410PM Pretty sure I’m the only customer in the Dome, and have been for quite a long time. Mystifies me a bit—it’s a lovely place to hang out in, and chill, drink, smoke, chat, whatever. If it called itself a Caffe Nero or Starbucks or Costa it would probably be packed all the time. Berenice again I’m Proud—Brussels 2001. Ur. Joe Dassin again; I really need to put more songs on my phone but I’m very selective, and there are very few songs that mean a lot to me at any particular time. 414 and my train leaves 556; surely time for one more? OK 415 I’m going for my 6th. So well done, I’ve avoided Le Coin, AND Brussels Grill (as well as Cine Paris and Fifth), and the shoe shops as well. So finally we are here! Adieu Bruxelles! Adieu mes jeunes filles! Bonjour tristesse! Bonjour darkness my old friend!
350PM I start my fifth—final—Stella in the Dome. Oh but now the maitre d’ is killing me; replaced the empty peanut bowl with little slices of sausage with dabs of mustard! Gorgeous! Oh and now he’s given me chunks of cheddar cheese with pepper on top! You are killing me, monsieur! But it certainly precludes the need for Brussels Grill! I have to force myself not to finish these all in one go even before I’ve started my beer, otherwise he will just bring more and as my mother always tells me, cheese is the most fattening thing you can eat. So no, let me slow down on the cheese and stick to the beer. Mavi Phoenix Longtime again, tempting me back to Vienna in the New Year. Like a Pill again. My ur-song. Kylie Can’t Get You Out of my Head (Brussels, circa 2001 or 1999? Even more of an ur-song, if so).
The Cine ABC and California Peep Show & videokabins next to it both STILL horrible empty shells; the people campaign to close down these disgusting sleazy places, but what takes their place? Nothing. Complete lack of any life at all, or in Stuttgarter Platz’s case just more bars, more drinking establishments. So much better? More life, more life-force, more passion, in the naughty places. 345PM. My Eurostar departs in 2 hours 11 minutes. And let’s hope I’ll be on it. Pink Like a Pill (Brussels, 2001, proper proper old school). One of my ur-songs.
Arnold Schoenberg (so redolent of Vienna. Viennese eroticism). I tell myself every time but I never learn—no point booking a late Eurostar on my homeward day. I always do it thinking at least it gives me a last few hours to enjoy the naughty jollies of Brussels, but in reality I NEVER want to do ANYTHING on my homeward day so it is just a complete waste of time, energy and money. Please, NEVER do it again. A lunchtime Eurostar is perfect, so I can at least lie in and stay in my hotel room till 11am checkout time, 1pm-2pm at latest, but no more 556PM homeward trains! Another lesson I have to keep re-learning. Joe Dassin again. 335PM. Getting there. And all my life-force still intact pretty much (i.e. all my sperm). There’s been a few girls passing the Dome while casting their lascivious eyes in at me, trying to tempt me to give up some of my life-force, but no chance madames! No chance, mes jeunes filles! Me too strong! I’m too bloody strong!