too far out of the pan for that sort of thing. I'm twenty-fucking-four, can't be scrabbling in containers for the rat-ends of society to chew on. How bourgeois of me. But fuck it. I've earned it (how capitalist of me). Anyway though, the dreaming bums of youth are right about a few things, damn straight. Sun in the face. Time for yerself. A good cup of coffee taken at leisure. And although they don't have much on booze, being sensibly straight-edge and east-coast, a good strong Dubbel taken at midday is a pleasure I'd add to the list. You can still function in that mild fuzzy bluntedness you get from a heavy belgian beer, I mean, you can drift around in the library all afternoon, or sing, or cook a damn good dinner with all your senses buzzing softly. But you can't go to work on it. Not that kind of work. So I shouldn't be doing that kind of work, should I? Thank Jesus it's all over, and what I'll do for bills now I don't know, but at least my Saturdays are free again. Sleeping against Bunny's skinny chest till we both wake up. At two. At four. At dinner time for another beer and a joint. The forgotten joys of not giving a shit. I wish I was a vagabond dreamer.

But I got to pay my rent, these days. And that's a whooooole other story. But talking of it, I'm goin' out for another one. To celebrate my freedom and my final paypacket. I said, GodDamn.

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

This Weary Heart, or More Manual Labour Hell

Like my boss said -- skinny and forty and a keen amateur tennis player, she is, but quite nice for all that -- there are two distinct species found amongst those who perform semi- or non-skilled work in the service industry. There are the cook types and the waitress types. As she sat me down on one of the stainless steel salon tables on the terrace outside her business, where I slop soup into American-import ramekins of cardboard for a "nice crowd" of wannabe healthies (if only they knew) and office workers who think they're discerning lunchers, she told me I wasn't to serve customers any more.
Yeah well, I whimpered in my best humble voice (she'd just brought me up on my insubordinate behaviour and non-team-playing conduct), I did like, tell you, I'm not like, the waitress type.

Yes, she sighs. And I think we're beginning to see that really rather clearly.

It's nothing new to me, that I'm not the front of house type. I remember that fancy schmancy shithole of a scented "handmade" soap boutique in Spitalfields in London. There were three of us in the basement for all nine of our nine-hour days, saturated to the skin and bones by the high-reekin' essential oils we stirred into caustic soda, wearing balaclavas and wellington boots. Me and Dixon and Eric, two ghanaian guys. Upstairs you had Victoria, Laura, Sigrid -- two out of the three were pre-raphaelite redheads of exquisitely fine structure and hide, and the third was a dumpy but fashionably glitzy chick with a good hairstyle. And the niggers and the punks -- not allowed to show our dutty faces in the perfumed interior of Immaculate House -- that was what the place was called, Immaculate House -- stayed down where we belonged, getting six fifty and hour and no insurance for all the chemical exposure. Listening to the South Lundin reggae radio and getting stoned. Shovin' prickarse little rosebuds into greasy blocks of soap and putting them into lined boxes -- the Love boxes -- which would be sold for a tenner a pop. The owner, this skinny cutthroat whippet with big ambitions and a whore/virgin complex, got featured in Vogue Interiors. Soap to make you feel dirty while you're getting nice and clean.*

But I digress. And through all my ten years of manual labour -- ten, man! -- I've never got along when I've had to smile for the customer. The customer can fuck off, man. I could go on about the paradigm of being the slave of a slave, how forced camaraderie is designed to numb our awareness, how the customer ends up the ultimate patsy for being the asshole who's suckered (with a smile and some good marketing) into consumer slavery, prepared to pay out crazy sums for his fix of consumer culture although it's been pissed on, spat in, poisoned with msg, or whatever. But I won't, not just now.

No, actually I had an epiphany outside the cafe with my boss going on about my aggressive personality. I thought -- for the first time in my adult life -- of going back to school.

But I digress. But I digest. And after a day of standing the kitchen soldier service with your lips sewn into a grin and a tampon ragin' within, you're like, not in state to do anything else. But tonight's the Sneak Preview at the student movie house, and Beerbunny said he'd take me because despite my anguished travailing I remain as broke as a fifteen-year-old on dope.

But I could go back to school, no. I mean, I could grow out of it.

There's time. Isn't there? There's time. I'm twenty-four. That's old. But it's alive, at least. There's time.

Madonna the Holy Cow

...continued from above on the whore/virgin theme...

*Whereas with Madonna, it tends to work the other way around; something clean and rather ordinary dirtying itself wildly in a parody of everything that it isn't, in and of itself.

Sigh. I'm going to the movies.

You know, I only started this blog because there's no bugger who cares, dude. And thank God for that, and for the vast empty loneliness of cyberspace. Ah.