Cambridge, September 8th
The broken white lines stream towards me like tracer fire, England in early autumn slides past the van’s windows all around me. Sunny spells. My stomach twinges with hunger. I wonder what culinary delights await in my Cambridge dressing room. Last night’s show, wrecked by nerves, has me on edge. I need something but know not what. A long violent massage from a fat Turk? Caravans, vans, trucks and trailers: I’m in the world of wagons. Cambridgeshire’s flat expanses exert their pull. I’m getting there but when I do, “there” moves somewhere else. Hunger leads not to satisfaction, just further want.
I didn’t touch down in Wolverhampton, I seemed to fly through in a daze. There’s hardly a mote of Midlands dust on the soles of my shoes. A man invisible to me said goodbye during the show, said he had to go. I could do nothing but bid him farewell and heard some shuffling out beyond the lights. I trust he made his connection.
We pass a ploughed field swarming with men and their metal detectors, raking the bins of history. They are bent over their tools like sad public masturbators looking for the ever-elusive hoard of Roman gold. Their filthy troves are tucked away in trouser pockets, their coins and rings and shell-casings spread out later on kitchen tables to be sifted and cleaned. Hold me up to the light, I’m a piece of shit from the past.
In town I punch data into my phone and my phone spits data back. Noodle shop one block east of hotel. Get marching. Surly staff, drunk on their own prettiness swan about ignoring me. I am all irritability. A steaming bowl of Asian food arrives and I slurp the sustenance feeling like a tramp let into the drawing room. Some rain falls, cyclists sizzle by and I hide myself at the hotel to fiddle with the setlist and send out electronic messages to the waiting world. The grey sky looms outside my window like a brontosaurus looking in. The air does not know what to do with itself, chill or sulk humidly. Like me.
I am picked up to be taken to soundcheck. The room sounds good to my ears. We work and we wait. And wait. I walk back to the hotel for something to do. I divert through pretty college grounds and take photographs to accompany this report. I am living to report, making up my own news. Life is an invention for some future artist to turn into a play. I’m carving out my own plot and writing my own lines. The broken white lines stream towards me like tracer fire.