Tuesday, September 25, 2007

insomnia's revenge - the awakening

It's four-thirty in the morning the night before the day I'm going to post this, or the morning of, if you're a bit of a pedant.
I've just been downstairs to make a cup of tea and stare glazed around the kitchen cursing my restlessness when I found myself drawn against my will to the flat black pools of the windows which overlook the garden.
I've said it before and will happily keep saying it until someone physically restrains me, there is something sinister about the middle of the night. On Sunday I woke up at three o'clock in the morning, paddling against the restraint of my covers and wondering why I could only see things in black and white.
" I'm colour-blind!" I screamed inwardly "I can only see in monochrome!"
A know plenty of people who get 'face at the window' syndrome - anyone who has watched a horror film from the eighties or early nineties will have some measure of this - when all you see is the spectre of your reflection peering back at you and somewhere out there, in the dark and the depths of the night the killer is prowling, stalking, knife glinting in hand, your eyes wander restlessly over the - ah Jesus! there he is, pressed flat against the glass.
The looming face at the porthole of your fears.
I spent at least five of my teenage years in a state of painful anxiety after being told by a 'psychic' that I was going to start seeing ghosts and that the first one would appear to me over my shoulder in my reflection. Thanks for that. I was a staggeringly insecure adolescent - as if there is any other kind - and would have happily spent hours staring into hostile mirrors and mentally pulling my image apart. Catching my own reflection became a terrifying ordeal, not only having to contend with the unhappy symmetry of my features but potentially the wispy face of a phantom hovering about the place, suggesting ways I could improve my hair. Whether I believe in ghosts or not, her words always, always come back to haunt me in these dark times, these alone-in-the-bowels-of-the-night times, when all I see out of the exposed kitchen windows is my own pale face, nervous and wide eyed, not just because of the roaming killer about to slam himself up against the glass but because the faces of the dead are about to loom up in the behind me as well.
It’s not as if I encourage meddling with the afterlife, I’m going to be seeing enough of it when I’m dead.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

i'll (not) get these in.

"Life moves pretty fast, " said Ferris Bueller, later to be sampled on the Gravediggaz Niggamortis album, "you don't stop to look around every once in a while, you miss it."

Ferris has obviously never spent a week in my company when I'm off the sauce, when time slows to a lame crawl and the only thing you're likely to miss if you don't stop to look around is my cells dying. A craving, like gossip, is hard to ignore, particularly if you regard the twin evils of smoking and drinking as I do, which is like fond old pals instead of for what they are. One, a hysterical displacement activity and insidious poison, the other an emotion sating, speech slurring social activity.
When I tried to give up smoking back in June it was as though someone had told me I could no longer breathe. I'd sit huddled in pubs with my friends, insanely jealous as they wafted smoke about the place and made roll-ups with nimble dextrous fingers, occasionally glancing at me and saying with sincerity,
"I'm really proud of you, Daisy, you're doing really well."

Well fuck well and fuck you. Fuck all of you, you giddy, laughing, smoking bitches. Those were my actual thoughts, and the beer didn't help because aside from narrowing my already shrinking willpower to that of a gnat, one without the other just didn't seem right.
I fell off that wagon so spectacularly you could have called it a stunt dive. One of those with men carrying panes of glass across a suspiciously empty street, stacks of boxes piled up in alleyways, cranes carrying dynamite toppling over onto firework factories, that kind of thing. So I'm determined not to do that this time. It's only day three, and I'm already discovering that eerie clarity of thought in which objects, perspective and people take on vivid new dimensions which - in my blurred and booze fugged mind - I'd previously never noticed. I don't look as though I've had my hair styled by Ken Dodd as I walk into work. I've found out that I do understand Catch-22, it's just a huge tome, and will be quite laborious. I've fed my goldfish every day instead of just when I remembered, and now they are no longer trying to propel themselves over the rim of their bowl. I discovered I still have a child-like enthusiasm for many things, instead of the dried-up cynical approach I'm familiar with.

I don't advocate abstinence - I don't advocate anything, I'd be a fool to try, especially since the last time -
"What's that noise ?"
"It's bloody Daisy advocating the merits of Paul McCartney. Let's get out of here."
- but I have to say, from my sanctimonious, smug little cocoon of sobriety I'm feeling pretty good. Especially when all those around me are suffering with hangovers. Drink up, losers.

Next week : I'll be back at Threshers, doing the weekly shop.

Monday, September 03, 2007

bushes on mushes

This is my third rewrite in recounting the events of my weekend, so surreal and magnificent as it was. If, upon reaching the end of this post you still feel adrift in a sea of implausibility I can only hold my hands up and say;
"Hey. It's how it happened."
Friday saw the return to Brighton of my friends Sam and Sam, the bi-titled couple who for reasons known best to themselves moved to Bristol over a year ago. The reason for their return was twofold - the World Beard and Moustache Championships were being held at the Brighton Centre on Saturday and Sam and Mitton's Marriage of Friendship at which I, as best (wo)man was to oversee the joining together in some kind of matrimony of these two best friends.

With me so far ? Good.

Friday saw much fun and drinking and the playing of the Minder theme tune in odge's pub, with me trying to usher everyone into dancing to Come on Eileen with me - it didn't happen. The next day dawned bright and sunny which was a shame as the light lanced my parched eyeballs and throbbing head at precisely eight thirty that morning and then stubbornly refused to leave, like an uninvited drunk guest, forcing me up and into a shower which needled my delicate self and left me wet and tingling. Truly, I was suffering, and I only had a few short hours to compose my self before donning my wedding outfit (pinstriped funsuit and tie, trilby, moustache, sunglasses. I looked like a cross-dressing blues brother. I looked like John Belushi in drag. John Belushi in drag after death. You get the point.)
Hoisting my sorry self in a taxi and across town, we finally entered the Brighton Centre a good hour and a pint later and by the powers of all that is hirsute and holy it was quite literally indescribable.
No, it really was, trust me, I've tried. Even photographs don't do it justice, I can only urge you to go and see the spectacle for yourselves and consider the dedication and devotion of each and every man to his facial accessory, and instead of wondering 'Why ?' just think 'Aces'. After all as the song says;
'Every girl loves a fella with a bush upon his mush'.
At least I think that's what it said. Certainly works in my mind.
At this point I'd like to steal wholesale an image which Sam conjured up for us in the pub later, that of Tony Hewittson and his portrait on the stairs. As you enter the Centre there are two staircases - one to the left and one to the right - I, like most right handed people consistently turned right upon entering the building and in doing so we found ourselves confronted each time by a portrait of Tony Hewittson on the stairs. Who he was or what he did I don't know but the artist has captured Tony in a suit, at a desk, on a phone. As Sam said later,
"When I die, I went a portrait of me riding a stallion into the vast depths of hell holding a flaming sword in one hand and a human head in the other. I don't want it to look as though I'm trying to get through to the marketing department."
It's a fair point. Perhaps the Brighton Centre would like to take this into account.
After being touched up by some very frisky gents in uniform - I said put your arm around me for a photo, not go for my tits - and marvelling at one very dapper gent (Number 17 in the Full Beard category) who pulled the chair out for his good lady wife and stood when she stood, was seated when she sat etc, I remarked on how it was a shame manners didn't exist like that any more. Mitton wrinkled her nose,
"It'd piss you off after a while, Daize. You'd end up bobbing up and down all night just to see how long it would take for his patience to snap."
Touché. And indeed, 'Tasche.
The wedding took place on the floor of or local pub's beer garden owing to lack of vacant beaches and was witnessed by myself and Gracie, a stout dog-pig with one of those wrinkled, flabby faces you can't fail to find distinctly unappealing. Then it was shots all round and a magnificent tumble from Lisa 'It's been a while' Mitton on the way home.

Their wedding night was spent with me in the kitchen arguing over whether or no Rod Stewart has ever been hot. (Answer: NO).

Me ? Drinking problem ? Nah, I don't have a problem with it.

Update: I’ve been asked to mention the tequila fuelled band which was formed following the wedding ceremony called Dog for a Witness in which I’m the lead singer. Looks like I’ll have to put my electro project Laser Love Guns to one side for a while.