Did I ever tell you about the time I was struck by lightning and imbued with incredible supernatural powers that serve as both a gift AND a curse? Maybe not, I tend to keep it quiet. Truth is, I’m keeping my story for a rainy day, and that “rainy day” is an unfinished screenplay on my computer entitled ‘His Brilliant Gift?’
Cool, huh. You think you have a grip on the title and then… the question mark. Is it a brilliant gift?
Without getting too far ahead of myself, it’s gonna eventually be a whole thing. Probably with Tong Crewse and Laurens Fishbon in supporting roles.
So, yeah, I have a gift, and sometimes I like to use it!! Here are this week’s horoscopes, or as i call them – ‘YELLAHOLESCOPES’.
(I don’t fucking call them that)
Aquarius, the Water Bearer (Jan. 20-Feb.18) –
You haven’t seen your kids in three years. Maybe don’t see them at all because Julie is now living with Brian, and he’s a moderate improvement on you, but with enough of the same flaws that you’ll end up hating Julie a whole bunch more for falling out of love with you and in love with a wittier version of the same thing. Oh, and remember Rex, whom you buried on land desecrated by Hurley and the boys? Well, turns out that was an old Viking graveyard and Rex has been running around savaging babies in Watermount Park – the amusement place with the kitsch 70’s get-up; he’s trapped in there or something, and you (urgh, lame, it was like 7yrs ago) must pour boiled crows blood on the site of his grave or some shit.
The Vikings were raising the dead long before Stephen King said the Indians were, apparently. American Indians, that is.
You met two at a bus stop in Phoenix about six years ago, they were on their way to a soup kitchen. You got talking but, no matter how much you tried, couldn’t stop saying crap like “this is your land, guys” and “you need to take it back”. One was younger than the other, and one was way taller. They were both tall, actually; long and lean; i guess ‘angular’ is a better word; with beautiful skin the colour of melted sugar. You say that about all brown people, though.
DON’T play the lottery.
DO have unprotected, indiscriminate sex with an old man.
Pisces, the Fish (Feb. 19-Mar.20) –
Big week, this; a big week for other people. You will be sat by your desk eating Digestives, drinking Fosters Lite. It’s who you are now. When Mike Torino calls, tell him you need more time to get the money, and then pray, pray Casey gets off the ventilator. Let’s face it, pal – you didn’t need that back-alley KanyeWest-plasty and now everyone is paying the price.
DON’T start a shoegaze band, you pawned your pedals getting pectoral implants.
DO fish around in the attic and attempt to locate the exact moment you started believing the hype (clue: inside the rolled-up toy map).
Aries, the Ram (Mar. 21- April 19) –
Twin moons just about align for you this week, creating a prism affect. On Friday you will get the results back: no, you’re not cut out for Mensa. In fact, they believe you display intelligence “well below” the national average, and refer you to the website of a clinical psychologist who specialises in finding skilled professions for remedials who excel performing the same repetitive actions over and again. It promises the skill threshold need not be low. A post-it note below the signator of the letter refers to your ‘abnormal strength’. It doesn’t qualify the statement with a proceeding sentence. Just kind of leaves it there. You are strong, so what?
Later in the week, you will Google the term ‘young Stephen Hawking with robot arms” and see a picture that’s been floating around the internet for a while; it’s of the young Stephen and his wife, standing on the doorstep of their house in the late 60s. An eerie chill turns inside you, and you feel disoriented the first time, as though you were looking at a ghost that was looking at you. You try to pluck the letter from Mensa out of the bin but find it is it covered in orange marmalade and the head of a cooked fish.
DON’T buy those boat shoes you saw on someone else’s Amazon wishlist.
DO remember how far you’ve come when everyone else said otherwise.
Taurus, the Bull (April 20-May 20) –
Kind of a dick-move to challenge Bill to an arm-wrestle. The whole street will turn out – Bill will make sure of it – and you’ll have no choice but to reveal your secret to them: that your body is basically just a thin, translucent film of membrane and is thousands of years old. The thing pretty much insta-atrophied the minute you stopped working out in the Middle Ages, but y’know what – fuck it; Helga, the one true love of your life was dying, and in a way, there was something terribly bittersweet and stupid about you withering away together. Except that was 800 years ago; she’s long gone and forgotten by the world, and here you are, as alive as you were in her arms, living in Reading where you work from home offering IT solutions to business start-ups.
Why won’t you die?
You don’t know, you honestly don’t know. Everyone in your various families died long ago. The minute you remove the bomber jacket, the truth will be – horribly, inexorably – out there, quickly followed by mass vomiting. You will have to move again, make new friends .
There is a way you can win, though. Remember when that dickbag kid from next door said Bill had killed a parrot and not told anyone? You just need to use that as leverage somehow. Maybe dig up the remains and wangle them in his face. That’d be pretty wild. What about paying the kid to go round and do the wangling for you? Who knows if he’s even telling the truth; there’s, like, that period between 8 and 12 when all you do is make stuff up. Would either work though? I reeeally doubt it, you never should have told Bill you had more strength than all of Africa put together. Besides, he’s like part Moroccan on his grandma’s side or something.
DON’T under any circumstances visit a gym.
DO draw strength from how few feats of strength you got suckered into in three-thousand and forty-four years of drawing breath.
Gemini, the Twins (May 21-June 21) –
The good news is, you’re not pregnant. The bad news is, you can never be pregnant as long as you’re with Steve. Here’s the thing about Steve, he’s never really told you what he does for a living; everything is carried under the thin veil of ‘lab work’. Which is fine, it’s not really that interesting when you get down into the core science of the actual work itself. But here’s the other thing: he is the work. Years of medical testing have left Steve with a myriad of remarkable attributes: tremendous long and short-term memory, a unique ability to compartmentalise a puzzle into its composite parts. He’s endlessly patient, a great listener and his memory means he’s also useful when you have card games with your friends, right? The trade-off is, the two of you seem to grow more distant with every passing week. Maybe it’s living so far from his family, with whom he was always close. Or maybe it’s, as you suspect, the bubble of sulphuric water he has been forced to live in because ‘work’ gave him gills they can’t remove without killing him. And how about the fish flakes? Only fish flakes? C’mon!
Either way, this is not the man who asked for your hand in marriage.
You will have vivid dreams in the latter part of the week in which you fall into the sea and are carried for what feels like forever on a bed of soft waves that bring you into the eyeline of a distant town before turning east and battering you to death against a jagged coastal shelf.
They are telling you what you already know: you are about to marry a fish.
DON’T accept Acer’s offer; single men are only EVER friends with women in the hope of sleeping with them. He’s called Acer, for Chrisakes!
DO say, “no flakes today, Steve. This is really quite awful.”
It’s time. Time to stop telling the story. No one believes you’re Pierce Brosnan’s brother. It’s such a weird thing to say. Thirty years ago on Sunday, your twin was pulled under a moving truck. You squeezed his still-warm hands as the life left his eyes, tears mixing with blood on the roadside. Pierce Brosnan is no way to honour his memory. You could have said Christopher Walken or Dennis Hopper, but you didn’t. You have a poor imagination. When you close your eyes, there you are: Basle in 1992, on the set of Goldeneye, staying in the prince’s suite at the Hilton Hotel. All paid for by the studio. You’re wearing high-top Nike Jordan’s and wrap-around sunglasses you picked up in the foyer; a gift for your brother, Pierce, from Swarovski. Teri Hatcher, who was a Mega-Babe_4000 back then, and staying in the same hotel, says you are a cute kid and you should call her when you get older. She said it playfully but there was a rueful desire behind her playful smile.
At some point in the week – doesn’t matter when – you should call mother.
What would he be like now? It’s hard to imagine, because he’s still a boy in your mind, in everyone’s mind. The smiling, boss-eyed boy, running rope and climbing trees. He’d be disappointed in you, you know that much. You haven’t taken care of mother; in fact the two of you have barely spoken. You haven’t done the things you were supposed to. You haven’t lived the life of two people like you promised when confronted with the terrible spasms of death; the eyes wide-open, the creeping blackness that took away all colour; and then the numbness; a lifetime of feeling nothing much. He wouldn’t want this, he’d want you to hold your head up high and ‘fess up; wear your new-found dignity for all to see.
And if not, change it to Dennis Hopper, for fucks sake.
DON’T accept Rosemary’s reason for a lukewarm cottage pie. Would she have cooked this badly before the fire?
DO open any letters delivered to your house meant for a Mr Rajeev Singh; his negligence will be important when you are taken to court for not attending to your own water bill in 2017. “I thought Rajeev was getting his house in order first.”, is a thing you might say, for example.
Leo, the Lion (July 23- August 22) –
It’s not a puppet regime, so get that out of your head. Rather it’s an opportunity to send a good kid with a rare bone disease to a magical place stocked to the brim with Mexican-Americans in outlandish costumes. She’s always been a good kid; she deserves to go. That she’s your niece doesn’t make an ounce of difference. You’d do the same if it was any of the other kids with weeks to live higher up the list with claims older than Sophie’s. Spiller is also getting what he deserves; why did he think winning the presidency would change anything? You have super-human powers of persuasion and money. Do what you need to push her name up the ballot, but be careful, you’re still a non-executive director. Sophie will have her day in the sun.
DON’T sing in the car at the lights leading into Avon; the brothers at the car wash are a couple of shithouses with nothing better to do. They wouldn’t appreciate Phil Collins if he was their wife, which he’s not. They’ll soon tire of those inappropriate hand gestures.
DO crack a smile at the link, that business with the Indian boy was a bore for everyone involved. Race had nothing to do with it!
Virgo, the Virgin (August 23- September 22) –
Very exciting week ahead. The red mists of Mercury will part on the morning of the 8th, revealing a warm body of water untouched for millennia. Now’s the perfect chance to seek help. Margaret has been itching down there too. You have the opportunity to bond further at the clinic, and depending on how you play it, you can laugh about this and get cured together. She’s fond and has a big heart, but you did lie about getting tested. Are you deserving? Do you deserve her? Your actions this week can go a long way to determining your paths. Think of the picture you saw at her mother’s before you were hurried out: she was hugging her sister to death, on a beach; just a little girl. The softness in her eyes, her small hands. The world is a cruel place. She has a beautiful soul. Do you deserve to be anywhere near it?
DON’T put the phone down the minute it rings, doesn’t Amy deserve to speak with him at least?
DO scratch up the Ford Cortina you keep scratching up on the way back from the shops for reasons unknown. It’s funny at this point, and kind of a ritual.
Libra, the Scales of Justice (Sept. 23- October 22) –
No time to hold back, the static around Jupiter will not allow it.
Cabin Bangra Boys.
Your one chance to make it in Bollywood and you blew it. I don’t know what to say. Did it feel like good work at the time?
Honestly, man. You had something. Wow.
When Laszlo calls to offer his sympathies, tell him to get fucked; he’s been selling dudes into this kind of shit since forever. When you see him a month later, he will have a bandage around his throat and his publicist will explain he has aggressive throat cancer. It doesn’t take away the damage to your career, but may serve as a small mercy.
DON’T call those cats ‘sluts’. Sure, it’s playful, but weird when people hear.
DO uninstall your webcam. It’s not fair giving out so much and receiving so little.
Scorpio, the Scorpion (Oct. 23- November 21) –
Aaaah, second week of the month and those two familiar words: ladies night. A chance for all the girls in the neighbourhood to gather and reconvene away from any men in the living room of your house, while you lie on your back upstairs with head cocked to the side and ear pressed against the floor. It’s nice to hear new voices – well, at this point familiar voices. I have no idea how long these people plan to keep you or why they’re doing the things they’re doing. Certainly, they affect an air of respectability that other, i guess, similar, people like Fred and Rosemary West couldn’t manage. Not that I’m saying it’s going to end the same way! Just, like, the kidnapping/entrapment type thing. You just have to sit tight for a while. Maybe, y’know, when they get bored, they’ll, like, ‘yknow, see the error of their ways, take you on a long journey up the A6 and dump you in the car park of a Little Chef… Alive!
That has to have happened once, right?
DON’T try to scream or bang about. It was a privilege when they removed the clingfilm.
DO cast your mind back to how great a guy Patrick Swayze seemed, always a source of strength in times like these. Darkness and light exist side by side.
Sagittarius, the Centaur Hunter (Nov. 22- Dec. 21)
“Bloody coma!”, you might yell if you weren’t in a bloody coma. It’s been a long time.
A long, long time. Thank God for Mr. Brierley next door, eh. Good old Mr. Brierley; he never forgot. In time he was able to convince doctor’s he was your husband, right after your brother stopped visiting. He sits for hours beside your bed, keeping vigil, reading aloud all of the things he is reading, himself: Kobo Abe’s the Ruined Map, Joe Haldeman’s the Forever War; he enjoys the speculative; what you would have never called trivial before these experiences. On Sundays, he brings a beaten-up basket with a strap running across the back and unpacks various jams and cheeses, different types of bread; this week Melonpan, which reminds him of his time in Japan. Good old Mr Brierley, with a room he keeps scented with incense, honeyed and warm with candles, that could be your own should you ever wake up. But it’s been so long. He’s loved you longer than anyone else and he will never forget.
DON’T follow the kites, they lead into the earth; in this week’s case; a bunker that goes beneath the sea. You will not come back.
DO enter the forest. The kites cannot you find there – other things can – but there’s a way out, and it’s the right way.
Capricorn, the Goat (Dec. 22- Jan. 19) –
A rare break from the norm, this week, faithful Capricorn, as prolonged exposure to the suns of Saturn dries out several hundred important estuaries in the sky, causing widespread droughts and killing tens of thousands. It’s going be one of those weeks. Christopher, the guy you dated in Morecambe with the three-wheel car, is hanging around the house you grew up in, but that’s fine as you live miles away now. Someone should probably tell him. The problem is he’s so aloof that he’s only ever there at night, when the owners – an elderly couple – are in bed. One of these nights he’s going to break in and be sorely disappointed at where the years have gone. Honestly, he’s a bit mental.
DON’T reply to the e-mail from Lindsay FuckMeTonight. She’s just like Siobhan DoMyAss, Jenny LetMeSitOnYourLap and all those other women with strange sounding surnames names who suddenly started e-mailing you after uncle Russ crashed on your couch when whatsherface threw him out. Are they back together? He really is one of those guys that can’t bear to be alone but is also utterly useless in a relationship. Nothing much to be done with a guy like that.
DO pass off your support of the mayor of a city you haven’t lived in since 1977 as ironic; luck favours a part-time tennis coach with prior convictions.
You’re, each of you, very, very,VERY, welcome.