I am watching a film. Many short stories in one long film. As Glenda Jackson I squeeze though tiny roof spaces into a huge, magnificent hotel. Here, people come to meet others, and fall in love. It has many floors, and resembles all at once a cathedral, a shopping mall, a restaurant.

I ask a woman the time.

“Five pm.” She says.

“Don’t forget the five minute rule, if your late by five minutes, they’ll leave. I probably just missed the love if my life, I’m always late, men never wait.”

“You just need a man with no sense of time.” I reply.

She smiles and steps through mirrored doors in the cathedral walls. Up ahead, I see a troupe of children’s entertainers. They look like Dr Seuss characters.
I ask them the time. They don’t know. Machines are forbidden in this part of their story. In fact they have hidden watches inside their hats, where the kids can’t see.

I walk into the next section with them. I become a character with a trunk for breathing that comes from the top of my head, and flows backwards behind me. A little white elephant follows me, grabbing my trunk. It’s annoying. I tell him I can’t breathe when he does that. He pulls too hard, and his trunk rips open. He bleeds to death. I don’t know what I’ll say to his mother.

The next film. Titles roll. A tank moves over urban ground. I watch this on a tv embedded in a brick wall outside. The action is replayed in real life around me. I rewind the film, vehicles reverse. I decide to save this for later.

I walk across a foggy road. A group of men stops me. They are welsh miners, faces black with coal, on bicycles. They are armed. RPGs and AK 47s. They want to know where they are. Manchester, I think. They cycle off to Llangollen, smiling at the thought of beer, sex, and violent revolution.

A Kung Fu school. Different groups are fighting. Armed with a carving knife and a bread knife, I go up against a young guy who looks like an anime. All oversized swords and stupid hair and costume. I realise he will win. He appears to have great technique too. It’s over quickly. I congratulate him on his victory. I walk next door. Mr Miyagi enters from an opposite door. As he hangs his jacket, I throw a knife into his back. A flash of green, and the knife is gone, Mr Miyagi falls onto, then into, the floor.

A shout from next door. Anime boy has lost his skill, his looks. Like killing a vampire, killing Miyage has released his students from skills and belief in violence.



John Candy’s Large Organ Display

A gig. Speakers arranged as a giant drum kit. A twelve piece choir, a small orchestra.

John Candy directs them from an organ at the front. It’s connected to a huge desk with a display showing a map of the Soviet Union. I want to take photos. John wants me to digitise music from a 3d scan of his nasal interior. His nose glows green and transparent as he asks me, revealing a fine structure of nasal hairs.

In the distance, Attila the Stockbroker plays on a smaller stage.

The speaker drums have been taken down. I put them back up, I want to take a photo.

I’m inside my flat. It’s been garishly decorated. I like it. The speaker drum kit is now a normal kit. Tinsel for cymbals.

I look for my phone to take photos. It’s in a pair of tie dyed trousers I used to own. They’re ripped. I struggle to put them on.

My landlady comes in to grab an ironing board. We talk about Howard, my recently deceased neighbour. I’m still shocked by his sudden death. Outside, I hear John Candy’s voice, he’s returning home.

The Hallucinatory Cafe

I’m doing voluntary work in a charity shop. We are moving premises. My old boss, Steve is there, and Tom, an old housemate. Most things are set up, but we trying to figure out how to move some heavy computer monitors. Instead we hang red white and blue tinsel, in celebration of the Queens Jubilee.

We always have too much tinsel.

I push myself round the shop in a wheelchair to make sure it’s accessible. I need to know where things are. I noticed all the books are out of order so I start sorting them alphabetically.

Looking up I see myself and Tom are outside sorting books and pictures onto large outdoor wooden shelves. I explain we can’t leave them outside overnight, a manager says it’s just an exercise. It feels like we’re just doing something to keep our time occupied.

I head home from work, on Lovell Street I find an injured animal in the street, a chicken or a small dinosaur. It looks thirsty and I carry it home to give it some water.

Before I get home I find a wandering goat in the street, people just walk past. I can’t manage both animals, so I put the chicken down, it isn’t going anywhere, and take the goat home first. He doesn’t mind being carried, but when we get the garden he starts to fight back he doesn’t want to go into the garden.

I steer him in. Inside the house, my housemate apologises for not cooking. He injured a chicken and it ran off. I tell him it’s just on the road, and he should go and get it. Instead he changes the subject. It seems like an excuse not to cook. A large friendly white cat sits on me, happy, but complaining about the Four Sausage brand cat food I feed her. The taste isn’t varied enough. She hates it.

My other housemate comes home. She’s smart and professional, in her 40s. We chat for a while. I’m hungry, so I make an excuse to go outside, I want fish and chips.

The chicken is gone.

I’m carrying my broken iPhone in a huge cardboard box. I meet some friends at a bus stop. Nearby, children have dug a hole, now filled with ornamental gourds.

I’m annoyed at my broken phone. The camera is dodgy, so I lost photos of the chicken and the goat. Inside the box I see something else. It’s a toy light sabre. I pull it out and turn it on. The end is missing, broken off. “It’s been circumcised“, I say.

My friends laugh, and my female housemate walks by. She’s hungry too, and bored of waiting. She suggests we eat at a vegetarian restaurant, the Hallucinatory CafΓ©. I agree and we head to the underpass to get there, it’s near a pub called The Shakespeare. That seems familiar.

I’m still playing with the broken light sabre, making it into two tubes of uneven length, and playing them as a double-barrelled didgeridoo as we walk.

Some people are collecting for Gaza I stopped playing as we pass. The underpass is full of wet carpets, we can’t believe they are still there.