There is a gurning simpleton outside my office door. He keeps laughing like this: herherherherherherherherherherherher. Like a rattling gun. Herherherherherherheher… on and on. With that wincing air of desperation that people have in their laughter when they are doing it at work where not much is really that funny. They just keep laughing anyway, nervously, desperately.
I am on the other side of the door at my desk trying to write a think piece about Pink Floyd. That is, something serious, yet poetic, as befits their music. Something insightful, hopefully, that will suggest an extra layer to the story, already well told elsewhere.
But the laughter is stopping me from thinking about anything like that. I imagine taking a gun and going outside and shooting the fucker. But I know it’s not his fault. He is trapped, like the rest of us, in somebody else’s dream, and the manic laughter is merely his signalling his fear.
I sit back and take a long drink of water. It doesn’t help. I stretch my legs out, my feet touching the radiator by the window and close my eyes. Try and block it all out. But it is not easy.
There is the Floyd thing and there is also The Doors thing. The book is coming out end of October and I am writing a couple of pieces about it for a Certain Magazine. I am fortunate, it should help publicise the book. I am fortunate and yet I feel low. Hard done by. Not by the offer of work but by something I can’t quite define. Fed up being here in my office. Fed up being here in this same life, that I’ve known for nearly 60 years. It bores me. I am all too familiar with the terrain. I no longer care how it turns out in the end.
And then more laughter. What in fuck is so funny? It’s not just today it’s every day this guy is around. I think he is some kind of salesman, goes out to do the deed then comes back and makes his report. Amidst much endless nameless desperate laughter.
Meanwhile, back at my desk, there is also the Van Halen thing. Something I said I would write for a Certain Foreign Magazine. Again, nice work if you can get it. And I am so very, very grateful. Yet so very, very unglued. Neither happy nor unhappy.
And the emails. Someone in Australia is making a documentary, and asks if they can interview me, first week of December. I have said yes, but how much will they pay? They have not responded. They never do straight away when you ask for the money. And when they do they will say we don’t have a very big budget but we can offer you £150 and I will say that’s not enough and they will say well how much is enough and I will say £500 and they will faint with shock and come back and say we could stretch to £200 plus your travel expenses and I will say I don’t live in London and my travel expenses alone will come to about £100 which is why I want £500, cheap at the fucking price mate and they will say how about £250 and if I am sufficiently bored I might say yes but I will likely say no and anyway whatever way it goes come the first week of December I will give even less of a fuck than I do right now. Unless they come up with the £500 then I will be OK. But they won’t. They never do.
That fucking laughter. Herherherherherherherherherherher. Herherher. There is a gurning simpleton at my door and there is nothing I can do about it. I can’t even ask him to go inside his own office and close his door. I did that at my last place and was forced to move office because everyone took against me what harm was there in a bit of office banter that guy’s weird and etc.
The girl from Argentina who sends the long pleading email asking me to put her in touch with the ‘boys’ from Iron Maiden. The guy from Brazil who wants to know about Guns N’ Roses. I tell him it’s all in the book he says can I send him the book I tell him to click on fucking Amazon.
It’s too much. It’s not enough. My feet won’t settle on the radiator and besides I have work to do. I get back into character and try and go to work. All that other stuff is going to have to wait anyhow as I have a book proposal for a book I’m really not that sure I should be doing that I am hurrying to finish. My tax inspector needs the money. Has threatened to ruin my life if I don’t give it to him. I must be a bad guy for him to talk to me like that.