Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Tuesday 19 October 2010


Tuesday 19 October 2010

I wake up at 3AM worrying.  I don’t think there is any specific concern playing on my mind, it is just a culmination of the unease at where my life is and where it is heading at the age of 34.  Surely I should have progressed further than this.

For some reason I begin thinking about Zoë and those wasted nights and missed opportunities almost three years ago now.  Has it really been three years?  Where did all those days go?  Would I do anything differently now?  I’m not so sure, if anything I suspect I am now even less assertive.

For a third time in less than a week I put Chewed Up by Louis CK on my stereo.  This is hardly going to cheer me up but it does at least serve as an acknowledgement that my themes and issues are universal, there is nothing strange going on with me.  This is life and all the agony that goes/comes with it.

Soon the time is 5AM and I arrive at some kind of countdown to my official awakening.  This lack of sleep is going to hurt later on today.

Unable to fall back to sleep I put on the first episode of Louie and indulge in it as I close my eyes and sought refuge in sleep.  I think I experience mild success.

Eventually 6AM arrives and my clock buzzes.  As I look out of the window it may as well still be 3AM.

Having already been awake for hours there is a distinct and surprising lack of lethargy to my movements as I swiftly pull myself together in record time while gormless idiots give their useless opinions in the background on Daybreak.  At least they dress better than they did on GMTV.  The visual distraction helps me to forget.

As I look at my reflection in the mirror I look beaten, joyless and soulless.  When I put my contact lenses in my left eye stings, which only serves to make my face further shudder.

Afterwards as I exit the flat and get in my car as usual the clock says 6.44AM.  It is usually 6.49AM when I am doing this, so why I am five minutes earlier this morning?

The world is peaceful at this time this morning.  Still operating in darkness only the criminal, insane and poor have to endure this hour.

I receive something of a wake up call when at 6.45AM I wind up stuck behind a bus complete with actual passengers whose existences are without doubt worse than my own.  In a way this negative recognition cheers me up.  The euphoria lasts only seconds however as soon it becomes apparent that this bus is only travelling at 24 mph and is making me late.  Get with the flow.

Despite this shabby epiphany I still feel like something of a failure having to be up at this hour.  Employment agents and television appear to exist to suggest to us that we should be living an existence of so many more riches and ease than we actually are, so when faced with actual graft it now almost feels demeaning to us when considered/compared with such concepts/ideas.  And under the Conservatives things are only promising to get worse.

Soon I pass the bus and speed into the train station car park.  As usual I take the same parking spot.  Sometimes I think it is the routine that actually saves me.

Once on the platform when the train arrives it is a mongrel one which makes me feel like crying.  A mongrel train in the morning is never a good omen for the day ahead.  Thankfully though the journey turns out to be the best one in days.  Perhaps this fortune is represented by the presence of the Ralph Steadman lookalike reuniting with the Sturrock Gang today.  There are no plate crowders today and even Fading Blonde is looking good.  Everyone wins.

Finally the train pulls into London and despite feeling exhausted I am happier here than in Essex if I am being honest.  This place at least represents some degree of excitement and opportunity.  Again the tube journey this morning flies by as the Parminder Nagra lookalike boards at Kings Cross for the first time in weeks.

When I arrive into the restaurant the operations manager has only just arrived himself and with this he makes me a coffee which is a cup I am really grateful to be offered, something I am very needy for at this time.

Happily the Filipino returns today but I feel guilty that she probably feels obliged to return instead of not take time off.  She is the opposite of The Girl and I fear this attitude is born off my constant complaints towards her attendance and timekeeping.

With the band back together we have a really good day as I do a bit of housekeeping (housecleaning) on various items and chores that are long overdue address (both work and personal).

Towards the end of the afternoon the threatening dark clouds have turned into inevitable rain.

Eventually 5.30PM comes around and gradually I head off and out towards the ICA in the drizzling rain, getting a train down from St Johns Wood to Green Park before walking along Piccadilly down Haymarket towards Trafalgar Square before eventually winding up on The Mall.  Tonight I am heading along for the screening of WILLIAM S. BURROUGHS: A MAN WITHIN which is showing as part of the London Film Festival.

Through fortune more than anything I get to the ICA without becoming completely drenched.  This is an ugly day.  Once inside I swiftly collect my ticket and check out the current exhibition in the gallery which is gnarly stuff from Russia by Chto Delat.  Its from a time and place that appears terrifying.

From here I join the queue to get into the movie where I spot a man with a lampshade frame on his head.  I guess this is one of the William S. Burroughs fanatics, a man tripped out on existence that probably tasted heroin at some point in his life.  Strangely away from the lampshade hat he would appear incredibly normal otherwise in the straight world, albeit something of a failure.

Eventually the cinema opens where we take our seats for WILLIAM S. BURROUGHS: A MAN WITHIN.  I have to say I have been very excited about seeing this movie today.  Burroughs is not a subject that has been served well by documentaries over the years despite being a person worthy of such profile.

The seats in the ICA cinema are sadly narrow and these days I am sadly wide in them.  The close proximity of things (people) serves to add to the unease of the piece.

Prior to the movie beginning the filmmaker Yony Leyser gets wheeled out and introduced to the audience with promise of a post-screening Q&A session.  With his funny hairstyle he looks twelve years old and straight out of the pages of Vice magazine.  Neither of these traits necessarily work in his favour.

With this the movie begins rolling with high expectations.  As I say there is no one defining or decent William Burroughs documentary so hopes are high that it might be this.  There is a very decent Arena documentary from the eighties made by Howard Brookner but sadly nothing since.

Unfortunately the piece turns out to be a tad paper thin.  It is too MTV.  As with circa now there is a degree of style over substance as strange animation and visual tricks serve to gloss the piece but ultimately sadly inhibit it.  The methods do not necessarily reconcile with the subject.

The worst moment occurs when it goes through still photos of his rock and roll credentials and shows a still of William Burroughs with Sting.  This image just completely misses the point.

Gripes aside its always exciting to see fresh footage of Burroughs and in making this documentary Leyser has amassed an impressive array of interviews.  Unfortunately it is through the interviewees that you get the impression it may have been left too late to do such a talking head kind of documentary.  Of the heads featured Genesis P. Orridge looks surprisingly well while Patti Smith just looks terrifying.  On the flipside David Cronenberg appears effortlessly cool as Peter Weller just looks bonkers (although his stories are good).  It is also noticeable how the majority of commentators come from music and film as opposed to the more likely literature background.

Additionally there is a degree of over share which at times does serve to diminish the value of the work.  As with comedy sometimes it is best just to leave things amazing and funny and not lift the lid too far.  Being fresh source though anyone enthusiastic about Burroughs is going to give the piece a change and the benefit of a certain doubt.  Eventually it comes to an end with his passing and expiration where swift focus is put onto his legacy and impact.  It was worth the ride.

From here the director Yony Leyser steps onstage and fields questions which are courteous while not over illuminating.  Its interesting to hear how he began such a project because the guy looks really young and how he got access to so many interesting people.

Eventually it comes to a close as I make sure I grab glimpse of the person that has been sat behind me all evening knocking my seat.  Unsurprisingly it is a lady.  What is it with the London Film Festival this year, every patron has had such ill manners.

Beyond this I burst out of the ICA to Charing Cross station where I pass an agony girl.  In the end I catch the 9.08PM Clacton train home.

Tonight I discover my latest celebrity death via Twitter, it being the passing of Tom Bosley which I disturbing discover through Neil Hamburger.  Now there is one person you do not want informing you of a death in the family.

Just prior to Hatfield Peverel we beach.  Why that fucking hell hole?

Not long after this I discover that Portsmouth have won 1-0 at Millwall through a late penalty.  It could have gone either way.

Against schedule the train makes an unscheduled stop at Kelvedon.  Does National Express East Anglia realise their train drivers are acting like they don’t know what they’re doing?  This trick then gets repeated at Marks Tey.  Fail.

By this stage I have already been on the train an hour and five minutes.  I swear this used to be a journey that took just over forty five minutes.  What happened with the world?

Finally Information Jimmy apologises for the “slow running of service which has been down to congestion” before the guy gets bored of his announcement and mumbles into the ether.  This is yet another dose of shitty National Express East Anglia service and performance.

From here the train barely crawls in Colchester as it regularly beaches outside the station much to the chagrin of the Asian student sat opposite wearing a Chelsea scarf.  What a fucking arsehole.

By now I have been awake for nearly nineteen and a half hours and I just feel insane.  God hates me.

All in all tonight turns out to be the latest in a long recent line of train (mainly National Express) mishaps.  This truly is now the worst consistent/regular poor level of service that I have ever experience on this line.

I finally get home at 10.42PM.  I sleep.



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