Divertimento – The Now
What fresh hell is this? There is nothing more gut wrenching than those first weeks off of smack, the pull of sheer habit, the boredom. Then sinks in the realization that you HAVE burnt all your bridges and you are going to have to build yourself up. Then comes the building up, the crappy jobs, the blows to your self esteem, these that you must endure, the fake promises, the constant smashing of hope. If you weren’t a Junkie before, the process of rebuilding your life after being one would turn you into one. People are only in it for themselves, no matter what they say, and they will protect their small castles with a vile vengeful self righteousness that shows that not only are people not will to teach a man to fish (or even to try grasp what that means) but unwilling to even let him see a fish.
There is nothing more gut wrenching, then the months of boredom that follows, the constant pushing that you must get real, get a real job, that you blew it and must give up on your dreams. Then why not be a junkie if I can’t have dreams. No wonder there are so many relapses. What I want is simple help. What I get is the constant pulling of being people’s plaything, that help comes with a condition. That, no, if you’re going to pay your rent late you can’t stay home and work on your book you must come out with me. Because I paid for your food this week, you cannot go to that shoot and earn money you must sit and listen to me complain about my girlfriend. It goes on. Help offered always comes with a price, the real help you need, no one will give it to you. You have to resort to Junkie tactics to get it, which brings you back into the Junkie mentality, which brings you closer to relapse. Which justifies everyone not helping you in the first place.
I am in a bar, filled with Characters out of the Simpsons’, girls with no chins, but not yellow, yellow boys with hair that’ll make a rehab counselor relapse. Do they know they’ve danced to the same song twice in the last half hour, do they know this track’s melodic structure is a rip off of an early nineties hit. Why must they tell me that they love Enrique Eglasias? A mixture of the very young and the very old all in common in their desperation, their manipulated tattiness. What ever it is you’re looking for it isn’t here. Said more to myself than to anyone else. Something about the music’s bangin’ness is akin to listening to Brahms on a 70’s car radio. Every one of these stalking mask wearing freaks should be put out of their misery, starting with the D.J and his over enthusiastically dancing girlfriend. Including myself as I lean against the bar, interrupting the waitresses celebration of a big tip by asking her for similes of desperation.
Part the Second
13yrs to 17yrs > 1985 to 1989
Born June 11th, 1972, I am a solid Gemini, diagnosed Bi-polar countless times, told by my father, I could not write because I was missing bones, short of breath because I only had one lung (knew this to be untrue but convinced myself to prevent myself ever taking up the vile habit of smoking), I have always been aware of the dual nature of man. The truth and the Lies, the good and the evil, but now looking back, become who I have, I must confess this. Firstly that if something created us, it is greater than us and therefore pointless to contemplate, but surely beyond man’s petty good and evil, which means we must be capable of at least trying to be beyond that. I for one dwell in two worlds still and side by side, yet constantly striving. On one hand to be pure and innocent and on the other to be moral (by my own inner compass) and knowledgeable (for one can never strive toward wisdom, only earn it for oneself, it in itself being unteachble untransmutable), and to be these things innocent and trusting in my own compass, constantly every day, to never lose sight of the past but to never be bitter or regret, this is of course impossible, I am human, less than perfect, and somehow because so, am perfect. All our adolescences are the loss of innocence, some times I scream out across the void to my little unformed self, wishing I had the depth of experience to look after him better back then, but there is no reply, only constant echoes.
“Cant really remember anything more opinionated - we were all quite sweet really.
I have a couple of old photos of Roger, aged 15 or so, wearing a baby-blue cardigan and white, school regulation, PE shorts with a large VHS video tape stuffed in one of the pockets. I don't actually remember this dress sense - just that he was eccentric. Roger was Kevin's overly-enthusiastic friend next door, and the band's first unofficial manager.
It was during one of the strategy meetings over at his place that Roger blurted out the name 'Celtic Rumours'. We'd decided that 'Empire Rage' wasn't quite cool enough, and that The Cure's song 'Japanese Whispers', with its elusive romanticism, had what we were looking for.
He also organised the band's launch party and first official gig on the veranda of his folk’s house for a bunch of our school friends. We felt like kings. Our dreams were big back then and Roger was right there with us.”
Ross Campbell, Celtic Rumours Drummer #1 (or #2)
“i don't remember our first meeting.
it must've been late '86. my parents were super strict and i wasn't allowed out, but eventually they let me go along to that church youth group with some girls from school. it was never about church, it was always about the unchaperoned time after our parents dropped us off, and before they picked us up. we made prank phone calls from the payphone downstairs, and learnt to smoke in a doorway round the corner.
somewhere along the way there was 'some guy' who knew and liked the same bands that i did.
the cure. the housemartins. the smiths. the the.
we'd mess about and talk during ...whatever youth group was supposed to be about. i thought you were funny and cool and creative.
at some point, you had to join the older kids in a different group and i didn't get to play with you any more. i stopped going apart from when they would have those discos.
at some point, you started phoning me.
i don't know which came first.
we used to spend hours on the phone. literally hours.
sometimes we'd meet when i got off the school bus near boys high.
sometimes your dad would bring you to my house.
but mostly we just talked on the phone.
we used to read smash hits for the retarded funny stuff, and every week there was part of a series of cut-out 'facts'. i thought you were hilarious because you actually saved them all and made the (tiny)book.
when did vern leave south africa? after you'd stopped talking about her, it was all about lauren. i fancied you by then, and was no longer friends with lauren so that was pretty annoying!
in may of 1987 my parents took me out of school for 2 months to go to england. you wrote to me while i was away, and you saved every copy of smash hits for me.
when i came home, you started coming round to the house more.
my parents used to tease me about "my boyfriend" and i was mortified because
we were just friends
i was at that age
i wasn't a "proper" girl
you were far too cool
some time later, there was a phone conversation.
something like; lauren had said that you should ask me out and what did i think?
i was furious that she was involved. i didn't know what you thought. were you actually asking me out? what did 'out' mean?
and so i said "no!"
and you said "thats what i thought"
and that was pretty much that.
over the next couple of years we saw each other out at gigs 'n things occasionally, but you were always really cold. i think i still fancied you despite the fact you were 'a trendy'.
the last mention of you in my diary is 30th november '88 ... last day of school, a concert at the exhibition centre in durban.
"saw roger! he is SO nice now" i dont know what that meant
Fiona Thomson First Love #2
My sisters boyfriends. All had cool motorbikes that smelt like bees dripped in macho-ness. She rode on the back without helmet, came home late, wore black; saw her once from my window vomiting predawn on Dad’s pristine precious lawn. My ideas of love maybe formed through her, maybe through the books I was devouring, let me try lay it out for you. When you are that age love is like hunger. We are seldom hungry, actually hungry, but we always eat to prevent it, we say we are hungry but actually we just know intellectually that to prevent hunger we should eat. At 14 we know that we should be seeking love, we desire love, but do we actually feel love, I can deny my body food, and I have had to deny my soul of love, but unlike food, love has been around every corner, ready to strike. The pain of adolescent love is very similar to the physical experiences I had later of actual hunger, of starving when living on the streets, but I ramble. Let me lay it all out for you.
Somewhere I started to read, often, twice three times a week after school I would go to library and just read (if William came with we would play on the wooden faux bus outside). I would devour six books a week. I was in the adult section before I hit 15. In standard six, the first year of High school I still had a newspaper route. Saturday and Sunday before sunrise I would pedal my bike round neighborhoods delivering the Sunday paper. I used the money I made to buy records. There was a record shop in town called Moola’s Music. My tastes were embryonic based on my sisters. Duran, Depeche, so on. I started to amass a huge record collection. I fell for The Smiths only later, when my little heart had been broken. Through smash hits magazine and Barney Simon I began to branch out and order from Moola’s imports, stuff not freely available, not locally pressed, these imports R40 instead of R20, were impressive things, gatefold sleeves, glossy inners covered with lyrics, secret messages scratched by engineers into the vinyl, never lost my love for vinyl. And big to my little hands. I will never love like I loved analogue. Moola’s smelt of vinyl, the racks of records took up so much space, thin you had to page through them, every shelf was a book of desire. Soon after Moola’s I discovered Adams book store, huge two storied rambling place, with seemingly no order, strange books not available in the library were found in piles seemingly discarded, unvarnished wooden floors, serious people, a buzz of chatter, not like a library and too, I discovered that if you liked a book you could discover what other books the author had written and you could order them. There were books that published lists of books. I went through these catalogues manically ordering anything with titles that seemed outrageous, it did not take me long to discover Kesey and Hunter S. Let me tell you Hunter S. to a 15 year old mind in apartheid Durban was a very dangerous thing. Very dangerous, how my mind leapt at the idea of his writing, then Ginsberg, and later Phillip H. introduced me to Burroughs, but I leap ahead.
At that age, in standard six I was a chubby nerd. I was in the nerd class, my friends were nerds, we listened to Queen and liked computers, I had a computer, ZX spectrum, sometimes I would, pixel by pixel recreate movie posters in glorious 16 bit color. We used to go to movies on a Saturday afternoon. Our parents would drop us off. Listen it was so safe back then, eerily safe that by the age of 15 I was hitching into Durban on Saturdays to buy my books and records. Hitching, I had discovered through Kerouac, was sweet freedom. But I was still a nerd, the height of my social activity was going to Russell T’s house to listen to Queen and wander through his parents amazing aviary. Or Church youth group on a Friday night. Or talking to the librarians at Westville library. I had such a crush on Jo-Anne the junior librarian, whatever she told me to read I would love, she introduced me to science fiction, essentially opening up the path to discovering Philip K Dick, I don’t know who is more dangerous to an unformed mind, Phillip K Dick, Kerouac or Thompson. The girls who went to youth group were either nerds or naughty girls whose parents were trying to hold them in check. I was a nerd who was looking for company, my cousins were sent because Terence had found the Lord and intended to not only keep him but share him with his twin Trevor who saw it as an opportunity to meet girls. Back then I spent so much time with my cousins that essentially Trevor was my best friend. It was there in Standard Seven, that I met Vern.