Catch a wave

On the dark side of the force, I made the mistake of checking my emails just now and my lazy arse lawyer has hit me with the news that it could take another three weeks for the f**king flat sale to go through. C*nts. Hackney Council holding things up again. How dare these pathetic Ratzoid C*ntf*cks infect my head on a day like today. I refuse to let it. I’ve just cracked another bottle of “Sideways” wine from the boot of my car. I bought it in Big Sur this afternoon and am toasting Henry Miller.

A big shiny black dog barges past my back door and tries to get into the lounge. Its name’s Jack and a grey haired lady in a billowing white dress follows with it, apologizing and trying to unsuccessfully grab the lolloping hound. I make a feeble joke about the dog being Monterey Jack, but this woman obviously ain’t up on the latest cheese craze.

I’m waiting for my i-pod to charge some, so I can have me a sunset down the beach. See you on the beach in 10!

Waiting for the sun to set. A strong chilly wind finds its way off the sea and zig-zags through the rat runs of slimy rocks around me to hit my sunburnt arms and face.

I’ve carried some of the excellent wine down here in a plastic beaker (class act!) and a cigarillo bought from the local petrol station hangs from my mouth. Despite the beauty in the moment, I’m not really feeling this. I’m angry about this fucking flat sale.

I just need to know that it’ll all turn out alright in the end – whether that’s next week or next month I don’t care. It’s the dangling on someone else’s string that’s getting me all riled up.

The uncertainty – it’s like waiting for the results of a f**king AIDS test! I’m going to take a photo of this sunset and get some Lobster - to match the left side of my face that’s been hanging out of the car window all day.

Clint Eastwood ain’t half a clever bastard! Not only did he forge a mega movie career from minimal acting talent, but he also got to be mayor of Carmel, which I drove through late afternoon today. Carmel is a very secluded, cultured and peaceful place.

It felt pretty intelligent as I passed through – the little village shop had a red BT phone box outside and I saw posters on the local church which read “ Bring our Troops Home.” and “Talk. Think. Exit Iraq.” – All stuff that would be at odds with the flag waving people of Prescott, for example. The town had a similar vibe to Box in Wiltshire, where Real World Studios is based. I don’t know if it’s the hangover, the flat sale or my diet, but I’m starting to feel the road. I’m missing the joie de vivre that I had at the start of the quest. 




Don’t get me wrong, I’m feeling ever minute and would rather be here than any other place on earth right now, but somehow I feel too safe in California. I feel that I know the place too well.

I can’t really explain it any better than that, except to say that I don’t feel an edge here. I wouldn’t be writing a journal about my travels round Harrow for example, because it would be predictable. The scenery here may be f**king spectacular but the people are known to me. Understood and work-a-day.

I find myself to be starving, so walked about half a mile to find a place to eat. No such fun, but it was a pretty ambient walk. No street lights or pavement, just country roads and large houses behind salty sea-breeze fir trees. It was pitch black by the time I got back to the chalet. Stupidly starving and pissed I take the car keys and drive back out of the motel, narrowly missing a white postbox as I reverse.

Hooning around the darkened roads I stumble across the “Fish Wife” seafood restaurant and have a great mariscos pasta with an overpriced bottle of killa wine. Yes, I know, I know.

By the time I came to leave I was pretty much out of my fish-filled face. A thick pea-souper fog had rolled in off the midnight sea.


I drive, my headlamps illuminating only fog, not knowing where I’m going and pissed. 

I’m so used to driving in England where pretty much anywhere, streetlights offer some guidance. Two shaggy white spotlights appear in my rearview mirror like distant moons in the foggy night. 

Please God not the police, not the police. I swerve a vicious right, over steering. So brutal is the turn that if it were to be America’s finest behind me then I’m surely f**ked. Two minutes pass and the road remains black in my mirror. With another clip of the white post-box I find the picket fence of the motel and slide in to my space like a thief in the night. Nicely done.

I’m reading up on San Fran. I’m howling to get there and aching to check the City Lights Bookstore and Vesuvio Café where Ginsburg, Ferlingetti and the beats used to hold court over a whiskey and reefer. I love it that Kerouac finished his On the Road journey across America in Frisco.



Not that this twee little travelogue has anything in common with On the Road, but man gotta start somewhere. There’s a story that Kerouac drank away his chance to meet Henry Miller by staying in Vesuvio. (Reminds me of when I was in Macleod Gange and smoked away my chance of meeting the Dalai Lama! Choosing an old bit of Red Seal instead of enlightenment! Still, I’m sure the old Lama-rama would’ve approved.)

I need some sex...

Ha! Just read that back. “Some sex!” – “Excuse me Sir, I shall be requiring some sex off you this evening.”

I haven’t got a room booked for Saturday night because the Red Victorian in Haight could only fit me in from Sunday onwards, so I might yet get to do my Vegas plan in Frisco of clubbing through the night until I can check in round 12ish, negating the need for a room at all. Frisco hotels seem pretty pricey compared to what I’m used to.

I’m reading the Time Out guide to San Francisco which I bought way back in 1998 whilst at Artstart, dreaming that I’d be there asap. 8 years later and I’m doing it. It bigs up the Red Victorian saying all the rooms are themed and exquisite. It’s the only hotel in the Haight. I finally feel after 6 years in the office/classroom wilderness that I’m back on track, doing what I was meant to be doing all along. Hallelujah!

I wake up thinking there’s something really dutch about this chalet. Maybe it’s the high wooden beams on the ceiling. I sit stirring my morning coffee and stare at the microwave oven through sleep stained eyes. It looks as if there’s a setting for “revenge”?! Six buttons on the face – Popcorn, Potato, Autocook, Autoheat, Pizza, Revenge.

I’m still lost in the dream I was having, caught half way across the bridge between fantasy and reality. The troll that guards this bridge to the subconscious has me by the leg and won’t let go! I look more closely at the microwave and rub my eyes. Revenge becomes Beverage. An easy mistake to make I guess. Both are best served cold on a hot day like this.

Not to bore you with the inside of my dilapidated cranium, but I had a dream last night so surreal and intense that I think it’s worth recounting.

I can only retrieve shards of it as it is fading fast. I was with undefined friends in America and we were all in this redwood forest trying to find breakfast. We were looking for newly laid eggs, but it was a well-known fact that these damn chickens hadn’t been laying recently and eggs were hard to come by.

Searching the forest floor I move some dried bracken and find one. But as I pick it up I get the idea to put it in my mouth in an attempt to incubate it. Gently using my tongue and lips I hold the egg in place safely away from my dangerously hard teeth.

Holding the little blue egg there, I can feel the fragility of the shell in my mouth and sense my measured warm breath heating the insides. I hear a quiet cracking sound and remove the egg to see a small yellow chicklet covered in mucus trying to peck its way out of the shell.

I aid its escape, carefully pulling away bits of the light blue shell. Then it’s born! I clean off the remainder of the plasticey sack from its head and hold it up to my eyes to make contact so it knows I’m it’s mother/father. That’s it. Now what the f**k is that about?!

The fog that kicked in last night has enveloped the land this morning like clogging green algae suffocating the air. Everything is obscured beyond fifteen feet. It’s really atmospheric. I’m at the beach, and breathing in my life and meditating. Somewhere out in the fog offshore a lone bell tolls. I let my imagination guess what it is – a seaweed encrusted buoy. A lost fisherman’s boat about to crash on the rocks? A drowning leper?



Surrounded by pine trees behind me in the fog, it’s easy to see where George Lucas got his inspiration for the forest moon of Endor in Jedi. I’m off for breakfast and to find an Ewok to sodomise!

The fog clears quickly as I move away from the shoreline. Two blocks back and I’m suddenly driving in blue sky. Breakfasted in the Mexican influenced Monté Carlo café in Monterey downtown. I swear to god that the person sitting in the corner is Larry David. The café is empty save for me, Larry and two fisherman chowing down on chowder. I keep trying to steal furtive glances at Larry to really decide, but it’s like looking into a mirror – no matter how sneakily I creep up on him, his eyes match mine. I’ll have to stop. That’s five times now. The jury’s still out. Six times... it’s not.

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