Saturday, July 28, 2012

tenneriff (an old old story)

The psilocybin mushrooms are in the fridge but he dare not take them because of the things that can be seen in the non-patterning of the beige tiles in the hotel bathroom.  The effect is like a smoke image produced by holding a candle under white paper or a pale surface, or perhaps like floating an oil based or semi-soluble paint in water over a white surface. Totally irregular, no two tiles are the same, but given a fairly lively imagination and a bit of concentration, many snapshots from other places were being shown on the bathroom wall tonight:
  • The land of the flat faced bat-cat with tufted ears and a knife-sharp-tooted grin
  • The sheikdom of the eyeless Arab
  • The skies flown by the awe inspiring pterodactyl
  • The planet ruled by the monkey with lightening coming from its eyes
  • That location of which the blunt-toothed gargoyle speaks animatedly
He cannot tell, because he cannot go there, perhaps even with the assistance of psilocybin mushrooms, ( although the quantities of them that he has taken so far give him the feeling that he might be starting that journey), but none of the above seem as though they might be good places. Yet, although the faces of their denizens and rulers, as shown in the bathroom wall tiles, have fearsome aspects, they do not seem to be bad places either. Merely very, very different places with unknown rules based on huge tessellated and towered mental structures discerned dimly through the swirling patterns of the bathroom tiles and the complicit smirks of their understanders, for demons are always good and bad.

On Christmas morning one can wake up feeling free of demons, for a second or two at least, until you realise that you are on a package holiday in Tenerife. Trapped in vast leisure Industry mega-factory thousands of miles from mainland Europe. Stuck on a strip of sand and lava between the saw-toothed mountains and the sad Atlantic, hemmed in by motorways and patrolled by short trousered police on electric scooters and private security dressed up in Tyrolean costumes or as gnomes. A temporary escape can at least be made on a whale watching catamaran cruise.

Grinning tanned reps assemble enough Angloid lardbuts to load up their catamaran and then sail slowly south, plying the lardy ones with free booze the while, lest they get any thinner. Riding low in the water, the catamaran soon comes across the pod of pilot whales that usually sleep on the surface near here.

The whales whistle to one another to maintain their relative positions and formation, the catamaran cuts its engine and circles them. The lardies look on, drink, point their videos and cameras, drink, stand up, drink, drink point at the whales, drink, eat sandwiches and , drink. The captain of the catamaran tells the lardies a story about the pilot whales.

“This whales are short-finned pilot whales. They is sleepings now, please do not shout, we do not want to disturb thems. This whales is not eat plankton, this are tooth├ęd whales, have tooths. This whales eat gigante squid. This squid is living very, very deep in the sea, 400 metres perhaps. At this deep the whales cannot see, but each whale have in his head this echo-location, he is like sonar, so he find the squid. The giant squid is very, very big and the short-finned pilot whales is only quite small, you can see…..”

We could see, the pod that we circled was about ten or twelve beasts big. These beings were black, six or seven feet long, one at least with its smaller whale calf following. Their dorsals cut the sea’s surface and it was possible, after a bit, to see that individual whales had different fins. One was curled over, almost into an ‘S’ shape, others were almost sharply triangular, most followed the damned bell curve between these two extremes, being rounded off triangles. Sometimes the whales coasted along all fins above the surface, and at others, perhaps when the boat got too close, they dipped under the sea top and rose up again a few yards further on. This motion was like the way dolphins swim, but without all the showy leaping, squeaking noise and begging to track suited guards for herring.

Now the captain of the catamaran psychoanalysed the whales: ““This whales is very clever, they do not sleep like us who is dives deep in sleep and is probing the Id underneath,  and all this collective unconscious and all this. Underneath whales is ocean, we fly over it like birdes is fly over us. To us ocean is one blue thing, is one mass of water, is saltwater, is wet water, is one blue wet thing. But ocean is not one thing, he is not homo, he is hetero watter….”

The  lardies, who the captain was apparently addressing, were by now either so pissed on free beer and wine that they couldn’t understand what he was saying, even if they had been able to understand it anyway, (when sober, which was infrequent), or  they were Dutch or Scandinavian, or as was the case with the two of them with the most developed mentation, they were arguing  over the only one last free bocadillo left between the two of them and who to sue about it, given the zero-sum  situation about bocadillos which appeared then to prevail on the catamaran i.e. that some other greedy lardperson had consumed two of them instead of his/her single bocadillo ration.

“….he is watter of different levels.” The captain continued. “ This levels I speak of is levels of temperature, of pressure, of consciousness, of being itself, which, (one assumes), entails different world views. But goes up, the other goes down, the whales and squids that is. In day, the ocean segment where squid is frolic descend, he go down and short finned pilot whale cannot dive so far, so he sleep here, but their breathing is voluntary, so they is trifurcate their brain: swim, sleep, breathe all at once. Clever whales.

At night the squid level rise and the clever whales dive, but unlike the psychoanalytically trained captain of catamaran, they is conscious when they go so deep. I can only reach the level of the squid when I sleep, sleep, and sleep. The squids are big, I know, I have seen the vast expanses of their tentacular reach, the enormity of their jet propelling ink-farts, the snip-snap-snapping of their cannibalistic beaks, and the rolling and focussing of their football-sized eyes. But whales is smarts, when they swim in id of squid, whale is ego, grab squid and climb, climb, climb. If you have dived, you know, even from small depth, too much pressure change too fast is bad, so squid explodes, bang and whales eat him.”

Lardies paid no attention.

“Please only take one bocadillo each. “ One of the Capitan’s assistants admonished, but it was too late.

“Now is time for swimming, we go to swimming, place.” the captain announced

The lardy-laden catamaran sailed away from the pod of pilot whales to an inlet where so semi-conscious lardies swam in the shallows, others slumped on deck, all drank. The boat now played music to accompany these proceedings, presumably as this would no longer distract the short-finned pilot whales from their quasi-sleep.
As the lardies swam, displaying the full extent of their tattoos, the music was sort of ambient, chill-out, Holgar Czukay style stuff. But then after the lardies were all back on the catamaran and as it glided along the coast on its way back to its harbour. Past the fish farms., the artificial jetties, the new luxury up-market style town apartment style complexes with double electric fencing, searchlights, watchtowers and very Tyrolean security staff,  and the shacks of the island’s small underclass, made of bamboos and bits of old tarpaulin. As the catamaran glided past all of this in the dry hot merciless sunlight of a near equatorial Christmas which was at least not in Britain, the sound track changed to some kind of sexually mildly suggestive reggae . This moved a mother of chavs to wave her breasts at people on shore, they probably could not see what she was doing, but this did not deter her from sending messages in mammary Morse or titular semaphore, all the while shouting; “Whooo! Whooo! Whooo!” and “Whoooo!”. Fortunately the embarrassing woman shut up soon because she was sick, mostly over the side of the boat, (although some of her vomit got on the deck), before the catamaran docked.

The catamaran docked and he climbed back up past the ‘friendly’ Irish pubs and Scottish pubs and German pubs and English pubs and ‘happy’ English restaurants and German restaurants and the reassuringly English, German and Spanish supermarkets and mini-markets, some of which sold proper crisps, baked beans and Smirnoff at only €5 per litre. Until he reached his room in the Tenereifoplaza hotel where there was the psychedelic bathroom wall displaying:
  • The land of the flat faced bat-cat with tufted ears and a knife-sharp-tooted grin
  • The sheikdom of the eyeless Arab
  • The skies flown by the awe inspiring pterodactyl
  • The planet ruled by the monkey with lightening coming from its eyes
  • That location of which the blunt-toothed gargoyle speaks animatedly
He did not feel psychologically strong enough to cope with these alternative realms yet (psilocybin mushrooms or not), especially as their analogous relationship to the relative depths, diving capacities, and predatory behaviour of short-finned pilot whales and giant squid were only just beginning to sink in/up/down/into his own sun-frazzled anglo-brain.

So he chilled out with some artisan style Gomerian potato crisps and a nasty 72% double-brewed malt beer called “Specialer Vole-Twaart” (or something), whilst looking at live TV shots of a tsunami drowning Sri Lankans on Sky News. 

It was horrible, you saw the brown surge of water, you saw two men standing on the side of the partially capsized bus, the vast tide swirling round their feet and after a bit you realised what could be happening inside the bus. God rest their souls, they go to heaven or a better life. But why should God rest them? Wasn’t it He/she/It/None of the above who had an itch in the nose and went: “arrr, errr… errrr. Errrr

Never mind, what can you do?

Immediately the answer is eat the buffet hotel meal that he has already paid for. Drink too much red wine and have a piece of diced carrot from the Russian salad lodge firmly in his moustache to the disgust of his fellow singles holiday clients. Then go and see the floor show in the Tenereifoplaza ‘Bougainvillea’ performance area. It is the great DERMO and his glamorous assistant Katrin Gigantbox. He is a sort of shiny black plastic trousered bad latin knife throwing act who saves himself by Tommy Coopering but has to speak 25 euro linguas so ‘communicates’ mostly by fast claps and stamps and shouting “OY” or “HAY” (or something like that). His major talent is balancing bits of furniture on his chin whilst accompanied by a fat Polish artiste. He balances:
  • Plastic chair
  • Stack of (approx) 20 glasses
  • Plastic table
  • Wooden armchair with stuffing
  • Wooden coffee table
  • Plastic lounger from next to hotel swimming pool
  • Sofa (3 seater) (Polish tart removes cushions)
  • Medium sizes aluminium ladder
Then brings on puma cub on lead, end of act.

Now it is night, the level of concscoiusness is sinking towards the Id as the level of water in which the giant squid swims rises. The kingdoms concealed beneath the bathroom tiles emerge from their dimensions to connect a human brain and call it into their thrall.

Soon there will be an empty Hotel room.


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