Wednesday, 10 March 2010


Bacon frying. Sustained applause in a school hall. Seven hundred games of Kerplunk being lost. A basmati spillage on a slack kettledrum. A high-ceilinged warehouse of underpaid pistachio-shellers. Esther Ofarim shaving Abi’s back. Whatever mechanism it was that powered the organ in St. Michael The Archangel Church in Alcombe. An amplified anthill. A hundred or so fruiting bodies of the coprophilous gasteromycete Sphaerobolus stellatus, launching their spore-filled projectiles across Fuller’s laboratory in the thirties; one, apparently, hit his ceiling. As few as four gulls walking across a perspex roof. Dan’s friend Ewan running his double-bass bow through his hair again. A stadium of damp football rattles. The thoughts of a greyhound being dumped. A Besson B-flat piston-valve euphonium full of warm spit. Brown noise, apparently. A chevron-painter in Herefordshire stopping for a sandwich. Eight thousand eggboxes flashmobbing at Kilburn tube. When the stylus skips too far and your turntable starts ‘playing’ the paper label.

The steady pink-pink-pink of a can of Coke Zero that was opened at least an hour ago and has been standing forgotten ever since, while through the oblong window Bruno Lawrence wrestles with the theology and identity politics of finding oneself to be the last man on Earth. The tidal susurrations of all twenty-seven checkouts at ASDA in full service as twenty-seven trolleys are unloaded by the fistful and a further twenty-seven are re-loaded by PVC sacks that sort of hold uniquely unstable arrangements of carefully selected groceries and household goods. Thirty-nine handheld air guns connected by semiopaque tubing to a suspended array of 3/4" pipework in the two minutes or so after the hydrovane compressor is powered down for the weekend. Drumming steadily with fingers on the mattress and one's ear laid on it, stifling pillows pushed away, feeling the sheet creak against the thirteen-year-old ear, cool and smooth, pressing back, much like Antony's chest had felt in the stillness of the afternoon just gone, not having dared to push any further, but now in the certain night, there where he was not.