A Brief History of Work

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One day I will tell you of the time I worked as the school's milkboy, delivering the fresh crates to the classrooms each morning, then in the afternoon, collecting the vile, curdled, stinking empties, for 25p a week – which is slave labour now, and was slave labour then. I'll tell you of how, after a couple of weeks, I got bored and lay on the stage, in the assembly hall, chucking the bottles across the room while laughing and banging my feet as each one exploded and shattered; how the  teachers congregated at the entrance, waiting the arrival of the school nurse, as they thought I was having an epileptic fit - when really, all I was having, was a whole lotta fun. One day I will tell you of that.

And of the time I landed a paper round with John Menzies. How I rose at 5am each morning and delivered yesterdays news, in the snap cold, pitch black mornings, with all of Central London's paedophiles in hot pursuit. I'll tell you how that comforted me, as at least then (I thought) my sister would be safe. I'll tell you all, and of why I kept my round a secret, as only poor children had to deliver papers to earn money to save up to buy their own clothes and new school uniform. One day I'll write about it: John Menzies, Pimlico, 1987, of how I pissed on the priest's Daily Telegraph, tramped it in dog shit, then posted it through the vicarage letterbox, and how the following day I was refused entry to the newsagents, and my paper round was then the burden of some other poor unfortunate's soul.

And one day I will tell you of the time I worked in the Five Star Car Wash on Shepherds Bush Green, and how we dusted and polished dashboards, shook out and hoovered floor mats, then drove the cars through the wash, hand buffing them the other side. I'll tell of how the tight-fisted owner, a big fat cigar smoking Turk who dressed in fur and gold and had a fleet of second hand Mercedes, how he'd send his  family members through the wash with a twenty pound note placed under the passenger seat to see which of his workers would pocket their good luck rather than put it in the kitty - the kitty which no one ever saw shared out. I'll tell of that. I'll tell you all.

And of how, when I was 15, I passed myself of for 18 and landed a labouring job with Kone Lifts. And how one afternoon, while having lunch with Joe and smoking thai weed on top of the elevator, I fell down the back, my spine bent to snapping point, and Joe clutching a hold of my legs to prevent me from falling 100ft down, to certain death, into the concrete pit below. I'll tell you of that, and of how, when I told my mother she completely freaked out before asking me for the next week's rent in advance: “Just in case!”

And one day I will tell you of the Video Rental Shop where I was taken on for work experience from a YTS scheme, and how I worked 12 hour shifts for not a penny of pay;  how one Friday evening I stole a copy of: Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer, before ringing the till open and walking out, leaving three hundred plus pounds for some lucky soul to find.

And I'll tell you of the time I spent working at Hyde Park Police Station as an apprentice electrician for Blenheim Electrics, of being treated like a piece of shit by everybody except a man called Ray; of how I hit the head bully across the kneecaps with a scaffolding pole when he tried to strip me naked as part of an initiation ritual, which would end in me being tied to the roof and laughed at for hours before being ordered down to make the tea. I'll tell of that.

And of how I worked for just about every Soho nightclub, handing out flyers while dressed up as an alien with a plastic spaceship sellotaped to my head. All that, for free entry, two drinks vouchers, and a whole lot of trouble from rival club promoters. I'll tell all about it, and off how when Ewan died (their main leafleter and my best friend) they disowned me, blamed me for his death for introducing him to heroin. After that I was no longer welcome in the clubs, and what's more, they grouped together and barred me from the funeral, said that if I attended there'd be another death! All those people Ewan hated so much, putting him in the ground, fake tears behind blacked out rock sunglasses, as now they'd have to find another great guitarist who'd be prepared to record for nothing, and hand out leaflets to boot.

One day I will tell you of it all, and of the years I worked at Vaughans Ltd, employed as the Head Baizer, cutting out and gluing green felt onto the bottoms of reproduction antique lamps; of how I wired 24 armed chandeliers and shot smack in the toilets; of how I went to war with the managing director after he illegally made three workers redundant, and how I brought the place to daily standstills until they'd had just about enough and tried to blackmail me after finding used syringes in my bag. And how, when I wouldn't surrender my position, they offered me £15,000 to accept and sign a dismissal for gross misconduct, which I did willingly , but not before trying to get the work van thrown into the deal - though on being reminded that I couldn't drive, I conceded it was a fair point and took the cheque, and a whole lot of drugs, and that was the start of the good times. One day I'll tell you all about them.

And of my next job, working for Financial Training, employed to pack boxes, yet somehow, two years later, finding myself in the manager's chair wwith a three quarter million pound annual budget - which mostly went on luxury chauffeur driven cars, heroin, and crack cocaine. And that was the start of the even better times. Until I was dismissed a year later due to “horrendous expenditure abnormalities”.  I agreed to go as long as they paid me up until the end of the month. I was leaving the country anyway. One day I'll write about that.

And of my first year in France when I faked enthusiasm and went grape picking in the countryside. How after two days I was a broken man, cursing at how inhumane the work was,  phoning my father-in-law and having him drive 300km, into the thick of the Beaujolais hills, to rescue me.

And one day I'll tell you about my 18 months with Arctic Spas, travelling an hour and a half each morning out into the middle of nowhere, then walking for 25 minutes through fields of cows and horses, to repair, modify and test top-of-the-range jacuzzis, and how one day while on a maintenance call in the Grenoble mountains, ten below zero, I slipped with a screwdriver and pushed the thing three inches down into my hand. I'll tell of how the fire brigade had to come and save me and take me to the nearest hospital, from which I fled as soon as I'd been stitched up as I was getting ill from opiate withdrawals, was more than 4hrs from home, with no methadone, no medical insurance, and no passport. I'll tell you of all that.

And about the time I worked for Envie Rhône, a 'Program of Insertion'  for social misfits, the insane, and those on pre-release from prison. I'll explain of how we fixed-up washing machines, fridge freezers, and ovens, and how the conditions in that place were like stepping back 100 years with every law and safety regulation ever fought for IGNORED. I tell of the workers, all on short 3 month contracts, blackmailed, so if they said anything their contracts would not be renewed, and then it'd be either  back to prison or the mental hospital. Then,  when I complained, having no place to be sent back to, the entire company and every social institution of the region closed ranks and tried to force me out, and when I wouldn't leave (or shut up) they contacted an old success, an ex-prison tough, and had him threaten me, to stop my action “OR ELSE!”

And one day I'll tell of the weeks I spent working in the Beaux Art Museum, how I stood there from 11am to 6pm with my hands behind my back surveying the public and giving them directions when I was lost myself. I'll tell you of how we were allowed to play phone games to pass the time, and  how I pretended I was playing Zombie Shootout or Clubroom Billiards when really I was writing, something they wouldn't have permitted, just in case I was writing about them - which of course, I was. I'll tell all about it.

And also of the time I worked in the Town Hall. Of how I was paid to follow behind the Mayor, fanning his wind to either side as he went, making sure that his councillors, riding in his slipstream, didn't die of intoxication while trying to lay a successful knife in his back before sailing on by. One day I will tell of all that, and of how  on Saturdays I had to dress up like a low class waiter and lead soon-to-be unhappy couples into the marriage room with a low sweeping bow, then walk them down the aisle - the Bride to my right; the Groom to my left - inviting them to take seat on the ornate King and Queen, wood and velvet chairs.

One day I'll tell you about all these things, only not now and not here, as time's ticking on and I'm just not paid to write.

(This post was originally posted in poem format. You can find a copy of the original posting HERE)
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A New Memoires post will follow soon...
Thoughts & Wishes To All, Shane, X

37 comments :

Kono said...

Work is a cruel mistress, if you can even call it that, my record is 7 jobs in one 4 month span, some i didn't even bother to show up for, i'm a sucker for work stories, there's a nice one the lounge somewhere about being almost held up at gunpoint at 4am while working at a 7-11, all while i was robbing the place blind by skimming the till, the only consisent thing about my work history is that i've wanked on the clock at every job i've ever held, as for the drugs it's been drinking, smoking dope, snorting smack, freebasing, dropping acid and snorting lines off a desk in a federal government builiding, we called it lunch.

_Black_Acrylic said...

Work is a 4 letter word. I've got absolutely zero point fuck all stories to tell about the many hours I've spent at the Bank of Scotland. Only that it's paid my rent for the past 8 years, and that I suppose is enough.

Memoirs of a Heroinhead said...

hey Ya Kono, yeah it's always safer to take drugs inside a federal government building... pull that shit outside and you're liable to get arrested.

Lore than work stories i'm more interested in the hardship of work and as you rightly say how cruel it is. I wouldn't call it a mistress though... unless you you mean a super sadistic transexual dominatrix.

Hope you're well, man... Shane; X

Anonymous said...

Oh Shane, an professional life that is as unstable as you described can only lead to a more unstable life. At least that's what I think. But who am I to say that if that is the exact same future that waits for me :/
I'm sorry I don't come here as often as I wished but university occupies a lot of my time. I'm now with some free time, so I decided to read the posts I missed. I hope you are well and if you need anything, you know my email.

Kiss kiss,
V - Portugal

Anonymous said...

hey shane
I think that great writing always has a way of relating to you in a very general sense. This post relates what a fucked up world working class uneducated people have to put up with. The hundreds of jobs that are taken, and then over time are lost due to the the thought of having to do this for the next 40 years or so is just too much to bear. And surely i'm destined to do something worthwhile, and not totaly shit. The things we must endure just to get money. Although there are a few good jobs thrown in here and there. But even if we wanted to keep them, usualy over time our habit gets in the way and we fall by the wayside. A great piece of writing shane, it made me remember some of the jobs i'v endured over the years....good and bad..Hope your doing well...x

'Stoopid Slapped Puppies' said...

Oh the Indignity of Labour and the rush to 'get on' as if position over others somehow makes it less undignified. Thisd made me smile. I have so miseed you and that's all my fault. Hope you are well and creative my forever friend.
Nick XX

Memoirs of a Heroinhead said...

Hey Nick,XXX

God it's great to see you back. Oh don't worry about disappearing for a while we've all got to do some living. You're amongst my favourite writers in my profile:

"My Profile"

So you're never forgotten and will always live on a little there. You must tell me all about Spain and what you've been up to and the things you've created and learnt.

Love Returned... Yours Always, Shane. XXX

JoeM said...

The single thing that would make my life a hundred times better would be not to have to work.

Well of course you have told of some of these before – especially liked the one with you as manager (!) of that big money company, being caught shooting up in the office. Isn't it amazing how the more money you make the more they're scared of you and the more you get? You were one of the original Too Big To Failers.

Isn't it strange how so many 'initiation' rituals involve young men being stripped naked and manhandled by other men? What is lacking in their pitiful lives?

I remember milk and digestive biscuits at school. Highlight of the awful school day!

Like Black Acrylic I worked in a bank. My first and worst job ever. It's no surprise that I made it the setting for my book even though there was zero romance there (save some teenage one-sided crushes). But it was truly awful.

The best job I had was living in a hotel as night porter and chamber-master. Too much romance there.

Like you, one day I will tell all...

bugerlugs63 said...

Ok you've inspired me for one of my next posts . . . My winter job in France was at the local "Hospital"(?). A Mafia run "retirement home" for those with no family but plenty of money. A truly shocking experience . . and I ain't easily shocked. I only worked two winters and in that time two people died "falling" into the lift shaft . . why was the lift not there? . . . and a third one "fell" into a scalding hot bath. I know, people will think I'm making it up . . . That's Ok. I still have dreams about the place.
Anyway, thanks for reminding me. I enjoyed your post and look forward to the next one. Take care x

Chef Green said...

You do have a varied and bizarre work history. I got a chuckle out of you hating the grape harvesting so much. But, if you were picking for that ghastly Beaujolais Nouveau, I certainly can understand your distaste!

Some of my stranger gigs include: copper stripper, drag queen assistant (haha, for the drugs obviously), and tarot card reader.

Oh, who am I kidding-the ten years I spent in professional kitchens were the weirdest of all.

Memoirs of a Heroinhead said...

Dear All, sorry I'm a little late answering your comments it's been a busy last week but I'll get on with the replies over the weekend and will also hopefully finish a new post concerning a young girl who was murdered in one of the flats above me last saturday.

Thoughts to All, Shane. X

Memoirs of a Heroinhead said...

hey Ya Ben, sorry the reply is so late. I'm not sure all those hours just to pay your rent and get back to work is enough. It's a great tragedy. In all of infinity, during our only existence, that we have to settle for that is sad. For the most of us, if we're lucky, we will die and not be in debt... and that's about the best we can hope for. We will have had maybe one holiday a year (at the sacrifice of most other things)and if we're really lucky we may have paid the final mortgage installment so as we can die owning a house and two dustbins. For me, it's nowhere near enough.. though I understand you didn't mean it literally. There's no reason at all why we don't work 5hr days, get paid triple, have 60 days holiday a year and in our lifetimes can see the world that we've been born into. That would be enough for me. To have some time. To earn time, rather than money.

Hope you're well Ben and I'll send you a mail very soon... Love and Thoughts, Shane. X

Memoirs of a Heroinhead said...

Hey ya betsy Zombie, I hope to God I don't have a professional life... if I do I'll regard it as failure. Men aren't supposed to be professional... that's a corporate invention to sell stuff. I hope I'm just me, and as wild as I was meant to be. Love and Thoughts, Shane. X

Memoirs of a Heroinhead said...

Hey ya John, Long time. How you keeping?

what a fucked up world working class uneducated people have to put up with.

Many working class people aren't uneducated, and I think even the suits have it tough... just in a different way. When I think of work I don't think of blue collar, white collar, skilled/unskilled labour... I think of 8hrs a day... 40hr weeks. It's about time, the sadness of it is the time we have to give to corporations and have very little reward. Going right up to Doctors that is the case. Some get paid more... some have more freedom, but we are all equal in the amount of life we don't have because we are at work. That's the tragedy. And you know as well as I that at least a couple of hours in most jobs are whiled away doing not much.. so why be there? Why do we have to stand around with brooms when the floors are already swept and there's nothing left to do? Many companies (and all could adapt) could organise the work so as the workforces' day is almost halved and pay greatly increased adn I'm not talking about a miserly 3% inflation rise. There really could be another way, so as we work to be able to live rather than work to be able to die.

Hope you're well John... Give me news.. Shane. X

Memoirs of a Heroinhead said...

Hiya Joe,

That job where I got sacked for shooting up was only half the story because the other half was that once in power I took the chance to implement all my theories of half work, double pay, double holidays and less work (all based on intelligent organisation) amongst the team. It was a crazy time and though worked very well on face value it brought about other problems (which I hadn't foreseen) and which greatly saddened me. After a while the majority of workers forgot that what they were getting were privileges and unofficial. They started think that their contractual hours really did end at 3pm (instead of 5.30) and took their double pay and then started moaning about they wanted an inflation rise like the rest of the company had. I explained that i'd doubled their wages by a combination of official rises and unworked overtime, had doubled their annual leave (unofficially)and that Ok they hadn't had a rise in line with inflation like the rest of the company but the rest of the company hadn't had 40% payrises across the board an 100% holiday rises. But they remained adamant they wanted the 3% and some even tried to blackmail me by threatening to reveal to my directors what it was I was doing. It soon came that the choice was: 3% inflation rise and lose all unofficial pay privileges, or forget about what the other sections of the company were getting as we were getting far more. There never was a final outcome as I was sacked before we got to it. My methods also brought about mass paranoia about who was getting what. Everyone thought I was secretly giving more to others, when in fact I was very careful that everyone got exactly the same (though according to their needs). It was that which caused the trouble. I'd give the three muslim workers Friday afternoons off to go to the mosque, but that was taken from their extra holidays. But the suspicions were that they got fridays off and the same holiday privileges... and that's just one example out of many. Finally they only realised what a good thing they were onto when i was sacked and everything was taken back down. In one afternoon they lost all their extra pay, had to work two and a half hours more each day, couldn't smoke dope while working, lost 20 days holiday a year, etc etc. Then they realised just what it was they were getting and my myth grew. I'm still in contact with most the team now, though they were a bit shocked when they learnt the heroin rumours were true. X

Memoirs of a Heroinhead said...

Hey Chef G,

My work history has been varied as I was sacked from every single post and so couldn't walk into a similar position where they would ask for references but started at the bottom of a very different business each time. I just took the first thing I could find and made it work. I've an ability to really pick stuff up quickly and know most jobs any fool can do (even if they claim you need a masters degree for the position). So I bluffed interviews, lied and created fake diplomas and experiences and once inside learnt the job from the bottom up. I've worked in kitchens too, always dishwashing,but completely forget about that until you brought the subject up. I was sacked from there to Le caro de Lyon (look it up) for purposely hurling 400€'s worth of crockery in the air and letting it shatter after the Chef swore at me. I've also worked many short term jobs which I didn't put in the post and unbelievably forgot my months spent hod carrying for my second stepfather.

Works sad, but I always enjoy it as I go there with the intention of being fired (though not before causing some good ol mayhem!) XXX

Sailor said...

You're like Bukowski in Factotum, if Bukowski was crafty and motivated instead of a whinging, downtrodden old alky. ;D

There are always ways of getting out of what is planned for you. I've rarely worked 9-5, there is only so long I can take being in the same room with the same people 40 hours a week, repeating the same rehearsed lines and actions. There are always ways of making money, especially in London. Nobody should be conned into wasting their lives working to make somebody else rich.

At least crime is an adventure, at least sex work is endlessly horrific, or ridiculous, or fascinating. Anything to avoid boredom. Sustained boredom is the killer. There's nothing worse than hanging around at work, thinking of all of the things you'd rather be doing with your time. It's always at that point I say "FUCK IT" and head for the exit.

Great memoires. We want more of your chequered work history!

Sailor said...

You're like Bukowski in Factotum, if Bukowski was crafty and motivated instead of a whinging, downtrodden old alky. ;D

There are always ways of getting out of what is planned for you. I've rarely worked 9-5, there is only so long I can take being in the same room with the same people 40 hours a week, repeating the same rehearsed lines and actions. There are always ways of making money, especially in London. Nobody should be conned into wasting their lives working to make somebody else rich.

At least crime is an adventure, at least sex work is endlessly horrific, or ridiculous, or fascinating. Anything to avoid boredom. Sustained boredom is the killer. There's nothing worse than hanging around at work, thinking of all of the things you'd rather be doing with your time. It's always at that point I say "FUCK IT" and head for the exit.

Great memoires. We want more of your chequered work history!

JoeM said...

It's so true that 'most jobs any fool can do (even if they claim you need a masters degree for the position)'. That's why a politician can one day be Health Minister then Foreign Minister the next, suddenly an expert in that. Baloney. The basics aren't rocket science and there's an army of Civil Servants who do all the work for them.

In the library there's always been a gang of us (the weirdo artistic outsiders) who know we could run the place much more efficiently and so much more for the benefit of the public and staff. There are so many ridiculous little rules and set ways of doing stuff that impede progress.

The people who get on are generally the ones who play the game and have no thoughts of their own. The exceptions, like you at that place, never last.

As you say, all the rules of the post industrial, world are arbitrary - 40 hours a week, 9-5 a day, 48 weeks a year etc.

I live really cheaply so I only have to work 20 hours a week. I'd live even more cheaply if I was guaranteed pure autonomy.

Dusty Rose said...

I wanna hear stories about the Turk.
I miss you, buddy.
I understand never being able to do the great work,
because of the necessary work.

BUT

The Kingdom Will Come,
D R .

karl said...

Hi Shane,
Great Post !
As somebody above said "work is a necessary evil" We need to provide for ourselves & anyone who is dependant upon us. Nobody is born into this world owed a living!
But what if ? Our job was an extension of ourselves? Something we couldn't wait to get out of bed for in the morning? something we put a part of ourselves into? Something we could be proud of?
I think I would rather be happy than rich!
But there we go, I'm a relentless Idealist!
Once again, thankyou for an enjoyable post. Karl

Memoirs of a Heroinhead said...

hey Sailor,

There are always ways of getting out of it but it shouldn't be something we need to escape but be something we are freed from. Not completely as the world would stop functioning, but given enough freedom so as we work for as much self-benefit as we do for the benefit of keeping the world working. really in that way, where we earn our freedom through work we could then even begin using work as a criminal punishment for minor offences which don't really warrant a prison sentence. Instead of being locked up you're sentenced to 18 months of 9-5.

Going back to escaping work, I admire anyone who does that (my stepfather never worked a day in his entire life. he claimed unemployed from 18 until he could take his government pension at 65. My mother was almost just as successful) though if everyone started doing that legislation would quickly be put in place to make it all but most impossible.

Me personally I have worked all my life, full-time, from 16 until the present, with the exception of working and claiming jobseekers allowance from 18-19, the 1 week unpaid unemployment I took after my 15 grand pay-off, and since being in france I've worked one year on one year off as the system allows you to that that here. I detest work but always make sure i enjoy it.. even if it's emptying dustbins or cleaning toilets. I play loads of little mental games to occupy myself - seeing how many boxes I can pack in an hour, searching the quickest and least physical way to do something, finding out all about the inner workings of the company (purely for reasons of sabotage in case of dispute), or just studying people and lives and listening to everyone's individual tragedy. I make my working day a part of my artistic life, so as toiling and watching and listening for 8hrs is then preparatory work for my art. Of course I'd rather not do it, but while there's no other choice I'll have fun with it.

I never willing head for the exit, I always insist on being thrown out in disgrace. I even have this fantasy sacking where I take my cock out and piss on my boss as he tells me to "fuck off" in front of the entire workforce. Just standing there and coolly pissing down his leg as people look on in disbelief... or knocking his glasses off with a power jet as sits the other side of the desk after firing me professionally with a director to either side. One day I will... it's already decided upon.

That'll be my next chequered, splattered, dripping installment, OK?

XXX

Calamity K said...

Hi Shane,

Well, my foray in London was only partly rewarded. I got some stuff but I didn't reckon it much. I could nod slightly on in but only if I lay down in a dark room (i.e. sort of circumstances that would relax you naturally!!). Not like the old stuff where you couldn't help it if it came over you. Maybe I am getting old and jaded. I don't know if the drugs are getting worse or I'm bored with them.

Anyway, going up to London again tomorrow for an interview and I don't think I'll bother to score. I'll take my script like a good girl then I won't feel so cheated.

Glad to see your 2 new posts up. I started writing mine but saved it part way through cos it was too horrible to remember. I think I need to be drunk before I attempt to finish it (tho I find it hard to get drunk unless I drink on an empty stomach or mix my drinks. I'd never be a cheap date!).
Anyway, just dropped by to say hi. I'm off now to prep for my interview. Wish me luck, the more addicts are in gainful employment and professional jobs the better.

xKx

Sailor's Ghost said...

Hear hear Karl. The only work I could get out of bed for on a 9-5 basis day in , day out is something I found constructive and personally fufilling. I'm taking a bunch of vocational courses over the next few years in woodwork and art restoration.. I'd love to work with my hands, if only to give my brain a rest.

Shane - I go through most of my life seeing everything I do as research for a great artistic project. Or living itself as the artistic project, seeing as i'm so damn unproductive when things are chaotic (which is always). I think it's a great way of seeing things.. it allows you mental freedom. I never feel trapped, I know i'm always a hop, skip and jump away from endless different realities so I'll always be entertained. If that sounds flippant, it's because it is. Xxx

Memoirs of a Heroinhead said...

Hey Bugerlugs, excuse me you got a little lost up there.

Old people should be murderered shouldn't they? I mean correct me if I'm wrong but aren't they just useless bodies of meat walking around in a world of their own pissing and shitting themselves all the time? Having (or pushing) one or two down a liftshaft or intoa bath full of scolding water is no big deal... don't see any problem with that.

I've heard the same stories when I was back in the UK and my grandmother has just been mistreated to death in a retirement home in Essex. She'll die within 48hrs we're told. In general though the french health system is of a far higher standard than the crap we get dished out in England. It's quite shocking being here and looking back on the NHS and believing for 30 years that we were receiving the best state of the art care available (as we're fooled into believing). And the difference is everywhere, whether you go for a sprained wrist, the flu or gynaecological problems/check-up. Here you're really thoroughly treated and are always referred to a specialist... even if you've only bumped your head. It's certainly no painkillers and antibiotics across the board as the NHS is in the habit of doing. It's all public/private here, though most care is reimboursed 100%. The downside is it is not free at the point of service, but for those who have grown up and lived here that poses no problem and there is social help to pay the initial cost if really needed. I believe in public healthcare if it works, but in the UK it does not work and it's no choice to have a second-rate public healthcare system or a top-rate public/private system. Also here you can use as much heroin on top of your methadone and you are never punished. Methadone is used to stop addicts being sick and desperate here, not really peddled as a solution to addiction. As a result the french junkie is a differenet breed and much more trustworthy than the british counterpart. X

Calamity K said...

Hey,

You ignoring me???!!!??

Well, I finally published the post I was dreading writing. It was easy partly cos I can only remember fragments and essences, nothing tangible, factual or concrete.
This is it if you can be arsed: http://calamityschildaverygoodgirl.blogspot.com/

Speaking of work! I got the job I went for the interview for! Amazing what a low cut top and ample boobs can do!:
I'm in London right now. Managed to secure 3 weeks of freelance design work via an agency at £190 a day (before tax). The first week was hell. Being in Kent (whitstable) I had to get up at 4am to get a lift with my stepdad (otherwise fares would be £60 a day!!). Got to Beckton for 6am then wasted time til my 9.30 start. Except I found on Friday (started on Wednesday) that I was meant to be in from 9.00 til 6 not 9.30 til 5.30!! The agency got it wrong on my contract (not first time!). I managed to get back to the room I was renting last time I was in London. My contract is for 3 weeks and the person that owns this flat is working in Belgrade and is sub-letting to a couple whilst he's away.The couple need to find someone to take their place before they move out so I've got the place until then (whenever that is). But honestly I'd got to the point where | almost asked you if your mum could do with a lodger or sofa surfer for a few weeks for some pin money and I barely know you. Just shows how many/few friends I got. My only best friend (who I had an affair with a decade ago, I was a miss goody two shoes until him, he was an education that's for sure. Took 7 years to get over him only to go for a mentally unbalanced wife beater as my recovery - still, made me realise that I'm actually quite sane despite the things I've been through and seen). My best friend told me at Christmas that his partner was pregnant. I wanted to be happy for him, I really did but all I kept remembering was him saying 'I don't want IT' when I got pregnant during the affair and then him hurriedly and enthusiastically paying for a private abortion clinic (a client whose website we were redesigning nonetheless! lovely!). I took folic acid right up until the first tablet they made me take. Then on the day, after thrusting my hips and torso and puking in the park in Bloomsbury, he met me in a hotel, all clean ed up of blood and magnanimously paid me for a drink in a hotel bar and taxi home (not home, my mum would've sussed it) I stayed with a muslim gay boy (from Brighton Art school years) and his lesbian flatmate. I was under strict orders not to tell anyone there I'd just come from an abortion clinic. He fixed me a martini and I had to breezely pretend I'd just been working too hard at my fancy design job and that's why I was so tired (an abortion really takes it out of you. It wouldn't be so bad if you went through this extreme pain and agony if you had something to show for it. That's probably the worst thing about an abortion or miscarriage. A lot of excruciating pain and agony and empty arms. For most women, not just of a baby but a partner).

contd...

Calamity K said...

... contd...

Sorry, I forgot I'm talking to a guy. Reflection on me not you. I like to talk freely and honestly. Anyway, you were brought up by your Mum (though your stepfather seems to have left a strong impression on you. I was brought up by my crazy dad and you'd never seen a pre-school child so interested in the news: I had a notion that the lady who read the 10pm Kuwait TV news looked like my mum so I'd watich it every night thinking 'That's my mum!'.
Then when I was about 11, I went to my dad's bedroom (that he usually kept locked) and amongst many of his secrets, I discovered my Mum's 10 year leather bound diary from their time together. What a revelation! I found out the truth about lots of things; 'that she wasn't a whore' 'that she didn't abandon me' 'that she didn't smother my 3 months old little brother to death'. The truth always comes out in the end but you have to be so patient and hang in there. It was the begining of the end with my father. I could finally confirm he was (mentally) ill and wrong. My best friend, a Polish girl, a nerd (she got the highest marks in our school for her exams), helped me to realise that the violence was not my fault and she (who was in Kuwait with me) took on the part of the go-between with me and my mother (who was in England, in Leatherhead or Mitcham at the time). I'll never forget my the sacrifice she made. In our teens, when we had no other friends except each other, She was rejected for being a brain box, I was cos everyone sensed my home life was fucked up. Ironically, my dad would've loved it if I got the academic grades she did. But I wasn't interested in dry maths and though my best friend excelled at it and I excelled at creativity, somehow, we totally gelled. We had the same dry sense of humour. Our outlook on life and ways of analysing things was the same. There is an intelligence that transcends IQ tests (tho I found out my score was 143 he he he! not highest but above normal).

I'd better go. I've more than made up for my silence. And no, I'm not on anything (my script but that doesn't count, I take that just for normal).

You take care. Let us know what you're up to..

xxKxx

Memoirs of a Heroinhead said...

Hey K,

No, of course I'm not ignoring you I'm just very busy and barely even have time to write. When I reply I show people the respect of replying properly and not brushing them off with one or two general lines. But to reply properly takes time and some times I just don't have the time and so we all must be a little patient. But I reply to all comments even if sometimes a little belatedly. You can subscribe to the comments, if that helps, and catch them in your inbox rather than having to come back and physically check each day or week. Bear with me for a little and you'll have a reply very soon....

Love and Thoughts, Shane. X

Calamity K said...

I've already subscribed (was gonna write prescribed) dafty! I can't believe you take me seriously when I admonish you! Like I got the energy to do that with anyone. Fucks sake, I couldn't even report to the police when my ex broke his order!

Important thing is you're well. You put up a hell of a lot more posts than I ever have and they're proper writing. I just daydream mine and wonder why they're not automatically there through mere telekinesis cos they were brilliant in my head. Life changing even!

I have to be up early for work. Yippeee! Sad, but I am loving it. But designing is a fun job.

Bath, hot cocoa, book and bed. Good night!
xKx

Calamity K said...

Hi Shane,

I read a free music mag (http://www.the-fly.co.uk/) on my lunch break in the ever trendy Shoreditch and came across a review of the Tindersticks album; 'The Something Rain'. I have typed it up for you so here it is:

Tindersticks
'The Something Rain' (Lucky Dog)
Tinderstick's 9th album starts in true idiosyncratic fashion, mainman Stuart Staples telling a 9 min story over plaintive strumming that gradually builds into a dreamlike collage of freestyle jazz before mellowing into an unsettling and unexpected denouement. It's a startling beginning, but it's followed by 8 equally mesmerising, if altogether different songs. Experimental and intriguing, it veers from jittery nostalgia ('This Fire of Autumn') to off-kilter tenderness ('Come Inside') to subdued but pleasant instrumentals ('Goodbye Joe'), always retaining a sense of Tindersticks; wonderful uniqueness.
Mischa Pearlman
Download: 'Chocolate'

It only took me under 5 mins to type so was no bother.

Laters
xKx

Memoirs of a Heroinhead said...

Hiya K, thanks for that and the magazine is great... i've never come across it before and music reviews is about all I read online. Type??? Five important minutes??? Why didn't you copy and paste? I tried finding that review myself but cannot track it down. I searched the site, then googled parts of the texts, done Tinderstick searches with The-Fly.co.uk, but it's nowhere to be found. I'll definitely be buying the album though... it's their latest in about 3 years I think. I'm really a fan of their earlier stuff... it was something really risky and unique but then became safe and predictable. Still really beautiful stuff, but not in the same league as stuff like My Sister or City Sickness. I buy their albums out of loyalty now... I'd pay 17€ for one of Stuart Staples turds... that's how stupid I've become. XXX

Calamity K said...

Hi Shane,

I tried to google the review first but couldn't find it, worked out would take less time to type it up. And no, it didn't take 5 minutes, prob 1 minute, my type speed is about 44wpm. I forced myself one day not to look at keyboard and never looked back. If I'm typing from something I look at the page I'm typing rather than the keyboard or screen. If typing freehand, like now, I look at screen. Tho I come unstuck if switch to PC cos their keyboards are slightly different to macs.

Anyway, yeah, Shoreditch is full of flyers and free mags. I love the vibe here. It is trendy but creative. Every other building is either a gallery, design studio, photography studio or design product shop, that's why I call it design land. The London Design Festival also based here. I feel at home.
Anyway, came across another free mag called 'Vice'. It's based in Monteal but articles were quite interesting:
The issue I picked up:
http://www.vice.com/en_uk/magazine/19/1

Like the article about the 'inbred' hillbilly communtiy in New York: 'Peeling Oniontown'
and..
'Unveiled' and 'If you build it they will cum'

Their other sites are:
http://www.vice.com/en_uk


Right, I'm dying for a pee so have to go. After I'll continue my quilting. Yes, I'm acting my age for once. I've taken up quilting, not exactly what you'd associate with a 'junkie' but I do so love contradictions.

xKx

Calamity K said...

I feel much better now I've relieved myself. I just discovered the 'books' thing on google and accidentally clicked magazines. I then came across 'Life' magazine and found myself absorbed for about 3 hours reading back issues of 'Life' (1940s-1950) via google library. Brilliant, compulsive stuff.
xKx

Calamity K said...

Oh! Here's the link to 'Peeling Oniontown'article:
http://www.vice.com/en_uk/read/peeling-oniontown-0000126-v19n1

I do so love sociology.
xKx

Anonymous said...

I hate when u take so long to write something. I know it takes a lot of your time to write what u post in here, but everytime I come here and I don't see something new, I allways fear the worst.
Hope everything is okay :)

kiss kiss,
V - Portugal

Sailor said...

Sort of unrelated to this post but I saw this quote and thought of you.

“Literary fiction and poetry are real marginalized right now. There's a fallacy that some of my friends sometimes fall into, the ol' "The audience is stupid. The audience only wants to go this deep. Poor us, we're marginalized because of TV, the great hypnotic blah, blah." You can sit around and have these pity parties for yourself. Of course this is bullshit. If an art form is marginalized it's because it's not speaking to people. One possible reason is that the people it's speaking to have become too stupid to appreciate it. That seems a little easy to me.”
― David Foster Wallace

xo lilly (my life unspoken) said...

great blog, we all soldier on in life despite our addictions and vices. not sure where id be or wat id write if i didnt have all the bullshit circling my life. probably bored to death! xo lilly