Pancakes for dinner because I could. Then some Netflix – the black hole of streaming media, down which I fear I will disappear – and then settling in with Derek Raymond’s How the Dead Live. It’s as dark as the first two ‘Factory’ novels. As cynical and bitter, but lovely to read.
What maddened me sometimes with my work at A14 was that I could not get any justice for these people until they were dead. These university drop-outs, these mad barefoot beauties that had been turned away from home, who staggered down the streets with plastic bags filled with old newspapers against the cold – wrongo’s, druggo’s, folk of every age, colour and past, they all had that despair in common that made them gabble out their raging dreams in any shelter they could find. They screamed at each other in Battersea, moaned over their empty cider bottles in Vauxhall, not having the loot for a night in Rowton House, their faces the colour of rotten-stucco under the glare of the white lights at Waterloo Bridge and wreathed in diesel fumes of the forty-ton fruit trucks that pounded up from Kent to Nine Elms all night long. In the day you could see them, white, faded and stained after such nights in winter; I saw them at the morning round-up at the Factory, waiting in various moods to be taken for sentencing at Great Marlborough Street – the thin, crazy faces, strange noses, eyes, hands rendered noble by madness and hunger, the rusty punctures in their arms, their whiplash tongues and then, later, the flat, sullen grief of their meaningless statements to the magistrate. And still the politicians blag serenely on, as though poverty, since they have no policy for it, didn’t exist.
Yet no murder is worse to find than a body dead of cold against a door.