I tend to stay up until two or three in the morning most nights. I used to stay up later than that, but in time I found it made me more depressed still if I was exhausted. I seem to now exist on a comfortable cusp of tiredness. I’d like to say that with all this extra time in my life I have much time to create, to think, to design. I tend to surf the internet a lot, watch a lot of television and play games.
I have lots of little flashes of creativity and inspiration. Its getting them to fruition that is such a problem. I would like the ability to convert even two or three of these a year into something of note, if only to me.
I spend a lot of time at a keyboard. Maybe 10 or more hours most weekdays, hopefully less at the weekend. I can remember when working with computers was a pipedream, something interesting other people did. I didn’t know what I wanted to do then. I think I do now, I far prefer this to selling.
Every time I think, I move something in my mind. It goes slow, it goes fast. Sometimes I feel like my mind stutters, like a badly-tuned engine. Everything is there, whole ideas and processes float past.
I met Nathan Matthers in London one day. I can remember seeing him in a documentary about his mother “Eminem’s Mom”. It said at the end of the show that he had now moved in with his older brother. I remember thinking that he had his brothers sense of humour, but perhaps was even better balanced than him, in some ways he had had far more to deal with than even Eminem. He was now 25, and had a recording career that was even more glittering than his brother. After courting some teen success at nineteen, and had the obvious but unfair accusation that he was riding on his brothers coattails, he had gone away for a couple of years, and came back with a massive album that took him into a new league. Serious, thought-provoking rap, musically leagues beyond his brother, but with mainstream success. It was the only album that anyone would remember from 2005.
Nathan had kept his feet on the ground though, had married his girlfriend he had met shortly before he released his first album. After his second album she became pregnant, and he had taken another break of a year or two to be with her and his new son.
Obviously, being slightly reticent in public life, and mammothly sucessful he had a certain mistique to the press, and was warey of them. It was quite a suprise to see him walk into a london bar with his girlfriend and bouncer, but just the three of them. It transpired he had asked some friends to point him in the direction of a quiet place he could have a drink.
I had arranged to meet a friend after a course in London, but had finished early, and had needed to kill a couple of hours. I was nursing a pint and reading the Guardian on my own, when they walked in. I looked up and recognised Nathan when he walked in, looking over and mouthing my suprise, but of course being English and shy did not approach them. They ordered their drinks and sat down at the table next to me.
I listened in to their conversation, which indicated that he was trying to find a place to live here, and was considering a small village outside of St.Albans. Apparently Stanley Kubrick had lived there, and his family had decided to move out.
He was going off to look at it.
I leaned over, and said “I’m sorry to intrude, but I’ve actually been there”. He looked catiuously at me. “I know who you are, and obviously I am a big fan, don’t worry I’m not going to make a scene. But I have been to that village. It is incredible, it is like the most picture-perfect place I have ever seen. If you are looking for something that is like the England you Americans have been sold on TV,
you just won’t find anywhere better. And that house is amazing, it has the biggest hedges around it ever. If you want privacy, that is the place.”
And so we got talking, he asked me about the area, and I told him how I remembered it.He then asked me about me, and I started talking about my interests in music. I mentioned Hendrix and we found we had a common interest there. I then brought up my respect for nineties dj’s like Cut Chemist and DJ Shadow, and we had half an hour discussing them, and the seventies soul records they loved. After a little while he said he was sorry but he had to go.
We shook hands, and they left. My friend showed up ten minutes later, and she was very jealous when I told her who she had just missed out on meeting. But she was amazed when I told he what a nice guy he was. It was a great little day, and I told all my friends who I had met.
I had told him about loving the bassline from Thank You by Sly and the Family Stone. Its the one that Janet Jackson borrowed for Rythym Nation.
Hoping for a more positive response than before, I moved slowly towards the door. I was tired. I’d started back on the patches, then taken them off to smoke a couple of fags, then put them back on. I felt wierd. Woosy. My heart was racing hard. Too fast. difficult to think straight really. Pins and needles in my feet. Neck ache. Lungs sore. Basically not a good reaction. Took the patch off, to try and calm myself down. I didn’t drink any more coffee for a little, I usually manage a few cups minimum in a day. But today was different, a couple of cups of tea had to suffice as a replacement. It didn’t feel like one. Smoking fucking sucks frankly. This is what cold turkey is like
I’ve just remembered. I can recall the first time I tried to give up ciggies with willpower alone. Being kept awake by the whiteness of walls. Rolling and suffering