Earlier this week Brendan sends me a text and talks about the post I wrote on Tuesday (here), where I describe myself living in the sanatorium in Switzerland in the first half of the 20th century as inspired by my upcoming skiing holiday. And Brendan says that I have a talent for taking what should be a happy scene and making it something else, so I tell Brendan that he should know by now that there are no happy scenes and everything has an underlying sadness. This is how my brain works and I’m not complaining, I like it like that – it makes me happy.
And I can find this underlying sadness in everything (songs, actions, events, any form of human interaction) even things that appear joyful to the untrained, optimistic eye. And I can’t think of a better example than the time I was reading an interview (or was it a book, or did I watch this on TV, I’m not sure) and somebody asked “what’s the saddest song that you know?” And I started thinking about this and I’m now convinced that the saddest song that I know is Girls Just Want to Have Fun by Cyndi Lauper.
I don’t care about the dancey 80s beat, I don’t care about the bubbly catchphrase title, I don’t care about Cyndi Lauper’s day-glo orange hair. This is a song that includes the line “some boys take a beautiful girl and hide her away from the rest of the world; I want to be the one to walk in the sun” clearly making it a melancholic anthem for dysfunctional relationships, shattered dreams and hopes and tortured humanity everywhere. Not to mention the title’s “Want to Have Fun” part, clearly stating that they’re not having fun right now. Yes, they want to, they might even have the chance to have fun some time in the remote future, but you know what? Right now they’re not.
This perception of pop music is, of course, the polar opposite to what Scott has. As a consequence of the same brain damage that stops him from recognizing people I suppose, he is also completely oblivious to songs. On Thursday evening I’m playing I’m On Fire by Bruce Springsteen, a song worth tattooing on your forehead for the following lyrics alone:
“sometimes it's like someone took a knife, baby, edgy and dull and cut a six-inch valley through the middle of my soul”
…sang in a whisper over a pacey, yet tranquil backbeat that makes you want to take that knife, baby, edgy and dull and put it to good use around your soul area. So I say to Scott before Bruce Springsteen sings this line “listen out for the lyrics here, I really like that” and Scott listens out – after some protest – and he actually hears:
“sometimes life is like a knife, baby, edgy and nice”
…so any conversation after that is a lost cause.
On Friday I print out on a sheet of paper all the words/phrases that I want to tattooed around my body (which are: THE KILLING OF A FLASHBOY / ___ / CRIMINALLY VULGAR / VIOLENCE) and I ask Pam to draw one of them on so we can see what it might look like. My initial thought is that I want all these words to be in the same font and font size as my BRET EASTON ELLIS tattoo (Estrangelo Edessa in Bold, size 30), so Pam tries to recreate VIOLENCE on the right hand side of my waist, just above my hip bone. And this is what VIOLENCE looks like:
So, evidently that font size is perfect for the inside of my bicep, but it’s a tad underwhelming for the vast surface that is my stomach / hip / waist. So maybe I should double the size of it and then some on top of that. We’ll see. I have a feeling that over the next few weeks I’ll be asking people to draw on me with marker pens quite a lot.
EDIT: Thanks to Kim who played around and made up the following versions. I do like the first one a lot (just bigger in a plain font). The second one is way to gothic and the third one kinda bigger than my arm. But I love the first one.
Finally for today, I started this poll on the right about whether I should move to Australia or not. There are five days to vote left of course, but over the last two, an overwhelming 94 people (55%) have made their feelings known that I should not leave London. That’s fair enough of course, that why I asked, but I’m just curious: the people who have voted no – what are your reasons? Why should I not go? Please leave a comment or email etc.
So I’m flying out to France early Saturday morning, but the laptop is coming with me and I’m sure that by Day 2 I’ll have managed to steal an internet connection from somewhere and I’ll be on here posting. Because, quite blatantly, it’s much better to write about your life than to be out there living it.
PS. To TACITO who left a comment yesterday with contact details - this brings out many results if you know what I mean. At least 16 actually!