British Summer Time

week 28 of '23

I’m struggling to recall how this week began, and I’m currently off-line on my flight to Portugal using my MacBook Air with no writing archive.

I dyed my hair various UV colors. Dark hot pink, orange (electric lizard) and lemon (electric banana) and lime. I went to the cinema with the taco girl. We saw the Wes Anderson. Good movie. I liked the line “I’ve learned to take people as I find them, not as others find them” a lot. It’s good and important.

On Tuesday I got a letter from Orla Foster. A true joy. She is a wonderful writer. She was angrier than normal, as funny as usual. I’m not being hyperbolic when I say she is one of my favorite writers. It’s very funny to say “what an inspiring young woman!” as an insult.

Who can be sure what happened on Wednesday? I remember I went out… I talked to some people at The Railway… I bought some drinks and I sat in the graveyard listening to The Velvet Underground for a while. I remember that I stayed up until 4am tracking my summer against Joseph Campbell’s hero’s journey. It works pretty well. It means that Portugal, Boom festival, is the abyss. It’s death and rebirth. It’s the belly of the beast. It means that it’s there I must change from what I have been to what I will be. It’s there, narratively speaking, that I should find what I’m looking for. And pay the price.

On Thursday I went into the office. I went out afterwards. I kissed somebody. I woke up in a doorway of a hotel on Bread Street without a phone. I managed to get my phone back thanks to the help of a colleague and the gentle restauranteur who’d found it and brought it with him to Row Lane.

Friday night I packed my bags for Portugal. I went to bed kind of early. I considered the idea of smuggling ketamine in a an old Maybelline Translucent Powder container. It has a bottom shelf, and a built in mirror, and it’s normal for it to be filled with white powder. It is an exceptional place to keep powdered drugs. Plus you can say “Maybe she’s born with it, maybe it’s ketamine.”

On Saturday I continued packing. Talked with Georgia on the phone for a couple of hours. Veeted my entire body. Redid my hair dye. Had a good bath. All smooth like a dolphin. On Saturday night I went to the warehouse to collect Ruxi’s Crocs. Crocsandra. Crocsandra Crocsun. While I’m there collecting the crocs, having a beer at the kitchen table, a party breaks out around me. I text ivi. Ivi’s playing a live set at The Jago. I love The Jago. I go to the local bar to get a quick pair of tequilas while I await my taxi to The Jago. A fist fight breaks out beside me between two men because one asked if I was trans and the other decided to defend my honour. The question asker was pushed out the door, onto the floor. Thrown out of the pub almost literally like jazzy jeff.

Ivi was great. A really good set. I loved every moment of it. I’m not being hyperbolic when I say they are my favourite dj. Also one of my favourite people. I met some people in the smoking area who were very nice too. One of them invited me to their housewarming in August, so there’s that to look forward to. August is seeming like a busy month. Ivi took me to a party afterwards. First we stopped by a Clapton warehouse where I met some new queers. They were very lovely. I like them a lot. It’s nice to meet people who you feel immediately comfortable with, and who seem like old friends. The party was in a house but there were wristbands like it was an event. I danced a lot. I agreed to marry several people. Most of the people there were from Brazil. I did not agree to marry any Brazilians.

When the party was complete, we returned to the warehouse and I sat on the floor and worried that I had overstayed my welcome. In fact at one point I was so certain that I had, I packed my bag and got up and started towards the door before asking for confirmation and being told to sit back down. It’s something I’m very nervous about, I guess. I don’t know when I’m part of the group that stays and hangs out and part of the group that is meant to leave. The highlight of the evening, and perhaps my entire life, was when ivi and ana (a mexican(?) creature with severe black and red bangs who projects an aura of incredible cool that would be exceptionally intimidating if they weren’t so kind) danced to the “psyggaetón” track I made after Existance. Ana kept saying “This is a bridge” and “Can we have this” and the faces they made while getting into the groove of it left me speechless and proud and weak. I literally had to leave after this because I could no longer communicate. I am not used to seeing somebody whose opinion is important to me enjoying something I’ve created so fervently. Maybe I should make more of that. Maybe it is not a joke.

I’d stayed up all night again, hadn’t I? I got a taxi home. I drank a few beers and a few shots of tequila and finished off my packing. I watched a few episodes of Justified and then went to the airport. I tried out the Business Class lounge. The vibe was all off for me, but I did enjoy making myself an incredibly spicy rhesus negative Bloody Mary at the unmanned self-service Bloody Mary counter. I don’t understand why priority boarding is seen as a benefit? It meant I had to move from walking around comfortably in the airport to being trapped in an uncomfortable airplane seat much earlier, and spend an hour there that could have been spent on tequila. I’m writing this now from the plane where I’ve been surprised to learn that British Airways knows I’m diabetic and so prepared me a special off-menu fish dish.

I removed the typewriter from my backpack just before leaving. I allowed doubt to creep in. I really regret it now, I know that I should have brought it. Perhaps I can pick up a new one at some Portuguese antiques store.

I don’t have any hotels booked. I don’t have any idea what I’m doing when I land or the days until I take the bus into the festival. Or the days after the festival. The next time I write, I will be at Boom in the silly heat. It’ll be the halfway point, which might mean we know the left half of the story circle. I've bought aeroplane internet now so I can post this from my seat and then hopefully have another little nap.