For performed extracts, see http://vimeo.com/user8423621/videos
THE MODERN PROMETHEUS
I am by birth a Genevese; and my family is one of the most distinguished of that republic. My ancestors had been for many years counsellors and syndics; and my father had filled several public situations with honour and reputation. He was respected by all who knew him for his integrity and indefatigable attention to public business. He passed his younger days perpetually occupied by the affairs of his country; a variety of circumstances had prevented his marrying early, nor was it until the decline of life that he became a husband and the father of a family.
As the circumstances of his marriage illustrate his character, I cannot refrain from relating them. One of his most intimate friends was a merchant, who, from a flourishing state, fell, through numerous mischances, into poverty. This man, whose name was Beaufort, was of a proud and unbending disposition, and could not bear to live in poverty and oblivion in the same country where he had formerly been distinguished for his rank and magnificence. Having paid his debts, therefore, in the most honourable manner, he retreated with his daughter to the town of Lucerne, where he lived unknown and in wretchedness. My father loved Beaufort with the truest friendship, and was deeply grieved by his retreat in these unfortunate circumstances. He bitterly deplored the false pride which led his friend to a conduct so little worthy of the affection that united them. He lost no time in endeavouring to seek him out, with the hope of persuading him to begin the world again through his credit and assistance.
Beaufort had taken effectual measures to conceal himself; and it was ten months before my father discovered his abode. Overjoyed at this discovery, he hastened to the house, which was situated in a mean street, near the Reuss. But when he entered, misery and despair alone welcomed him. Beaufort had saved but a very small sum of money from the wreck of his fortunes; but it was sufficient to provide him with sustenance for some months, and in the meantime he hoped to procure some respectable employment in a merchant's house. The interval was, consequently, spent in inaction; his grief only became more deep and rankling when he had leisure for reflection; and at length it took so fast hold of his mind that at the end of three months he lay on a bed of sickness, incapable of any exertion.
THE MONSTER OF MAIN STREAM
I am by birth a Genevese and I even bore myself. I am not what you would call a people person. My Play Station console has become my best friend. I also enjoy watching the Discovery Channel. Beyond that my life is pretty.. whatever. I have worked in various branches of various banks. At the moment I am head of credit control at the Abbey National in Slough. I get a rise out of Sex and the City but otherwise do not see much action. I once had a thing with this woman I met through the lonely-hearts pages. She had a great ass but that's about as far as it went. If I had to state a preference, Caprice would be my favourite model. When it comes to music, soft rock really does it for me, especially Queen. Although I do confess to having danced to West Life and Steps at the office party last year. In my youth I listened to Madness, The Human League, Tears for Fears, even Joy Division in my more left-field days. I own a Coupar: four-wheel drive with a sun roof. I only tend to read when I travel; Will Self and that kind of thing. Greece is my preferred destination but any place on the Mediterranean will do. When I was at college I went to Chamounix with a load of friends, but you will hear more about that later. For a thrill I might watch Jaws or Cape Fear I like the girl in that.
Last Thursday, while watching Ground Force with a drink of Sunny Delight, I lost the remote control and the will to live. However, without the courage to kill myself, I have decided to travel back in time and make sure that I am never born in the first place.
This is not as simple as it sounds. You see, it turns out that I am adopted. My 'mother' told me this on my 27th birth day when I suggested that she and my 'father' were the cause of my short neck and unfortunate complexion. "You are no progeny of ours, hideous daemon," she shrieked. Apparently they did a trade with a Swiss family while on holiday in the Alps.
Suddenly it all fell into place: my fondness for cheese, ability to wear braces, my apparent interest in banks and uncommon head for heights. Not to mention an early feeling for the sublime and picturesque (my art teacher wrote that in my school report. I think she meant that I was good at drawing mountains).
What they exchanged me for was for them to know and me to wonder. Well, I am sure as hell going to find out. Perhaps if my real parents had possessed this thing in the first place, they would not have needed me. I may have been a mistake. That would figure. What if they were fond of children, but just hated me? God knows, with hair like mine, who can blame them?