Updated: Dec 2, 2020
The Flame Years later in a grimy gritty Carlsberg sponsored sports bar in Kings Cross, Jeremy would confide in me that the romantic outpour of 1998 was the beginning of a series mental health issues which would result in him being sectioned at a Wood Green hospital in the summer of 2015. He said, I went a bit over the top mate and build a house in my subconscious with no roof or ceiling, you know? I should have stopped the storm of emotions before I developed a sort of religious fervour which would make me consider sacrificing my own flesh for the plight of Chilean democracy. Of course I was never going to lift a finger for them but mate to even think about it was a bad sign. I was nobbled by the flame of wanting. A wanting which supplanted me. I was not a lad from Leeds studying Literature or Philosophy anymore but a bolt of self-imploding nuclear longing pointed at an overly attractive twenty year-old girl. It was the first time I ceased to be English. It was the first time I was my species, an undefined lump of sentient meat in awe of Lula’s socialist views and her perfectly shaped legs. Like a million other sentient lumps throughout the ages gobbled and munched by the monster fangs of romance, flesh and huge ideas.
I tried to console him endlessly reminding him that we had all been there but he was not having it. His suffering was bottomless. He said:
Mate I fucked up epically and the worst thing is that I would do it all over again. Much the same but worse. I would go in headfirst. I would not control. I would jump with more swagger and vigour into the black hole of the moment. Into the well of otherness. I would bloody time-warp myself to the exact instant, that particular slice of the time-space cake-conundrum, a couple of minute micro-seconds before the first devastating snog. Blind drunk with pisco. The whole university campus screaming and shouting and sixty percent of the male student population staring at her face. Delving in and pining for that almost perfect feline dark-eyed holy face which would haunt me for the rest of my pathetic fucking life!
That night we got completely wasted and ended up in a flat in Hackney where two beautiful young Italian girls fought for our affections. It was fun and exciting to watch our old Indie Englishness seduce young Europeans with Pulp and Blur t-shirts. For them us regazzi were the real thing. We had the perfect Indie Northen folk Yordie accent and the most vintage sports shoes they had ever seen. Years before they were scouting the night-clubs of Milan for boys which would assimilate something as English as us.
That one even got Jarvi’s glassis –I heard one of the girls say.