Memoirs of a Woman of Pleasure
Abi Frost

20 January 1989

Alarm clock rings at inopportune moment. Throw Robert Plant out of bed and get ready for BSFA meeting. Bath, then spray entire body with Shalimar. Can't make up mind between classy but sexy Alaia number or sleazy but expensive Katherine Hammnet. Realise Shalimar dreadful mistake; not expensive enough to annoy Chicken Brothers. Bath again, spray with No 5. So much better even if it does sound like cheap brand of cigarettes. Finally go for St Laurent -- always safe. Dismiss chauffeur at turning of Great Russell Street (doesn't do to spread envy and Chartism) and encounter BSFA refugees led by Dave Langford and Alan Sullivan. How funny to see then walking along together! What a lucky girl I am -- there can't be many who have both a sugar daddy and a toy-boy! Oh I do feel so fulfilled. Langford's Troy Club reading of rejected novel confirms my belief in infallibility of publishers. Must tell him that next time it's my turn to dominate. See Owen Whiteoak standing alone in corner. Decide to brighten his drab life a little by asking for fanzine. He grumbles something about lack of response and promises to send something in post. Could I have made another little conquest? Wish I'd stuck with the Shalimar.

22 January

Owen's fanzine comes. Start to read it. The poor boy must be out of his mind with love for me. Or out of his mind with something, anyway. Have to stop reading -- Alan annoys me begging to be rubbed with walnut oil.

30 January

Monday is Group Therapy day, so untie Chicken Brothers and put them in Lysol ready for when I get back. Usual bunch of loonies, I do feel so sorry for them all. Young Tim keeps burbling on about his mother. Why does that boy remind me of Helen Starkey? Return to find Chicken Brothers gone, all except Ashley and a few bones. Give him a mercy piss and put him in taxi home to mummy. Feel profoundly dissatisfied with life so read Whiteoak's fanzine. Inspired to write metaphorical pen-picture of fannish life in spring of 1989 entitled Yesterday in Parliament. Just finished when Robert Plant appears begging for the usual. Give him it and put him in taxi to Ashley's mother.

1 February

Cat being very annoying, playing with bones. Put them down waste-disposal while Langford is out at the jewellers. Decide YIP deserves wider currency; noblesse oblige and so on. Ring Pam Wells to see if she'd like it. Ungrateful cow doesn't plan fanzine just yet but suggests Harry Bond. Never thought of Harry Bond. Langford returns with petit cadeau; you can say that again. Try to look profusely grateful when he mumbles something about low rates for Interzone contributors. Tell him I don't give discounts but we do the silk and feathers number anyway. After he's gone Harry Bond rings up in great excitement. Make usual sort of arrangement. Try to put Langford's rotten bracelet down waste-disposal but can't even see it. That boy is under notice.

2 February

Tun. Langford pretending to be in Wales.

3 February

Bethnal Green won't do any longer. There is a tradition to these things. Send Langford postcard of the Gritti -- a cheap trick, stirring up memories, but it might work -- demanding little place in St John's Wood with properly-equipped torture chamber and revolving bed. General jaded mood ideal for reading Whiteoak's fanzine again. Ring Pam Wells to ask why her randy little protege hasn't published fanzine yet. She doesn't know. Knock out another response to Whiteoak, in case Bond too exhausted and love-struck ever to publish. Eric Clapton, how tedious! Miss Chicken Brothers. Should have sent for Sullivan?

4 February

Conies Mart day; Galliano and Air du Temps. (Nothing too flash, after all it's only Greg and co.) Give Martin Tudor Whiteoak piece. Very very important that we luckier ones should do our bit for the underprivileged. Evening: resolve never ever to let Neil Gaiman do that again.

12 February

Send Ashley used knickers. Send Sullivan big scratch'n'sniff card with pop-out heart. Send Langford invoice.

14 February

Bond sends musical card with big squashy heart. Give it to cat. Plant sends large box of mysterious white powder. Decide not to give it to cat. Langford sends computer disk which after hours of fiddling about reveals heart graphic made of dirty words. Not good enough.

2 March

Tun again. Wear absolute rag from Chanel to stir Langford's conscience, but he keeps moaning about painful back. Got pleasant little emerald job.

13 March

Chum Pamella rings. Very down. Tell her I'll send a few cast-offs. Maybe she could do something with Langford. Bunking off Group Therapy for Modern Painters magazine party so have jolly time with famous novelists, psychoanalysts and artists. Party not bad when I get there.

20 March

Monday again! Whole week is a blur except for vague image of Mick Jagger's penis. Group Therapy very confusing; I take one little session off and Tim seems to have met, moved in with and run off from some woman or other. Yet again. Other people's lives are so boring.

21-30 March

In Rio with Mick. Very boring. Fly Langford over in Concorde for mercy fuck and to arrange faxing of gossip to Contrivance newsletter. Bastard says he has to fly back for 11.15 from Paddington so I have to phone last column through to Steve Linton. Steve very sexy on phone. Shame about reality.

31 March

Private jets all very well but Five Mile High Club palls with same person all time. Mick moans about phone bill. Throw him out of window. Pilot is cute.

1 April

Disaster! All is lost! Disgusting little anonymous communication comes in post. Can't concentrate on Sullivan or Plant. Leave them to take care of each other and rush down to Munchen. At times like these a girl needs to be among friends. Consider fellating Australian barman but decide pint of Guinness probably safer. Sit in corner with DLAC practising advanced textual analysis. Who would make jokes about Helen Starkey in this day and age? Only about three people know her. Who would make stupid and offensive joke about Faith Brooker now? Someone who's only just heard where she works, or someone desperate for copy? Who is out to get me? Is this blackmail or is it just Lilian Edwards? Brain goes round in ever-decreasing circles, but I know who's out to get me. How could it be Lilian Edwards? No friends appear, so go home to phone round fellow-victims. Passing FP suddenly remember why Tim at Group Therapy reminds me of Starkey. Ah, 1984; it all comes rolling back ... Plant and Sullivan rolling back when I get home. Sling them out and hit telephone.

2 April

Summary of findings on DLAC: not Wells. Heard her opening it over telephone. Wells not bright enough to dream that up as blind. Roz has spoken to Avedon who swears it's not her. Produced on PCW without use of spell-checker, suggesting someone fairly confident about typing. PCWs ten a penny. Martin Tudor says it's not Steve Green. Greg thinks it's not good enough to be Lilian. I think it's too good. Grr. Wish I was Elvis Presley so I could walk into Tun singing Suspicious Minds. Langford rings up from phone box in East Ham. Agree to quickie in Great Western Hotel in exchange for his findings.

3 April

Still at Great Western. Place stinks though that may be the poppers. Wish I was Elvis Presley so that someone might think I was alive. Wish I was dead. Langford says smart money at Plashet Grove on Nigel Richardson. Ex-flatmate of Starkey, and three years out of date on everything. I say nothing smart at Plashet Grove. Agree to Get Richardson. Run out of condoms so Langford dresses and gets train. Would Richardson know about inflatables? Stupid question, Richardson probably is inflatable. At home ring Maureen Porter. She thinks it's too good for Lilian. Suspects Contrivance Committee. That girl has a strange brain. Remember Richardson is or was Chicken Brother. Wonder what happened to them?

4 April

Horrible nightmare in which rotting corpse of Nigel Richardson arises from waste-disposal and French-kisses me with mouth full of sherbet. Tell Group Therapy after Easter break. Ring Kate Solomon. She thought it was me. What do they teach them at Cambridge? Pamella rings. So sympathetic for one who can't possibly know what it's like to be hounded by vicious innuendo. Not fair to send Langford; maybe Bond? Ring Avedon. Can't be Lilian who was puking guts up at Plashet Grove while DLAC was being posted. Suggest we all thrust tongues down Richardson's throat with mouths full of strange-tasting things. "Kiss Nigel Richardson?" she screams. "Not with a mouth full of garlic!"

5 April

Ashley writes begging for used bog-roll. Langford sends 500 hot-house orchids, litre bottle of Obsession, crate of Dom Perignon and various diamondy things, with sweet little note thanking me for Great Western and telling me not to let DLAC get to me too much. Ring him up and shout at him. Consider kissing Steve Green with mouth full of soluble aspirin and Dickinson's potato wine. Think I'd rather tread on him. Eric Clapton again. Such a pleasant change from boring old farts in fandom. Read DLAC again. Style seems exactly like Lilian Edwards puking guts up. Or rotting corpse of Nigel Richardson for that matter. Quickie with Nigel Lawson. Ring Dickinson. Full of good sense as usual. Thinks it's piece of shit; might be Steve Green or Martin Tudor. Says not good enough for Lilian. Could be Ashley with London accomplice? Horrible nightmare about Lilian Edwards puking over favourite Janet Reger nightie. Read DLAC again. Person uses two spaces after full stop. Must have been trained as secretary. They let anyone do fanzines these days.

6 April

Tun again. Everyone looking sideways at each other. Much like usual only eg Owen is looking sideways at Avedon, Greg at Linda, Evans at Holdstock, Langford at me. Decide to rise above it all, toujours gai, archie, and talk to only people who will talk to anyone, ie neos. End up taking one home.

9 April

Elvis Presley is a remarkably good fuck for someone who's dead.

From Abigail Frost, "Dunlashin'", St John's Wood, NW8

Memoirs of a Woman of Pleasure 1 (1989)