I’m in a large house. J is meeting a drummer. We discuss the feast of St Arkansas, while preparing potatoes. New potatoes, newer potatoes, newest potatoes. Old new potatoes.
I’m in a dark room with a torch, drawing. I write the words “meeting at the library” in long, stringy, surreal letters, the word ‘library’ descends into a detailed scene of tiny ziggurats, and circles of alien, beetle like figures gathered in ritual circles.
My battery is running low. Soon it will all be dark.
St. Arkansas is the 12th album by Pere Ubu
Homeless people are camped outside my bedroom window. I worry that they’ll break in. The window doesn’t lock properly. I worry about it, and think about calling the police. I’m stressed.
I go out, selling stuff. I return home, via a green filled with homeless people, lolling about on the grass. One asks me for money. I tell him to fuck off. I consider chopping down the tree outside my bedroom window, depriving the homeless of their only bit of shelter. At home, my dad talks about getting someone to share my tiny room.
Outside, I can hear homeless people talking. I open the window and tell the to get out of my fucking garden. They become violent. I grab some scissors and a knife, and slash and snip at them as they reach through the window. They are all talk. They are bleeding badly, and retreat into the twilight. An injured pig hobbles ahead of them. I’m angry that they’ve hurt it.
I’m sat in the street on an armchair with Nigel Farage, and some friends. It is night. We chat. Nigel is very personable, but I hate his politics. He talks about his divorce, and going salmon fishing on Christmas Day, to show off to his friends. Harry Hill passes. I greet him and leave Nigel, who now looks very sad and friendless.
I’m back in my bedroom. I know I’m dreaming. An idealised dad comforts me, tells me how good I’m doing, how safe my home is. I look outside the window of insecurity. The landscape has changed. A bank of grass replaces the garden. I look at dad. I tell him that he only exists because of me, and his face melts to plasticine. I know I’m dreaming. I tell him that he was too good, too reassuring to be real. His face reforms, this time as me. He tries to kiss me. I think he intends to rape me. I grab his throat and he turns white, like China clay, dead and malleable.
I’m walking home from Scotland. I walk my friends dog past a greek woman with many tiny dogs the fluffiness of chicks, that walk in line like centipedes.
The path stops at a river. I can’t see a way across. A woman with me explains there’s a path, just beneath the surface. We step onto it, and I call my dog, who splashes and swims towards us.
There’s an island, with ruins. We go in. I find instruments inside. Some in cases. A corner full of giant bass instruments, including a giant dilruba/Indian clarinet hybrid. I want it. We discuss if it’s legal. We decide it is. I take the lovely instrument, and carry on looking around. Locals are there, rummaging about. I call my dog, and he runs up, partly covered in a painted pattern. He is excited. He’s found something.
We follow him down into an old garage in the cellar. In the pump room, we find a hidden door, and behind this, a red room with hiding spaces full of drugs and alcohol. I decide it’s time to leave. In the corridor outside, police walk past. I rush upstairs, grab the instrument, and leave with my Indian parents and siblings. I’m wearing a turban. We walk up some stairs and find ourselves in Aberdeen. I wonder how we will get home.
I remember discussing artwork for an album, and talks with investors. If I can make my music self-supporting, I will.
I’m walking home from work. It’s raining. I step into a cave to fix my watch. Inside the cave is a men’s toilet. In this, women lay on double beds. One is talking to an Asian man, who is trying to engage her in a relationship. She chats to him and listens, but it’s all a game. I sit in a chair and listen. Other women use drugs and watch TV. I sit and listen.
The first woman asks us to leave, as a man has arrived. A pimp, or cult leader, I’m not sure which. I gather my things and leave what is now a house, noticing that I have picked up the wrong jacket from work. Outside, I clean a giant, dusty, iPad, and organise icons on its screen. I wonder why the police don’t do something about a house full of heroin addicts, in a house cave, not far from my house.
I’ve forgotten something. A bag. I go back to get it. The house is unlocked. Inside, I try to find my bag. I’m tempted to search for clues to what kind of place this is, but decide it’s not my business, and leave, noticing a library of pulp sci-fi as I leave.
On the doorstep, the women are returning from a run. Some are smoking and drinking. I try to leave, but my friend S is there, and suggests I go inside and listen to what they have to say. I go in, and sit down, welcomed by a large friendly Alsatian from another dream.
A large room. Many old sofas. People smoke, and drink, and inject themselves. An older woman asks about my debts. S assures me this is ok. She writes sine questions on a piece of paper. She speaks, her voice lost in the general chatter.
Sat next to me, a junky with a cat asks if I liked being stoned. The answer was, yes, I had enjoyed it, but I don’t do that any more. People leave. I pick up the paper with the questions on. There’s little space to write an answer. There a question about how much I owe to US TV. I answer ‘none’, and another about general debt. I can’t even begin to guess.
S is still sat there. A woman comes back in, and starts questioning me.
She looks at the questions, and hands me a clear plastic box full of money. S tells me they are a community, they just want to help. I’m very suspicious, hypervigilant.
She inspects my teeth with pliers. She asks how many teeth I have, hurting me with the pliers. I say about 19. She’s starting to hurt me. I stand up, and grab a shovel. I try to get the handle under her chin. She dances around smiling. It’s all games. It’s all mind games. I get the handle under her chin and wedge her against a door. She’s surprised by the speed I move. I tell her not to mess with me. She has no idea who I am or what I’ve been through.
She leaves the room, shouting to the others ‘violence, anger and violence are his weaknesses’.
A Fat man with an airship. Camp he is. We eat biscuits as we fly above other traffic. I spot a giraffe. A zebra is attacked by dogs. I shout at the people who’s dogs they are, calling them chavs.
I walk a dog. It goes round a corner and returns as a friendly skunk. It purrs at me. I take it home, past a scrap yard. It sprays a carpet. I tell a friend to throw the carpet from the window. She throws it at the window. She didn’t open it first. She doesn’t understand how windows work.
Outside. My friend is going out, and has the only key. She walks off without giving it to me. I don’t want to climb in through a window. I follow her. I thought she was going to work, but she has joined a weird cult. I knock on the window and ask for my key. She says she needs it as a symbol for a ceremony. I ask to swap my symbolic key with her. It’s a lump of crystal, engraved with a message. She wants to see it. I unwrap it, and the wrapping becomes a huge oil painting about the history of religion. On the reverse side, is a portrait in red. I drum on the canvas. The cult members join in. Soon, it is taken away for the ceremony, briefly the rhythm lingers.
I return to the house where I met the man with an airship. Things have changed. Torturers employed there will soon be out of a job. I suggest we hire them to recapture escaped zoo animals, and punish those hunting them. It’s agreed. The torturers are happy. I know they’ll do a good job. They tortured me. As we leave, I tell them that to change society, you must get involved. Others won’t do it.
A bedroom. Wind and rain outside. I urinate on the floor. Plants need repotting. I find a toilet and use it. Invisible radiation. Someone jealous of my lifestyle. Nighttime.
I’m sleeping In a stadium. It’s snowing. People cheer a sport on a big screen. The show ends. People leave. I just want to sleep, under a thin blanket in the corner. The snow stops. I get up. A clock says five past nine. I’m late for work. I look again. It’s eight o’clock. I’ve still got time. I can’t find my way there, the city has changed, I remember I work on the second level in a shopping centre, I walk through suburban streets, trying to navigate by the towering buildings of the distant city centre.
I slide down icy streets, and onto a train, it’s engine asymmetrically overhanging the platform. We set off. I try to move between carriages, but the next one is a smoking compartment. Returning, I accidentally kick a bag through a hole in the floor. My bag’s gone too. A passenger is angry at me for losing his bag. I step into the corridor, and jump from the train as it slows, passing through a station.
I’m in a triple decker bus with Noel Edmunds. We drive from the top deck, into the Beatles happy house studios. The doorway is too low. We drive through it. It’s only paper and plywood. They knew one day we’d drive in.
Back outside. A market. Andy Williams and Phil Collins sell pastries on competing stalls. A small boy gives me a baked potato, with an unknown filling. Noel Edmunds runs past, high-fiving the end of my curling stick.
I walk down a hill. Homeless people ask me for money and drugs. They think I’m off to visit a dealer. I walk back up to the market, and put my rubbish in a bin there, I don’t want to be seen near the dealers place.
I’m inside a large house. My brother has designed a large Mothers Day card template, there are blanks on it for me to fill in. He wants to make it competitive. He wants to make everything competitive. He challenges me to find something I think I’m good at, so he can prove he’s better than me. I refuse I choose non-competitiveness, and I play an ocarina badly to myself.
Through a window, a black cat sleeps on a chair by a gramophone on the grass, and a man walks his obedient dog.
I meet Noel again. I tell him about my dream of the triple decker bus. He looks surprised, and tells me it’s true.