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Push it further

  Wed 18th November 2020

Two fireworks have gone off recently in the goldfish bowl of us, which I'm tardy in mentioning. I'm occupied with Mel, and I blame the job, which leaves little time for reading and writing, let alone long afternoons in the park with my confrère of alcoholics. Having a job has a sour flavour, not just discipline and punish, but discipline and punish and reward, in a cheap currency that capitalism has worked to make necessary for all but the most determined. The latter are the best people, and I'm involuntarily being drawn away from them.

A month ago, Crinklybee, my right-column man, invited me to a book launch in the contemporary setting, for a volume which included one of his blog's best posts turned into very short story form. The evening was a transatlantic affair, hosted with good humour and brevity from New York by one of Crinklybee's in-laws.

I remembered the original post well. It's about him breaking something valuable and all the tenseness that comes from not having the language and social knowledge to cover the shame, which only creates a guilty pleasure for the reader.

In its spoken form, though it was something else. It had his accent, and shorter sentences. In the written form, Crinklybee is a master builder of long sentences, which make you feel like you're being taken by the hand through a series of rooms each full of curios. Jenga-like, you daren't risk taking one clause out for fear of jeopardising the whole floor.

Whilst I am completely unaffected by any aching, longing desire to get published, I was delighted to see Crinklybee so deservedly elevated. The book's available from the devil for less than what a man who moves to Bristol might pay for his first pint in that expensive city. No need to buy it as a favour; buy it because of the quality of the writing.

Some people leave blogging for a while, and some have five years between posts. Miss Underscore suddenly emerged from beneath a pile of perfumed confectionary, to relaunch Parma Violet Tea. My one and only communication with Miss Underscore was almost exactly five years ago, when I told her by email that "I find your blog very moving and would love to tell your readers that too."

The first of her new stories is Lost, Part 1. I'm a bit behind with both Crinklybee and Miss Underscore's sudden loquacity, so I'm surreptitiously printing them both off at work to read in a relaxed setting. What are offices for, really?

Sexy Ex-Boss offered a bedroom in the Big House to us on Saturday. Mel wore her dog-toothed black and white dress and black tights. We all got on and I managed to keep the coke down to one line. They turned the ever-pestering television off and we were elevated into Alexa choosing the music for us. I wished we could have just enjoy the sounds of us talking, and the dogs' snoring, but it flowed well, two women released into talking about offspring and cancer and bereavement and money in a way that they wouldn't with me alone, with interludes of me talking about myself and Neil offering things designed to take me into a male envelope, whilst I found the female chat more interesting.

She never gave the slightest flicker of acknowledgement of our flirting, which made her higher in my eyes.

"In my book I'm calling you Sexy Ex Boss.

--Who's that?

Oh, I don't know, some bird I met in D--- Likes her gin.

--Oh must be a classy bird then?

Very classy. Well dressed too.

[A minute passes]

Listen, [real name] I'm going to have to go before this gets out of hand. Night night x

--Lol! Sexy Ex-Boss. Less of the Ex!

I can tell you Sexy Ex Boss, the first bit's still true Xx"

What a cunt, when I'm going out with Mel.

I bought Mel a couple of things. "I want to turn you into a tart for my pleasure Mel." She's not used to walking in them but she's going to get used to walking in them. As she was trying them on she had one leg crooked up on the bed and the other on the floor. I wanted to freeze her there. Her white knickers, her unmeant pose.

We're still working the sex out a bit. She said "I'm a very selfish lover", and she does get lots of attention, so it was a move forward, literally, to straddle her at shoulder height and push my cock into her mouth for the first time. She has offered several times in the past, but I like neither asking nor granting permission.

In the morning we ordered breakfast in, something I've never done before.

"What do you reckon the delivery man's called?". "Abdul", she said. "No look, it's Elvis, and it says he's on a bike." She played that Kirsty McColl track about the deluded bloke in the chip shop. When he arrived though, Elvis had gone sick, and Abdul had taken on the job. It all felt luxurious, beyond my income and class.



Comment from: Scarlet [Visitor]

Ack. Men and shoes. You would hate every pair that I own!
You know I love Mel…. but I’m kind of interested to see where this sexy ex-boss thing goes.
Meanwhile, new bloggers to explore - thank you! And don’t let the job stop you writing - that would be a crime.

Thu 19th November 2020 @ 00:32 Reply to this comment
Comment from: kono [Visitor]

That first paragraph there is a damn near perfect synopsis of life… for those of us tend to fall or gravitate towards the latter…

and isn’t it strange how as soon as one becomes “involved” with a woman other women seem to turn up expressing interest… i’ll never understand birds, though not to give too much away, i found out after the fact that i could have “dated” any number of girls working the stage at those clubs near my old gaff… i mean fuckin’ ell… good stuff as usual sir.

Thu 19th November 2020 @ 14:23 Reply to this comment
Comment from: Jonathan [Visitor]

Looby- I am truly touched by your words, thank you! It was so lovely to see you at the event.. And you’re so right about the long sentences by the way, as in invariably if I try to edit out a possibly extraneous subclause then the whole edifice comes crumbling down.. so I’ve largely stopped trying. You’ll have noticed. heard what the man said.. I’m pretty sure if you head over to my latest post you can still be The First To Comment (unlike in the halcyon days of 2005, when at this late interval after publication you would have found yourself way back in the queue of admirers, as in like fifth). If you wanted to then emulate our host and print off the whole damn thing back to 2004 then there will be a special crown for you, but mind you I’d be suggesting taking a day off from the dayjob if you were looking at that level of ambition (and you’d be joining a select group of people who I know print my posts off and read them in armchairs, presently made up by my mam, my sister, and our Looby. Discerning folk).

Thu 19th November 2020 @ 18:04 You are currently replying 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.
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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.
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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.
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The working man is a fucking loser.
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