So, it looks like I might be leaving Boscombe and going back to East Horsley, Surrey. I’m not sure if it’s the right thing to do.
“Don’t leave Boscombe and go back to East Horsley, Surrey,” people yell at me in the street. “What are you playing at? You know what happened last time. Last time you went bald and broke and mad and got sober and spent three hours swearing at a bottle of Hennessy. And you had a job in Mayfair. How did you manage that? Not just the job, but the going broke whilst having a job? And you were sober. Oh, you’re such a card. Aren’t you? Go on, say it. Aren’t you?”
It’s not easy living like this, being shouted at in the street like this. But I fight back. If you were me, you’d fight back too.
“Listen you fucks,” I tell the shouty ghouls. “The financial gods are against me at the moment. And the career gods. And the gods who control the fucks, the fuck gods. They’re very up and down at the moment. Ha, I did a funny: Fuck gods? Up and down? No? Anyway, the financial gods have got together and decided to play around with me a bit and so it’s very difficult to turn down a free flat that I’m able to stay in indefinitely. Yes, even if it is in East Horsley. I just need a month. A month to shut myself away.”
“A month?” they say, to break things up a bit.
“Yes. And I’ll finish Pitching the World. You know how long I thought it would take when I started this? No? Oh, you’ll love this then. Three months. And do you know how long it’s taken? Twenty eight months. Twenty eight of the bastards. And I need to move on. Finish, and move on. Oh come on, don’t give me those ‘move-on-to-what?’ eyes. I’ll find something else to do.”
“Okay. You’re, um, scaring us a bit now.”
“And I miss London. And football. There are other things too…” but by this time the ghouls have drifted away and I find myself – not for the first time – howling into an empty Boscombe afternoon.
So yes: Next week East Horsley. In Surrey. To finish a bone-headed project. Wish me luck. And if you see me on the street, you better holla at me.
East Horsley, earlier.