39 – bending the rules slightly, but hey…Dear Phil
You destroyed my life. I hold you personally responsible for the spiral of crap that it has become. I’ll admit that I live in a reasonable level of comfort, with a nice home, a loving partner and steady job I quite enjoy, but still, you have caused me a level of suffering that I can only to compare medieval torture. Ten years ago, I wrote to you humbly requesting a minor contribution to fund my future ambition of a bohemian lifestyle fuelled by booze and coffee, writing some kind of novel and hanging around cafes. I didn’t expect to get anything. I didn’t even expect a reply. But thats not the point. My letter was a result of damage you had already committed. A year earlier I was working in a well known high street music outlet in Canterbury. I joined the staff team on the busy run up to Christmas, having recently fled a hellish part time position at Chatham Tescos. Filled with dreams of rock and roll and laconic discourse on bad jazz; I donned my black t-shirt, marked only by a small red badge to signify its purpose as a uniform. I felt free and entered work with a spring in my step and a smile on my lips, little did I know the horror that awaited me inside said store. For three months I was subjected to a punishing ritual of repetition, an aggravated assault on my ear drums; your catalogue of ‘hits’ played in relentless cycles of unpitying evil rattling around my skull. Those drum beats killed me. Furthermore, to complete the damage, on Christmas Eve the store manager handed me a fifty pound note and a signed copy of Richard Branson’s autobiography. He glibly announced this prize was for my part in making our store number one in the south east for selling your CD. As I kicked ‘Virgin’ along the wintery street, I was consumed by feelings of filth and violation; of disgust and self loathing at my whorish part in your happy xmas. When I sent you that letter, with its insincere demands, self deprecating humour and mock hope of a decadent existence, I hoped to exercise my demons and move on from this irrational vendetta. But, as I said earlier, I did not expect a reply. In my final days of hope and laziness, it landed on my doormat like a defecating elephant. The letter poured into my hands and ignited the shimmering pool of meths in my stomach. It explained your appreciation of my situation and that with respect that you would be unable to help me on this occasion. It informed me of your myriad of charitable activities and wished me well with my endeavours. I would like you to imagine the steel that formed in my eyes as I read these words and that remains to this day. It wasn’t the refusal, I didn’t care about the money. It was a joke you self entitled, pompous shit! Now come on, give me some money and let me have a bit of fun. Please?