“It was 1977,” continues Monsieur M as we exit the elevator into my unit. “I was the meat in a celebrity love sandwich featuring a buttery-warm Kiki Dee on one side and a crispy-cool Jenny Agutter on the other.”

A set of tiny ice-age figurine replicas kept on a tray to impress the visitors I never receive tumble over like Showa-era comedians as I drop the groceries on the kitchen counter a little too mindlessly.

“The pace of our erotic encounter was frenetic, as we knew the cab ride would only last until we arrived at the Boots chemist’s in Hounslow, where we were promised an audience with the writer-director of Captain Kronos Vampire Hunter.”

While securing the pies into their frozen repository, I notice a small beautiful basket of small beautiful avocados has appeared, left behind by the visitors I never receive.

“But it looked as if we’d have to settle for the consolation prize: an advance copy of a new sci-fi novel based on the author’s experience of having turned his home into an amateur drug rehab; I can’t quite remember the title — Horizontal Gutter Pirates Penetrate the Electronic Sin Gymnasium or something like that.”

“Wow,” I blurt, incapable of containing my shameful owenwilsonness, “so this is the guest bedroom. There’s a station-to-station shrine over there where you can pray as needed. And there’s an electric blanket in the closet, in case you run out of…not-being-warmness.”

“Being warm is the most intimate,” says Monsieur M as he begins to unpack a collection of miniature flashlights, each with a special cover that projects a muted shape. “This one’s a taiyaki” he notes happily, shining a sakura-tinted beam into his own eye. “I always take my nightlight to Nashville.”

Outside, the feathery whapping of a delivery drone grows louder as another order of rumpled dumplings is dropped to my neighbors on their tiny balcony; the noise quickly fading away, leaving only the pleasantly familiar sound of elderly couples grumbling about the delayed arrival of their Chinese food.

“Well, let’s see the rest, then,” prompts Monsieur M, sweeping his arms across an imaginary vista. And so we begin the 700-square-foot tour:

“Here is possible to see where David Bowie never ate,” I say, pointing at the table.

“Here is possible to see where David Bowie never slept,” I say, pointing at the sofa.

“Here is possible to see where David Bowie never shit,” I say, pointing at the toilet.

“Fantastic,” remarks Monsieur M, snapping a picture of each non-attraction with an eggshell blue reproduction Lomo adorned with Pan-Am decals from an old model airplane kit.

“So, what happened? Did you go breaking those hearts? Did you leave Jessica-6 awash in your post-glam pleasure? Did you meet the vampire director or get the cyberman galley?” I ask, all childlike and wide-eyed.

“Not exactly,” sighs Monsieur M. “While there was a certain conclusion and denouement, we had been oblivious to the fact that our cab driver had also become very aroused and had made an unspoken decision to reroute us to Peter Wyngarde’s secret sex pad.”

“Wow,” I shockingly blurt again despite my best effort, but more slowly this time, somehow urging my owenwilsonness toward a slightly less embarrassing lukewilsonness.

“So we arrive, and while reapplying our lipstick all glaikit-faced in the driver’s mirror, we notice gaggles of black smoke belching from a great glowing red crack in the roof of Peter Wyngarde’s country-home-slash-sex-pad. As it turns out, it wasn’t Peter Wyngarde’s country home, though. It was Keith Chegwin’s massive personal roller rink, and Cheggers had played pop-goes-the-vodka-into-the-fireplace-because-the-cocaine-is-all-gone. I couldn’t skate anyway. So we left the blaze behind to try and catch Malcolm McLaren’s new all-pensioner punk outfit Last of the Summer Winos at the Sundowner.”

After a quick nap and costume change, Monsieur M casually scoops up one of the small beautiful avocados from the small beautiful basket and places it into an enormous pocket on the left side of his enormous periwinkle trousers.

“Now take us somewhere wonderfuller than this,” muses Monsieur M. “I want to be surrounded by beautiful lesbians with PhDs.”

<< part 2 | part 4 >>