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


Squatting Stories 3: Rodney Anyanwu

part 1 here. this story deserves the perfect telling I have given it before a hundred times, but I am exhausted of words. there is no continuity from part 1: part 2 reproduces the only documentary evidence that has survived from that time: pages torn from the diary of and notes taken by Mikey at the time.

[the chronological order of these notes is sometimes difficult to establish]

For the record...

Highbury Place #6 27.8.01 3-ish p.m.

I'm sitting here in this place now. It's __ eerie feeling, sorting through relics of other lives. Trying to get picture of what happened here. Notebooks with the fragments of a diary of some woman, no great diarist she, notes tracing the course of a relationship. A notebook, every page with the start of an uncompleted letter to Owen. I opened it first at a short entry describing their meeting... I don't usually go out to I suppose what you'd call meat-market clubs like that... and now months later I'm still here with you... and finished at Owen, everything that needs to be said has been said, I suppose.

[this from the first night:]

Entry through the bathroom window of the basement flat, single padlock easy to snip. That flat looks like it has been left in a hurry: toothbrushes by sink, teabag in tea-cup midway through making tea, food in cupboard and fridge. Judging by the sell-by dates, left end March. Letters addressed to "Miss Z. Outlaw, Basement Flat". There is a prescription for 8 different drugs: Otto reckons AIDS medications... Flupenthixol... no, it's a schizophrenia drug

The other two flats are sealed by doors; we have no entry as yet. Maybe when Otto and Max arrive.

[then, probably on first night there, while others sleep, i stay awake and scribble fragments or notes for stories in notebook:]

"Squatters break into a house like this one. They walk around, looking through the flotsam, trying to piece together what's happened here. The realisation dawns there's someone already here, another squatter... There is a knock at the window through which they just climbed, everyone freezes then turns. There he is. 'Jesus Fuck, what's wrong with his eyes?' No mere schizophrenia. Scrawls, bloody handprints on walls, strange ritualistic arrangements of objects in the corners"

[ after, i lie awake for long, breathing to calm myself - scaring myself with ideas of something pale naked human lying out in the long grass of the overgrown back garden, something that moves fast, scuttles along close to the ground like a lizard - trying to sense the house and its atmosphere]

29.8 Wed

Had my morning coffee, made from stale coffee from flat C wrapped in doll's dress from D and dipped in boiling water, and sugar and milk powder from A. Water heated on gas stove in B; we have gas but no power or water...

Those burned out flats upstairs freak me out. I feel fear... [long digression on fear and 'fear of fear itself'] ... But surely I should find the fear's centre, combat it, learn? When the dark comes, I'm afraid... But places do pick up energies from people who have lived there. Here in flat B, for instance, there is a definite granny vibe...

(yes, yes, yes, will be continued, there is an eventual point, but i'm going to sleep now)