Shortly after the end of the school year, just as i turned 17
i was invited to some party
in one of those myriad sub divisions somewhere
some girls, friends of Sheridan's, i think
i had been given some good acid as well
and was eager to see what would happen taking it a second time.
the party was nice
i remember playing with my cigarette
again, enjoying it while tripping
the way i could punctuate my speech with it
... the visual effect more than the actual smoking
but something about controlling fire like that was really great. . .
i kept getting these internal signals calling me into myself
the night wore on
and i got further away from the people around me
til i snuck out the back door
walked through the yard to its edge
and into the "forest" there
there was a deep gully
where a stream maybe once was
a large wall of clay
i was blocked entirely from the house by it
it made me feel very far away
i think i was barefoot
letting the small stream run between my toes
i sat down on a rock
and out of the roots and tree stumps came dryads
and out of the water came undines
and out of the dirt and stones came gnomes
and out of the air, the sylphs
we had a conversation
where they explained to me what i had been doing
how all of my anger, judgment and rejection was pushing life away from me
and starving me of life force
making me ill, tired and displaced
they said "you don't need to do this anymore"
and i understood i Had achieved some sort of benefit from it
but was long past that point
my mind didn't fight it
and felt a great strain release.
Sheridan found me down there
and we sat quietly for a while
as the sun rose
For my Birthday
and for the Trip to England
Melanie cut, colored and styled my hair
into a dark cherry-red pompadour
which was a very different persona from my "trent reznor" look
again, i felt much lighter
i knew my time was ending in Zionsville and felt so relieved
none of it touched me anymore
the job of working at the Pie Safe became a lot more fun:
as soon as i knew i was moving to england
i started practicing my accent
(most of the music i listened to was british and i watched quite a few british movies and tv shoes with daniel...)
while at work
i would often answer the phone with a "british accent"
and one day
my boss said "uh, dominic, some women just came in and asked me if the British Waiter were working today: do you know if he's here?"
i probably blushed
but took it in stride
and made far more tips that summer being some kid from Cornwall
--- i had no idea how different the accents were from the butchered cockney i was affecting
and i don't know if the old ladies having pie and quiche knew either
but if they did, they homoured me and enjoyed my bullshit stories about growing up there and being on foreign exchange here
because i always got paid well
for three days before leaving for the UK
i didn't sleep
trying to clean my room (it always looked like a whirl wind hit it)
see everyone before i left
and try and select the things i'd need in my new life...
i don't remember the flight over
but i don't think i slept
when i arrived
it was raining
apparently they'd had a drought that summer
and i brought the rain:
it rained every day until the last week of my stay.
my Host family were called the Fean's
the mother wore the pants in the family
she had short cropped hair, forced the whole family to be vegitarian
and spoke with a deep gruff voice:
she was scottish
my first impression of her was cemented when, at the airport, i tried to enter through the driver's door
(you know, they're reversed there from here...)
and she said "oh, are you going to drive us home"
in a tone like i was the biggest idiot on the planet...
she introduced me to everyone in the family:
i had a surrogate brother named Paul who certainly seemed queer to me
his sister, Rosie, was leaving later that day to fly to america and live somewhere in Maryland
the father (i don't remember his name) was a stutterer and was completely pushed around by his wife
and Rosie's best friend: Julia
she would be my guide to the town.
after all this
before the sun even set
i was so exhausted i sent myself to bed
-- i had my own room with a window looking out the back
i closed the blinds and slept 14 hours
when i woke up
i was a completely new person
all of the neurotic thoughts in my head were completely gone
i didn't know who i was
and was eager to discover. . .
and the world i now lived in
-- looking back, i always thought of this as "my first death"
a "born again" dominic. . .
"i'm set free. . ."
i was living in WallsEnd, a part of NewCastle-upon-tyne
the last big city before Scotland in the North East of england.
this was the town Sting came from, his brother was still the milk-man
and it was one of the only towns in england that had a significant gun problem
( some parts of manchester being another )
the school, Burnside, was a 15 minute walk from the house
i was attending what was called "sixth-form"
what is equivalent to our Junior and Senior years of high school
but mandatory schooling was over at the end of "O" levels (Sophomore year)
so the kids attending these classes were doing it because they intended to move onto higher education and not move directly into the work force
which was important: Newcastle had an over 30% unemployment rate when i lived there
as i met some of the kids who were not in sixth form (through Julia)
they did "fuck all" but sit around and smoke tack (hash) and drink beer and watch TV or listen to Pink Floyd
(very much like what i'd left behind in zionsville with ted and his clan, but switch the greatfuldead for pink floyd.. and they didn't like beer)
and, oh, yes... of course: these kids got money from the government to do it
so long as they went to job interviews they'd never get hired for
from time to time
Newcastle had been a shipping town, and before that a Coal town
people from that area are called "Geordies"
and their accent was nothing at all like the voices i'd heard on TV or in songs
when i was in public, unless someone was speaking directly to me (and altering their voice for my benefit) i couldn't understand anything anyone said
i would sit on the trains and listen to the voices and felt like i was somewhere with a very exotic language
"ay, mate. ya gawin' yem? gawnna kip doon?"
"hey buddy, are you going home to take a nap?" (because they'd been up all night drinking or because they intended to do so tonight
they people there are very friendly
i made the correlation like people from "the south" in the USA
so long as you're white and straight and hold all the same views they did
especially the football team
i was warned to never wear red and white, especially not on a game day
as i might be mistaken as someone supporting the nearest rival team: Sunderland
and get attacked by groups of football hooligans
that wasn't a problem, though
because Mrs. Fean would not allow me any freedom:
i had to walk to school with Paul
and come directly home from school with Paul
-- no questions asked
it was too Dangerous otherwise
i was also expected to be vegetarian with them
which i was interested in trying
however, their idea of vegetarian was every meal was
Linda Mcartny's fake meats
fake ... sausages
and beans and mash or chips
it got old very quick to me
my favourite thing to eat at the house, though
was cheese (very sharp cheddar) and pickle sarnies (pickle is a type of chutney...)
and black-currant spread on crumpets (which i'd never had either of before)
i completely fell in love with egg-salad sandwiches with water cress
and "Pasties" -- meat or vegetable pies from the bake shops
and the drinks... Ribena... Tizer (coz Moz sang about it in a song) and most importantly: Dandelion Burdock (which was their Root Beer)
i had very little money, of course
i wasn't allowed to work
so i had to live off an allowance from my parents
that was nice, yes
but i had become accustomed to having my own spending money
as i'd had jobs since i was 13...
in high school, i had been a very scientific minded person
- i had become a devout atheist around age 14
but in this new environment
i was interested in taking new classes:
i was studying art: making it and art history
philosophy (which, unfortunately, was all ontology: the proof in God's existence... which wasn't even in contest for me)
English literature (in which i discovered i spoke "American" not "English")
the grounds of the school were amazing
old crumbly buildings
large playing field
i took to wearing suit coats
and carrying cigarettes with me
i was not a habitual smoker
but EVERYONE there was, so
if i always had some on me
i could engage in conversation with any stranger who stopped to ask me if i could give them a tab
i remember some kid, he was probably 12
stopped to ask me if i was a new teacher
i laughed and said "how old do you think i am?"
"dunno... about 30?"
when i said "no"
he asked me if he could have a tab
and we smoked and talked a bit...
as for the classes
English was fascinating to me
Shakespear had never really interested me
in america, we'd studied Romeo & Juliet
and i didn't really get the context or import
and we focused on Othello
and it lost its opaqueness
it all made sense to me
and Julia and i had a great time doing our presentation
when we did "Street Car named Desire"
i got to read the part of Stanley, of course
and was loudy and ballsy, it was very fun
everyone in the class was shocked
of course, my compositions were
it was always hard for me to write things out properly...
Philosophy was interesting
a very small class
i liked the discussion
but very quickly lost interest in all the "does God exist" talk
still, talking about HOW the proofs were made was curious...
i at least became friends with the teachers
was where i became focused
one of Julia's friends who had moved onto university the year before
came into visit, Lesley
and we had a great connection right away
she was still doing some project with the Art department there, i think
so came around often:
she really inspired me:
seeing someone who was actually working out their career as an artist
-- everyone i knew in the USA talked... had dreams of things... rarely did i see them DO anything.
the practical art teacher... (i've forgotten his name)
took us out into the city, to the train station and public squares
where we'd sit and sketch people: i'd never done this before
i was filled with such sadness and appreciation for the beauty...
the History Teacher, Mr Morley, became a central part of my experience in england
we had fascinating discussions
and i started just coming into his room when i had nothing to do to just chat with him
i was also taking a Sociology class...
that teacher i thought was pretty cool
i remember he had long nails on one hand and short on the other
and when i asked him why, he asked me a question in response
(he played guitar)
he was also the drama teacher
and my being there (as i told him i loved theater) inspired him to stage a play that year , first one at the school in over four years
we did "The Boyfriend"
i got to play Bobby: The American.
Julia had also hooked me up with some friends of hers who were working at a community theater in another part of town
so i started going there
to do workshops, drink with the other people.. participate in little shows...
and this was the ending of my time with the Feans...
i was very depressed there
of course, right?
i was home sick
i found out Trevis had taken acid and been thrown in a hospital coz he'd freaked out
and now he was on Prozac
(Prozac was made only a few miles from where i grew up, i was terrified of the shit)
and i refused to talk with him until he was off it
i wrote and read letters to people i never thought of as my friends when i Lived in Zionsville
i got on the internet for the first time at Fean's house
and wrote sad emails to my friends about how i felt so out of place with this family
and of course
Mrs Fean looked through the sent emails to read what i had written and then mocked me about it and was angry at what i'd written about her
i started cutting my hair every day
so it was all jagged
i started buying bottles of vodka, whiskey and gin to hide around my room
and swig all night
Mrs Fean got very angry at me because she could smell i'd been eating meat
and i told her i didn't want to watch TV
-- the whole family got together and watched TV for a few hours every night
Paul did his homework there
(i'd always been yelled at by my parents for doing my homework in front of the TV at home... but in the last few years, when i started reading the beats and the kafka and such: i shunned TV)
she would get very angry at me for staying up past my curfew
and listening to music
even with headphones on
i died my hair green
and went to the Rocky Horror Picture show with Paul
all decked out in fish-nets
his Very Gay friend Tony and one of his girl friends came with us
against mum's wishes, i offered to walk them home
they lived in the dangerous part of town: Battle Hill
gun problems.. but also dangerous because every street name started with a "B" and one could get lost in there forever.
that night i was waiting outside of the girl's house while tony went into to fetch his sleeping bag to take back to his house...
his brother was visiting and Tony had given hi his bed
while i was waiting
i took a slash in the bushes
and some kid came around the corner and yelled some sort of greeting at me
i yelled back
and he walked up and started talking with me
i figured he was probably on speed or something
all of a sudden
he whipped off his had with one hand
and punched me in the face with his other
i reeled and stood up, shaking my head
blood trickled down from my brow
i tasted it on my tongue
"why did you do that?"
i said, falling back into Ready Stance from Tae Kwon Do
"coz i don't fucking like south africans, i'm gonna kill you"
what? "But i'm white!"
--- i knew nothing
but i did suspect he was on drugs
and was not about to get in a fight with him
so i let him taunt me
and i just stood my ground looking at him
and telling him i was not going to fight with him
he called me all sorts of things
and walked off into the night
Tony came out and yelped
but then acted quite blasé about it, taking it in stride
at his house
his brother had just come back from Thailand
and had some really great weed
i'd not smoked any since i'd come to the UK
so i had some
and everything snapped into place:
i had to find another place to live
which was fortunate i decided that
because when i got home
Mrs Fean freaked out when she saw my head
and the next day told me that they decided we weren't a match
i was Too Individual and Free Thinking for their family
and had to find another place to live
i took to drinking all night
and the next day in school i remember Mr Morley taking me into his office and saying
"Dominic, perhaps you shouldn't drink QUITE so much vodka in the morning?"
-- i didn't know you could even smell it!
and i had been doing this for a while at this point
my older Philosophy teacher, Mrs Graham
had some neighbors that often took exchange students
and within a week: i'd moved there
this was in a town called Benton
not terribly far from Wallsend by car
but about 45 minutes more by public transport
because the train (yeah, commuter rail, where i'd been walking to school before...)
had to loop all the way around the town to get there
obviously, i stopped going to school regularly
but also, because of this new family i was living with:
this house, called "the grove" (before houses had numbers, it was #8 now)
used to be a whore house
it had three floors
second floor, where i slept, and the parents
and Aliester's bedroom... though he was away at university and hardly home
but Noel and Jaime, the two other brothers (one my age, one two years younger)
lived on the top floor
a converted attic thing. . .
where they dealt Hash (called "Tack" in the North East)
and instead of a huge list of rules like the other family expected
these were simply
"if you're going to be in past two, please give us a ring... and don't come home Too Drunk Every Night"
This is when i first felt like i was Really Living.
I was My Own Person.
i spent a lot more time at the Theatre
i'd made really good friends there with this boy:
there was a whole gang of kids
Anna-Kelly, Andrew, Daniel, Katie, and that tart.. what was her name?
Anna-Kelly was dating a boy named Dominic
the first ever other Dominic i'd hung out with
he had a car.
There was a Props girl named Kathrine
and she had a boy friend called Laurie
-- they referred to eachother as "Beeba" and i think they were both 25 when i met them
they lived near Gosforth, i think...
i started spending a lot of time with the Beebas...
Laurie was a brilliant artist, or so i saw it
he'd made his own films
had decorated the walls with beautiful photo collages of some victorian pier down in Brighton
and was constantly painting...
he painted on large sheets of masonite with standard house paints..
and would generally photograph them
then paint over them (ohhhhh!)
he painted all day
Kathrine supported the Family
he would occasionally remember to cook
coz he also cooked for the family
but often forgot to eat
he had mid-length brownish hair
he looked thin and brilliant and mad
and was often cutting his hair
then cutting it a bit more
sometimes he played guitar
i fell in love with them both
somehow making it work in the world
as i saw it
Living their dreams... instead of just dreaming them
back to the kids:
all the kids at the theatre, besides Anna-Kelly and Dominic, were younger than i by a year or two
i totally fell in love with Matthew in the way i'd been with Trevis
not so much that i lusted after him
but wanted to be with him always
his father was a psychiatrist
and was constantly prescribing medication to he and his son
his mother was belgian
and when his parents got really pissed, they'd argue in flemish
-- Matt could understand french well enough, but was lost there. . .
i remember laying in Matthew's bed once
-- he had black-out shades over his top-floor window
and some how
a pinhole was creating a camera obscura
we could lay in the dark during the day
watching the inverted street scene below
the people walking
the red car parking. . .
we had dreams together
he was a gemini
and like me
he was good at lying
i told him it wasn't such a smart idea, though
i, being so much older
i told him
when i was 12
at one of my cousin's weddings
i'd fucked up my dad's camera
and my whole life i'd been dissapointing my father
and lying to cover up for it
but he'd always seen through it
this time, with the camera, i broke it before he found out
and sat there in the church, in the pew, merry wedding and all
obsessing over what i'd tell him
i came up with the idea that if i lied to myself
convinced myself of the lie
then he wouldn't be able to tell i was lying
which is was got me interested in Acting, Really.
but, i told Matthew
constantly lying to the self really fucked one's self up
leaving fragments of truth and lies all mixed up
in the end
it wasn't worth the small price of duping others
he said i just wasn't as good at it as he was
he said he could make anyone believe anything
oh, me too, of course
i could manipulate anyone into doing what i wanted them to do, right
yeah, but he could do it better
so i challenged him
to prove to him that i could manipulate people better than him
so he better believe me
what's the score?
he told me Katie really liked me.. wanted to date me
but i'd told him i was gay...
(see, in the north east, a faggot is called a "Poof" (pronounced more like "p-uu-f")
and once, i was walking with Matt and Kelly and she asked why i always wore that terrible flat-cap (which i'd really loved since i was 11, didn't know it was from that area of england) i told her "well, if i take it off my hair is all big and puffy..." she said "oh, don't say that... do you know what that means up here?" Ah "well, that too, i said")
But Matt said it didn't matter
said that it would be an even better testament to my abilities
Katie had never done drugs and was a virgin
my goal was to get her stoned (or something) and fuck her
well, there was this Tart (i forget her name, can see the face... but she looked like any other Vamp) who was a total prick tease
his goal was to get her to fall in love with him
Meanwhile, on track 2
i went to Morley's house with Paul and Tony once to do a photo project
Mr Morley had a dark room upstairs
and i'd brought a SLR 35mm with me to england
so i was very excited to be able to develop and print my own pictures
Tony and Paul were doing something for class
so i tagged along
and got to use the dark room
But wait, was is this?
Morley had murals all over his walls
-- he'd painted them himself
and most of them were of beautiful boys
some of them very young boys
bathing in a waterfall somewhere
he told me it was from some famous photographer who was famous for photographing boys
i was curious...
i knew Tony was gay, but we never talked about it
and no one thought i was...
i high school
kids would say things like
"Hey Nick... i heard you're gay... that's not true is it? are you Gay?"
and to me, that meant all the limp wristed queeny banter
and i didn't want to get thrown in that box
so i said
"Oh... No, i wouldn't say Gay... no... I like to suck cock, though. Is that why you're asking? Did you want something from me?"
they'd stutter away
-- i never got picked for being gay
(i was quite disappointed
when i was 14 and discovered Morrissey, Allen Ginsberg, Walt Whitman and Oscar Wilde... i believed that being Gay meant you were better than the rest of the world... some higher class where you got to make all the beauty and control all the ideas... i was sadly discouraged when i met Real Gay people in indiana... drunk bitchy posers who were always throwing their insecurities around: Fuck That. -- When i went to England, i thought i would try and be straight.. just to see what it was like... the shoe fit baddly, i hardly took a step in it.)
But i saw Morely
he was intelligent
dressed really funny
(always wore three piece suits, with bow ties
was about 5'6" and a chubby little blond)
so i, of course, set to seduce him
... to be initiated into this vestage of Oscar Wilde's faggotry...
it took a while
but alcohol helped
When i moved into the Gibson's
i started drinking more... socially
not just in my bedroom
going out to pubs became a thrill
being american had never been so great
anyone who heard me speak would buy me a free drink
and start talking to me about the USA
i HATED America
what did i know? : Indiana
they all started telling me funny things i'd never heard of
there was this show they all watched i'd never heard of called
"Michael Moore's TV Nation"
some fat guy from Michigan, funny
they said things like
"oo, you're from indiana? did you know Gary has the highest murder rate per capa in the whole USA?"
-- i'd never seen much of indiana, i had no idea...
and the girls from school would say terrible things like
"ooo, one of my favourite bands is from the USA.. a little band from Boston, are you near there? They're called the New Kids On The Block? Have you ever meet Donnie?"
but they couldn't tell me how many states there were
-- not even the teachers at school could.
out at the pub
i got so fucking pissed (drunk, in their speak)
that i bit the star-rugby player's girl-friend's thigh
(how did my head end up down there?)
i didn't get beat up
but i left that pub
and tried to find my way home
in a part of town i didn't know
i saw a train go by
and climbed up the tressle
ripped my hands up
and staggered along the tracks til i got to the station
some security guard came out and grabbed me
hauled me over to the platform and yelled at me about how he should fine me
and i could have been killed
i thanked him
and asked for a cigarette
and started smoking
some kid on the train told me i shouldn't be doing that
so i put it out and stuck it in my mouth
... and decided to get off at Morley's stop
i, somehow, got to his door (everything glistening with rain)
he opened and laughed
"it looks like there's a drunk boy at my door!"
and welcomed me in to sit at his kitchen paper
where he was grading essays or something
and drinking scotch
he made me a cup of coffee
i spiked it
and started passing out
slamming my head against the gigantic metal/enameled sign behind me to stay away
i eventually knocked myself out
and woke up in the alley behind his house
vomiting uncontrollably onto the wet cobblestones
screaming "FUCK!" through the flow of sick
and blacked out
and woke up naked
in the shower
being sprayed with cold water
and black out
and woke up on the couch
wrapped in blankets
Morely was sitting in a chair nodding off
and i sprang upon him
telling him i loved him
and he repeatedly told me he wasn't gay
and couldn't do these sorts of things
and i passed out again
woke up mid day the next day
and slept three days straight
only waking once to drink a glass of water
i hadn't shaved a few days before that
and when i came to and started functioning again
i had my first beard
it was a bad teen-age beard, thin
but i wore it for a few months...
until my parents came to visit
but i'll get back to that later
When i'd first arrived in england, ASAE (the foreign exchange company i was using) told us we'd be taking some trips
i think we took most of them while i was still with the Feans
the first was in London
with 11 other Exchange kids
most american, canadian and one icelandic kid
i was very jealous
coz one kid, from Texas, got to live in germany
and he didn't know german before hand
just got to go Early to take summer language courses
i was fuming
but the Feans had given me an A-to-Z(zed) for London
a comprehensive map-book
and the few days we were in London
our time was packed
except the first night
so i told the kids i was leaving: anyone want to come with me?
i became the guide
though none of us had been there before
my ... enthusiasm gave me the charisma to just Get Out There and not Be Afraid
i looked at the map enough to get us to SoHo
though i was 17
i was the most confidant
and they all asked me to buy some liquor to take back to the room
-- we'd tried to go into one bar and were not permitted
so i asked what everyone wanted
and... Eeeshh... they all wanted Bud
so i got two four packs (eh?)
which were expensive, because they were imports
and a big bottle of vodka, which was cheeper
and i knew would do the job better
we got lost in the city street for a while
then headed back to the Shakespeare hotel, the place we were staying
we started drinking the beers
then i had the brilliant idea to mix them with Vodka, coz we'd forgot to bring a mixer
-- i was 17: i didn't know a thing at all
within a half hour
i was singing loudly
entertaining the whole group
i remember a particularly vibrant rendition of Pulp's "Common People"
before the girls started vomiting
then telling me they were in love with me
and they'd been raped by their father
and hiding under the table
and me, myself, puking out the air shaft
it was a lovely visit.
the second trip we took was Scotland
we were in some rented van
not so many of us this time
and spent a few days in Edinburgh, Gelncoe, Loch Lomand, and Aberdeen
-- it was the most beautiful place i'd ever seen..
I'd been to Edinburgh with the Feans for a few weeks
(oh, how did i forget this? storytelling is so tricky)
coz Linda was from there
and we stayed with her family during the Edinburgh Festival
i mostly walked on my own
in my oil-skin
through the rain rain rain
seeing Eqqus and Elektra after Euphradies and other randomn things i cannot recall
but was completely in love with the city more than the performances
the narrow alleys winding up stairs
Morley had a good friend who had a Niece in Glasgow
and made the contact for me
-- she invited me up
once i got settled into the Gibson's
i all but stopped attending school
-- i'd found out that the credits wouldn't transfer
and i'd have to take some high school when i got back to indiana anyway
so shouldn't i use my time better?
my mother had sent me seven boxes of fucking junk food for christmas
so i was living off snickers, butterfingers and twizlers
and saving my allowance for train tickets
i got to stay in Glasgow four days
but not with Nicole, Morley's friend's Niece
but with these two kids who were friends of the Beebas
-- they had a band
they were big in Japan
and had a record label ( i think it was called "Vesuius" )
it was right off Byer's Road
and the day i went to visit Nicole
i looked on the map
and figured a route through a nice park called "Kelvingrove"
Nicole lived in a frat house type thing
and that day was 007 day
they were watching every Bond film with Connery in it
and it was joint after joint after beer after beer after film after film
and around 11pm i'd had enough
-- interesting cultural experience
but i had to get the fuck out of there (though they'd invited me to stay the night: i didn't need to)
they asked: do you know how to get home?
"yeah yeah... just walk down here, through the park, back to byer's road, then There"
oh! NO NO NO!, they said... That Park has the Highest Percentage of Male Rape in Europe!
i looked her in the eye
my mind reeled: i knew what this could mean
and played along
traced my finger on the map
where they told me to go
walk around the park
oh, yeah yeah yeah
walked out the door
down the street
to the gate of the park
and went in
it was raining, of course
a hazy light kinda scotch mist . . .
i walked into the centre of the park
there was a large circle there, with bushes all around it and in the middle of it. . .
about 40 men (40 million? i don't know: my mind was in overdrive) walking around in circles
glancing at eachother
into the bushes together
i quickly sat on a bench to watch
i opened my journal and started writing
watching the letters bleed down the page. . .
behind me, i could hear men, i presume, fucking.
i felt the moon
somewhere above us
and my body was moving
into the circle
around and around
until i found myself smiling at someone
we'd walked over by the fence
and he asked if i'd like to come home with him. . .
i was a little put out that he didn't want to just do it in the park
but he looked nice enough
and his accent was heavenly
and we were in his little red car
and we were in his small
and he told me his mother was coming over tomorrow
and he was ripping off my jumper
and a button flew across the room
and we were naked on the bed
and his cock was so huge, and uncut!
and "no no, we wouldn't do that, not with out a durex (condoms)"
another glass of vodka in my hand
with ice in it
laying back against his masculine, mature chest
he might have been mid 30's
might have been mid 40's, i don't know
had grey hair (or was it blond?)
i think his name was Graham
and he drove me back to Vesuvius'
I love Scotland.
one of the other great trips was with Laurie and Kathrine down to London to see an art show Loz liked, some guy called "Jean-Michel Basquiat" at the Serpentine gallery
i'd never heard of him
but the show was pretty amazing
i felt like i was exploding
and wondered if it was the same artist who had supplied the cover art for the Radiohead single "creep"?
i thought to myself "if they were here, i could just ask them"
and i turned to my left and there was Thom Yorke and Ed O'Brian
i floated over to them
and was standing right next to Thom
he glanced down at me
and we both nodded
and i floated on past them to the other room:
if i were looking at art
i wouldn't want some strange bugging me
back with the Feans again
they had friends (or relatives?) in Paris
and we took the newly completed Tunnel
long train trips: i fell in love
we were in Paris two weeks, i think
i didn't get to go into the sewers... i wanted to
but i didn't get to do anything i wanted to
fucking tight-leash family
two memories, though
Paul and i going to the Jean-Paul Gauttier shop
approaching the door
two guards moved in front of us
didn't say anything
just looked at us dismissively
and didn't let us in
and another guy
selling sandwiches from a kiosk
-- i'd never studied french (spanish in high school)
so i was desperately trying to piece together the words to order the food
he was mocking me, barking at me, saying he didn't understand: in french
until i snapped back at him
"look, i know you speak english, if you want my money, fucking give me a sandwich"
and he did, angrily.
there were no trash cans
there were military in thick padded armor with huge automatic rifles everywhere
the tower was nice and all
the musee d'Orsay
but i didn't really like Paris
we didn't fit.
i spent so much money there
i told my dad i'd been pick-pocketed so he'd send me more money sooner
and let him berate me about how foolish i was to carry my money in my backpack
i was shocked at how much i was seeing of The World
not eating much
i could put 3£ in a machine and get a ticket to... some other small city somewhere
and go to a record fare
the only time i ever responded to an ad in the paper
the guy lived in Durham
this big cathedral university town not far away
--i went for the day
and he had a friend from Boston visiting (Tim, i recall)
-- they were both really into Corporal punishment
the Brit had stacks of scrap books of every article he'd ever seen in periodicals describing corporal punishment scenes
and a cabinet filled with VHS tapes of every scene from any film with a flogging, canning, ... whatever.
while he showed me some of these clips and clippings
i remember him saying "I always quite liked the Nazis... they always looked so Nice."
of course he had all sorts of Implements
but he was keen to try a Fraternity Paddle
which Tim had brought from America
i... wasn't really into the idea
my dad used to beat me with his fraternity paddle
i couldn't understand how it could be sexually stimulating
but ... i let them talk me into it
they gave me a cup of tea and biscuits while i sat in the kitchen waiting for them to prepare
and asked me if i'd rather just come in and get thwapped, or do a role play
i declined the roles option and sat there drinking my tea
wondering what the fuck i was doing here
til Tim stomped in saying "Dominic! the Principle is ready to see you now!"
' YES SIR! ' i stammered, snapping into character as if it were my true identity
and bend my head low
walking into the other room
--i'd been sent to the principle regularly as a kid
and this was all too familiar
the Brit barked at me, in vague terms, about how bad i'd been
and how bad did i think i'd ben
-- i whimpered
how many hits from the paddle did i think I deserved?
oh... 20 sir? (i hazarded a number i could probably take, yet would give him satisfaction as well)
he snarled "25!" and made me drop my pants and bend over and hold a chair
-- i had to count them
and lost it around 18 or something
when i got to 25
he said i'd fudged
and made me count 5 more
the whole train ride back
i stood up.
Though Noel was a hash dealer
i didn't smoke
-- after smoking steadily for a year when i was 15
i decided that i didn't really like feeling like that all the time
i couldn't use my mind...
so only smoked occasionally when Trevis or Sheridan really wanted it
(or whomever else i was with, rarely saying no, but still trying to avoid it)
but... then my parents came to visit
i shaved for them
and spent a week with them
out at North Shields, the beach-front part of Newcastle
down in London
seeing fucking "Star-light express!"
and Scotland? i think so
i think we went back to Edinburgh
i think we drove up there
my dad insisted on renting a car
and continually turned into the right-hand lane
-- we all felt like we were going to die multiple times a day
the first night i was back at The Grove
i walked in
and Noel took one look at me and said "Jesus! . . . do you want to come up stairs?"
and i took him up on it
being stoned frequently before returning to America
which almost didn't happen
Matthew had an aunt who lived in the south of france on a farm
and needed helpers for the summer:
he offered me the option
i thought about it
and decided on this course of action
the day i turned 18
my parents called me and we had a happy birthday chat
then i said
" So, now that i'm 18. . . i'm an adult in the eyes of the law and i want to let you know that i'm not coming back to America "
my father freaked out, of course
my mother cried
but i insisted that i didn't care of my visa wasn't good for more than august
i'd find some illegal way to live here
but i'd be damned if i was coming back to Indiana
and when my father got too caught up on the broken record of "you can't do that!"
i hung up on him.
it didn't last long, though
my father called my the next day and said
"if you come back, we'll buy you a car, a new computer and a stereo... and we'll pay for you to go to school ANYWHERE you want to go"
i mulled it over
and decided to be responsible to my future. . .
the rest of my time there was like a death sentence... knowing i was to return.
i have to move on now (june 21th, 2:26am)
these are the things i'll put in later:
noel "killing" someone
sex with morley
trevis and sheridan visiting
writing til i saw red
swimming in the north sea
walking the dog
the record player in my room
gay bar with matthew
--- all the prozac
the tyneside cinema
last days in the sunshine