A while back i went to see my friend Mikey play a gig at a pop-up gallery in Putney.
This is Mikey:
(i helped make the video :P i made the little forest set he's in and on the day of filming i had to keep running back and forth between two rooms putting the track on for him to lip-synch to. My arm can be seen for about a second XD don't ask me what's going on with the weird psychadelic editing bits)
He is the most pretentious person i've ever met, flaky and frustrating beyond measure, arty to the point of nonsense and i love him.
To me there are few things better than watching a 42 year old man doing scissor kicks in a black glittery (possibly womans) catsuit singing to a backing track infront of a baffled crowd.
He is funny, smart, kind and really wonderful to have a conversation with. I wish i could spend more time with him, he's a great person to have as a friend/aquaintance.
It was Guy Fawkes night and my journey there was lovely as i could see fireworks bursting in the sky through the tube window.
I got to the gallery and was insantly completed intimdated by the many many cool, arty looking people milling around. I seemed to be the only person who came on their own and weren't actually connected to the gallery somehow. It was quite horrible. Some of the art up was very nice (someone had made a bunch of 2-D birds from pipe cleaners that were absolutely beautiful) but there was also a lot of stuff of the sort that makes people say 'its crap this modern art stuff, a child could do it!'.
Anyway Mikey played and that was good, except people kept talking over him and i could see his face crumpling with impotent rage. Also people kept pushing in front of me or just standing far too close and i began to feel panicy.
I'm not short by any means (im 5 foot 8) but for some reason whenever i am a crowd everyone seems to tower above me and i begin to feel very boxed in and feel invisible and yet at the same time i think everyone is looking at me in disdain.
After he finished playing i had planned to just leave without saying goodbye, because i feel like i am usually just bothering him. Unfortunately my plan went horribly wrong when i turned towards the door to discover a lot of the arty students (or indeed art students) were sitting on the floor right in front of the door.
I began to feel trapped and panicked horribly. For about 20 minutes i stood staring at a painting desperately trying to fend off tears and work out what i could do. You see in my head i was now trapped with no escape. I couldn't just walk past them. I feared them staring at me if i tried to go around them, and then there was the possibility that i could tread on someone or something important. I didn't know them so i couldn't ask them to move or even say 'excuse me'.
Eventually i began to hyperventilate and then had to go and find Mikey and get him to help me get out. How incredibly pathetic, i need someone's help to leave a room now! Anyway he was incredibly sweet about it and led me out and didn't make fun or anything. Afterwards he sent me some messages checking that i was ok and apologising that he couldn't do more to help me. While the experience was horrible it's really reaffirmed my friendship with him and in a way made me less ashamed to have this phobia. I can't help it and just need to be able to ask for help sometimes. And it was also nice because i was starting to think he didn't like me anymore.