(Planet Me)
Friday, September 07, 2007
Bad Day

Sometimes everything that can go wrong goes wrong.

Sometimes it’s the day you least need anything to go wrong.

Sometimes it’s a day like today.

The day starts with Xander charging into the bedroom. He picks up my glasses and hands them to me.

I lean to take them from him. And he takes them away from me.

Give me the glasses, Xander.” I say.

These are very important glasses. I wear them very rarely. I call them interview glasses. They look virginal. Unchipped, unmarked. Every millimetre of them the same colour. My other glasses – the ones I wear most days are pockmocked with the bumps and scrapes of life. The bridge of these glasses are worn to bare metal by constantly being pushed back up my nose.

I don’t wear those glasses. They are not for Interviews.

My Very Important Glasses are in the hands of a two year old.

My Very Important Glasses look as if they have a broken leg.

One arm sits at one angle. Prim, proper, pristine. The way glasses should look.

The other arm sits 180 degrees opposite. Xander has bent the spine of the glasses. He has broken my Very Important Interview Glasses.

I have a Very Important Interview tomorrow. Therefore, I have to wear Very Important Interview Glasses tomorrow. Very Important Interview Glasses are broken.

I have been awake about 10 seconds. This is not the way days should start.

This is roughly the way the rest of my day pans out, by the way.

I snap the arm back and hope that ‘muscle memory’ works.

The glasses might snap back. They might not. I don’t know. I put them on and hope.


Later, I am in High Wycombe. Later, I buy two t-shirts and a David Bowie CD from a charity shop.

I open the David Bowie CD and it has a different David Bowie CD in it. I bought “Tonight”, for £1. I got “David Bowie 1969/74” instead.

This is roughly how the day pans out.

I arrive at the Odeon Leicester Square. Here, I am due to see the premiere of the David Gilmour concert DVD, alongside a live set from David and a Q&A Session.


I have £2.50 in my pocket. A spare half hour for a much needed pint. Cashpoint time.

The Natwest Cashpoint in Leicester Square is free. I put my card in. PIN. Cash. £10. Done. Sorted.

Please Take Your Card. Then Take Your Cash.”

The machine whirrs. No card. Whirring. No card.

Where the fuck’s my bank card?

The machine swallows the card. The mechanism that pushes out the card itself is broken. The machine eats card.

And since I haven’t taken the card, it doesn’t give me my money.


That half hour I have for a pint?

Forget it. I spent that half hour queuing on automated phone systems. I ring my bank. Card cancelled. Will be sent out within 3 working days. Fuck and shit. £2.50 doesn’t go far.

I have a Very Important Interview tomorrow and my son has fucked up my glasses. I have a Very Important Interview tomorrow and a faulty piece of technology has eaten my bank card.

I ring Natwest to inform them that my card has been eaten. “Press 1 for regicide. Press 2 if you are a Natwest Customer. Press 3 if suicidal. Press 4 if you like telephone queuing. Press 5 for boredom. Press 6…”


That pint? Never going to happen. Never going to happen at all.

Natwest advise me to mark the machine so no one can use it. And that an operator gets to the machine as soon as possible.

I place a note inside the slot that just fucked up my finances for the next few days.


It’s a good thing I bought the ticket with my Other card then.

I go into the cinema. In the toilet, I hear a unmistakable sound. Dreaded, evil. KERRIP!

The sound of tearing fabric. The sound of my dreams being pissed on at the last moment. It’s always the way. Something is dangled tantalisingly in front of my grasp and then always, it seems, fucked up at the last minute by things out of my control. For no reason other than it can.

I look down at my trousers. Dangling on a strip from a right leg is a hem that appears to have broken loose and slipped under my shoe as I was walking.

I am not going to be home until at least 11.00. There’s no time to buy new trousers unless I go to the 24 hour Asda and hope they have my size and style that fits my suit. I’m not buying an Asda suit to what could be The Most Important Interview Of My Life. I’m not even sure I have an other pair of suitable interview trousers. I’m living on Planet Fucked.

And I’m up at Insane O Clock tomorrow. I need new trousers. I emailed my CV home so I can issue it in a nice fancy folder tomorrow. The email arrives. And the CV is missing.

What fucking else can go wrong now? What fucking else? Can’t ANYTHING just work the way I want it to?


My seats are front row. A37.

The view from A37 is of a gigantic speaker stack. I can’t see ANYTHING else.

Seriously. The speaker stack is about ten feet wide and ten feet tall. It obscures the screen at the cinema entirely. I find the manager, who provides me with a ticket for row P. Row fucking P. At least I can see the screen.

David Gilmour performs solo on electric guitar. “Castellorizon” from his latest album. He’s about twelve feet away. I can just see him from behind the speaker stack. His playing is, as ever, economically divine.

I race from A37 to P20. For the next 85 minutes I luxuriate in widescreen movie glory. I text people and try to work out strategies to fix what has gone wrong. I hate being so.. preoccupied by unwanted, unnecessary, absolutely random crappy dramas. I like my life without drama.

Oh, did I mention? I’m really quite unwell at the moment. It will pass. But it is absolutely horrid.


The film is a precise representation of the live show : concentrating on the music and the playing, the emotion and the moment. Dispensed with are the gimmicks. The flying beds and silver beds are replaced by a verisimilitude of feeling. It is better than any other concert film of David’s work be it as part of the Floyd or not.

During “Echoes”, as David Gilmour and band explore the side-long classic jam, the theatre fills up discreetly. Rolls of dried ice smoke across the front, pass the front rows, stretch into the theatre. As the number moves into the well-known ‘seagull’ jam – in which David curls form his guitar the plaintive cries reminiscent of seabirds – strips of light block out the theatre. And a thin green prism laser blinks into life.

It is just like the show itself. It is effective and great theatrics. The theatre descends into a symphony of light and sound and ice.


As the movie ends, the theatre burst into applause. David takes the stage and answers Questions. He picks up his Stratocaster. Number #001, in fact. With the distinct guitar strap that formerly was worn by Jimi Hendrix. He picks out a couple of notes. Gentle, rolling notes. A drum kit is rolled on stage. Jon Carin picks up a guitar. A Kurtzweil organ appears, and Richard Wright – in regulation black trousers and tshirt – picks out some familiar notes. Steve DiStanislao shuffles a familiar rhythm. Guy Pratt picks out familiar bassline. Phil Manzenera strums along.

David and his band of Floyd alumni ramshackle through an extended version of the bonus track “Island Jam”. The song dips and turns and curves and dives. Jon grins and smiles at Richard. Richard bounces up and down excitably. David picks out notes of some precise beauty. The song reaches the climatic finale, and the team hug and embrace before calling an end to this particular campaign. The room is rapt and on their feet.

And that was my day.

Holy Crap. That's a really, really shitty day. Let's hope that your karma is now out of balance and that you have a really good day due... and not vice versa.

A day I imagine you were fairly glad to get through in one piece.

Looks like you got about six months' worth of Shitty Occurences all crammed into one day - I would write a letter of complaint, if I were you. You must be due a fuckload of Good Stuff right about now, by way of compensation.
If I ever have a shitty day again I will ask myself is it anything like Marks?

I am sure I will then find some perspective.
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