Sunday, April 26, 2009

5.1 - Images


Photography. It began as an accident. Like this. Remember the me being a nerd stuff. Well in the school system in standard 7 you have to choose your subjects for your last three years. I’d had an I.Q. test and was meant to be a genius but already for std 7 I’d opted out of Latin, for accountancy, which meant I wasn’t going to be a lawyer. That was fine with my Dad, he wanted for me to take over the family business, which was his little building company, ManRodge Enterprises (Get it Mandy and Roger, he even had this silly brass plaque in front of the house in Westville. Have I told you about the house? We had big avo tree, my dad made me climb it and then go up and down the street giving the avo’s away to the neighbors. My dad would bring shit home, like you know, appliances and if we asked where he got it he would say “I acquired it”, my mom said it was a bad example and when I acquired some chocolates from Johnny’s tea room, my dad didn’t see the humour when I said just that to the arresting officer. Then in Standard seven I met Guy Duncan. 7D. Guy introduced me to typex thinners. What I’m trying to tell you was that without knowing it, I was whittling down my options. So by the time it came to choose, I ended up with English, Afrikaans, Math, Science (wiz bang, not biology), History (real enlightening in 80’s South Africa) and Art. Art you only took if you were gifted or just not bright enough for other subjects. Somehow from being a genius in Std 6A I was down to not very bright and in 8G. I had some trouble with drawing, painting, sculpture, pottery and everything else. Luckily two things happened. I took a photograph of Kevin at band practice and because I couldn’t draw I traced it. It looked okay but my Art Teacher Mr. Litchkus saw right through me. And the second thing was he got the school to reopen the old darkroom and convinced someone that Photography was acceptable as Art; I didn’t have to paint or do ceramics. He also introduced me to the drawings of the expressionists and told me that drawing wasn’t reproduction, nor was photography, it was interpretation. That man saved my life. My whole life. He gave me a path. A path away from having to take over the family business. I owe that man everything good that ever happened to me because of the craft he taught me, everything bad that came out of that craft, came out of me.

Mr. Stokes my English teacher filled in the gaps one sunny Std 7g afternoon when he read “ode to a Grecian urn”. Truth is beauty and Beauty is truth. I bought my first camera with proceeds from the mobile disco I was running. Oh yes, the mobile disco. Blame the Church, blame Vern, blame my desperate desire to be cool, to have an audience, again I must take a step backward.


About the family business, my Jewish-ness and all that. I’ll tell you what my father told me one day after watching the Jazz Singer (Neil Diamond version) on VHS together. While he cried he said that’s me, that’s what my dad did to me. Referring to the scene when Larry Olivier rips his shirt and says you’re no son of mine. My mother says the following is untrue; my sister while never hearing my version of what I was told swears that it is true in essence. Maybe it was just a good story. My father’s dad owned a construction company. My father wanted to run it, he was the second born. He was given a hardware store instead. Musgrave garden and Hardware (My mother in her wisdom opened a branch of a building society inside the store, this was before ATM’S and when building societies were basically another name for banks. This was clever, it was like putting an ATM inside a Mica hardware store, her whole career and ability to make money and support my father through his alcoholism stemmed from this smart move) however was badly run, my father let out too much on credit, blamed the lack of good parking spots and generally sulked because he didn’t have the construction company. I remember the overwhelming stench of new rubber dustbins, some reason it made me retch every time I walked past that section, I had to walk past them to see my mom. So they hardware store went bankrupt, my mother was hired by another branch of the building society, my dad was thrown out of the family (according to him, “My father ripped his shirt”,) and suddenly we were Methodists. My father started his own little building company, which he expected me to join him in a soon as I finished school. But the company was failing before I hit standard 9. My dad had already taken to drink. Did I tell you that he built the house in Westville himself, well, with black labour, who didn’t really exist, there being no black people in the country at the time, so “with my own hands I built this house before you were born”, he showed me a picture of him pointing to a wall while two black men looked at him. “If there had just been proper parking, we wouldn’t have lost the store and you would have had a bar mitzvah instead of becoming a Methodist” he said while Neil Diamond sang “Love on the Rocks”. I embroider, but you get the picture.


“I think the difference between a lie and a story is that a story utilizes the trappings and appearance of truth for the interest of the listener as well as of the teller. A story has in it neither gain nor loss. But a lie is a device for profit or escape. I suppose if that definition is strictly held to, then a writer of stories is a liar – if he is financially fortunate”

John Steinbeck –East of Eden

Invariably things will be left out. Like how I feel about Christmas. Like how I used to save ants from the swimming pool, but had to throw them in first so they could be saved. Stuff like my scrap book of silly renames, like Hark Maris for the water boatmen in our pool after “The Man From Atlantis”. Why so much water? I was in the A swimming team in senior primary. My dad told me I had to give it up because of the one lung situation. I bought it. It bought me more time at the library. I was a latchkey kid. I’d save my bus fare and walk home from school and put the money toward more records. Before birthdays I’d find where my parents had put the wrapped gifts, mostly vinyl or ZX spectrum game tapes. I’d remove the record or tape from its sleeve cover put in some older thing and play the record to death, tape it or copy the game and then when I got the gift on the day of my birthday, I’d hitch into town to the record store, (what was it called? Moola’s was in JHB right?) and swap it out for something new. I loved diving to bottom of my pool holding my breath until my lungs were bursting. Later I loved skinny dipping in the afternoon alone, knowing that our pool was not only in full view of at least three neighbors houses but also that the maid (the domestic, y’know?) could see. I would walk down to the pool in a towel, wait until I could see her at the kitchen window and drop my towel, parade around for a bit, jump in and masturbate under water furiously. Something that is not that easy in cold water, sometimes I’d swim along the bottom of the pool, scraping my erect young penis against the bottom of the pool until it bled. I was fascinated by the form my ejaculate took on in the water, floating and swimming like organic streamers in a high wind. Like I say, there are something’s I won’t tell you. Details that I will omit.

When my dad started falling apart. I mean when I realized that it had happened and I was able to trace back in my mind to time he was a different person. When I was twenty eight and concerned only with my glamorous life, and he would phone pleading for me to tell my mother to take him back, then. I tried to ignore it. I ignored it in my mother too. I offered platitudes and solutions I didn’t believe in. By then Paul was already dead, so was Jeremy and Julie. Alan. Shit, who else? I can’t place them, I’ll get to that. The thing is I should have seen the signs or maybe I saw the signs and thought that it was too late. Maybe it was too late. I would bump into people when I traveled to Joburg or people down from Durban or sitting up late on cocaine with someone who I’d been at school with and they’d say “How’s your dad doin’ and before I could answer they’d turn around pass the joint and say something like, “Roger’s dad was such a card”, or “Your dad gave me my first whiskey” or “His dad was always telling the same jokes”. I noticed that people didn’t ask much about my mother, probably because he subjugated her totally, reduced her to a cipher, the wife, the good wife. She was a good wife. She supported our family, once he no longer had the hardware store and his own little building company was gone, his work was sporadic, my mother was the only stable thing about my dad and he faded her into the background, maybe because he couldn’t face the fact that, as a man, he needed to be stabilized, looked after. It was only late at night, sometimes, some girl would say to me, if I cooked for her or did some domestic thing, “Are you close to your mother?”, Yes, always yes was the answer, but it’s not the truth, I’ve only become close to her since his death. No, since I have crossed the mountain that the slow moving continental sneaking fucking plate of his obvious inevitable death pushed up. Fuck. Sorry. Only since I got over that, I’ve been able to get close to her, I had to be him for a little while, still obviously am. He was a weak man. And everybody who never saw him later remembers him as this larger than life, generous, laughing, caring man. And maybe that’s how he started out, but that’s not how he ended up. And people would say to me then, after I’d been on the phone with him, making suggestions (Once I tried to convince him to seek out the Hare Krishna’s, thinking he could find some solace, so wisdom that would fix him in their temple and he said, “Those bloody choots who wear orange?”. He was an equal opportunity bigot) and I would ended up high somewhere and somebody from Durban would say to me, “How’s your Dad doing.”, and I say, “Oh you know Colin Young, same old hustler”, and they’d say, “Yeah, that man, he gave me the first puff of a cigarette”, and I’d nod and make another line for everyone.

I remember two things. He took me to a building site, he was building a house for someone, and gave me the one-day-this-will-all-be-yours speech and I told him I was going to be a photographer, never a builder and he just didn't hear me. He never even came to my matric exhibition; my mother bought me my cameras. And two, when the fax came through from the film school that I had been accepted and I was so happy all he could say was, “It’s not too late could try start the building company up again.” And three, when I came home after working on a feature as a coordinator for eight months, exhausted, flush with cash, with my shiny new imported apple laptop that had cost seventeen grand and nearly eighty in savings, when he was unemployed and my mother was making about eight a month, he took me aside and said, “When are you going to get a real job?”. And look here, now, dead for all these years and I’m still trying to make him see me.

I think about songs recorded long ago, imagine someone like Woody Guthrie or Robert Johnson or some forgotten orchestra or man in white hat, cane, striped jacket, the music recorded directly onto wax cylinders, fragile, tinny, later transferred to Bakelite, then years later remastered to magnetic tape, made bolder, rerecorded by others, added instruments, new voices, to a different tape, then to vinyl or other tape, remixed, and then to magnetic disk and then optical disk and now existing fragmented in different hard drives around the planet, spread out mutated, possible to bring together through the wires, emerging from the ether through these speakers, tinny and grave, the history of the recorded song like a life. Must I really draw out the parallels.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Prt 2 - 3.4


Often you have heard that advice is a form of nostalgia. But this book is nothing but advice cloaked in nostalgia. There are no good writers only writers that have discipline and good editors.

My hard memories, the unpleasant the embarrassing are easy to write. The pain still fresh. For the last ten days I’ve been struggling to start writing this memory. The sentence…

Kevin Lived across the road and down one.

…has been sitting on the screen for hours, while I have attended to other menial writing tasks, reviewing this. Opinioning on that. Following it is...

(A vague memory of Malcolm’s mugging and star wars toys)

… I am trying to recall completely as a relatable story a happy time, a golden time in my teen years. Yet the more I plow into this collection of recollections I realize that the happy moments are long vague blurs and feelings. No distinct events stick out. The above bracketed I can tell as a brief story. The time with Kevin and the band is a long hazy happy blur. But let me try. I call myself a writer. Let me man up, have discipline. Let me hope for a good editor.

I’ll take the slow road the easy way. A vague memory of Malcolm’s mugging and Star War’s Toy’s. Carol and her brother Lyndon lived across the road. He was weedy and red haired, the thinness of his hair makes me think this pallid boy must be bald by now. His sister Carol (Do not mistake her with Carol Anne, Kevin’s sister, who lived next door to them, down one across the road from me), She was winnowy and red haired and freckled and googley eyed and funny jawed and I fantasized about her only when I was hit with the reality that none of my other fantasies would ever come true (When I realized these fantasies wouldn’t come true I fantasized once about my sister, and even once or twice about the young version of my mother in a photograph I found in my fathers bedside cupboard, but maybe that’s also because I knew that’s where he kept his playboys, banned in the country at the time so doubly rare. I knew about banning, often wondered why Hunter Thompson wasn’t, anyway those are the least off my depravities, you will learn this)

Two recollections. Whenever I fell out with William or Kevin wasn’t around (This is after Karen’s family had moved) I would go to Carol and Lyndon’s house (Why were neither of their parents hair red?) and we would play in the big side yard, climb tree’s and I would envy Lyndon’s Star Wars toys that had brought with them from England (why had they emigrated to South Africa, their father transferred here, how horrid). The Eurhythmics, There Must Be An Angel was a favorite song, I dedicated it to Lyndon one morning on the radio, because he dared me to. It took me years to figure out why my sister and Carol giggled so when it happened, Lyndon taped the dedication and played it back, just the dedication. It shamed me somehow and I snuck into his room one afternoon while they were in the tree, faking needing the bathroom and erased the tape. He never mentioned it again.

Malcolm was mugged. On the beachfront. In a parking lot. Beaten badly for his wallet. The more I think about it the more it doesn’t make sense. Was he beaten for being white? For his money or being British… I will never know. But he came home from hospital and was bedridden; we were all filed in by my father to look at the bruised swollen once vital man lying bandaged and breathless in his own bed. The first time we had been allowed into those parents room. He was in the centre of the bed (did he move over at night for his wife to get in?) and he mumbled. Kevin was there and tried to speak with him but his lips were swollen, just looking at him you could feel the violence, the house was horrid quiet. I went into Lyndon’s room and played with his Star Wars toy’s. Once of them had a button, if you pressed it it reeled off a quote from the movie, a storm trooper, brusque electronic, loud. Kevin rushed into the room, grabbed the toy from me and scolded me. For disturbing Malcolm, couldn’t I see? I didn’t want to.

After the mugging, after the healing they went away on holiday. But somehow their house had become infected with fleas. My dad knew the solution and as we were watching the house, he set about driving the fleas out with branches of syringa trees. We collected hundreds and covered the couches, the beds, the floor where we sat and played Atari (what was it with that wood paneling on that plastic machine) and the house was a quiet jungle grove. With fleas. Hollowed out by Malcolm’s pain, funereal in the smell of decaying leaves. The mad panic to remove them when they were on their way home. We never told them about those leaves, because when they came back, with their dogs, the fleas returned. But I knew a secret about their house that they did not. Once it had been covered with leaves.


Kevin lived across the road and down one and was a year ahead of me in school. He had his own drum kit. We watched “My Bloody Valentine” on 16mm, as I was the projectionist at the library, I was the projectionist at my house, at Kevin’s, at anywhere in the neighborhood (My father was becoming unreliable, he had let a whole reel of a Bud Spencer & Terence Hill movie pour out of the projector in our upstairs room and spill down the stairs). That was when I noticed Kevin was growing apart from our little gang. He wasn’t the same guy who had put a nail in my sister’s head accidentally and lectured against girls. He was unusually diligent in decorating the garage because he was having people over, Carol Anne wasn’t allowed to attend. After band practice, we packed down the drum kit (How did he get that band together in the first place?) and decorated the garage. I was allowed to be there to operate the projector but once the movie was over I was to go home. There would be girls there. Once the movie ended I made myself useful changing records. Watching everyone get drunk on cheap punch and making out clumsily.

Because I had a computer and Kevin only a typewriter, it was more convenient for him to write the lyrics down for his band “EMPIRE RAGE” at my place. He was obsessed with Jim Kerr of the Simple Minds and thought U2 was a flash in the pan. But he copied Bono’s strut from the Sunday Bloody Sunday video, especially the New Years Day bit. This, him dictating, me typing and printing the lyrics led to my first intimacies with the making of music. I even tried to write a song, a hopeless pastiche of a Simple Minds number that I can’t remember, eventually Kevin was kind enough to include some of my lyrics in a verse of the some that became their second and less popular single. We slaved over that ZX 48k and that dot matrix printer. I started to attend band practices at Kevin’s place and then as the band grew, at a church in Pinetown on Saturday’s. I carried equipment and played with levels. I noticed when the girlfriends came to watch, their rapt fascination. I’m not sure if Kevin’s Wendy had arrived on the scene yet, but there were always girls. I wanted there to be girls that felt about me the way these girls felt about the band. The music was very average but I didn’t know it at that age. All I saw was the power of it.

The band had played once or twice before, but one afternoon it was renamed. In the same way I stole the rhythm of the Cure’s Japanese Whispers to make The Celtic Rumours, the same way I stole a piece of Simple Minds song to try make one of my own (I was embarrassed when Kevin spotted it), I have been stealing bits of style and tumbling phrases ever since. I am not a writer, I am thief. I have no problem with this. I’ve, since that moment when the band played on my parents veranda to a bunch of our friends, when Kevin thanked me from stage and everyone applauded, I’ve been prepared to do anything to win public approval, including discard actual singular approval from those I love and care about. I mean if they love me they’ll forgive my errors right? The public however is unforgiving. I knew that, but was to find out just how unforgiving later, when I thought that the people around me were my friends, when I didn’t realise that my whole life was a performance and everybody was my public. Soaking up the public approval then, I started transforming into the dancing monkey. I started tuning up to sing for my supper. I still do. I am right now.

I digress. Life with the band was great my duties were adulation and keeping Wendy away from band practice. And phoning Phil Wright and Barney Simon in a variety of different voices to request that they try hear the Celtic Rumours. This was in the days when, if a band was new, they couldn’t just record and put their music online. There was no online. I was prepping the DJ’s for the day when The Celtic Rumours demo was posted (yes ordinary in a brown paper bag with string and sealing wax post) to them. We phoned newspapers and created buzz, I was 14, I was a publicity machine. Phil Wright got the cassette tape, a Sony d90 with four songs on it. I had shortened the length of the tape so it was 2 songs per side, publicity machine, ensuring no silence, and he played it on air. Gigs followed. Kevin thanked me less and less from stage. After nearly 2 years of faithfulness Kevin matriculated and I was still stuck in school. That December we went to Johannesburg. I bought Smiths 12 inches in Small Street Mall, it was 1988, it was very hip and bohemian. The band played at the Thunderdome. Fifteen years later I lived in the Thunderdome as a homeless person, on the remnants of the stage, and I cried for the lost glory of that night.

We drove up to Joburg, it was the furtherest I’d ever been from home. I don’t remember where we stayed, I just remember the dressing room, meeting No Friends Of Harry and Phil Wright saying to me, “So you’re the kid that keeps phoning us and putting on funny voices”. It was heaven. Sure they were a support act, sure there were only 12 people on the dance floor, I was a one man mosh pit. With short hair and a New Romantic fringe.

Before I continue remember there are many days in a week and events happen in minutes not hours. I had other lives going on, even now as I separate them out for the telling I know they cannot be truly separated, although I have for all these years.

It was after the gig that I remember Kevin telling me that the band was going on tour. That because I was still in school I couldn’t come, that they had gotten themselves professional management, that they’d signed a record deal, that they had discarded me. It took a while for it to sink in. I wasn’t even considered to take the album cover photograph (And at that age in Standard 9 I was already an exhibited photographer) and it would be the first time that not being mentioned in the credits planted a seed of rage and revenge. Somehow this and my success as a DJ made me realise that I could no longer ride on other people’s fame. I could learn from them, like I was learning from Colin Frankie and Tony Goss how to dress and be a trendy, but my fame, my public I would have to create. I do not remember the ride home.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Part 2 - 2.4


Vern Field and her audacious love of god and desire for purity was no match for my cousin Trevor’s insistence. My insistence that I had loved her at first sight and had seen her first seemed only to spur Trevor's interest. Vern was fascinated by his bad boyness, this is how we began our long telephone calls, she would phone me to find out about Trevor, but the calls would go on, for hours, we talked about everything, I read to her from my latest literary discoveries, there was no end to my want. Even when Trevor and Vern started going out, the phone calls continued, Trevor didn’t like me speaking to his girlfriend all the time, I couldn’t help myself, our phone calls and meetings became more and more clandestine, fleeting. Vern had a friend at youth group called Lauren, I took to phoning Lauren, to talk about Vern, in a slow weaning, a musical chairs that would I would follow the rest of my life, my affections began to shift. There was something in Vern’s slow undoing by Trevor, his confessions of how far they had gone, me talking to her, her hinting at how far, me knowing, that became sordid and somehow deeply satisfying. “I” would never have treated her this way, “I” was good, Trevor bad, Vern was slowly being taken over by an evil force, she became less attractive. And she pitied me, tried desperately to find someone else for me to pour my nascent love out onto, she had a friend, whose name I do not remember, that she pushed me toward, in my rebellion my embryonic hatred of her purity, her Christianity and its easy corruption, I found myself latching onto Lauren, Vern pitied me more. I stopped finding, excuses to go around, “Vern is going to teach me piano” or guitar or whatever, and started lusting after Lauren. But as the relationship shifted, I needed a new confidant and I found it in Fiona, the musical chairs shifted, Vern lost her seat.

And then I learnt that Vern was going to move to New Zealand. Lots of families were moving away, I never grasped the reason then. Somehow, I got real desperate, I needed affirmation, I began to discover, then, perhaps 15 by now, already sneaking out to nightclubs, trying to buy favor with the cooler boys, my ability to slowly coerce. 15 years later, the raw power of this ability was to render me impotent, but then I became fascinated with the slow torture of Vern. Of turning her on to her wrongs, to (before she left) bringing her to full Christian confusion. The details are scanty in my head, but after she had admitted to me that she had “done it” with Trevor, that it hadn’t been that nice, I turned the screws, phone calls and then bouts of ignoring her. Quoting the bible and telling her that Jesus would forgive her if she repented and left Trevor.

One night, two nights before she left, we went to a movie, probably “Young Sherlock Holmes” or some such derivative speilbergian crap that I was into then, and afterwards while we waited for her parents to pick her up, I twisted, she broke, we kissed, she cried, confused, she said some things that she probably didn’t mean, but they were enough. I was vindicated, I had conquered. The next day Trevor phoned me, he didn’t understand why his girlfriend was refusing to see him before she left. I felt that power keenly, that memory is very clear. Sitting on the wooden phone bench in the cool dark afternoon passage at my childhood home, alone, I put down the phone and did not know whether to laugh or cry, but none came naturally, just a feeling of being stunned of not fully knowing what I had been a part of, yet somehow knowing, in the core of me, that I had won something, that I no longer needed to fight for her.

Her letters from New Zealand, I replied to for a while, but her acquiesion to Christ and the Church the moment she got there, her constant chiding that I give my heart to Jesus, (Oh since then how many times I’ve recited the sinners payer, take me sweet Jesus, with fingers crossed). Well, I no longer needed to pretend for Vern. I had other things to concentrate on, she just inspired boredom. At Youth group I needed for them to believe in my commitment to the Lord, by then I had another purpose for them growing in my mind and I needed Jesus to be my patsy. I wanted to be popular. Like my sister was popular, I wanted to be invited to the nightclubs, not sneak my way in. And with my record collections, my subconscious machinations began.


Let me paint a picture with a thousand words. Count them. I grew up in a really big house. In part of my suburb that wasn’t considered rich. I didn’t have a lot of pocket money, but my parents indulged every whim. From guitars to BMX’s to film playback toys and view masters. Surrounded by bits of antique bric a braq from various great grand this or that’s. The subtle insinuations of lost honour and a huge lounge with a marble fireplace. Domestic staff and a top lawn a front lawn, a back lawn, a bottom lawn, a swimming pool, a greenhouse, a giant avocado tree and a vegetable garden/orchard, a shed, servants quarters, a separate TV room for my sister and I, my parents TV room had it’s own bar. As well as the liquor cabinet in the formal lounge. Yet apart from having to climb the avo tree to pick the fruit to then go and give away to the neighbors, I really only have, as memories or my parents, my mother driving me to school, my father taking me to his building sites and telling me how one day all this would be mine and together we would beat the competition, that is, his dad’s building company. They gave me complete freedom. Unabandoned freedom. Or more like abandoned freedom. To roam the nature reserve, the other kids houses. All that. But ours was the biggest on the block. At school I had no status, in the neighborhood, I did. Every evening, even though the TV in our TV room was bigger me and my sister would sit in the bar/TV room with my parents, I would watch the TV I wanted and every ad break pour my dad another drink. When he fell asleep, my mom would send us upstairs to the second floor to watch TV, while she smuggled him to their mauve bedroom. The only time I ever watched TV on my own upstairs was Saturday nights when my sister was out with her boyfriends. I’d shut the concertina Formica door at the top of the stairs and masturbate to the Solid Gold Dancers. Dizzy from the experience, knowing it was about the time my mom was shuffling my dad to bed, I’d put on Depeche Mode’s Broken frame or Duran’s Seven and the Ragged Tiger and dress in my sister’s underwear. Sometimes if my sister was getting home late, I’d sneak out into the suburban roads dressed in her training bra and panties, and spill my seed in various neighbor’s driveways. In one driveway in particular, as a voodoo charm to make the girl who lived their desire me. Not love me. I wanted raw sexual lust. It was an escape from all the other shit I had going on with girls. At home I had all the toys, all the privacy, all the power. At school, in Standard Six, I was a chubby nerd. I had chubby nerd friends and I desperately wanted to be cool, like my sister was cool. And all the cool kids had the best record collections, snuck out to discos. So I wanted that, so I always chose 2 records every time I went to Moola’s, one for me and one to impress them.

In Standard Seven, a church youth group regular, slipped from 6A to 7D because I chose art over Latin, I met Guy D. who introduced me to the coolest kids, Warren H. and Andrew G. The same Andrew who had slapped me for saying spastic 2 years earlier. It was my chance to become cool. I tried to figure out how to deliver. And the church youth group provided the perfect cover, as was to become pattern, all the precursors were becoming beacons and the pieces begun to slip into place.

Bugger, only 640 words, I told you I’d lie. But how about I make it up to you later?


“If your treat a man as he is, then he will be as he is, If you treat a man as he could be, he will become what could be.”- Goethe

Let’s start here, I am a charity case, I survive through the kindness of family and strangers (and a mysterious other force, call it third) . The dancing monkey at the cocktail party, I am bought out to show off other people’s kindness. I wouldn’t survive if it weren’t for X. Y has helped me so much. I’m so grateful, for the cheap rent, the food, the money I have to pay back. And yes I pay for all these things by being the dancing monkey, I constantly have to relive my downfalls, and the only way to do this is to quickly highlight, but never linger on my successes. It is perverse. To constantly remind me and place me constantly in the context of someone who used to live on the street in a cardboard box. I am no longer that person, no more than I am still the child who sought to impress with an extensive record collection. But with words I can be that and words travel, words have power, words shape other people’s perceptions of you. And what are we, if we exist in this world of people, other than the sum total of other people’s perceptions. Even if you are your own man, it is because you are perceived thus, the only option other, is solitude, divorce form the world. When I strike my hand upon a surface, I feel the material weight of my hand and the surface, I am therefore of this world and will therefore experience this world. This has always been my philosophy.

I always thought 10 months of no sleep would be the price, not chubbiness, bugger. I sit here. Rid of the desire. Feeling healthy in mind, but feeling the price I have paid in my body, and now this, chubbiness, jeans so tight as to cause striations on my hip skin. Enough of me. I will now try and bind your life to mine with music.