Thursday 5 March 2009
Today begins starts cold. As a result I have to de-ice my car and it means I leave late.
This morning when my alarm clock went off it was disturbing an exciting dream where I am king and on top of things. In many ways the alarm clock can be seen as a metaphor for many people in my life, many people knocking me down and holding me back.
When I arrive at North Station this morning God only knows what train it is that I get on as it does not resemble my usual 7.03 and stops at different stations on the way as it fills almost immediately meaning that I have to spend a large portion of my journey having to avoid the angry glare of standing commuters resentful of my seated position.
Off the back of yesterday’s kickboxing lesson the bastard big blister on my left foot has returned and much pain with it. This is the second week running it has hit home on Thursday morning so rather than suspect it being the result of my new shoes, I am inclined to suspect it comes from the grubby conditions of the hall in which we do kickboxing in. Compared to the gorgeous and hygienic setting of the Virgin Active in Warren Street I was doing my class in last year, this venue really is taking the piss and if it now means I am subject to some kind of invisible foot fungus, this is very bad.
For a second day running I find myself exchanging evil eyes with someone on the tube – some people just have any kind of awareness that other people are boarding the trains behind them sometimes. For a few minutes I wonder if I am going to have to employ my kickboxing skills from last night. Nah, not really.
Into work and today we are one person down which causes eyebrows to rise and comments to be made. At this stage I don’t want to jump to any kinds of conclusion and give the benefit of the doubt. Others however are not so charitable.
My charity runs out however when I keep finding myself pummelled with stupid questions about Excel, the easiest computer program in the universe and known to men. Fortunately I get dragged into a meeting and as suggestions are made and petty issues raised I find myself physically feeling dizzy as the more important of issues tend to be looked over. Genuinely dizzy.
After the meeting I spend the remainder of the day trying to get back into the groove of things and regain some kind of momentum. However it is much more easier (and fun) to just go downstairs and talk smut with the new(ish) girl.
Midway through the afternoon I enquire whether my colleague pops her blisters as the puss in mine is really proving a hindrance. She says she does which plays exactly against grain and what I was expecting her to say. When I lightly skim the inflated foot bubble with a strip of staples puss squirts out warmly complete with an odour that could kill. Immediately it becomes apparent that this was a mistake.
Later in the afternoon the tone takes a dip as the girl puts on perfume and I launch straight into my Tony Clifton routine about how women covered in perfume indicates that they are hiding the fact that they are on the blob. A few minutes later I manage to top this comment with “if I met you for date smelling like that I know you’d want a shag”. This playful, some might say crass, mood sees out the remainder of the afternoon.
Arrogantly in a joking fashion I tell the girl that I should be a comedian and she snaps back “your audience would hate you” – what and they don’t now?
Using the words “radio silence”, Racton emails to see whether we are still on for meeting up this evening. I jump back optimistically but unfortunately feel shot down when he tells me he isn’t up for Anvil. Regardless we arrange to meet at Argyle Street for 6.30.
While I stand waiting, listening to Little Fluffy Clouds by The Orb I watch the world around me, around Oxford Street and all feels right with the world as Central London bustles past me, past all my cares in the world.
Just as I am getting into my ambient groove Racton grabs me. It feels like forever since I have had the opportunity to hang out with any friends and the greeting is welcomed and relieved.
With the movie idea thrown out of the window we throw out some ideas as to where to get some food. I would never have thought it but these days going to restaurants no longer holds the excitement for me that it used to have, now having become something of a bus man’s holiday. Much like denouncing the movie, Racton says “anything but pizza.” I knock about the idea of sushi or dim sum, specifically Yo! Sushi or Ping Pong.
After a couple of quick visits to Gap and Borders we head to Great Marlborough Street to see if Ping Pong can squeeze us in. Despite it being busy we get seated looking over the balcony into the main area staring at a fairly impressive glass view.
Racton and I are beginning to show our respective ages with the extent of how our conversation sways towards work dictating proceedings. At least however he works for an internationally recognised organisation that gets to send him to foreign countries. Despite our gripes about management and having to work late, there is a sense that there is an element to it that still excites and enthuses us (I hope).
As the parcels of three get dished up I notice that the bottles of beer that we are drinking cost over £6. I know/realise/acknowledge I am tight and that these are large bottles but still £6 each! The menu also looks distorted as prices are no longer round amounts adjusted to reflect both inflation/deflation/ recession decisions and the silly VAT change that occurred in December. As a result, prices that possess funny amounts just look by nature more expensive than usual. I know they are but the jagged psychology of the price hikes make them look sharper and harsher.
We tear into our favourite puffed and steam parcels while bemoaning the lacklustre rhythm in which 2009 is taking. It seems no bands are playing and nobody really is coming out to play. This is coupled with the fear of the credit crunch that the government via the media is shoving down our throats in addition to a new kind of tiredness that we are experiencing brought on by work. Again, showing our ages.
I remember this time last year, coming out of the other side of being messed around by Zoe, licking my wounds I was determined to go to every occasion possible, to attend the opening of an envelope. It lasted for a few months. This year in comparison has been a distinct social wasteland. Losing my American friend I guess has down and closed a large social door but also many other faces from the past couple of years have disappeared from my life. By this time last year I had already seen Morrissey, Henry Rollins and Nick Cave but this year, there is nothing to report or write home about.
As a result of this crapola conversation is slightly stunted and doesn’t flow in a desired manner, perhaps we should have gone to see Anvil after all.
Once we finish the dim sum we leave Ping Pong and make moves heading direct to Oxford Circus station. There is no suggestion of continuing on somewhere else, naturally we just decide to head home – the times are most definitely changing, once not so long ago we would definitely have made sure we ended the evening drunk. Tonight it isn’t even 8PM by the time we are heading home. The early end to the evening was particularly galling because I had chosen this over another engagement for the evening as Shitmat was appearing/performing in Colchester and it was a rare occasion where the “gang” would be heading out.
With go our separate ways at Oxford Circus, highfiving and making feeble plans towards going to see The Watchmen when it comes out.
By the time I am on a train back to Colchester the night is still young and I find myself watching Trainspotting on my iPhone. I haven’t seen this movie in years and there is a lot of stuff I had long forgotten about.
On the way home I get a text from Lee asking if I am still heading to the gig tonight. I point out that I am still on a train just outside Shenfield which in my mind speaks more volumes than a mere “no”.
It is roughly 9.30 when I get back to North Station. It feels an obscenely early time to be back after an evening out. Stepping back home through my front door there is not much going on and not a lot of the evening left to remain so I subtly pass out to something crappy on TV.