Where were you when the news of Diana’s tragedy gripped the nation, or when the second tower collapsed as the traumatic events of 9/11 steamrolled through our living rooms… or when Olly Murs flubbed that X-Factor thing and everyone was all ‘Fucking hell mate! You’ve fucked that’?
Coincidentally, for all three – I was in a Lidl car park getting sucked off by a small, leather-clad Japanese boy I call Ken. I don’t know why, there’s just something about the impending allure of a culturally poignant event that gives me an insatiable appetite for the lusty, delicate, skin of Eastern gentlemen and discount ham. In many ways, the stability of this heady tradition I feel is the only thing keeping me from totally unravelling altogether.
Which is why several months ago, when I accidently stumbled across Shia LaBeouf standing in a lift for twenty-four hours, I panicked. ‘This looks important’ I yelled. ‘Ken, where’s the blowjob ham?’ – Ken didn’t answer, because I was actually at a work’s picnic with my then wife, Claire, and our two children, Abigail & Zeus.
Anyway, it was around about the hour six mark of Shia’s lift thing, by that time I’d sank a few beers and driven home. Claire was out with her friends at her post-picnic, bi-weekly bowling recital, so naturally I kept watching. At about hour eight, a weird calm settled over me. I’d been watching Shia for nearly half a day now. I was hypnotized.
Was it something to do with the way the girl at 4h23m sluggishly ate her pizza crust and for a moment we caught a glimpse of the true self, reflected deep in the cold, steel, closing doors?
Or was it way back at the 1h04m mark when a man revealed a small piece of his scrotum?
Or maybe, it was at the 3h39m mark when an elderly woman needed to actually use the lift. Only then did real truth beget that cursed iron booth, and its haunting residue clung to the cube forever after.
Either way, Shia’s martyrdom shed a harsh and illuminating light on public consumption, our relationships with intimacy, among many other countless layers of meta-textual, binge watching splendour. So much so, I hardly remember finishing the scotch and starting the vodka, which is extremely rare for me when watching any media, and what some would consider to be the real art here.
Before I knew it, the sun’s nubile rays were casting their smile over the morning’s skyline and Shia was about ready to leave the lift. We’d been on an incredible journey together and even though I hadn’t slept, something had indeed awoken in me. Colours seemed brighter, corners seemed sharper, and the basil plant we kept by the windowsill even smelt more… basily.
As Claire stepped through the door that morning, in her beautiful black-sequined bowling gown, matching black bowling stilettos, her thick smudgy red bowling lipstick, offset only by her beautiful laddered bowling tights – I looked at her, truly in-the-moment, staggered not by the scotchka, nor Ken’s absence, but by this beautiful, honest, silence, and I thought… ‘Bowling must be really hard’.