a difficult time for everyone
If you’re in London on the evening of the 5th March & you’d like to hear me reading “The Crisis”, leave an email address here, or DM me at @mjohnharrison on Twitter–
Adolescence. West London. You always believed a hidden war was being fought, a war nobody would ever admit to. Lay awake at night, listening to bursts of corporate fireworks that seemed too aggressive to be anything other than a small arms exchange; while by day, ground-attack helicopters clattered suddenly and purposively along the curve of the Thames towards Heathrow. You held your breath in moments of prolonged suspense, imagining the smoke trails of rockets launched from the bed of a builder’s pickup in Richmond or Kingston. These fantasy-engagements, asymmetric and furtive, a kind of secret, personalised Middle East, left you as exhausted as masturbation. There was something narcissistic about them. A decade later, everyone was able to feel a similar confused excitement. With the coming of the iGhetti, everyone had a story to tell but no one could be sure what it was. Information was so hard to come by. Between anecdotal evidence and the spectacular misdirections of the news cycle lay gulfs of supposition, fear, and denial. People didn’t know how to act. One minute they heard the guns, the next they were assured that nothing was happening. One day they were panicking and leaving the city in numbers, the next they were returning but rumour had convinced them to throw their tablet computers in the river. The thing they feared most was contagion. They locked their doors. They severed their broadband connections and tanked their cellars. They avoided a growing list of foods. They clustered round a smartphone every summer evening after dark, eavesdropping on the comings and goings of the local militas as they scoured the railway banks and canalsides for telltale astral jelly. Were the iGhetti here or not? It was a difficult time for everyone.
5th March reading? Yes please – email@example.com
Invite on its way!
I don’t suppose you’d consider recording it? But in the absence of the Concorde and a few spare tens of thousands on hand I suppose I will have to wait for publication.
Hi Mike, we’d love two invites for March 5th!
Hi ColinM: invite coming up. Can I just check your email ends .com.au ?
That’s correct. Thanks!
How odd. I stuck the audio recording on this morning and scrubbed a little way into it… and landed on pretty much the exact spot where this starts.
I’d love an invite for the reading on the 5th.
On its way to you, Thom.
Sir, would be much appreciative of a pair of invites. Thanks! – firstname.lastname@example.org
If there’s any left I’d love one, thanks – email@example.com
havishambler & Paul Owens: easily done.
Dear Mike, I am supposed to be in London on March 5 — though I don’t know if I will be there in time for your reading (because I’m at Warwick until who knows when). Could you send me an invite anyway? firstname.lastname@example.org
Hi Will, nothing easier. It would be great to see you.
Amazing prose, sir. As always.
Could I have two invites please? My emai isl tim (at) deeson.co.uk
On its way, Tim.
Chris: glad you liked it!
If there are two spare invites for 5th March, that would be great!
I didn’t receive anything yet, is that OK? Thanks again.
On their way, Ed.
To all: that’s the end of it now, I’m afraid. Venue full up.
Hi Tim: sorting that now.
Tim D: Ok, invites were sent but have now been re-sent. Check spam folder if they don’t show?
Afraid I’ve dis-invited myself, Mike. Two tickets liberated for late-comers.
Fair enough, havishambler, we expected some slippage.
Any chance you would tell me when/ where your next reading is going to be? Brazil is a tad far from London… it would be nice to be able to plan ahead…
Hi Julia: I can see that might be a difficulty! Nothing planned yet, but as soon as something is, I’ll let you know here on the blog.