Category Archives: Letters from the city

You write a blog?

“you write a blog” a voice over my shoulder says “does anybody even read it, why bother with it, nobody is ever gonna take that thing seriously are they”.
I’m standing around my work desk with nothing to do so I’m writing blog ideas out when a costumer comes over to me and hovers over my shoulder to see what i’m writing and it’s nothing knew what he says, it’s something I’ve heard since starting a blog, I’ve even heard the same thing about writing the odd poem here and there what you writing? poetry? Why do that for?.
“Yeah, I write a blog, I like to write, it’s kinda the thing I want to do instead of working in a factory” I say to the costumer and he looks at me with eyes of confusion and a bright red face that’s not because of the cold outside “yeah but does anybody read it, seems abit of waste of time writing for the internet if nobody bothers to read it” he replies
“No, nobody reads It and I don’t care, if one person reads it, which the odd person does from time to time than that’s good enough for me, it’s a place I can put my writing on and if nobody reads i’m still going to carry on because I just like writing, do you need anyone to see you’re driving skills?”
“No”
“Well then it doesn’t matter, if you like it than keep doing it even if nobody see’s what you like to do, just keep doing it”.

I leave work later on with the thought of what the costumer said running through my head and I keep thinking about what he wanted to do when he was my age? What Ideas about his future did he have in his head while he was standing around a dusty factory? Maybe he wanted to be a pro footballer or a musician or even a writer himself.
I keep thinking why he didn’t chase one of those dreams he wanted and what he’s thinking now he’s having to drive around a van delivering paper to factories.
We can’t all make it and live out our dreams, we all get lost in the shuffle of the world of work. it would be amazing for that one phone call saying “here’s a magazine write whatever you want” or “bloggers wanted and we don’t care what you write about just write something by Friday” but that might not ever happen so i’m just going to write a silly blog of my own about random stuff that comes from my head and you never know one day that call or that email might come.
For now i’ll just continue rolling around with the machine and clock in at 6 every money and stand at my desk thinking about what the next idea might be. I think I might write about being yelled at by a jogger while riding my bike for not wearing a bloody helmet or I might write about the machine itself.

A brief Journey.

I was walking down the street, through the town centre and I came across all kinds of characters, all kind of well travelled folk. Walking past a pub at 7 in the morning and seeing a hung over Scottish chap with a baseball cap on with the words, fuck everything written across the top of it. He’s a big bloke, fat belly, un shaven, grey haired man and he’s mad. He’s pissed off because he’s hung over and it’s 7am and he can’t get in the pub. He bangs and bangs on the door and there’s no answer, he’s so pissed off he kicks the door and falls right onto his arse. He doesn’t move, he just lies on the ground and waves his hands in the air, like he’s a ghost reaching out for the angels coming down to pull him upto heaven. He rolls onto his front and pushes himself up and goes back to the door, but he doesn’t do anything, he just puts his hand gently on the door and leans there, staring, he does nothing but stare at it. After a few minutes he stops staring and he pulls down his brown jeans, his black pants and starts to pee all over the door, he starts to laugh likes this is funniest thing that he’s ever done in his life. He pulls up his pants and jeans, laughs once more and gives the door the V sign and in his thick Scottish accent shouts fock you and he walks by me and smiles and heads into the off licence across the road.

I just continue walking, smiling to myself with the thought of the Scottish man pissing up a doorway burnt into head, and then she catches my vision, a small middle aged woman with a black shirt and a long black skirt, she’s handing out leaflets and nobody is reaching out for one. Every person she hands out the piece of paper to just walk by her like she doesn’t exist, she’s invisible, she’s silent to them. I walk over to her and reach out my hand and she hands me one of her leaflets. I read the top “Do you have Jesus in your life”, I smile and say thanks and go to walk away and she speaks up with a squeak.
“Well, do you have Jesus in your life”
“No, I don’t, I’m not a believer”
“Of course you believe, everyone believes”
“No, I really don’t believe, but I’ll read your leaflet anyway”
She has a face of shock and wonder, she can’t believe it, she doesn’t understand that someone doesn’t believe what she believes.
“But, you have to believe, you have to believe in something”
“I believe in people”
“But don’t you believe in the soul”
“Sure I believe in the soul, but not the type of soul you believe, the soul you believe in is just as powerful as the soul I believe in”.
She puts her head in her hands and smiles and laughs and shakes her head, I don’t know whether she agrees with me or thinks I’m going to hell.
“Well I hope your soul stays strong, I hope you can be saved”
“Thank you, I’ll look over this leaflet, I promise”.
And I walk away as she carries on handing out her leaflets, and everyone passes by, still blanking her like a white sheet of paper, but she stays strong and keeps on going as I make my way to the bus stop.

Sitting on the bus waiting for it to take off, I stare out the window at a mum and dad and their young son standing waiting to step foot onto the bus. The mum and dad are arguing over something, but the young boy just stares at his phone, his tiny fingers tapping on the screen, he’s gone, he doesn’t hear a thing behind h s him parents silently yell at each other. The stop up on the bus and all goes quiet, neither of them look at each other, they pair the fair and move on down the aisle way of the bus, the boys focus are still fixed on the phone screen as he takes his seat near me at the back of the bus, his parents sit in-between of him and his mum lays her hand on short blonde hair as she continues to silently argue with his dad. I peak over a little to see what the kid is playing but he spots me and he pulls away and gives me an evil stare, it’s the only time his eyes move away from his phone screen, and he just continues to tap and tap at the game. His mum gently strokes his head his parents get louder, they seem to be fighting over money, bills and rent. Out of nowhere the dad throws up his arms and his shopping bad falls to the ground, he mouths fuck this and presses the bell and walks to the end of the bus while the mum starts to produce a small tear in her eye as she turns to look at her son, whos eyes are still glued to the phone screen, still tapping, still playing his game. His lost in his own world, the surroundings down exist to him. His mum smiles as his dad gets off the bus and walks off down the road. The bus is silent now, only the sound of the bus is the air.

Walking into the shop after getting of the bus I look around at the people behind the till and the only thought that comes to mind is all life has been sucked out of them. As they scan away and tab up the price on their tills I can see the drain and boredom in their eyes, and their dull pale faces. They look like robots set on programme 1 and just placed in front of the till, they have no emotion at all and only respond with the price and a thank you, heres the receipt. I walk up to till number 6, and stand in front of sandy, she doesn’t look as bored as the others but still has a face like shes thinking “I just want to die, atleast a sip of vodka might help and if the world ended it would be great, my life is meaningless, I just want to watch Jeremy Kyle”. She scans my pack of Budweiser and Jack Daniels
“£32.50”
I hand over the money and she replies with a thank you and hands me the change and the receipt and I walk away from the till and leave sandy in all her boredom. I try to think when she will finish and what life she has outside of this place, does she enjoy herself, with the bored look on her face I can only think she rather be drinking down a bottle of vodka on a beach in Ibiza while watching topless men walk by. I bet that’s what Sandy wants to do. But instead she has to sit behind a till for 8 hours a day scanning food she doesn’t eat and drinks she doesn’t drink and dealing with awkward people who couldn’t give a fuck about her. I know where I’d rather be, Id rather be out here.

I start to walk home with beer and whiskey with the sound of champagne supernova coming from a window above the post office next to the shop I was. I get to the traffic lights and I notice a man about my age wearing jeans and a scruffy t-shirt walking his dog, a large staff. The dog stops and then takes a long poo next to a bin and the man walks away from it leaving the poo to sit in the sun. A woman from the bank walks out and spots the man and his dog and notices the fresh brown turd laying peacefully on the floor. She runs over the man and taps him on the shoulder and says to him “You going to pick up your dogs shit?”
“I don’t have any poo bags love”
“Well you can’t just leave the shit on the street like that it’s not right”
“Look, I don’t have any poo bags love, what do you expect me to do pick it with my hands and put it in the fucking bin”
“There’s a shop over the road you can go by one”.
I walk over the road as the lights turn green as the full blown war over dog shit is reaching it’s peak. “I don’t have any money on me love to by bags, I’ve only come out to give him a pissing walk” that man says to the woman.
“Well you should have thought about that before you came out”
“I fucking forgot, I don’t want him shitting around the house, now piss off and go bank to work you stupid bint”
“Don’t talk to me like that”
“Oh fuck off” and the man walks off dragging his dog along with him and the woman walks back into the bank as I walk on by. The poo will just have to remain in the street for the time being and cook in the sun.

I walk through my front door, i’m finally home. When  I walk through the door I find a package on the floor and I pick it up and open it. It’s my Hunter S Thompson book. I go up to the bedroom put top gear on, sit on the bed and crack open a beer and start turning the pages of the book. But the room is to hot so I go to the window and open it up and that’s when I hear crashes and bangs and screaming coming from down the road. I poke my head out of the window to see what’s going and I young woman is throwing everything out of her house. T.v, Microwave, radio and an X Box all out onto the front lawn. “You’re a fucking cunt, get the fuck out of my house” screams a woman as she walks by a man twice her size, giving a slap for good measure “I don’t want to see your fat arse again, fuck off”. The man remains silent, he just gets into his black Volvo and skids away and out of view leaving all his shit on the lawn. I sit back down on the bad and forget about my book and beer and I fall sleep watching the show.
I wake up an hour later with the sound of more smashing and crashing and I look out the window. The mans back and this time the his lady smashing his Volvo to pieces. She’s got a golf club and she’s banging the shit out the side of it. All the windows have been smashed in, front and back and all the door windows and now she’s turned her attention to the doors. “I’ll fuck your car up cunt” she screams. The man comes running out of the house with a bag and dodges all his shit which is still lying on the lawn like a war zone. He runs out the gate grabs his lady and smacks her right across the face. It was a big fucking slap that only Mike Tyson would be proud of “you can fuck right off” he says as she lays laughing on the floor and he runs of up the street and disappears.
A group of girls come running from across the road, they have been watching the whole event infold and they help the lady up “Just fuck off and leave me alone” she screams in their faces and she runs off in home and slamming the front door and the girls just walk away slowly up the street.
I look at the destruction left behind, it’s like an Oliver Stone movie. Smashed t.v’s and game consoles and glass all over the road from the smashed up car. Only thing missing is bullet holes in the walls of the house and the sound of police sirens echoing in the distance.

It’s too overwhelming, too much savagery for one day so I decide to take my book and sit in the back garden with hopes that I can chill out a little and wake up at the same time. I make myself a whiskey cocktail, two shots of whiskey, lemonade and limeade and a touch of sugar. I call it the energy. So I take the energy and relax in the yard and start reading Thompson. That’s when more destruction comes my way.
I hear the sound of large car speeding and it’s engine revving at high velocity, the sound of it’s tires screeching like wild birds. The sound gets louder and louder, I hear turn onto my street and that’s when the driver hits and the breaks and a loud boom breaks through the air.
It sounds like’s its come to a crashing halt right outside my house so I jump out of my chair throwing my book on the floor and almost spilling my drunk and run through the house and out the front door. I can hear the sound of a light hum, a resting engine as I run to the gate.
I look to the left and I see that a Land Rover has crashed into the neighbours fence, and the driver has gotten out and gone to knock on the door the door, the cars front barely looks damage a small bit of smoke comes from underneath but it doesn’t look like it will explode into a ball of flames anytime soon, if it did it would certainly bring people out of their homes and away from watching loose women .I hear the knocking on the door so I leave the seen and head towards to the upstairs window for a better view of the scene.
I notice when I arrive at the window skid marks all over the road, it looks like the guy has skidded at great speed out the way of something and into the neighbours perfectly preserved fence which has now been destroyed by this freak driver, he’s possibly on some form of narcotic, I notice the man’s face as he walks out of what’s left of the gate with the next door neighbour that he has a crazed look in his eye he must be on some type of upper, speed, ecstasy he’s got a party going on during the early afternoon and his cheeks are bright red, not sun burnt red but the red that you get when your blood pressure has risen above the line of all things comfortable. He’s not a big man either, a small man at that maybe my height, 5′ 6 but he’s stocky but he thought he could ride out the high he’s on by going on a crazed rampage through the streets on the afternoon.
I open the window a little to hear the conversation between the two men “you’re gonna have to pay for this fence mate” says my neighbour “I know you were running late we all do but you’ve obviously gone abit faster than you thought you were going and it’s back fired on you”
“don’t worry, i’ll pay for everything” says the drug fanatic and he pulls out a huge hand full of notes, I can make out £50 notes and the only people who own a lot of property and spend the majority of their time staying awake for 5 days and play chess with the Cadburys gorilla.
“Put your money away for now pal, just give me your number and i’ll phone you and you can come back round here and give me the money when I know how much it will cost” says the neighbour and a calm way, he brushes his fingers through his hair as the crazed driver pulls out his phone and hands over his details.
They both nervously shake hands and the driver gets back into his car backs away from the fence making a crunching and crushing sound as he pulls away and he slowly drives up the street, his car now barely making a noise as he moves.
My neighbour stands over the seen, assessing the utter destruction caused, his wife comes out to look and see’s what’s happened and puts her hands over her face and shakes her head.
They both go back inside leaving the scene and leaving the fence to sit in it’s ruins and I leave the window and go back outside into the garden to calm down, to hopefully get away from the all the madness that is unfolding today.
When I get back outside my book as a snail on it and my glass of energy has fallen on the floor and I don’t know how but I notice that my cat is in the corner of the garden and looks shaken, I sense a feeling of fear from her, she’s sitting with all wide eyed looking at me and slow shaking.
I walk over to her but she panics and runs into the house, I have no idea where she’s been but I think maybe she’s the one that’s caused all this madness with the driver, maybe she caught his drug crazed eye and that’s why the skids in the middle of the road swerved and caused the man to crash. It’s the cats fault and now she’s cost the neighbour a fence and put the fear of cats into the heart of the driver of the car, that’s if he believes that it was all real, maybe he will wake up tonight after sleeping off his high and think he was hallucinating and saw a cat in the middle of the road and thought that he crashed into someone’s fence.
It’s going to be a very interesting phone call for the driver in the next couple of days.

I go back inside the house, hopefully to avoid any more madness and finally find some calm and then phone rings.
I pick it up and the voice on the other end says “You never guess what’s happened”.

 

………

This is fake blog and the character Ste Harris is entirely fictional and the writings in this blog are fictional. Some writes may be based around real places and real people but the stories are pieces of fiction and should not be taken literally.
As well,  the views and opinions expressed in this blog by the people in them do not come from a personal or private place and should again be viewed as apart of a story.

Skegness City

I get off the coach around 11:00am in Skegness. I decided that morning that i wasn’t going to sit around all day listening to rock and roll, i would go to the bus station and take a trip to the seaside. The coach trip seemed short mainly due to falling sleep for the an hour and half of the journey and only waking up to the sound of a screaming kid desperate for the toilet “We’ll be there in a minute then you go to the toilet” his mum said and the kid shut up and sat down.
After getting off the coach I walk over to a rail so I can get out a bottle of water out before i carry on walking, i’ll save the beers for later. The sun is blazing down and the town is packed with people. Oversized men stand with their wives and children licking ice cream with tongues like lizards and wiping away the melted cream from their hands, it melts on their hands like wax from a candle and only made worse with the blazing sun up above and drinking blue flavoured pop that starts the teeth rotting process as soon as it enters the mouth.

I walk around the town looking at the arcades and shops. Three of the arcades from my childhood have now gone, one burnt down 2007 and is now being built into a restaurant which has been under construction for the past 6 years. Rusty coloured bars and half done walls is all that stands on the construction site where the arcade once stood bringing in punters from all over the country. One of the newly built arcades that was built next to the grounds of the burnt out arcade has now closed. But the ex service men’s club still stands next to the popular fish and chip shop near the clock tower, not even picking up any damage. Old men come out with pipes smelling of brown ale and they walk past the arcades and not even look inside them, they are used to the sound and smells of the place now. The sea air gone to their heads and have started to age around the culture of holiday makers and loud noises.
I spend 30 minutes in one of the arcades still standing trying to me win my girlfriend a minion, one of those strange little fat creatures from the film Despicable Me. I spent £35 on the bastard and I couldn’t pick it up with the claws so I give up and leave and here famous rock and roll music coming from the guitar hero game sitting in the corner as I walk out the door.
I start making my way towards the beach and I walk past one of the arcades that has now been boarded up with ply wood and I see a homeless man sitting at the wall with an old bean tin and a hat and cardboard cut out with the words “change please, even the smallest would help” written on it and leaning up again the wall next to him. I rummage around my pocket and pull out what ever is left of my change and put £3 in his tin “Thanks mate, only person today who’s even bothered to look at me” he said with a sigh and a sad look behind his blood shot eyes. And he was right, his hat and his tin were empty, it looked like nobody had stopped to even give him a 2p that they didn’t bother to spend on the 2p machine. They just walked by him like he was nothing looking for the next arcade or rock shop or chip shop to spend money in. The £3 probably won’t even get him some seafood from one of the stalls on the sea front.

I start walking to the sea front in search of alcho slushy’s I keep hearing about. I walk over the road and past the clock town and spot a small protest going on. UKIP supporters are standing near the crazy hold course chanting and shouting about Immigrants and the EU. “WE HAVE THE MAJORITY SEATS IN THIS DISTRICT SO LETS MAKE IT MORE” shouts a lady with a megaphone and a union flag. A small crowd that’s gathered in front of them give out a small cheer and applause while people walk by with even looking into the direction of the protest. “Idiots” a woman says while walking past me “Absolute twats”.
I make it to the stall selling alcho slushy’s and get myself an apple and JD slushy. Taking the first sip I realised it’s not worth the £6 I paid for it. It doesn’t work, the apple and ice don’t flow well with the JD and the JD is too strong for the sweetness of it. It taste like the morning after a really bad party. I melt it down as I walk back towards the shops, I can hear the music of the arcades rolling down the street.
I down the melted apple and JD slush and I grab some warm prawns and add an assortment of condiments to it. Vinegar, salt, black pepper and prawn cocktail sauce can bring out the best of flavours to a tray of prawns. But I immediately regret the warm prawns, nothing fishy in this heat should be eaten under any circumstance, fish should never be consumed during a heat wave. What season is it? I was the only who looks to have bought something from the fish stall that day. Trays of fish, muscles, cockles, winkles and jellied eels still sat under the sneeze guard. I must be the only poor bastard to have taken the chance to turn my guts into liquid shit.

I make my way to the rock shop, I’ve been told I need to pick my sticks of rock for everyone and like a jubilee I have to keep the tradition alive. I walk past the boarded up arcade and I notice the homeless man has gone but his hat remains on the floor and people walk by it without the care in their minds of who’s it might be.
I walk into the rock shop and I start to walk around. The smell of sweets and the sight of dick lollies brings old memories back.
I buy the rock and I leave and I head towards the pub. The heat has set in and I need a drink. I walk around the clock tower and find a pub.
I get a pint of Guinness and I sit outside and listen to the music coming from inside the pub and I look around at the young faces as Cryin’ by Roy Orbison is playing on the jukebox and none of them seem to get what’s going on, they don’t understand what they are hearing from the speakers. “What’s this shit, oh my god it’s bad” I hear a young bloke sitting behind say. Nobody even knows him anymore, it’s rare that anyone at my age would even know who that man is, his music is starting to be forgotten, lost in a time while new music and new sounds take over the air waves of the radio.
I leave the pub and stat heading towards the coach and I look over at the UKIP protest and the crowd of people that have gathered around it and the spot where the homeless man once sat. The arcades that once stood proudly and accepting small change from the willing public and I think to myself as that it’s just not the same anymore.

It became my thing.

At the age of 9 I was playing this game called Raw, a pro wrestling game on the Nintendo 64. It became my favourite game for a none gamer at the time, it was all I played. Everyday I ran home from school, turn on the console and sit on the bed and play. Stone Cold became my favourite. But on one sad Tuesday when I get home from school I couldn’t find it. The day before I took the game to a friends house to show the greatness of this game, he was a proper gamer, he would sit for hours and hours player all kinds of crap that I wasn’t interested in but I would sit and play them with him and lose most of the time. So I decided to take Raw round to him to show him and he fell in love with it, I didn’t get home till about 9 at night.
So when I got home on the Tuesday I realised I had left the game round my friends house, so I put my coat back on and legged it like an Olympic athlete round to his house.
I got to his house in record breaking speed that only Usain Bolt would be proud of and I banged on his door. When he opened I said while out of breath “I think… I left.. raw around.. here.”
“No, no you didn’t, you took it home with you yesterday when you left”. I could see the lies in his eyes, I knew I didn’t take it home, I forgot it “well can I come in and have a look for it just incase I forgot it”
“ok, come in”.
So I ran upstairs and into his bedroom and it was nowhere to be seen “see I told you, not here” my friend said, but I knew he was lying. But I left anyway, I knew if I called him out on his bullshit I could break up the friendship, so I just walked out and said ok and I took a slow walk home.
When I walked through the door I realised I would never see the game again and I didn’t. Eventually my dad stopped playing it, he would stop playing Goldeneye and F1 Racing and the Nintendo would never be played again, it would eventually be put into the attic and collect dust.

5 weeks later and It was coming to the end of the summer holidays and I get up early one Friday morning, the sun shines through my curtains as I get up out of bed so I can go and watch cartoons. I run down the stairs and burst through the living room door with hopes of putting Pink and The Brain on, my favourite cartoon at the time (it was pre Simpsons). But sitting on the side near the telly was a VHS tape and it saying Unforgiven live 1999 and a note at the side from my dad who had gone work “A late birthday present for you, Dad”. The best presents I get were either music or videos tapes so I get all excited. I press eject on the tape and take out Independence Day and I put this video in and I press play.
The first image that pops up is Kane, the 7 foot monster from the game Raw, but it not a game it’s the real thing. Then I see The Rock and Stone Cold and Mankind and I can’t believe what I’m seeing, the game is a real thing, they are real. So I just sit in front of the t.v and watch. I see wrestlers I never heard of who weren’t in the game. Edge and Christian, Chris Jericho, Mark Henry and who the hell Gangrel? The Dudley Boyz? I just kept thinking this is so much better than the game, they’re real, all of them.

The final is this thing called a six pack challenge for the world title with Stone Cold on commentary. The Rock v Kane (he’s read) v Triple H v Mankind v Big Show v British Bulldog. That’s when my mum walks through the living room door and notices the Bulldog “Who’s that? He’s nice”
“I don’t know, he’s some bulldog guy”
“Your nana used to love this stuff, she used to wet herself laughing at Les Kellet”.
I don’t know who’s talking about so I just carry on watching the match.
In the end the match went to Triple H and I just boo at the screen, I really didn’t want this loser to win, I remembered him from the game, he was abit of an idiot, but he looks different in real life. Stone Cold then gets in the ring as Triple H poses around the ring and then he gets in Stone Colds face. Stone Cold out of nowhere hits with a kick and drops his jaw right onto his shoulder and I jump out of my chair with excitement and ran around the living room and almost knocking my sister over as she walked through the door with a bowl of cereal. I remember that I did the same move in the game to Owen Hart (I didn’t know what happened at the time) and when I did I jumped out my chair then.
The show the finished and the first thing I did was press rewind and I watched it all over again.

The summer holidays ended and I returned to school and the first thing I could talk about to the little friends that I had was this wrestling thing, I just wouldn’t shut up about it. I told them that for the last couple of days all I was doing was watching this thing called Unforgiven. They talked about how they all played football and went on holidays to Spain. But, I didn’t care about all that, I played football and went on holiday too but I thought about was those last couple of days watching Stone Cold drop Triple H. I told them all about the kennel from hell match, a cage within a cage surrounded by Rottweiler’s and how stupid and yet how fun it was and how Mankind and Kane were real, they were actually real. That’s when one of the kids, Wayne the spotty kid who thought he knew everything and liked to bully girls said “You know it’s fake, they don’t really hurt each other”
“But they are real, I saw them”
“No, they are all friends, my dad said”
“I don’t care what your dad says, it’s real and so are they”
“Those tables they get put through are fake and so are the chairs”
“Good for them and for you, I still like it and I know it’s still real” I said and it ended the conversation I had with Wayne.

17 years later and I finish up watching WWE Battleground and things have changed a little. I don’t have Unforgiven 1999 on VHS anymore, I just need to click on a link on the WWE Network and I can find it easy, and I all I have to do is plug the lap top into the back of the t.v and I can watch it just fine. I found it nothing is real in the world of pro wrestling and that not all of them really get along backstage. Owen Hart had died a couple of months before unforgiven and the kennel from hell match really was a piece of shit.
I still watch like now and it’s just not the same but I can’t help myself, I know Summerslam this year isn’t really something i’m looking forward too, but I bet i’ll still stay up till one in the morning with a can of booze and still watch it.

Here we go again.

It’s a Saturday evening and I’m on my way to a house party and pre drinks with a friend, Sam. When we arrive I say to Sam “Will I know anybody in here?”
“No you won’t but don’t worry”.
We knock on the door and we are let in and greeted with beers and bags of food and my friend Sam says this is Dave and he shakes my hand and shows me to the kitchen where there is a beer pong game under way “You two want to play” says Dave
“We’ll play later” Sam says.
I stand in the corner minding my own business as Sam makes his way around the kitchen saying hello to everyone and then Dave turns to everyone and says shall we put the TV on for abit and a small cheer from around the kitchen is let out. The beer pong game comes to a stop and  we all make our way into the living and Dave turns on The X Factor and a mixture of a boos and cheers flows through the room and we all sit around and watch the first episode of the new X Factor. I take a seat at the back of the room and drink my beer and listen into everyone making a conversation about the show. A lad at the front sitting under the TV says “Do we really have to watch this shit Dave?”
“Yeah we do, it’s the best show on telle. We can watch this and then we can put some music on after” says Dave.
“It’s a piece of shit show, look at them they all look like their faces have been moulded together by wax”
“just watch the bloody show, it wont be on for long”.

A lad called Christian comes on for an audition and gets the usual 4 yeses “Well I think we all knew he was going to go through didn’t we” says the lad at the front “sob story and a few tears and that’s all that it needed”
“But he can sing though” the girl next to him says.
“Ah well, still got through cause he looked abit pretty and he told a sad story”.
A lad sitting on the floor in front of me with a hat on and a half a bottle of rum says “You know this whole damn show is about judging people, good or bad, how you look and what you’re wearing”
“Well der” says Dave”
“Here me out” says the drunk lad “All its doing is making people who like the show judge people who aren’t X Factor type singers, as soon a rock band comes on the show they will always say “well they are shit and they look like tramps” and then people who hate the show like you at the front will say “oh here we go, it’s the X Factor, just pretty people who have singing training come on and win and talk about all the bad things that have happened to them in their lives” blah blah blah, you’re just as bad as each other”.
He then walks off into the kitchen and grabs another beer and Dave turns the TV off and says “That’s about enough of that, lets just go play beer pong before we all start having a big fight over some singing show” and we all go back into the kitchen to carry on the drinking games.

We go back into the kitchen and the rest of the group of people continue their game of beer pong and I take my place back in the corner and I sit on a stool that’s located next to a collection of peanuts. I listen in to a conversation between a lad and a girl who arrived while we were watching the X Factor and they have heard about the near argument that took place in the living and they are continuing the discussion between themselves. “I can’t stand that show” says the lad “it’s full of fakes”
“It’s all full of fakes all of TV” says the girl
“I know, they’re all pretend on that dancing show too”
“Strictly comes dancing?”
“Yeah that one, I don’t like that either”
“That’s ok, it’s only dancing and you know there will always be a crap one on that show, no sob stories on it”
“Still fakes though”
Yeah, but I like it”.
Dave comes over to the girl and lad and sits with them “you two talking about the X Factor now aswell” he says
“Yeah, it’s crap” says the lad and the girl just replies with “Strictly is ok”.
A lad with the hat on with an empty  bottle of comes over and says “I can’t believe it’s come to this people still arguing over shows about judgement, it’s destroyed music. All it’s done has made both sides judge everything, whether it’s music or fucking TV or even twating dancing”. He stumbles back into the doorway and turns to everyone “I think the taxi’s are here”.
Dave gets up and goes to the front door and shouts “taxi’s are here”

We all head outside to see 7 taxis lined up one after the other. Dave tells me and Sam to get in the front one and the other will jump in the rest.
We get in the taxi and the driver tells us to pay up front “You’re gonna have to pay up front lads, too many taxis and every ones abit rowdy” so we hand over the cash and we start to move for the town.
“You lads having a good night” says the taxi driver
“Yeah we are having a good night, every ones just arguing about the X Factor” says Sam
“Oh is that one again”
“Yeah it is” I said with a sigh
“I always used to go to gigs, always. Every weekend I used to go but now I only go every couple of months but every time I go everyone seems to be a judge on the X Factor. Everyone is criticising how a band looks, sounds, plays. They can’t just enjoy the gig. And every time I speak to one of those people they seem to all hate shows like that but seems to act the same as the judges do. It’s ruined everything”. He drops us next to all the other taxis and we get out and join the others and we walk towards the first pub.
We walk past a busker before we go into the first place and we surround him like a gang of vultures and join in with his collection of musical classics. We provide the backing vocals to hits like Champagne Supernova and Bittersweet Symphony and even old school favourites like Wannabe and Tragedy. After about 15 minutes of singing it feels like the atmosphere has gone weak and dead and we are all craving the first drink in the pub. We say goodbye and laugh as we walk away but I notice that the buskers hat is empty so I put in a ten pound note and I shake his hand and say “that was fun mate” and he nods at me and smiles a toothless grin and i go and join the group of 15 and go into the pub where the Xtra Factor is on the TV coming back from the commercial break.
I notice the busker through the window of the pub, he picks up his hat and put its on his head tapping it down softly and then he puts away his guitar. He walks away opening a can a beer as he moves and a voice from somewhere down the street shouts from the dark ” Maybe you should go on the X Factor”.

Broken finger.

I sit down in the hospital and i’m in A&E and I’m nursing a broken finger. I fell down in the Firebug pub after ordering my first pint of Guinness. I was there to see a Beatles tribute band, Bootleg Beatles. I’ve been told countless times by people that they are the best tribute act going around and when I heard they were playing the Firebug I had to go see them. So I order my drink and I walk away from the bar and I trip over my untied shoelace and my face headed towards the floor. As I tried to break my fall my middle finger bent to the side and I felt a sharp crunch and I let out a sound like a roost of bats. My pint of Guinness shattered on the floor and the black stuff spread around like sick. The whole bar turned around and looked to see where the high pitched noise and shatter of glass had come from and they couldn’t see a thing but a group of men standing around looking at the floor. I was picked up off the ground and a man in a trilby holds my arm up and looks at my hand and they noise of what could only be the sound of cats hissing echoes around the pub. “That’s a broken finger, mate” the man said and he orders me to the hospital.
Now I’m here, in A&E and I’m I looking around at the devastation that surrounds me. Kids with blood over their faces, old ladies with taped up arms and legs and teenagers holding their ankles with football boots on. It seems to me likes it’s the waiting room for a preview of the last rites. I feel like my injury is useless somehow, like it’s not worthy of any sympathy at all.
A man sits down next to me with a flat nose, blood around his mouth and a bloody bandage around his hand. I noticed him pacing up and down near the reception area when I walked in to the hospital. “What’s happened to you?” he says to me with a growl and the stench of whiskey comes pouring out of his mouth as he says it
“This I’ve broke my finger” I say nervously and he looks down at my hand just to see if I really have a broken finger.
“Your fingers look a little bruised don’t they”
“They fucking hurt too”
“I got into a fight with the missus, I got home late and she punched me right on the nose and broke my noise, then she broke a glass and she decided to chuck it straight at me and I cut all my hand up, and I don’t know how but I bit my lip too”
“It does look pretty bad mate”
“I’ll be alright when I get seen, I’ve been in here for 2 and a half hours and nothing”. A man in a white coat comes walking over to us and says to the man whos in the fight “can you come with me sir”
“It’s about fuckin’ time, I’ve been here for 2 and half hours and I’ve not had one drink and in my bloody pain” the man in the fight says. He walks off with the man in the coat and through a wooden doors and out of my sight and I sit their in the waiting room and wait for my turn to be seen.

After sitting here for nearly an hour a man is wheeled in a wheel chair. On old Indian man wearing a high vis jacket and brown trousers and he’s clutching his heart. Two young men that look like his sons wheel him up to the reception desk and start talking to the receptionist. They’re out of breath with worried looks on their faces, they keep tapping and whispering into the ear of the old man. After about 30 seconds two doctors come running through the brown doors behind me and wheel him back through them. They shoot passed me like lightning and I can hear one of the doctors say “it’s going to be ok”. The two young men follow behind, the worried look on their faces turns into shock and fear as they chase behind the old man and the doctors.
I listen in on a conversation between an old man and a younger man sitting in front of me. “That’s another Muslim put first before me” says the young boy, wearing a Nike t-shirt and seemingly nothing wrong with him other than a red hand. “Oh arr” says the old man “They put them first over all of us”
“I’ve been waiting for hours, I’ve cut my thump on a knife and I’ve been waiting for bloody 3 hours now and I’ve still not been seen but these lot get seen before me” says the young man. The old taps him on his shoulder and says “I’m waiting for my wife to come out, she only got seen about an hour ago and they wouldn’t let me in, we were waiting for over 2 hours us selves”. “Mr Rodgers” says a young voice from the back of us “your wife is waiting for you, can you come with me” the old man then gets up and shakes the young mans hand and leaves, walking past me as he adjusts his brown flat cap and with a small smile on his face.

It’s half 2 in the morning and I’ve been waiting to be seen for 3 hours now and I feel like i’m ready to give up. My mouths dry and my hand has gone numb, so numb it wouldn’t last holding a pint glass for even a second. I think about the man being wheeled by in the wheel chair, where is he now? Where’s the young man who got battered until bloody by his girlfriend and where’s the old man with the flat cap.
I go to stand up when I notice the TV in the corner has the news on. A teenage boy and his mum sit behind me, the boy has broke his arm, it sounds like he fell down the stairs while going for a drink in the middle of the night. “Cut’s to the NHS will cause problems” says the man in the TV. “It’s not the cuts it’s the system” screams a man being interviewed on the news. “Junior DOCTORS!” says a young student.
“You see Dil, you’re lucky we are here now because this place won’t have hardly any money soon and that means your arm might fall off. So you glad you came” Says the mum
“Yeah, I guess” the son says.
I give up waiting and I get up and leave. I look around the A&E section of the hospital and it’s not as crowded as it once was. There is still a women in the corner that I spotted when I first walked in, she had her foot on the chair and now it’s on the floor and she’s asleep. The room is small too, maybe it’s the lack of sleep or the walls have moved in. The nurses have changed, the clipboards with doctor have changed and the canteen at the front has now closed.
As I leave an old lady is wheeled past me in a wheel chair clutching her head which is covered in blood and she’s moaning. What looks like her daughter or granddaughter is clutching her hand. A young doctor comes running out, with dark under his eyes and greets her and says “come with me, you’ll be fine”.

Fire on the Island.

I’m laying on the bed in my room nursing a sore head, I spent most of last night dancing and mosh pitting in a nightclub and downing plenty of triple vodka and Vimto’s. I’m watching Jack Nicholson fall into a tank full of green liquid and that’s when I hear the sound of a fire engine go by my house, bright colours of blue lights flash on my bedroom wall like the blue of the ocean. It makes my head ring, the sound sends waves of noise through my brain making it rattle and it bangs against my skull.
I pull myself up while holding my eyes and I go to the window and open the curtains to see what the hell is going on.  A fire engine and 3 police cars have parked up on the roundabout island at the corner of the street and a large crowd has gathered near by. People in white vest and blue shorts, kids on bikes and men in Leicester City FC shirts standing around. People put Coronation Street on pause and come out their homes and stand on the front lawn, leaning on the their fences to catch a glimpse of the fire engine on the corner of the street.

A white van is on fire, yellow and orange flames shoot out the front window and black smoke comes out of the back of it. The firemen move quickly and get out the hose to put out the fire. When they start to spray the van with water a small cheer from the crowd echoes out and kids on their bikes pull wheelies down the street in excitement with what’s happening. The kids were just getting ready for a football game on the park and everyone was sitting down to watch Corrie but somethings happening that they all want to see and get out of their homes for.
The firemen seem to have trouble putting the fire out as a the fire now spreads underneath the van and then a small explosion crackles out from the back and it sends the crowd scattering around the estaste. Kids drop their bikes and run for cover in peoples gardens, people in the gardens run back in home and men in football shirts run onto the park. The firemen and the police run to their vehicles as the flames grow and shoot out the back of the van and underneath. Small patches of flames spread across the island and into the trees. The firemen rush and put the small patches out and then return to the van. The kids, the men return to the scene, this time at a safe distance and the people in houses come back out to take their place at the fence to continue their viewing of the event unfolding.

A girl on her phone walks by my house and stops to watch the flaming van burn and I overhear what she says “O.M.G Craig, a fucking van has just bloody exploded in front of me. A fucking fire engine is trying to put it out and it’s bloody exploded. I was walking down the street playing Pokémon Go and all I heard was this shitting loud bang and I could see smoke coming over the house yeah and i’m standing on the street looking at this fucking van on fire and loads of people are standing around it”. She missed half of the excitement, she walked into the event like turning up late to a movie, you’re not going to get the full experience if you turn up late to the cinema. You might aswell just leave. And that’s what she does, she puts he phone and walks on by, taking small glances at the burning van as she walks away.

After about an hour the firemen finally put the fire out and they leave. The police put tape around the remains of the van to block it off from people interfering with the crime scene and a group of around 4 police officers stand by and tell people interested in the situation to walk away and go back home “there is nothing to see”. I walk down stairs to see my dad on the front at the fence speaking to one of the neighbours. I hear what’s being said “I heard this bloody big skid and a crash and blokes shouting and then I hear a window smash. I come outside and see the bloody van on the island and smoke coming from the front of it, and then flames started to pop out, right where the window used to be. I was speaking to Viola and she said she saw 3 lads running across the park, they got out the van and smashed the front window and poured something in it and set it on bloody fire” says the neighbour “I couldn’t believe it, I just finished watching a film bored as hell and then all this happens, they all need stringing up the lot of em”.
“I know they do, they wont catch the bastards though I bet, they better not go after my tomatoes if they don’t, i’ll av’ the little bleeders” says my dad with a stern snarl.
“Ill see you later mate” says my neighbour
“See you in abit Pal” and my dad comes walking in and repeats what I heard and says to me “The lot of em need ringing up around their necks”.

The next morning I look out of the window and the van has gone. All that’s left on the green of the island is a black circle where the van once burned and black patches sit around the island. Neighbours walk over to the island to take a view of the scene and talk about what happened the day before. They stand and chat while holding shopping bags, laughing while talking about the events that unfolded yesterday evening. The kids that rode around on bikes come peddling over to the island and ride over the black spots that sit on the grass and they point and laugh and ride away.
A police man with a clipboard walks down the street knocking on doors asking questions about the fire. He goes over to the people that crowd around the black patches and asks them if they know anything. He comes over to my house and knocks on the door.