Earlier this evening, someone came to see me. They had to pick up a cat. Somehow, I’ve found myself in a situation where I’m living in an expensive house on top of a hill looking after cats. I don’t know how many. Two? Ten? A number of cats, anyway. And a dog. The dog is old and brilliant and three or four times a day I have to scrape out the green gunk that hangs out in the dog’s eyes and then put in eye drops. It’s not as bad as it sounds.
So a man came to see me about a cat. I hadn’t seen him for maybe fifteen years. Now he looks like a New York playwright. I told him that he looked like a New York playwright. This seemed to make him happy.
“So, how have you been? What have you been doing?” he said.
“I got married. For a bit, then I got div-”
“Fuck, fuck, fuck,” he said. “Oh fuck.” He’s also divorced.
“Yeah, I got divorced. She’s having this kid.” Jesus, I thought, I’m speaking American. Am I trying to impress him? Do I know that he isn’t really a New York playwright, that he just looks like one?
“Oh, fuck,” he said. “Fuck, fuck, fuck. And you’re writing now I hear?”
During this thrilling exchange of words he’d wandered over to my desk. On that desk, was my days’ work. One sheet of paper. On the top of the sheet of paper, I’d written: ‘EVERYTHING IS FUCKED’ and then listed everything that was fucked. Hair, face, shoes, glasses (before I lost them), computer, career – that sort of thing.
He picked up the piece of paper and looked at it. Underneath ‘EVERYTHING IS FUCKED’ and the list of everything that was fucked, I’d written: ‘How do I get to be one of the voices on Points of View?’
Underneath that, I’d written: ‘From now on, only insult people with four letter words where ‘u’ is either the third or fourth letter. Try: turd, slut, fuck, rube, putz, fuck, chump (almost), cunt, plum, bum (almost)’
“That’s just.” I said.
We smoked some cigarettes and we talked about me writing for his charity and then he left. What an impression, I thought. What a days’ work.
Where do we go from here, I wonder. Further down? How much further is there to go? Since starting this hare-brained putz of a project I’ve lost my career, my wife, my shoes, my mind and lots of other stuff that I can barely begin to think about. The night before last I had a vision. I had a vision of me trying to rob a casino. Is that where I’m headed? In the vision, I wasn’t all cool and cinematic. In the vision, my gun was made of paper mache because my visions are smarter than I am and my visions know that when I do go to rob a casino (and I will, I definitely will), I won’t be able to afford a real gun, I’ll have to make one out of the fucking Guardian or something. And I won’t have a getaway car. I’ll have to take the bus. And I won’t have clothes. In the vision, I was dressed in a barrel. You know those old films or cartoons or whatever the hell they are when the wild west town idiot has to walk around in a barrel? That’s going to be me.
‘Going to be me’ – it fucking is me. Now. I’m in that barrel now. I’m standing in front of the cashier in the casino in my barrel with a gun-shaped Guardian. Ace, isn’t it?
Wow. Apologies for the drama. What a rube. It’s been a tough few days. Apart from the playwright, I haven’t spoken to anyone for five days. I think I better get back to cooking up pitches that will be ignored.
Thanks for everything.