Sunday, October 31, 2010

another council tenancy < slight return >

So. Here we are, then. Surrounded by a jumble of unopened boxes still, the lingering itch from a hastily amputated limb.

We packed the parachute before we leapt and slammed into the ground running.

The pregnant one rode out ahead of the marital bed, while I scuttled back and forth between floors and jettisoned all that seemed feasible. We reunited amidst a coil of soldering wire and commenced our tenancy before the school bells sprang a chime.

It took three weeks for an engineer to arrive and connect our phone. Another seven days before a replacement in overalls could be dispatched to correct the overlooked fault.

The line had shredded in its yellowed plastic jacket some time in the previous forty years. Between telegraph pole and bedroom window. And while the signal was intermittent, my ire at placing calls cloaked in crackle and drag was anything but. In these days of fibre optic cable - telecoms cabinets on every street corner - I had assumed those slowly rotting timbers were surely decorative. The second engineer resembled a hungover Glen Campbell in hard hat karaoke as I watched him emerge from the foliage by way of a steel ladder.

One clear October day before the ritual carving of the pumpkin.

Well. The DSL lamp is awake and constant now. Touch wood. The connection is made. It is altogether quieter out west here on the river. Too quiet, perhaps. Though the soundproofing is dreadful, it is as if our neighbours have adapted to this intrusion on their privacy by bedding down shortly after 10PM. If one strains one's ear - even marginally - one can follow a whispered conversation almost word for word. The floorboards squeak above our heads; below our feet.

I find myself pining at times for the dysfunctional pattern of muddling by on the 22nd floor. Insulated by concrete. The asbestos which erupted in a mushroom cloud when they brought our sibling crashing to its knees.

We snuck back on the subway to watch it coming down. They evacuated our old building, of course, but I spoke to a neighbour who barricaded himself in bed and rolled one fat one after another. Just to brace himself against the bang.

The klaxon sounded as we rode the escalator up to ground zero.

We were a street away when the detonators blew, three in quick succession. Shakin' Street. The MC5. The dust was all enveloping. It followed us as we crossed back over the river and clung to ligaments along the bridge and burrowed down into our throats.

Our noses were furred. The children's hair prematurely grey.

Overnight, I developed a hacking bronchial cough; aggravated by my digging into the floorboards at our new address with a ridiculous detail sander fit for windowsills and skirting boards at best. And the cigarettes. Always the cigarettes. Taxed to the butt from recession through depression.

The staple diet of the institutionalized and soon to be interred.

I will get used to the sudden quiet, I expect. Already I am lulled by it on early mornings when the rain falls like rustling paper where once it stuck like an angry slap. A wet towel or a razor strop.

The rest is likely errant nostalgia. A character defect.

Vic Godard: vocals;
MarkBraby (previously Sidi Bou Said): bass, acoustic guitar;
KevinYounger (Armitage Shanks): guitar, piano; organ;
GaryAinge (Felt/Gokart Mozart): drums, percussion.

Special Guest: Paul Cook on drums and percussion;
Guest Backing Vocalist: Simon Rivers.

Recordedby Jon Clayton at One Cat Studios South London,
Mastered by Dallas Masters.
Mixed and Produced by Jon Clayton and Vic Godard.

The ‘We Come as Aliens’ Tour kicks off with a couple of dates in Catalonia on 8th October,
The John Peel Festival Koln on 23rd, then Munster, Berlin, Hamburg,and Hanover 4-7 November.
Candy Apple red glass globe shade available from SeaGullLighting for $51.99,
Subway Sect
's "We Come As Aliens" for considerably less.

SUBWAY SECT: OUT OF OUR ZONE from "We Come As Aliens" CD / Ltd Edition Vinyl (Overground Records / GNU) 2010 (UK)