Thursday, September 02, 2004

July 30 (full moon Friday): What are the beginnings of a great day? To comfortably awaken twenty minutes before you have to? I dunno, I hope so.

What happens on my walk to work? I turn on Radio One to hear the arse end of "It's My Life" by No Doubt. I stop off at Layer Road General Store to buy today's newspaper (The Sun) just to check out pictures of the woman Sven-Goran Erection has been sleeping with. The more I see her, the less I fancy her. And I am sure she is reading this blog and is disappointed to hear that. I trot into as blase as ever. There is some work at work I might arrive early to complete but I can't be bothered, my nose is out of joint. I turn up and Mah is already in and so is Sandip, so much for me being number one boy.

This morning I am on "mission: avoidance", the principals to avoid being Randy Pan and Melchard. Within minutes though, Randy Pan is over and I brace myself for some flack but instead he just requests some files I have possession of for Acme Mobile. Maybe he is finally flying the white flag on my lack of co-operation on the job (four and a half days down on the job and I am spent). This semi clears the path for me and I sheepishly stagger over the road to confirm that Ivan does not need the/his laptop today. We talk and like a wanker, knowing Melchard is within earshot, I make comment on the Acme Steel job. Eventually Melchard walks past and asks me how the job is going. I say "I'm doing my bit all right". He looks at me miffed and walks off down the corridor going "unbelievable". I just look at Iran confused, Iran going "he had a pop at you the other day". I gripe a little but Iran tells me to be professional so I go down to Melchard's office to tell him that Mah is struggling. My nose is out of joint because of the way I was pushed aside on the job yesterday but today, today I am apparently involved enough to be asked my opinion on progress. The problem is, I think, Melchard just wanted to me say parrot fashion "the job is going well/fine/good/tickety-boo (delete as applicable)". Instead though I tell him the truth or my opinion (can't really decide which it is). I fear I may have sounded a bit like I was Mah-bashing, I think I felt this halfway through the "meeting" as I changed tact mid-stream to saying how the job has been managed less than ideally, it all being dis-organised and mis-managed (although I don't actually use THIS term). As an act of desperation I pull out what I regard to be my secret weapon: the fact that the man gave me/us the wrong trial balance to put on the accounts (making them next to nonsense). To this he responds matter-of-factly "I know". I give up but I really resent that the reality that this is the guy giving me grief, condescending me and popping at me now three days running. Get your own house in order before throwing stones at others.

We go over to the client in Mah's car, he naturally driving. She has the number T4 EMM, it appears to be personalised and screams "rich" and "dickhead". She explains it is just coincidence but it's too late. Today at Acme Steel is a breeze, I am done with my assigned work early in the day and spend the rest of the day attempting to assist Mah. Mid morning Azmei begins texting me, making sure that we are still on for a lunch meeting on Saturday 14 August. Definitely. At lunchtime, Mah and I return to the office to bank our cheques. Yes, payday! After that we go to lunch at Yates, me, her, Stevo and Lulu. I have some kind of nasty Jalfrezi but it tastes ok. Unfortunately we sit outside and get swamped by all these pseudo wasps that are about at the moment.

When we return to the office, it is headed towards 2pm and our lunch hour is headed towards 90 minutes. Whoops. Our gruff client suggests that we have been to the pub. Maybe but the official verdict is "we had stuff to do back at the office". Mah pushes it for getting everything complete in time but we leave five, arms full of good hard work. Over worked and under appreciated, ho ho.

I get back to the office and knock about with Stevo in the office after-hours for a bit. The stench of Acmemega still lingers, no one seems happy. From Stevo, I get the impression that Jack did/does not want me playing tonight with the oldsters. Bummer. This is all forgotten however when Stevo gives a lift home and sat on the floor on the passenger side of his car is his new porno DVDs he has received from Spain (or somewhere). I grab them and he allows me a quick borrow (between now and football tonight, barely an hour to view). The titles I scam are Castings 14, Summer Wind and DVD Sampler 7. I watch this thing called Fetish Rock and basically it is a band playing that mid song starts fucking each others whilst continuing to play their song. It's terrible.

I escape porno hell and head to St Helena where we are playing oldies football. When I arrive I do not see Steve's car there so I wait for a bit instead of going into the changing room full of half strangers. I see Jack turn up and he pretty much blanks me, adding to my suspicions that he doesn't really want me there. Time ticks and soon it is five to and still no sign of Stevo, so I just head to the game. Duh, he's already been there ages. The game is really good. The pace in these oldies is definitely more suited to me than the cut and thrust seriousness of the league play of Wednesdays. I'm not sure what/why the reasons are but I find myself having the best game I have had probably all year. One reason may be that there are less shots being punted at me, although there are still more than enough being fired at my head. Another reason may be the added flexibility of the additional looseness of my home Millwall shirt (instead of away shirt) being a slightly larger XL. Who knows? Or maybe it is because tonight I am facing Jack and Stevo, instead of playing with them. Also it helps that our team are really dominating play, at the other end the Acme Grain keeper The Crab is having an absolute blinder, being pummelled several times over more than myself and keeping pretty much everything out. I am however not without bruises! Just before half time Stevo does a shot and I let it in on my inside post, a real fuck up on my part but our team still goes in at halftime leading 3-2. In the second half things become more playful. Dick, who is playing on our side tonight, begins a little competition with Carl and I realise it is horse play but it still looks pretty nasty. My second half begins painfully when the guy with the bushy Jeremy Beadle beard fires a hard shot which I save with my right wrist, hitting my suicide veins. Ouch! For a few minutes my hand is actually numb from the knock. The second half continues frantically, at the other end the Crab is having another starring show and I find myself equally matching up, making saves I don't even know about. Eventually the hour is up and the game ends with our team winning 5-4, myself managing to get through a hairy onslaught at the end. The game ends with my being congratulated and feeling like a hero for the first time in a very long time.

After the match I fly back to my flat and have a quick bath before driving into town and hooking back up with the others at the Hogshead. First however I have to stop off at a cash machine to get some payola out. Nice one Natwest, my cheque has yet to clear and I can't get any of that dosh out but fortunately Barclays is letting me grab some. As I enter the Hogs my phone beeps and it is a message from Allen saying he's out tonight and he'll be in the Hogshead. Dude, I'm already there with a Stella in hand. It takes an eternity for Stevo to turn up, Jack asks where he is and I say he's probably got into a scuffle with some youths. Eventually he turns up and it turns out that he left his bank card behind the bar at Yates at lunchtime.

The night moves slowly and I really am not into drinking and getting pissed this evening. Allen comes into the Hogs and I say "hi" and it turns out this is his last night in Colchester before he and Karen leaves for Toronto in the morning to go and live there. Oh my, I thought it was next weekend they were leaving, I really need/want to hang out with them this evening. Tonight is only so much fun, Sara keeps texting me and I tell her that I am bored. Jimmy is keeping up the uninterested act and basically it is left to Stevo and myself to talk to each other while the rest of the players are off in their own little worlds and groups. Ultimately this is the evening in which I l realise I do not need to finish every pint I start and by the end of the night I will have started four pints and not bothered to finish any of them.

Not before time we leave the Hogs to go to Roberto's and my chances of getting to say goodbye to Allen look bleaker by the moment. I am not overly enthused about going to Roberto's, the last time I was here on a Friday night was the hell evening with Syra. I sail it out until around 10.30 when I break from the group to head back to the Hogs to hook up with Allen. By now Stevo is totally pissed as so someone is going to have look after him for the evening, it looking like that person will be me. I tell him he can stay round mind and that I will be either be back around to Roberto's around 11 or be at the Hogshead with Allen.

When I finally get back to the Hogshead, Allen's farewell group is really swinging. The group mainly consists of Karen's friends all seem really cool but several miles away from socialising with me. I speak to Allen, mainly about how the last two Blitters gigs have gone and the Nottingham date/show sounds cool beyond belief. It sucks that Allen is leaving Colchester, he really has been the social glue of the Colchester underground music scene for the past two years. Ultimately though I'm just really glad I get to say "goodbye" to both Allen and Karen. Just before they leave off Stevo turns up and rejoins my evening. He appears to just want to antagonise, Allen but he ain't biting. We all fall down.

Stevo says the oldie football group have all moved on to Hub as it is Dick's birthday. Right now Stevo is hammered and I remain far from even tipsy. We get allowed into Hub but have to pay as it is now after-hours and is a kind speakeasy. We hook up once more with our team-mates and I continue to sense the cold shoulder, tonight really isn’t happening. Eventually people drop off and get cabs and go home but we remain supreme. The last ships standing end up being myself, Stevo, Jack and the Chelsea fan with a vague likeness to Maradonna. And still the night isn't happening and shoulders remain cold. Not long after midnight our towel really has to be thrown in and I suggest to Stevo that we leave. I exchange pleasantries with the other two when leaving when really I feel I should be sticking in a knife.

On the route back we stop off via Sam's Pizzeria where Stevo buys a Chinese chicken pizza which everyone should taste, it is SO fine, an oasis in a sea of greasy spoons. With nowhere better to go, we stop off in Chernobyl and eat our pizza in the office. Not wanting to turn on the lights and cause attention, instead we turn on all the computers for ambience lighting. We eat our pizza and have a post pub chill out. Stevo is now at that annoying stage of being pissed and rabbiting aimlessly, labouring on that horrible reflective set of lines “its been a good night, we've had a few, had some fucking good talk about football, now we're having fucking great pizza…….� etc blah blah blah. Would say though, awesome pizza. And my spirits are up as at 12.29 I receive a text message from Phoebe, to which I slur back a response.

With our pizza history we make moves to getting home. I figure I am pretty clear headed as I didn't really bother with drinking tonight, so I drive us home in Stevo's Focus. Once behind the wheel, it kind of occurs to me that I actually shouldn't be driving. Regardless though, I'm careful and precautious and get us back to a soundtrack of Lou Reed.

Once back at Bohemian Grove I act like basically "shut up and go to bed".

np: Lou Reed - Satellite Of Love


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