They're after me; of that much I'm certain. Who they are or what they want, of course, is entirely secondary to the reality of my pursuit but that reality is affecting my world view - an unusual thing for reality to manage at the best of times. My first mistake was going dry for an entire week. It wasn't a deliberate decision but it happened all the same. You'll hear defences like that in courthouses up and down the country but rarely will it be true - in this case it was. As we know, nature abhors a vacuum and, soon enough, I found myself trollied in front of the telly - Ali G again if you must know - and realising just how alien a sensation it had become. Won't somebody stop the room? I'm sure I noticed the wall struts being set into concrete in the farm family album but now my eyes are telling me they're bending and swaying like some hideous forest rendition of Swan Lake. Next thing I'm sober again, back in my own bed and the ceiling is popping in and out like the lids of 'do not buy if seal is broken' bottles. Of course, this time it really is moving because of the hurricane force wind outside that's knocked over my outdoor toilet and spread all my pampus grass down the garden. T-Bone is far too excited by playing with the outsize, fluffy sticks to be upset by the defacement of my verges but I'm deeply disturbed. I'm also worried by the pampus grass.
Then I start getting emails from some rabid geek who's interested in one of my domain names. I'm not allowed to tell anyone which one, or how much he's paying or else the deal's off. This kind of secrecy can only lead to trouble. Like running out of brake fluid, which didn't happen to me this morning, but could have. Call me paranoid, but it could. There's always the possibility. Especially when you run into somebody you haven't seen for months on three separate occasions, at three extremities of the same town. And he was grinning. Just when I can't hack it any more, I go to pick up some photos I've been having developed and I get a free Winnie the Pooh necktie. I would be joking, except it isn't funny. It's terrifying. They're trying to get one over on me, I'm telling you.
Then I try to get online to find out how quickly some cash is going to be available for a car deal I'm hoping to close (yes, the reign of the Merc may well be over soon) and the online contact buttons have all vanished. Yes, vanished. It's a conspiracty. They're denying me access to my money - which is fair, considering they pay the maintainence on it - and it disturbs me greatly.
I am now staring slack-jawed at my book of HST letters on an almost pagely basis; the boy IS me. Or rather WAS me. He fannies around trying to write his Great Novel while dealing with living in the bush with an overly emotional dog. His relationships all fail, he turns to older women, that doesn't work out either. The only major difference is that he is endlessly pursued by faceless creditors, with the exception of his postman who sells him groceries on credit. He's an exception because he has a face, twisted as it usually is into a grimace of financial demand. My creditors are faceless because they do not exist - with the possible exception of the Student Loans Company who have, so far, made only a token effort to track me down, which can hardly be called 'pursuit'. Thompson also drives a series of big, comfortable, wrecked and fuel-guzzling cars, which blasts faintly familiar horns in my memory. And while I purchased mine from a woman, he borrowed the money for his from a woman, viz, his grandmother. And he has hair, some of which begins to fall out at the prospect of him actually having to get a job.
Tellingly, he lies about his age to get those few jobs he can hold down longer than the interview while, at the same age, I field telephone calls from concerned parties telling me to be careful as I might not be so employable in the near future, due to geriatric redundancy.
I am seriously considering moving to Big Sur or maybe I'll just go the whole hog and camp out on the fringes of Vegas; after all, there's only so much bad craziness you can take on board before it starts bubbling out of your eyeballs and some freak starts charging people to watch you writhe in confused agony in the gutter.
If I'm in Vegas, at least, I might get a cut.
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