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A Mongolian lives in my head

  Mon 17th June 2019

An interview at the hospital for a catering assistant job posed such challenges in the tests as "10 - ? = 6" and choosing between the spellings "thort" and "thought". They rang me up saying that I had failed at even this low hurdle, but offered me a kitchen porter job instead. I've accepted it, but only as a desperate insurance policy in case I can't get anything else. Pot wash is an unceasingly grim job. Even with it, I've no way of paying my rent on Friday.


Saturday evening I spent three hours in A&E with Esther. She has become convinced that she's got liver damage and got a referral for some tests. They came back negative, which wasn't the result she was hoping for. "I want someone to tell me I'll die unless I stop drinking." I slept over at hers, and she gave me a bottle of gin, as she wants to start clearing out her alcohol stocks. Then I had to leave; she was preparing to receive a man who wants to be pissed on.

Hayley rang asking if I fancied meeting up "for a drink," and we met in Wethers along with her on/off boyfriend. She said she'd got the sack on Thursday for being drunk at work. They were working as parking attendants at a festival, when a colleague came in with what he variously described as honey whisky or moonshine. After just a few swigs they were all incapable. Security were called, they were escorted off site and later, sacked. My immediate thought was that it had been spiked, but why would you spike yourself?

A man came and sat with us, curatorially proud of his collection of minidiscs and their player. They looked like square sweets, their plastic covers in saturated colours. He wanted to tag along, but quailed at our plan to go dancing.

As we walked up to Stokes Croft in search of music, me and Hayley got a bit ahead of On-Off Boyfriend. "He's always putting off sex as well. 'Oh I'm too tired...' Wouldn't you, if you were going out with someone, want to fuck all the time, every day?" He caught up with us quickly, perhaps reading something about us indicating a confidence from which he was excluded. "Have you been having a moan about me again Hayley?"

I spent the rest of the walk to the club wondering how to inoffensively translate "look Hayley, if you're not getting a proper seeing to from On/Off Boyfriend, would you like to meet up from time to time so that we could both get sorted out?"

A few minutes later we heard the Sirens -- young lads playing an enticing brand of house music. We were dancing in the garden till 6pm, then it went indoors till 4am. We had had the last of the e and speed, and had finished the gin mixed with our beer, which was surprisingly palatable. Hayley disappeared for half an hour and came back with some ketamine, that inexplicably popular cross-species stupefacient, but I liked having Hayley's finger in my mouth as I licked it off her nail whilst we were dancing.

Hayley filmed a minute or so of the bit in the garden.

As me and Hayley danced, On-Off Boyfriend was struggling with his jealousy, trying to do the right thing and not make a scene. Whilst Hayley was sat down, I started dancing with someone else, the two of us inching mutually closer to each other, before Hayley noticed and jumped in to wiggle between us. My dancing partner scanned her up and down with disgust. I wish Hayley hadn't interposed herself. Fucking hell, the both of them are jealous of me now.

Outside, we bought some whippies off an enterprising balloon salesman, and plodded up to a late night bar, dragging our ketamined lethargy like weights in our shoes. There was a fight going on on Park Street with all the ingredients you need for a decent punch-up, including ineffectual screaming miniskirted peacemakers, a ceasefire which is suddenly broken with another eruption of fisticuffs, and spectators regarding it curiously.

In the dive bar, the music was dire; to go from classy modern Detroit techno to Phil Collins and Shouty Metal was a let down, but it was fun in there, with everyone wandering about looking a bit fucked and it getting light outside. I walked back into town with an Algerian man, a chef who's really a singer, who was pleased I know (roughly) what raï music is. We went into a doorway and he played me some on his phone as he sang along to it in Arabic.

It was a balmy morning; thoughts of how Hayley's skirt hem stretched across her legs as she danced, turning over my proposal to her, how good the DJs were, how much I want to stay here, how on earth will I pay my rent. In Castle Park, the morning cross-cultural clash: stop-outs like me going home, while minimum wage workers rush in uniforms to pander to demands in hotels and cafes.

I sat next to a man who was halfway through a bottle of white wine. He was Mongolian, although looked more Russian. "Where do you live?" I asked, a clottish, intrusive question to push onto a man drinking wine in a park at 7am, which got the answer it deserved: "in your head."

2 comments

Comment from: Tony [Visitor]

Cracking little set snippet.
You are certainly having great fun aside from the rent issue.

Sun 23rd June 2019 @ 19:14 Reply to this comment
Comment from: [Member]

Yeah, they knew their stuff and they were absolutely faultless mixers too, switching from a wav file to a cd to vinyl. It’s great to see people young enough to be your children picking up the baton.

And Hayley’s lovely, and super-fit. I’m really glad I’ve met her. We’re gonna get into trouble together this summer.

Mon 24th June 2019 @ 12:02 Reply to this comment


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M / 55 / Bristol, "the most beautiful, interesting and distinguished city in England" -- John Betjeman [1961, source eludes me].

"Looby is a left-wing intellectual who is obsessed with a) women's clothes and b) tits." -- Joy of Bex.

WLTM literate woman, 40-65. Must have nice tits, a PhD, and an mdma factory in the shed, although the first on its own will do in the short term.


There are plenty of bastards who drink moderately. Of course, I don't consider them to be people. They are not our comrades.
Sergei Korovin, quoted in Pavel Krusanov, The Blue Book of the Alcoholic

I am here to change my life. I am here to force myself to change my life.
Chinese man I met during Freshers Week at Lancaster University, 2008

The more democratised art becomes, the more we recognise in it our own mediocrity.
James Meek

Tell me, why is it that even when we are enjoying music, for instance, or a beautiful evening, or a conversation in agreeable company, it all seems no more than a hint of some infinite felicity existing apart somewhere, rather than actual happiness – such, I mean, as we ourselves can really possess?
Turgenev, Fathers and Sons

I hate the iPod; I hate the idea that music is such a personal thing that you can just stick some earplugs in your ears and have an experience with music. Music is a social phenomenon.
Jeremy Wagner

La vie poetique has its pleasures, and readings--ideally a long way from home--are one of them. I can pretend to be George Szirtes.
George Szirtes

Using words well is a social virtue. Use 'fortuitous' once more to mean 'fortunate' and you move an English word another step towards the dustbin. If your mistake took hold, no-one who valued clarity would be able to use the word again.
John Whale

One good thing about being a Marxist is that you don't have to pretend to like work.
Terry Eagleton, What Is A Novel?, Lancaster University, 1 Feb 2010

The working man is a fucking loser.
Mick, The Golden Lion, Lancaster, 21 Mar 2011

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