fear of (a) average mind

you are human, no thing you do is wrong

the fly room #

When I first became homeless in Liverpool i hooked up with a crazy looking bruiser, big strong fucker with long red hair, called Michele Flannery. Top Chap. Well we ended with a dodgy Landlord, fookin’ well dodgy. We used to cruse around Liverpool at night with him in his car stealing paving-stones so he could sell um. We once did a bit of arson for him, there was a derelict house next to his and he wanted to buy the land but he didn’t want to pay for demolition. So we set fire to it and the fire-brigade came round, put it out but of course now it was unsafe so the Liverpool Council had to flatten it… job done.

Well you can see how he used us but we got to live in a lot of his flats all over Liverpool and I got a job as a spark with him. He used to get stuff from the builders yard and pay with a bouncing check, he had no intention of paying, crazy.

We ended up in Kremlin Drive. A big four storey house that we were doing up and me and Flannery live on the top storey, which was kind of liveable. The rest of the floors were just a building site really. In the middle of doing this house up the landlord went bankrupt (well it had to happen eventually). All of his properties came into the possession of Liverpool Council. As me and Flannery were living in the house at the time (housing benefit and everything) we became what is called “legal squatters”. We were so stupid, we could of done the place up, kept our heads down in the neighbourhood and we would properly own the house now (I think if you squat a place for 12 years it becomes yours) but you got to remember I was just out of boarding school, not very “streetwise”. Didn’t know fook all bout squatting and doing a place up. We lived like animals really.

The house had no electric (didn’t know how to get it turned on). We had water but it was just a pipe in the downstairs hallway and to turn it on we had to go down to the street in front of the house, lift a little 6”x6” manhole cover, reach down, turn a tap and let it fill a tub. The house still had scaffolding on the front, the front door was nailed shut and we used to use the scaffolding to get in and out the third floor window (I could get from the top floor to the street in about 2 seconds, lots of fun). When we were boarded we used to go downstairs and knock down a few walls, there is nothing better for getting rid of anger than kicking down a brick wall. Once in the basement we kicked a hole into next doors basement. Had I look in there and I found a old four-poster bed, took it upstairs piece by piece (you’d be surprised how many pieces they break down into). Living in a squat with a fuck off big four-poster bed, nice. As the house looked derelict (no lights) people used to come in for a look, me and Mike had weapons. Mike had a crowbar, I had a pike (long, heavy iron bar). People used to run a mile after seeing me and Mike running at them half naked waving iron bars all over the place.

There were fireplaces in the house (thankfully the chimneys worked) so we had heat. Me and Mike used to throw thing on the fire to make different coloured flames, as many as we could (apparently an alchemist can make any coloured flame). One time we went out and we left the fire smouldering. I came back about 2 o’clock to find the top floor full of smoke. Some wood had fallen out of the fire and burned a hole though the floorboards and lit the insulation (I thought that was fireproof, fookin’ cheap Landlord) in-between the floor and the downstairs ceiling, what a fucking scary type fire, sort of smouldering. It had travelled under the wall into the next room. OK this is what I did, first I had to make holes in the floor so I could get to the fire, enter trusted pike. Fast as you like I started making holes in the floorboards, rise the pike and bring it down super hard. Following the route of the fire had to make loads of holes (2 am remember). OK that done… where’s the water, yep you know it, the pipe. I had to run down 3 flights of stair out into the street, stick me hand down a manhole (the neighbour came out shouting bout all the noise, told him the fucking house was on fire and that shut the cunt up), turn the water on. Run in the house, grab a bowl of water run upstairs and empty it down the holes I made. Had to do this about 20 times, up and down the stairs. Eventually I got the fucker out, all wide eyed and shaking. The whole top floor was soaked (had to be safe) and the floor below was dripping for days. Never left the fire smouldering after that.

When we got dole we’d go out clubin’, spend all our money and lived the rest of the 2 weeks on bread. We found a bread factory in Kensington which used throw out loads of bread in a skip outside the factory. Most of it was past the “sell by date”, still eatable though. Some of it was stuff like bread that was cut wrong, packaged wrong or returned orders. The security guard was a nice chap and at night didn’t mind us diving into the skips. I think he let people from all over Liverpool raid the skips (UK was friendly in those days). Me and Mike really didn’t buy food we just used to go on midnight raids on the bread factory (we lived on so much bread our shit actually became white). Not just bread by the way. Crumpets (be careful as these go moulded quick), sesame seed buns, cakes (yummy), you know anything a bakery makes. One time we found a massive box of jam donuts, after a few week living on jam donuts we got a bit sick of them and used to throw them at people walking past the house.

We had pets too. A cat called Tessa and a dog called Sony. Didn’t feed Tessa as she just when out and fed herself (cats can do that). She wasn’t really our cat more like she just happened to come back to ours to sleep. Found Tessa dead on bonfire night once, so I put her on the fire. Seemed the right thing to do. Someone was swinging round a melting plastic pipe that night and a drop of boiling hot plastic landed on my arm, scared for life, like Tessa wanted to write her mark on me, ACE cat. Sony, on the other hand, was a mad dog. I got him from a scally mate I used to know from school, just used to spend his time robbing cars and trashing them, proper scally car theft. One day he came round with something stuffed up his jumper, said “got a prezzy for ya” and pulled out a German Shepard puppy. Had just robbed him from someone’s backyard, stole a car and came to mine, mad bastard. That’s how Sony came into my life (name after me Walkman, full name: Sony Walkman WM-33). Big bag of dried dog food (we had the water) and he was sorted but he used to eat everything else anyway. I once found a bean bag with little polystyrene “beads” in it, I know this coz I came back one day and the whole floor was covered in them, never really did get rid of them. When we left the house Sony was left in there, told a friend and she phoned the RSPCA and they came and got him. Him off on a new adventure. No worried bout him getting put down as he was a beautiful German Shepard (big paws). Best of breed and all that. He wouldn’t have spent more than a week in the RSPCA pound, no worries. What a strange start for a dog, from a housing estate wanker to a squat with 2 metal-heads, a pretty free life (I never once put a lead on him), to a pound to ??? He must have had an ACE personality.

Well after all that story you may be asking about the strange title of this post and what the fook any of this has to do with that, well… you may remember I told of our only water being the pipe. Where was our toilet ???
This was “The Fly Room”.

Typical English front room, bay windows, little cubby holes for ya TV and shit. The cubby hole nearest to the street had two floorboards missing leading into the basement. This was our toilet. For bout 3 years we just squatted over this (Indian toilet style) and shit into the basement. Had a paperback, read a page then wipe ya arse with it (got through a lot of books that way). It was a fucker in the middle of the night walking down from the top floor with a candle for a shit, well scary.

The walls of this room were painted white but they were black… with flies, that’s right, they covered the walls so much they were black. The floor was an inch thick with dead flies. You had to walk into that room all ninja like so as not to disturb them, if you did the air would be solid flies. It was impossible, after the first year, to go into the basement. We used to push people into the room and make loads of noise, it freaked the fuck out of them. It’s strange doing a shit with about a million eyes watching you, even weirder in candlelight.

We eventually left Kremlin Drive and got rooms in the Liverpool YMCA. After bout 5 months I went back to check it out, no live flies. When into the basement for a look. Under our “toilet” was a electric meter box, well I think there was. On top of it was a 3 meter high pale (remember the bread) mountain of rock hard shit. Could of won the Turner Prize. Damp bare bricks, the floor was uneven, slippery and felt like soil (compacted flies I suspect). Was like something out of a horror film. A mountain shaped pile of shit the size of a fully grown man, it’s a sight to behold I can tell ya.

So if ya live in Kremlin Drive, Liverpool and ya house has a funny smell and flies seem to be attracted to your front room, I apologize. BEEP.
Haven’t seen Mike for years, I heard recently he is back in the Liverpool YMCA. If ya see him there, say elo from Johnie Oneball (: