Sunday 17 July 2011

The Joy Of Screech

It starts, as everything starts, with the anticipation. In your mind, you’re going over the procedure: your entrance to the Caff, your seat in the corner, the slight delay while yer man arranges things just so. Then it’s for real. The chilled bottle sweats on the table, the contents the colour of flat lager. Next to it, the other bottle, squat, the one with the bubbles.
You do the magic.
You drink nothing until you’ve written 500 words.
You are counting.
Then it’s time.
It smells of old violins and warm, drunken nights in Thessaloniki.
The first sip.
Savour it.
After that, it’s flowing. Does the alcohol loosen things up? Perhaps it does. But there will be plenty of time for revisions, and sobriety, tomorrow. What is important now is to get the words down, it doesn’t matter how good they are, in fact they probably won’t be any good at all, but it’s the getting them down that matters.
I call it Screech. It’s an acquired taste. However, I feel there will soon be a parting of the ways. It’s turned into a habit.


  1. I am reminded of Newfie Screech, a local rum beloved of Newfoundlanders. Chuck and his friend were from there, only in London for the drugs trade. Hashish strapped to the the thighs of a nubile 18-year-old. You know the drill.

    I recall, somewhere in Earls Court, after a night of hash, electric wine and the same rum (the hospitality was indescribable), Chuck's friend turning and saying, with eyes like slits, 'Hey, Chuck, d'you remember that night we got ripped on horse tranquilisers?'

    Screech. Yes.

  2. Canada, Scotland, England, Greece - it's everywhere.