Wrong Side Of Paradise

Wednesday, 4 December 2013

Written 01/2013
*Long boring, droning blog post.
*Strong language.

"What is this life if full of care?…"(William Henry Davies).

‘’What’s the deal with the glasses Jiro?’’ I asked, poking my fingers forward carefully to realize that Jiro has decided to wear lensless glasses today.

Jiro looks up, his jagged fringe ("bangs" if you’re American?) hangs over one side of the white plastic frame. He stares at me for a long time before finally saying


‘’Can I borrow them for a minute? I can’t read the small print on this manual.’’ I ask reaching for his face again. He jolts back and gives me the finger that I'm so used to.

We are trying to put together an expensive and complicated piece of
furniture that Jiro had delivered to store his many empty box files. I
assume it's supposed to be a standing shelf of some sort, but it currently looks like scraps from a carpenter’s workshop.

I say ‘’we’’, though so far I have only managed to create a paper boat out of the foreign instructions. Which I was very proud of and about to attempt to climb into, when it was trod on by Jiro, my partner in crime against furniture. I would much rather slot things in place and hope for the best (No that is not innuendo <) But Jiro insists on taking a methodical approach, which consists of standing and staring intently at the mess of parts and trying to fit them together with the power of telekinesis.

We both stood and stared for a long moment. Jiro scratched his head and appeared to be getting ready for a fight by removing his jacket,
watch and jewellery (he kept the glasses on) I yawned exaggeratedly
before Jiro finally spoke.

‘’I think we take that big thing and slot it into that little thing.’’

‘’That’s what she said.’’ (That's innuendo<) I say, managing to get a smile out of him, where he revealed a silver incisor.

We’re both stuck in what is often referred to as a research room. Like many research rooms in London, this room is situated somewhere in the
depths of the building, only to be frequented by the brave and underpaid. The windowless room has dividers placed randomly around the polished hardwood floors. Despite the fluorescent lighting, the room is dim and dreary. It’s the kind of room where day and night are created by electricity… The kind of room that delivers a jolt of disappointment to those who step outside in the winter to realize that the day has turned to night without their knowledge.

A big executive style table sits in the middle of the room, occupied by worker bees bent over paper pads and fiddling with gadgets and smartphones. I spot an older man, maybe in his fifties, appearing to ‘’chat up’’ an intern. He spots me looking and winks, an awkward, slow, struggled wink. I give him a crooked thumbs up and circle the table, spying on peoples’ work and Facebook pages.

I spot Sil, the part time cannabis dealer/ handyman / security guard. He’s sat swiveling in an orthopedic chair, reading somebody’s copy
of Esquire magazine and twisting his beard between fat fingers.

I call his name and motion him towards Jiro and I. I wait impatiently as Sil drags his big feet towards us.

I speak when he’s halfway to us.

‘’Sil, I’ll pay you to fix this shelf thing.’’ I say. I turn to Jiro and he shrugs.

‘’HOW MUCH?’’ Sil asks, excited.

‘’How much do you want?’’ I ask.

‘’Hundred pound.’’ He says nodding his head.

‘’One pound.’’ I counter.

‘’Ninety pound.’’

‘’Two pounds?’’

‘’Eighty pound.’’

‘’Three pounds.’’

‘’Seven…’’ Sil begins before Jiro cuts him off with his own offer
‘’Fifty pounds Sil…Yes?’’

‘’Fourty nine pounds.’’  I say shaking Sil’s blister laden hand.

Having outsourced our work for a few hours, I reluctantly followed Jiro
into the daylight and to the closest source of food. I would have much preferred to lay my body down in the damp car park where I would breathe in the life affirming wet air...and cigarette smoke until I would inevitably be dragged back into white collar prison for causing
an obstruction.

Instead, I followed Jiro into a small building who's sign promised a "bistro", but who's interior suggested something totally different. Dim lighting was teamed with expensive flowers, dark begging to be marred glossy floors, and red curtains pinned on the sides of pictures instead of windows. The place was essentially manufactured romance for those who couldn't muster up any of their own. The type of place someone would bring his weekend girlfriend but not his wife. Was Jiro trying to tell me something?

Stuck in my pondering, I had been left alone by Jiro who was now sitting at a table at the far end of the room. Pretending I hadn't seen him, I spun around awkwardly like a child who had lost his mother in a supermarket.

I felt finger tips tap softly against my shoulder.

‘’Hello...I...am...Emma.’’ Said a waitress pausing slightly after each word. Her brown hair was tied and pinned behind her ears in an elaborate formation. She smiled a wide, gap toothed smile and gave me her hand.

‘’Should I kiss it?’’ I thought briefly before deciding to give her a firm handshake.

‘’Hello.’’ I said.

‘’Who...are...you?’’ She questioned.

‘’I'm still trying to work that out.’’




‘’With a K.’’


‘’My name is Kash.’’


‘’Yea I know, you already told me that. What else?’’


‘’What for?’’


Putting an end to one of the longest conversations I've had today, I pointed at Jiro and made my way over to him.

‘’What was that about?’’ Jiro asked me, sounding more excited than necessary.

‘’Nothing, she was just asking about you...What's good here?’’

‘’Piss off, she wasn't.’’

‘’Ok...They have milkshake. I'm going to have a milkshake. What else is good here?.’’

‘’Coq au vin. Was she asking about me?’’

‘’Coq au what now?.’’

‘’What did she say?’’

‘’She said you were cute or something.’’

‘’Yea...I am.’’

Our food arrived quickly, like it had just come from a microwave.

‘’Your plate looks different.’’ Jiro said, tucking his napkin into his collar. I looked down at my plate.

‘’Yep, my coq’s bigger.’’

We ate, slow but with purpose. My food was dry and bland, much like my
day. I drew a frowning face in the sauce left on my plate and slurped
the remainder of my child sized milkshake through a curly straw, much to the annoyance of Jiro.

A girl sat opposite us held a smartphone over her food for reasons unknown. I wondered if she was a spy. There’s probably an app for that…An app for spies.

Having emptied our wallets and filled our bellies, Jiro and I made our
way out. Before we reached the door, I turned to Jiro.

‘’So are you going to get her number or what?’’

‘’What? Whose?’’


‘’Who's Emma?’’

‘’The waitress.’’ I nodded my head towards her. She was stood twiddling her thumbs, smiling her gap toothed smile at no one in particular.

I pushed Jiro towards her.

‘’Don't be a pussy.’’ I encouraged before walking out.

I was across the street from the Bistro staring at my reflection in a puddle of black water, when Jiro came running up behind me.

‘’Got it!’’ He said smiling. He reached to pat me on the shoulder but changed his mind.

‘’Good for you Jiro, maybe you'll lose your virginity.’’

‘’I've seen her loads-a-times, didn't realise she was checking me out.’’

‘’She wasn't.’’ I said, pausing outside of the entrance to research purgatory.


‘’I doubt she was checking you out back then.’’

‘’But she saw me today, said I was cute.’’


‘’What are you on?’’

‘’Liquor and nicotine.’’

‘’What do you mean nope?’’

‘’She didn't mention you.’’

‘’Yea she did...You told me.’’

‘’Yes, I lied.’’


‘’She did not mention you.’’

‘’Then what-the-hell were you talking about?’’

‘’Methods of payment.’’

‘’You're a prick. Why did you do that you fucking prick?’’

‘’Would you have asked for her number had I not lied?’’

‘’No…But you can’t do shit like that .’’ Jiro said looking at his watch.

‘’Come on, we’re late. We need to go…We’re late…We need to go.’’ He
said panicked.

‘’I don’t understand what you’re trying to say.’’

‘’I said we’re late.’’

‘’We’re not. Sil thought it would be funny to change your watch. Do you really think we just spent two hours eating?’’.

‘’Oh…Wait. Sil or you?’’

I didn’t answer, hoping that Jiro wouldn’t notice that Sil’s fat fingers lacked the dexterity for my pointless prank. I lit a cigarette and hunched my shoulders forward, aiming smoke into the holes of Jiro’s fashionable glasses. Jiro started talking about some uninteresting political development in Europe (I think). I was on my second smoke when he waved his hand in front of my face.

‘’What’s with you Kash?’’

‘’I’m tired.’’

‘’So put the cigarette out and find a comfy chair to sleep in.’’

‘’I mean in general…Tired of this.’’ I spread my arms out.

‘’Let’s go make fun of Sil, then later we’ll get some more food, some beers?’’

And that’s what we did, because that is what is done. I had long come to the realisation that ‘’this’’ is all there was. An endless cycle of working, sleeping, eating, drinking and fucking. In constant motion never broken. But I’ve also come to the realisation that there has to be at least the chance of something else, something more…Or maybe I’ve watched too many movies. Either way, I’m going to find it. I just have to stop and figure out where to start looking (somewhere other than the bottom of an empty beer bottle). But for now I'll lay still, but still in motion.

‘’What is a life if full of care?...We have no time to stop and stare.’’

No shit Davies ^.

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