Wednesday, 12 January 2011

BOOK ME IN!

[Originally published Nov 08 in Bent: http://mag.bent.com]

Strange things have been happening this month. Maybe I’m going crazy and imagining things.

First off, my friend got really drunk on a night out, went to the wrong apartment, woke a straight couple up at 3am, vomited in their sink and on their floor, came onto the man and fell asleep on their sofa. This in itself isn’t weird—but the fact I wasn’t there to witness it (or do those things myself) is.

Then I had a semi-hallucinatory dream about the ending of Hollyoaks’ McQueens storyline. The dream continued after I’d ‘watched’ the episode, where an author I know broke into my house and tried to kill me for saying his novel was crap. Luckily I grabbed an empty magnum bottle of champagne and clobbered him to death with it.

Then I signed the contract for my first novel, an illustrated book called Troglodyte Rose. The story itself is pretty weird, which led my publisher to ask if I’d been sober when I wrote it. Naturally, I replied, I wasn’t. But the whole affair seemed rather unreal. The contract was there, I argued with my publisher for about a week over certain clauses, he changed the contract, then I finally signed it. Problem is, the ending for the book’s still not written, and it was written in about a month or two, after the publisher, who’d been emailing me for a while, agreed to publish it based on a very loose idea. That’s probably why it doesn’t feel very real at all.

But the weirdest thing of all is the half-stupor I’ve been wandering round in some days. It’s a result of too little food and irregular sleep. But until the novel’s out and the royalties come in, that’s unlikely to change. I have no time to do anything else but live and breathe it. Hence I never sleep and I never eat. I can’t focus on people in the street and I can currently play my ribs like a xylophone. Maybe I should take up busking using my ribcage as a musical accompaniment and overtake Amy Winehouse as the skinniest of musical oddities. Then again, I’m not that skinny.

The only time I feel okay is when I’ve been drinking. That probably makes me an alcoholic. I wake up most mornings with a sore mouth, washed out with too much harsh liquor, and a fuzzy head like a TV set tuned to a dead channel. Any day now I’m expecting Heat to pap me and make up some story about crack addiction or the guilty conscience of people smuggling. It’s nothing of the sort, of course, it’s just the result of hard work and even harder play.

Yes, it certainly all feels like a dream. An episode of The Twilight Zone with Karen Walker’s drinks cabinet. I can’t wait for July 1st when the book comes out and it’s all over. Then I’ll no doubt be back to my usual contented, bitchy self.

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