:: Article

Booze Talkin’ Blues

By Glenn Fisher.

I sit by the window most nights now. Listening to old Johnny Cash and Bob Dylan; I go further back sometimes, listen through the static and scratch, to Lead Belly and Guthrie. I sit awkward, reclined in a battered office seat, a big bottle a-beer close by on the desk beside me. I guess I’m waiting for someone or something to come by, to inject my time-make it more, somehow. Nothing’s doing, though. Only thing likely to come by is more time, some erratic insects of the night, and eventually, well, Death, or worse – God. I ain’t too worried ‘bout him, though. Worst thing He’ll bring-faith, everyone needs some of that. Not too much mind. Most don’t notice the last line of Woody Allen’s ‘Manhattan’. I think it’s great. It’s a line softly spoken by the character Tracy, a girl well beyond her years. She shuts Allen right up, makes his eyes say it all, like they should. ‘You’ve got to have more faith in people.’ Something like that. Knocks him out-that line. She’s right, too. Faith finds its best home in others. Too much in yourself, there’s trouble. I’m looking for work right now. Can’t find any. Not how I want it, anyhow. I ain’t shy-twelve hours today, mundane as hell, serving people who don’t even realise they’re being served. I quit one system three years ago only to find myself in another. And graduated out a there, only other systems waiting for me to fall back in. Guess that’s why I’m by the window, having folk heroes tell me stories. There the ones who escaped-until somebody built-up systems around them, at least. That’s the Rub. Where’s the romance these days? I’ve been in the underground-music and now, writing. It’s always the same story. Even the underground gets swallowed up, unavoidable. Hell, this ain’t nothing new. I’m not into ontology, much. I’m just riffin’, perhaps. Inspired by the greats – I’ve been reading Henry Miller, watching the interviews with Dylan in the 60s, even John Lennon makes a lot of sense to me these days, when he was in New York, even though They didn’t want him there-that’s what gives him kudos, I suppose. Kerouac’s always there, too. Once you’ve read him-years ago now-you’re stuck with him. A moveable Beat. Always it’s like this; it comes down to comedy-little puns to take the edge off. My flatmate comes home-drunk. We’re both drunk and used to it. We shoot the shit, booze-talkin’ ‘bout capitalism and exploitation. It’s a favourite recently. Few people I know are happy in work. Some have worked out a better compromise than others and all power to ‘em. I realise it’s politics deep down, beneath every surface. I realise too that all these names in history, the politicos, they all started out like this-booze-talkin’. Lenin and Trotsky, Che and Fidel-riffin’ what makes them sour. Working out ideas, always abstract, of how to make the change. Manifesting abstract ideas, working out a system-bang, there it goes and you’re working in systems again. I figure I’m working too big and him too small. It’s weird to clamp down on fundamentals and have it click. Idealism versus Realism. Damn crazy how everything already seems figured out. And if you figure it brand new, break ground and bash heads, you only end up stone-cold-sober, moustachioed and mental. Ain’t for me-not yet. The more astute, they used to call you ‘cats’, can call me out, see my bluff. You’ll hit on where I’m coming from. I got hurt in love; I got stuck in a rut. I’ve read up and listened out, discovered the big But… Nothing’s new, though, nothing’s old. Keep learning on and appreciate what you’re told. Set in your feet knowing the earth might move. And forgive those trying to find the needle a new groove.

Glenn Fisher was born in Grimsby, in a county that no longer exists, in 1981. After working in local government since leaving college in 1997, he took very early retirement in 2004. He is 3:AM‘s Film Editor and has just finished the Professional Writing degree course at the Grimsby Institute.

First published in 3:AM Magazine: Friday, July 27th, 2007.