27 November 2003
I've started naming the days. When you're drifting alone above the city in nothing but a clear box, you get a much more personal relationship with time. I don't go anywhere - no TV, no radio, no phone. But the sun and moon spin around me. With little else to distract me, none of the standard meal times that punctuate the daily cycle for those below me, I've gotten to know Time pretty well. It's the very least I can do to give her a name every day. Bye-bye Helen, Good morning Emily. How will I treat you today?
The crowds of course grow and shrink according to their own rhythms. The rush hour queues on the bridge. The lunchtime mob. The after work throng. The pub closing time shouters. The girl flashers are nice. Don't think your breasts aren't appreciated. And then of course there was the Paul McCartney bust-up.
I truly am the centre of the universe here. My power draws in people and makes things happen. Magical. A passive influence - separate and distant. But still a power. The crowds, the mess, the smell, the fights, the tits. All from me. Plus a few cheques and phone calls from my agent, but you can't deny the effect.
This is why I chose London. It's a big city but without a main locus. It's a sprawling conglomerate of villages all spread over a vast area, joined up underground by primary coloured lines. As there is no single centre of attention here, it is easy for me to become one.
Socially too, this is the perfect place. The hypocritical mix of adoration and resentment of celebrity sparks an infinitely higher level of debate, and therefore coverage, than in most other places I could think of. Most of them may taunt me and think of funny chants, they may say I'm a nuisance and a drain on public resources, but they'll sure as hell watch my live exit from the box. And because it will all be an inevitable anticlimax, they'll stay firmly tuned for the exclusive ad slots afterwards.
When I started this adventure, I had no idea what element would be my worst enemy: the cold, the wind, the rain. But it is the sun. Who would have thought that in London at this time of year it would be a constant discomfort? But then again, the screen I erect in the morning when the sun is low helps to add that little bit more of mystery. Is it all a clever projection? Am I in here at all? Well, you'll just have to wait and see when I roll out at the end.
And so I stay very still. The energy I have I must conserve, so I keep my shifting about to a minimum. That way passers don't get a good look. Kneeling up gets a cheer. Standing and they go mad. And it gives some good visuals for the tv ads.
And so I lie mostly and wait. There is plenty to occupy my mind. I enjoy the slowly changing vista of the city through the phases of the day and night. I enjoy the crowds shouting my name. I enjoy waking in the middle of the night to stillness and silence.
But one question keeps coming back to me: Is it cheating when I eat my own spunk?
18 December 2003. George writes: This List
Most recent ten:
15 December 2003. Jamie writes: Seven Songs
Also by this clown:
27 November 2003. James writes: On Boxing
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