Conman

Every single day by seven O’clock I’d be sitting there in the Frisco Inn bar, Beursstraat, Amsterdam, trying to engage the tourists in conversation. The one’s who weren’t wise to me, anyway. I’d be trying to cadge drinks off them, not to put too fine a point on it. Or maybe a few Euros. I’d tell them how I used to be the front-man in a band, how I used to play in all the big venues and stuff like that, and how I ended up getting so fucked up on booze and drugs that I couldn’t keep it together any more. How it got to the stage that I couldn’t even string words together coherently, never mind write songs or perform them. How it got to the stage that I didn’t even know one end of a guitar from another. How it got to the stage that I wouldn’t even know what a guitar was, even if you were to shove one right up my nose (which you could easily do because I’d put so much nose-candy up there over the years). I still looked the part – tall, lanky, long dead-straight bleached blond hair, emaciated-looking smack-head face, dark shades, bad skin and worse teeth – so sometimes the dumber tourists were impressed and bought me drinks and listened to my stories. Truth was of course that I was never in any band. I was never a legendary guitar player, or any sort of a guitar player at all really. I pretend that I’m the big ‘has been’ just to scam people. Truth is that I was never even a human being – I made that up too! I am not really anything at all – not even a bit of dust in the corner of the room or a breath of air stirring somewhere. I’m not anything at all really but I try to make out that I am – I pretend that I am in order to impress gullible tourists. I pretend that I exist so as to feel good about myself – however momentarily…

 

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