Tuesday, 13 January 2009
i went to London yesterday, to read at the pulp net event. i arrived at 17:42. i left at 21:40. i was in London for 3 hours and 58 minutes. on the tube i listened to Handsome Furs. i sat opposite a man reading Razzle. i could see the inside of the magazine reflected in the window behind him. he had a large open rucksack on the seat next to him. after a few minutes he put Razzle back in the rucksack and took out another pornographic magazine. he leafed through it like it was a 'fashion magazine' or something, and he was looking for 'something to catch his eye'. the event was good. i met my friend Alice there. i tried to say something 'humorous' before my short story, to counteract its depressingness. i think my 'humorous' introduction was maybe 76% successful. it was strange reading a story that is now about 2 years old. a man shook my hand after i finished reading. i tried to promote The Bird Room. i think i sold 1-2 prospective copies, maybe. there were lots of people there. i listened to Handsome Furs on the tube back to Euston station. i stood near a green olive on the tube. the olive was dusty, like it had been there all day. i wanted to take a photo of it. i wished i had a camera phone, sort of. i listened to Jens Lekman at Euston station. i needed the toilet. i walked across Euston station, and looked at the pigeons, and thought something like, 'almost all things in the world are small and sad and kind of heart-breaking' whilst simultaneously being aware of how mawkish and sentimental and over-the-top i was being. there is a Filipino word/phrase (?), 'muni-muni'. someone taught me that. i paid 30p to use the toilet. i had an idea for a Paul Simon story as i was washing my hands. i think i am going to write a Paul Simon novel soon. 'unpublishable.' i dried my hands in a Dyson 'airblade' (?) handdryer. you just put your hands in a slot. it dries your hands really quickly, like someone is wiping them with a frantic sheet of air. i thought about a handdryer in Chortlon, in the Iguana Bar, which is the most 'insane' and 'over the top' handdryer i have ever used. it has a blue neon light and it makes a terrifying noise, like a cross between a vaccum cleaner and a tube train approaching. i felt that using the Dyson 'airblade' (?) handdryer was worth 30p. i asked Helen Simpson a question in the Q&A, after her reading at the Pulp Net event. she said that she liked the short story writers Lorrie Moore, Tobias Woolf, Alice Munro, and some other people who i've forgotten. i went back to Manchester on a Virgin Pendolino train called 'The City of Chester'. i wonder if this man went to the Pulp Net event in the end.