So in Brussels already that is Cine ABC I have lost, California Peep, Paradise Peep, all the street girls effectively banned (though there were a few forlorn souls still out there when I walked to Fifth yesterday) but God knows who would risk a 350 euro fine these days, not to mention the Pullman Bar and the Maes Bar inside Gare du Midi station. Now Gascogne Strip Club (which I never liked but still) and the little takeaway chip shop just next to my hotel. I would love to crack open a beer already, 745am, but Christ I would have to be drinking for four solid hours before Cine Paris opened. But I think it makes sense to drink earlier today—very early Cine Paris and with no Fifth temptation (doesn’t open till 230ish at weekends I think) I will be able to concentrate on walking up to Rue d’Aerschot.
206pm. Dome. Wow proper raining now. Lashing down ferociously. I just missed it. My first Stella in the Dome on this visit. I have to say I really don’t think I like Stella. It has too much of a creamy texture & taste compared to the more clear watery Jupiler or Maes. Every time I walk past the shell of the old Cine ABC I feel terribly sad. How wonderful those old 1970s porn films were—“hairy porn” as I call it. What a difference from porn today where men & women do not seem to have a single hair anywhere on their bodies. And the hourly stripper of course. Think I’m coming down with a bit of a cold. Not surprising, after walking around for so long in the rain yesterday. Oh, I just saw a van passing, in the colours of “Patisserie Transylvania”. Fantastic. No I really don’t like the Stella. I would leave now but I’ll stay for one more just to see if —– comes in at 3. Christ I felt so randy when I returned to Fifth Avenue last night, but now I feel nothing. My usual lethargy & inertia.
How I miss the old Cine ABC, with its hourly stripper. It didn’t matter how pretty or not she was, the sense of rising excitement and tension as the clock ticked up to the hour mark again was palpable, your mouth started to go dry, your heart started to beat faster, as you sat there masturbating to the images on the screen, you knew any minute now a real life girl was going to be stripping on stage for you, real life bosoms and real life buttocks and real life pussies, and you could carry on stroking your naked member in front of her, as she eyed your swollen cocks with either amusement or contempt; it is like that moment in Salome at the opera when you know you are approaching the moment of the Dance of the Seven Veils, or that moment in Last Tango in Paris where you know Marlon Brando is about to suddenly pick Maria Schneider up and rip her knickers off with an audible tear; it is that animal lust. Still it stands an empty husk, as is the old California peep show and kabins next to it. They have not still been replaced by anything. They are two dead parts of town next to each other; all the lust that used to exist in those places, the excitement, the racing heartbeats, the orgasms perpetually put off or released, the wankings, the suckings, the fuckings, the visual pleasure, the sexual pleasure. Now two dead empty shells.
Crossing the road from Eurostar to get to the Ibis side of the road is insane; you have to fight your way across about 5 lines of raging roaring traffic and two sets of tram lines; there are no traffic lights, just washed out zebra lines, and you just have to hope the raging traffic wants to brake for you. I am amazed I have never seen anyone killed here or been killed myself. In London it just would not be allowed. Absolutely insane. But—this is Brussels! I have about 80 minutes to kill—time enough to stroll to Le Coin if I wanted (but I read somewhere they shut by 7PM), or get metro up to Ciné Paris, but I think I have done enough travelling today already. Let me stay over the road from the Gare du Midi; so here I am in the little Orient Express bar. It reminds me of the first film I ever saw at the Ciné ABC, an erotic 1970s Murder on the Orient Express. Only now do I notice the wall full of books are in fact fake trompe l’oeil books covering a doorway.
The old California peep show & videokabins still stands miserably closed up and empty. Better if Brussels Council let it stay open; it had at least brought some life and colour and vitality to that end of Boulevard Adolphe Max. The shell of the Cine ABC next to it similarly depressing. Why I didn’t enjoy these places more often when they were still open? I think that is what is propelling me to travel so regularly now; an awareness of how soon all the other great places might be gone, too. The closure of Madame Jojo’s in Soho a couple of days ago a shocking confirmation of that.