A Perfect Boob
It’s been a good week all round. Which is disconcerting. Weeks aren’t normally round. They start on Monday and head in a straight line through to Sunday. Then it starts all over again. Until you die.
I didn’t need any fake breasts after all. This was on Monday when I went to London for my photo shoot in the glamour palace of Bethnal Green.
“I’ve seen this nice tree,” was the first thing the photographer said to me. “Then we can go to the park. There are some really big slides.”
The park was great, enormous. I imagined myself running to the centre of it and disappearing like that character in Michelangelo Antonioni’s Blow Up. I wondered if it was shot there. Then I walked through some trees.
“The light is great.”
It is, I thought. Sunlight, what would we do without it? Then I sat on the promised slides. They really were big. Everyone has nice memories of slides but my favourite one was Aqualand, South of France, zipping down it, laughing.
There is something very Zen about having photographs taken of yourself. Perhaps that’s what all those Buddha statues are about. A statue being a more concrete representation than a flat image. Therefore more Zen.
Everyone has their favourite Buddha statue. Mine was in Japan, Daibutsu. You could walk inside him if you wanted and there was enough room to spread out a picnic blanket. That day I ate potato ice-cream and my Japanese gave me this small bottle to drink out of. It was supposed to give you special powers.
(I didn’t hold out much hope. I had had my fortune told to me in a Japanese temple - ‘You won’t die in a car crash’. Goodo!)
“You seem relaxed,” said the photographer.
On Wednesday I received four nice emails. 1) From the BBC, the studio script for Teeth for me to check. It’s being recorded on 5th June. I also found out who’s going to read it. 2) From the editor at Gaydarnation re my interview with them. 3) The editor of Tell Tales who have accepted my story Gus. This will be published in October. 4) From my publicist at Random House to say the finished copies of Me and Mickie James are in.
My copies are in the post. So I am going to see the final finished thing. Next it will be in the shops. Then people will be able to buy it. Or not.
Now here’s the caveat. You work for years for this. Then it happens and you realise it doesn’t change your life. That crap job you are doing is still crap when you have a book published. That view of the housing estate outside your window doesn’t change.
I have decided to change my life.
Yesterday, I bought a Neil Diamond song for the first time. It’s good. But is that enough? I went to see Persepolis. It was great. I read another Albert Sanchez Pinol book, Cold Skin. This is great too, like HG Wells.
But I wish I had lived in the Enlightenment. London is destroyed in the Great Fire. I, astronomer select, give up gazing at the stars and design a new city. There will be broad boulevards, temples, no skip that, Big Buddhas. There will be potato ice-cream for everyone and water slides. Everyone will write books and read them. There will be public libraries on every corner. Music will play everywhere and everyone will get chance to be mayor even if you are a buffoon.
We will all change our jobs every two years and when bad things happen we will all pull up our socks and dig in to help. We will study all our lives and pass on our knowledge to our children. Or not if we don’t want.
And so on.
Currently reading Naomi Klein, The Shock Doctrine
Currently listening to Neil Diamond