“Am I going to be able to talk you out of this, Charlie?” I asked Charlie Brooker even though I knew what his answer would be. I’m not going to tell you it yet but I knew. I just knew. We hadn’t seen much of each other since he wanked me off because I looked just like him. In that launderette that time. But we still had a magical connection.
“No,” he replied. I knew he was going to say that! I could have told you earlier but that’s not how fucking literature works, is it?
“I didn’t think so,” I said forlornly, repeating what I told you in the first sentence. Quarter of a page and fuck all has happened. Jesus fucking Christ. To be honest with you I only had the title when I started this. Charlie Brooker’s Nitro Circus. I love that. I hadn’t thought this through. This was as ill-conceived as a baby born of two people with genetic disorders. Much like Charlie Brooker’s stunt which I suppose he’s going to do later on in this wonderful story. “Just tell me why!” Yeah, you tell me Charlie because I don’t have a clue.
“I’ve been swallowed by the Hollywood machine, mate. Chewed up, digested. I’m a Hollywood shit,” he said looking at his leather begloved hands.
“But Black Mirror is always one of the top shows on my Kodi box. Isn’t this what you wanted? You’re like Ricky Gervais!”
“Black Mirror got too big. I’m hardly involved. Just go down there. Hang about. You think Matt Groenig writes The Simpsons?”
“I know he doesn’t. And it’s pronounced ‘graining’ and not how you just said it.”
“Well whatever his name is, he doesn’t.”
“Yeah, I know. I literally just said that.” Charlie looked hurt so I apologised. “Look, I knew America wasn’t for you. Get back home. That, erm. Countdown… Celebrity Cats do Countdown. You could be on that. It’s on every night pretty much. It’s funny although that guy who had OCD or something. Anxiety. He was on a moving BBC show about it. Moving as in sad. The one who isn’t Sean Lock, he seems to take it very seriously.”
“Oh, I don’t…”
“He got the conundrum in about two seconds the other night. Probably because of his OCD! Or was it anxiety? He should go on the proper show because nobody else takes it seriously. It’s weird really. Chris something? Dunno. Wears a jumper.”
“It’d be a step backwards.”
“No Charlie. It would be moonwalking. Going backwards while walking forwards and also sort of not moving.”
“I know! Just came to me that. Profound. But look, you’re that age now. Not fucked yet but another year or so and you pop back up on english telly and people are gonna be all, fuck! You see that state of Charlie Brooker! He looks like he’s seventy! Go back now they’ll get used to it.”
“I really think I’m done with telly. I’ll just do this, for me, and then… dunno, yeah, I’ll retire. From public life”
“Bob Mortimer. Fuck, he looks old. It’s sad. Like the last photo of Laurel and Hardy. Age… fuck. But what about if you love this? You’ll crave more. Look around!” Charlie flipped up his visor and looked around the stadium at the 107,000 who had turned up at the Hollywood Recreational Grounds. Loads of camera flashes went off. I turned back to Charlie. Looked into his eyes. “I think this is a mistake.”
“Yeah, well mistakes are there to be broken!” said Charlie, slapping his visor down and then standing up on the pedal to get his BMX moving. I couldn’t stop him now even if I wanted to. Well, I could. He was going about 8 miles an hour but my phone might fall out of my pocket if I ran after him. I watched him go wondering what he’d meant to say when he said ‘mistakes are there to be broken.’ He was going about 11 miles an hour now. I shook my head. And then I smiled. “Go Charlie Brooker!” I shouted and pumped out both arms with my fists clenched.
It didn’t look like Charlie Brooker had enough speed when he hit the ramp because he didn’t and then after that he only got part way up it before he was going so slow, despite looking like he’d wrench the handlebars clean off, that he had to put his foot down. He nearly slid backwards but sort of managed to hop around so he and the bike were sideways.
I ran to him with a hand on my pocket.
“Well that was a massive fucking fuck up,” he said more dejected than ever. I shushed the booing crowd with a calm down gesture.
“Charlie, it wasn’t a fuck up! It was important. Don’t you see? You nearly slid backwards, but you held yourself there. That’s a metaphor for your career! How it’s better to be somewhere safe than flying off the ramp or slipping backwards!”
“I thought moonwalking was the metaphor.”
“Oh yeah, I forgot about that. Ah, fuck it, let’s get you in the shower. You’re sweating like a big fat pig!”