Brenda’s Unfortunate Record Of The Week #6
‘Dude, it’s just one thing after another. I’m normally the positive one, looking on the bright side, keeping the ship afloat. But at the moment I just can’t see any light at the end of the tunnel. It’s tragic all around right now’
I’ve popped up the road to see my pal. Saw on Instagram she was at her friend’s studio just round the corner, and invited myself round for a quick visit. The family are in a taxi en route home from Heathrow and I only have 30 minutes or so before they arrive. The mood is sombre. My friend’s friends have just been informed their rent will be increasing threefold. At this new rate, there’s just no way they’ll be able to make their ground-floor business work. They’re gonna have to relocate. I go out to the roof with my pal, keep her company while she smokes a cigarette. Another building’s been knocked down over on Crossway. Through the crack in ally, we can make out half a word on the swanky new hoarding …. somethingFICATION. She does a double take and laughs, ‘I seriously thought that said GENTRIFICATION’. But no room for humour here. The specification of this new luxury development is unknown, but there’s no denying it, things are changing fast.
‘You know, for the first time in my life I think i’m depressed. Look at my armpits! I haven’t shaved them in like 3 months. I just can’t be fucked’ … my phone beeps. Another friend : I THINK I’M DEPRESSED. We laugh and head in to tell the others, but they’re too engrossed in their own doom to get it. The conversation swerves towards Brexit. That old staple.
‘Maybe I’m beginning to come to terms with the fact my days in this city are numbered’, I confess, explaining the european VAT number conundrum, that almost all our work comes from the other side of the channel etc etc … saying even if I do fork out the £600, pass the citizenship test and manage to get my GB passport, it would still be tricky to stay. ‘I love London, but I feel I’m already mourning it. I dunno where to go. You can’t replace this town so I just need to accept that I’ve had a good run of it and cut the chord’. My heart sinks. I’ve been here my entire adult life and then some. It’s hard to imagine anywhere else.
This lot are talking about Ramsgate. ‘There’s high-speed rail in and out of the Capital now’. ‘Look at this 4 bedroom property for £198,000’.
Is there really high-speed rail? I think back to the Margate DJing excursions of the summer. An hour and a half from Stratford didn’t feel so quick, and it definitely didn’t feel anything like London. There was that racist encounter at the chippy, the disapproving looks from the locals, that #DFL (down from London) hashtag & the scary encounter out on the jetty. I don’t think the coast is for me. In fact, I don’t think anywhere outside the M25 is.
I try to envision myself back in Canada. Maybe Montreal? But I haven’t been there in years. It’s probably changed as much as anywhere. And I left North America for a reason. I feel European. I would miss this (errrrrr THAT) continent so much. But then again there’s the family … they’re getting older and I do love them.
Brexit’s gonna happen, times are getting tough, places are closing, friends are leaving town, work is drying up, this is only the beginning … and it seems EVERYONE THIS WEEK IS DOWN IN THE FUCKING DUMPS. It’s only a matter of time before we’re plummeted back into the dark ages, right? I wonder what it was like in the dying days of Rome – are the multinational-bankers-cum-property developers-slash-Tories today’s Visigoths? If only they could sack it in one fell swoop. Three quick days of pillage to finish us all. Gahhhhhh things were so much simpler back in the day. I yearn for a single convenient enemy and quick demise. At least I’m laughing. Oh misery, you multi-facaded beast.
Welcome home, kids. Welcome home.