.also, i am a twat
Joined: Jan 2008
Yes. I hate the remembrance of it. You seemed very surprised I feel bad about ‘then’? I’m not able to find anything in it that doesn’t cause me angst & desolate ggggrrrrrrrrrr. It doesn’t help that I wasted my time recording these tapes in the first place, and now I‘m wasting the same time all over again rubbing my own nose in my own shit. 278 archive tapes digitised so far, 50 odd cassettes and 300 open reels left. Even if I stopped dubbing & binned the lot it doesn’t stop me knowing myself.
What are we if we don’t attempt to be self aware? Should I ignore what events & reality keep proving to me about me?....
I have a very clear picture of then, and can recall precisely at will, or perhaps more precisely, against my will. I know the events, their order, and their outcomes. I’ve got it taped. Ha, haha… I know how shit I am, and was then. Let’s face it. It hasn’t really gone according to plan has it? By now I was supposed to be living on the far side of the moon with the other retired World Presidents. So much ‘could be’ and so little ‘is’.
I don’t intend to whine, though I do, but this is why I hate the remembrance of it. It brings extensive regret, and is hateful. This isn’t directed at others, and what they did or didn’t do, mostly… I am the one constant amid my bad experiences. Sooner or later, that had to become plain to me, and it did. The same distaste permeates all aspects of my life and is inescapable. All that effort to break my pattern with Soundstudio, but here I am again. It’s enough to make me distrust myself.
I didn’t have your inherent musicality or Johns mood capturing fluency or Lees outward go-get talentless blind faith, or Luseans ear to the divine. I understand I have no innate pitch, tone or rhythamum-num-chooka-wooka-pa-pa. No ability to grasp theory to any substantial degree. No phrase memory. Incapable of reading score in more than stuttered judders, let alone sight reading. No lyrical insight & nothing to say. Fingers made from turnips. Only really ever found my way around one modal scale so only really ever had one solo, thus I spent endless time noodling variations of chord on the 5th to chordal 4th & back again, bawling in a voice that was only ever good enough for b vox, and twiddling said 5th modal over the top. No interval recognition. Unable to hear sounds internally. Unable to picture images internally. Not able to play in another way than that I could play, i.e. unable to translate direction into modified performance i.e. it’s this shit or silence. Never got genuinely intimate with minor keys, which is where the sound I was looking for lived, or perhaps more correctly in the minor & diminished relationships within major diatonic settings? I mimicked what a person would do if they were playing music, and the lack of technical aptitude was not compensated for by inept charm or even intuitive, natural capability. Sometimes it is, which is nice, but it wasn’t for me.
Unsurprisingly I never got ‘picked’ up, I wouldn’t have minded being patronised, but then I had nothing to offer & never put myself where that would happen. My entire life has been one long stress attack. I was constantly verging on agoraphobic recluse, still am, not exactly suited to ligging, the fundamental way you get on in that stupid business they call ‘show’. When people don’t enjoy your company they don’t seek it, and not being immersed the world your consumer sloshes around in doesn’t lead to well targeted or successful product. My brittle & jarring experience of ‘going out’ was not enjoyable to the point of repetition, what with me being far too unpleasant & prattish to function at all well amongst people, due to my inborn capacity to do the opposite of the obviously required or desired. I am an incomplete person that couldn’t successfully associate with others. Should have been part of a unit. Not enough alone. Couldn’t be together.
I was too late for a fully band based environment, too early for accessible audio equipment & software, which would have been my instrument. Just shit kit & shit material. Period wise I landed in amongst the least of taste. In those decades, what passed for was most certainly not, and in any case was well away from me.
During dubbing there are moments where a moment moves my mentality momentarily. Snippets of sound that don’t not work. But what noise I did manage to stumble or fumble on that doesn’t fail by default has been lost among bad choices & endless mistakes that meant nothing would ever be done with it. It didn’t come off did it? And where the fuck am I now? What had already happened to produce a person that was that far off the map? Am I cursed? Yes - Many times over for sure. Do I need confirmation or contradiction for any of this?
Amidst all this expert self ruin (I’ve got awards in it you know) I’m dragged into inescapable & manifestly vital sleep, flopped right down there on top of pad & biro by the irresistibly efficacious Quetiapine. And I’m dreaming vividly, amongst all the usual flying & nudity, of sleeping in this exact same shed those many years past after the cupid style set-up party. She & I were on a little ‘break’ during the very early stages and I remember my darling sort-of-semi-ex-girlfriend (and as yet unknown wife-to-be and then ex-wife) was graceful, svelte & delightful that night. It’s a long past event in our ongoing relationship, which over the last decade and a half+ has been the most fulfilling period in all my time on this appalling little ball of mud.
But during this particular tonight here & now I have the best sleep had for a considerable time, at least in all the time since she left me. In Nmaj. I’d had to ask for an extra pillow so at least in my stupor I could fool myself into imagining she was there enfolded next to me. I couldn’t fall asleep without that image & stand-in sleep sharer, not after all those years... One dense headed morning on the ward I thought I heard her shower running, as I most often had in those thousands of mornings before. This time however I mustered enough focus toward wakefulness enough to find the dorm door right by my bed open, the shower directly opposite running & door open, and an unsightly apology for a man dropping his towel to hop in & close that big white ass away from view. I couldn’t go back to sleep with that image, not after all those years...
My present hosts had, in my long experience, been deeply kind people, far kinder than I might ever have deserved. I met Caro when she was trying to work in support of resolving established problems prevalent inside a Disability Theatre Company, wherein (I felt, don’t sue) it was apparently ok for the Diffabled (differently-abled) to discriminate against other differently Disabled Diffabled people therein and that was just fine, oh yes... Later, whilst working on a panto elsewhere she and my love had sewn up the sleeves of my lovely proper-not-poxy big BIG seafarers duffle coat, which did indeed bring me to the requisite heights of flummoxation, much to their wanton delight. I’d been asked by my love to stay with her when she house-sat for Caro & Rick early in our relationship, some many years before. We’d all shared the mystery of the whereabouts of the third bush, and jointly shouldered the silent scorn for having the temerity to have raised it. I played various times in various settings with Rick – and on one occasion we’d (practically) played alongside the Bee Gees :-D A bit of keyboards, which I can’t play, a bit of percussion & vocal, of which I can’t do either. We recorded a few times, holidayed a few times, but no-one ever flew us to the moon. Rick managed to get me sessions tutoring audio recording & sequencing summer-schools at the college he worked at, and I once played a childs mini-drum-kit along with his band. It seemed to disjoint some of the group out of full musical articulation, but nevertheless it made me happy, and sat well with my general desire to always use such little kit that you could get to the venue on a public bus. It’s far simpler than all that ELP 3 juggernauts thing, and in the end someone (you, the ‘artiste’) has to pay for all that shit. Do you not know that’s how the ‘music’ ‘business’ works, ten tatty-twatty men ripping off any available uncomplicated, vain, opulence coveting attention seekers, that are all queuing up to be the ‘Cunts at the Front’. I always knew to start in on formulating procedures to proficiently scarper when the ragged & impecunious band sees their manager get a spanking new Bentley but no-one asks how it was paid for… Really, the only way to make any coin from the ‘music’ ‘industry’ is to hang around during load out, divert a few choice flight-cases into your van and scarper before anyone notices (they don’t). That’s the way it’s always been, don’t judge me you mo-fuckers :-D
I hadn’t had much proactive contact with Caro & Rick for a while, or indeed with pretty much anybody, because as part of my badly selected & unfortunate current persona I never felt entirely sociable, comfortable or capable in any general human interactions like ‘friendliness’, even with long term friends, or even people I’d never even see again. I had, a while back, spent a week house/son sitting for them as mentioned, & I hoped I’d helped in some small way for all the friendship & kindness they’ve given little old me & mine over time. They’re two of only a handful of people I know who are actually awake. Caro is godparent to our oldest son, though how we (or at least I) managed to stand before the Nonexistent Big ‘G’ that day & promise to raise the child within the church I’ll never know. Personally I don’t have an enormous imaginary friend in the sky, and no ‘magic book’ to guide me regarding bumming, or tell me what meats don’t keep well in a hot climate, or how this one is the one true one really it is and all the others are wrong oh yes. ‘Believers’ might (and indeed do) say that’s why I came to be where I am, but then they can fuck right off. One Mr. Richard Keith Herring BA (pending) has a fine sequence of routines/shows wherein he refers to ideas in the above, and outlines christianity as being that its basic belief is that ’A big man in the sky had created you to have certain instincts & emotions, but was watching everything you did, and if you ever acted on those instincts that he’d given you he would burn you in a big fire, forever, because he loves you! And if you didn’t and were good, he’d reward you by making you drink his sons blood…’ He’s specifically using it in comparison to criticism of importation of halloween imagery, product now available etc., but when applied to wider religion I can’t say I disagree with Mr. Herring or his Graduant observances. It was my brother that had been baptised, not me. Was he absolved of all his transgressions and abuses?, his attempted rape of me?, or purely rendered incapable of ever having been able to have ‘sinned’? Mmmm. Deeeeeeeeep. Believe me - You don’t want to hear it… My ‘parental units’ certainly hadn’t anyway, and still don’t, I don’t care if they never do.
Back to the current, I did things the next day? (Monday) What? I don’t know, I was landing & not fixing things precisely to memory, but there were certain practicalities I had to set off and overcome as my main concerns. Money & meds & smokes being tri-mary on the list. My meagre sickness benefit (due after years of taxpaying) is paid into Patient Affairs, a centralised system wherein the hospital receives it, and allows it to be withdrawn at an onsite cash desk. So, I’d recently heard ESA had been awarded at the initial assessment rate, I’m told it was thru in double quick time, which the patient welfare worker was apparently very pleased with himself about. Secondly, on discharge the previous day I’d been issued with a one day meds pack, so I rode the hardly any but some miles into the Shitsville that is Nailsburgh to collect the few pounds that millions of peasant deaths in the 20th century industrialised wars had bought me, and used a little of it to buy smokes & a pay as you go mobile. Though I’d booked out of the mad mansion rather than step further back into it, I didn’t intend to disconnect from them with undue haste, and maintaining communication with ‘Head Headquarters’ would be beneficial to all involved. I had a consultants meeting that afternoon, and explained my reluctance to return to the acute ward. They had no reason or grounds to delay me, so they asked for the requisite assurances (as per obviation of liability as before) and issued a 7 day discharge pack of meds. I suck on that afternoons smarties & fill up with fuel to enable a medium length doodling mid-meander back toward the Hermits Hilton of Hiddenham. I learn from Caro that her aged father has been taken to hospital as part of what appears to be the concluding stages of a long undefeated illness, and Rick has taken her mother to be with him. After some talk wherein I endeavour to focus on something other than my own selfish me (thru which I make me disgusted), she lovingly describes a highly active man who’d always been doing or making something, who seems now perhaps a limp soul, hardly talking, barely recognising their presence, sort of gone already she said. There are no words. Being self obsessed I can do nothing but silently face the incongruity of my petulant response to my little problems vs. a lively much loved life near lost. With this sadistic dichotomy to hand I attempt to settle down in shed again, thinking thru, or trying to think thru what was the best way forward at this exact moment in time.
Caro had talked about ‘attachment’ and how I ought to ‘let it go’. But ‘settle’ isn’t something I can achieve right now, so I take a late night walk and attempt to clear the remains of my mind & calm my overheated heels. Roughly opposite the cottage there’s a hardcore roadway & public right of way that leads up to an interesting metal yard of some sort. Just entirely the kind of place I’d like to have for the set-up site for ‘Martha Farquar Motorcycles’, the wholly make-believe manufacturer of imaginary bespoke motorised heavy-bicycles for the imaginary discerning gentleman, which my dear Peter & I played with. At that point the improvised road melds to an unpaved tractor-way & right of way giving access to farm fields to either side, and further on becomes a single track footpath.
To take a tiny time to ones-self is little more than one could ever reasonably expect, but to stroll along a rural track-way with a roll up, to pause to listen past the nights stillness to the minor chord of my three part tinnitus, and to begin to wonder if I hallucinate hearing the distant but distinct far off bleeping of what seemed like a very loud heart monitor coming from deep out of the dark night, well that might raise concerns in anyone, right? A remote but ongoing loop of bleep-beep-bleep-blip-bleep coming out of somewhere clear on from the edge of obscurity ahead of me, ostensibly from outside my head, from way down that dark path. I worked my brane into order and reach out (sort of) educated ears to rake over the difference between the sound and the distortions of it introduced by the surrounding dark air & environment. Between the source and its multiple refractions. I chose a response and progressed along the track-way, toward rather than away. As is usual in such circumstances my senses immediately split up and search in different directions for a considerable distance. Once I’d reached almost as far as the reduction to footpath, the sound was really quite massively loud, and as I tentatively progressed in the dense dark of a country footpath there emerged the indistinct shape of a light coloured saloon car ‘parked’ right front corner first into the surrounding hedge & brush as though abandoned crashed. The high tone burst was coming from the car, but not from the horn, or apparently from a separate alarm playback, but from the audio system in the seemingly dormant vehicle itself, hard repeating blared out patterns of bleep-bleep-blip-bleep-bleep-bleep-bleep-blip-bleep… incongruous in a rural footpath setting, mesmerizing yet mystifying.
I naturally assumed it had been dumped and while I kept my distance across the track for sensibles sake all seemed deserted, but no, some form of indistinct inhabitant signalled his disgust at my passing of his little fortress at the end of a lane where no-one went or was wanted, and he muttered while turning to the hedge behind the car. As I walked I perchanced to glance at equipment perched inside on which a red light blips in time with the audio, and my eye is drawn the blue glow of a camping-gaz two hob stove just like the one we used to take to motor sport weekends in the late ‘70s & ‘80s. I wasn’t allowed to go to Silverstone for what would have been my first Grand Prix (’79 British Regazzoni home for Williams first victory) as I’d been caught out having played hooky off school for the previous three or so years. It was the kind of stove I’d been given hot knives from at the ’86 GP at Brands Hatch by Papa Bernie. On this night, on this purposeless stroll, I caught a glance whilst passing past of the shadow-man moving toward the back of the car to be there when I reached that broad area.
He judders to a stop of sorts, one hand grasping the rear quarter panel of his car to let the rest of him catch up or come back to him, & in the other hand?, fortunately not his penis but simply a mug. The indefinite figure of a man obviously on the run from something or everything, perhaps not entirely different from my own circumstance, perhaps entirely different, maybe with a bit more murder and stuff? He stared at me, with either menace, or what I took to be him trying to get focus on me in what I also took to be his drunk state. ‘Is this a public footpath?’ I asked in my best ‘don’t kill me Mr.’ type tone. I was peripherally aware he might be a landowner or agent thereof, furious at my intrusion ‘onna hees laaaarrrrn’. No reply save the continued glaring and swaying. I asked again and received a blurted indecipherable reply in addition to the previous glaring/swaying routine. My only presently functioning superpower ‘PervySense’tm tingled and hollered ‘move on’, so stepping back and raising my hands in the internationally recognised sign of ‘Now look here fella, we’s all don’t wants no troubles here no eh? We’s all seen Deliverance uh uhh eh?. Yesssss well there I’ll just be on my way aways yessir etc.’ I did just that, being only slightly mindful of an impending hammer in the back of the head - to tell you the truth I wouldn’t have minded, given the year I was having. I retired to a safe distance & carried on another safe distance or three for good measure.
At this belated point it dawned on my impaired mental ‘powers’ that I’d made something of a not insignificant mini-miscalculation, in that as you can see I was carrying on in the direction I’d been heading. Again with the base inability to hold coexisting thoughts already. It took me a way aways alright, though I’d now either have to a) sleep in a hedge further up, b) make my way round via the fields whilst being entirely bereft of even the slightest of stealth skills, or 3) very noticeably come back past the it & its living arrangements at some point. Second meetings can frequently be so awkward can’t they? After what seemed like a decent pause in which I smoked everything I had, followed by a just about tolerable period of vacillation in which I wished I had more smokes, I began to work back toward the amply adequate improvised bolthole (see, if you have a car you don’t need to buy a tent) & its drunk and/or dodgy dweller. There he was in the blue flicker boiling something (the blood of his last victim?), and muttering to his broken self. I didn’t stop as he may have killed me. I can’t in all good faith say I wished he wouldn’t.
D J S
2 -To shed ones former self.
My next morning is the end of two nights in the shed of my dreams (no really, I’d worked out where I’d put the pillar drill and vapour blasting unit, the build bench, the hammock and everything), and I can’t help but come to the right-mind that I am taking more than I had ever given, and though there is no suggestion or indication of a feeling of nuisance or burden that my highly un-tuned sense of reading people wot I have not gotten can discern, still my innate ‘TwattySense’tm tingles and I’ve no difficulty in deciding that I and my piffling needs are the least important thing in the startlingly present unpleasant picture, & as you would expect I resolved to move on - to diminish the mass of the yoke they were already lugging during such a difficult time, by about the equivalent of the full attenuation of me & my mess. I clearly have to be somewhere else, and there’s quite plainly only one sensible option…
...using the wrong spanner since 1964...