The Jesus Machine

There are two women going at it raggo outside my window. Some chump in a filthy tracksuit is half-heartedly getting in between them. "Stop it... come on, serious, stop it..." The short brunette is screaming every obscenity ever thought of at the tall blonde. She cocks her leg behind her and looks like she's trying to take her shoe off, to strike her adversary... or maybe I am imagining that's what she's doing, as earlier, in the loony bin, I was reminiscing about the time Lois took off her shoe, and wrapped it around some poor bouncer's shiny bald head.

And just like that, it is all over, and the brunette is trip-track trip-trapping back to the bus stop in the opposite direction from the blonde and the filthy tracksuit, shouting to no one in particular about Effing Bees and Cees. Half an hour later something very similar occurs, this time with two men and lady in the middle. Tonight England played football on the world stage, and failed to do anything any of us could be proud of, or inspired by. As I type, someone is getting brain damaged by Godless goons who will later weep fat bitter tears into stinking, lumpy pillows, and wank themselves into sweet oblivion.

This is England. This is where we are.

I watched the first half of the game in Hommerton Hospital's Mental Health Ward, with one of my best friends, who has to stay there until the doctors, who are younger than him, tell him he is ready to step outside in the sunshine again. The nurses are sweet tempered and funny and patient, and the patients are on enough drugs to keep them from doing much other than pace backwards and forwards, wandering the two corridors that stick out of the over sized living room they call home like straws in a milkshake. There are three plastic sofas and and a pool table and a big ass TV in a perspex case because someone put a chair through the last one, and there's a six inch wide wood framed window that can be opened just wide enough for the angry dude to spit out of. The half-happy, lolloping big ole white dude is called Jeremy and he hears voices in his head. He shook my hand yesterday. Today he didn't remember me. The bushy bearded Middleeastener wears sandals and paces the halls until he is tired and sleeps on the sofa, much to the annoyance of the Eastern European Sicillian boy who wants to sit on it. The boy has little English and an abundance of really good arm tattoo, and a face like a beacon framed by tiny curls that look like bristling flames, beneath which glower two unflinching, lazer-beam eyeballs that follow me wherever I go, and are upon mine whenever I raise my head.

My friend looked like the king of that strange, watery, bleached castle. He sat cross in the sofa directly opposite the big ass TV in the perspex case, armed with the remote control, supping from a bottle of Coke Zero and smiling. He looked the happiest I've seen him all year.

I watched the second half of the game in the gym, from the sweaty comfort of the running machine, and the hill climbing machine, and the Jesus machine. The gym was empty but for the staff, a wiry, red-vested Polish man who spent the whole time I was there (save the occasional visit to the water fountain) flexing the same pair of dumbbells and glaring at himself in the mirror, and a great beast of a man with a severe haircut and a gut the size of a large beanbag, who paced the running machines and terrorised the barbells until one of them snapped.

It was raining when I cycled home, and I was glad of it. Cars no longer honked their horns, and men huddled grimly in pub doorways, sucking down cigarettes like milkshakes. The England team had played like a gaggle of pampered old coots on sedatives. I knew there would be repercussions.

But when I got back I set about compiling my guest list for ATD24, emailing and calling people, whilst simultaneously gathering raw materials for the execution of the project, and reinstalling my software, which has become buggy and unreliable. It felt good to be ticking things off my list. I have two big ass whiteboards on my wall, mapping out the next 7 days in some detail, and it is helping me not to panic. The guest list is looking spectacular, and I am fucking excited. The raw materials are piling, mountainous, and my ATD24 To Sample folder glistens with emeralds and crystals and gems, like a dragons cave. When my synths have finished installing I will go to bed. I am excited about getting up, and doing more cool stuff as dictated by the wall planers, with my health and my freedom and my good fortune.

We are very close to our target now, by the way. I need to do the sums, but I think it is about $40, including VAT. And I ordered a HD webcam from Ebuyer. It arrives on Monday, in time for The Rigorous Testing. This is going to be a SHOW! And if all goes well, my friend will be there. I really hope he is. He was way up at the top of my guest list.