BENEFITS DERIVED FROM A STAY IN RIGA (1998)
An American friend once remarked to me, that Scots were a pretty mean looking bunch – me being the meanest she’d ever seen.
Or what about the guy found wandering, wailing in the streets of a foreign land. Diagnosed at first as deeply depressed and neurotic, the symptoms were later found to be attributable only to the fact that he was Scottish.
The thing is, I don’t disagree much with these observations.
More often than not in my writing it is difficult not to go off on a tangent of inward, self obsessing reference to suffering endured, by myself or by a fellow native of our hard-done-to nation.
And when are we not hard done to?
When we succeed?
Success? .That’s pish as well, as far as most ‘ Daily Record’ readers are concerned, as they “remember when those bastards had nuthin!”
To be enlightened is to be homosexual where I come from, or put another way, “ye don’t like fitba, ye must be a poof.”
Writing about the bigotry, booze and wummen-beating mentality of this painfully beautiful, Scotland may be cathartic and the angst that I have hopefully impresses the only decent bird at the writing class, but I am curious……
………Does Latvia moan?
I’d like to know…….
KOHJI HASHIMOTO (1994)
His name is Bob (Stage name:Trig, TRIG Rogers) My name is Eva Keromme, no nomdiploom, just Eva
Bob’s an actor, a crap actor, and everybody knows it except him.
I’m a photographer, a good one and nobody knows it except me.
I have a steady income from my work in Desserts and Puddings Monthly and Bob earns very little from his career in talking Rhubarb in background scenes. I make enough to keep our two bedroom flat in the west end of Glasgow, and if Bob is fortunate enough to be cast in a “Lets convince you will get a job by watching this video” kind of shit, then he insists in us going out for dinner and convincing me that his big break is just around the corner, in a Polanski or Scorsese or even a Spielberg
And I can’t take it any more
Bob I can’t take it any more
Eva, please call me Trig
Right now, Bob, I will not call you Trig
Hold on a minute little lady
Oh Bob, shut up, There’s something I have to tell you
Okay punk go ahead make my day, then I have something to tell you, in fact I wanna tell the whole world, I just wanna sing I just wanna dance, he said as he waltzed around the room with what looked like a script
What is it, I asked,allowing him to tell his news first
I’ve got the part I was after
How many times I’ve heard that in the past. He is just so pathetic, and yet, once , I had faith in him, Christ, I was so happy when he let me do his photo-shoot. Maybe it’s my fault, I shouldn’t have gave him so much encouragement, always telling him to have faith, he’d make i,t I’d say, But he won’t, he can’t. I must tell him, but look at him, he’s excited again, so pathetic, poor Bob
A part in a Polanski film, I suppose I asked.
No, but a world-famous director, just the same.
Who is he, what’s he done
Hashimoto, Kohji Hashimoto
Kung fu movies?
I was laughing as I snatched the script from Bob.
It’s a Japanese-Scottish co-production to be filmed on location here and in Japan, he continued.
For God sake Bob, don’t tell me, it’s Godzilla meets Nessie, isn’t it?
No, Eva, listen it’s not a Godzilla movie.
Well it’s about a Japanese guy who is the son of a Scottish woman and a Samurai warrior, who comes to Scotland to help fight the in the Jacobite Rebellion.
That’s original, I suppose you’re playing some claymore wielding clansman in a crowd scene.
Jamie Munro, the warrior Hiroshi’s cousin, from his mother’s side , it’s a fairly big part.
I was skimming over his first draft as he kept talking.
No congratulations then?
I could say nothing as I read, quickly realising, this was anther pile of shit, that he had got himself into.
Show me your lines?
I found it. Jamie Munro had lines on half the page
Just this page?, I asked
And a shot of my decapitated head on page 34, pretty big part this ……….
FROM CORDLESS PHONES TO RUNG-LESS LADDERS (1993)
Bangin, barkin, bawlin bastards,
Frae dawn tae dark
Manky scraggers, drappin wrappers
an cats an dugs,
I wish deceased.
Bein a bankrupt frae the Barrat
I find it kind
of hard tae mix
Wae the sheepish smilin wummen,
Social points await awardin,
A back and front
in a better place
Until then ma lugs I’ll plug
An sit here
wae ma fumin face
Ma request tae the cooncil.
May one day
Soon bear its fruit
Even then, I’m quite certain,
I’ll feel uneasy
wae ma roots
In the sore dashing day
I stop wonder and say
Iona is real, and I love her.
Then disbelieving, briefly
Pre-emptive grieving, chiefly
On a sobering conception,
That she is a mere deception,
From my creative desiring
Of a woman
Who will always
The sore dashing day
For those she loves
Who will say
Iona is real and we love her