Swimmers Club

The pioneers of aviation were never lonely


6th July 2017

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Treading Water

Swimmers Club Short Fiction


Factfile

Who: Syntax Error.
Where: Manchester, UK
What:writer, other things.

Cat No: DW-368


Syntax Error

 

The Secret Diary of Girl at End

Diagnostic sonography, naturally delicate. The memory of aminotriazole. Patient cooperation. The Denver Amateur Computer Society. Press a button. Meaningless, artificial. A three-dimensional region. Cleanly lit. Have a clean day. Practising guitar. Cooking on television. Oxide audio playback. Cartons. Voyeurism. Further successive increases. Post-Techno strangeness. Broken pre-recorded videotape. A Christmas rainbow. Mozzarella slippage. Hot buttered tomato in high summer. In the Netherlands, a modular synth. Brown-paper-covered Jesus. Personal Jesus. Operators. Publicity juice. The fast-food workers with all their artificial discussion. Solo skirt movement. Carbon black lipstick.


Event Listener

function PersonalJesus (x * a + b) {

var a = "low-key make-up, oil paint"
var b = "and milk"
var x = "£2.75 from Cancer"

if (balloons > 10) {
you're checking your phone with balloons at your feet
} else if {
"You're wearing a t-shirt that says"
"Happy Go Lucky ray of Fucking Sunshine”
} else {
"I wear my Bikini Kill t-shirt"
)};


Don’t pollute the namespace. Fifty seconds in the camera. Saturday afternoon supermarket. Girl at End. Mouths. I never want to be grown up. Train window glass. High priests of Japanese cool. Mythologised cold-water apartments. Fiercely underground. Thrown on jeans. Denim shirt. Leaf pressed inside a book about Javascript. Single powder blue nitrile glove.



Secret Diary

I take out my secret diary. It is a 1983 desktop diary. It is a struggle to keep it discreet but it has gravity. This is the place where I write all of my secret thoughts and feelings. I heave it onto the table in front of me and find today’s date. I write down my innermost thoughts, taking care to correctly concatenate the string. This diary is my version of therapy. I write:

“Very useful regex for selecting text in quotes: attribute=.*?)”

What catharsis! And now I think I must aim for realism at all times. I look outside from the train window. There is no accompanying text. It’s portrait photography without people. Minimal acknowledgement. Aim for realism at all times. Aim. Far left: Georgina, Brixton (1995). The holy trinity of art director, photographer, designer. Of gauche suburbs, eyeliner and lavish inaccuracy.

Something happened to me when Sonic Youth split up but I was older so I didn't blame it on any one party and didn’t participate in the predictable social-media storm. When you’re older the rest of the world seems like slow-motion and I don’t understand how everyone is exhorted to keep smiling but never to really smile. Being middle-class was the most degrading thing back then. Maybe I preferred it then, I don’t know. This rumination is getting me nowhere. Instead I read the fax that I got earlier from my friend Cigarette Girl. It reads:

Date:xx—xx-xxxx

Name: Cascading Style Sheets

Around the time that Håkon Wium Lie and Bert Bos plotted to introduce the first Cascading Style Sheets into a static HTML world, I remember I watched the world load itself left to right and top to bottom through a train carriage window. This was era of the browser wars so it struck me as funny how well the world loaded in front of me. A few years earlier, in 1989, at the end of history, aged 21, I decided what I was going to be, what I wanted to do. I decided I wanted to make weird noises.

The word cascade brought to mind images of soap advertising and calm, flowing water bouncing off rocks onto other rocks and it was this metaphor that dominated the thoughts of graphic designers who read the word 'cascade' and made attempts to learn how to write CSS code as a means of diversifying their skills from print to the emerging internet. This didn't last long. It lasted maybe only until the first bordered-box refused to float right or failed to take on the designated background colour. Designers weren't coders. Not yet. It was the beginning of the first existential crisis to strike the design community since the clean line design boom of the 1950s. Cigarette Girl wasn't phased by this. Why would you assume she took an interest in visual design? What she'd chosen to do was to make noises.

Visual design was more Girl at End's thing. Girl at End was in her Stephen McRobbie meets Angela McRobbie phase at that time. Girl at End walked hallucinogenically around multiple-exposure photographs of plush late-sixties soft furniture designed to envelop the person seated upon/within it. She listened to noises made by Cigarette Girl on a Sony Walkman because a Sony Walkman meant you could really walk yeah yeah. In 1970 architects were pessimists but at least Fiorruci brought fun into fashion yeah yeah. The noise in the ears of Girl at End were Cigarette Girl's expression of her mindset at a certain time in her life, the moment she had to weigh up the pros and cons of moving in with Dad. [1]

[1] Dinner at eight chic or countercultural casual? This was the question. The good bad magazine said it. What would be their lifestyle should they choose to move in together? Didn’t half of her record collection already reside in his apartment or would they need a new apartment altogether, a complete merging of tastes and psyche? Or just play safe and invite him to live in her apartment, to share her queen size bed? But what if he was a company president and she was an aspiring assistant lingerie buyer? What if he's an unemployed countercultural casualty and she’s this year’s hottest designer? She'd asked Journey and Journey said “What about entertaining? Have you thought about how you will entertain?". She was right, who would they choose to entertain. People fall into two categories - insiders and outsiders. Also, everyone has a right to spend time alone with non-mutual friends, ex-friends or former-lovers but should they be allowed to sleep with them?

This was a good bad magazine. The good bad magazine said it's important to discuss sex. To say 'Does this turn you on? No? Check. Does this? No? Check. Does this...'

The good bad magazine was just thinking aloud (allowed?) now. Will it be important to stay just as gorgeous as I was when we first moved in? It wasn’t a question that she’d pondered. The magazine gave a strategy for this. The strategy involved a carefree hairdo and eye makeup that lasts through shared baths and athletic sex. She read this magazine because it was a woman's magazine and she was a woman. Makes sense, right? It also listed a few little no-no's? (very helpful). Don't press him to marry me. Don't criticize every single one of his friends and relatives. Don't become cold and silent and make mysterious long-distance phone calls all the time. No more phoney mea culpa. NO MORE! Cigarette Girl expressed all of this in her music, you could hear all of this in a single kick drum sound.

 

Dad

It's Dad. His angular body shoved into a second-hand silk shirt, a green woollen tank-top on top of that, he's leaning forward and pouting for the camera and saying:

'I've got nothing to declare at airport customs'.

'For fucksake!' says Journey. She hates Dad. 

Dad gets up, straightens his clothes: 'Being wanted is amazing'. 

Girl at End was stood still listening to the B-52s 'Private Idaho', living in her own private Idaho.

Dad felt holes in himself. He'd this little spiritual book. The first line in it said 'Life something something' and he said to Journey 'That's so true, isn't it' but she wouldn't listen. She always just thought he was dicking around. 

 

Expert Assistance in Sacramento

Expert assistance in Sacramento. Syntax error. The internal body. A registered trademark. Bone and air. Vinyl mythologies. Brown-paper-covered meals. Tendons. Muscles. Hair to standards sixty percent higher. Compulsory headaches. Esso price hikes. Not only melodious. Not only harmful. Practising computers. Muscles are not necessary. Foreign strangeness. Oscilloscopes. He’s powdering himself. Instructions for tetrachloride. Bursts of time. A three-dimensional refrigerator. All the time headaches. What can you say about these ultraviolet purists. Exotic food additives. Career glue. 

 

Array

(array) title, person_name, image_url, webpage, ext_url, pages, isbn, city, country

 

Dad’s Dealer

Dad's dealer demonstrates how complete individuality can be achieved without sacrificing financial independence. Dad's dealer's own taste lies more in offbeat independent projects and this reflects in the decor of his low-rent, high-design digs. His CD player has 4 x 4 oversampling which means that each piece of digital information is checked four times before it is heard and there's no room for any mistake when he plays his full copy of 'Introducing the Hardline According to Terence Trent D'arby',

Just to look into Dad’s dealer’s mind will set you back the cost of a Habitat sofa.

TV is electronic church. Dad's dealer said that. He is aphoristic.

Dad's dealer is new film chemistry.


Biography:

Richard Brammer was born in 1975 so he writes like this.


This piece is an excerpt from his next book Girl at End which is out sometime this year as a Dostoyevsky Wannabe Experiment.