Wednesday, 19 October 2011

A letter to Spencer in Leipzig, Germany

Dear Spencer,

There's been a Bensplosion round these parts since you've been gone. I'm not talking just one Ben but many. There are many Bens. I have spent time with at least one Ben a day for the last week. In my head I refer to them by their surnames so as not to become confused, like I do with Hunter, and Wilson, and Worrad. I suppose you've being seeing a lot of those folk lately, say hi to them for me.

Gemma has been texting me words like 'Benglorious, Benerific and Benutopia'. She said I have Bens on a revolving schedule but it's entirely unintentional.

Gemma came to Newtown on the weekend and I spent hours and hours with her and Benito Di Fonzo. Benito gave me that stand-offish withering look as I sat down but this time it didn't bother me, not at all. In fact I had a grand old time and talked just like a normal person, unlike all the other times. Historically my interactions with Benito leave everything to be desired. He seemed quite friendly and told me a great many interesting things. I know for sure now which building The Globe was in.

Mr X came and joined us and not once did I become suddenly lonely in a crowd, as I am wont to do. In fact I might even have laughed and smiled and meant it. I remember that time we were filming 'Shit Wot Will Burn' and we all had to do a turn and smile at the camera thing. You said you'd never seen me look happy like that before. I'm not a maudlin person, I don't why you thought to mention it was rare to see me happy. I suppose quite often I'm happier on the inside than the out.

I feel quite free at the moment, like I finally shooed away my shadow. At first I missed you terribly and found my time with other friends strange and just a little unfulfilling. I wanted them to know what I meant before I even said anything the way you mostly do but I think it's worn off. Once I got used to explaining myself and talking in full sentences I found the point of engagement and just kept sailing through conversations, listening to what I could and giving what I could afford to give away.

Elliot's been on my mind a little. Mr X said he'd been in touch with him and it sounds like he's drinking again. There was a time this would have stopped me in tracks but here I am walking. Maybe he's finally out of my system unlike the blue marble I swallowed in primary school. I have an x-ray showing it lodged between one rib and another. The doctor said to listen for it, it would make a clang as it hit the toilet on it's way out. So I listened. I listened for years. I never did hear that clang.

I'm having a glass of wine, by myself, in the depths of The Peach after midnight. This feels like a great accomplishment. I never managed to just pour myself a wine if I felt like it before, but since I shook off my shadow it doesn't feel like anything at all. I bought another bottle of that wine we drank the night before you left. It's good. Tastes more purple than red, dark and bloody and jammy at the same time.

I've been wondering a lot again. Wondering and following threads down until they lead to something that feels important. I even took four whole days off working on PAN things. The rest has done me some good. I've read two books and made a whole batch of notes, potted plants out on The Peach Deck and found time to sleep and dream.

The weather is strange. I am cold, often cold, then suddenly hot again. I wonder how old I will be when I finally come to understand the windings up in Spring. Some years the hot appears sudden and solid as a brick wall. This year its running in and out like a confused tide.

On Sunday night I wen to the horrible casino to see what that Rock Lily lounge was like, if it was as terrible as I had imagined it to be. It was. And worse. I made pages of notes, Diesel sat down at the table where I was sitting alone but I didn't recognise him. He's short and tightly drawn, thin as a whip and bald as an egg. We were unexpectedly wearing matching vests. After the casino Mr X and I finished the night eating kebabs on plastic chairs by Parramatta Rd and that wasn't so bad, not so bad at all.

Gecko has suddenly turned up in Newtown, he's back from Manchester. Sent me a text message out of the blue last Wednesday night. I've seen him twice since then and it's odd to fall into a friendship so easily. I remember when we all first me him on The Peach Deck, he was mean and angry and shooting little barbs at everyone, even Boli. He doesn't seem so mean this time round or maybe I just care less, either way it's fine.

I don't know if you'll have the time to read this. I don't really mind. If you're skipping to the end then know just this one thing. It's one a.m., I am proud of you and your songs and all is very well.

Travel safe.
Eat cheese.
Play good shows.
Don't get a big head cause a guy from Kraftwerk played in your band, but do take a little pride.
Don't forget to wash your clothes when you can.
Remember stories to tell me when you get back, the big, the small, the sad and the good.


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