Scott realised with a slam, a physical slam of twilight epiphany, that he had it all wrong. When he imagined his future – a future after school, after rent contracts and after serious romance – he appeared to hold being an idealised bum as his future goal.
He’s been reading too much of the Beat Generation, he thought – he thought that wanting to spend his life in a dingy cellar apartment in a foreign city – smoking, drinking, dabbling in drugs and befriending petty criminals – was his idea. It wasn’t his idea. It was Kerouac and Ginsberg and Burroughs’ idea. Fucking and drug-taking as an artistic mode still exists, but – Scott reasoned to himself – it no longer is aspirational.
Desiring to move between fridge, typewriter and bed (with various people and substances stored around each) may be a wonderful idea for a life – but enough prose and poetry exists that’s been written about that lifestyle to almost stifle the market. And I don’t even like drugs that much. And sex is always stressful. But writing is fun.
The dream, the image, may be a squat filled with heroin addicts and poets, but in reality I think what I want to live in is a well kept, small white apartment near a cinema, a bookshop and a cocktail bar. And I want a piano in my apartment. I don’t think it’s a huge thing to ask. But that doesn’t mean I’m not fascinated by degradation. I just want to experience it through art rather than life…