Sun Spleen

May 25, 2010

This weekend living in London felt a little like what I imagine living close to the Earth’s core feels like. Flipping hot. I remember last year when we had our first bit of snow, initially everyone started hooting and cooing, and having snowball fights with strangers and laughing, and for a minute we all felt like we lived in a film written by Richard Curtis except more ethnically mixed. I think at one point I grabbed a stranger and kissed her full on the mouth and she just giggled and carried on with her shopping. I think. Then London broke because of the snow and it became relentless and we all trudged cautiously around the streets miserably drooling complaints from our cold gobs, many of us nursing injuries from slipping on the treacherous compacted sky-shit. I did an almost-backflip on my road in front of some passing tourists. They just laughed like I was part of London’s many attractions: The London Eye, The Clink, Buckingham Palace, A large white clown who flies into the air legs first and lands like a carrier bag full of meccano. Well screw you tourists. Similarly, people have gone mental for the sun.

“I’ve got a garden,” they start bellowing, “come to it.”

“To do what?” I say.

“Sit in it,” they cry.

“I’ve got a large skylight I can open in my roof that we can sit under.”

“I’ve got a bigger than average ledge outside my window.”

“Come to it,” they all demand, “and sit.”

Well I am not a fan of sitting, same reason I never have baths, I sit in it for twenty seconds before I feel like something should be happening, (which I often counter by making something happen like, for example, getting out of it and doing something, if someone invented a bath on wheels that I could pedal around while soaking I would shit myself with happiness) and I am certainly not a fan of the sun. Photosynthesis, fine, I get it, I admire it even, useful, well done sun. Vitamin D I also am a big fan of, though I admit I admire that from afar. For generally being the engine that powers our solar system and the giver of life on the planet I want to pat the sun on the back and say, “JESUS CHRIST MY HAND!” I’ll explain where my ire about the sun comes from by describing to you what I look like right now, today, sitting here and writing this. I was out for most of the weekend, I had a busy schedule and was having too much fun to go home to get my sun block, so I didn’t. “Just stay in the shade,” I thought. “Be really careful.” So I did. I was really careful to stay OUT of the sun. I have witnesses; people who will vouch that at times I was hunched under furniture craning in on conversations like a nosey rat. My face, my stupid face, looks as if I have been on some desert plain, far from man, watching nuclear warheads get tested. Over and over again. My left arm is so burnt blood vessels have come to the surface, presumably to have a look at what the fuck is going on.

“Here let’s go and have a look. I think he’s being burnt as a witch.”

Both arms are a chicken tandoori red that would definitely stop a car. My foot stares at me with one massive red eye like having Sauron at the bottom of my leg. I know I have Irish roots that would explain my pallor but this skin is something else. I am more like one of those gaudy Vegas fish they find fathoms and fathoms below the sea where the water is the colour of a policeman’s shoe and everything is monstrous and can light itself like a casino. I look in the mirror and don’t see a person anymore, I see an eel or mole-rat. Something that belongs deep in the Earth’s crust. Maybe I should move there. Start drilling. Settle down with a nice worm.

So this time of year is tinged with not a little horror-show for me as people get more and more fascist about being outside.

“Get out and enjoy it.”

“No I am staying in here,” Daniel’s eyes dart from underneath his burka as he applies more factor 700 to his eyelids. “She can’t hurt me in here.” The door slams shut and the friend that had called is left with a sense of dread, something engendered by a file she glimpsed on the desk behind Daniel’s head, on it was scrawled, ‘Plan to Blow Up Sun,’ in copious amounts of blood.


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