First of all he called his dad... I think? Or maybe it was his grandpa? Or his stepdad? Fuck I seriously struggle so much to keep up with the things he tells me about his life, all I know is that he called some male figure from his family on the phone, and proceeded to cuss this person out in the most extreme way for about five minutes. Saying shit like “If you hadn't married that fucking whore!” and “When you get old, you're going straight in a fucking home!” and “That's why you're not a fucking man are you? You're a spineless worm!”
I felt honoured (lucky?... at least 'curious') to be allowed to witness what was obviously a very private moment in someone's family life. A very private moment, yelled at volume in the kitchen and hallway of my five-bedroom flat in London, and sometimes in the toilet. Then he called his little brother, the same little brother – whose name I now remember is Keith – who was here with him when he first took the room that he still lives in. The one who he was supposed to be 'coming to London' with. The old boys back in town and out against the world. He called that brother, and left this voice message: “I'm going to come to Nottingham TOMORROW and either you can face up to me like a man, or I'm going to put you ALL OVER that fucking college of yours, in front of ALL YOUR FRIENDS!”
I really appreciated the phrase “put you all over...”, I think it has a tantalising poetry to it and my only regret is that my lifestyle will likely not afford me an opportunity to use it myself.
Because I'm not insane... okay.
We were still walking and pacing and I was slowly getting ready to go and play indoor soccer (here's a side note, when I'm talking about 'indoor soccer', do I say 'indoor soccer'? Or should it be 'indoor football'? I've started saying 'football' instead of 'soccer' since living here here, and I like that I'm doing that, I like to cultivate my speech to sound and feel nice, and I've always thought the sport deserves the name that all it's impostors keep usurping, but 'indoor football' just sounds wrong, it doesn't quite have the ring you'd like it to, you know?)
Sorry, let's try that again... we were still pacing, and chatting, and Andy was getting crazier and crazier – he was drinking K Cider, which is utter dogshit and strong as hell. At one point he said to me that he'd really love to get me in on the project of the script that he's writing about his life as an East London property manager – he wants to call it 'Roomspotting'. But in light of the recent family events he said that it was probably no longer just about the property world, it was now about his whole life. He wants me to tell his story basically... upon reflection it almost felt like he was giving me an opportunity to come clean and tell him that I'd been keeping this blog. But I didn't.
He spilled a can of K Cider all over the floor in his room, dropped it straight out of his hand and it struck the floor from the bottom, and cider jumped out everywhere like a volcano. He fumbled around and picked it back up, and then looked at me straight and said, “By Christmas, I'm either going to Mexico, or going to prison.”
I mean fuck, guys. This was someone at the end of his rope, I could plainly see that. This was a guy who was unravelling right in front of me and spinning out of control and to be honest I didn't even really want to stop him that badly because I didn't feel I had a stake in his situation. He kept talking about people in his life who he needed to come and be there for him on this night. He needed someone to sit next to him and calm him down, or else he was going to do something really stupid. He offered me a line, and I said no thanks I've got to go play football. I had no money though, and needed £2 to put on my Oyster Card so that I could get from the game back into central to do my gig later, so I asked him for that, and he told me “Seany's coming” and I said I needed to leave now and he said he had two Oyster Cards and only one of them had any money on it and maybe I should register them both online so that I could check and then take the one with the money so I could get to my game. What the fuck am I talking about TWO FUCKING QUID for? There's a guy in front of me IN PIECES and I'm worried about catching a fucking TRAIN? I told him I was worried about him, and that the things he was saying were scaring me. I told him, “you're one of the most interesting people I've ever met in my life, but I need to keep you at arm's length, because I can't be having this kind of mayhem making its way into my life. I need to observe from the sidelines.” He said he understood, and that's why he'd always kept me out of the shit with the agency. He said something about the landlady having come over a few days ago and broken down in the kitchen, crying, “this house is where I raised my family and my children”. He said he told her that he was sorry, but only way she was ever going to come into this house again was with a warrant, or a court order. He dropped his voice when he told me this, and his face dropped with it, like he was sorry that the world had done this to her. But he said that to her... or at least, he told me he said that to her. AND IT'S HER HOUSE!?? What the fuck... is... EEEUUURRRGHHH.... Fucking hell man, I have no idea.
Just as I was leaving he asked if he could use my laptop, so I brought it into his room and logged out of Facebook and Google, and closed the word document that was open on my screen with all of these stories about him. I wasn't sure if he saw it, or if he would have had any suspicions about what was in it, but I remember tilting the screen away from him slightly when it popped up. Stupid laptop won't close things quick enough GO FASTER WHY ARE YOU SO OLD!?
And then I left. I took one of the Oyster Cards, and closed the door, and walked down the concrete steps, and out into the cold night, and I didn't walk easy because I felt like something wasn't quite right, but I tried to put those thoughts out of my mind.
Positivity: a man creates his own destiny.
Click here to read the next part - Two Stories About the Rolling Stones