20 slides are each projected for 20 seconds and spoken to for the same period, no more, no less. The script for one of these precision-based presentations is found below.

Season 4: PC#21

Previously on Peachy Coochy I had gone to Tibet and learned the art of concretised visualisation in which a mental image is gradually made into a real object by intense and protracted concentration. On my return I lived with a beautiful pale woman but she faded away to the point where she was no more than an idea.

I realised I had made a fundamental error and determined to concentrate instead upon the human body as a means of pulling myself together. I’d had enough of abstraction and concepts, I decided to wholeheartedly throw myself into things. First I needed to stand out more. I needed an outfit.

I looked good and I felt good. I could really get involved now. The world was just a place and I was a person. I laughed at the idea that there were things that you couldn’t do. What could go wrong? If your body was hard there would be no harm. I decided to assess my body in terms of its suitability for my intentions.

I was disappointed to see that the inside of the body could be detected from the outside. I felt alright about the mouth and eyes being, respectively, a hole and an organ that was half in and half out but there were far too many signs of the way the body worked that you could see quite clearly and that did not need to be so obvious.

If I was to throw myself thoughtlessly into things it was possible that some of these things could pierce me. What particularly unsettled me was the prospect of a situation in which purely personal matters might be revealed to those with whom I was not on intimate terms. Imagine lying on the ground while people stared into your open body!

I decided to ignore my misgivings and get stuck in. The tube carriage was extremely crowded and I realised that I actually had no idea of what all the people touching me were like. Right in front of me was a woman wearing a rucksack that jutted straight into my chest, making me lean backwards.

As I fell I grabbed randomly at a suitcase held by another traveller. I found myself tumbling to the floor, effectively using someone else’s luggage as a battering ram. There was a number of bags piled by the carriage door and I brought them all down around me. The noise was considerable.

It was good to be back in Hampshire. Nothing much had changed. There were odd pieces of clothing strewn along the side of the road and some of the bushes had male and female toiletries jumbled up in them. I found some Jo Malone fragrance – suitable for both men and women.

When I looked up I thought at first that she was looking down on me. Certainly her movements were very deft and skilful. It became apparent that she was, in fact, staring at the ground beyond me. I could not tell whether she was emptying me out or filling me up. I hoped that my fragrance would make her wish to fill me.

If I found that she was emptying me I could run away and find my own straw. I would carry my bale with me and whenever I faltered I would stuff myself. In that way I could cross and recross the border between life and death. Such a journey would not only strengthen me but invigorate the community.

It was difficult to discern whether my visits to the shadowlands were states of mind or experiences. Sometimes I went down and down and other times up and up. Wherever I ended up, I was always aware of objects. Most of these tended to float but some were tethered. I even came across books but it was usually too dark to read.

With a great effort of concentration I was able to remember  that despite my disorientation I was still in Hampshire. I was shocked to realise that I had, once again , confused an everyday activity, such as the stuffing of a child’s toy, with an invitation to the transcendent. I shook my head briskly and was in Petersfield.

The town was clean but almost entirely depressing. There was, however, little that threatened to be confusing. The few citizens that I saw seemed purposeful. The streets were largely empty but the shops had assistants in them and my search for a café and restaurant was fruitful. I ordered a flat white.

To my great surprise I found myself sitting opposite the actor Christian Bale. He told me that he had a small flat in the town. I said to him “But Christian, this place is amazingly fucking boring!”  He explained that as much of his professional life was spent playing deranged  individuals, small town life was the perfect antidote.

“With respect, Christian,” I said, “Is it not the case that in the protracted absence of meaning sociopathic tendencies will incubate, giving rise to random and explosive acts of destruction much like popcorn in an uncovered pan?” He did not answer me directly but seemed instead to be studying the package I was carrying.

“What do you call that?” he asked. “It’s my straw,” I said, “It’s in a bundle.” His face darkened. “Do you believe in the Christ, David?” “I have no faith, Christian,” I replied. “Did you see my movie ‘American Psycho’, David?” “I loved it,” I said. “There are things in that movie you don’t want in your mind,” he said.

In the dark there were the usual children but Christian was keen to keep moving. “There’s someone who can help us,” he kept saying. The girl said “Take me with you, Mister Christian.” Christian said “Nothing must leave this place.” The girl said “I’m somebody’s daughter.” But he was resolute. He would not deviate.

Then I realised who it was. Christian hugged Heath and started crying. “I love you, man,” he sobbed. Heath seemed very pure. “Heath, why are you so pure?” I asked. “Whatever you were when you took off, that’s what you take with you,” he explained. “You had nothing, you had no skin,” I stuttered.

“I went through my skin. I stepped outside. Thousands supported me. Thousands stood aside as I swept past,” Heath said. “I was one of them, man,” Christian sobbed. “But I couldn’t make the final journey.” Heath gripped Christian by the shoulders. “It’s not a journey. You don’t start. You finish.”

The two film stars turned to me. “There’s more to life than Hampshire, David,” they said. “And there’s more to life than life. Be like a dog now. What can you smell?” I lifted my head. I started to run. I got to the edge. It was no longer dark. It was pure. I could see a boat.


David Gale's Peachy Coochy Nights #20
Peachy: the Backstory