Fuck You, Memory

Earlier this year I found myself in Tesco Express in Finsbury Park trying to buy some wine. I can’t remember when exactly this thrilling exchange of money for wine happened, only that it was cold and wet. Nor would I care to remember exactly when it happened. I’ve fallen out with my memory, you see, my memory refuses to do what I tell it – it refuses to remember stuff for me – so in turn I’ve decided not to even try and remember stuff as some sort of punishment. That’s right, I’m ‘punishing’ my own memory now. Weirdly, this has left me feeling both noble and elated.

Anyway, I do remember it raining outside and the floor being wet inside and that it was around ten at night and the place was full of plums buying shit food for their shit selves. I was in a foul mood. I’d just finished work and all I wanted to do was drink wine, smoke and try to sleep without my shoulders hunched up at the side of my head. But there was a massive queue of people in front of me and I felt slightly uncomfortable buying my wine surrounded by all these people because my wine cost £3.69 and had a blurty, fun label on it saying “Spanish Red Wine!” or something like that and just looked a bit, well, shit.

I remember (fuck you memory) that the wine cost £3.69 because I’d checked my bank balance shortly before leaving work and was disappointed – though not entirely surprised – to find out that I only had £3.73 in my account. This meant that those bottles of wine that everyone thinks are quite good because they’ve stopped being eight pounds and are now four pounds were out of my reach, financially speaking.

And as I queued I spent a lot of time right next to a whole display of these half-price wines. I could sense people looking at me. I could feel their eyes going from my blurty “Spanish Red Wine!” to the much more tasteful display of red wine behind me and I could feel them thinking. “Why’s he not getting that red wine, the stuff that used to be eight quid? It’s only four pounds now and much better than the shit he’s about to drink. What’s the matter with the man?”

That’s what they were thinking. And I couldn’t explain to them that I only had £3.73 left in my account – not with my eyes, anyway – so I took out my bank card, a card that they only give to fourteen year olds and psychiatric patients, a card without even a hologram on it or an embossed number, a card I’m surprised that before sending out they even bothered to put my name on rather than just scribbling “FUCK YOU, CLOWN” all across it, and started tapping it on my wine bottle. “Happy now?” my eyes said, “Happy that you’ve reduced me to this – to tapping my Visa Bastard Electron card on my “Spanish Red Wine!” bottle just to prove a point. Well fuck you. And fuck me too. Fuck us all.”

That, I hope, is what my eyes said.

When it was my turn at the register I felt my face flush as my card was put through and there was a moment that just hung there when I thought my card was going to be rejected. “If my card gets rejected,” I thought, “I’m going to kill everyone in this shop. But not right now, I’ll find out their addresses and over a number of – ” but it wasn’t rejected and I walked out of the shop but before I got to the door I opened the bottle and began taking a huge swig of it thinking “That’ll show them” but it didn’t show them, if anything it showed me because I slipped on the wet floor and did a sort of strange-wobbly-drinking-dance thing out of the shop.

I should explain here that the rubber on the bottom of my shoe had worn away, exposing the wood underneath. Not fully, but enough in certain places to cause me to slide around and slip over when it rained. And when I was back out onto the mean streets of Finsbury Park I took very small, very careful steps. Everyone walked past me, brimming with confidence. People who I’d seen way back in the queue at the Tesco Metro and who’d witnessed my drinking-dance as I left the shop walked past me, brimming with confidence. A man who I judged to be about 90 walked past me brimming with confidence, and when that happened I decided to go into my fake limp and periodically stop and swig from the bottle when I sensed people coming up behind me, just so that I wouldn’t feel the shame of them walking past me, brimming with confidence.

That was a low point. But I managed to fake-limp my way to a friend’s flat where I was staying and I sat on his balcony and drank the remaining wine and smoked three of four cigarettes and thought: “It’s going to get better. I’ll stick at my well-paid job in Mayfair and I’ll buy lots of pairs of shoes. And I’ll smoke cigars and things will be fine.”

They’re not though are they? Fine, I mean. Things – they’re not fine. If anything, they’re a lot worse: I still have and wear those shoes (except when it’s raining) and they’re the only shoes I have apart from a pair of George Costanza Nikes that are falling to bits. And everything else is pretty much falling to bits too. My shoes, then, are a sign. A sign that I need a new pair of shoes, but also a sign that perhaps I need a new way of living my life. I think the way I’ve carved out isn’t working for me.

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14 responses to “Fuck You, Memory

  1. Crikey, that got a bit bleak towards the end didn’t it?
    Postscript: Everything’s Going to be Fine Though. Probably.

  2. oh Pitchy, it’s not all so bad. think of the sheer joy and feeling of superiority you will have when you go to purchase an EasyJet flight and find out that Visa Electron cards are the ONLY card that they don’t fine you 5-15 squids for using. that’s like free money! (never mind that later you will be lining up to get on the EasyJet flight in a mass of frantic cattle-like humans wishing you had not decided to fly EasyJet). The point is (there is a point) that Electron Cards have hidden benefits, and I’m quite annoyed that Santander randomly reissued my Visa sans Electron status, so now I have to pay more fees online.

    Where are you in the next upcoming months? I don’t mean that in any deep sense – I’m back in London! Give us a shout when you are around.

    CB

  3. p.s. your 3.69 pound Spanish Wine! is practically champagne compared to the 2 Euro bottles of red wine that I used to drink when I was living in Germany. It was called Dornfelder (pretty sure that roughly translates to ‘field of thorns’) and left anything it touched, including teeth and lips, a delightful shade of tomorrow-i’m-going-to-have-a-massive-headache purple.

    in my book, you’ve got some class Pitchy!

    CB

  4. O’Pitchy…..I don’t want to give any more sympathy, you must be sick of it. You’re so talented you should have the finest red wine and some wicked converse shoes. I don’t know why you don’t charge Marge to read this blog and others. We would all contribute,

    Your new CFO
    Lisa

  5. I love the fact that your punctuation is always so PERFECT.

    I feel quite a stranger here. Am I the only person who reads your blog that’s not one of your friends? Come to think of it, I have no idea how I came to be here in the first place, only for some reason your blogs come to be in my inbox every week (or so).

    I would usually blame it on alcohol except that here I’m sure there must be some more sober explanation and on this occasion I’ve actually just… forgotten.

    Oh dear. Here’s looking at the next inbox invasion.

    I really enjoy your blog by the way. And I’m from some fucking far-off place called South Africa, would you believe it. I would guess that means you can now call your blog ‘world-renowned’. Fancy pants.

  6. In your book I’ve got “some” class Camera Bird? SOME? I think you meant to put “loads of”. But thank you. I like the sound of field of thorns wine. I might well be in London next week or the week after – I’ll let you know.
    Lisa Williams: What a sweet idea, but I could never charge for people to read the award-winning Pitching the World. Not on any moral or ethical grounds, but simply because they wouldn’t pay anything and even if they would (and they wouldn’t) I wouldn’t know how to set it up. Also: what does CFO mean? More also: thank you.
    Sarah Jayne Fell: Thank you very much. I know that (fucking) far-off place, my mum was born there. And surprisingly I have quite a few subscribers from there. God knows how that happened. I also have subscribers in Australia, Sweden, Scotland, France, America, Canada and England. Only added “England” there because halfway through writing that I realised I could spell “assface” sequentially by using the first letters of all those places mentioned. But it’s true, I do have subscribers in all those places.
    Oh, and please don’t think I’m suggesting you’re an assface, I’m really not and really like that you enjoy the blog. In fact, I’m sure I clicked through to your site when you tweeted about it some time back and sent a message to say thanks. Perhaps it got lost. Or perhaps my memory isn’t working terribly well (see previous post) and I only thought about sending a message but didn’t. Anyway in case I didn’t, I’ll say it now: Thanks. Very much.

  7. You’re not really a skint piss-artist, are you? Fake limp and all… you are a secret millionaire. I know it.
    Could you work a pair of size 5 red patent slingbacks? I have some at the back of the wardrobe.

  8. Maybe the security guards at Tescos watching the CCTV of you slipping on the wet floor and doing a sort of strange-wobbly-drinking-dance thing out of the shop have downloaded it in slow motion to their mobiles and set it to the MC Hammer song ‘U can’t touch this’ – (in ref to the cheap spanish wine) – I would have done exactly that. Then I would watch it when I got panicky, like I get when I hear police sirens.

    You will be rewarded for all your efforts and hard slog Pitchy, you really will. And soon!

  9. Marge, that MC Hammer stuff is splendid. Truly. I laughed, and I barely laugh at anything. Will I be rewarded for my efforts? And will you chant for me? Thanks.
    Mya: I was born to work a pair of size 5 red patent slingbacks. And unfortunately I’m not a secret millionaire. Are you? Or a very public one? Do you fancy a benefactee?

  10. Also, where are the dudes? Is this comment section fast becoming Pitching the World’s hareem? Hope so.

  11. Yes. And yes.

  12. I have a penis, but, am not a man!

  13. Back on form, Pitchy. Was this after you’d been at my house? Or was it my house that you went to afterwards? If so, I like the idea of calling my porch a ‘balcony’. I’m going to start calling the bedroom windowsill a patio. Finsbury Park Tesco is only good for two things; reduced price prawn cocktails and fighting. I’ve never seen any reduced prawn cocktails in there. You should’ve gone down Budget Supermarket on Stroud Green Road. £2.99 bottles there AND they love a fight AND you can get reduced prawn price cocktails. You do the math.

  14. No, Alan, it was before I went to Dr AP’s and Dr LR’s place. It doesn’t all revolve around you, you know. That said, I rather like the idea of you calling your bedroom windowsill a patio. Try it, next time guests come. Take them into your room tell them “and this is the patio” as you gesture towards the windowsill and then just stare at their faces. What do their faces tell you? Bet you it’s EVERYTHING.
    Laters, caps boy.

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