The Fixing Spot.
Soho’s bricks reek of sex. It sits besides them, mortared and coated in fucking. The old whore houses have turned chain pubs and stand tall in gallant smut. London’s most famous quarter haunted by the ghosts of buggery, in which signs proclaim “this world is rotting, I love you too”.
I’m waiting for the time to pass, for something to occur for a moment to snap me out of my miserable stupor, a blow to the face or to the heart. Interaction is key to this desire and I hold this thought at the fore of my mind as I allow a thousand faces to skip my eye-line. Stuck amongst the motion, a solid face that brick-walls any smiles. I crack teeth on the pavement with my solid stare. A lifetime of city aggravation rushes through my veins and traces spirals in my iris. I move down the street, rushing towards the place where you get it fixed.
I stand in line to be served and quartered, liquidated and redistributed in the coin sodden pockets of investment bankers. Stripped naked and spread tight over billboards, drawn between tube trains that rip the soul from the heart of me – they bring this city to its knees. So I stand in the queue for fixing smiling at the pretty girls who smoulder in the lamplight and risk rotting in the queue. The beautiful are ugly by the time they reach the fixing spot.
I should perhaps explain the rules and customs of the fixing spot if only to give my thoughts some context. The fix comes in different shapes and sizes, but the many varieties are united by a holy quality. The fix will brush the cobwebs from your skeleton for a limited and make tangible some fantasy for a time. Every man has his favourite fix and every woman hers. There are fixes designed for kids, mass market fixes, cult fixes, fair-trade fixes and an endless list of fixes waiting to be wanted. The fix is the wonder of our age.
Lining the high streets and high roads the fixing spots are squeezed and stacked in hectic order. So filled to the brim that the they are forced in front of each other like too many teeth crowding a mouth like a graveyard. The fixing spots fill the pavement with obstructive signs and gaudy colours that make my eyes throb with desire and have transformed these landscapes into poxy sores.
I collect my fix from the fixing spot (the only one I can afford this late in the month) and walk away. I hold it in my pocket kneading it with my fingers. Excitement through my tendons my face contorts in twisted smile, my gleeful nature brings resentful glances from those still searching for their fix still queuing or saving or waiting for the bus to some cheaper area where they can afford to fix themselves.
When my fix is finished I find my self riding the train and stealing glances at pornographic photos of expensive fixes above the heads of other passengers. My eyes drift down to the faces of my fellow hurtling voyagers framed by the small windows of the train, static yet surrounded by cascading metal light and shapes mechanical moans and groans.
Eventually I bore of teasing myself and head home. A small space I keep my trappings in, complete with a blank wall onto which I stare and project my dreams and aspiration. Lay them out in satisfying tetris blocks. I smoke cigarettes until the hours pass and envelope my thoughts in the comfy tunnel of subjective self interest. One day soon I’ll see my own dreams as the thread they are, one day I’ll be so scared shitless of my own insignificance that I’ll gesticulate frantically and cause some pain. Then of course there is death.
I dream of the fix and rotate my memories and dreams through the stage in my mind pausing to let each have its fluctuating moment in the spotlight until I drain it of all use and move on.
The next day I wake to a new idea. Today I will make a change to my routine I will try a new fix. Whether this is my decision is my own or the subconscious regurgitation of a seed planted in my cognitive function by the living advert I inhabit in my waking hours doesn’t bother me, the decision has been made and this makes me happy.
So I stand in the heat looking at the back of an old lady’s neck ripple as waves of sweat roll down her spine thinking about my fix thinking about how she’ll have it before me. Thinking about how easy it would be to push in front of her to steal her place shake my own sweat on her. Then I think only of the fix as my vision blurs I think only of the fix as the forehead itches I shuffle in the queue too scared to take what I want I stand in line and wait my turn I think only of the fix.
I fail to obtain the fix I desire for reason that I will keep to myself at least for the moment. So I stand in a second rate queue waiting for a fix I require but don’t desire and smoke in double pace with the suns heat peeling my skin. Straining my irises to breaking point in attempt to see the place where I will be satisfied but the fixing spot is out of sight.
Again I’m pushed tight and cosy against the backs of strangers again I’m invited to intrude on their space, as we all shuffle inch by inch towards our shared goal in selfish unity, a paradigm of the fixing spot, through our shared taste we are divided, and I hate the hand that receives the fix before me above all else.
I wait. With my heart in my pocket spit dried on my lips the evening wind brings me down to the gutter where I cough city songs and wait my turn think of the fix and stare at the stars. I recognise a man ahead of me in the queue or maybe I don’t. Maybe I recognise the look on his face or the spark in his eye or that eager twitch that brings his hand out of his pocket then back in again. Basking in impatience.