the same feeling

now playing: let’s go by stuck in the sound

how to be interesting:

it’s simple
either… read about interesting shit
or… do interesting shit

for example
i spent my christmas making magazine collages of the word FUCK, and contemplating suicide

on the good days
on the other days i didn’t make anything

i read instead.

It’s all just so, so adequate. 


this post. 
my life. 

this is the adequate tuesday afternoon of posts. 
mine is the adequate tuesday afternoon of lives. 

so why am i here?
why are you here?

and more to the point, if this is not your first time
why are you here… again?

well, sometimes it’s reassuring to know exactly what you’re getting. 

so say the UK’s largest hotel brand. and with eight hundred hotels (standard late-stage monopoly scenario), they should know. they should know. 

did you know that you could sleep in a different copy-paste premier inn bedroom every night for the next 200 years*, and never repeat yourself? sort of. seventy-two thousand rooms. 

*subject to availability. and the unlikely continuance of civilisation (and premier inn).

this is also, coincidentally, the approximate number of times, per day, that i was subjected to a premier inn advert, back in my radio listening days. i knew every slogan. every jingle. every song too, since nowadays most, if not all, major radio stations in the UK operate a playlist-only policy, so you know exactly… well, you know the rest. 

despite, or perhaps because of, this incessant psychological strafing, this mental machine-gunning, this brutal blitz-esque brain bombardment, something about this one stuck with me. on the surface it seems so… not sinister. 

i get it – sometimes it is reassuring to know exactly what you’re getting. sometimes you’re tired or tense or troubled or surreptitiously shagging someone you probably shouldn’t be shagging. and you just want familiarity. comfort. convenience. you just want… adequate.

i get it – most people putting up at the premier inn are not on some wide-eyed magical mystery tour of the uk. they’re not ken kesey and the merry pranksters. they’re not even tourists. they’re contractors, salespersons, sex workers. 

and i get it, i get it – the world is a bit fucked up right now. a lot fucked up, actually. all that uncertainty. all that not knowing when, or how, or why. all that not knowing what. we just want to know exactly what we’re getting. 

we’re getting fucked. 

you arrive at your budget hotel. it’s a decaying terraced house in oswaldtwistle, lancashire. reception is to your left, past the toilet, under the stairs. the receptionist is a humanoid gimp-suited malformation, a skeletal black-latex silhouette sporting a blood red ball-gag and a ten-inch hot pink strap-on. it mumbles some unintelligible obscenity, drools. points to a row of hooks, and keys, on the wall behind you. ‘which one is mine?’ you ask, but the slick freak says nothing, does nothing. you pick one at random. it points towards the stairs. 

what i like to call the premier inn state of mind is dangerously easy to inhabit. to become habituated to. 

the premier inn state of mind says: always know exactly what you’re getting.
the premier inn state of mind says: enjoy the same feeling, whatever the trip. 

some would go as far as to say that it should be avoided at all costs. 

To the elitist hedonist, life is the avoidance of boredom and routine.  

Timothy Leary

again, he should know. but i wouldn’t go so far. i like routine. i have all sorts of routines: morning routines, evening routines, walking routines, working routines, reading and writing routines. i’ve learned to accept (rightly or wrongly) that deep down (or perhaps not so deep down), i am not tim leary. i am not jack kerouac. i am not jim morrison. i am not some itinerant rockstar junkie poet. my life is the routine acceptance of boredom. 

i am not an elite hedonist. i am a creature of habit. one of nabokov’s rabs, or their rabbits, with their certain obscure and peculiar habits. i like being in my burrow, with my weed and my writing paraphernalia. i like to know what i’m going to do with my day. how i’m going to waste it. i like to know what’s for breakfast. how i’m going to eat it. it keeps me focussed. 

and that’s ok. premier inn is ok. 
premier inn is many things. 
other adjectives. 

but premier inn is not interesting

your room, you find, once you fumble your way fingerly past the padlock, is a glorified cupboard furnished with a sturdy, steel, four-poster double, a sex swing, and a ceiling mirror. on the walls: a fire extinguisher, assorted floggers, and a framed, poster-sized shunga-style print featuring roger and jessica rabbit. no windows. 

the bathroom, next door down, also padlocked, is a black-tiled box with all the usual. black sink, black soap, black freestanding bath with black feet, black oldschooly toilet with a high, wall-mounted cistern and a chain-pull flusher. chromium fittings. absurdly pink fluffy towels. 

you opt for a shower. coin operated. for fifty pee a fire-hose flow instantly pinions you to the opposite wall of the stall, and you spend the next ten minutes in a state of profound passive bliss as the blistering heat and overpowering pressure of the water flenses your epidermis, flays your soul, lays waste to your sense of self, fully spoliates your ego, your superego, and exfoliates your pores down to the subatomic level. eventually, mercifully, it stops, and you crawl out on hands and knees, curl up foetally upon the lurid pink-lipstick bathmat, and weep. 

later, one door down, you get the best night’s sleep of your life, so far. 

here’s what i talk about when i talk about how to be interesting

i ask myself: do i want to live a premier inn life?
always knowing exactly what i’m getting
enjoying the same feeling, whatever the trip

feeling that blurry narcotised deja-vu
that lidl feeling
finding myself somewhere i’ve never been before, and knowing exactly where everything is
walking interchangeable cities with interchangeable high streets
with scooby-doo style wraparound backgrounds
the same shops and the same dead-eyed shoppers
on repeat
primark, poundland, paperchase,
primark, poundland, paperchase,
primark, poundland paperchase… premier inn

sure, the bed’s going to be ok, and the food’s going to be ok, and the tv’s going to be the same old shit with the same shit shows. but how about something different? how about a surprise?

… and as much brekkie as you can handle

breakfast, in the lounge cum dining room off to the right of the hallway, is a partial full-english. bacon, black pudding, beans, mushrooms, tomatoes. no eggs. sausage. the gimp, now with a matching neon-green gag/strap-on combo and a chef’s hat lets out a pitiful little moan when it comes to collect your plate and sees the sausage untouched, and despite it all, seems so woebegone that you find yourself making up excuses and explaining how you normally have cornflakes for breakfast. the coffee is black, and strong as fuck. 

sometimes it feels like the pull towards the premier inn state of mind is some sort of universal physical law
like entropy, or disappointment, or turning into your parents
that i’m doomed to deteriorate into
disintegrate into
decline and fall into
and i’ll wake up one day
in my same old bed
in my same old head
feeling that same old feeling 
of dread

so instead, i say
fuck that. 

i remind myself, i am someone who, given a completely free choice about what to do in london for a week or so, spends it walking about, will self-ishly, looking purposefully at walls, trees and interesting lampposts. spends it strolling around, sticking stickers, like a twenty-first-century throwback pseudo-baudelairian flâneur, wearing out socks and shoes in the pursuit of something I can’t even name, never mind explain. someone who writes.

i remind myself, i am someone who, sometimes, writes just for the hell of it. just to see the words lined up on the page. 

what were you expecting? 
what are you getting?

you go to check out. g-man, sans chef’s hat, takes your mastercard and racks up two fat lines with it, thick as fingers. noisily snorts one through a zero-gauge stainless-steel curly straw. hands it to you. your receipt is a big-shop sized strip of what appears to be toilet paper, covered with pornographic pictograms. ‘come again’ says the sign on the back of the front door. you smile wryly, then step outside and attempt to hail a taxi to take you the remaining 263 miles to your conference in croydon. 

more of the fucking same
mother fucker

more method

more madness
more radness
more pen to the padness

more lists
more writing
more nouns
more fucking adjectives
more poetry, by Zeus! 
more repetition
more and more
and more
and more

more and more moreish
more moresome (and then some)
more some and some more some
more or less awesome

but also some new shit. 

you read
i’ll do

Let’s suppose that you were able every night to dream any dream that you wanted to dream. And that you could, for example, have the power within one night to dream 75 years of time. Or any length of time you wanted to have. And you would, naturally as you began on this adventure of dreams, you would fulfill all your wishes. You would have every kind of pleasure you could conceive. And after several nights of 75 years of total pleasure each, you would say “Well, that was pretty great.” But now let’s have a surprise. Let’s have a dream which isn’t under control. Where something is gonna happen to me that I don’t know what it’s going to be. And you would dig that and come out of that and say “Wow, that was a close shave, wasn’t it?” And then you would get more and more adventurous, and you would make further and further out gambles as to what you would dream. And finally, you would dream … where you are now. You would dream the dream of living the life that you are actually living today.

Alan Watts