Thursday, December 14, 2006

Damp food, bright lights, dead eyes

The Organ
, responsible for my favourite pop record of last year, have called it a day after five years, one album and a handful of EPs. They have admirably chosen to keep their reasons to themselves. A punishing schedule may have played a part in their disintegration; touring provides the musician with the classic bi-polar experience. In sympathy, I’m taking this opportunity to publish an excerpt from my last tour diary. It was nice to know you, ladies.

A snow-bound drive from Brugge to
. A service station. Damp food; bright lights, dead eyes. A notice guaranteeing a thrirty-minute toilet hygiene inspection. Above the cubicle, gaps in the styrofoam celing panels. Cameras, probably. You turn and your leg brushes against the bowl. You take part of it back to the van with you and leave part of yourself there. Now you know why the French shit in holes in the ground. The less contact the better. In/out as quickly as possible. Extract yourself from the dance before it tries to hold your hand.

A Holiday Inn south of Paris. Prison windows groan over a Legoland interzone. You open the door to your rabbit hutch and the rolling guff of a thousand lonely cigarettes swoops down your throat like a decaying pigeon searching madly for a quiet place to die. The bird surfs the slipstream of fruit-scented mustard gas; like hopeless medieval physicians pitching a poultice against a plague, the cleaning staff spray something into the air to combat the stench but for some reason choose to leave all the windows closed and turn up the radiators. Inside the apricot sweat-box the despair hangs in mid-air, blinking in the half-light. Nowhere to hide in the metal door, veneer walls and plastic curtains, it seeps quietly into the pores of its new friend. Pubic hairs on the carpet, semen grease-film on the T.V. remote, suicide-prevention half-windows. Push your face too deep into the pillow and last night’s smoker shares the bed with you. Switch off the metal wall heater and it will switch itself back on at 3 a.m. Baked lizards thrashing in the sheets. Wake up paddling in a diseased lung. The sweat beads can’t get past the plastic curtains. The cloud regroups in mid-air and you have made your contribution to a thriving, multiplying mass grave. You have become part of the room. You have made it that bit worse for the next guy.

love, love, love


Anonymous said...

Thats really evocative writing. Midpriced utilitarian, clinical hotel space does leave you feeling a little neuteured, lonely and ill.

The numb spiritual vacuum of tesco may have finally taken its toll on this guy:,,30000-1244453,00.html

Nick Talbot said...

That's me in the clear then.

Anton Maiof predicted it would be an ex-cop.

Anonymous said...

well done. except give the ladies some credit. we are secretly disgusting too you know.

Anonymous said...

Im only speculating but im not sure whether they will have enough for a charge.

From what we know from the news 5 bodies strangled, no sexual assaults so it is unlikely that there will be any dna recovered from the bodies. No obvious witnesses, circumstantial CCTV. IF they get no forensics from cars/home addresses and the killer burnt the clothes then it will all be left looking a bit hopeless.

Are you repressing the internal travels album? I had one but mislaid it on a drive up to see radiohead in blackpool.