You may say I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one. - Jubkins Lossletops.
[That is, of course, a rationale that if taken seriously can just as easily be used to defend the worst kinds of violent fascism.]
We didn't dream at all, actually, managing to nab about twelve hours of sleep over three days, despite this being one of the better organised of our trips across that stretch of tarmac and furrowed field so flummoxing to island minds such as ours: Europe.
The street and shop signs may well have been in English. We have no idea.
The way we were it's entirely possible that we just drove to the end of the road and started hanging out the doors of the van in fits of jelly-bodied childishness, imagining entirely our exploits; taking the blue sky below us inverted as the sea of the ferry crossing and the pressing faces and queries as standard side-effects of being over there where things are upside down.
No, we went to Zurich.
Fifteen hours only evented (events must happen on a fifteen hour journey, lest the minutes and their tiny drills with which they bore into every imperfection in your powdering skull finally take hold and turn you into an ant farm; hollow chronological threads extended through only bad memories and becoming the very mercurial substance of every grim reflection upon reality that such sojourns in cold and leaky vans allow) by a couple of stops at which we dealt with some surprisingly friendly faces of authority. The police stops are always more fun than the customs stops, which are, of course, customary.
Looks like I got a wink or two last night, doesn't it?
Oh yes, I'm refreshed.
'Pop a few more like that in, Tim, and I might start to enjoy myself!'
And you might think it takes thought to take a tangential turn such as that (and this), but the fact is, as I'm sure you've anticipated, those words have been so aurally scarred into the upper corners of the room in which I'm flopping this log out that their inclusion is actually a concession to the world's impetuousness in forcing its collectively unsatisfied will on my ever frowning frame.
They look at you different when you say you are a musician, and I am not sure if it is pity or a kind of orgasmic awestruck effect at the kind of being they are presented with.
The officers of the law, I mean.
Despite the long hair, despite the eyes that looked like engorged flies dead on top of the poisonous strawberries that inspired their gluttonous passing into the great family picnic or dog shit in the sky, we made our preparations, for a great lol.
'Sunglasses off, lads.'
'Just look friendly.'
'Be quiet, Tim.'
And they took a quick check and let us pass, peering into my little porthole at the rear and judging that everything was alright, as I smiled and waved along with Seryn.
Me and Seryn waving at you through a grubby window in a shaky van.
You wave us on, unwilling to face your fear that the actions of the world upon itself may be far more broad than you ever dared imagine.
The world must be knowable, else all is lost.
I mean, everything was quite nice. We had rooms with beds in and a bit of booze here and there and a couple of friendly faces and smiles and helpful people and clean streets...
But the main thrust of the journey, for me at least, was the inducement of a static-caravan of sanity that parked somewhere on our collective neural carriageways but was kept at bay from the town centre of our actual minds.
The road – in particular the sheer length of it – transforms you from debonair fellow-about-the-scenes into a kind of travelling circus animal; locked away until it's time to piss or go and forage for food. And there is no food, because you have no money. So it's always the worst of the world's cuisine. Food as an additive to vehicle fuel; sold alongside it as an afterthought, to trick you into thinking you're hungry for cheese behind that wheel.
I had no idea at any point whether I was hungry or not, but the 'eat or else maybe die' aspect of being alive kicked in to full gear. And that's what I'm talking about. That's what driving on threadbare gets you: a complete change in psyche. The world mauls at the window like car wash brushes while your world consists of 32GB of music and another book, and watching that little real life television bring trees to a kind of psychedelic life while you, again, look back on every poor decision you made when you were twenty-three; why you thought you were right then, and why you are right now in a way you weren't then, and why you will be wrong in the future, but how you will also be right because of being wrong now, and how right that is.
have the pleasure of complete arrival at your destination. When you have arrived at the venue and you have completed your sound-check and packed and unpacked and been shown around and shown the fridge and the backstage and given the codes and told all and wherewithal and whom then then then you have the pick of the place, and every luxury afforded you. Your status is entirely reversed from forager to one whom people will forage for in order to attend to. And suddenly you are brokered a million cigarettes and freshly iced beer cans and little molten gems of amber whisky in exclusive surroundings. And friendly smiling faces that stay static, and don't just brush by with the ferns. And suddenly, after being spun around in your office chair with your tie wrapped around your head, it is whipped off, and you make your way to your big birthday cake that someone balanced on top of the photocopier, next to the gin and pornography.
But this happens over the course of days, and is eked out in slow motion.
And you spend the last few dulling moments of it at the hotel breakfast, still dizzy, still sleepless, shovelling more pig meat and cheese into your now rotten gullet because you know what's ahead.
And then from the warm hotel lights and dizzy swim of every party, the van door slides shut again and SLAM. The world by accident becomes a little greyer and caged again and you start to smell the seats that smell like seats and you are locked in tupperware again.
And in the ride on the way home the weather is bad. So at the back end of the great white elephant you're travelling in you feel like a rubber raft on the back of a speedboat; your stomach lurching over every change in direction to correct for crosswinds, water leaking in through the roof, brain crunching into an emergency filtered state and then relaxing again, all through the fog of a hangover quilted only by a layer of alien-magic Burger King milkshake that had you laughing four minutes after first drinking it. Full of something not from here. Full of the thing that holds the air together, I'm sure. A baffling drink that could only make me think of Milhouse and Bart and their all syrup Squishy, or the millions of people who currently use amphetamines recreationally.
And then its dark.
It was night.
And I got sleep.
And now I'm doing this.
And now we'll keep doing the album, until the next one.
And I'll buy a cushion.
P.S. It's Trewin's birthday.
|Trewin: setting fire to your computer screen.|