12/18/1989 to 01/09/1990

12/27/1989

Merry Xmas! London is now my home as I write late night on train to ferry to Dublin! Maura and two hash-head beer drinkers are my companions, the latter met 10 mins ago and I am quite high. Let’s regress to nine days ago…

12/18/1989

Reading “The Naked Lunch” (holy shit! what is this book? smack and homosexual encounters chapter after chapter) on train to London after good-bye to Graham and Alex.

Into London. Wow! London is so cool. Ledyard to NYC in 2hours. Met with open arms and the fuckin’ flat is a wreck! Go away for a few days and… probably we got drunk. (Back to the present: every night is drunk.Somewhere along the line this chicky from downstairs, German Amy, decided that I am her object of desire, but I, as a proper Monk Post Warrior, make no moves. But every night she is in our flat.)

Camden one night, Amy in tow, we met the kipper bum from weeks earlier. Cat Weasel is his name and he likes Maura. Crazy night. Xmas Eve drunk in a {illegible} just getting and drunk not really but bum sits next to Maura and told lies of wife gone drinking with another and this is a three year old problem and also she’s dead in a car accident. Out to the Redan as soon as he goes to take a leak.

Xmas spent hoping and then getting drunk, but not enough, on store bought Harp and watching cool movies. Two fucked up signs: Dolph Lundgren in a Guinness commercial and then hearing all kinds of {illegible} soundtracks as movie continues and we must call Mr. McDolph. Oh, yeah! I bought a big bottle of port. Man, this stuff sucks.

Letter to Rich M.:

I win! 1st demo . Easy Cure. Mine!!!

Train to Dublin and another boffer rolled. Phone is busy for about an hour and the last beer is long gone.

12/30/1989

Dublin at 6:30AM is very quiet.

Highlights of the past few days: Paddy Hannan’s pub, around noon.

Finding the Guinness brewery while on back streets drunk pub crawl…by compass.

Low light: I only have $200 ($300 actually) left. This caused a mild depression, as there is no way I am going to make the six months. I’ve had a blast any way and have lived in London. I’m going to try to make it to Spain and then home.

Ferry now back to England, train to London. Mickey’s chips and, boyo, do I want a pizza.

01/09/1990

Home.

No Spain.

New Year’s in Trafalgar Square. German Amy managed to separate me from the rest of the girls and we wound up back in her flat, in the dark, in the bath. Nothing happened, but I still feel pretty guilty about this. Maura was not happy about this at all.

No other real action except once Maura and I drank ourselves silly and wound up in a Soho gay bar. The skinhead bouncer stopping me and asking telling me that it was a gay bar do I mind and I with is there beer? So? Next night, last night on trip, seven pints and two shots of whiskey do not mix with a 7-11 Jr. Cheeseburger, as I painfully found out…by praying at the porcelain altar.

My father picked me up at JFK. He was visibly shocked at the state of me. It was a long and quiet ride back to Gales Ferry.

Home.

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12/12/1989 to 12/17/1989

12/12/1989

A knock on the door at 10AM but not heard until 12:30. Then and up and alone in a warm house full of food and telly, with Young Ones on tape, so while eating Frosted Flakes I watched for 2 hours and then walked down into Havant Hants, a small town with too many shops. Into an old book store searching for “Naked Lunch” or Jack or something but came away with nothing but the knowledge that small town England is scared of small town US.

Walking, learning town, and finding McDonald’s under construction and think of Gales Ferry. Back to the Burn family hostel house and soon out to pub with Alex’s mates. Only three pints each, as they all work, but I don’t get it.

Back home and start reading “1984” and even after four chapters it affected my dreams, but I don’t remember exactly how.

12/13/1989

8:30AM woken by, holy shit, Graham! Back and basically penniless after his adventure month on the continent. He had a blast. We ate breakfast and lunch and watched Young Ones and bullshat and listened to Mike’s pot tape and bullshat some more until I, now at 10 of 4, head into town to meet Alex in Portsmouth and we wander in and out of shops and he answering my history questions of Portsmouth/Havant Hants, which is an old Roman crossroad and also bombed out in WWII. Into a nice old pub for half glasses before diner and walk/run back home from bus stop as the rain started again.

Huge dinner with fish and true to my “if it is free, eat it” rule I did and along with half the rest of all the food! After dinner, two of Alex’s mates came by and I just busted up laughing because I finally figured out English humor.

Alex’s dad came home as I entered the back door after having a smoke and a fart, and I, with dirty dreads, shook his hand and that was that. Sitting in Alex’s room listening to Graham and others sing and play CSN as I write this now.

Sleep after more “1984”.

{Historical note: on this day, in Reading, PA, USA, Taylor Swift is born.)

12/14/1989

10:30am and up. Mrs. Cleaning 80-Year-Old Woman is downstairs and was probably up at 5, so I am marked a lazy bastard before she even sees me, after which she judges that I am actually a nut.

Day spent with Tom and Graham drinking coffee and watching video tapes. The Burn Hostel had another visitor with pack, but for Alex’s sister at school in London, so she went away.

Second large home-cooked meal in as many days and I gorged again.

Night at college type “cool” pub with two pints and then on to some dance pub in Portsmouth with cool DJs and Go-Go’s and beers and Joy Division, Cure, New Order, Smiths and all kinds of other shit. Almost in two fights. That’s right. Two. First with a bastard who was obviously elbowing my “pals”, as they are all hippyish and small, so I circled around them obviously to block him. He tagged me twice and my gleaming mad eyes reached out and sucked the piss right out of his head. He got the message and was not seen again. The second was while I was upstairs talking to a guy who could maybe handle a beer drinking challenge with your humble author. Alex came up and said “Some wanker’s giving Graham a hard time downstairs”, so down my throat goes a bit more than half a pint and down the stairs let’s go! It was over by the time I got there, but I met the stare of the fucker Nazi wannabe and gave it right back. I was warned by his bigger buddy not to stare, fuck off, and man this little bastard was nuts but would not have been a problem. (Graham: May 2, Kaplan’s, 6:30PM, pack of smokes.)

Back to the house and toast with Graham and talk of fights past, now listening to Megen’s death tape and Waterboys “Whole of the Moon” was played and I went crazy dancing, thinking of her. Good night at 3:30AM

12/15/1989

Graham and I walk down to corner store to buy Cokes and smokes to escape the house as Mrs. Burn is having an Xmas party with her fellow social workers. I get hired for £5 to do the dishes, but the money never comes and I don’t really mind as she’s fed me several meals and given me a nice bed to sleep in.

Off into the night to some club that we had to get to by train. The Hole in the Wall. And to get back we had to take a taxi (£9.50), but the train was free, as was much of the beer!

Back home with a tired Alex and his mate Dom breaks out his hash and rolls two joints. Me, Dom, and Graham go to the back yard and smoke. Dom has a mild epileptic fit and I went to The Beyond as a million intertwined “T”s in yellow and black stripes were all that I could see. Dom eventually was OK, but he’d never had a seizure before. Man, I was really out of it.

Back inside to watch Young Ones (again) until 3:30AM.

{It is now one month since I set out from the US.}

12/16/1989

Back again to the India Pub in Portsmouth with £10 that Graham and I borrowed from Alex. Graham and I are so broke that we combined our change, too, and have been living on human kindness. I drank two ports, which is served as a shot in a half-pint glass. The first was so small that I had to have another. This is not how we drink it back home!

Nothing earth-shattering happened today.

12/17/1989

Tomorrow I will leave The Burn Hostel. Graham’s birthday bash with alcohol-free wine and all kinds of food and bunches of these knuckleheads.

Oh! Yesterday, after pubbing, we went back to Adam’s flat for coffee, which I never got but did smoke off of three joints and felt fine. Other than the port, we did drink some Guinness.
Back to today, I read “1984” during the birthday party and retired to bed to finish reading, but was interrupted for dinner, which was left over party food. Back up to bed to read and they plan on going out later, so I plan on staying in with all of 11p in my pocket! I finished the book just as Graham convinced me to go out. So I go out and get pretty pissed on five pints of Guinness and HSB bitter, free, and again could not piss inside, so I went out.

Home to Alex’s, but the outside night goes on. Down to the bridge over the railway tracks to throw 1p and make a wish. Then talks and then to bed. Tomorrow I head back north, early.

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12/11/1989

Off we go! All packed posting warrior travel madman to Portsmouth suburb Havant to see Alex and Graham T. {edit: Mystic/Noankers, yes, that is the one I am talking about}. Graham is traveling the Continent but should be back in a couple of days. Maura and Sarah buy me a pint of lager and a Guinness at the last resort pub and even a pack of Camels. Pictures taken outside Smoker’s Paradise and one even with a Bobby who couldn’t have been more than 19. Tube to Morden, last stop in London, very south, and walk 45 mins to Route A3 (oh A3!). The forecast from BBC2 is clear ‘til the weekend so everything should be fine.

A3 is like I-95 but everyone drives 80 MPH and the cops don’t bother “until you are over 90” the first of six drivers tells me. He was really cool and had traveled US, Australia, New Zealand. Says England is the toughest for hitching. Fifteen miles later, he drops me off at an exit and I walk with thumb out for easily five miles before a truck stops for me.

Two 22ish males, listening to house music and asking me about the States.

Seven miles with them and I walk, again, three miles, and a really nice sports car, like a Jag or something, stops for me with a tie behind the wheel. As I run to catch up to the car, my small pack pops open and spills its contents on the highway and grass. All I lost was my new cassette of Unknown Pleasures. I managed to recover two shooter bottles of vodka.

He drives about 20 miles and lets me off at a gas station where I get a cup of Java and put on my rain poncho as it is raining (Great! Thanks, BBC!). I then walk about three more miles when another car stops.

Young guy with a tie but not living that life as his car is full of shit, beer cans, sleeping bags, etc, and even “a cooker or two”. He drives about two miles to a pub where he is meeting his friends at now 10:30PM. He gives me a smoke and tells me how to get cheap reliable cars in Brixton and even in London.

Walking in the rain dark night on a Ledyard backroad that is still somehow the A3 but a far cry from the 90MPH I-95 section and I get about another mile when an old guy stops for me. He was fucking nice as shit, telling me about the dream house he is building and a story about a soldier he picked up once and how he was impressed with my canvas rucksack. He drives about five miles to the town that he lives in and apologizes for not being able to bring me further but he has to get up in the morning to work and he is beat tired. Tells me where to stand to get another ride and wishes me a Happy Christmas.

Short 300 yard walk when a car stops and the passenger gets out and yells “Do you want a ride?” Of course I do, you stupid sod! I get in and there is a guy in the back seat and the driver straight right off asks me if I have any hash or grass. No, do you? No, but we are going to get some, where are you going? They bring me almost to Alex’s door and all the while they are talking all paranoid of cops!

11:10PM and I knock the knocker on the door, #7 3rd Ave. Alex’s mom answers and invites me in and THEN realizes that I am the guest that Alex is expecting! She gives me a letter from my mom, talking of tragedies and all all all from home and I am glad that I am not there. Baked beans, toast, and tea comes in and is devoured by me like an animal while she tries to have a pleasant talk and calls Alex at his friend’s house. He shows up and actually gave me a hug and we sit around talking until almost 1:30AM.
{edit: scribbled numbers at the top of the page sum to 66 miles, so not a bad estimate for 1989!}

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12/6/1989 to 12/10/1989

12/6/1989

Maura and I went to a place called “The Station” tonight to see a Blues band made up of two ex-Yardbirds and two other guys. Very good. Skinny blonde white guy belting out deep South accent of old black man.

Four pints drunk and out to find Taco Bell way on the other side of London before it closed. At first Tube stop, Maura tries to steal my beret, so I warn her not to by picking her up and putting her down, but no! She tries again, so I pick her up and slam her down and she hurt her left knee. I felt bad.

Man, these cigarettes are mean. My whole chest hurts and I can’t breathe deep at all…no laugh.

Taco Bell was great, so we went to Burger King to get soda. Maura is in line and this English fuck starts talking to me about her and he proves right off that he is a serious wanker and ugly to boot.

Back to the flat and the others are watching “The Shining”. Into bed and everyone is amazingly tired but restless, so we just keep talking and joking on each other. Maura starts threatening to tickle me and I spazz and jump onto her bed and we start wrestling and I slam her head into the wall, but she said it didn’t hurt. I felt bad again and when the light came on, I had knocked over a wet ashtray and it went all over her clothes pile, so now we have to do laundry tomorrow.

12/7/1989

Night brings Indian food bland bland tasteless. The Calsberg was warm and flat like leftover keg party beer, so we went to the Rodane (our last resort pub) for a single pint each, which soon ended when Samantha and Cute-Or-Not showed up and we got hammered. Julie and Jill talking about how horny they are and tattoos. Julie talking about her ladybug on her upper right thigh and how she is thinking about getting another one on the left, but much…further…up. Wow. Eventually, she finds a room full of toilet paper rolls while on her way to the bathroom. She comes back to the table insisting that we hit it on the way out and so we did, after four or five pints.

On the walk back to the flat, Julie and I start horsing around and she drops to the ground and I lean over to pick her up, but WHAM! Out of nowhere I am suddenly up against a car, being held down by a Bobby without a tit on his head and he’s talking about bringing me in and it is a £20,000 fine for leaning on cars (that he pushed me into!) and going on about rapists and murderers and how I fit in with them. Julie is too drunk to get up, so another Bobby helps her up and starts going off on me and I am almost pissing my pants in fear. Eventually, Julie and the others convince the Bobbies that I am not a rapist and that we are all friends, so they let me go with a stern warning. That pretty much killed the night, but we came away with about 15 rolls of toilet paper.

12/8/1989

During the day, I took Maura’s Walkman and Rich Martin and Michael’s tapes and went to the British Museum to see Lindow Man and the Rosetta Stone. James Brown blasting as I find Lindow Man with the cord still around his neck and it was amazing to see. All this old old older than old stuff everywhere and I cannot help but smile as I walk around aimlessly and thanked three Buddhas (one of which was two-stories high!), but never found the Rosetta Stone.

Night finds us going to see three horror flicks: “Basket Case”, “Motel Hell”, and “Texas Chainsaw Massacre”. This was no ordinary movie house. They served beers and it was full of punks and the walls were covered in pictures, painted on cartoon-like, about movies and movie stars and all all all nuts.

12/9/1989

Maura brings me to Camden Town to see this big street market for weirdos. Weirdos is right. All kinds of drug paraphernalia and items and weirdo clothing and Tarot card readings and it was like walking through some third world country.

Into, of course, a pub. The Camden Town Free House. Stella, free jukebox, friendly people and we have five pints each. 6 o’clock and we are back in the flat, Maura working on her journal.

About two hours later, she emerges from her room and says we are going to a transvestite bar. So off we go!

On the Tube to the place, a bum sits down next to me with a half-empty bottle of Strongbow cider and asks me for 10p. I have absolutely nothing, so I ask him for some money or some of his beer. He took two mighty hits off it. I thought he was going to empty it, but he saved some and handed the bottle to me, so I downed it as he starts asking everyone on the train for some change. He comes back with nothing as our stop is approaching and I thank him for the cider and wish him luck and shake his hand and gone. Fuckin’ bums.

The transvestite bar turned out to be an Irish pub with a shitty band, unfriendly people, and bad beer. Out we go back to Camden Town to check out a Blues bar we saw earlier, but this turned out to be a biker bar, so we went back to the Free House, which is right around the corner. It was packed! Every type of person was there, all grooving out to Bob Marley & The Wailers. Love that place.

Second “last call” bell in the Free House and I am almost done with my pint and there are assorted half-dead pints on the table in front of Maura and me. Another bum comes over and slams a plastic bag with “kippers” in it down on the table, asks me for a cigarette, sits down, and starts stealing “my” half-dead beers. So I tell him that I saw them first, but I’ll split them with him, so he agrees and the table soon goes dry.

In the street, Maura comments on how she can’t believe that I am stealing bum’s beers all night, and I tell her that wherever there are bums is my home.

At the Tube stop waiting for the train, I start going off on everything and everyone and start talking to “Spanish” man who claimed “No hablo” but really looked English and I scared this chick with pink hair and her boyfriend off a bench so that Maura and I can sit down.

Back in the flat, up ‘til 3:30AM with the girls going off with girl talk and I just wanting to die because it is so graphic and gross.

12/10/1989

Suddenly it is the tenth and I am supposed to be leaving London today! Tomorrow.

In the Free House last night, I saw my Moroccan friend from Ashe’s and he came over and got a big kick out of seeing me in Camden Town and we laugh and say good-bye again. Small small world.

The silence of a Sunday night, as papers take form and “I can’t do this” is mumbled and somehow it all gets done and earns a B. Every Sunday is the same and sometimes on Monday also.

Today I cashed another damn traveler’s check ($100 = £59) and the bastard money changer shorted me £5, so I went back to the booth expecting to hear “Well, you can’t prove I didn’t give it” but didn’t even get the chance, as “the shift has changed” and he was gone. Lesson: count your money.

I decided around noon that I would leave tomorrow, so I packed the pack and even put it on and it was very comfortable and even lighter as I removed the hard-covered journals that I stole from the Coast Guard Academy and it felt really nice and tomorrow I will hitchhike to Havant Hants, Portsmouth, wherever the fuck that is.

The day of the Museum, I received a letter from Rich Martin. That was really great. Someone misses me. All goes shitty for our group and I am glad not to be there.

I just realized that this is the first day in about a month and a half that I did not have any, not even one form of alcohol. No DTs. No worries. {edit: there was a day back in Ireland, I think, but still, that was several weeks ago at this point}

Maura and Samantha staying up late writing studying smoking talking. I go to 7-11 to get smokes. All night they kept talking about Hob Nobs and chocolate, so I pick up some and find a late night chip place. In 7-11 in front of me in line is a tie (1:30AM Sunday/Monday) buying two huge bottles of Perrier and some tuna fish sandwich thing and he looked like he had been thru Hell. Behind me was the scariest evil death chick that I have ever seen. She kept getting out of the queue to get something else and when we got to the front, she ran to put stuff back. It seemed as if she had to work to breathe in, and the scary part was that she had a cross carved into the middle of her face, like Manson’s swastika. Man, she was scary. Into the chip place and the three guys working there were just going completely nuts having fun. They gave me “a lot” of chips and they were really good. Night people, mostly, are more friendly than day people.

Earlier, down in Samantha’s, all work stopped as some Rolling Stones in Morocco for Christmas special, or some such crap, came on the telly. Samantha started dreading up my hair even more, so now I have like twelve of the bastards and still have space on the back of my head for more.

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12/5/1989

Mudhoney last night. First band, The Dark Side, and then Mega City Four followed. First band was pretty lame. 2nd was OK, but not worth the Death Violence crush pit that went on. Mud Honey…

Andy, Maura, Samantha, Jill, Julie (crazy Julie), some other girl from downstairs, who is one of those girls that you can’t tell if they are cute or not, and me standing in front of the middle stage with barricade.

BOOM! Out of nowhere comes MCF and the crush just materialized with the first note and only got worse. Beer, just bought, flying everywhere and by the end of the first song only Samantha and I remained (I buffering her from a bruising, crushing wall of death-flesh) and stayed for the whole long, tiring show, getting stage dove upon and I almost in a fight with long-haired drunk who tried to use me to climb onto the stage and me elbowing him down “Fuck you” “FUCK YOU” the simultaneous grab and death stares his saying “I’m gonna hit you” and mine saying “That’ll be the last thing you do tonight” and really fucking meaning it and he backed down and every time he came near me I would punch him in the ribs.

Soon the stage diving got to be too much as Samantha went down once and me twice and both of us getting kicked in the head by combat boots and at the end I had a fat lip and bloody ears. So I would knock wannabe divers over the barricade slam on the floor and grab airbournes by the shirt and throw them honest to god down wham on the floor, more than a half dozen of these, and man was I fuckin’ pissed off and started yelling between songs that stagediving was for 15-year-olds and pussies. Show’s over. Julie at last report was piss drunk and no one knows where she is.

Home we go and within 20 mins Julie comes through the door with The Dark Side and their manager and sound guy and two girls, one very cute, and hash cigs blaze and cups of tea for everyone several times and even PB&J on peta bread. Very quiet fast (1 hour) post-gig party and to counteract the hash the manager blows a line and they are gone out the door into the night.

On the Tube coming home, it is me and four girls. Three drunk and high punks target the girls. No way, muthafucks, I’m still pissed off and pumped up and sober! Mild harassment as we four males sat facing they four females and not to claim to be a hero but just doing a saint’s job let the bastards know that they were going to do nothing. One did not get the clue and followed us off the train and claiming to be in love with Cute-Or-Not and I stop walking and wait for them to catch up with me and he sees me and knows now that I mean it and runs back towards the train. Not out of the station yet but up two long escalators and BOOM he is there bugging her again but soon leaves.

Today I found the spiciest pizza (Prima Pasta near Queensway Tube stop), Americana Hot. I looked for my next JK book as “Logic” blows but only found “On the Road”. Into Tower Records for a “Bible” tape of Faith, or 17 Seconds, or Joy or NO and came away with Closer and Unknown Pleasures. The full Bible.

Postcards wrote and off to see where Jack the Ripper ripped. What a poor depressing area. Death and murders going on to this day. Bums sleeping under parking garage lip and it would be very easy to “lose your shit” and go totally psychotically crazy living here…even today. Doomed out old abandoned school rising up out of junk field with light blue night sky and low white puffy clouds racing by…even the clouds did not want to be here…and the guide tells us that last month a bum was killed inside so I made Samantha take a picture of it because it was spookier than the spookiest thing Hollywood could ever dream up because this was real and Jack lived not three blocks from it and you could still feel the coldness loneliness mad craziness violence of his atrocities.

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12/03/1989

12/03/1989

Walk in Hyde Park today. Cold Day Grey cold and lonely. I have a London cold and am completely stuffed up. What am I supposed to expect would happen? More beer than food. But this is slowing down as I am spending far too much cash.

Hyde Park with bare, black bark, bough bent trees, wilting from centuries of cold destruction, would make a very nice cemetery. I looked for the Peter Pan statue that was erected overnight as a surprise for the kids at a playground, now closed down due to vandalism and too many years of use, but could not find him. Saw Victoria and an amazing elven inn carved out of a great old dead tree 15’ high with little elves and animals painted and carved into it. You just do not see things like that in America, but I find day by day that USA is the place to be whoever whatever you are or want to be.

Tonight’s dinner at Fatso’s Pasta Joint. £2.95 all you can eat. Three bowls, two Cokes and one beer. I fell in love with this very cute blonde girl who I even caught looking at me in interest more than a few times and I do not feel bad about this because I had a dream last night in which I came home 2 weeks early to surprise everyone and found that Megen was seeing another.

Maura had a beer at Fatso’s with a flag of blue with 12 gold stars in a circle and I could not figure it out as it was brewed in France and was written in French. It had a 1992 on it twice.

Back at the flat, I learned thru the telly that 1992 and the flag are symbols of the EEC. 1992 being the target date for full flung single mono-political open market Europe. Propaganda beer, but an OK idea. They are moving too fast towards that goal and many people are not for it, as it is kindda a totalitarianistic goal with total rule down to what to feed the cows. Too much control.

“The Outsiders” on BBC1. Emilio Estevez plays Two-Bit Matthews (2 Bit Matts?). Beer guzzling loud rowdy.

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12/01/1989

Slow slow stillness leads me not to write. Comfort. Beer and all just non-stop. Last night Maura, Samantha and Maura’s flatmate Sarah, and I went out and only reached 3 pints maybe when Sam went to the toilet and threw her guts up. Maura followed when we reached the flat. Great beer, tho. Stella something or other, from Amsterdam, as all great things point to.

Boom shanka boom is the song for street walking and tonight even. “Daylight people ought to go home!”

In this crazy Frog and Firkin pub, a gay guy steals my beret, musses my hair, and Sarah feels like shit, so home we go. No tolerance to be found, but I am out with girls night after night and man for some guy talk! “Who is the hottest?” “Samantha” and all all all.

We (Maura, Sarah, and I) went to St. Paul’s today. Amazing. The main dome is about a mile high and has a painting of a higher level with angels and God playing in it. Great.
St. Paul's

I saw Fugazi the other night. Crushed in the crush. But eventually to the stage and my two (get that, two) souls to save from the crush of the pit. Two girls. I put all I had into not letting them feel the pressure of the crushing pit, but that was a kick fuckin’ ass show. And, now Friday, on Monday to see Mudhoney.

All drunk now. I saw Rich M. across the Ashes tonight. Hair all all, smoking what could have been a clove or jibber or Camel, and The Cure, New Order, Smiths, Siouxisie and Talking Heads played all night. I now know that I am no alchy as my last pound went to the jukebox and not the bartender’s boss, but I did steal this dude’s beer that he just let sit there, and even after confrontation I passed it off and left half of it dead laying there dead on the bar and left the place just because the second bell had rung, and I was too and still am drunk and there was no more music and he practically causing a scene.

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11/27/1989

London is a boring and expensive place as Maura and all of her friends have a paper due on Keats and all of them are going nuts. We went one night to pub crawl Soho. Many many yuppie pubs, most with signs like “No soiled clothes or shoes”, so that leaves me out. Drinking pints as fast as they, Maura and Samantha, can drink half glasses. Into this one crazy place, they go first, and I get frisked by some goon, and he getting pissed off and me also. Winds up he taking my Swiss Army knife and, man, did I kill my pint. And theirs, also, as Motorhead blasting and punks everywhere. Out into the street and to another, the last, and we actually got seats. And they with their half glasses soon getting hit on by two “rugby players”. So, I like the gentleman bum I am get up and get half glass of Guinness, as my head is swimming by now. Come back to table and kill it in one hit. And rugby boys getting even closer, so I go to the gents and come back ready to go, so we go and howling thru the streets, just totally going off.

Next night, I slept most of the day and did the dishes.

Sunday night they still doing papers. I bummed £10 from Maura to go get drunk for everyone in the flat building. I meet a Moroccan, who tells me for no apparent reason about how his wife fooled around/fucked his buddy, an American Viet Nam vet, and all all all all, and his Saudi friend, who hates Saudis. Fun night, as I started the musical entertainment off with depressing Cure.

Today sleeping past noon and actually saw the sun come up as I couldn’t fall asleep. Listening to Michael’s tape and posting 12 postcards and 4 letters. In Ashe’s, drinking a pint and eating some kind of crazy Arabic food. Catching up on my journal. My hair is starting to dread. Ever notice that baby cries do not have an accent? They all sound exactly the same.

Samantha and I visited the Tate Gallery a few days back and I saw the honest to god original of “Metamorphosis of Narcissus” by Dali. So smoothly the shapes and colors blended together, and it was much better than any print of it that I have ever seen.
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We also talked of the lame style of black lines on a white background with blue or red squares, and how Warhol knew that this was shit art and his soup cans are just a big joke to make fun of that abstract style {edit: see Mondrian}, and about how art was being led down hill because of architecture, and we made fun of modern sculptures by saying that the temperature/humidity meter was far more interesting, and saw several great works of art and just about all of Tuner’s shit because she has to do a paper on it. Heading back, the Tube station has copies of famous paintings on the walls and one was “Metamorphosis of Narcissus” and we laughed.

Tonight saw me going to an underground show, a secret show, for a band called Loop. Man, they sucked. Picture a long haired Robin Hood looking guy singing and playing lead guitar while Frank Zappa plays bass beside him. The drummer bit, as did the rhythm guitar. And the average age of this “secret” show was about 18. I stayed for 3 1/2 songs and had to leave. In the Tube, a bum called me over and we started singing “We all live in a yellow submarine” and I am getting very good at causing people to check their wallets by walking just too close.

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11/23/1989

Scotsman lost, probably still in the Hacienda on the second tier looking for “pussy”. I now hungover in sloppy OK place waiting for breakfast and the bus station across the street where bum was sitting next to me shaking too much from whatever bums shake from to even light a cigarette.

11:30 and the adventure continues. Very ugly punk girl wearing complete “I want to get fucked” outfit but butt-fucking ugly and a tooth out in front and even handcuffs hanging from skinny black belt.

I could dig being a bum with only worry being to stay alive, but too much violence and alcohol and man I do not want those shakes.

Nottingham girl did not show up and I waited for her until 1:00. Lesson: trust no one. On train to London Maura and this must be the bumpiest train ever built and 3:30 sunset first sunset I’ve seen since America. The sky is amazingly trippy. Three distinct layers of white clouds on blue with big like quarter sized orange ball of flame now under the bottom layer of clouds. Plane trails crossing and growing wider. England is beautiful. It isn’t flat, but it isn’t hilly. It’s kindda lumpy. Sky around sun now going pink and Jane’s Addiction blasting my brains out on way to London. Whoever came up with this sky is a genius. Even tho the sun is only about an inch from the horizon the rest of the sky is still daytime blue. Large cloud bank, dark and threatens not rain but to actually fall out of the sky and crush everything, looking very much like snowcapped mountains. Land growing hilly, trees bare and grazing sheep all blocking my sunset.

I signed a petition today for the ambulance staff. I guess there is some problem with the Govt.

Sun’s back and deep orange on bottom going to yellow on top. Bottom starting to no longer be round, but breaking up into little pieces like that logo I saw somewhere. Bahamas?

Into London and the Tube Underground whatever subway conquered because if you can kill a NY subway system, you can take anything else. Interviewed upon exiting and soon to Maura’s flat, but she wasn’t home. No one was. Into The Ashe’s Pub after phone call to make sure and I’m going to work my way down the bar on this large amount of change coins in my pocket. Three mates call me over and invite me to sit down with them. The further I go, the more friendly the people get, and one tells me of a hotel to be ripped down that I can stay in for free. Sounds really cool. Right, second left and the name I can’t remember and I think that they are going to tear it down. Mary Gross sits drinking to my right with her bunch of “yuppie” friends, the collegiate type of fucks and another bunch to the left. Chinese man at the casino machine ever since I got here and probably will be for a while. And maybe I’ll get a job out of staying at this derelict hotel. Maybe. And “It must be your lucky day.” And actually it has been pretty good. What would have happened if the Nottingham girl and her long red hair and ultra red lips had shown up? That would just have been kicks. Truth is found in derelict hotels.

America is Western Civilization. Everything else looks and smells and sounds just like it.

Back in Ashes talking to 36 year old long-haired weirdo before writing letters and all to the folks back home, blown out in two pints. Two letters, 45 mins and going and I cannot believe I am in London! Where?!? 36 year old tells me of smoke and his habit and drinking and gone and soon enough I am paying so off we go to see London pub scene. Next pub down, he with long hair and stubble, me with pack on back and all, just walk thru as this is like some kind of living hell for road scum and street smackster. And they playing chess and sipping sherry! Out into the street free pint partially done, but up it comes in his hand, as Jah really does love and off we go, he talking more and more of smack and hookers. Into another pub to talk of LSD acid, and me still buying, as he has all of 50p and talking of hooker friends so out we go and he saying that if I don’t find Maura, I will smoke some with him. Nerves on end in me as fear grows and I must try one more call to Maura to save my life, and he looking for hooker friends with smack, and the phone rings rings rings and is finally answered. Me pleading and begging to be saved to some girl in the building, which has all of one phone, but an agreement “ring on 2”. I am saved and say good-bye and even now he is still on pavement street or arrested once more.

{historical note for context: November 23, 1989 was Thanksgiving Day in the US}

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11/22/1989

Up at 8:30 for a “continental breakfast” (eggs sunnyside up, toast, coffee, cornflakes, OJ and bacon) and out to find world famous Mathew Street, home of the Cavern Club and a lot of crazy Beatles rip-off stores. Mathew Street is like a back alley. On the site of the Cavern is a mall. Where the Cavern eventually moved to is its replacement, The R@volution Club, and it looks to be a real dive. I went into the official Beatles store and bought cards for the two Mikes, my brother and my other brother, back home. Mike’s is a postcard of The Beatle Store, as I already got him another card. Michael’s is a real card with something The Beatles did, called Trippy the Bear. I wonder who ripped off who?

On the train to Manchester, here we go, boyo! Finally, I’ll see some England in daylight countryside. In the same day, I will see the beginnings of The Beatles and the end of Joy Division, Ian’s grave. Tarbox New Order/Joy Division tape playing and tape player acting up. Fuck off, Ian! This is my adventure.

Blue and white sky, Sun shining hot through train window, trees still green-leaved, smoke stacks vomiting forth white and seven reactor nuke plant (what a strange thing to see here). Houses everywhere. England is overpopulated.

Ticket to get OUT of the station, unpack, dismount, rummage. It is raining lightly or snowing and I start walking to the town hall tourist info place to ask not where can I sleep, but where is the Hacienda (New Order’s dance club) and to my surprise they know exactly where it is. Five blocks and I am there, but it is closed, even the pub. “FAC51 The Hacienda” reads a tiny plaque stone block in the wall and the big blacked out windows. I take a rubbing of the plaque with this very pen but I’m going to find a pencil or some charcoal and do it properly and twice for Tarbox and myself.

Very nice city, friendly and helpful, old and new meet and the result is quite nice. “Manchester: A Nuclear Free City” and a dove on signs around all over the city. Very nice and much nicer than any place I’ve been yet. I’ve decided to stay up all night, as there are not many B&Bs in the area and the hotels are all posh. I guess I won’t get drunk tonight either!

All checked in safe and sound at YMCA after drawing a rough rough sketch of Hacienda for Boxtar. All around Hacienda signs of Joy Division are found. Large flyer poster reads “Heart and Soul, small green flyer has a big bold Joy and Digital Underground in quotes and still big. But how the fuck do you get inside?

Nice bar lady giving help with money explanations and change and info and laughing with the boys: a Rasta with English accent and four white friends. Seventeen fags for £1.50 with Benson & Hedges as the strongest. Passing train shakes whole building and I am glad I did not get a room here, City Road Inn. Picture of map of Ireland with metallic blue ocean surrounding and I wonder why there are still bombings and killings and six month old babies being murdered, for what does a baby know of politics? And if you could explain politics to a baby, it would probably laugh. Or maybe even cry.

Out in the streets is a TV/stereo store advertising satellite dishes. Eight more channels! A whole eight. What? And the Government owns the air waves. TVs have only six buttons, so I guess they have to buy a new telly with the dish. And more deaths. Eleven English Marines are dead in another IRA bombing, just came over the BBC1 News at 6. Why? No need for death. I am really losing respect for the Irish and my own ancestors. There are actually songs about some of my long dead murdering relations.

Drunks and I am glad to have found this pub, as there are not even a third of the number of pubs here in the secondary capital as in any small city in Ireland Eire Death.

(Letter to Tarbox)
Manchester is a really friendly city. Big and happening and beautiful and the best place I’ve been yet. Come, definitely. I can’t figure out why Joy Division was so angry and depressed if they really lived here, but that was years ago. There are wonderful pieces of art in the parks and they love to laugh and poke fun at, but no harm is meant. Come see. Be. You’ll love it. Take a daytrip to Liverpool, but that is all it will take.

Oh, this crazy nut Scotsman, into music and knows loves Joy Division waiting for Hacienda to open across the street, talking of the new way of music, electronics. He carries a basic studio with him at all times, in a case that looks like it could fit a guitar, and talking about women and boy oh boy he is a blast. 35 and knows all, including life “don’t mean a thing” because, as Jack just told me last night, God is everything and I am nothing.

Back at his Holiday Inn £90 room a night room. If they only knew what they let in! Reading some December issue of a music magazine and he is listening thru headphones to disks, and note the “k” and not “c”, of sampling and shit he has done. And the TV is on and a bar stocked with beer and harder stuff and pool played, two games, let’s go to that club. Carrying about twenty pounds of paper and all all all all and now in shower after playing me some bassy stuff he put together this afternoon, god knows where, with Nazi and Jew movie on and talking as he showers, and he will look even more nuts without his stubbly beard. And soon to the long-awaited club and he paid for a cab to carry us two blocks with his gear as this is the first pub he fell into as if fate for this night had nothing to do with bringing us together; two music lovers. He has traveled the world and is into drugs and has acid but claims he is an atheist, but how can he be? And I have told him that he is going beyond, but his one drawback is all he wants to do is fuck, despite his wife and kids and shaves now, as I write, in the £90 room. We will dream the same dreams even tho his bed is the same as mine but bigger and nicer and the room smells better than mine in the YMCA across the street.

Empty hollow dark Truth lies or waits by The Hacienda on a Tuesday night. Five video screens. Beautiful sex girls pop to overdone bass and even I at 21 feel old. Death swings twice, armor and bong of aliens in the wind of electric fan and Death is —- {edited: was bumped and strongly warned by big bouncer that writing was not allowed}

Thirty-five year old Scotsman wondering what we paid for, got in and he the payer! All I want is a 33 Old Latrobe. And the young girls smell oh so sweet. New Order under tunes of all music. Beat Bip de Bop. There she is. Standing next to me. Her long red hair and traveled all they British and note British {edit: unreadable} within 5 mins to go to Nottingham with her in the morning and me already piss drunk. Gone is the 35 year old and hello 22 and all night we hang together just talking and her trying to get me even more drunk with evil death wine and shot/slammers. Off we go, she now friends with the bouncer, STONE, who stopped me from writing and gone with me and another lad to THE underground Rasta lounge of the North and we go, dime bag bought in under 5 mins from 50 year old Ratsa English and spliff a mile long. I can still feel. And so god damn drunk. What time is breakfast and 12:30 really 11:30 to bus station to meet Nottingham girl. Too drunk and high even to kiss. Burning sensation of fresh pot, good and off we go. Praise all to Jah.

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