A labour of love

I used almost to stay awake ALL THE TIME in the office. Except at the middle section that was edited by a man called K (VERY serious Liverpudlian. Used to be a teacher but was – I suppose – too dull… I once found a comedy flier for a comic who had almost the same name as him. I showed it to him. Reckoned it might get a chuckle (even a CORPORATE chuckle…)… Not REMOTELY interested! He was married to (or, come to think of it, in a PARTNERSHIP with) a Spanish woman, nice, also part-time at the magazine, who probably knew he was also EXTREMELY GOOD AT SEX. In a THOROUGH way. So everything else didn’t really matter…)

I can’t remember what the ‘K pages’ were called. ‘In Sequence’ (not that…) or something… They were so boring! Only he AND THE SUB used to read them. (And the sub used to skip…) They were about things like the vaults at Tate Modern and what ‘cinematic’ delights lurked there, waiting to be discovered, if only an individual – just ONE – ever happened to be passing… (But there was only K…)

C – designer, also freelance – used to LOVE working at home, especially now his sons were off at school. He used to have a glass of Chardonnay for lunch – only AT HOME, of course. And then a brief nap… And then he’d be up-and-at-’em for the whole afternoon… C used (and still probably does) have a headpiece in his ear and listen to Robert Elms on LBC. He liked his soul/jazz cocktail, did C. Post-stroke he gave me a Gregory Porter CD (which was sweet…But not really ME. So I resold it on Amazon…)… C used to give K’s pages the most minimal possible layout: a b&w pic, 3 columns, a word over… I can do that easily, said John the sub. Another down… Next?

It was a COMPLETE labour of love, you see…

C was good. We had an unspoken thing: we didn’t care AT ALL about the magazine or the editor’s fads. (C was a Star Wars guy…) But we ‘agreed’ (silently) to just make it as quick and as good as we could in the time. It might have been about cardboard production… It was worse when, inevitably, it started on ‘Geoff Andrew on Michael Han… zzzzz’ AGAIN!

But still we TRIED. For no one’s sake but our own…

And NOBODY ELSE EVEN NOTICED – except for the other sub. Subs subbing for other sub’s sake… Wheels within wheels…

We could have just gone to the pub instead. But we all WANTED TO GET HOME…

So our partner could say: AT LAST, here he is, been gallivanting off to London! *sneer implicit* (C lived in Surbiton, like The Good Life…)

She: Just in time for bath time…

Me: Could I take my overcoat off first?

She: Do you have to? I’ve got my novel to write…

And she would be off to her shed in the garden…


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I had a stroke on July 26th, 2013. I was a screenwriter. Don’t do that anymore. But have found another way to write.

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