But that's me wibbling, and I've been doing that too much recently. Ignore it. Have something written on the back of the election instead.
One Last Dance
by Stewart Wilson
The tobacco's got a health warning in Greek. I don't know whether to smoke it or prove it. The proof comes later, when I can sit down. For now, I'm on my feet, cigarette in hand and guitar pop-rock-indie in my ears. Boots on the pavement, city under my feet. Something to be sure of.
Nobody laughs any more when you say the archive footage of G8 protests and poll tax riots bring back fond memories. They don't remember what it was like, how different it could have been. But that's coulda-shoulda-woulda-didn't, the attitude that let the "edgy" side of mass media buy out the revolution.
Protests are held in free speech zones, and looking at a cop funny is enough to be arrested. One of them on a street corner glances at me. The sensible shirt and tie cover the old "No War but the Class War" t-shirt, but I still feel like she's getting ready to beat my brains out with her big stick. Wouldn't surprise me if they've started installing x-ray vision in the standard police genome.
The streets are a blur of people. Man with a smile, off to fuck his mistress silly while his wife knocks back a fatal overdose. Long weekend, he's on a "business trip". Won't find his wife's corpse until late Monday night. In the mad rush of release he'll run to tell the other woman, and go splat under a bus.
My brain brings up these miniature bios about everyone. Small snapshots of mostly dysfunctional lives. It's something to do to distract myself from what I am. What's that, anyway? I can't drink any more, the gents has a full urinalysis kit just to the back of the u-bend. They detect anything harsher than nicotine in my system and I'm not just fired, I'm arrested, charged and sentenced within ten minutes. I only get to smoke because of special dispensation. It's still illegal to persecute addicts for being addicts, but only just.
I want something I can't have, something I left behind and the world swept away from me. Girl walking towards me, wondering what's going on, doesn't know where she is. She knows maybe ten words of English and she's just been kicked out because the guy running her flop-house found a new model with nicer tits. Within a week she's dead. That's by no means the worst that could happen. It's almost a happy ending.
The street used to teem with life. Drunks passed out, homeless people desperate for change or smokes, friends running around with each other, lovers seeing their home with new eyes. Even the fucking tourists weren't so bad then, just another plague to be avoided, but at least they admired the friendly air.
I need a drink. Badly. I've not felt this bad for a long time, but I can't help it now. Too many people, not one of the images good. But no drink. No booze for me. No pity for the revolutionary without a revolution. Just cigarettes and street. What happened to the old days, when people thought they could change the world rather than accepting when they were told 'no'?
Now there's a fucking idea.
I have a flat. It's not a nice place. A grimy couple of rooms with a shower that only works if I swear at it in Russian. But there's lots of random stuff, junk and rubbish nobody else wants. And a shelf of old textbooks. Languages, philosophy, politics, chemistry. Just what people don't care about any more. Just what I need.
It's not a big black ball with "ACME" on the side in nice fun letters. It's a small thing in a bag. There's sniffers all over the fucking place, I'm not going to be able to detonate anything big enough to fuck up the common way of thinking at once. But some property damage never hurt a cause, and a lot is even more fun. And if I take myself out then who'll care anyway? This is what it takes to make a statement in a deluded world.
Out with a bang, not a whimper.