Songs of Bliss HTML version

He was spotted in summer season in Eastbourne by a producer looking for the new
Tony Orlando. The build up was fun, but the choice of songs was poor and the timing
sucked. They broke him with Let It Be Me the same week that the Sex Pistols split up in
The carousel starts to spin. Vic Damone, born Vito Rocco Farinola in nineteen
twenty-eight, reaches track five, Stella by Starlight, and Billy reaches a state of grace. His
soul reels in the thread by which Billy has dragged it around since waking, settles on his
shoulder and together they fall asleep in the armchair as Vic croons softly into their cotton
wool ears.
The Night Has a Thousand Eyes
A steel grey Mercedes taxi swings round and leaves a solitary male figure standing
at the kerb of the Avinguda de la Mar. It?s early April, three o'clock in the morning and the
temperature is even and comfortable. Lights flicker in dilapidated shop windows. The threat
of garish neon that fills most of the visible street front signage hangs cool and dull. The late
traveller picks up a single sports holdall and starts to trudge down the Carrer de L'Inginyer
Serrano Lloberes, towards the harsh brilliance of the lonely, night-owl bars that stay open
into the small hours for insomniac sailors working the aggregate freighters along the
Mediterranean coast and beyo nd. This is the Paseo de Bonavista and the Factoria Rio Tinto,
Castellon de la Plana, Spain.
Apartment lights sneak out through shutters closed to the night above the shop
facades, and in one of them a crooner sings gently through a tinny transistor radio speaker.
American schmaltz. A fifties throw-back. Alex Berisa stops at the traffic island at the end
of the Serrano Lloberes and watches a lone scooter whine along the Paseo. The sound of
drilled out baffles echoes off the stripped back and bare sides of t he empty street. A fine
layer of dust from the Factoria's processing and shipping of aggregates mutes the surfaces
of the street furniture. Shop windows show streaks and diffused shades of colour under the
street lights. Everything that Alex looks at or to uches is coated in a whimsy of pulverised
stone dust and he wonders what the place is like in high summer when the heat stifles and
the breezes off the sea carry thick, choking clouds of powder into the lungs of the local
inhabitants. The low level industrial rawness of the port area does not seem so very
different from home.
Home is where the heart is, except that Alex's heart is broken. It is not the breaking
of bonds with a lover, nor is it the failure of family blood that erodes care and tenderness
with the dull edged disappointment that hollows out the soul slowly over the years. Alex is
tired. The family, the blood and the honour, the unswerving loyalty are all that he has to
sustain him. The empty streets down which he walks at the dead hour of the night are a
fitting place for the terminally ill, and he feels as though he has a cancer in his bones, a
tumour of hate and revenge placed there by Arbnor Jasari. A doctor. The family doctor. The
magician. The chemist. Betrayal lies at the heart of it all, betrayal and a sister who is
condemned to spend what remains of her life living like a vegetable. Betrayal and shame.