Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Scorched City (UPDATED)

Hotter than Greece. Hotter than Mauritius. Hotter, and this may well blow your mind, than Cornwall.

London is hot. The Northern Line is a torrid mass: crowds being pushed to the very limits of human endurance; furiously ignoring the sticky, cloying sweat of Other People. We stare fixedly above through the gaps between bare shoulders, arms and the rivulets of moisture trickling down the foreheads and engorged necks of strangers. Pressed together, not moving, patiently concentrating on counting down the stops.

We have no air conditioning in my office. A window gapes by my side but no breeze drifts through it to cool me. I am imagining sea. A clear, azure skyseasky. Waves slow and deliberate, serenely lapping over me as I lie, languid in the surf.

In London the pavements bake. People talk about the weather more than ever, because, did you hear? It's hotter than Greece today. Thirty-six degrees, I heard. Read it in The Metro. Thunderstorms later on in the week, though, so we should make the most of it. Can't complain, really.

We do, though.

I feel too exhausted by the non-airconditioned heat to say all I would like to say today. I would like to talk about my weekend, and how good it was. About some music stuff that is coming my way and how, after so long, I can see that the climb might start getting a bit gentler and the path smoother. About how my therapist and I decided that we will have one more session and then, perhaps, proclaim me fixed. About how that scares me a little bit, but also how I know it's not far from the truth.

I am melting, in the manner of the Wicked Witch of the West, except I am wearing fewer clothes, am less green and have more freckles.

I would love for someone to pour a bucket of water over my head, and then hand me a cocktail with lots and lots of ice in it.

UPDATE: I am stuggling out of my sticky torpor to tell a story relating to how I am rubbish at all computer games ever invented ever.

On Friday night I swayed over to Tom's house after going out in the lovely Queen's Park, and happened upon various people playing some sort of computer game sort of thing.

Ever since the age of twelve and an embarrassing Super Mario Brothers-related episode at my friend Emily's house, any mention of computer games is my cue to develop a sudden but hearty interest in outdoor pursuits: hiking, birdwatching, throwing myself in front of buses and the like.

This computer game, I was quickly informed, was different. This was music-related! Involving music! 'Guitar Hero', it's called. This assurance only served to make me more disconsolate, as I suspected that, far from being miraculously and wonderously good at it, the experience would only prove that I am actually not that good at music, and therefore my whole reason for being would be exposed as a complete and resounding fallacy.

'Guitar Hero', in case you are one of the few who has not been initiated, involves standing in your living room (I have been informed that it is more rewarding if you haven't washed for a while and are wearing only greying underwear) with what can only be described as a fake guitar slung round your person. Adopting a suitable pose (legs apart, body at a jaunty angle) you must watch the screen of the TV. You select a song. Using the buttons on the 'guitar'. Say you choose 'Killer Queen' because you have been told it's easy enough for a leaden-armed, myopic primate to master. The introduction sounds, and on the screen appears a guitar fret. Except it looks like a cartoon road. On the guitar you have a number of buttons. I want to say five, but I can't remember. As the song progresses, you must press the appropriate buttons with your left hand (these are the 'notes') and strum with your right (this is the 'strummy bit'), as dictated by the big cartoon road on the TV.

(I know I am describing it with all the aptitude of a five-year old explaining quantum physics in yellow crayon, but this is the best I can do.)

You get points for pressing the right buttons and being good at strumminess, basically, and there are lots of songs to choose from that are rated by difficultly. They range from "You Are A Proper Spacka If You Can't Do This One" to "Perhaps You Should Get Out Of The House Sometime, See Some Friends, Maybe, Or Catch A Film".

In my defence, I had had lots of wine. Also my arm fell off on the tube and I only have one eye. As you maybe have surmised, I was not suddenly the 'Guitar Hero' champ of Holloway Road. In fact, the highlight for me was having one person* one on side doing the 'notes' bit and another on the other doing the strummy bit, and therefore only being repsonsible for adopting a suitably rock 'n' roll stance, and still fucking it up and being laughed at by a computer game for being a loser.

Tom forgave me for being inept in front of his friends. I am still muttering darkly to myself about "if it was karaoke..." but that is a whole new feast of humiliation and I'm just not sure our relationship is ready.



Blogger galatea said...

I am most upset you're not moved to blog about our Friday night guitar hero excitement. I would, only I've already written about my love of the game once and people might start to think I'm some kind of sad gamer.

Oh wait.

1:16 pm

Blogger Léonie said...

I've updated accordingly. Will you link your post so that we can have some kind of compare and contrast between she who is good at the game and she who is so bad at the game she will refuse to play ever again unless drunk?

I am going to secretly practice and practice in the manner of a inspirational teen-movie and then wow you all with my prowess. Then I will start on Super-Mario.

2:26 pm

Blogger Dancinfairy said...

I have three fans pointing at me and it is still too hot. I went to London last night and had to walk from Victoria to Earls ourt because I refused to get on the tube in rush hour in the heat.

I think it is about 33oC here today which is like A LOT.

I want cocktails and clinky, clinky ice cube and I do not want to be here.

Although I went outside at lucnhtime and rushed back into work after a while because it was cooler inside.

This is crazy. And it's hotter here tha in Greece you know.

3:03 pm

Blogger Adz said...

London is UNBEARABLE! I nearly died on the bus yesterday, actually nearly died! (slightly OTT maybe, but I was a mess when I got off)

And they say it is going to be ever hotter tomorrow! OH JOY!

9:58 pm

Anonymous galatea said...

My post is here. Truly, I am a gaming gimp. Even more thrillingly, I came downstairs the next morning to find Tom feverishly strumming, in his pants.

That didn't sound nice, did it?

5:17 pm

Blogger Miss Devylish said...

I'm sure you did much much better than me.. and when karaoke comes around.. you'll kill 'em!

3:02 am


Post a Comment

<< Home