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Urban Regeneration

30 November 2000
Neil went for a walk.

"I've got my own place," she tells me but I'm still not interested and both of us carry on walking the streets. Her face is a pallid wreck that no amount of make-up can mask and besides, I've tried most things and jacking off is still the best way to have sex in this city.

I used to be able to cope with this road despite all the light; it's fucked up, the effect it has, nothing like daylight but burning the shadows out of every fucking corner, no off button, no dimmer switch; must be weird to always have that light, cardboard in the usual doorways, so consistent they could have their mail delivered, seeping through the lids even when they sleep, out in the night and never allowed darkness. I used to be able to cope but now its winter and all the fucking decorations are up, lights everywhere, twinkling overhead like a spastic Milky Way.

So I turn off the next chance I get, it's an alley and there's some prick pissing against the wall, waving his cock around like he's writing his name with it or something. It's that time already, soon they'll all be flushed out, sprawling down the streets like a slurry, strutting out into the traffic to hail cabs, spewing over the shiny shirts they ironed before they came out, the small, hard girls hugging their naked flesh as it's plunged into the freezing air. I walk on by and kick at a pile of refuse bags as the wind howls down the high-rise tunnel behind me and clumps of my hair rear up like snakes.

I'm still angry. Still angry I let myself talk to the poncey fuck. I should have learnt from work, keep focused on what you're doing, don't hang around, every scrape, every scrub, remember why you're there. Some of them have tried coming over when we're on a break, the chefs as well, but I make out that I don't speak the lingo; the blacks are all Christians, the whites are all fags, whatever I don't respond, body or soul they ain't gonna have me.

He took me by surprise, I guess, just starting up like that, that rich-boy confidence that makes them talk to a stranger like it's natural. But I should have seen where it was going, should've just stared into my coffee, what the fuck was he there for anyway? Not exactly his kinda place.

"So you're not dazzled by the bright lights?" He said, all eyebrows and irony. "Not swinging with the smart set?"

But where's the dazzle? They only fool themselves cos they can afford the taxi a mile and a half home, anyone that ever walks knows differently and I never do anything but walk. I know that when the last of the audience has gone the theatre steps are a mattress, that the neon billboards cast smaller shadows of neon in dirty side-streets, that the street-bums shooting up in subways are a daily sight not the melodramatic detail of fiction.

He wasn't afraid of the argument.

"Legitimate concerns but you only live once, do something if it bothers you then get over it, let people live their stupid lives, you've gotta get on with what you wanna do, y'know? It's out there if you want it, there's no point being somewhere with such abundant variety if you ain't gonna use it. Why else would you come here?"

I started drinking quicker, the prick didn't know a thing, his brain rotted, his humanity glazed, fucking socialite, by all his effortless talking, schmoozing, smooching, networking. Had forgotten that diversity's got nothing to offer those of us that don't wanna be spanked by a mixed-race transvestite, that can't be politely enthusiastic about community theatre.

I won't go back there but I wouldn't have anyway, so many places to choose from, never the same one twice; no local, no familiar faces, no sweet old lady at the corner shop asking you how you've been, neighbours that don't wanna know. A crowd of pissheads tumble out into the street, they hang around outside the bar touching and talking to each other. I watch them and walk on by.


Previously on upsideclown


Current clown:

18 December 2003. George writes: This List

Most recent ten:

15 December 2003. Jamie writes: Seven Songs
11 December 2003. Dan writes: Spinning Jenny
8 December 2003. Victor writes: Rock Opera
4 December 2003. Matt writes: The Mirrored Spheres of Patagonia
1 December 2003. George writes: Charm
27 November 2003. James writes: On Boxing
24 November 2003. Jamie writes: El Matador del Amor; Or, the Man who Killed Love
20 November 2003. Dan writes: Rights Management
17 November 2003. Victor writes: Walking on Yellow
13 November 2003. Matt writes: Disintermediation
(And alas we lost Neil, who last wrote Cockfosters)

Also by this clown:

17 June 2002. Neil writes: Cockfosters
23 May 2002. Neil writes: Siege Mentality
29 April 2002. Neil writes: Oh So Pretty
1 April 2002. Neil writes: Lost
11 March 2002. Neil writes: These Are The Days
14 February 2002. Neil writes: Bedtime Story
21 January 2002. Neil writes: Said She Was An Artist
24 December 2001. Neil writes: Here's All the People
3 December 2001. Neil writes: On Antibiotics
8 November 2001. Neil writes: Private Schooling
15 October 2001. Neil writes: Morning After
20 September 2001. Neil writes: Flightpath
27 August 2001. Neil writes: Tsarina
2 August 2001. Neil writes: Family and Friends
9 July 2001. Neil writes: My Fabulous Weekend
14 June 2001. Neil writes: The Sound of Music
21 May 2001. Neil writes: Lethal Injection
26 April 2001. Neil writes: Voter Apathy
2 April 2001. Neil writes: ET
5 March 2001. Neil writes: The Shadow Over Brunswych
12 February 2001. Neil writes: Bibliofile
18 January 2001. Neil writes: Suburban Gothic
25 December 2000. Neil writes: Many in Body, One in Mind
30 November 2000. Neil writes: Urban Regeneration
6 November 2000. Neil writes: In Extremis
12 October 2000. Neil writes: Obituary
18 September 2000. Neil writes: Your Mother Sucks Cocks In Hell!
24 August 2000. Neil writes: Parent Power
7 August 2000. Neil writes: Love Letter

Let meeeeee entertain you


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