Tuesday, 14 September 2010

Going South West

In the headlights of an old banger, signs for Sussex are seldom, and strips of white are all the time peeling and unpeeling before my eyes. I stick to my lane. The A23 is swallowing me toward a stomach. Here I will trade boringness for butterflies. I am slipping into Brighton; job hunting, reading, writing. It gives me great pleasure to say “the hope of this journey is filling in for gravity.” The Viking horn of impatient Land Rovers, the Sat Nav magnate, the dickheads on my tail: none of you shall stop me from moving on with my life slowly. My reason is inexpensive but hardworking. Haven’t you noticed the sweat high up on my face, or coruscating on bristles where my chest used to heave as if I were wretched? Man-made superstition and His pamphleteers gave it their best shot. Have you ever been cursed by superstition? Billions live this way. The billionaires, the broke.

The dawn is done. Here I cross football fields to shop for groceries. If sea air is the thing, I don’t go so far.

I carry on down the motorway’s throat, accelerating a little until my iPod shuffles too far to the left and ‘Karma Police’ is ready and waiting for drums, and Radiohead really mean it this time. I'm driving in a scene eerily resembling the music video for this same song, and it’s a matter of minutes before I have to wind down the volume and inundate entire lyrics. THIS IS WHAT YOU GET. This Is What You Get. This is what you get when you.... Disturbed by silence I turn the volume up too soon, ‘Karma Police’ hasn’t finished. I have to pull over, take a sip of Mountain Dew, check my complexion in the head mirror, deselect Shuffle and play something by The Searchers because Thom Yorke’s vocals are kites repeating their billows, inventorying my past: I lost myself. For a minute there, I lost myself. At the scene's end, the photography is awesome. I burn up in influence, my ashes reek of anxiety.

Dusk is over. Here I cross football fields to find love or something. And when I find the rubbery switch on my torch, I wrist-flick another headlight in swirls around the centre-circle and then I stretch my arm downwards, like a detective, rolling a lambency all across the halfway line. (A child trying to draw a circle, a man interested in diameter.) Sea air is the thing tonight. I imagine a congregation of women and men on the stony beaches. A thinning snare when high heels come off and the drunk find a rhythm to swash to. Everybody smells their fingers in the morning, has lost loose change, is looking roughly into the future.

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