It’s taking me some getting used to. Back alone with only a pen in hand. Slurping coffee to make my teeth that bit greyer. Cursing at copy and at work I’ve taken on that are delaying my novel. Someone once told me that a real writer is a plaintive writer. I should be pretty busy then.
Every now and then however, a writer can compliment something. Even if they do find it difficult. A writer’s vanity should always be preserved. Crossing Border is a remarkable festival. One with a high rock n’ roll standard. It’s also quite different to giving a reading in a small room and answering questions from 70-year-old ladies who’d like to adopt you more than anything else.
I’m still thinking about The Hague. The city of Couperus. Btw, I bought his collected works. He’ll have to wait his turn though. Forget what I once promised. There are heaps of other writers that I still have to read.
I’m also thinking about that axe that was wielded in the Netherlands. A mighty blow to behead the arts. The Netherlands has now become a poorer country. Those who so drastically cut into the arts, lose their riches. But hey, if little power-hungry bosses want to be in control and are really just lackeys to the nut jobs and the fascists, then you can expect something like that to happen. But enough of this moralising drivel.
Back to Crossing Border. Where Sam Cutler was the friendliest raconteur and Michael Madsen the introverted boozer. With a blonde lass always in tow. We gossiped a little about that. Was she his wife, a girlfriend, a colleague or a groupie?
A few days ago, I read that Michael Madsen fell over in a drunken stupor and ended up in hospital in Antwerp. A nice way for him to wrap things up in true rock n’ roll style.
BP Fallon was also a remarkable artist. A scrawny middle-aged man with a black bowler on. I met him in the lift and he immediately introduced himself as singer BP Fallon. I then introduced myself as writer Fikry El Azzouzi. He found my name difficult to remember and apologised in advance because he would forget it.
‘That’s no biggie, it happens often,” I said.
‘The best of luck,’ BP replied, walking bolt upright out of the lift.
BP Fallon. He’d make a good character in a novel. Or you could turn Crossing Border into an amazing piece of theatre. Make all the singers villains who abduct all the pretty and not-so-pretty girls. And all while under the watchful eye of a mysterious bowler hat, the ultimate mega-villain. Crying, Louis Behre runs to The Chronicles posse, who are superheroes, natch. He falls to his knees and asks us to free them all. Which, of course, we do. We think nothing of doing what is more or less a heroic deed. Or have I have gone too far again? Crossing Border is a festival that makes you dream and, for a writer, that’s the biggest compliment they can give.