Monday, February 20, 2006

Case Study #314568 "The Long Story"

Well, I'm really struggling for items of interest. It's 00.33 and upstairs neighbour seems to be disassembling a wardrobe [well it's sounds like it] in the communal halway, that's 1m x 2m. trying to get my attention d'ya think?

He's just stormed out of the house after treating me to some more wicked basslines. I only go out this time of night to get fags from the petrol station, maybe he needs condoms?

For the last few years he's been charm incarnate, but perhaps due to the usual effects of african medicine, he's been rather paranoid of late. I have had to accept recently, that I'm blind as a bat first thing in the morning, and after a suprise visit from X and his large hairy dog to my tiny flat, I just scooped up the post and followed my visitors in. Against the usual burble re X's hairy straight neighbour putting the make on him, and the hairy neighbour's siblings drugged meanderings via Gaydar, I realised that the manilla envelope I'd just ripped open wasn't a yet another bargain from ebay, but something from Custom and Excise for him upstairs.

A serious matter I know, but I wasn't prepared for the paranoic ranting I recieved when he finally deigned to check his post. The man leaves piles of his post unopened for weeks in the tiny communal hallway. [Picking up the tiny theme yet?] Don't get me started on how the heaps of junk mail are some how my sole responsibilty to remove.

After subletting it [illegally] for two years while he worked in the states, he returned to take forcible repossession of it one evening without warning. Before that I'd put up with an enormous Nigerian couple, who loved to get intoxicated, dance, and fall over. Unsuprisingly this brought down the victorian ceiling below, that turned out to have been repaired, after a near miss bombing during the war, with CONCRETE. I had only just left the room when it happened. V. September 11th. It toook an hour before the dust started to settle and I could see into the room.

Since he's moved back it'had been pretty quiet till the incident with the post, apart from the odd suggestion over the years that I swap flats with him so he could have the garden that comes with the flat I'm in.

All this sets my nerves on edge, as before I moved here I had had to move twice because of harassment. Having been in a therapeutic community in the naive belief there was such a thing as "getting my head sorted out," I was considered to vulnerable to be rehoused living on my own. [He's back.] The first place was a complete culture shock having just come from an Arts and Crafts mansion in the wilds of suburbia. Big Brother can seem very familiar.

The new house itself was pretty unremarkable, yuppies moving in either side to remove all traces of the previous Jamaican occupants. They obviously didn't catch the recent show at the Geffrye Museum. [Basslines back on] "The Jamaican Front Room." Next door had an extension obviously built on over the years, no straight angles, exposed beams all tacked onto a three storey Victorian terrace house. It wouldn't have looked out of place on the set of "Lord of the Rings." There were four other residents, a religous jamaican girl, and a very thin waynetta and me on the top floor. The next floor down had a mute black guy and a real East End gangster-type whose only sign of life was chuckling to himself.

It was all pretty quiet during the day when the staff occasionally visited, but the nights were when the joint was jumping. By now I was aware that alcohol would cut out the effects of the medication that most of these people were on. Evenings could be pretty sticky. There was a regular visitor, I nicknamed "buggered with a chairleg" after having been told countless times about the act that led him to be in prison for murder. I can't remember why I was threatened with having my face slashed, surely not for being a supercilious queen! This was the place I first met the worker who has since been threatening X with murder, and crying wolf to the police. This after coming out of rehab for heroin, where he met Anorexic Joanna Lumley, whose Yorkshire Terrier X and I looked after, and led me to my getting two of my own. It's a small world!

The next 7 months was spent in a private psychiatric clinic care of NHS overcrowding, in a rapidly emptying hospital in Hammersmith. It's cavernous lobby, and Art Deco architecture meant it was ideal for filming, and to pop to the shops meant negotiating various filming crews. One time I passed Hwyel Bennet consoling a tearful bride next to a tank full of rubber lobster, while extras wandered around in old fashioned stripey pajamas and flannel dressing gons, all clutching hot water bottles. I think they were filming "Sliding Doors at the same time, mostly filmed at night, so that you'd leave the building at 11.00pm to lighting outside bright enough for day. Apparently it's more consistent than actual daylight. The last weekend I spent there, they spent ALL DAY filming an ambulance brake suddenly in the car park with a patient on a gurney shooting through the windscreen. Think that was for Channel 5.

The next place was even hairier than the last. I'd taken the room recently vacated by the local psychopathic african medicine dealer. He'd really made the place party central. Wall to wall hot rock burns throughout. He wasn't able to let go of such a great venue, and it didn't help that he was shagging one of the workers. Things had obviously got too hot for waynetta from the last place, but this agoraphobic heroine discovered her retinue of elderly Irish alcoholics were no more welcome at the new gaff. I was already persona non grata, called "Cecil" for having been caught watching C4.

It's amazing how intolerant the completely anti-social can be. Can't tell you how little Pride was appreciated when it was held nearby that summer. What happened to the credo of excess and hedonism? I lost count of days I came downstairs to find the kitchen full of punters from the nigh before glaring at me, all v.posh and tickled by how far they were slumming it. I may sound naive, never having lived in student digs, but don't forget I was stuck there as being too vulnerable to live in my own place.

After nights having my doorframe and furniture vibrate from the volume of music coming through three fire doors, and three floors down, things came to ahead when psychopathic drug dealer informed waynetta that she was lowering the tone with her ancient alchies, and it could affect how long the ladies of the night he had brought over would be prepared to stay. Fisticuffs ensued.

The police proved as ineffectual as ever unless provided with extensive video footage, and self -incrimating written statements by everyone concerned. After being assaulted after the police left, I felt I had had enough of the encouragements to top myself and let someone who wasn't a pervert occupy the room, and departed.

They best they could come up with was a house for those with "learning difficulties." Not much to report, apart from a resident falling down the very steep stairs to his death, the one evening I wasn't there. I was in the top floor garret for the third time, and used to stare out at the Orient Express as it flew my window, the track being level with the roof line, and only as far as the end of the tiny garden. How much further down the hole was I going to follow the white rabbit?

Then I ended up here. But that's another story. A long way to explain why I'm such a nervous wreck at the moment. I did have to fight my initial response, to superglue his lock and set fire to my place. And no, I don't have a history of arson. No prior convictions me. I'm sorry if this all sounds so twee, I was certainly made to feel so, having any expectations of civilised behaviour, and not let's get competitive about how out to lunch any of us are. The whole situation started from me fleeing packs of passive aggresive anorexics in suburbia.

The drawing? I've cut all my hair off again, arranging my fringe to hide my rapidly rising hairline in a way approved of by X was just becoming too dispiriting. The drawing is of a photo taken the first time I cut it all off. don't know where I went wrong with the mouth.

"Note to Katherine's Uterus" Will this do? The only highlight of todaywas my mother demonstrating her chicken oufit for her next production. Thought of slightly fictionalising my forays into prostitution, but's that's such a cliche, isn't it girls?


kleverkloggs said...

Just testing my new maquillage. Shame, he just needs to get out more, and not just to the park with those bloody dogs.

Trashbinder said...

Loving the new revamped self-portrait on your blog. We approve Monsieur, totally.

Kevan Frost said...

Fuck. That's one hell of a story, but you do tell them so well. Ever considered a foray into writing? You have a dab hand for it for sure.

I like how you relay a theme without ever sounding like a victim, despite dealing with endless shit. Good on you, and keep using your blog for self-therapy.

Cheered me up no end mister.