On Oct 3rd I'll be launching James 2.0. The healthier, wealthier and wiser James, the kinder, more responsible, more proactive version. In order to make sure I hit the ground running for my 40th I'm trying to get everything in place before then. Things as they stand look pretty bleak or even quite wonderful, depending on how one looks at it. I think a lot, including my mother, would be quite condemnatory. Judging by the last time I had sex, the rest of the opposite sex are equally unimpressed. Me, I don't know. I don't know where it's all going. A book deal, an album, a trip around the solar system or slow decline in bedsit land.
At least I have experience on my side...
This morning I went to a volunteer induction at Dreamland, which is opening on June 19th. There were about thirty of us at least- they had a job finding enough chairs-and a good cross section. A break dancer who reminded me of Richard Priory, an ex prison-officer, a few epileptics, a Polish woman and a supply teacher called James (not me). They rolled on the paid Dreamlanders, and the head of Entertainment, a thesp 40 years young, bounced round telling us that the volunteers were more valuable than they were. Then they waltzed out the dark and draughty old cinema we were sat in, whooping and hollering and probably quite thrilled that they weren't volunteers.
Although we were made to feel like individuals nobody asked what I could do so I had a word with one of them who directed me to the website. When I got home I duly sent my CV with possibly the best covering letter written in Margate this year.
I had a couple of exchanges on WeChat with James, telling him that I have a plane ticket and a plan to be in China for my birthday. He kindly offered to put me up. Then I had a siesta in the afternoon to make up for not getting my eight hours. I tend to have unpleasant dreams during this time and I met a very unpleasant aggressive person who appeared to utterly hate me. The strange thing was, this was basically me staring into the depths of my subconscious.
This afternoon I went down collect some mail from the mail office in Union Street. I noticed a young, heavily tattooed man crouching down by a girl on the steps of the Salvation Army church. He called to me so I stopped and he told me a story about his dog being attacked and having no electricity. I went to collect my mail and then came back and had a look at the dog, a pitbull which was bleeding badly behind the ear and appeared to have a wound that needed stitches. I suggested calling the RSPCA as he had no money but he said they'd take the dog away from him. Good point.
I said we'd need to go to the cash machine but when the dog followed us, he started limping. I suggested he carry the dog and he told me he wasn't being rude but he knew his dog, which was fine and was actually about to break into a sprint (or words to that effect). But in fact the dog carried on limping. He and his girlfriend followed me down to Morrisons and waited whilst I did a very quick shop so I could get some cashback. When I handed him some taxpayer's cash (i.e my benefit money) for his electricity his dog jumped at me and started barking. Then his girlfriend started telling the dog off, but of course he was trying to protect her.
I crossed the road and just on the corner of the square a woman asked me "You haven't got a quid, have yer?" I came over all very middle class.
"Sorry, I haven't." And I really hadn't so fortunately I didn't have to go through the anguish of saying no and feeling guilty or being a quid poorer. The woman didn't seem to mind, which was nice.