A Day In The Life Of…Nick Helm
I wake up every morning at around 7am.
After a quick five mile run around the local park I will shower, make myself a cup of green tea and sit at my 15th Century antique lectern and write five to six excellent songs and three heartfelt and emotionally challenging poems the likes of which could transcend any language barrier and bring grown Albanian bear wrestlers to tears.
This by anyone else’s standards is a good morning’s work, but if I were to live my life by the standards of others I would not be where I am today, one of the leading people in my chosen field. I am, however, a realist, so I will take this natural break as an acceptable point to breakfast and so at around 7.30am I will eat a segmented grapefruit and, depending on how adventurous I am feeling, a bowl of cleansing muesli or a plain natural yogurt.
Over breakfast I will sit down with a Dictaphone and a stack of the day’s newspapers and trawl through them for potential articles I can write up to date, satirical barbs about. There really is nothing more satisfying in this world than the act of reading, thinking and then saying something funny out loud afterwards.
In any one of these writing sessions I will generally produce around one hundred jokes. Some of them are very good, the rest however will be excellent. I do think it a shame that no one will ever hear these nuggets of audio porcelain, but I am not a topical nor political comedian and no matter how good my writing I must stay true to what my fans have come to expect from me. It is a heavy burden that I must bare alone. But alone I bare it, and bare it well. Alone.
After this I spend a good 20 minutes on knob jokes.
10am! Time for the fan mail! This is an important part of the day for me as it allows me to make contact with the outside world and get important critical feedback. After all, I know I am one of the most talented wordsmiths working today or any other day for that matter, but it can never hurt to have this reaffirmed by the dozens upon dozens of testimonies that clog up my inbox from all the regular humdrum common or garden folk you tend to bump into at garages.
The doorbell will ring disturbing me and who should it be, but popular 80’s glamour model Linda Lusardi. ‘Hello Chuck’ she’ll say, ‘pop the kettle on and I’ll get started on that cock of yours.’
It is at this point that I startle myself awake.
My mouth is dry and my body contorted. My eyes are bleary as I attempt to look around the room and find my bearings. I try and work out whether I have been asleep for a long time or a short time. It is hard to tell as I am typically exhausted beyond all reason. I lie still for a few moments. Scared and disorientated. It is coming up to 2pm and I am alone. As I lean over the side of my bed to find something to drink, the nest of empty wine bottles clink around me.
Why did she leave me? I guess I will never know. There were clues obviously. The constant late nights out with other men, the flirting and cheating with other men, the smelling of other men’s cheap aftershave. But then she wasn’t perfect either. Ahahaha. I wish I was dead.
Top of my things to do list is ‘Write Edinburgh Hour’. I think about doing this for a long time, before turning my attention to the washing up.
After thinking about doing the washing up for an hour, I decide to go back to bed.
I am hungry, but I don’t deserve to eat so I lie there instead wishing for more than anything that someone will come along and take me away from this. But they won’t because I don’t ask. And only good people deserve help. And who the fuck am I?
At around 5pm I will force myself out of bed to take the piss I have been delaying since waking and I will look in the mirror and dry wretch, before chanting three times how much I hate myself. It is at this point when I will begin the slow and arduous process of phoning around all the people I bumped into the night before in a drunken stupor and apologising to them for my behaviour.
It is now 8pm and I am late for my gig. I hunt through a mountain of piss stained clothes trying to find a set that is the least piss stained. After dressing myself the best I can I will look up my gig to find to my absolute horror that it is somewhere like Luton. A place too far away to get to on time, but not far away enough to make it not worth trying.
I sit on the train crying. People don’t come near me or ask what’s wrong. Why should they? I am a hideous pathetic prick of man that doesn’t deserve the attention of others. The hunger burns in the pit of my stomach as I feel the stomach acid and bile rise up my throat and overflow from clenched lips trickling into my beard.
People often comment on my beard. ‘You’ve got a beard’ they will say or perhaps ‘You’ve shaved your beard off’ if I have gathered enough self esteem within the last few days to shave it off. It is not a fashion statement or a lifestyle choice, it is simply the result of what happens to my lower face when I haven’t been able to look in the mirror long enough to get rid of it.
Miraculously, I arrive at my gig with moments to spare, no time for a sound check. Which I fucking hate actually. Regardless of the time I arrive at the venue, there should always be time for a sound check. Once my sound check was so late I was actually flustered to the point that I went on stage and forgot my entire set. Not only that but no one had thought to tell me that my guitar was out of tune. Why is it always the unprofessionalism of others that makes me look bad? I guess that is another of the Universe’s unanswerable questions.
I perform my set to an audience of 17. This feels good as it means I am definitely back on form. I do my best to put the hurt expressions of the audience out of my mind and concentrate on doing the best gig I have ever performed. However something always gets in the way and I only get about halfway through my set before I start thinking of Sophie again.
I leave the stage to a thunderous clap, which puts into context the deafening booing that I used to receive all those weeks ago. Oh yes. Things are definitely looking up for old Helmy.
The adrenaline begins to kick and I am on top of the fucking world. I begin to give out valuable advice to some of the open spotters, but they are new to the business and ignore me. I give up on generously helping them and decide to have a drink instead. One or two can’t hurt can they?
It is five o’clock in the morning and I am outside Sophie’s flat. I don’t know how I got there, but this is fucking perfect. In one hand I am holding a bunch of hand-picked headless daisies and in the other a fistful of shit. I think it is mine, but I could be mistaken. Shouting up to her window I reassert my feelings for her.
I tell her how I miss her and how I long to hold her again as she strokes my brow and tells me everything will be alright. I then remember that she is away in Madagascar doing a Lemur study or some such thing and I instead turn my attentions to dick fucking her letter box.
I’ve never really been into whores, but nevertheless here I am again, bright as a button standing outside a brothel drinking from a canister of table varnish. ‘Please let me in’ I repeat for the umpteenth time, but there is no answer. It’s almost as if they don’t want to make money!
Like Moses parting the Red Sea I stagger home in the clear light of day through the hordes of commuters as they stampede past me on their way to work as I stumble home from mine.
I pity them.
I pity them and their broken dreams, for I am living mine.