I was watching a documentary on Netflix the other night. In an opulent Florida hotel’s conference room, a defeated looking stringbean of a boy was sobbing confessions of suicidal ideation into the face of a millionaire weightlifter surrounded by an audience of strangers with whom all he had in common was the $5,000 dollar-wide hole in his pocket. Before soaking-up the boy’s despair, the muscular man – who was so strong, even his vocal chords were audibly ‘pumped’ – sort of Vogued, or did the robot or something, spun around a few times, jumped on a child’s trampoline a couple more for good measure, before ascending a handful of steps , emerging through a curtain to the conference room’s stage and fist-pumping the crowd into a frenzy with some kick ass 90s techno music before roaring a primal scream to the heavens. I mean, it looked and sounded like a roar, but I suppose it could have been a long, drawn-out slow motion guffaw at being the Cat’s Mulberry silk Pyjama’s in a room full of self-affirmed losers paying him for being so great.
Stringbean Dieter stood in the spotlight of their proxy-God’s gaze, and then I think ‘God’ dropped an F Bomb to disarm and kick him while he was down before marinating him in empathic platitudes, yanking him up and bear-hugging an osmosis-dose of his own awesomeness into the kid. Now, call me cynical, but all I could envisage was his inevitable deflation upon his return to an indifferent world which his saviour oversees from 30,000 feet through the window of his Bombardier Global Express XRS. My own salvation came from a £10 cd. I’m still unclear as to how it happened, but during a period of profound personal happiness, creative fulfillment and an all pervading elation about this here existence and my involvement in it, I started to experience Demon-Semen throbbing through my temples.
I was transformed from being enthused about the universe, to experiencing symptoms of anxiety and fear, an abstract guilt, and a face in the mirror that I couldn’t reconcile with the flatline of a character that was inhabiting it. It lasted about five months, and I’m amazed I made it that long, because nothing was of solace and I knew that a protracted sojourn in this headspace wasn’t worth the wait of it’s potenital passing.
Then one day a record sighed-in with it’s introductory world-weary admission:
“In 1984 I was hospitalized for approaching perfection…”
KJ VanWormer, tell us everything’s going to be okay.
Chester Whelks is a peripheral figure on the fringes of existence. Predominantly bothering the local music scene of his native Manchester, England, he has a very finely attuned Justice-button, and knows how to call a spade a ‘Multi-Purpose Murder/Concealment Device’.