Friday madness. Have just enough time to tell you this quote from Lizzie circa: last night coffee at Gay Costa.
"I like sex, it’s just that none of them deserve any.”
My soon to be ex-landlord is a strange, almost fraggle like, man. He lives upstairs with his wife and children and Will and I used to speculate about his excessive compulsive nature (the inventory for the flat included such gems as “three teaspoons – one slightly bent, two doormats – cut to fit steps”) until we discovered that he was on the board for the national Neighbourhood Watch Board. And then it all made sense.
With Will all packed up and gone I’m all alone in to face the music over the cigarette burn in the carpet (after explicit instructions from the mad fraggle never to smoke, either inside or out, because even outdoors the smoke could drift into an upstairs window) and the oily handprint on the bedroom wall. To explain either incident would mean revealing a little bit too much about my (now) defunct relationship for my liking so when I heard him walking down the stairs last night my first impulse was to run into the bathroom and hide in the airing cupboard.
I open the door. There he is all quivery, his white moustache leaping around his top lip.
“Hello… (He never remembers my name), sorry it’s so late but we’ve just got home. I’ve had a look around the place and everything seems to be fine.”
NB: because of the cold I’m wearing figure hugging wool Long Johns which he suddenly notices with a flinch. They’re a bit of a Scooby joke, because in recent history, I’ve got very drunk and leaped around in them much to the horror of anyone watching.
“I’ll come down and fix the handle of the fridge for you in the next few days. They never seem to stay on.”
I can’t quite believe that he hasn’t noticed the burn / stain. The Head Prefect in me wants to come clean about it but instead I lean against the door frame, nonchalant in my red and blue striped under garment. He twitters on about how difficult it’s going to be to find someone to take the flat and how sorry he is to hear about Will and I breaking up (my guess is that we’ve been a hot dinner party conversation for the past few months “Oh Sebastian, you’ll never guess. We have gays living downstairs! More sherry anyone?”). I’m almost beginning to like him when he looks despairingly at the three large bin bags, filled during Will’s big move, and clears his throat.
“And do make sure you put the rubbish up tonight. I talked to Will about the recycling but… (he sighs) with everything that’s gone on… Just make sure you put them up in time.”
Like I do every Thursday morning. On rubbish day. Stupid patronising fraggle.
We give insincere goodbyes and I shut the door before spontaneously executing a few wobbly pirouettes in celebration and knock over one of the chairs with a loud crash that I hope to hell he doesn’t hear upstairs.
I forgot to mention, I read Brokeback Mountain
(it’s only about twenty pages long – it was a short fiction in the New Yorker
). It’s a powerful little story that leaves a taste like worn leather in your mouth. If it gets made like the film that was running through my head, then it’ll be one of the most original movies to come out of the US in a very long while. The sexual and romantic bond between the two cowboys is so intense - they have so much to lose if their relationship is discovered. It makes me pleased that I live in a more accepting world, until I turn on the telly and watch George Bush, all too anxious to take us back to those dark times.
Okay, I think I’ve avoided it long enough. Cute babies and random lists have their place but you probably want the real dirt on Will and I. It’s strange – my blog demands a truth. Self censorship has never really been my thing (wit over tact any day) but as soon as I have proper stuff to write - life stuff - I get all coy. Okay, still procrastinating.
What went wrong? Well, there’s the obvious; we moved in together way too fast. I need a lot of tether. Maybe we weren’t quite right for each other. I don’t mean to sound flippant. It’s just after a few months you know, you know?
Look at the moon tonight. It’s pulling away. Each year the moon’s orbit gains a few inches and the Earth’s rotation slows because of this. One hundred years from now, each day will be a few precious milliseconds longer, as the moon dances on, oblivious.
Introducing Harrison. He's definately inherited my pout. Not sure about the ears though...
Two more jobs that I’d forgotten about (or perhaps, more accurately, suppressed) -
1. Macarena Boy
Back in the crazy hazy days of 1996 I led the “largest Macarena in the Southern Hemisphere” at a shopping mall in my New Zealand hometown. It was a stunt for the local Radio Station but the shoppers didn’t really get into it as much as we’d hoped until we dazzled them with Macarena: double speed
. My payment? The brand new Oasis Album on cassette. I remember being quite chuffed at the time.
2. Lt. Worf from Star Trek NG
As part of the professional improvisation team On the Spot
, I travelled around New Zealand to provide entertainment at a doctors' conference. For some bizarre reason it was decided we would base the games around a Star Trek theme so when I arrived for my fitting I was cheerfully informed that I was to play the Klingon. I was handed a horrendous “wig ‘n crab” combo, brown body paint, a lycra jumpsuit and Worf’s “authentic” silver shawl thingumy. I looked like Miss World Pre-Op with a skin condition. My horror was only momentarily quashed when I discovered I could do quite a good Klingon-like-voice actually. But that moment was short lived as I was then told that the conference was for a baby-milk powder company, and so I was forced to throw my ethics out the window along with my dignity.
Each night, after the performance, Doctor Beverly Crusher and I would sit in the Hotel Room, take off my body paint, and laugh / sob our way through six or so rum and cokes.
And as a strange coincidence I just found this
. Have a lovely weekend.
Nice work if you can get it...
Ice cream scooper
Office furniture deliverer
K Mart assistant
Director of a Production Company
It’s been a glamorous life, but luckily it hasn’t completely ruined me for the real world.
With the Power of my Mind.
I was sitting on the Tube last night on the way to Clapham Common for Trinity’s birthday and I thought I’d use the time to repeat my mantra. You see, I’ve started reading the book my Mother suggested, Mind Power into the 21st Century
, to harness my subconscious, create affirmations, and manifest my desires - that sorta thing. To begin with I get comfortably wedged in the seat and then start repeating “every day, in everyway, it’s getting better and better” (Well, if it’s good enough for John Lennon, it’s good enough for me) in my mind. A couple of stops later and my mantra becomes more of a little ditty.
At Bank Station loads of people want to get on. Everyone is hesitant to stand in the aisle between the seated people but a few do, and one of them is a very attractive young man (very English cute; cords, tweed blazer, curly hair, pale) who just happens to stand directly in front of me. Because I’m at crotch level I can’t but help, well, look at his crotch and the slither of stomach that he exposes each time the tube moves. And he was reading Vanity Fair
(my favourite American mag alongside Interview
) so I was also able to check out Hollywood’s leading ladies on the cover! So this mantra thing works. Thanks Universe!
I've been procrastinating all day by starting this short story...
Clean, Trim, Polish.
With the bus doors swinging behind him, Douglas K Briar began his silent list, avoiding a can of white paint spilt and abandoned on the footpath near the bus stop; the ghost footprints a clear warning to the vigilant.
The writer Douglas Adams,
The comedian Doug Stone (who he’d never seen, nor wanted to),
Musicians Jerry Douglas and Douglas Yeo,
Douglas County in Oregon, USA.
There was one more but it eluded him. He dug his hands deeper into his pockets and pushed his house keys into his palm between the thumb and his finger. It would leave a mark, he warned himself, but not even pain of bruise could muster the final name. He began to count footsteps instead. He reached “eleven” before he inevitably paused and turned towards the window of Not Just Nails
, the sharp tooth of a key biting into his palm again.
Douglas focused on the display in the window. A white porcelain hand, the centrepiece, reflected the late afternoon sun. Its fingers splayed into a flamboyant claw, on each a long painted talon, impossibly gaudy in colours that his wife’s weekly magazines would dub “hot” or “shocking” - each finger mocking the next. The design on the thumb showed cream clouds parting to expose a bright red wound of a sun and beneath it a Chinese barge floated on a lurid green river. On the index fingernail a painted fire bird was rising from swirls and sparks, the flames licking at the creature’s belly.
It was then that Douglas realised the enamel near the beak of the phoenix had been chipped very slightly – perhaps - he thought, when they shut the blinds the night before. He checked again by moving his weight from his left leg to his right, following the light as it exposed the small crack. Yes, the seal was broken. This confirmation gave him a tiny shudder of delight.
With a tiny jolt of of electricity Dougla's eyes flicked to meet another set staring back at him beyond the porcelain hand. Startled, he thrust the head of the key into his thumb to stifle his cry. The boy with the oriental eyes looked at him dispassionately for a moment and then sat down at his table, folding his arms and leaning forward to blow cool air into a cup of tea he'd been carrying.
To be continued...
I'm off to Trin's birthday dinner tonight. My stomach still feels a little queer so I might just have to sip warm lemon juice and not stay long. Bloody being ill.
I worked out too hard on Saturday. Every muscle in my body is groaning with each micro movement. And I drank quite a lot too. On Saturday night, after the gym, I went over to Sam, Olly and Lorna’s house in Clapham where they cooked a huge meal for everyone and plied us all with drink (or we plied ourselves) and each one of them asked me if I was really okay, because it was only Thursday night when I broke up with Will, to which I replied I was fine - which I am - but how in films they never talk about the people who are almost right for you; the nearly perfect but not quite, to which they took my glass and filled it up again but this time with the red and we sat around the dining table long after we’d finished the meal.
Stomach in knots - going home early. Bless small mercies.
My swimming shorts have finally died. I bought them before heading off to Ibiza. They were a deep sea blue. After weeks of heavily chlorinated water they’ve quickly faded to a strange rust colour and become slightly transparent. Then on Monday I realised the “protective mesh lining” had given up completely. For the best part of a week it must have looked like I was swimming in some strategically placed kelp.
So goodbye shorts, hello speedos. I’m not a speedos guy. I’m not. As a kid it was the uncoolest item of clothing you could possibly wear. You might as well have put on garters and a fancy cap and be done with it. But I bought the speedos as my Ibiza back up (I once, drunkenly, wore them with my roller skates, but that’s another story) and common sense dictates I should wear them out before buying anything new.
The first thing that hits you is how naked you are. Like really, really. And the next, after you’ve awkwardly manoeuvred into the pool, is how much faster you can go. Like, whoosh. Now all I need are gills.
oil on windowpane, 27" x 28"
I’ve been feeling a bit poorly for the past week – an annoying cough and a twisted stomach – so I haven’t been writing much of the play. But a little time away might have been a good thing as I think I’ve come up with the ending and now I can’t wait to get the bugger down.
Received an email from my Mother today. “I am reading a book that I really want you to read - please go out and buy it right now - 'Mind Power - In the 21st Century ' by John Kehoe.
This is a very powerful read and, I promise, will change your life.”
And I bought it this morning, like a good son should.
And lastly - “I had always pictured you and Belle as dancing buddies, joining your group from time to time as you got down in some obscure but tres groovy London club. Do you mean you haven't even met the woman let alone clinked daiquiri glasses with her?”
I know, Alice. Life, she is a mystery.
Oh, just come back from a meeting and I have to go see a client on Friday. I’m going to wear a neck tie and use my posh voice.
While reading The Face
last night in the bath I stumbled (or should that be slipped?) upon Belle’s blog in the what’s hot
list? Man, she’s so cool – I mean, it’s The Face
I like to think of Belle as my trendy, older sister. Everyone knows and loves her and all the boys want to date her. “Oh Belle’s your sister, you must be so proud. Isn’t she doing well?” people ask on the street when I’m riding my BMX.
And I knew the lines of reality were beginning to blur when Will suggested a while back that we invite her over for tea (afterwards he pretended he was joking but I think he meant it).
Now, I know there’s debate going on about whether Belle is really a call girl or is in fact a young british writer. And I’m not interested in it. Nosireebob. She can be an overweight gypsy living in a caravan on the M20 for all I care - as long as she keeps writing her sweet, sweet blog. What’s really upsetting to me, however, is that no-one is debating mine with the same, or in fact any, vigour. I think it’s only fair that someone starts a rumour about NEDITW, something along the lines that what you’re reading now is actually
written by, say… Barbera Cartland. No, she’s dead. Martin Amis, then. Yes, that’s it. And I’m his gay alter ego.
Or maybe I am…
My Life as a Crazed, Screaming Fanboy.
Yes, um, sorry about that. Not sure what came over me. I guess this is what they call "bloggers remorse."
OK, OK, it's a bit small but you can just make out Jake Gyllenhalala and I think the person taking off his t-shirt might just be Heath Ledger. Or Dustin Hoffman. And that kinda looks like Susan Sarandon watching. Well can you blame her? huh? Can you? But in my head it's Heath. Mmmm... Cowboys.
FYI: A film is being made just for me.
If I had to sit down with Hollywood Executives and create the perfect movie, well, I don’t think I could have done much better. Brokeback Mountain
. Directed by Ang Lee. Starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Heath Ledger. As two cowboys in love. In a gay romantic Western. Directed by Ang (Ice Storm) Lee. Starring Jake (Donnie Darko) Gyllenhaal. A romantic gay Western
. Cowboys. No one dying, no comedy support role, no reference to musicals. Starring two of Hollywood’s “hottest” young actors. As gay cowboys. Who will, very likely, kiss each other. On their soft, soft lips.
It’s official – we’re moving offices from Hendon Central to Farringdon (Central London) in a few weeks. The one thing I’m going to miss about Hendon is the Carwash with the painted sign that says “Hand Jobs.”
*laughs, wipes tear from eye, sighs*
No really, it does.
Last Sunday I’m standing in the queue to check my coat in (I’m at Salvation, an evening club popular with it
boys and muscle men) when Aiden Shaw comes up and nudges me with his shoulder in that playful, big kid kinda way that I expect he still thinks is charming.
Aiden is perhaps the most famous gay porn star ever to come out of Ireland. He has a cult worldwide following, he’s written a few books and apparently Kylie had a magnet of him on her fridge. When Aiden and I started dating, I described him to friends as a thinking man’s porn crumpet (me being the thinking man, natch). He was harder to work out than a Rubik’s Cube in the dark, but I thought that was part of his appeal. That was, until he stood me up a few times and I realised he was just self involved. I called it off and felt empowered because I’d dated someone “famous” without getting too drawn in. Everything was still intact.
Then about a week later I get a text – a real knock out “I miss you, we didn’t really give it a proper chance” text that goes straight to my ego.
So. We decide to eat at my favourite date restaurant, a little Italian place in Soho that’s closed down now - good food, cheap wine, and, most importantly, very quiet. Aiden’s oirish mumble is difficult to understand at the best of times, but in a packed restaurant it’s almost impossible. We take off our coats but before we sit down Aiden says he needs to use the toilet. I flick through the wine list and smile at the waiter when he brings the menus.
A few minutes later Aiden returns. He sits back down and picks up his glass of water.
“I don’t think we should eat here, it’s dirty downstairs.” He doesn’t drink the water, holding it in front of me as if it’s evidence.
“Well, I’ve eaten here before. I’ve never thought it was unclean”
“Fine, we’ll stay.”
The restaurant is quiet, almost silent it seems now, and the people around us are listening intently to our conversation.
“Where should we go?” I ask finally, trying to be diplomatic.
“What about Satsuma?”
“That’s like eating at McDonalds!”
I’m cross now and our discussion continues, more heatedly. Each restaurant I suggest he finds fault in. It seems hopeless.
Then a thought hits me. Why has he really taken me out? It couldn’t be to… He’s wouldn’t… Nobody’s that petty…
Aiden looks at me.
“Maybe we should just leave then. Separately.”
Yes, yes he has. He’s taken me out just so he could dump me.
Back at Salvation and Aiden is mumbling an apology. I’m polite. I’m aware of his charming tendrils and they make me nervous. He’s with friends and is making quite a performance. As I hand over my coat he gives me a final remorseful squeeze on the shoulder and disappears into the club.
While Will and the others are buying their first drink, I nip to the loo. Aiden has just washed his hands. As he walks towards me I smile and put on a silly voice and say “we’ve got to stop meeting like this!” He gives me a half smile, as if embarrassed that I’m so charmless and I let him pass, rolling my eyes to myself and muttering under my breath as I finally reach the urinal.
The wind is warm today and makes me restless. My coat feels bulky and I bury my hands even deeper into the pockets, turning a coin over and over in rhythm as I walk.
Cigarette burn on carpet.
Spilt vodka and coke.
Not a single clean piece of cutlery in the house.
Loss of all body fat.
Headache and chapped lips.
One sick day.
Loss of will to live.