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346. Breakthrough (IV)

“Me missus took him right to hospital. Popped him in her car and drove him off. He was shook. Didn’t know where he was.” I passed the man on the street in Leamington sometime after a local plastics factory had exploded. I had gone to look at the debris, but by the time I arrived it was dark and the only clue to the explosion was that the clouds were blotted out, as if someone had spilled black ink across the sky.

Searchlights from the fire engines chased each other across the blackness—it was all a disappointment, on social media it looked as if some great dark genie had been summoned and spread himself across the town. After all, the town was the birthplace of Aleister Crowley and, decades later, played host to Nick Land’s CCRU. Indeed, I had visited the previous day—an anomaly for me, I usually go every Sunday—due to some obscure instinct; perhaps an intimation that the town was about to suffer a detonation; or, perhaps, if you think that way, I was some causative instrument in the chaotic plans of wider powers.

Before I noticed the fire on social media, I had consulted the I Ching to see if I should return for a second day in a row—return for a second anomaly. It offered the hexagram “Limitation”; and, I suppose, an explosion is a limitation of sorts; yet the judgement said that it was a limitation to be overcome and so—in line with ancient Chinee wisdom—I returned to drink a second pint of Heineken in two days; a major indulgence. I propped myself against a column; it was very definitely a bar and not a pub, with stainless steel counters and ironic slogans stencilled on the walls. I had some synchronicity with the band Modern Talking there a few months before; as I wandered past the bar entrance thinking of a fan of the band a cover of one of their hits, a contemporary cover, came on the stereo. Hence the bar has a certain association for me, perhaps it is the intersection for other forces—a sort of stainless steel ley line, if you will.

I leaned against a column and adopted a stance with my arms in my pockets and hips thrust outwards, leaning backwards casually. The position had a curious relation to the band that was playing—playing mostly hits from the early 2000s, such as the Kaiser Chiefs—for somehow the music fully entered my body, as if I were a fleshy radar dish. I stared at a mirror for 999 seconds straight without allowing my gaze to be distracted by anyone in the place, not even the hen night with a giant cardboard cut out of Donald Trump, whose bare brown cardboard posterior faced me.

For the first time, I let the music enter me instead of remaining defensively scrunched up against it and I realised how debased modern music has become—akin to dirty water that cannot refresh, full of grit. Various attractive girls moved, as I observed from peripheral vision, closer to me—too close, almost to the touch as they twirled their hair. Their poor boyfriends—fixated on them, adjusting their glasses—followed them like subdued dogs. I retained my gaze on the big bald band leader.

Eventually, a girl, rather fat, no more than 4/10, tried to chat me up. “You like watching people, don’t you?” she said, by which she meant: “You don’t like watching ME—or my sisters.” It is magic, you see. The void: you only get something when you have given up desire for it. I looked around the bar, and thought I could take or leave any girl—any man—here if I wanted. Total indifference; of the sort found in very attractive women, incidentally—the feminine embodied in the masculine. As I walked home a guy in the street turned to me and said, “You’re the boss.” Incels, take note.


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