Too Much Information
too dark to see if you’re calling me
but each cell of my bones jangles
your eyes touch mine, too wetly.
Dankness possesses my skin
but the skin’s not really me,
it's porous, protects against
nothing – everything gets in.
You want me to remember –
was I there the first time?
Those other times all stacked like cards?
I can sense the bruises
of your moods that will turn brown,
I'm the wrong way round
when you say I don't feel
but I hear your hairs scream
at the touch of your brush.
Things so insistent I see them
scuff rising from leather grain,
oil rainbows in fraying water,
dust in sun, competing voices shrill, machines bark
warnings, smells transform to touch, I flinch,
suck in so they're shouting in my head.
I haven't even left the house.
Don't make me shower,
that sound like hoovering
the earth out hollow, battering me
with sharp water swords.
Sssh, sssh you say as I shriek,
shriek, shriek for silence.
You say you understand.
You can't – there is no route to find
with your one-sense filtered mind –
you’ll never find your way
around my fractured currents.
I leave no personal mark in time.
White headphones on, talking to camera
A student activist
400 injured in recent weeks
32 casualties today
The same word repeated
A need to communicate
From one place to another
A call for action
An international language
Of human suffering
A steadfast determination
Spoken in words
Conveyed in the eyes that look straight into camera
All within a 2 minute news segment
From London the news presenter responds
“We wish you all the best, very much”
“Thank you” the young man replies
I drive a Ford Focus. It's the most popular car in the UK other than a Volks Golf.
I used to drive a Fiesta, which is third most popular but the Focus has a little more speed. It also has the appearance that makes it look a lot of other models.
From my point of view that's good.
I could buy something a little more sporty. God knows I can afford it but a BMW or Jaguar attracts attention doesn't it?
No, a Ford Focus is just right. It's quick and unobtrusive, especially in the dark. I drive a lot at night.
It's dark blue. All my cars are dark blue. It's virtually invisible. You don't believe me? Look, try this tonight. A car goes by when you're walking home at night. Can you tell what colour it is in the dark? If it was white then you'd probably get it right, but dark blue? Could be black, could be dark green or red even. You really wouldn't know, would you? So you see. There's method in my madness.
Why am I going on about cars? Well, I do my homework see, if I didn't, well I'd be in solitary in Strangeways or some other shithole. You see, there's always a white van reported in abduction cases. Read the papers carefully next time.
"A white van was seen driving..."
"Police want to talk to the driver of a white van..."
Ninety nine times out of a hundred it's just some poor sod driving home for lunch, but people still remember the white van. That got me thinking about how I could make myself as invisible as can be. A blue Ford Focus is the closest I can get.
I live in Manchester. There's a lot of children in Manchester. It's a great place for a small car because there are a lot of little side roads. I know them all. Little shortcuts and little alleyways where it's too narrow for cop cars. I have little maps in my head where I can turn and where there are dead ends. It pays to know this.
I buy all my cars from the web. Great invention that. The web! I can see the world from my little bedroom. Anywhere I want and I don't have to pack anything. I can buy anything and I can talk to anyone. I do that. Talk a lot that is. You're invisible on there as well.
I don't use my real name. Well, you wouldn't would you, not unless you were stupid or something. I use various aliases and I use different computers too, although not in internet cafes and libraries. I've heard they monitor those and that will not do.
It's very easy to slip into a different persona. Sometimes I'm Dave Hibbard, a 23 year old from Hartlepool. Dave's ex army. Served in Iraq did Dave. Got wounded too! A lot of girls like Dave. I guess it's that macho man appeal. I'm also Steve Allen, a 16 year old from Liverpool. Steve's in a band. The Wheelies. They play garage music. Then there's Andy who's 17 from London and Chris, 15 from Brighton. He's the most popular of all. His dad owns a club in Spain. A lot of kids are impressed by that.
I'm thirty three, by the way.
It's remarkable how many people open up when I'm on the web. All their little secrets are divulged, bit by bit. Despite all the warnings. kids think they're invincible. You mustn't really interrogate them or that can ring alarm bells. Just throw them a little something and it's amazing how kids will open up to you?
I make certain I take my time. Rushing into a meet is simply not on. Six months is my absolute minimum time. It took two years to arrange a meet with that little Amy from Moss Side. It was on Crimewatch the other week. I'm nearly as famous as the Yorkshire Ripper.
Arrange a meet, pretend not to turn up, follow them. That's my mo. That's modus operandii. It's Latin that is. When the time is right, bang! Offer them a lift. Tell them you're a relative, fathers' cousin, their mothers' sisters husband. You know things about them because you've had at least six months to store it all up. They're always taken by surprise. Never make a fuss, especially when you start talking about some family stuff. They don't see me as stranger danger. I know too much information.
Why don't they listen to the warnings about talking to strangers? Stupid buggers. They don't see me as a stranger and as for witnesses, well they don't really see me at all.
No one sees a blue Ford Focus...do they?