Saturday, 7 March 2009

Unsent letters unwritten books

A few weeks back I was a a fine fine gig at the Buffalo Bar, there were all these people I knew, friends off of the internet, people who I used to know in Glasgow. It was kind of weird. I felt so distant, all alone in a room full of friends.

Right now, I'm feeling funny. I was trudging through the darkest folders of my computer and finding stuff I'd lost years ago, forgotten CD artwork, abandoned Cool Edit Pro sessions, stuff I'd started writing.

The writing below is from a Word document dated 03-July-2004, I vaguely remember writing it. It was going to be my untitled fifth novel, the sequel to "Somewhere In The Sun". It serves as a neat snapshot of the time, a world long gone, deleted and redacted.

I read through it briefly.

There are mistakes, things that shouldn't be published, things that should be forgotten, I should change the names, but that's kind of a betrayal of my memory.

But like I said, I'm feeling funny right now.

Dear Debbie,

The sun is shining brightly outside, it’s a warm summer evening. I’m sat in a cafĂ© in Edinburgh, tucking into a plate of chocolate fudge cake, gooey marshmallowy chocolate oozing over the edge onto the table, and supping a pint of Tennents. Opposite me is Kirsten, she’s similarly stuffing herself with Belgium waffles with chocolate sauce, she’s trying to fill each little square hole in the waffle with ice cream. She hasn’t touched her cup of coffee yet.

A beautiful scene, I’m sure you’ll agree.

Kristen just pointed out how that Glasgow and our little social scene there has changed so much while you’ve been away, and when you come back it’ll be kind of like you’ve jetting into the future, and missed so much. You’ll be spending ages trying to catch up, figuring out the missing storylines and plot twists.

I remembered something Robbie had suggested in the pub a fortnight ago. I don’t think you know Robbie, he’s someone who’s only become visible in the last year, I’ll get to him later. Robbie suggested I wrote a book about our social scene, the bowlie social scene.

At the time I knocked back his suggestion with a frown and a shrug. But well, in the context of bringing you up to speed, my mind’s racing and the events of the past twelve months or so are right there in front of me.

As part of the West End Festival Belle and Sebastian put on a mini-festival in the Botanic Gardens, ‘Schools Out’ they called it. It was free.

Vividly there’s this scene in my head now, stood on the embankment looking out across the crowd.

On stage is Camera Obscura, Camera Obscura’s John Henderson at the microphone, singing about love, somewhere behind him on stage, towering over the rest of the band is Gav, playing bass dressed in a suit, completely inappropriately for the weather, which is glorious.

In the crowd at the front of the stage is young Patrick, clutching a camera. Nearby, further back is Nal and Matt, they’re close together. A few yards behind them, sat in a circle are the French girls, about four of them, and their friends.

I can see between the stage and the crowd, into the ‘back stage area’ well it’s a flower bed in the Botanic Gardens, members of Belle and Sebastian are lying out in the sun, Stuart Murdoch, Stevie Jackson, the girl, Chris ‘Beans’ Geddes, and Belfast Bobby. And near them is Blair, the filmmaker, and Alan the ubiquitous roadie who’s also drummer for My Legendary Girlfriend.

Out in the crowd, just beyond the French girls, I can see McGazz the singer from My Legendary Girlfriend, he’s chatting to Adam Smith and, shit, Adam Smith has a girl with him, a girlfriend, I can’t see her face though, she looks like Yael from here. Too far away.

There’s a girl who looks remarkably like Carolyn Cross, just walking through behind them.

A short way behind them is Andy from Troika and his girlfriend cute Lisa, and on the benches behind them some for from a TV company are interviewing a bunch indie kids. My God, its Cameron from Big Brother doing the interview.

Opposite them is the great seething mass of the internet Bowlie community, Noj, his girl, Dawn from America, Daveinthedumps, his sister, Steph StereoDonut and her boyfriend Tomth, Robbie’s there, stood near Yael and I guess a guy who must be Vodz. On the other side of Robbie is Stavros or Katja, the German. There’s a ginger guy and his sister lurking behind them. LinseyMop has her hands all over some guy who must be either FastEddie or JohnAlyoisus, I dunno. There’s weirdness going on there. Kristen and Hero, Ali and Colin, Twitch, and god knows who else.

My friend Otto stands a few yards away with his long term and pretty girlfriend. Out through the crowd beyond that lot I can see half the usual Glasgow lot, James, Stacy and Lucy and Martin, others who I just recognise.

Miles out in the distance, under the trees of the family area away from the seething crowds I think I can see Tim from work standing to watch Camera Obscura, and at his feet is Gilad and I guess his new family. Folk from work. Yards away from them stands a Trevor, his reading book hanging at his side. That’s as far as I can see into the distance.

Now to my right, nearby against the sculpted trees are members of the Owsley Sunshine, Kain and Dead Fly Bukowski. Joe Kain catches me looking around and nods in recognition, he slips his arm round the girl at his side.

I look away, embarrassed.

The sun is shining so brightly and the music’s great.

Katrina House brushes past me to my left, heading to the crowd at the front of the stage, watching her wander down I can see Simon 803.

It’s a beautiful scene, I’m sure you’ll agree.

I glance around this place once more and think “Aw, for fuck’s sake.”

I hate all these people.

Individually they’re cool, likeable, even the cunts amongst them, of which there are many. I get on with them. But right now, I hate most of my friends.

They’re all coupled up. And me, well, I’m not.

I’m filled with envy and I feel sick.

1 comment:

  1. I was at that concert too. As part of a couple.