Poignant – G and the Velvet Underground

My Angel Rocks Back and Forth

My friend G has decided to say goodbye to Brighton by staring intently into my wall.
A cheery surprise at my door, it quickly emerges that he has drunk a few pints, won some games of pool and taken about half a gram of horse tranquilliser. As we discuss, and go through, the process of coffee making, he becomes incoherent. In the space of three sentences his eyes have glazed over and the words slowly slid apart.
In the time it took me to type those last two sentences he has fallen backwards. I know there is no need to check, he grunted recently his assent to the idea of sitting in the living room, and this tells me he is in the usual coma.
If he times it just right his coffee will be at a drinkable temperature by the time he’s conscious enough to drink it.
I don’t disapprove of this, but it’s an odd visit. This will be my last memory of him in Brighton, for now at least. He’s heading back to Bideford, the place he fled three or four years ago.
That was when I first met G.
I will go and check on him anyway, though I know he’s fine.
He’s fine.
As I was saying. Bideford got too much for G a few years back, mostly due to the emotional cliché of woman trouble. Now he returns there, as Brighton is too much for him. The emotional cliché of woman trouble, possibly exacerbated by the drug filled squat subculture.
He said he was fine. Or rather, he said yeah when I asked. As he stares at the ceiling of my tiny galley kitchen, I notice how brightly the light is sparkling in his eyes.
G has always had incredibly pretty eyes.
Elsewhere G is more haggard and scruffy and dirty and typical of a punk squatter K-head. Though from the right angle he has a majesty in his features, and as someone who knows him, I can’t deny just how beautiful he is.
While this all happens, I’m still involved in expanding my understanding of the Velvet Underground. Yet again, a classic band, that I’d nod and smile whenever someone asked me if I liked them, without ever having investigated beyond the cliched hits. I could probably even name a few albums at a push.
Now I find myself lost within the varied voices swirling around me. I’m bad at picking out individual threads of language from the hubbub, so the meaning of the poetry here is lost to me, but the interleaved vocals of this Murder Mystery is swimming around me. Flooding me with something between unease and involvement.
I feel close to G now, with my back to him as I type about him without his knowledge.
Am I ignoring his suffering?
I doubt he’s suffering, but ti’s disturbing.
Unease and involvement. I wonder if there is a word for it, the way you are drawn close to something that scares you.
No, It’s not the Uncanny, I don’t care what Freud and Nick Royle say.
I feel like I’ve broken the intimacy of this writing with that line. That self conscious attempt at intellectualism. I think I lost the purity of it all at least half a page ago.
G has woken, I think he’s using the toilet.
On the other hand, he may have just left.
For good.
For now.
We’ll see.
This has been a love song, in case you didn’t notice.
Thank you for your attention.


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