The Loneliness of the Tweeter


I am living in a small room. Not even a Bedsit. It’s a larger building converted for multiple occupation. I share bathroom and kitchen facilities.

I am on Twitter laying upon my bed. I am reading the tweets of a sad old man “Too young for The Archers, too old for South Park“.

I feel empathy with him. As I doze of I notice that a hole appears in the wall, with a human eye and part of a face visible, watching me. I say “I see you“, and jump up, out of bed. I look through the hole and see an old man called Colin, sat on his bed alone. I realise that this is the author of the tweets I’ve been reading.

I am out shopping. I see Colin sat outside a cafe with his shopping. He is drinking wine waiting for his laundry to finish. He has an open bottle of wine hidden in one of his bags.

I talk to him, and Ann and others concerned about him are also there. I leave them to it.

Later I am in Marks & Spencer‘s, which has been converted to a small market. I’m looking for something as a present. Colin is passed out on the floor with another man, the staff are trying to wake them and get them out. I wake Colin and tell him home is only five minutes away. Then I leave the staff to help him out.

I’m back in my room. I just want to sleep. Someone is knocking, trying to get in. It’s my landlord. I let him in. We talk and as people pass my doorway they introduce themselves and come in. Some are smoking, which I hate, and I think it’s rude that they think its ok to smoke in my space.

I chat to my landlord about when I was homeless. My drinking and drug use, how I struggle, but overcame them.

I realise everyone is listening to me, like I’m a king holding court. I finish what I’m saying and politely insist that they leave so I can go back to sleep.

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29 Chant


I am upstairs on a double decker London bus, old style one, I am reading, sat at the front, it is raining heavily. I realise the bus is out of control. There’s no one driving. I panic and rush down stairs.

I don’t have a licence or insurance. I stop the bus in a layby. The drivers cockpit is flooded, as if there had been a driver made of rain, who had lost his solid form and soaked the seat.

Some people ask if I need help. I walk away, aware of the laws I have broken.

I am at a cousins house. Four of us share a bed. I listen into my cousins phone conversation with his girlfriend, he can’t get a word in edge ways. I tell him she may as well be talking to herself.

There’s a knock at the door. A group of drunks are trying to get in to a party that does not exist. I close the door on them but two manage to get in. They just wanted to lose some of thier ‘friends’.

I go out into the street. It is dark and full of noisy drunk people. I am afraid.

I search for my bus. I walk for a long time. Days. I can’t remember where it is. I chant the number over and over “29,29,29,2010″.

A woman talks to me. She takes my phone number. For a brief moment I am sane again.
I have been searching and chanting for three years.

As I chant stars form into a mandala and I levitate ecstatically towards them.

Below me people scoff at me. I grab one by the hair and pull him up. His friends try to pull him down. Soon I am swinging around a whole line of people. I chant the number and fly towards the star mandala.

I let the people go, they fall back to earth.

I see my bus pass and pursue it. It turns into a vehicle auction place. I go in. There are many vehicles here. Looking down on them from a wooden scaffold, the dream fades.

Faux Hunting with the Human Caterpillar


I’m on shore leave with the original Star Trek crew. I see a truck that has shed it’s load of huge vegetables. I help to move them. They are some kind of hybrid between pumpkins and mushrooms. Someone helps me. Deep down I know that they are hallucinogenic.

I walk along a canal and road, trying to get home. I see across the road, a car park full of giant sliced vegetables with eyes in their natural grain staring at me.

I am barefoot. My feet are dirty. A lady thinks it is fashion. I tell her I am tripping, and not being Sandie Shaw.

She points me to a hospital. Inside the floor is wet, “Like Moses and the Red Sea”, another patient says, I splash through the wet, dirty floor, thinking, I have medical insurance, why am I doing this?

At the end of the corridor, I am outside. There’s a church and I am following someone up a path.

In a garden a mother plays with her child. I am an angry, terrifying monster. Only the child can see me. It is very scared. In the doorway to the house stands the father with a greyhound. The greyhound can see me. It runs over to me to defend the family.
It saps out all my anger, and I apologise to it as I rub its ears.

I wake up in a conservatory full of old, damp carpets. I search my pockets for money, I have some, and a huge number of stamps also. I find my keys. Looking out of the window I’m not sure where I am. It’s not Wolverhampton. Or Manchester. I go into the main building. Ann is there, my landlady, and lots of middle class and middle aged women wearing yellow. They are all talking. I’m aware I look a mess and pass straight through on the way to my room. They don’t like the fact I prefer solitude to talking about nothing with them.

In my room, the floor is covered by scrapings of blue paint, I realise I have already cleaned this up and that I have travelled back in time. I browse some books, aware of the complete story of each, though I haven’t read them yet in this reality. There are guitars, stacked on top of more old carpet. My YouRock guitar is there, but missing a string. I remember that it was easy to replace.

On the bed is a note from Ann, asking if I could move into number 3, as it wasn’t available when she let me this room. I remember this too, I cleaned this place up, and got moved to a shittier place. I don’t mind this time, either. My clothes are muddy and lie in a pile on the floor.

I decide to take a shower. The mushroom trip has completely removed any craving for alcohol. I find what I need, and notice a giant container of sandalwood shower gel.

As I am about to get in the shower, a neighbour comes in, asking about his discount. I remember this too and explain how it works. He is followed by a youth football team, I explain how I can’t even head a ball properly.

I head off to the shower. All the shower rooms are full, I keep going and find myself back in the Red Sea corridor of the hospital.

I am sat in the back of a car with some middle class tosser listening to his band. They are surprisingly good. We drive to meet them. They wait on the roof of the building. They appear to be armed cyborgs.

I steal the car. I have to remind myself to brake, and turn the lights on, as it is getting dark. A boy racer passes me, followed by the police. I am glad of the distraction and take a different route. I still drive badly, though I manage to swerve to avoid ducklings in the road. I am on a seaside road. It is daylight.

I am walking home, but the road has changed. Home is now a multilevel construction like a car park. People are outside, their doppelgängers inside. I climb the building.

Inside, completely grey, like an unpainted Airfix model is my double. He doesn’t even look like me, I tell him. The young, grey, Trainspotting era Ewan McGregor smiles and says “You’ve no idea what you look like”.

He is correct.

I grab him and carry him away from the building to talk. He becomes a shifting grey rag in my hands, eventually gaining colour, a tiny face and Mohican.

We walk along a narrow path. Diane is there and glad to see me after my trip to Japan or wherever. I didn’t go to Japan, but can’t be bothered to explain. I walk along a footpath until my grey doppelgänger is fully colour and integrated back into me.

I am walking up a wooded path, ahead, a lady with two pairs of stumpy arms and one pair of stumpy legs smiles at me, and asks me to teach her about the fruit on the trees. The cobbled street is covered in leaves, yet strange fruits are still on the tree. I explain that I am a teacher. She is like a very elegant caterpillar.

I continue up the road and see a line of hunting dogs having a rest with a fox. I stroke one of the young dogs. In the distance a hunting horn sounds, and the weary animals stand up, ready to recreate the facsimile of a hunt for the humans on horseback in red.

I am talking to a conservative MP who recognises the name on my anti-republican t shirt. I’m impressed and so is he.