This is what happens when you go to bed late, wake up late, turn over and go back to sleep at least three times when you should have got up and written a blog but now have no time to transcribe either of the long blog chats you have sitting inside your iPhone.
My blog ends up as extracts from my diary in 1999.
I had a drink with a workmate.
Biting into a bacon and lettuce bap, his front crowns came out: three linked false teeth.
He tried to stick them back in with chewing gum borrowed from the barman – to no avail.
He borrowed a rubber band from me and tried to strap them to the rest of his teeth, as with a dental brace – to no avail.
He eventually went to the toilet and stuffed paper behind his upper lip so that the pressure forced the teeth back in place, preventing them from pushing forward and out.
I spent the afternoon with a friend. Her husband was there and, if I did not know him, I guess I would have thought he had been an alcoholic who had been damaged by drink. He was full of little mannerisms: scratching by the side of his ear, moving his mouth oddly, altering the open-ness of his eyes and occasionally slightly grimacing with his mouth. The last, I think, is probably a sight of too much cocaine use as it does something to the gums.
My friend told me he was drinking heavily: something like half a bottle of spirits every day. My friend mentioned divorce to him again a few weeks ago but he, in effect, just ignored it.
He has always been intellectually arrogant – something I presume the cocaine would only accentuate. He has told her that he thinks, if he put his mind to it, he could go into politics and become Prime Minister within 10 years. At home, he has a lot of nose problems – there is a lot of snorting and sniffing and clearing of nasal passages.
In the evening, I talked to a chum I had arranged to see a chat with at the Union Chapel in Islington. The chat is by former cannabis smuggler Howard Marks and former-US criminal-turned-Reservoir Dogs actor and crime novelist Edward Bunker. My chum said he was “getting cold feet about going” because he was having moral qualms about giving the £12.50 ticket fee to “such terrible people”.
I said I had gone to lots of countries with appalling regimes. And we both paid council tax which partly went to the Metropolitan Police, some of whom are simply selling heroin in the streets of South London – probably Brixton, where he lives.
In the evening, I went to the Unity Chapel in Islington. Without my chum, but with someone else. It was full with perhaps 300 people.
Howard Marks shambled on stage and his clothes and face shambled on with him: a black shirt and dark-grey trousers, all hanging in folds – and the skin of his face hanging slightly in folds too, as if all three were very slightly too big for him.
He said the most cash he had ever been given at any one time was in dollars but equivalent to £2 million.
He spoke in a strong Welsh accent and seemed much the worse for wear from years of drugs. Occasionally, he would giggle slightly in a drunken/druggy way then recover himself and carry on; often he would go off at tangents, sometimes forgetting where he had started.
Edward Bunker was very neatly dressed in a very light grey suit with cream shirt and red tie. His movements were slow and starched with occasional barely- perceptible jerks. His pale, slightly pastry-coloured pink face was immovable and it looked as if his eyes were permanently closed: you could see no whites in them.
When Marks and Bunker sat down together after the interval for a question-and-answer session, the difference was even more obvious. Marks was basically a druggy man who had slipped into smuggling which happened to be criminal; Bunker was a career criminal. Marks was visibly smoking a big fat spliff on stage, Bunker seemed to be on something darker, stronger and more internal.