Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Street Level Law Enforcement

"What the fuck happened to you?"
My man comes in arm in a sling and cuts over his face. He's looking a bit worse for wear.
"Got in a fight." he says "Some bastard was shooting up outside the post office last night."
"The post Office?"
"Yeah they use the security lights so they can see what they're doing. I'm not having it. They shoot up and leave their needles. I'm walking my dog and booom. I see red.  I kicked the fucker from here to next week."
"So how did you get hurt?"
"He had a mate."
"Ahhhh."
"He was a big fucker too. Eastern European. A hard bastard."
"Didn't you consider calling the police and let them handle it?"
"I'm well known to the police they're just as likely to lock me up for the night as them. So we dispense instant justice right where it hurts on the front line. This is street level law enforcement."
"Whose law though?"
He looks at me as if I'm mad "..the fuck? It's law aint it? You don't shoot up and leave needles lying around for my dog to walk on, or for kids to pick up. It's Street law."
"Looks like you got some instant justice yourself."
"What this? nah this is nothing compared to what those fuckers got. They'll be off the streets for a while yet. Anyway I'm going to the offy you want anything?"
As usual I tell him I'm good and he toddles off to pick up some super strength lager or summat.

I just noticed on my stats that my most popular top hitting post is "Mineral water for dogs", the second most popular is "Dogging in Southey woods" Hmmmmmm

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Tuesday, July 26, 2016

The Theatre Director

I went to see Slessor the theatre director. She has been looking at the story and making notes and doing directorial stuff. We started discussing the opera. She tells me certain things can not work. It can work if it's a film but can't work on stage.  Every few minutes she stops and says that's not going to work you will have to change it. So I change the story a little. Then again. Then she's asking questions too many questions. I realise I haven't got all the answers. I have written a story but it's not enough.
Luckily Slessor is very patient with me. I think of alternatives. We add extra characters to make the story work, to make the story better. We need new songs. I have to write more music. Help!
Slessor says "Don't worry Mike this is the easy part. It's going to get much harder before we're finished."
My head is spinning. Slessor is very clever. She is much more intelligent than I am. She is thinking so fast I can't keep up. She is asking questions faster than I can think of answers. As soon as I find an answer she jumps on me with another  question which changes the answer to the previous  question. Slowly a story develops that is better than my original. It's more complete and makes more sense. After three hours all I want to do is go home. Slessor is still very excited and tells me we must finish talking about  the first part of the story so she has something to work on after I leave. So I struggle  for another half an hour. I have to explain to Slessor exactly what people are thinking in the opera, I have to explain why they are doing what they are doing. I have to explain my idea of the story and how I think it works. I have to have a background story that explains peoples feelings.
Who knew it would  be this difficult? Slessor of course. Slessor knows how difficult it is. She has done this many times before. It's her job. But I wish she would slow down. She will never slow down. It's what she is like. But if this Opera is going to work she will make it work. I have more confidence in her than I have in myself right now.

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Saturday, July 23, 2016

My bad manners and a Rock Opera

So what's a guy  gonna do. I'm up to my eyeballs with a contract to photograph designer clothes.  got a business to run and my dogs not well. I know write a Rock Opera. As you do. Actually it's been on the burner for four years so far. But now help is at hand. I'm working with a writer / Theatre Director who is sorting the stage script for me and additional dialogue. For the music I've secured the help of a guy who is a professional musician who did some work for Pixar, song wise.
I want to say it's all very exciting. But really it isn't. I've got the story line cracked. I've got a whole bunch of songs written including some incidental music. But really I haven't a clue what to do next. Which is why I've had to call in help. I've never written a Rock Opera before. OK how many people have? I ground to a halt. Didn't know which way to turn what to do next. That is until my Theatre Director came on board and started kicking me and pointing me in the right direction. Then my musical director suggesting different arrangements of my songs for added drama.
Now we're trading emails backwards and forwards. Writing rewriting. Swapping ideas. I'm back on track. We might make something of this yet.
Meanwhile my Theatre Director said "Do you have Skype?
Me: No I don't do Skype.
TD: Why not?
Me: I wouldn't be  able to hide the fact I get bored speaking to people.
TD:  You're  terrible.
Me: I know. I grieve over  it during the  long winter nights.
TD: You don't.
Me: No that's a quote from The Big Sleep. Philip Marlowe says it about his manners.

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Friday, July 22, 2016

Another world. Another life.

It's a strange relationship I have with my man.We go back many many years. back to when things were normal and we had normal (for me) lives. We both worked. We both had fun. Then it all changed and he hit rock bottom got  a spade and dug himself deeper while I stayed in the sun.
Now it's as if he can't remember ever having a previous life. He was an electrician but now I wouldn't even trust him with a  battery. I do his electrical repairs for him. His whole world now is alcohol drugs and random sex. We don't talk about the past it doesn't exist anymore. Half the time he can't remember what happened last week. We talk about what's happening right now. I don't ever recall talking about the future either. He has no future. Each time he leaves I expect that's  the last time I'll see him. But he always comes  back with some outrageous story.
He lives in this strange one dimensional world of NOW. The past and future are irrelevent, they don't exist and in an existential way they don't. His only concern is what's happening right now. He's got a drink. He needs a drink. He's on his way to get drink. Today he has money. Tomorrow? Tomorrow doesn't exist. Tomorrow is another problem he will get to when it's upon him.
I've been asked why I don't try to help him. After all he is my friend. But offering help is like insulting him. he owns his own house through an inheritance. He gets benefits. He's happy If he's happy what more do you want? I'd rather he drank less and left out the drugs. Occasionally I tell him this but it's pointless. he can walk out of here full of promises to go straight, give up drugs, then walk straight into the off licence, or score a hit from his ex wife , he has several exs.
Now there's a story. Before she kicked him out he had a whole community of friends all into drugs and alcohol. When he left her she had a client list ready and waiting to go, complete with all the contacts and knowledge. So she went into business as a drug dealer. By all accounts she makes a good living at it. DrugsRus Est: 1998 a family company.

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Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Another life

It never ceases to amaze me how what seems outrageous to me is perfectly normal to my man.The night before last he had a call. His ex wife had been mugged and beaten senseless in a local store, conveniently the cctv was not working and the staff threw her out the shop for bleeding on their floor. The perps got away with £2. It was all she had. My man went to meet her and took her home insisting she stay the night. She is currently homeless and a hopeless alcoholic. He woke up the next morning, she was gone already, she had climbed out the window and disappeared into the night. Later in the day he found her in a park "absolutely trollied". Situation normal.
So he's in my gaff and as usual we're watching the world through the window.
"Here comes the cunt crew." he says looking up the road, "You've never met such a bunch of despicable, mean, nasty, good for nothing bastards. You don't want to mess with them. Mean as fuck."
Eight boys were swaggering down the road all stripped to the waist, some carrying cans, some swinging t-shirts by their sides, one with a  screwed up T-shirt perched on his head, all heading towards the off-licence. My man moves away from the window so he's not seen. Instinctively I do the same. I don't know why I don't know  them they don't know me. But they know my man and he wants nothing to do with them.
I ask him about the Lithuanian girl and the Russian mafia guy "Oh she's gone." Just like that. Moved in, moved out. No problem. "Now you should have seen these two eastern European girls I met the other night, Wow!...."
"What? More?"
"Oh yes but these two were classy."
"Where did you meet them? The ambassadors ball?"
"The offy of course. They were trying to buy a bottle of wine but didn't have enough money between them they were 50p short so I gave them the 50p and they came back to my place."
"Oh that sort of classy. You can pick them."
Not seeing the sarcasm he says "Yep I seem to be a bit of a magnet for babes."
I looked him up and down, camo trousers filthy t-shirt, self cut hair, tattoos, piercings, boots. "Yes I can see that."
A girl walks past, he rushes to the door and shouts up the street. She stops turns and walks back. He invites her in "this is Michelle" he says introducing her, "And this is MY friend." pointing to me
"'right." she turns her head briefly to me. "wa'cha up tuh?" she asks my man.
"Gonna find the ex, she's absolutely trollied on the field."
"Again?"
"Yep"
"We betta go check on 'er."
"Ok we'll stop at the offy on the way."

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Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Blazing the trail

It's hot. Damned hot. Two guys are leaning on the fence opposite. I know them. My man has pointed them out before. They're heavy users. It's blazing hot and they have their hoods up over their heads. They're kind of anxious, shifty, almost dancing on the spot, looking up and down the road. One of them bends down to reach something out his trouser pocket,. If he didn't have his trousers so low he wouldn't have to bend down and I wouldn't have to see his underwear. It's glass. he holds out his hand to his friend who slaps something into his palm. They turn round to face the fence backs to the world. A minute of heads together and concentration they're ready. A quick look up and down the road and then spark up. The first is  continually putting his lighter to the glass tube, while impatiently his friend dances beside him. After a few seconds frantically puffing on the glass he throws his head back and passes the glass to his friend who immediately does the same.
They have stopped dancing, jigging about. They're just standing now swaying in the sunshine. The hoods come off. and they stagger off towards town.
My man walks in "Did you see 'em?"
"Yes they were a bit blatent weren't they?"
"Blazing crack on a street corner is not cool. In front of kids." my man is very indignant. Despite the fact he's usually high on something or other, he has standards.  His standards. "I can't stop." he says "I'm gonna go look at a dog."
"But you've already got a dog."
"This one is being mistreated by it's owner and I'm not  having it. It's time he was sorted out."
"Sorted out?"
"Yes. If he's hurt that dog. I'll hurt him, twice  as badly.  Don't you worry. I wont have it."
He crushes the inevitable beer can that's in his hand by way of demonstration and throws it on my floor.
"That's my floor." I say in theatrical disbelief.
"Sorry." and he picks up the can and puts it in my bin "But I wont have cruelty to animals."
he walks out the door "Stay safe!" I shout after him. he doesn't turn round. 

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Thursday, July 14, 2016

The Smack, Crack and Cocaine Emporium

Someone has smashed the windows of the Smack Crack and Cocaine Emporium. They're all boarded up. Police have visited and it's all very quiet now. The six foot seven enforcer, sorry financial advisor, who advises people to pay up, has gone to ground. No one has seen him. Which is amazing because you can't miss him he is so big. The steady stream of addicts who trail to and from the Emporium like an ants has dried up. This has happened before. The police bust the joint it all goes quiet for a while and then they start up business again and all the druggies come back. So I expect normal service to resume in due course.
Meanwhile my man turns up with a  spring in his step and a can of  strong lager in his hand; he's  been celebrating.
"So it's all good then?"
"Yep and a few quid left over for household expenses." he holds up his can to show me the sort of household expenses he's talking about.
"Just out of interest where did you get the gear from?"
"Oh an old army buddy just back from Kandahar."
"That takes some organisation doesn't it? I mean you  only found out about your house the other day and you had a deal in place already. How does that work?"
"It's been months in planning."
"but...."
"The less you know...."
"Yes but...."
"You REALLY don't  want to know. You're a friend. You don't want to be in my world. Hell I don't want to be in my world. But here I am. Best you  don't know. Alright?"
"OK."
My curiousity is going to get me into trouble one day.

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Wednesday, July 13, 2016

It's primo quality Afghan black m'boy

So a few days ago my man turns up all distressed. I ask him if he's seen the big Russian dude. he skips that one saying "This is worse. I'm losing my house."
"I thought you owned the house."
"I did too but the banks say I still owe eighteen grand on it and I haven't paid them anything so they're foreclosing on me unless I find the money quick."
"What are you going to do?"
"Find the money."
"Like you're just going to find eighteen grand just like that?"
"There are ways." he says, "Not strictly legal, but there are ways."
He leaves.
Yesterday he came to see me. he's wearing his usual camo clothes and toting a  rucksack. "Problem nearly solved." he says "I've just gotta shift this little lot." and he opens the rucks sack.
Inside were several slabs of what looked like liquorice, each with a circular gold sticker. Around the outside was something like "Afghanistan Kabul." and in the centre "top quality"
"What is it?" I ask. As if I didn't already know.
"It's primo quality Afghan black m'boy. You wont get better than this around here."
"How much is it worth?"
"This little lot will fetch me around eighteen grand."
"That's convenient."
"Yes I'm selling it all on as a job lot. I don't want to be involved with it anymore than I have to. I've got a deal going down in an hour so I'd better get going."
"Well..... errr... good luck with that."
"It'll be sweet when i march into the bank and slam eighteen grand on the counter and say 'take that ya bastards'."
"You could make a load of money doing this."
"NO."
"No?"
"This is a one off. Once a year to keep me ticking over. No more. Keep your head down, nose clean and don't get noticed. I don't sell the stuff. I'll leave that to the others. They can get caught."
Later in the day he walks past my gaff he doesn't stop except  to look through the window, smile and give me the thumbs  up. I guess the deal was done. His house is safe.

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Friday, July 08, 2016

Don't mess with the big fella

So my man hell bent on discontinuing his term of office as a human living on this planet decides he's going to piss off the local Russian Mafia. Actually whether or not they're really Russian mafia is just a point for comedic effect. So my drug addled friend meets up with "the most beautiful, drop dead, gorgeous girl." He goes on... "She's perfect, lovely figure and covered in tattoos and piercings. Just my type. But there is a fly in the ointment."
"I knew there would be. What is it?"
"Well she lives with  this Russian guy and he's one big Mother fucker."
"So you should stay out of it then. She's already in a  relationship."
"Yeah but she wants out don't she. She wants to come live with me."
"To live with you or live with you?"
"She don't mess about she was kissing me an' shit an' sayin' 'I be your wife' an you know....."
"So you're going to take on this girl who is 'drop dead gorgeous' with  her boyfriend just up the road? Don't you think he'll have something to say about the matter?"
"He might. But she just wants out cos he hits her."
"Which ever way you look at it, it doesn't look good for you. he'll be round your gaff and ... well just tell her NO."
"I can't."
"Why not? Wait. Don't tell me."
"She's already moved in."
"Why did I know  you were going to say that? What does he do, this Russian guy?"
"He's a drug dealer."
"It's not getting any better is it?"
"NO but you should see her, she's gorgeous."
I sit shaking my head. Of all the crazy dumb ass things he's done. This is up with the best of them. Why he's still a  friend of mine I'll never know but he keeps coming back with updates and street gossip. I try and persuade him that he really should think this through for the consequences but logic is not his strong point, not any more.He wanders off out the door. He heads towards the off licence and I wonder if I've seen this big Russian guy out on the streets.

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Saturday, July 02, 2016

Claret and Gravestones

My man turns up at my gaff disheveled and grim. His usual look. Since becoming a professional addict and user he has perfected this image.
"What the hell happened to you?" I ask.
"Dunno." he muttered. "Some guy walking his dog found me face down in the graveyard and called the police."
"What graveyard?"
"The one that's just over the dual carriageway."
"That's not your manor."
"I know. I don't know  how I got there. It's a mystery." he shakes a bit, he's not talking clearly. He is a man beaten down, destroyed,  a shell of a man. But still my friend from way back when we were young and had fun drinking beer and chasing girls. I often wonder what brought him to this stage.
He brightens up a little "Look! Haven't you seen?"
"Seen what?"
"I'm covered in claret."
I look him up and down. The bottom of his leather kacket and his combat trousers are covered in blood. "Christ! Is it yours?"
"No. but it's human blood. The police say it is. But it's not mine."
"Whose blood is it then?"
"I don't know. I don't  have a scratch on me."
"What did the police say?"
"They let me go. No crime has been reported so nothing to charge me with. I walked."
"So...?"
"I'm gonna have a bit of a mooch around ask a few questions, try and find out what happened. But first I need a drink. I'm going to the offy. You want I bring you anything?"
"No thanks I'm good."
He turns to the door opens it, and as is his usual routine, sticks his head out and looks up and down the road before walking out. He doesn't say 'Goodbye' He just stumbles down the road, head down. As my usual routine I wonder if that's the last time I'll ever see him.

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