British Summer Time

Week 32 of 2023

Exactly how bad can hayfever get? Like, can i have a swollen throat and a stiff neck or am i dying of meningitis right now?

Yes, baby, we are home.

You can skip this one, nothing really happens and I don't have anything to say.

I'm trying to slowly put my life together. I've been sick, cooking chili con carne, making a little music. Very sleepy days. Just chicken and TV. I’m glad I got to use one of those old timey elevators last week. Finished Justified, then watched it all the way through again. Been bothering everyone with my Boyd Crowder voice since Gabi said she was impressed. Watched The Bear. V good. Forks is a perfect episode of television.

About 10:21am Tuesday I wake up on the floor in the centre of my apartment. It’s not uncomfortable, but it I surprising. I don’t remember going to sleep. I cough a little, sniffle some. I’m still so clogged up and gross. It’s been a fortnight now. On Slack, I set my status to sick. On Discord, Kara recommends I try a cocktail by the name of Boulevardier. I open Gopuff.

Dear grocery store, please bring:

  • Buffalo Trace
  • Campari
  • Vermouth
  • Gluten-free loaf
  • Egg
  • Ham
  • Mustard
  • Cheddar
  • Emmental

If I’m still sick after a Monte Cristo and a Boulevardier then this goo might be permanent.

“Tell me a story—anything. A story from your life.”

— Thainá

I’m reading that new old Lou Matthews book. The orange one. It’s good. It's so cute that with the money from the best TV show ever (Lodge 49) the show creator set up a publishing company and used it to publish books by his mentor.

I’m a little unsettled by Saturday, a little fragile. I've deleted my Deliveroo account. There are no groceries in the house, so I gather myself and head to Sainsbury's but I end up at the Railway bar Blackheath instead.

I ask to borrow a lighter from the party on the terrace, they don't have one. I ask a member of staff who is carrying some trash, I’d hoped they’d have one on them but they drop the trash and say “hang on” and go back behind the dark-stain wooden door that separates the rooftop from the kitchen and i feel bad for interupting their work.

I find a lighter in my pocket.

Someone from the party leans over the patio stairs with an outstretched hand:

“You still need a lighter, bro?”

“I’d better not. I just asked a member of staff and I’d hate him coming back and finding me already lit.”

“Cool, bro.”

“Thanks, though.”

The trash guy comes back out tapping his pockets and tells me he couldn’t find one. That’s okay, I say, and I tell him I’ll bother the people at the gathering. I bother them. I get lit. I check with my hand if the large empty plant pot will support my weight and it’s strong and it will, so I sit down balancing on its edge and read a little and write.

3 sausages at 9am is not enough food to eat before starting drinking Bourbon. I’ve had 4 neat already today, and one Boulevardier. I don’t know what the fuck I’m doing. I was trying to go shopping. I set across the road to ask the chippy if they have a grilled fish. They don't, I get a sausage and two pickled eggs. Two nice dogs here, George and Wilbert, very sweet. I say goodbye to the dogs and head to the train.

Helped an Australian at the station. He was talking to two other folks. whowere sitting their with their Border Terrier. I'd stopped to say hi to the Border Terrier because I love a Border Terrier. I heard him asking about gates and beepnig in and out. I helped him. He pointed at me with his thumb and said to the couple "this fuckin guy!!!" and everyone smiled and laughed and i smiled and... i'm like wearing a dress and gay sneakers and cute makeup right now i can't believe how much i spend on translucent powder to be "this fuckin guy".

Damn that’s pretty, isn’t it? With the sun peeking in from behind those clouds, and the bottle green door of the train on the other rail? And how that train oscillates. Faster than us then slower than us. Yeah, that’s pretty. These very big piles of powder concrete seem like a good place to hide a dead body. Where do we hide dead bodies in London?

I've been thinking a lot about tenses. When to use the simple present, vs present continuous, vs  present perfect continuous, simple and continuous past. I'm looking at it like this:

  • Present continuous :: in the framing story, when I'm talking about what's happening while I'm writing.
  • Simple present :: when I am telling the story itself.
  • Present perfect continuous :: framing story, looking back and establishing history
  • Simple past :: story context, looking back and establishing history
  • Past continuous :: remembering something in story context

But it has me thinking about how interesting it would be to write and read a story written in the imperative. Where it’s kind of like a series of commands.

Order a buffalo trace, half corona, and a tall glass of water -- no ice.

“Ice with the buffalo?”

“No ice with the Buffalo."

Take the Buffalo like a shot. Squeeze the lime into the half corona, down it. Place the empty corona in the empty Buffalo. Tend to the water.

It is unpleasant on the Victoria line tonight. It’s thick, the air. Air like flan. Like a flan of Lynx body spray for eggs. Some of this heat is from June. It’s so stale, so sticky, it's been around so long.

Nobody looks happy to be here except the girl in camo green with the white ankle highs peeking out of her Super-Birkis. But I think that’s because she’s with her beau and she’d be happy to be anywhere as long as she is with her beau.

I’m faring extremely poorly on this vehicle. I'm sweating and wriggling around. To my left the girl in the leopard jumpsuit and dark denim jacket has broke a couple times, but she regains her composure with incredible grace. Nothing more than adjusting her jacket.

The person opposite in the stripy wide neck and gold open-toes. She never moves. Her facial expression is almost unreadable, it says “my life is like this”. This is no harder than anything else she’s done today. But a little strain in it that tells us it is taking a lot from her to stay cool right now.

The 60 year old man in fleece and socks and leather sandels holding onto the handle of his suitcase like he hasn’t trusted anyone for 40 years, he isn’t hiding anything. Mouth open, breathing through it. He stares at me sometimes with a furious face. I’m not surprised. We all are furious here in the hot tunnel.

Jump off early at the Seven Sisters.

At the warehouse there is a new person. Everyone's new now, I've only been gone 4 weeks, but I don't know anyone anymore but for Damien. Yve shows me their room, it rules, bloodwine red walls, black and silver artifacts, bone dogs, poster of Gerard Way to plant a two-finger kiss on the way to work. Yve says "before you arrived I was just tattooing myself and watching Blade." Sick.

We watch Blade on the couch while they add red fill to the strawberries on their leg. My neck gets stiff and I go to sleep. It's painful. I wake up at about 6am just after sunrise, but keep lying there still until 11am because it hurts so much to move my neck. The lights are bothering me, I am running a fever, my neck is stiff, I have a sore throat. When I was in high school misbehaving one time they locked me in the nurse's office because they didn't want to deal with me. There was nothing to do for hours but read pamphelts and posters about meningitis. I wonder if should go to a doctor.

Damien wakes up and we head down to LIDL. We bump into Sergio on the way.

"I will give you £5 and you will buy me bicycle slime."


Buy the bicycle slime, head to LIDL, head to the ATM, take out £50 in case Eve is in the mood to tattoo a triangle on me later, grab a few Pacificos and a bottle of Jim Beam. I will have a phone again tomorrow. Hope I can stay in the habit of reading and writing when I have a phone again.

Shoes hanging on telephone wires. There's a bar around the corner sells Tayto Cheese & Onion and a good Guinness. "Eren't nothing wrong with it" says the big Irish fella to the right of me. It's the protestant kind of Tayto's, made in the factory that's the only school trip every child in Northern Ireland ever takes. You get to try a fresh, unflavoured crisp. And you ask yourself why is fresh crisps not a market regular like fresh cooked chestnuts? When I was a kid I got a little bit of chestnut in my eye and nobody believed me. That's okay. I lied a lot as a kid. I never knew I'd stopped until Michael Mormecha's girlfriend told me if she could sum me up in one word it would be "honest". We were each sitting at the head of the table facing each other, with 4 people either side like the madcap's lunch. I'd said "honest" repeating the word and tasting it, seeing how it felt in my mouth. But I'm still a liar, even now. I pursue total honesty but I'm a people-pleasing liar. I know I'm scared that if i were honest, truly honest... well I want them to have a good time and to like me. When I talk I really believe everything that I'm saying, but it's the same as the reason I need to stop opening my mouth when someone pulls out a container of LSD... the walls of my reality are too malleable. I want to hear everything somebody has to say, so i'll encourage them and agree with them so they feel like they can say anything to me. And they do. But I want to stop it, stop chameleoning into different possible versions of myself because of who I'm talking to. To be somebody when I'm alone. But for that I need a consistent set of beliefs, morals, a code. I don't know how you get one of those. What do I really believe?

Kentucky Green Tea

• One bag sencha green tea
• One cup boiling water
• One amount cheap bourbon

1. Make a cup of green tea like normal
2. Put a little sweetness in it

I'm fascinated by the line between the party and just hanging out. The Party Never Dies It Just Gets Smaller is pretty true of psytrance raves. The rave ends, but somebody plugs in another soundsystem. Some hours later we leave the woods, but somebody has a portable speaker. The speakers keep getting smaller, the company gets fewer, until eventually it's just you and Delton on the back of a bus listening to a mix on the surviving bud from a broken pair of earphones. That's not a party any more, when did it stop being a party?

Today Damien and me were sitting drinking beers, hanging out, shooting the shit. Damien got some ice and we poured a Jim Beam. I had a sip while he was sorting stuff out. Then he came and sat down and he took a sip, and I felt it: now there's a party. Maybe it's just when nobody is coming and nobody is going. That's why music is such a big part of them, because when you're dancing it's not about where you end up on the floor. That's that Alan Watts bit, right? Life is not a journey, it's a dance. Life is not a dance, it's a party.

I'm so sick of being ugly.