I had a strange dream last night. It featured Neil Morrissey as a teenage boy. I was a girl, walking provocatively towards a car he was in. I leant in the window and asked him what he wanted to do to me. He said he wanted to 2do me like a dog". I leant back against the bonnet of another car and, just as he put his cock in, I "remembered" (possibly an earlier and even ruder dream, I don't know) that I had recently had sex with a dog. I felt embarrassed that Neil Morrissey would probably catch gonnorhea from me.
There were more disturbing elements to the dream too. An old friend was doing her A level art exam but the theme she had to paint was just too cryptic. We were supposed to walk through some fields as part of the exam but we couldn't and even the dogs that we'd taken with us just stood and howled. My friend turned to me with a look of horror on her face and said "They've sent us to a bad place!"
I woke up too scared to go for a wee.
It's somewhere between waiting for titbits of juicy gossip about some friends and being hypnotised to unlock long surpressed memories.
let's let the stories keep coming rather than divide them into short films or the feature script.
the suburban wife swappers for instance. What do you think of them? I can imagine the woman to be one of those ACDC ladies who thinks that all you want is to go down on them. I can imagine her wearing one of those skimpy lacey robes and moving her legs so Johnny can see a whiff of curtain and saying something like "if you're a good boy, you'll get a taste of this. That's what you want, isn't it?"
Of course he gets guilt. He can see that it's a way of stealing power for yourself.
Maybe he challenges her. 'You don't want friends at all. You don't want to share the world with anyone. YOu just want to make up your own reality and fuck everyone else.'
And she spits back: 'And what's so different about who you are? You decide you're a boy and so hey presto, you are. Isn't that changing reality and fuck everyone else? What's so different about me being a superstar for an hour, and you being a guy for the last year?'
Then when Johnny stands there speechless, she takes him by the hands, gives him her most luminous, winning, irresistible, insane smile and says 'Come on, you know I believe you. I want you to be who you are, who you are is so beautiful. So help me be something for a while too. Come on, it's easy. All we have to do is act as if it's true, and it is.'
Other people's madness can be really intoxicating to start with, can't it? I mean, that's the thing about Maddie. She creates a world where anything can happen. Where you don't have to go round and round in circles, you can just go. There's always a flip side though. Unfortunately, I've learnt that for every afternoon spent in the other world laughing, there's an evening spent in a cold flat in Hackney crying. Still, while it lasts it can be beautiful. A glimpse of paradise.
Back to my friend and the oil and the chip shop. See, the cracks started to appear in the friendship early on. I couldn't take the pace of her situationism (I don't really know this word apart from what you've been writing here in the last day so I might get the endings wrong). it was a guilty pleasure for me. Guilty because there's always a little bit of taking the piss about it. Of mocking people. You know, it reminds me a lot of "Heavenly Creatures". Our friend Helen was worse than us. She was an anorexic. desperately thin and with hair that the hairdresser refused to bleach anymore because a strand test showed it was the texture of dried up chewing gum. Anyway, she offered to help other young anorexic girls by talking to them. they would be dead excited that they were getting to visit her in her bedroom (god, if the internet was around then, Helen would have been a self-harm superhero). She used to spend ages with her back to the waiting girl, putting her make up on and making her chewing gum hair look like Madonna's. Suddenly she'd swing her chair round, give them her bright red Marilyn pout and say "and they say anorexia isn't glamorous"
Not that this has anything to do with our Maddie but is an example of how some people are able to step out of the world in that way. I read today that 31% of american teenagers believe they will become famous.
But yeah, Johnny would have increasing guilt about using other lesser mortals as his playthings.
Provincial gay bar. Ace.
I was thinking of something else she says to him. Maybe when they first meet he's reading that poem by (was it Neruda?). I imagine them in some slightly muesli-munchingish cafe full of homespun lezzers, and neither of them feels quite at home.
She comes up and says 'What are you reading?'
Johnny: "I no longer love her, true, but perhaps I love her.
Love is so short and oblivion so long.
Because on nights like this I held her in my arms,
my soul is lost without her.
Although this may be the last pain she causes me,
and this may be the last poem I write for her."
She looks at him for a minute, then says 'I went looking for New Orleans a few years ago. I got there by bus, and this guy on the bus liked the look of me so he got his flatmate to take care of me. I was a bit scared, because I thought they might be weirdos, but he turned out to be a vampire. I was so chuffed, I was a big Anne Rice fan and there I was drinking beer in New Orleans at eight in the morning with a real New Orleans vampire.'
J 'Did he bite you?'
M 'Yeah, of course he did, but it's not like you think. It was more like chewing, and then he'd suck blood out through the skin. It makes you feel dizzy. Anyway, we spent this amazing weekend together, fighting and drinking and biting each other. But we never fucked. Then when I had to go we agreed that though we didn't fuck our imaginary friends got together and had twins.'
M 'Yeah. Twins. I left them with him to look after. He emails me sometimes to tell me what they're doing.'
J (starting to get it) 'So you've got kids.'
M 'Yeah. Kind of. But now that New Orleans got flooded, I don't know what's happened to him. I feel like I've lost my family.'
J 'Do you want a drink?'
'Vis, on the topic of how the 'other place' felt very fragile and here you feel you've elephant feet.
This place moves much more slowly. I think one's also much more traceable and networkable somehow. The objective isn't to cause the same kind of trouble, there's a relentlessly accommodating quality to it that'd just send the objectors elsewhere and grow you a fanclub instead. Scary.
This could go in several ways. I think if it's melancholy all over then it'll be grievous to watch. There's a high too (there always is in these relationships).
Maybe when they first meet it's like electricity. They have this mad time where they stay up together for days on end awash in situationist tomfoolery, play-acting, staging scenes in cafes and on pavements in sleepy towns. Then, haggard, insomniac, they decide to take the show on the road. And they try the same game in a truck stop cafe on the A1. And something horrible happens.
And then they come down with a crash and they're just two thin lost kids cycling along under a huge grey sky. And she blames him. And he tries to take it on, to make her feel better. But that just makes her angrier. And that brings us back to the hedgerow under the sky, and Maddie weeping.
So is this what they're talking about when they meet? The death of dreams, how on earth you go about mourning something that never empirically was?
I'm not sure they're in a pub, I think maybe it's a cafe of some sort. Perhaps he's sitting reading, (Neruda, maybe...) with feet up on the bench and his bike shoes on. And she wants to know what he's reading, because he looks so lost in it.
Maybe the mistake though is to say 'it was JUST a dream'. The 'just' is the mistake - it's like pretending that you can reason yourself out of falling in love. The dreams are everything.
My brother and sister-in-law have two kids now, but I have one nephew who never was. His name would have been Danny. He was stillborn at 5 months.
They had a tiny funeral for him. I was baffled at the time, because to me he'd never existed. But I guess to the people who'd imagined what he'd look like, or wondered what to call him, or felt him kicking, he must have been real long before he was even conceived.
Perhaps it's a little like one of those relationships where not much actually happens but one or both parties has invested a lot anyway - a long-distance thing, or one where you never get to sleep together, or similar. When it collapses the thing that takes longest to die is the being in your own mind, that so many warm and fuzzy feelings have gone in, mixed with absence and loneliness and longing.
I think perhaps that's the relationship between Johnny and Maddie - his idee fixe is her, and hers is a baby. She pours all her warm and fuzzy and longing and loneliness into an empty womb, and he pours all his into an empty vision of her.
Perhaps the next scene after the tableau of them crying is them sitting together in a pub? Maybe when they first met?