Monday, 1 June 2020


Record Store Day (or a few days after, as I'm hoping to snap up leftovers?). I am at Monorail Records – at least I am served by the staff member Dee from there – and I go up to the counter, intent on asking about whatever titles they have remaining. Dee immediately goes to a drawer/storage unit at his back and asks me if I want the Big Brother & The Holding Company, producing a shrink wrapped, slender card packed CD. I say, 'yep!' and in a flash I am parting with 15 pounds – it has a bold £15 (HMV-style) sticker price tag in the top right corner of the cover, which itself is an orange and jet black, vague swirl, likely a photo of the band that has been pushed to maximum contrast. I am instantly annoyed at both Dee and myself, reckoning that he just wanted rid of overstock, targeting my good nature, and at my own amiable manner, my too-eager-to-please purchase. I leave and I am still annoyed. Did I even get a receipt? 

I am wandering about forlornly, roughly trying to calculate the time elapsed since my purchase. It is about half an hour later, I guess, and I am still fretting about the receipt (or lack of) and planning to take the CD back, thinking about how I will phrase/open the conversation. (Do I reach Mono?)* 

I am somewhere and go to the bathroom, walking through a very long room with expertly crafted porcelain sinks and fittings all topped with a neat timber trimming, framing and finish. I turn a corner and come to the end of this (somewhat bemusing) toilet area. Beyond some inset sinks there is a final urinal “hole” set into the floor, a companion shower/washing tray next to it, on the right. Looking into this hole in the floor I can see that beyond it, where you pee, the water is sky blue, so fresh looking and swirling (a little on the mesmerising side). I feel I have no choice but to hunker down to urinate. I do so, worried that this is the ladies bathroom. A guy steps into the area on my left – I am partly screened by a timber upright between us – startling me. I turn and ask him if this young, besuited gent knows if this is the ladies. He says that no, he doesn't think so and I finish peeing. When I stand up I notice that the shock of his arrival distracted me so much, meaning that I have a great, damp streak of piss from my inside left trouser knee that fans out down to my ankle, soaking the strange black and silvery woven fabric of my trousers. On the right leg, at the trousers over my ankle bone, it is much the same, only less sodden and more sporadic. I worry about how visible – very! - this will be- 

I am walking with my friend Vee Dee and two other people. In fact, I seem to be lagging behind them, distracted by my returning the CD, and they are constantly a corner's turn ahead of me. At one point I lose them, the shadows cast by their legs the only clue as to the direction they've taken. It sounds like they are discussing the selection process of some architects? I am worried that the packaging of the CD will get damaged in my shoulder bag, the cover marked or creased by other items. I search for it, panicking. The price tag – now appearing as a long, descriptive sticker strip – flashes through my mind, easing my concerns. The CD is not there! No, I remind myself it is in a green plastic shopping basket(?) I am carrying in my left hand. It sits safely on the bottom, packed under some neatly folded clothes- 

I finally catch up on Vee Dee. He is now only 'plus one', the man that was with them having gone off. The woman who he is with is, to my disappointment, not the broad Caribbean lady with a shock of afro hair I thought her to be. Approaching from the back she appears to be a slightly sullen, overweight white woman with too much makeup and a limp bob for a haircut- 
*(At this point?) I am in a cafe of sorts, seated with two(?) other people. I am constantly singing (in a low voice) the final refrain from (ex-Mansun singer) Paul Draper's solo song 'Friends Make The Worst Enemies', the “close... keep your enemies in close... 'cos your friends can hurt you most” lyric. I have in front of me a sheet of paper, perhaps it's an envelope(?) that has a black and white photograph of a microphone stand printed on it. I have a thick black pen and I am drawing, quite accurately, a young Paul Draper singing into this mic. I start by sketching the mouth and head and my mind sort of better composes the two to match, an auto-correction of sorts, and I continue drawing him from there-

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