Saturday, 18 July 2009

Saturday 18 July 2009

Dream: I find myself in a second hand record store that specialises in CD singles. As some kind of event occurs outside the building I find myself discovering some real gems from my musical past including a CD single EP of “Her Jazz” by Huggy Bear, even though I don’t even think this ever existed in the first place. I pick up another a CD and want to purchase them but suddenly it appears that I do not possess the means to do so. Suddenly I find myself back at Baker Street and working for that painful company. There suddenly appears to be some new kind of hierarchy set up that almost resembles a classroom, which would fit in with The Korean’s comments of how our the notes from our “manager” were “like being back at school” in addition to the red ink scribble/scrawl she would love to cover my work in. Luckily however our “team” is at the back of the room but in a way that means there is more scrutiny on us. We have some kind of company meeting that resembles a class show and tell basically playing out the wares of our music clients. I have no interest in hearing the latest soft rock Coldplay wannabe or weak release from some Britpop casualty. It would appear my disdain is obvious as from across the room Zoe suddenly hurls some criticism in my direction along the lines of “if you have something to share Jason…..” All of a sudden her under the surface nastiness has shed through the surface. She is commenting on some notes that I have been writing and I respond “they’re just personal” which obviously is frowned upon the masses being some kind of inclination/indication of individualism. Zoe is paying real attention to me, she appears annoyed by me and angry with it. Finally I sense some passion, too little too late. Unfortunately with my delicate frame of mind when it comes to the opposite sex I welcome and get excited by the renewed degree of interest.

At this point my self confidence rises and I begin to speak out some more. I do not speak out with controversial opinions, more better judge what I say and construct some kind of version of what my bosses want to hear in addition to a sensible and rebellious argument. Is such a mannerism possible? Perhaps this is where I am failing in life. As a result I get picked for on location assignment with the Yes Boy in my team. It appears to be some kind of video shoot in Italy by some faceless, dullard act being hyped in a manner that the public is responding to. There actually appears to be very little work involved, just making lots of positive comments and observations. Suddenly it occurs to me that I am beginning to resemble Toby Young from “How To Lose Friends And Alienate People” when he is on the way up (a very small portion of the book/film). At the end of the photo shoot the kid of one of the people involved suddenly needs a piss and the mother finds a hole in the ground right next to where we are standing. As the mother drops his shorts and he begins his business I make the faux pas comment that “in England you would be arrested for doing that” and risking my standing/position I somehow get through as with my new persona this is taken as a cutting edge joke rather than a criticism. Suddenly I have found myself on the winning team after years of being a person to whom such a comment would be their downfall. With the shoot over for the day the Yes Boy and I board an old fashioned train at different ends with view to seeing who can snag the best seat. This is a really old fashioned train, inside resembling something of a private members club with lots of wooden furniture and old stuffy things inside (mainly the passengers). As I walk through the carriages there are no seats empty and as I reach the other end of the train it begins to become apparent the Yes Boy is not on the train and I suspect I have been sent packing. Is the train about to be the ending of me?

I awaken from the dream confused. Suddenly I find my heart is fluttering for Zoe once more and for a few strange moments I actually consider getting in touch with her attempting to rekindle something that there never really was in the first place (but it was close). Luckily I soon shake off the disorientation and remember that it is almost 18 months now I last saw her. Still, regret kicks in as for the Nth time I begin analysing how and why I blew that opportunity.

Today I really need to get my haircut. I am also supposed to be attending the roller derby event in Earls Court but my work colleague’s first match is at 11AM and there is very little chance of my actually arriving in time for that. Priorities first though and that’s the haircut which means I am up at 7.30 (on a Saturday!) washing my hair and shaving for the occasion. Sometimes I think I put more effort into going to the barbers than I do meeting up with females.

I emerge into the Saturday 8AM and I genuinely think that this is my favourite hour of the entire week.

As I look into the mirror I notice that I have put my v-neck jumper on backwards. It is very fortunate that I noticed this before leaving the house.

Eventually I leave the house just after 9AM and head straight down to Holland to get a haircut but first I have to stop and get petrol from somewhere meaning an additional stop at Asda on top of my grocery session later on.

When I get to Colin’s I am first in today and with it he is chatty but as I respond and make conversation I don’t think I do myself any favours.

In very quick succession I soon get my hair done and within an hour I am speeding back to Colchester. Once back in town I head to Asda to do my shopping. In there it is a very slow day, which pretty much matches my own movements.

When I get home I do a bit of writing before pulling myself together with view to heading to London and the roller derby at Earls Court.

I head off with view to catching the 1.03PM train. This week when I hit the car park I am fully prepared with change for the machine. Typically the kindness of strangers sees a guy about to leave handing me his ticket. This is the way the world works. I think I thank the guy for his gesture to the point that he wishes he hadn’t have bothered in the first place.

Riding the train to town I listen to the second half of “Get In The Van” for the first time in more years than I wish to remember. Much like listening to the first disc last week with my own experiences of touring I know find I have a much different perception of the things Henry Rollins is speaking about with the book. Now I tend to pick up on the hyperbole a bit more swiftly.

Upon arrival into town I quickly fly over to Earls Court via Notting Hill Gate with surprising ease. As I exit Earls Court I experience some kind of wicked seedy nostalgia and almost half an urge to search out where Michelle and I had some fun one time.

Leaving the station I text the heavy metal manager to see where he is currently at and just what he is up to.

Arriving at the Earls Court exhibition centre for the ROLL BRITANNIA event is a surprisingly intimidating thing to do. Spread outside the venue are a number of roller derby teams already licking their wounds having been skating since 11AM.

At first I walk straight past the venue when I see the other exhibition centre is today housing a Sci-Fi convention. For a moment I consider checking that out as well as numerous people dressed up in geek clothes and costumes waddle past me. Then outside I feel I hit the jackpot as Darth Vader stands with several Stormtroopers at his side guarding him. This is exactly the kind of event I would have died to attend when I was younger, especially considering I was batshit crazy about Star Wars when I was little. It is funny when I get a photo that looks like a Stormtrooper telling an Asian guy to “fuck off” adding a racist angle to The Empire.

Eventually I man the fuck up and head back towards where the roller derby event is happening. Outside it is still brimming with alternative types with tattoos and piercings and quite frankly without stepping a foot inside I just know that I will stand out by a mile not least for having a fresh haircut.

When I step into the building the Roll Britannia event is already well underway. Inside the box office nobody appears to want to serve me and when I finally get to pay the woman in the booth quizzes “you know it’s for the roller derby and not the comics right?” This only emphasises how out of place I am.

Stepping into the hall where the games are progressing screaming echoes resound around the aircraft hangar-esqe acoustics. This is an intimidating scene to an outsider.

I have sold the premise of roller derby onto people by describing it as being like “rollerball without the motorbikes.” This is a full on contact sport to which the rules seem muddled to the outsider and much like wrestling to the unqualified what happens on the oval resembles little short of carnage. The participants are ferocious and exciting people, into loud gestures and loud music often covered in tattoos, which supposedly in many people’s minds make them game for almost anything. If an apocalypse occurs in the near future these speed demons will have a head start on the rest of us.

Excited by proceedings I send out another beacon text to the heavy metal manager in the hope that he will be joining me. A little while later he gets back to me with “Cool, just gotta sort a couple of things then ill b there:-D” which I later discover is code for him fucking his girlfriend as he eventually never bothers to turn up.

When I finally spot the people I work with they are happy to see but fuming over the fact that they (the London Rockin Rollers) lost their first game against Glasgow Roller Girls 59-48 due to a foul up with the scoring meaning that 15 they had scored were accidentally allocated to Glasgow. For some reason this turns out to be a mistake that cannot be overturned and due to their lose they are no longer able to qualify from their Group (Group C) and go through to the finals tomorrow. With this comes a distinct sense of loss and anger, one that shows these players take their sport very seriously.

As I arrive Glasgow are back on the oval playing again, this time rolling against Rainy City Girls. Even though both teams “look knackered” Glasgow have quickly skated into a commanding lead and as I get the rules explained to me by Ruth they eventually end the match winning 88-29 meaning qualification for them out of the group into the knockout tournament here tomorrow.

After this game my friends in the Rockin Rollers head off to prepare for their final match while I wander around drinking beer and watching other games take place.

The next squirmish I find myself viewing involves the London Rollergirls taking apart Team East Angrier, who I guess are my local team (in geography only). The London Rollergirls I am led to believe are the premier in England and the match attains farcical proportions as the London Rollergirls reach 200 points but the crowd are instead enthusing Team East Angrier onto double figures. Eventually the carnage ends at a score of 202-11.

Feeling as if I am standing out by a mile, like a sore thumb I eventually take my perch with a beer as I watch the Leeds Roller Dolls take on the Berlin Bombshells. It almost seems apt that this sport is popular in Germany also as there is a true Deutschland vibe to the concept.

While sitting drinking my beer and reading my programme I reach some kind of epiphany, a moment of clarity, as I wonder just what I am doing here. I make a few phonecalls to people in search of answers but doesn’t feel appropriate to me and how the heavy metal manager has blown me out really suggests he is not somebody that can be trusted any longer. This is definitely not my scene or what I am about even though it is fun and exciting. Dare I even suggest that I feel shady and shadowing being here at this time in an environment so explicitly titillating?

Regardless of my issues in front of me Berlin is having a very exciting game against Leeds and as both teams battle out and begin to flag towards the end a close match ends with the Berlin Bombshells beating the Leeds Roller Dolls 103-93.

Eventually the London Rockin Rollers return to the oval and begin getting ready for their second match. I head back over and say “hi” to my work colleagues before they tear into the Rainy City Rollergirls having unfortunately not been able to overturn the scoring mistake of earlier.

In the end the London Rockin Rollers pummel the Rainy City team taking an early lead that they never relinquish and only to proceed to add to more and more as the game rolls on.

The star of the London Rockin Rollers is Von Bitch who is incredibly skilful when taking up the roller of jammer. Often when she finds herself clear of the blockers as she speeds past the seated crowd she jeers on the audience to cheer, working the room and creating the best support.

The game finishes with the London Rockin Rollers winning 137-46. At the end of each game the ritual of the rollers speeding around the track occurs as high fives get lent out by the crowd to both teams and good sportsmanship rules out only moments after the two teams have been pummelling each other.

Afterwards I head over to my friends and tell them they were awesome and how great the game is. With adrenaline running high I get a big sweaty hug as I head home back to Essex feeling exhausted from the experience.

Outside the Earls Court exhibition centre the rain is starting to trickle down. Earls Court truly is a strange place that offers up revealing moments to me.

Rather than returning to the Earls Court tube station I cross over to the West Brompton station sat opposite. At this point completely randomly “Brompton Oratory” by Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds arrives on my iPhone and all feels right with the world. Drama comes easy with me.

I head back across London to Liverpool Street where I eventually board a 7.38PM train heading back to Colchester. Enthused and invigorated on the train I come up with a description and write up of JGRAM WORLD for Marceline to eventually put it in her Asking For Trouble online shop. Tonight I feel inspired.

Upon getting back to Colchester exhausted I sail out the evening with bad TV before passing out relatively early. Today was a day.

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