I just want to sit up all through the night reading my Karl Kraus book and then get up sometime in the afternoon, read through the newspapers, take cuttings. This way of life is deeply pleasurable to me. I feel in another world, totally cut off from the real one around me, a kingdom of shades. This feels like the most valuable time of my life. I am letting my inner wells fill up again. All my ink wells had run dry and now I am slowly ordering the new supplies and accepting the deliveries when they come in. I am once more Dr Pozzi at Home, walking my blood red corridors on my blood red carpets, in my blood red dressing gown all day & night long, never going outside the citadel. I want to see Shackleton’s Antarctic Adventure at the BFI IMAX but I will let it pass. I want to see Faith Healer. I want to see —- —- when it comes out in February. But all these things seem very far away from me at the moment. I am the Borgia Pope, travelling around the black cosmos in his red velvet-lined spaceship. I have been sealed inside my ship for three weeks now. My purdah has been long. My fugue has been extended. Graham Greene always went to places of danger. I want to go to these places, too but not just yet. Set things in motion. Set the pendulum swinging. I want to write about this battle, because it fascinates me. It thrills me, it puts aniseed in my mouth. The only thing that will get me out of this hell is the one thing I don’t seem to want to do. The river of lava has disappeared into a black hole in the ground but, don’t worry, it is flowing still underground, to burst out again soon at a place of its time and choosing. I will not put any pressures on myself ever again.
Writing these words in the margin of my Karl Kraus book, I turn the page and find some notes I wrote as the plane landed in Madeira 5 years ago! “I like a woman with a big hinterland. ‘A woman is so much more than her exterior’ as Kraus said. ‘There’s also the lingerie’. Gabi obviously the face that launched a thousand shifts. Welcome to Portugal. The promised smell of gin never materialised. Whenever I think of Schiller I think of Schillerstrasse in Munich, whenever I think of Goethe I think of Goethestrasse in Munich. When I think of Kant I think of Kantstrasse n Berlin. I have spent a lot of time in all these places.”
Any plans for this 3 days in Vienna? Karl Kraus’s grave in Zentralfriedhof and the site of Milena’s apartment in Bad Timing, my wife’s favourite film. That is it really. Last night I did nothing but head up to WSK. Just Amanda on ‘duty’. I fell asleep, and she had to wake me up to tell me the kino was closing now. Glad I resisted temptation to go into Angelique or Manhattan, instead came straight back on 11pm U6 to Westbahnhof and a McDonald’s before bed. A cheap first night in Vienna. And a kind of depressing one as first nights usually are.
Now I am realising why my first nights in a city are always so rubbish—I step off a plane, start drinking and go straight to the naughty places—so drunk I am anaesthetised—and so of course feel no pleasure. Next morning I wake up and feel better, I can drink early, go sightseeing and go to the naughty places later, as the drink starts to wear off enough for me to feel pleasure—physical pleasure. But, what can I do. First nights are what they are. We just have to push through them. First nights are a reconnaissance mission, no good for much else. So where do I pointlessly want to go tonight? Nowhere far—so perhaps WSK, then Angelique or Manhattan. Tomorrow the Fortuna and Burggasse Peep—and Milena’s Bad Timing apartment (now gone) and Karl Kraus’s grave. Stupid—all those years I have loved Bad Timing (as has my wife) and all the years I have been coming to Vienna, I never before bothered to find out where was her flat. Now in November 2014 I resolve to find it, knowing it was knocked down in (perhaps) January 2014. Impermanence, one of the themes that emerges from my Journals. Temporality. How we must clutch at pleasures when they come to us, because they will disappear in a heartbeat.
So will I come back again in November? It is a long way to come (ahem) just for 2 good porn kinos; but I feel so happy in a good porn kino; there is nothing better, and with hostesses on hand (ahem) as well. Yesterday in Fortuna Kino was as happy as I’ve felt in a kino for years; this is why I come to Vienna. The Viennese tourist board should promote these places. And I still want to visit Karl Kraus’s grave in Zentralfriedhof, and his house in Lothringerstraße 6. If I go back to Brussels this year it will be more than anything for the 2 sexy Café du Dome barmaids, even more than 5th Avenue or Rue des Commercants or Cine Paris. In Berlin I would like to go to King George and Caligula again, and see if there is any life left at all in the corpse of Stuttgarter Platz, Sissi, Monte Carlo and 77 (still the charm of really low-rent sex persists). Fat, out of shape girls, in really stylish surroundings and cheap prices still retains its carnal thrill.
So my last full day in Vienna is already half over. I can either rush and make the effort to get to Butterfly House and KHM before closing (oh and what about Karl Kraus’s grave?!) or I can just take it easy and head off to Fortuna Kino on the No.6 tram when I am ready and from there back up to WSK, ready to walk back down and check out the other night bars of the Gurtel. Angelique 1 & 2, Okay, Bar 6, finishing in Manhattan perhaps, where I would like to see Denitsa naked at least, even if having no energy left to do anything with her.
I am still discovering new things about these 4 cities I keep visiting, that is the amazing thing. I only discovered the location of the Night Porter hotel two weeks ago! The location of Karl Kraus’s houses at the same time! I have been googling them for years, with no success at all, but this time, for some reason, the answers just came straight to the top. WSK and Fortuna are discoveries of the last 12 months alone and they are now my top 2 places in Vienna. The same for Café du Dome, and Fifth Avenue, and Ciné Paris in Brussels. You have to enjoy them before all these places are gone too. Is that Angelique 1 & 2 gone already?