I’m doing all the things that I’m not supposed to be doing as usual, I am supposed to be immersed in my studies at the moment, but instead I find it easier to listen to some old blues songs and while away my time (wastefully). This is all inconsequential though for I am happy with the fantasy that I am an unrealised genius and that one day my true potential will be discovered, all be it too late maybe, that is if I haven’t drunk myself to an early grave, but that, bye the bye though is off the point.
Today I feel some deep routed depression for I have just returned from Manchester where I prostituted myself in an audition to appear on a TV reality singing competition, (what a TWAT I have been), why did I endeavour to do such a thing. Well It wasn’t for the fame believe me, I have thought long and hard about fame and my prognosis is this; when you become famous you by default end up hanging around with other famous people, and I suppose that the crop of famous people is smaller than that of those in the normal world, thusly it can be compared to going to Wait Watchers or some other similar club and ending up with a bunch of people that you don’t like really you know. Yeah, you just have to get along with them because it’s the simplest thing to do given the situation that you find yourself in, agreeing with the shit that comes out of the mouth of the fat cunt next to you who lost two pounds in as many weeks (whether that is an achievement in the weight-loss world, I do not know); at any road you have to defer yourself from your own trueness and concur with the insignificances of others detritus filled conversation. It isn’t the fact that you are superior to these beings, it’s just that you think differently and that you cannot throw down the shackles of society that bind you together to just break free and talk about and do what you want and comport how you want; because if you did this you would be considered slightly nuts – and so you conform, as much as it bores you it’s what you do.
After five hours interrupted sleep in my damp dank car, that smells like a sock that was brought to the laundrette to get washed, but somehow missed the actual part of getting put in the machine with the other clothes and ended up being kicked into a corner, where it has been left to fester and no one daren’t touch it for fear of catching some new age fungicidal flesh eating disease. I awoke slightly hung over from the bottle of Strong bow cider that I had procured and consumed to set me off; proceeded to make my way to the audition. I asked the parking attendant how much it was to park the car in the park all day, £3.50 he replied and so I gave him £20. His set up was pretty good inside his cabin, TV, sofa, a kettle and much other stuff that would make a human feel comforted. “Pretty good set-up this one” I commented trying to come across as a city wise chappy (excuse the word chappy it makes me feel like Jamie Oliver when I say words like this). “Aye it’s all right” he retorted but added, “it gets boring though”, “I know, mate I’ve done it myself” I replied. “Paper” I said to which he replied “you what”? I tried again “paper” to which he replied again “you what”? So I ventured another go with the same line of approach, but this time I doubted whether he understood my accent and so I shouted it “paper” “you what”, evidently he did not understand the intonation in my voice, thusly I phrased it so “ do you have a newspaper”? “No I’m going to get one later”, I quickly added “aye, when I used to do it I read the paper from front to back, even the adverts”. He agreed with me and gave me my change, I asked him directions to the hotel where we were doing the audition- he set me on my way.
Outside the audition there was a small queue, I joined the end of it, they were enthusiastic youths, the types that went to acting school and were flamboyant in the way they moved and talked (they can’t switch it off), it must be a terrible affliction to not be able to switch off your acting skills and constantly have to flaunt them, to innocent people who are forced to listen to you talking really loudly and enthusiastically about fuck all, it’s akin to some kind of tourettes syndrome or any of the syndromes where you can’t help them. I am not egocentric by far (as far as I’m aware), but these kinds of people make me feel edgy, aggressive and superior all at the same time. At any road this woman saddles in beside me, she had spotted that I was making role ups, and she wanted the “lone” of a cigarette paper, “how are you going to loan it” I replied, “yeah I know” she said. She was an older lady and she came from Devon, “where the custard is nice I said” but I don’t think she understood how shit my joke was, it was one of them that are so shit they are funny; she asked me what I was going to sing I said “nobody knows you when you’re down and out” “oh I love that one, if I was in the same group as you I’d sing the harmonies”, to her I was being nice but inside my head I don’t think I really liked her, she talked incessantly and was nervous, there was no grit in anything she said, it was just pure shit flowing at breakneck speed, apparently she had lived in Manchester for 10 years but drove home to Devon every couple of months – the drive took 5 hours; and she was going to sing a song that her mother always asked her to sing (what the fuck)? I really did not request this information from her at all and was wondering why I was on the receiving end, plus she had started rubbing off on me, I had started to waffle as well. I briefly had a fantasy of ending up back at her gaff for some sex, but the urge to consume some coffee became so strong in me that I had to respond to it. “I’m going to grab a coffee” I blurted out and then asked, “do you want anything” “no I’m O.K.”. “O.K. then can you hold my place in the queue then”.
Off I went glad to see the back off whatsherface for a while; down the road to ask one of them men that sells newspapers in the street where to get some coffee, he pointed me in the direction of MC Donald’s and added that it might not be open due to the fact that it was 7:30 am; I told him that I would not hold him accountable if it was not. “What I do is bring a flask” he offered up these pearls of wisdom with the greatest of ease, and a slight air that wisdom fell on the side of the older folk who came from a generation that understood things like flasks, I assumed he thought I came from the Facebook I-pod generation that had lost those all so valuable skills. He came closer to me after saying this ( he must have been as lonely as I was), now I had to answer him telling him that I had slept in the car last night and therefore even if I had packed a flask it would have been cold by now. I bade him farewell feeling non the richer for our exchange and non the poorer. Mc Donald’s Mc donald’s Mc Donald’s, just as I was walking towards it I spotted a Costa coffee café on the other side of the road, it was a big one but just as soulless and cold as all the others, but at least the coffee was going to be the only redeeming feature. I enquired how many shots of coffee does the flat, tall, grande, doppio have in it. These places can’t just say big, small or medium coffee, no they have to give them names that people in this country can’t pronounce to make them sound better you know. So anyway the spotty lad at the counter gives me my coffee, I walk over to the couches by the window whilst vigilantly looking to locate the toilet at the same time only to find that all the sofas were occupied anyway. Down stairs! I noticed that there was a down stairs and ventured down there, there was sure to be a toilet there, and sure enough there was. After placing down my coffee I strode over to the toilet and could see on my way there that it had one of those locks that had numbers and letters on it. I tried the door but was denied, up the stairs I flew to have a word with spotty about it, “eh the toilets locked, what’s the code for it” I asked hurriedly. He was in the process of making a flat white mocca chocca with wings when I disturbed him, he gazed at me through the steam that the machine was making and searched his memory for the code, “it’s ehrm.. ehrm”, blinking heck I really had to go and he is fumbling around inside his head for the code, I would hold him entirely responsible if I was to soil myself there and then. “Ehrm its 72169Y” I repeated it back to him loudly and quickly, and proceeded to make that hurried run (the one that can’t be mimicked, and can only be utilised through the process of actually needing to go). Finally I reached the door punching in 72169Y, well low and behold it didn’t work, I said to myself “maybe you aren’t pushing the buttons hard enough” and this time I proceeded to aggressively stab each digit with my fingers precisely, just whilst I was doing this though another thought process crossed my mind; what about old people, they too have to use these mechanisms so it can’t be a matter of forcing the buttons aggressively. Anyhow the aggressive tact did not work, and then another thought struck me, maybe in his Mancunian accent ‘spot face’ was trying to or did say 7169Y, and so I tried it all in a fluster the soft approach and the aggressive one, and low and behold it didn’t work. Up the stairs I go all contorted and spasmodic “hey mate it doesn’t work you know I tried it and it doesn’t work, what was it then 72169Y?” I asked belligerently, no he replied it was “7169Y”, “I tried that as well you know, ah I’ll try it again O.K”. Jerkily I made my way down stairs but in a rather foul mood at present, muttering to myself- “I just want to go for a shit, not feel like some secret agent in a spy movie, and if this precaution is to stop drug addicts shooting up then it’s not worth the bother of us normal folks who nearly have to shit their pants whilst simultaneously cracking the code on the toilet door”. Low and behold the code did not work it was definitely wrong, spot face was in for a rollicking this time. “It’s wrong you know” I think the veins in my neck were bulging at this point, at this conjuncture the foreign girl who worked there interjected and thrust her hand up pointing at the corner uttering “you can use this one round the corner, is always open”, “thanks”, ‘spot face’ you are a fucking dick.
After my expedition had come to an end I winded back up in the queue for the audition again, I felt sad, I felt like I had become one of those pricks on telly who just do anything for their moment of fame, selling a sole for a flutter of fame, glamour, singing the same old shit songs that only appear on TV talent shows like “You Are The Wind Beneath My Wings” or “You Raise Me Up”, or some other garbage that fits the bill. Later on appearing in Iceland advertisements or maybe O.K magazine, at least if I were a prostitute I would be getting some money, but this is more akin to selling the lining of the jacket of your sole; evidently ending up slightly colder after the process. I was doing it for the money that was the sole reason for me doing it, all the rest was a thing that must be endured for partaking in the process, kind of like chlorine in the swimming pool. At any road there I was with my guitar stuck in the queue shuffling along intermittently, making role up after role up, sipping my water and sucking on a voice lozenge (taking it all rather seriously). Well I just like singing, I always have I suppose, ever since I can remember, in fact I sing all the time in my own company-for my own company. Due to the fact that I am a social maverick and that I like to distribute my time between lots of people and not be bogged down by the comfort of having the same social beings to keep me company eternally, in other words I am a bit of a loner and so I sing.
33 years old, it’s a last chance saloon affair, at least that’s what I figured on, get rich or die trying, or just get rich and not die trying and buy a nice house and live out the rest of my days comfortably, working on side projects like ‘The Silent Hoover’ or ‘The Eternal Motion Engine’ you know shit like that to keep you busy, the kind of things that rich folks take up because they have nothing else to do. So here I am 33 doing something I vowed never to do in my life, becoming the person that I sneered at, I might as well bleat like a pathetic lamb, who is caught in the brambles whilst his mam looks on helplessly; “bleat” “bleat” “bleat”, “mam” “mam” “mam” please help me. “Money money money it’s so funny it’s a rich man’s world” I don’t like to quote Abba randomly at any given moment but I would like to rephrase these words and point out that just to be comparatively rich would do me, and that comparison is a juxtaposition of me at present (nearly always destitute) and me at some point in the future when I am not always nearly destitute.
Wishes do not have to be big, I have a friend named Pat Kyle and he is fifty years old and a recovering alcoholic, he’s clean. Pat writes his own songs and they are really good you know, he’s got one called Baby Go Home and it’s a hit in my opinion and I told him so, and that is on some authority because I listen to a lot of music. Pat made a recording at someone’s studio for free, the recording is awful, but anyway Pat sold 50 copies of his C.D and he is chuffed with it; over the moon he is. I just think it’s nice that he hasn’t set a bar so high that he can’t be satisfied. I on the other hand am eternally searching for something that I can’t and won’t get (never satisfied) stuck in some sort of purgatory in between pipe dreams and schemes. It’s all I’ve got though, some people are dreamers, they can’t help it, it’s like playing the lottery, it’s the thought of winning-that’s the only thing that keeps you going; Opium for the poor-or so they say.
Finally we get in, I find this sort of thing so excruciating, being nice being cordial-being a social butterfly, small talk shit talk small talk shit talk. I mean I don’t mind small talk-because you gotta make it, but small talk mixed with nothingness capped with a helping of over niceness is like sprouts that have had the living day lights boiled out of them on a Christmas day; grey, colourless and tasteless. Wanker wanker wanker, “what’s that” “yes I came from Wales”, “how about yourself” “oh just around the corner, handy” wanker wanker wanker. I am tense morose almost, clammy sweaty hands, irritable on the inside but cohesive on the outside. I change my stance and the eternal internal argument turns on myself, I declare that I am no better than those around me and that in the stark cold and sobering light of day as I so convivially put it to myself that “I’m a wanker”, the rest of them are not redeemed though they still will take their wankerlyness to the grave with them.
Anyway the moment comes and they call us through in droves of ten at a time, our names are called and we have to stand in line accordingly. Off we pop into the room were the producer talent scout types inform us of the procedure, “the standards are high” they say and “if you fail this time, keep on trying”. I am in the centre of the line and the singing starts to my left. Out they walk one by one, full of uber confidence, they all sing modern generic shit pop songs, the ones where they try to emulate a sole voice (it is like being raped listening to this garbage) as Bob Dylan once said “it’s greasy kids’ stuff”. There was one guy who did have a good voice, he sang just before me. It was my turn and I was nervous and unsure what song to sing- I stepped up and I sang ‘No Body Knows You When You’re Down And Out’, I thought I sang it pretty well, at least it’s a song that means something and has some actual content; and besides since splitting up with my ex and having to leave our dwelling and our children it’s been my theme tune, I have sung it everywhere I go. After I went on a little dumpy girl stepped forward to sing, oh my God it was fucking weird man, she sang one of those show tunes I think it might be called “somewhere”, I know I am a bastard but I couldn’t stop the smirk appearing on my face, I tried contorting my cheeks upwards and stretching them out with tension, but the smirk kept coming; I stole a glance at the judges to see what they were doing and when I did, I noticed that they were in fact sombre and were looking directly at me. It kept on coming though, and it was a miracle that I did not erupt into a fit of laughter; from here on in I had to concentrate on stopping the smirk and the laughter appearing.
We had to wait outside whilst the judges deliberated, at this point everybody enthused about what the show would be like, I stood on the side lines. The door finally opened and they let us back in. After a short moment the judges announced that three were staying, the boy who sang well was one of them so that was O.K and the other two were just the show pony girls who were all substance and no matter. Well what a blow-rejected off the talent show and there was me thinking that I would walk it. At any road I congratulated the boy with the good voice and told him that I thought he had the best voice out of all of them, he coldly said thanks as if he didn’t need the affirmation as if God had appeared in an apparition the previous evening telling him that his singing would change the world (I thought he’d previously done that to Bonno from U2), but anyway I have made a mental note not to congratulate someone on their talent ever again!
Back down the road then bleary eyed and depressed I go, at least when Robert Johnson sold his sole at the cross roads he got some guitar skills in return, I have slagged it for nought! There is the title of my next song- Slagging it For nought.