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Bang on a drum

  Sun 13th September 2020

Yesterday I felt like I had so much sunshine in me that it was a good job that I bumped into neither Cath nor Ingrid when I got in, as I'd have spilled a radiant spume over them that they might have mistaken for drugged-up error.

A lassitude came over me on my cycle ride home from the pub, and I chanced a pub that looks as though it'll fall down tomorrow, or, as likely, now. Inside, four men and a television and an elderly deaf landlord with a gammy hand. I said "good afternoon, sir", and he turned his back on me and found something to do in the cellar.

On his resurfacing, I thought I'd try a less formal tack, which worked. "Hiya. Pint of Bass please." He took the glass in his good hand and hooked his crooked one round the pump and pulled a pint that was unmarred by his dodgy claw. I thought he said "one fifty", an impossible sum in Bristol, so I gave him a fiver. He returned three pounds fifty onto the bar.

After that I got chatting to two women and a bloke, late thirties, in the park opposite, and started stroking the close-haired short fur of their Staffie, who was soon purring as much as I was. Somehow we got talking about shoplifting. "Yeah, we're really good at it. We go to Birmingham, Exeter, everywhere, and raid it. I started when I was eleven."

They began talking about getting some spice, so I shook his hand and kissed the girls and got on my bike and set off down the cycle path to my suburb. One of the many Spandex speeders undertook me, irritated with my slowness, shaking his head as he powered off to share his officed day with a Monsooned woman whom he calls "my partner".

Near home, I spot the local loon, who has a bike which he adorns with plastic carrier bags and coloured ribbons, and a drum which he bangs at the bus stop. He was drumless, but was improvising by banging on one of the tables provided along the path for respite from lycra, chanting "an osser in a stirrer on her." I thought this was very appealing, and parked my bike up at the side of his bench. I started banging too, and we started a call and response of banging as he repeated the thing about his osser in between our phrases.

It petered out, and he, a big black unit of a bloke, and me, a sardine as a white man, stood up together and laughed a sentence-less goodbye. He walked his flapping bike off and I gripped my fists with the day's accumulation of loveliness.

"...and for some reason Mel, I seem to have downed a bottle of Bordeaux, and while I am feeling a wee bit relaxed, I'll tell you that the thought of assembling all those shelves appeals to me far more than wrapping myself around you and kissing you as we're laying together in this bed."


Comment from: Scarlet [Visitor]

I so admire how you engage with life, but surely you were kidding about the shelves!

Mon 14th September 2020 @ 06:01 Reply to this comment
Comment from: looby [Visitor]

Between concentrating alone on a multilingual instruction booklet for a set of PANNTE shelves where the English version is somewhere lost between Eesti and Faroese, and being with a woman as pissed as you who asks you to feel her tits at a bus stop – there’s no competition.

Mon 14th September 2020 @ 20:24 Reply to this comment
Comment from: kono [Visitor]

Oh how this takes me back to my old hood… early doors there was Norm, the one-eyed bartender with old India ink Navy tattoos on his arm, a wonky eye, and who once shit himself behind the bar, he was pulled straight from a Bukowski story…

Then there was this blind black gentleman, a voice as gorgeous as anything you’d ever heard, sometimes he was homeless, sometimes in a shelter, he’d sit on the corner with his boombox on a milk crate and sing, the man should have been on a stage somewhere, he could have been an opera singer, his voice so strong and pure and beautiful you could hear it from blocks away…

and of course Batman, another local who adorned his bicycle with huge bat wings that were really just quarter panels from a car, sometimes he’d wear a mask, a hubcap on the front of his bike, he’d ride all over as the shouts of Batman!! came from passes-by…

And you must really dig shelving units, lol!! or is shelving units code for something else? you kids and your slang:)

Tue 15th September 2020 @ 13:39 Reply to this comment
Comment from: kono [Visitor]

And thanks for the birthday wishes my friend, it was greatly appreciated… and be on the lookout for a run of Glimmer Twin posts, i know you how you enjoy them. ;)

Tue 15th September 2020 @ 13:41 Reply to this comment
Comment from: [Member]

Oh please do… I fell sometimes I’m catching up with the life you’ve already had :) I love all your tales, past historic and present continuous.

And yeah it’s not really shelving units with Mel.

Tue 15th September 2020 @ 16:49 Reply to this comment

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looby, n.; pl. loobies. A lout; an awkward, stupid, clownish person

M / 60 / 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.
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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.
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The Comfort of Strangers

23.1.16: Big clearout of the defunct and dormant and dull
16.1.19: Further pruning

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63 mago
Another Angry Voice
the asshat lounge
Clutter From The Gutter
Eryl Shields Ink
Exile on Pain Street
Fat Man On A Keyboard
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George Szirtes ditto
Infomaniac [NSFW]
The Joy of Bex
Laudator Temporis Acti
Leeds's Singing Organ-Grinder
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Wonky Words

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