Never Too Late!

Never Too Late!
any resemblance to anyone real or imaginary is mere bad luck
we are all lying in the gutter, but some of us are trying to get up


You can check-out any time you like but you can never ever leave

A week ago I am still in Milan when this email drops into my inbox:
From: xxx
To: Mike H
Subject: bad news..

Hi mike,

Sorry to trash your holiday vibe but...

Eviction papers arrived for 11th May. Council has registered themselves.
Looks like the end of the road. Any ideas?
The big old house at C___ Rd (ref to this) was previously still registered as the property of the non-existent Greater London Council, dissolved in the 80s by Margaret Thatcher. But it seems there is a light at the end of every legal limbo, and the light at the end of the tunnel, famously, is always the head-lamp of an oncoming train.

Any ideas? No. Back to London. Jump the Stanstead Express, jump out at Tottenham Hale, take the train to Finsbury Park, emerge into a warm night and the grime of Seven Sisters Road. Coming back to London feels like returning home, a warm breeze caresses, but I am soon enveloped by loathing and depression again. I let myself into the house surreptitiously and creep up the stairs. I cannot put words to it, the contempt and ill-will I bear towards my squatting friends, these people who have been my family for five years. (Are you reading this? Don’t sneer yet: you might be one of the exceptions.)

Someone breaks another house in the night when I am in a deep narcotic slumber. Thank goodness I don’t have to look after myself; disaster might result. I am told to choose a room. The squatters thereby display a degree of loyalty I suppose that I admire. This is no small thing in London, free real-estate, but I am surprised these people still want to live with me. Dr Otter tells me (approximately): “They want you, Mike, they need you. Having someone like you around, someone of your level of umm… someone of your level, it validates their whole thing, their whole way of living. It makes them feel like real people.” Whatever that means.

Why am I so contemptuous towards so many of the people I see daily? No one radiates energy… No one is beautiful… Empty, ugly, greedy faces… They sit there, looking, waiting for someone to feed them something… Black holes in the astronomy of inter-personal energy dynamics… But maybe all just a reflection of my own depressed state…

Dried blossoms from the pink trees blow down the street in desultory rustling little whirl-winds… seems like autumn already… the wind blows dry little blossoms (pink when they’re on the trees, the first colour of spring) through the open window to carpet my floor which I don’t bother to sweep any more… maybe I should be packing and arranging some transport…

Juggling with samurai swords… my waking life is a chemical balancing act, the goal a psychopharmacological equilibrium between narcosis and withdrawal which would empower me to maintain normal functioning… my heroin consumption has reached ridiculous proportions, my poverty will soon be dire and absolute, my situation no longer viable. Wednesday ten am the bailiffs attend this big old house, probably to brick it up and leave it empty for the crack-whores and junkies. By then I need to be moved, and then I cure myself of this addiction…

Meanwhile, Mike H continues to meet deadlines on time and maintains, yet, the appearance of professionalism. No one who didn’t know would look at him and think this was his story…
Memo to self (2003, recovered)

1. Maintain the appearance of professionalism at all times.
2. Be generous with the truth on your invoices.

What’s next for realgem? Who knows… Stay tuned…