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BEEN THERE DONE THAT - ABSENT AND WITHOUT LEAVE


"Midlife crisis? Drug withdrawal, the final screams and twitches? Or wrong place, wrong time? Well, at present I'm financially contstrained to exist on this mean and septic isle."

by Bertie Marshall

COPYRIGHT © 2002, 3 A.M. MAGAZINE. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

"I left for a long time, I came back to leave

"I hate England. Well leave then!"
A voice in my head says.


25 years after the Sex Pistols and Silver Jubilee, and we're pratically back in the same state (as though Punk never happened). What to do with a country that doesn't give very much, that's fallen asleep (except for that divine-footed Apollo David Beckham, his tears of failure now run down my arse crack).

Again, leave.

I have done for years at a time: San Francisco, Berlin, NYC...

Things seem to be rekindling over in there. Extract from an email sent by N.Y. pal ... who goes under the improbable name of Illona Hockzty:

"The city's little sex dens have opened (slowly) again. A new one, called 'Red' presided over by a 'Madame' called Jeffrey, this sleazy little joint that is VERY Soho-UK, it's the size of someone's large aprtment and has all these little nooks and crannies, 2nd floor of a townhouse building. Very charming and discreet. Lots of old men and Russian kiddies (little tinker --not that little!). Porn on the tv."

ummmm boy Brothels ...

Siouxsie recently complained over dinner, that there weren't enough male brothels teeming with studs, up and ready to serve: "I've always thought it should be ladies first!!" she chortled.

Midlife crisis? Drug withdrawal, the final screams and twitches? Or wrong place, wrong time? Well, at present I'm financially contstrained to exist on this mean and septic isle.

Suddenly an image pops into my mind ... A 'brown betty' tea pot falls to the floor, shattering into shiny shit-coloured pieces.

Dawn came early last night -- summer solstice -- from my bedroom window, on the 6th floor in East London, I watched as half of the sky remained inky black, while the east bled out very quickly to navy, bottle green, grey, red, a streetlamp brighter than the northern star a sky split into feeling of being here, not here something's wrong?







ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Bertie Marshall was born in 1960, grew up in Catford, South London, dropped out of school to follow the Sex Pistols in 1976, and became part of the legendary Bromley Contingent. His first novel, Psychoboys was published in 1997. For more info read our interview with Bertie and visit his website.











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