Between eleven and midnight last night and between seven and nine this morning I read three hundred and twelve pages of The Way Home by George Pelecanos. Yesterday I finished Jeffrey Deavers “blockbuster” Roadside Crosses.
Between nine am and one pm I worked on a review for The Independent: A
review of The ICA’s present exhibition much concerned with concrete poetry. It
was supposed to be six hundred words but I end on one thousand two hundred. At about one pm I get ready to leave for The BBC on the other side of London for radio
fives book panle. I press exit without saving and lose everything. My brain slowly melts down into scrambled egg. Must leave.
So I left on my bike and whizzed for twenty minutes to Bethnal Green for The central line which takes about forty minutes to woosh across the city from East to west and in no time I am at White City, at The BBC. I Meet reviewers Badisha and Boyd Hilton and the writers George Pelecanos and Jeffrey Deavers.
Pelecanos compliments me on my quilted chucks (quilted all star converse) and asks where I got them from. It was a cool note. And with pride I tell him Hackney, only in
green. But I think it was a sample design line. Not sure you can get them, but I tell Pelecanos that there are those stores all over the country. That’s George Pelecanos who wrote The Wire.
On national BBC radio five we review the books Roadside Crosses and The Way Home in front of the authors and words fail me. Not good for a reviewer. Richard Bacon is the radio presenter. The Job is done. I am unhealthily unsatisfied. I say to Pelecanos that he has a great gig tonight with Shane McGowan and the Pogues at the Boogaloo club. I got offered a free ring side seat but couldn’t make it.
I get back on the tube knowing I had to be home to start the independent article. It’s
rush hour. I arrive back at Bethnal green, take out my keys (to unlock my bike) then
watch them slip from my hand and tinkle into the grid engulfed beyond reach beneath water. I look at my bike locked to the railing. I look back to the grid.
It take’s me an hour to find a magnet to get the key out of the grid and thirty minutes
to get home by 6pm. I finish the article by 10pm with the feeling that the better one was written earlier. It’s been one of those days where I got lost in the edit and could not find the key.