intercourse with biscuits
This site is a modern miscellany written by me, Mic Wright. I'm a journalist and writer and have contributed to Stuff, Q Magazine, The Times and Sunday Times, The Guardian and Wired. You can see some of my writing portfolio here, follow me on Twitter, find me on Facebook and email me.

Il Duce, the dog (excerpt)

She assured me her dog was not named after Mussolini. Il Duce was so called in honour of her ex-boyfriend, a punk singer who’d picked up the name in a squat. He was not a scholar of history. She told me he, the man not the dog, had died in a bar brawl in Brooklyn. He travelled there to perform at CBGB’s, having failed to realise that it had closed. He isn’t dead though. He lives in Neasden so he might as well be. My mate Boz knows him. He said he got a mate to tell Helena that he had been murdered as he “couldn’t be doing with her shit”. I think that was unfair. I like Helena. It’s Il Duce, the dog, I have a problem with. 

Il Duce has a throne. It is gold and covered in pillows. He does not leave it when it is time for him to eat. Instead, Helena brings his bowl to him. When he has finished eating – he eats only diced, broiled steak – he barks for her to remove dish. Sometimes he craps on my bedroom carpet just because he can. Il Duce is small and there is a doggie door at the bottom of the stairs leading down from the kitchen. Il Duce can go out into the green and grassy part of his domain but he sometimes chooses not to. He is a capricious ruler. 

Helena denies that Il Duce has bad intent. She says he’s cute and cuddly. I say he’s fat and nasty. He once bit my ankle when I came out of the bathroom less gingerly than he prefers. Helena blamed me for this slight against her little prince. As she was shouting at me I looked over her shoulder and could have sworn I saw Il Duce smirking at me from his throne. My friends assured me that dogs are not made to smirk. I remained suspicious. I began to worry that Il Duce was plotting against me just as his historical namesake had outmanoeuvred the king. And I was not a king…

luckypeach:

REITE DEN JAGUAR!        gif by richie

luckypeach:

REITE DEN JAGUAR!        gif by richie

Tumblr tells me this blog is 6 today. So it’s more of a little shit than ever.

Tumblr tells me this blog is 6 today. So it’s more of a little shit than ever.

(Source: assets)

Your heart, the run down estate: a stuntedly short story

The heart is like a run down estate where the trash from every love you’ve ever felt piles up. And you might focus on prettifying your front garden and making sure the roof is fixed but down the street the old mattress where your first love lay beside you is still there. You don’t take it to the dump, you just pretend it isn’t there.

That memory exists in the peripheral fog that spreads out to ensure the future stays in focus and the past knows its place. You’re not allowed more than one love at once.

At night you rush through the streets of the estate to avoid the ghosts of dead relationships and the wolves of snarling emotions that still wander around. If you pretend you didn’t hear them howl, life can stay the same.

The heart is a mess of veins and black stuff, of goo and gushing viscera. If it were a simple thing you could fashion easily out of construction paper, love wouldn’t be so interesting or awful. 

The important things: a short story in an odd tense

Go to the worst night club. Drink the cheapest beer. Walk on to the sticky dance floor. Bust. Some. Moves. This is the arena of low expectations. You have come here to sacrifice yourself to the god of neon alcopops and thumping heads. No one here will hate you more than you hate yourself. No one is that interested. If you’re going to self-destruct, here’s as good a place as any.

In the toilets, studiously ignoring the bog troll, look at yourself in the mirror and follow your bloodshot eyes like a badly drawn transit map, all stops to desperation, calling at cheap shots and cheaper dance partners. When you walk out again they’ll be playing indie hits from when your jeans fit better, your teeth were whiter and your head was lighter. You are probably too old to be here. Not old enough to be old but old enough to seem old to kids too young to make the distinction.

Go outside. Get a taxi. End up halving a pissed up discussion about mortgages with the driver. When you get home burn your cheese toastie accidentally and fall asleep on the sofa. Wake up to the acrid smell of stale smoke in the kitchen and a humming in your ears that could be the result of standing too close to the bass bins or the insistent humming of death approaching. Probably best to settle for the former. The latter could distract you from that important quarterly review and why Sharon in HR keeps giving you those weird looks. You know, the important things. 

Next Time I Have A Barbecue, God Is Not Invited [short and quite stupid fiction]

I met this guy who told me he saw God every Sunday. In the garden of memorial, he dropped acid and stared into the pool. I figured God must be too busy to spend in with a dreadlocked white guy, sat beneath a fetid little pool of water with algae, cigarette ends and inflated jellyfish dead condoms bobbing by. But who am I to second guess God?

That guy makes bad life choices. Tells one man to sacrifice his son just to see if he’ll do it. Sends his own son to do all the dirty jobs and sees him nailed by enemies. Bad life choices. Bad advice. Hypocrisy and a bad temper. Like a lot of dads really. Maybe he would have hung out with the dreadlocked dude. Bad friends to go with bad decisions. Next time I have a barbecue, God is not invited. 

"Drug dealers are dorks…" 

"Drug dealers are dorks…" 

(Source: popcornpeachy)

The Book of Accidents: Connor in the dock

On the underground, just before the shutdown, I took the train to the furthest station. I didn’t want to sit in the hotel again and watch Connor on the TV. I’d watched from the public gallery all day. Sat down in the dock, a wringed out dirty sponge of man. Nothing like the figure I knew from university or even the bearded and fire eyed soldier of unfortune I had met in the tent those months before. 

His beard was patchy and rough, the baggage beneath his eyes over-stuffed. I could see the unslept hours hanging from his face. He looked older, much older than before, fast-forwarded into his fifties somehow. The court lights did him few favours. Neither did the prosecution which hammered at him relentlessly until I was certain that tears were forming in his milky eyes. It was horrendous. I felt certain that Connor was guilty only of losing his mind but the punishment for doing that can be particularly severe. 

On deserted suburban streets, suspicious in washed out pools of streetlight, I thought about Connor and smoked the last of my cigarettes. I’d quit three years before in that way that travelling liars do, breath mints in the pocket for when I returned to my then girlfriend. But now, alone again, I could kill myself any way I wanted and watching Connor in the dock made me scan the list and consider every option. Tomorrow more booze. Some pills. Something that would throw the image of my friend, the terrorist, behind the thickest gauze possible. There was no chance he’d get off. Once you’ve got that terror tag on your ankle and those unkempt photos in the press, you’re done. 

The security guards…

This is a scene from a script I wrote a few years back that I just stumbled upon again:

Two security guards sit in a booth at night.

– Tell me a joke. 

– No. 

– Go on. Tell me a joke. 

– No. I won’t. I don’t want to. 

– Go on. Go. On. 

– What’s your obsession with people telling you a joke? 

– It’s fun. Tells you a lot about people. 

– You know me. 

– But do I? 

– Are you bored? 

– Yes. 

– You’re always bored. [beat] My mother used to say/ 

– /not this shit again 

– …that the only bored people are boring. 

– Now that is boring. 

– You’re saying my mother’s boring. 

– Your mother’s dead. 

– She is. So have some fucking respect. 

– You’re trying to have a fight because you’re bored. 

– Fuck you. 

– That’s a sad indictment of you. 

– ‘Indictment’. You and your crossword vocabulary. 

– It is. It’s a sad indictment. You’ve been doing this for years. You should be used to it. 

– You’re used to it, are you? 

– I am. I like it. Night shifts are fine. No boss to give you shit. 

– I’m technically your boss. 

– Ha. 

– What do you mean “ha”? 

– I mean…ha. 

– I am. I’m a Security Operative Grade 3. 

– “Operative”. Fuck’s sake. 

– That’s what our contracts say. 

– Our contracts! You read the contract. You must be bored. 

– I am. I already said. I’m not snobby about what I’ll read. I’ll read the cereal packet backs. 

– Yes. I can tell. 

– So tell me a joke. 

– We’re going round in circles here. 

– Alright, I’ll tell you a joke. 

– If you must. 

– A boy sees his father drinking a beer and asks him: ‘Can I have a beer?’ and his dad says: “Can you touch your arsehole with your dick?”/ 

– Boy, some father…

– /and the boy says: “No.” So his dad says: “Well, you can’t have a beer then.” 

– Yeah. So… 

– The next day, the father is smoking a cigar and the boy asks if he can have one. His dad says again: ‘Can you touch your arsehole with your dick?” “No”, says the boy. “Well, no cigar for you,” says the father. 

– Someone should call social services. 

– It’s a joke. Fuck’s sake. Let me finish. 

– Fine. Go on. 

– So on the third day, the son is eating some ice cream and his father says: “Can I have a spoonful?” And the boy says: “Can you touch your arsehole with your dick?” The father says: “Yes”. “Well then, go fuck yourself”, says the boy. Ahahaha. 

– Seems to me that they’ve got a very dysfunctional relationship. 

– You don’t think it’s funny. 

– It’s not the worst. 

– ‘It’s not the worst.’ You’ve no sense of humour. 

– I do. It’s just not fired up by swearing. 

– So what do you like then? 

– Irony. I like irony. And sarcasm. 

– Figures. 

Fiction: The revenge of Derek Dunn part 1

He was sat there eating the orange slices. He sucked them dry, one by one, and left the half-moon corpses on the plastic tray beside him on the bench. The team were out on the pitch winning. They always won. Top of the East Anglian Schools League. The ubermensch of the upper sixths. Derek was the kit boy. Appointed by Mr Simpson as punishment for a non-regulation duffle coat. And now he had reached his breaking point. 

The bullying had been bad. Episodes floated up in his mind:

The time that Richard Thacker had pushed him down some steps and laughed as he stared at his bloody hands and struggled to raise himself on bloody knees. Richard Thacker was the team’s excellent striker. Handsome too. A thick head of blonde hair and a smile that you couldn’t describe as a shit-eating grin because Richard Thacker had never had to eat shit in his entire life. It was a steak-eating grin. A caviar-eating grin. 

That time when Byron Graves had pummelled him in the English corridor, the wooden no-man’s land between Mrs Wadham’s class room and Mrs Brant’s. The rest of the two classes had formed a human boxing ring. Byron had challenged Derek to get a punch in. “I’ll give you one free chance,” Byron said, imagining himself as Stallone rather than the thick-necked, thick-headed, thick fuck he really was. 

Derek tried to hit the bully and Byron caught his hand before it reached its target. He twisted it and dropped Derek to the ground. After the first few kicks, Derek just rolled up into a ball. A lookout whistled and Byron got back in line. Derek got detention for rolling around on the floor. Mr Campbell dispensed the punishment. He enjoyed punishing Derek, who, he had long ago decided, was simply rebellious and refused to try hard enough to make other children like him. Who wanders around reading books anyway? Ridiculous affectation.  

His mind snapping back to the here-and-now, to the dank, sweat smelling changing rooms, Derek thought about his plan again. He was going to leave his mark on this place and then leave forever. Not like those murdering school boys in America but like the heroes of the Penguin books he carefully stashed in his satchel. He would triumph and then ride off into the sunset, his steed being his battered BMX – kicked and scratched by Richard Thacker’s pal Geoff just the previous week. Derek would have his revenge. And it was beginning now. 

POEM: Aubade by bad graffiti

I shouted up at your window 

but you were out 

and the bulb was just wasting light 

By the city canal where 

rusting shopping trolleys slumber 

I smoked old cigarettes dredged from my pocket 

The last night of something 

ends up shining with delight in 

our faulty, flawed, fragmenting memories 

I pretended to myself that I knew you 

better than anyone else 

but I just knew a shard of something 

Throwing stones into the dirty water 

I watched the ripples and 

realised I rarely have such obvious effect. 

The Book of Accidents: Down In The Rubestation At Midnight

Grunting from the room next door. The sound of that enthusiastic kind of hotel sex, the sort that couples have on nights when they feel they have a pass from the burping, farting mediocrity of every day life. I was drinking. 

The kind of drinking you do when your headphones won’t drown out the sound of other people shagging. I didn’t have the opportunity to fuck but I could drink. It’s a skill of mine. 

I was drinking miniatures from the mini-bar. Makes you feel like the most mundane sort of rebel. In your head a old-fashioned little cash register is ching chinging. Rachel said she was coming over. She didn’t. The phone rang after I’d finally passed out. I picked up the missed call the next morning. Her message was short and unpleasant: “I don’t mind still sleeping with you, it’s the talking that I can’t stand.” I paid my bill and went walking. Cities you used to call home feel the strangest when you come back. Everything a little off like a celestial prankster moved everything to the left by a few inches. 

On the corner of Tottenham Court Road and Oxford Street, where McDonalds sits like an embassy for the odd, the strung out and the confused, I bumped into Catrine. Literally bumped into. I had my head down staring at my phone hoping someone on Twitter might burnish my ego for a moment. Catrine was with some bloke. She introduced us. I think his name was Chuck. Chuck is an American. Chuck wears espadrilles. Chuck was preternaturally polite and effusive. I immediately hated Chuck as I suspected he might hate me if he wasn’t walking about lagged with bullshit. 

Catrine invited me to her gig. She’s in a new band. I listened to some of their songs on Bandcamp when I returned to the refuge of the hotel room. They sound like Suzi & The Banshees. All the hip new bands sound like 80s bands now. That’s the cool thing as long as you outright deny having heard any of the acts you’re meant to be influenced by. I told Catrine on IM that she sounded like Suzi. She played dumb and thought I meant Suzi who works in The Breakfast Club and gives me extra pancakes because she feels sorry for me. 

Catrine insisted that I come to her gig. I said I would. It was only Wednesday. Surely before Saturday I’d find a reason not to go or at least persuade another woman to come with me. Persuade. That’s the mindset I’d got into, as if the only thing I could do was beg a girl to stand next to me for the duration of Gasp’s gig. Gasp. They’d called themselves Gasp. I couldn’t decide if it was shit or genius. Band names tend to be like that. They only get good on repetition. Catrine is good at repetition. Some of her criticisms of me still scroll through my head in the middle of the night. 

The Write In: an excerpt from a weird little story about a teenager that I started writing

“In our view, the boy is a deviant and a swine.” 

It was safe to say that I had not received the best school reports. 

“A danger to himself as much to the rest of society.” 

If they didn’t want me to play with fire, they shouldn’t have taken us to the match factory. What a poor excuse for a school trip. 

On the fifth day of the summer holidays, I found a corpse by the canal. It was a dog walker whose heart gave out. The police said the dog had run away. I prefer to say he escaped. 

My father tells me I should talk less. He talks a lot. I suppose he assumes that words get more valuable with age like they’re wine of something. 

My mother left my father when I was seven. She was too selfish to take me with her. So I live with dad and his sort-of-not-wife Gloria. 

Gloria plays the song Gloria by Van Morrison a lot. She thinks this is cute. It is not cute. 

Gloria has a son called Stanley. I hate Stanley. Stanley’s school reports are excellent. Stanley is a credit to the school. Who’d want to be a credit to that lot? 

On Shrove Tuesday – that’s Pancake Day for those of you who are slow of thinking – Stanley got seven pancakes. I counted. I got five. This was a deliberate act. 

Stanley is 14. I am 15. I’m the senior son but I don’t get the credit. I think my father wishes Stanley was his. Stanley pretends my father is smart. My father is average. My mum has all the brains. That’s why she left. 

ellyliyana:

“When you have eliminated all which is impossible, then whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.” 
- Arthur Conan Doyle, The Case-Book of Sherlock Holmes

ellyliyana:

“When you have eliminated all which is impossible, then whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.” 

- Arthur Conan Doyle, The Case-Book of Sherlock Holmes

The Beard and the Secret Door

There is a secret door in the square. It’s next to Great St. Mary’s but only a few people know what stone to pull and those who do don’t go there until the vans of death and life have shut down. The Van of Life and the Van of Death, two fast food fans alike in indignity. No one really knows when they got those names. It’s like the vestigial naming of Cindy’s. It stopped being Cinderella Rockerfeller’s in 1990, about the time when such a name slipped beyond being retro into utterly ridiculous. And yet the meathead blues, the muppet masses still call it that. They’re a branding expert’s worse nightmare. The secret door though is still just the Secret Door. It doesn’t have a real name as such. I suppose The Secret Door is what you call it. It’s what we always did.

The bar inside doesn’t need a real name either. It’s small and you reach it by walking carefully down the stone steps beyond the secret door. They are often wet with condensation or rain water that creeps in through the cracks. The bar isn’t though. The room, a very old cellar I suppose, is always warm. Too warm when everyone crams in there. There’s a DJ booth at one end. You have to go through another little door to get into the booth and most people never try.

The Beard was usually the one in there. They called him The Beard because of the beard. It spread across his face like foliage. Thick and ginger in an outrageously orange way. The Beard wore sunglasses even down in the dark of the Secret Door. I only saw him once in the light above. He was in Sainsbury’s buying milk, Kahlua and vodka. Can man live on White Russians alone? I suspect if any man could, it would be The Beard. Someone sent me an email two weeks ago to tell me The Beard is dead. They told me no one else would try to find out why but I should. So I am. So I am.