You Me Bum Bum Train


(Went to You Me Bum Bum Train this week with my friend Yuseph. *we are recovering* . DON’T GOOGLE It or let anyone tell you its secrets, just sign up to the mailing list and pray to father christmas for tickets because the experience relies on surprise attack magic spells, and cmon its mythologising is kinda fun anyway. We have both signed Non-Disclosures and are LiTeRaLly not allowed to tell u what the fuck goes on inside there, so I am writing up and around our reactions. This is gonna be so vague unless you’ve had the pleasure of going, in which case you will read this and then immediately have a lie down once you learn you are suffering from what I am calling NARRATIVE PTSD).

have you ever seen Waking Life? or Buffy SE4E22?

I thought, cumulative moments and their predecessors, the lucid narrative. clap-clap-clap. Select Player 1: my dramatic teenage years convinced me I was the Main Character in My Life. Recently, people have said ‘good luck’ to me instead of ‘goodbye,’ and I turn away and cartoon gulp. I’m not jammy, or in the right place at the right time, and I always assumed this was arrogance, but I think I’m just noticing patterns/ YMBBT assured this again/again/again/

when you’re put on a pedestal, spotlighted, papped, and raised above everybody else, you feel like a *special snowflake* ah-and then cloud 9 gets turnT, vertigo, adrenaline, shit shit shit, and I don’t know what to do with all this power. Imploding, remembering the Friday I failed my driving test. I thought I was good at everything and the test was terminated in the first 5 minutes for ‘dangerous driving.’ I had to WALK back to the centre on my stupid human legs, and my mum was waiting for me there / all embarrassed ===

I felt incompetent and humiliated, and you fetishised that, made it feel important.

and I felt so present! and I didn’t know I wasn’t already ? ? but in the thick familiarity, presence both challenged and secured the significance of memory, of frames, and recognition, and history. Like the red RECORDING button outside a studio, you were live and on (and hoping this isn’t being filmed lol).

In the hyperreal, I was fictional. And maybe I’ve always almost felt Main Character fictional, carrying on in this provisional self, but the YMMBT tumble was a stiff virtuality, a consequence-free dress rehearsal. That stiffness came from the very time-and-place specificity of vignettes, from the contents I can’t disclose. Those details organised a forced fiction, so live, and at SUUch a pace that I was left with nothing but my instincts:

and it all should have felt alien but inside I was very human because I knew what to do, and how to act. It should have felt Larger than Life but was precisely within life’s confines, technically non-fiction - - - and this is where you are, lying strapped to a contradiction, dreaming of a world where consequences don't matter, or one with no consequences at all, depending on your being Yuseph or Gabrielle.

And there, we left YMBBT. Shell-shocked and feeling so done unto/so sub that Yuseph could convince me to go to the salsa bar opposite. The dancing and heat, the athleticism and the sex in that room, I thought it would help us realign with the dominant reality but it all looked so choreographed and I felt suspicious again. I thought paranoia wanted to push me away to a safer fantasy; it wouldn’t let me settle on or adjust to this consciousness; and lol it’s been two days now and I feel wonderfully detached still, alienation-liberation, which comes with confidence ye but also probably, exactly, precisely what you could call recklessness. theoretical yolo, philosophical IDGAF. i love it.

emoji summary of theatre masks, a globe, and a chick in an egg
glittery graphic of gabrielle’s name

gabrielle stands outside below a red you me bum bum train sign with her hands either side of her face screaming