Friday, June 16, 2006


Although the night shelter I call home does not allow pets, or visitors of any description, which makes it as close as you get to the old bardic cell of composition, I did once breed neopolitan mastiffs, which are the closest breed to the old Roman dogs of war, weighing in at anywhere between 9-15 stone and make rottweilers look like rabbits. Having these dogs around me when I was living in the Big L eventually led to a complete dispelling of city life paranioia.

Before the dog phase, if I was walking down the street late at night in a dodgy area and saw a couple of fellas walking towards me, my imagination would run wild with all sorts of mad scenarios racing through my mind, but with the Mastiffs I could go anywhere anytime of day or night and people were forced to just be themselves. It became clear to me that in London, apart from the native cockneys, many people put on an act. Don a mask. So walking through Burgess Park in Southwark at 3am Sunday morning I could happily wander past a group of highly dangerously minded individuals who would drop the cod Caribbean patois perculiar to the inner city youth of today and just be themselves; kids brainwashed by bullshit gangsta media, who for the short time our paths crossed had a period of normalcy and genuine exchange. All because Leah and Max where by my side like two loaded shotguns.

The reality of their being even crossed over to the time when they were absent from me, and the general clarity and brushing away of fake societal posturing they engendered when out and about, brought me a great deal of confidence and revealed the knowledge that, behind the screen of make believe we humans erect as personae for the benifit of our fellow actors in life, we are all the same.

They also bestowed a confidence which carried over, so when they were absent I would still deport my mein in the same manner as if they were present, and if anyone pissed me off my thoughts would turn to Leah and Max in much the same way that Popye's would to spinach or Hannibal Lecter's to his leather retraining belts and indoor mincing machine.


But only once a woman came to me via my bitch. One morning whilst walking to the shops with leah, I felt a tap on my shoulder. Thinking it must be my housemate, because touching strangers in London is a no no, I turned to see the smiling face of a beautiful women I had never seen before; Katia, a Brazillian who had only been in London a few weeks and was working as a cleaning lady. Her English at this point was very minimal and consisted of pointing to Leah and motioning I come with her, accompanied by the words come with me please.

Somewhat perplexed, but highly enthusiastic to follow, we began walking down the high street at a brisk pace, and I must admit to thinking that fate's lotto had released the golden balls of every mans dream, and Sziertzean secret levers of the universe had been depressed to instantly switch my usually unexciting role as an annonymous shopper on his mid morning trip to Tescos, to that of a first time amateur porn actor trotting nervously behind his more experienced fellow performer as they made their way to the set.

We got to her gaffe and she motioned I wait on the doorstep and this particular fanatasy fizzled out when she came downstairs bearing pictures of her own neopolitan mastif in Brasília, the capital of that hot land.

She was obviously just a lonely mid twenties Brazilian and seeing Leah tugged at some part of her and she felt a need to connect. In slow and deliberate English, and trying to conceal my desperateness, I gave her directions to my address, telling her several times she could call on me at anytime she wanted, too shy, socially inedpt and a coward of rejection to ask her on a date.

However we did bump into each other again a few weeks later in Tescos and she was with her older, more portly pal and I ended up having dinner with them several days after that, Katia's intentions unreadable because it was her mate who asked her to ask me to dinner. By now her English had improved and she told me she had got out of cleaning and was forging an inchoate career in modelling of some sort. I perservered and we started what could be called a very timid relationship, as friends. Katia would pop round to my place unnanounced and toy with me as I fell deeper and deeper in, unable to control my feelings for her and feeling the full force of what I knew would become an all consuming passion the more she played with me.

The full tale is a long and somewhat comedic one, which I will spare you from. After a comedy of error few weeks where she held all the cards and nothing more chaste than a peck on the cheek occured, I realised I was merely a mental plaything for a woman whose culture was too fiery and hot for me to take on without becoming a raging loon, and I decided not to call on her, knowing that if I was this close to the edge after only a few weeks of knowing her, in a month I would be a helpless wreck completely obsessed with her. With a career in modelling to keep her busy, Katia didn't call on me again until one day a few months later, on new years eve 1999, when she appeared out of the blue on my doorstep. I let her in and the following conversation occured after only a few words exchanged between us -

Do you think I've put on weight

To which I jokingly replied

I can't tell because you've got all your clothes on.

Do you want me to take them off?

Somewhat nervously and unsure of what was happening-

If you want to.

She then whipped her kit off with all the speed of Abi Titmus on a lads mag shoot and sat on my lap, then asked me to take my trousers off for the purpose of inspecting an obvious part of my anatomy I will not detail here, but with the subtext as clear as day. However, being out of the loop with soap and the opposite sex for so long, meant that I managed to refuse her offer of getting naked and somehow or other bungled the chance of a mid afternoon new years eve 1999 encounter with a young and beautiful Brazillian model.

This was not a good omen for the rest of the evening, as I was left sitting in my pad wondering how I had let life slip to the point of becoming a completely inedpt idiot who was unable to avail of the most simple and obvious offers which came my way. With Katia gone and my spirit somewhat dampened, I decided to salvage one tiny crumb, by setting my timepiece exactly to the speaking clock and so witness the changeover from 1999 to 2000 with perfect precision.

That night, although it wasn't the real millenium, everyone was behaving as it was, but I ended up looking at my digital watch at 13 seconds past midnight on the street at the back of my garden, missing the change by 13 seconds, unable to even fulfill the one sad desire the night left.

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