The populace of the metropolisBy Simon Brown
The bars, clubs and restaurant facades shine and glitter like cartoon props along what the locals in the know call Wonderland Walk; one of the many walkways through the lanes and mazes of decadence this coastal town has to offer. Starry, wide eyed punters revel in abandonment and fantasy chasing their personally acquired or unconsciously motivated white rabbit’s through the glamour, hype and at times the low down dirty, downright seedy pit of hedonism. They deposit chunks of their hard earned cash, blagged and stolen bounty for their psychological treasure; their promise of escape and feeling and illusion of fame, fortune and celebrity status. Or at least a temporary escape from their personalised jails, trials and tribulations.
Well, if we ignore the poetry and prose and reduce it down to its common denominator, most people are out to get as smashed as quickly as possible for the longest time possible. They may look like a million bucks at the beginning of the night act out with regal and perceived celebrity ‘A’ list mannerisms thinking they are swanky but most resemble something akin to a remorseful Widow Twanky by mid morning. Through the haze of chemical fog form some form of cognition of who they actually are. The question of actually where they are and how much money they have spent trying to forget who they were or where they are in life is seldom asked and rarely answered. They are too busy looking outward and judging others to see the connections.
To be fair, in a way, in this confused and ever so spiritually corrupt society we live in at the moment this method of madness is in a way a way to find a piece of enlightenment, a peace of mind so be it in a very distorted and twisted way. For many, enlightenment is just a feeling of feeling special somewhere within the Maze of Meaning and the maze for many is a labyrinth for once entered a way out is never found. However, for those who can control their passions and impulses or don’t fall foul of the many predators that lie in wait within the constricting walls of perception, after revelling and recovering they come back to Wonderland again and again in search for that little bit more, that little something more.
They always want that little extra more. Not just the lost, forgotten, the drug dealers and people who scare the masses and excite and arouse the media. The self declared holy, the vicars, the preachers, the teachers and the blind, the followers who call themselves the faithful, they all want that little bit more, they want that feeling, even if it’s the blood and life force of those they arrogantly challenge and hate, whoever they can get it from. Some might say it’s the vampire within, the hunger of Thanatos, a shadow of sadism cloaked in masochistic pursuit of self righteous existence. To others, they say the true inner essence of mankind still hasn’t evolved enough for its current intellect or consciousness and its nose is still in the shit sniffing out the meagre truffles of illusion. To others who say they are following god’s way they are in a way, after all he was the first one who got too pissed on the Saturday night and couldn’t face work the next day and created the omnipresent comedown.
Alice sauntered head down and hooded through the rabbit runs and back streets on the way to her destination. She passes a group of boys out and about and looking for anything that slightly registers excitement. She smirks to herself as ‘the lads’ waddle with their tight skinny black retro jeans strapped to low to their skinny legs and in turn expose their baggy pants. Alice asks herself how modern culture has become so benign and ridiculous and concludes without too much thought that fashion has a strange and uncanny way of making people who think they are cool look like utter twats. So too the haircuts they sport, she thinks. Alice laughs to herself thinking about the concept of ‘drive by shavings;’ in her mind a car pulls up screeching to a halt a group of guy get out with hair clippers and promptly bash the guys with really bad hairdo’s and shave their heads.
Back in reality along Wonderland Walk a group of women saunter down the street dressed in veils that are commonly used in religious ceremonies and rituals. For this time of night they are remarkably sober and upright. They also are wearing white bunny ears and two of them of course are carrying the obligatory inflatable six foot dick. They are of course on a hen night. Horny eyes fixate upon the necklaces that bounce and glitter upon the contoured breasts of the orange and brown tinged liberated, independent ladies as they wander in the pack fuelled on cheap chemical delights and shots of a pleasant tasting liquor, aptly named Devils Cum.
Obviously there are men wondering too, wondering how on hell do they pull these wired and hyped up killer chicks. The girls chew them up and spit them out for tonight they are not looking for mates only amusement and they are not taking prisoners. A group of metro-lads are checking their reflections in a shop window it has to be said looking a little more dolled up and feminine than the girls, but after all this is the twenty first century and this is a metropolis. It’s all expression and it’s all okay, we’re all going to hell some might say.
Just choose your route and method of transport.
Anyway, without wanting to start a debate or offend those who look to be offended, right now the evening is young and the flyer girls, hostesses and dealers flirt and chat with gusto and excitement to passers by as if to say this is the best offer you’re going to get. Further along where the more interesting clubs and bars lie, unfortunate souls who have become homeless, the outright forgotten, junkies, criminally insane and the vulnerable sit, stand and kneel in the shadowed doorways smoking fags, crack or anything that combusts. They chat, beg and talk amongst themselves fingering dirty polystyrene cups containing warm sweet tea. In analgesic and alcoholic psychosis they try to engage the passers by, receiving comments of empathy, bewilderment, ignorance or resentment. “Spare any change, any change,” they speak in mantra.
‘Change comes from within,’
‘Funny that,’ thinks the Jez, the homeless person who the mocking comment it was directed at. He throws down his begging cup and decides to change. He waves goodbye to his scruffy chums and walks on up the road past the junction into a world of being nice and decent.
Does he bollocks?
No the sad fact is he has just raised enough money to buy another ten bag of low grade Middle Eastern smack and is off to see his dealer. Not that it’s his fault, his is a long story of innocence, sadness and corruption, of addiction, dreams and dependency, but now he is lost. He too preyed at the alter of false tranquillity.
Up at the junction, Jez walks into a brightly lit take away brushing past hungry pissed revellers with hunger pangs and those who haven’t taken enough drugs to avoid eating the contaminated and condemned meat. Many sit upon grimy plastic chairs bolted to the floor to stop people wearing them as hats or more poignantly to stop people trying to make other people wear them as hats.
Proprietors Abu and Fabu stand behind their big glass grease stained counter slicing oozing meat, taking the money in their oversize paws and engage in small talk in their native language whose subject matter is usually to the detriment of the paying customer. Jez buys a tea with a ten pound note and a knowing nod and receives a special bag of brown sugar. He nods again and walks off back to his girlfriend where they will feel really close again for the briefest of moments in analgesic comfort worlds apart. They may get lucky and find a path out of their maze and walk hand in hand with giros into the sunset, get jobs and become how they say?
Unfortunately, she is found dead a week later and he is now in prison.
The Caterpillar apparently has a lot to answer for.
Abu and Fabu wink at each other and scratch their scruffy beards in unison. They sing their song in unison, ‘don’t you wish your girlfriend is covered up like me, don’t you wish your girlfriend was hard to see? ‘Name one Muslim model,’ they ask a silenced punter. Abu laughs not waiting for a reply, ‘Kate Mosque!’ They both laugh again in unison. Even for their standards they are scraping the barrel and look particularly rough tonight. If these boys turned up at an airport they would be very quickly jumped upon by men in dark uniforms carrying machine guns and sent to some hidden far away American sponsored jail for a long time having their testicles electrocuted and then have the honour of being deported from their own country upon return. However, looks can be deceiving and Abu and Fabu are not terrorists, they are business men. They run a profitable business from midday through to five in the morning, seven days a week in the name of freedom making kebabs for the masses. They grew up together always have been and always will together, as high as kites with crazed expressions on their little brown pot ridden bearded faces.
Even though they are as mad as the proverbial hatter Abu and Fabu, the Tweedle Dum and Dee of Little Afghanistan, lodged up on the west bank of the Wonderland border have astute and some say magical qualities, they meddle and peddle very well in urban rituals, misguided beliefs and in local business. They serve an assortment of Arabic and eastern delicacies, exotic substances and contraband to those who enquire in the know and to those they trust. It’s quite possible to come away from their shop with obviously a kebab or two of your choice, in addition to two kilo’s of the finest grade heroin if you want and a rocket launcher to boot, should you be in the market.
Okay, fuck it, they are terrorists and downright dodgy scum.
What the hell, Heaven loves martyrs.
This biased, misguided, misleading and dangerous epiphany is written on a sign placed upon the counter next to a tatty over exposed and grease stained picture of their proudest culinary delight, their midnight special; the hottest imaginable donner kebab this side of Tehran. Many say it’s hotter than napalm and suicidal to take a mouthful let alone eat one, hence the name; the Suicide Donner. After all, Abu and Fabu do run Jihad Kebab, a widely known and respected kebab eatery by the hardest and most foolhardy gangster, arm dealer and chilli chaser alike; the breed who enjoy the scorching burning, mouths on fire and don’t mind sweating a bit. In fact Abu and Fabu have been known to extract money from and torture their enemies and occasional spurned lover with their extra chilli sauce.
Not much is simple in life but you don’t fuck with Abu and Fabu.
Nonetheless, they are liked and loved by the many misguided fools and Jihad Kebab is a haven and rest pad where the weary, drunken, over excited or tearful night folk pit stop and fulfil their drunken dietary and emotional needs with fat, hot chilli sauce and unnameable meat. It’s here right now where a group of frustrated, angry and psychotic girls are trying to pick a fight with a poor unsuspecting punter who dared to look and engage with them. Unfortunately for he, with Dutch courage inside he took the wrong time to gain confidence with the opposite sex and said the wrong thing. There are no brothers or handy hero’s to step in neither nearby, nor any sympathetic member of the public to support him and in their absence the girls are now administering verbal and physical pain and it has to be said it isn’t pretty.
Even Abu and Fabu have shocked expressions.
It also has to be said to be fair about this place, away from the carnage and pumping atmosphere of the downtown pseudo ghetto, sleepy and delightfully well lit lanes entwine giving rise to a mixture of old, odd and delightful buildings where nice people live and dine. You see this town, or this city if you like to believe the councils hype and pretension and criminal use of the tax payer’s money is cultured too. In fact it is twinned with a foreign town exotic and mysterious in name, so exotic in name no one really knows where it is, nor I guess really cares. Some of the quainter houses boast crested signs stating that bohemians, occultists and artist once famous lived or died there. Every summer the current residents throw open their big doors in glee showing off their conversions and décor in the name of showing local art on part of the annual festival art trail, which is great for the local petty criminals who come and scout for future raids when they need more money for crack.
However, without wanting to stray too much from the immediate story, Nigel the poor chap from the kebab shop is walking home, very upset, drunk, embarrassed covered in kebab and has piss running down the inside of his leg as the girls did actually scare him. Unfortunately he’s passing a series of night club queues where of course someone has noticed his darker stained trouser leg and has called out in a caring social manner alerting everyone to mock him. At least they will all united for a brief moment.
Nigel is now well on the way home to hang himself.
Which is good really as Nigel is a bit of a soppy cunt.
Anyway, the clubs he passed are for the midway adventurous and desperate. A few old ravers, ex road crew and mentalists hang about in them retelling and retelling stories of grandeur to anyone who listen or are unfortunate to look at them. The usual stories occur of how many blow jobs they got on tour as well as how they only tried coke the once, for ten years, as well as how you only needed to take one pill back in 1989 to be high and in love with a complete stranger for ten years. New students to the town always fall prey to them. But there is always a payoff; the old farts have an audience and new friends to corrupt for a while. The students feel very cool and elite having a hairy weirdo as a friend especially as now they have done a gap year, cared for a crippled cleft pallet child in a remote village in an exotic land and have smoked pot with someone dreaded called Winston.
Most clubs along Wonderland Walk clubs boast the usual, bone shaking muffled booming sound systems, sticky floors and watered down beer. The DJ’s, and MC’s are now entering, forging their way in front of the guest list cues despite still being too young or too old, too dumb or too off their heads to be allowed in. Most are on the dole, on supervision orders or are tagged. They revel in their small town celebrity stardom as they are let passed by the bouncers who like them cane more drugs in a weekend than the Happy Monday’s did in their hey-day. After all in this town it’s expected of you. Even the police are at it, you know they are.
Here, in this Wonderland, this sea side metropolis going to prison is a right of passage for its contemporary and contemptuous abandoned under current hooded youth culture. Many people would say, the underlying social fabric of where they live is something to be desired but not many people who would say that would actually visit their areas or help and support them to having a clearer perception of society. However, they don’t mind momentarily rubbing shoulders with them in Wonderland Walk. Most come and go, other frequent it often and those foolish enough to stay often get caught in its somewhat infamous and dubious hidden black magic rituals within the decadent callings of fun. Many a young daughter and innocent son has succumbed to its charm been caught up in its harm and have stuck a few things in their arm before they escape, move on or pass away.
A few years ago the town council, local police and property developers tried to clean up the centre. In a move to assist the police or more poignantly to regain their licences the clubs installed cameras and put half sized doors in the toilet; which now mean any unsuspecting punter who is in dire need of privacy can be harassed and abused by his fellow man as they take a private moment. So too can the bouncers now easily bust those who are under the impression they are doing their very elusive and glamorous drugs away from suspecting eyes. Funny that, to think that the most social elite drug in society is often administered in a shit stained toilet.
These bouncers it has to be said are the well trained good old fashioned doormen who like a good one sided punch up and too, supply all the local teenage punters with chemical delights. They wait till they are high then bash them up and bust them an hour later for being under aged in licensed premises, with illegal substances to boot. For those lucky enough to take their fancy the doormen will turn their backs for a small moment of bribery.
They call it the blow job run.
This page was amended on 21/03/2012
And all this time I thought the main point of America pursuing alternative sources of energy was to become energy-independent. Don't developments like this defeat that purpose? Granted, the UAE is an order of magnitude or two less troublesome for the U.S. than Saudi Arabia, but in today's world that's always subject to change with very little notice.