The Demolition of Pleasure

I could weep for the Camden I can’t find, I could bloody weep.

I thought I had written all I had on my momentary past there of not much interest but all I can write today is that all trace has gone.

The tutor who failed my essay (Haunted London discussed that nostalgia was always looking back and thinking life was better than it is now. But life wasn’t better, just the physical presence of the places were actually there.

All traces have gone.

Deflated in soggy fur and Camden rain at the ridiculous price of fake vintage dresses, I thought of all the things around the corner that would cheer me up. All gone, all utterly gone, even the smallest pleasures.

The heavenly smell of fresh cut oranges by the bridge. That stall was a small delight after the open space where I drew tattoos, in the frost, beside the reggae stalls, was transformed into a Thai restruarant.

Gone is the little man we ritually bought banana frittas from in paper bags.

Gone is the woman selling those expensive, handbound leather books. She had a basket of damaged ones that I could afford.

The next gone was the last hope squashed. The poster stall, £3 for Charlie Chaplins, the last stall of the market. It used to blast out Gogol Bordello and was run by a man with huge septum ring. Anyone thats gone through the pain and snot of a septum piercing is a septum buddy in my system of linkings in life.

Glum, I decided to walk down Hawley crescent and see the derelict mansion I had always dreamed of living in one day.

Gone were the big hippt blankets that used to be pinned to the brick wall beneath the bridge. The bridge displays the name ‘camden market’. It should have ‘once was’ nailed to the top.

The house wasn’t there. I performed stumbled pirrouettes in a puddle to check it was the correct street.

The courier garage that had taken over the front garden has become an Apprenticeship scheme HQ. The high blue boards of demolition circle the house.

I couldn’t see it because its colour has changed. The salmon pink stucco has faded to white like a dead fish. Its black peeling columns on the porch are just about viewable over the fenching. The black has died to look like the defored and pink peeling skin of my immune damaged limbs.

Oh Camden, plastic wrapped cadaver kept propped up on tourism and steel supports. They should have buried you with all our crazy memories and friends. I felt so old there, crushed in the wet anoraks of European tourists with no idea how everywhere used to look. They are sold Camden on the promise of difference and alternative London. Discovering the lie, the conglomeration of hoodies and falafel they traipse to make the most of it.

‘We are going to Footlocker,’ an American child insists to his parents being dragged along the stalls.

Children have replaced the punks.

The worst of it, the bulldozer in my guts is that my dream of the life I wanted, with my lover gone, my grand pink gothic mansion and dream of piano and pets and more tattoos is out of view in that house forever.

Bury it well. May its ghosts plague the luxury fucking flats you will replace on its stones.




One thought on “The Demolition of Pleasure

  1. sara

    love yr description, i 2 had a dream mansion house, t’was in The Avenue, Hatch End & remember feeling sick when i 1st saw the sign “… flats…” on the fence. so sad!

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