Old shit from and old blog #1: ‘KENDAL CALLED’

by CBallinger

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It began early, like all of these things. All events need an ‘eve’. We started with supplies, which are essential when out in the fields. A van was required to carry our stock so we rattled to a mass-market-mega-mart. I believe discussion in transit related to the ‘pornography generation’ – the kids who’ve had the internet for too long and expect sex to be a bombardment of fetish acts. We talked of those who’d be insulted by pubic hair and those who’d be surprised by strange requests.

The shopping was a whirlwind of heart-insults. Nothing that will spoil. Ruinous foods in bright coloured packets, wet wipes and Rizla. All of the essentials plus a certain. amount of frivolity. Value and volume were key in the drink aisle; we ran the percentages and came out with come good-looking figures. To the van!

Bags were packed and the journey imagined. We convened to a bar and began our plotting. Boozy times ensued. A cocktail bar and a birthday girl insulted by my flirting. A club that held memories of a cubicle kerfuffle and an instance of brewer’s droop. Hip-Hop happened and heads were bopped, standing whiter-than-white with my absent rhythm.

That eve drew to a close under the bright lights of a 24 hour supermarket. Pork pies with pickle tasted like a donner kebab to a palette hungry for fat and salt.

The morning hangover kicked like a whore but there was little time for head holding as my phone soon burst with the news of a driver on my doorstep.

The ride was acceptably smooth due to the presence of some fresh juice and savagely strong beer. ‘Good men drink good beer.’ As the beer was sunk, I said goodbye to any hope of freshness and, in turn, my daytime self. Fictions are put into play.

“If anyone asks if it’s true, the answer is ‘yes’, I am a journalist.”

On arrival I surveyed the gates. Security measures were required to be lax. I could not be searched; I would not pass their test. I had to remind myself not to forget duties for later that day as I knew that once the threshold is breached, mashedness would ensue.

We laid out a plan. Pop up tents. Get in. Get high. Peg down said tents. Mustn’t be near families, they’ll not like us.

Camp was established and excess began. Booze in buckets and smokes like weapons.

Girls. Gurls. Women. Babes. Chicks. They were all there. I could barely contain myself. Even the girls in our number were joining in, criticising our praise. As I was being distracted by the smooth lines of beauty, I was electronically notified of the imminent arrival of DM. Now, I’d already assembled a wonderful cast and was fully stimulated by my assorted campers but DM is integral, if only for his unpredictable genius.

I retrieved him from the gate and began to outline the facilities up ahead. I pretty much walked around saying exactly what I thought –everyone was cutting loose their weekday masks.

I led DM into the established crack den. A spacious, dark, powder-filled hole of a place. People clearly mean business when they don’t have a bed, but have established a table.

“What’s this?”

“It’s supposed to be coke.”

Reassuring signs all round.

Life became quickly tangential, talk fleeting around the career highlights of Craig Charles and digressing wildly into whores and horse’s shoes.

We had to haul ourselves free from the reverie of our camp. There were things going missed. We entered the arena with ear to ear faces. Friends mumbled marriage proposals as girls passed. Bars were eyed and snack-stops evaluated. We stared and wanted. Everything.

People and faces continued to be distracting as we searched for the music of our choice. Ladies fashion appeared to be popular, for everyone. The grim reaper relentlessly pursued a baby; I can only encourage him to continue to flee, as we all do.

Music and good times welcomed darker skies and fear was less than ever. DM was directing, his camera clicking furiously. I scribbled the nonsense I didn’t want to forget.

Drink and distraction were somehow overcome for a moment and I remembered a place I needed to be. To a riotous jazz tent to see a band containing a footballing friend. It turned out his band were cross-dressed cover merchants, swigging bottles at the mic. I loved them, badly applied make-up and all.

And the night swirled to an end. Damp grass and sweat in a tee-pee of light and bass. Drunken declarations. Future predictions. Rolling around the camp floor.

Morning happened with its usual predictability. A new hangover declared itself King. I pulled at a zip and pawed at a flap. Air and space! My out-poked head found the world had changed. No friends or personal debris. More problems quickly surfaced. Initial heaves were followed by mild splashes, their dry successors pulled at my core.

Eyes closed and images flashed. Memory, fiction, lights and words. Punishment behind my eyelids. No rest, no rest. Conveniently dressed I hauled myself from the tent, leaving behind snack foods and a sleeping bag, splayed and unused.

Standing and staring and turning. The laughter started before the sighting. The bastards had turned me 180 degrees from my previous land. Not one to hold grudges, I rejoined the group and settled on a biscuit breakfast.

Teeth were brushed and heads refreshed. I prepared a brace of cannons and slowly encouraged alcohol into my body. We were soon back on our horses; shadowy figures re-launching themselves. Topped up we gathered pace quickly.

The sound of wild beasts made my feet move; uncontrollable groove. Dancing falsetto and wriggling bass. A smoke of such enormity it almost gathered a crowd. I’ve still got the taste dancing on my tongue.

Snacks! Food happened in stages, flavours here and there. Doughnuts stole my heart, they were everything I ever wanted. Culinary interlude over, the night stole up on us and surged us forward. Jimi did it Masters of the Universe style-y and were delighted. The thought of sleeping alone was something I couldn’t entertain.

And so we surged, doing everything, recording little. All these worlds. DM and I made more friends than enemies and found that our improvisation was superior to procurement. We befriended some British boys who felt the same and they joined our spree.

Filthy lucre and loose words. Everyone deserves comment. The camp was alive and there were activities to prioritise.

“Someone! Get the crisps, they’re in the kitchen.”

“Kitchen?”

“Bottom left.”

I was busy constructing. Lost the weed. Loaned some weed. Found the weed. Always elusive. Snack. Smoke. Drink.

“Help! I can’t gather myself.”

Fade to black.

Another whore’s shoe borrowed its heel into my temple. Badness returned but my stomach was solvent. Sluggishness, however, had hit a new high. Every bone and muscle was crying out for comfort.

Breakfast was addressed properly, a bacon roll in a pop-up café. My mind flashed to a previous evening spent here, bribing a staff member with cannabis tokes in return for more chips. The spirit of trade is well.

Sunny daze. Beats were bringing some real bounce to proceedings. Enthusiasm fueled excess. The power of the sea was brought to my ears and only pushed us further. This is when I went too far. Or high, to be precise. Despite the sun, my face turned cold and numb.

“Well, you look pale.” All eyes on me. Air seemed in short supply and blackness crept in from the edges of my vision. Finger sensation was lost. Under was not a place I wanted to go. I tried deep breaths.

“You need sugar.”

“And water.”

I sipped a drink and nibbled mint cake. No change. Then the sweat seized me. It was time to leave.

DM and I picked our way through the people. I was a ghost flitting between souls still present. I made it to the toilets, vibrating all the way.

DM: “You’re not vibrating. It just feels like you are. Its normal.”

I fixed myself with a stare in the mini-mirror. I needed a sit down. I banished the idea of sickness and began to sweat a river. Pouring sweat I felt a little more alive. Vibrations moved to my legs. I scribbled nonsense to focus my mind, most of which now appears here (I cannot not fit in the word ‘Manky’). DM’s voice cut into my mind. I shouted a reassuring something and tried to gather myself. I was turning a corner. A few slaps further aided my bid.

Reunited, we headed to the bar. A shadow still hung over me but there was little I could do but bat it away with bottled enthusiasm. Drink; immaculate dullness and contrary exuberance. Always delay the pain.

The weekend was spiralling to a close.

We rejoined the group and decided on food; it had to be a pie, nothing else would do. We emptied our wallets into a pie hut and devoured a saviour of a savoury snack.

With my hands back to stillness I was able to think of rolling. The booze, however made sure it was a real offensive affair. Hi, hi, high. Movements and music is all I know filled a void for sometime.

We found a boy in small tee-pee made selling balloons. He was cutting fine deals but I wasn’t interested. A cheap, cheap way to high. DM was first in the queue.

I watched as he literally lost his mind for a moment. A hail of chuckles and wondrous confusion. His face twisted and his brain rebooted. It was all a little wild and intense for me but I couldn’t look away; his grip was lost, he had to wait to get it back. I was patient and amazed.

Lister bopped and clapped and poured sweat and laughed. It was a surreal time for a nostalgic mind. I watched as a hero spilled his enthusiasm into the crowd, I felt it and danced too. The horns were bursting into my head; music to entertain my soul. I watched the last human in the universe sweat and drink and move until he had to say goodnight.

I felt I was just warming up, but Monday loomed and the wind down began. Its best to fade out here whilst the sweat is still warm, before the dream turns and the cold is felt on the back of my neck.

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