Posted by: martinworster | February 8, 2005

28. STUNTMAN

Randomn characters…geezers, Chelsea FC, London orbital raves circa ’89 – OI OI!

 One of the things I like about Barcelona are the characters you come across from time to time. It seems to attract lifes waifs and strays which for me is fascinating. Just recently I was out in the Borne with Melissa and Susan when we ran into Mark, an English stuntman in his early forties. Now if there’s one thing I would like to be able to reply with when asked ‘so what do you do?’ I would like to be able to give that answer. It just about beats ‘rock star, actor, tax exile and eBay dealer in descending order.

Stuntman had appeared in a few flicks. Recently he was in ‘Arthur’ where there is even a close up of him in one of the battle scenes. Funnily enough I had only recently just watched it a few weeks earlier but I had to break the news that I didn’t recognise him from it. I made a mental note go back for a second viewing, hand hovering over pause.

I initially struck up a conversation with him at the bar when out of all the drinks they had stocked behind the well stocked bar they didn’t have Jack Daniels. I could have ordered anything else. Rare Scottish whiskies, never heard of Cuban rums, viscous Italian Sambucas and never seen the light cognacs and they would have had it. So we had a joke over this and I fought he was a bit of a geeezer, na I mean?

I instantly thought he could be my New Best Friend (NBF). He was covered in tatoos and had long hair. He slightly reminded me of the Camberwell Carrot character from With Nail And I, mixed with equal parts rocker, biker, ex raver, Chelsea fan, yoga master. He was always ready with a good story. Riding his Harley around India for a year (‘you should have scene the locals when we pulled up, they’d never seen anything like it!’). Hobknobbing with Mick Jagger in Scotland whilst filming ‘Enigma’ (don’t remember any stunt scenes in that when I watched it). Setting up raves at the apex of the late 80s London warehouse scene (I could just imagine him going Orbital with two mobile phones clamped either side of his face whilst chewing ecstacy like they were Polos. Get on one matey. Sweet as a nut). Getting drunk with Noel Gallagher at his villa in Ibiza. His two hours of yoga a day. He was a character. It didn’t matter that no matter what you said he could come up with a bigger, better story. Even if they were lies they were interesting and told with perfect delivery.

He was in Barcelona to learn Spanish whilst ‘looking for business opportunities’, probably opening a bar. An appropriately vague reason for being here. I wondered if ‘business opportunities’ was a euphemism for drug dealing. Since the night I haven’t seen him. I took his number down drunkenly at the end of the night and as at that point I could hardly see straight there were too many numbers. I have not seen Stuntman since. That’s what it’s like sometimes, a random character enters your life briefly. Maybe I’ll bump into him in town again, although I hope he wouldn’t have read this.

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