I’m on a bus. The driver, and all the passengers are British. The Chinese drive everywhere. I think about how difficult it would be to use Chinese public transport if I you don’t understand the language.
I am stood upstairs at the front. Downstairs someone is reciting inspirational quotes from a book by Harry Secombe. I can see the cover. It’s not even written by Harry Secombe.
I stare out of the window at the passing Chinese countryside and city. It looks just like the UK. On a bend, greenhouses grow thyme and other herbs. I can smell them.
We turn onto a muddy track, past a closed down university and a caravan park full of Chinese gypsies. The grass on each side grows taller, and rabbits the size of donkeys feed on it. The bus is now open topped. It stops at a sharp drop in the muddy road. Me and another guy get out, the show a safe route. The bus makes it down ok, but struggles to get up the other side. It stretches and shrinks as if alive and full of water. It becomes tiny, like a newborn kangaroo, and I scrape out a route for it to follow in the mud. It changes again, into a flying insect, and we lose it.
We walk around a corner, hoping it turns up. Neither of us speaks Chinese or knows where we are.
A council housing block. It is run down. Part of it is being privatised. Some workmates are there. We have to fix things, but we don’t have the right tools. We have to improvise.
I miss the lift and take the stairs. Men in suits are in my way. Outside is a street market. I pick up a book called “The Depressed Monkey”, depressed monkey, my arse, I think. I go to visit my boss. He’s in a health kick. He makes tea while I tell him about my dream, and The Depressed Monkey book. He’s not really listening. His kids are Colombian militia and are shooting the house up around us as they argue. I lie on the sofa with a pistol in my mouth. Surprisingly, it is a babies bottle, designed to look like a pistol.
I borrow money I don’t need and a long coat that I do, and go outside. I am in Teignmouth. There are a lot of large houses converted from old mosques. A college has just finished for the day, I try to avoid the students. Two if them are singing great harmonies. I ask if that’s their own song, and compliment them on it. I want to sing them the song if The Depressed Monkey, but decide against it.
The Colombian militia have a meeting. Only two women turn up. They have been on tv lying about being lesbian twins. This is too revolutionary for the militia, so they have met elsewhere.
I walk a muddy path past sleeping cats and boarded up houses. At a main road, I sit on a stool with wheels and whizz uphill, losing control at a roundabout at the top of the hill. Depressed Monkey, my arse, I think.
I am in an old house. Ghost hunting. We are upstairs, waiting for dawn and the apparition to appear.
The first rays of sunlight light up the floral curtains in the room across the hallway. I hear the creak of a swinging body and there it is, the clear silhouette of a hanging body.
I run towards it, convinced it’s a trick. I grapple with the ghost, lift it to the floor, comforting it. The ghost absorbs me. It is my ghost. I feel the tight noose around my neck, I struggle to breathe, I call to my friends for help.
A paper gun. Pointing, and pretending to fire it, has a placebo like effect, creating synchronicity. I pass the gun on to others, in disbelief at the power of suggestion, but it does work.
Wandering through Wolverhampton, considering beer, remembering I don’t drink any more.
I am in a room, there’s a storm outside, waves crash through the windows, the floor rocks, I try to get dressed.
The Pentagon. Beneath it is a crystal spaceship. The whole thing launches into space, and once in orbit, bombards the world with electromagnetic pulse weapons, sending the rest f humanity back to the Stone Age.
The Pentagon stays in orbit, monitoring the surface, waiting for the majority of humanity to die. They plan to return to earth, but only when they are sure of global control through technology.
DWP. Muddy toilets and long queues. A hotel with a casino next door. Zombies. Acting like a zombie I can move amongst them. The zombies try to get me to go to a restaurant. I tell them I’ve already booked a table. I step into an empty art gallery. Keith is there. We have a Children of the Drone exhibition on. The walls are glass. It’s not safe.
Inside the restaurant/club. I have the keys to a secure area. A few of us go through and lock ourselves in. It is huge, on many levels, and dark. I grab a torch and explore. On the mezzanine floor is lots of old furniture, the owner of the place is a drug dealer, and takes debts anyway he can.
Others walk though the furniture. Visitors who expect me to help.
On a higher level, the light from my torch activates a smart drawer, which slides open. We move the chest of drawers and dig into the wall and floor, revealing doughy naan breads and a pool of curry. We can hear the voices of the food workers below.
Looking around, I find a room stacked with things. In the far corner I can see the head of a guitar. I know it’s a rare Lyre Octobird, with whiskers on the bridge that sing as you play. I surf the furniture and retrieve the guitar. I wonder if the dealer realises how much it is worth?
We decide to try and fight the zombies. Sliding down a ceramic tiled circular chute, we are sprayed with chemicals.
Fighting with Thor on our side.
Returning to safety. Poisoned. Thor on a plane, paralysed by drugs, calling customer services to complain.
I am at Morrissey’s house. He is looking after another friends dog. I feed the dog and if some washing up. Morrissey’s invited me to join him on tour, so he has someone interesting to talk to and hang out with, and to supply him with drugs. My female friends are jealous. I think about it. I can’t afford not to work, but it is the chance of a lifetime. I think about what books I’d take to read, and that I’d have time to be a tourist too.
The dog is hungry. I feed him again. Morrissey has hidden the dog food behind stacks of veg. I don’t know why. I feed the dog outside. A Russian neighbour has some kind of tiger hybrid as a pet, and it comes over to say hello, it’s very friendly and has no ears. How does it hear? Terrible.
It’s nearly my birthday. I stroll around an enormous shop. My friend Rebecca wants to buy me a huge, brown, sheepskin jacket. I don’t really like the colour, and feel a bit like Henry VIII wearing it. I explain that it feels as if a king has died on his throne, and I am sat on it wearing his corpse as a coat. Eventually someone will split me open and use me as a coat, I think.
We roam around. I find a music section. I find a souped up Kay E-100, in white, like my first guitar but better. My friend finds me. I explain about the jacket. We leave it behind.
Outside is a street market. At the end of one stall is a pyramid of books, they are cloth bound and reminiscent of 1970’s Curved Air album cover design. They are a series on The Matter of Reality. £40. I can’t justify buying so many books I don’t have time to read. Like all of these kinds of books, it claims to have all the answers. I prefer to read ebooks these days, they can be easily updated by the author when new information or knowledge comes to light.
I decide to take a photo so I can google the author later.
As I focus a child slides the label out of shot. His parents call him cheeky. I offer to call him an ambulance if he does it again.
We wander into green fields, and pastures new.