Walking up Kingsland High Road, Egon savoured the invigorating effects of his flat white. Hackney used to be one of London’s poorest areas, filled with immigrants and dwellings in need of repair. Now, looking at house and rent prices, this was hard to believe. Mingling with the multi-cultural crowd, Egon feels like a man of the world, glad to have moved away from his village in Shropshire where monoculture and monothinking had taken over even the more advanced human beings. Continue reading →
Even though it was already the end of March, the nights were cold and Egon wishes his bedsit had central heating, but instead turns on the gas oven as soon as he gets up.
Munching on Weetabix he googles dog breeds and there she is – a Golden Retriever. All the dogs look cute but none of them has the effervescent beauty of Gilda. Eager to find out more about the breed, he learns that Golden Retrievers are cheerful, trustworthy, demonstrative and forgiving – characteristics he had always hoped to find in a girlfriend. It also listed mouthiness, heavy shedding and distinctive doggy odour. Still, he reckons, something he would put up with. Continue reading →
‘The past lies like a nightmare upon the present.’ (Karl Marx)
Still befuddled, Egon enters his studio flat, which really is the real-estate agency’s term for bedsit, on Graham Road. There always lingered a slight morbid and musty smell in these Victorian houses and Egon resented the fact that he kept looking at the same four walls.
Lying on his bed, he feels as if the walls are closing him on him, or maybe he’d just been here for too long, but as he isn’t paying rent he isn’t complaining.
After splitting up with his ex, he felt lucky not having to move back into a flat-share, which he thought was undignified at the age of 35, but unavoidable in London where being able to live on your own was considered a luxury. Continue reading →
Keeping an eye on Costa Coffee, Egon quickly takes out his iPhone5, which he had found in a bar one night and managed to unlock. The light wasn’t great for photography but he didn’t intent to post the crime-scene pictures on Instagram.
Poor dog, what an end to a life filled with adversity and struggle. He makes a pledge there and then to find out who killed him, because in his mind there was no question that this had been a dogcide. A suspicion which is confirmed when he sees what looks like a stabbing wound on the dog’s right rib cage, very close to what must be the heart, Egon figures.
The stern police-woman’s superior is leaving Costa, heading for them and Egon decides it is high time to disappear in the crowd. Continue reading →
This is the first episode of DALSTON NOIR, a weekly Noir-Hipster-Crime-Serial set in London Fields.
Meet Egon Schmuck, 37, Hobby-Detective and antihero, at times filled with existential angst (due to not getting out enough) but mostly calm and currently unemployed. He’s deeply indebted to the UK welfare state because with some housing benefit and the odd cash-in-hand jobs he survives, and not badly.
The seeming wilfulness of his fashionable outfits hides a time-intensive approach of carefully considering various juxtapositions until a satisfying new combinations of his Oxfam bargains has transpired. This process takes almost as long as reading the sentence about it.
Oxfam has proven a haven for time-rich and purpose-seeking people like Egon and hours fly by when browsing the extensive book section, trays with cutlery and colourful postcard boxes.
Whenever nosy citizens have the cheek to ask Egon, what he does for a living, he replies as throwaway as possible that he is a freelancer, remaining as vague as possible about the actual nature of his non-work. Egon calls himself a London native (though he was born in a little village in Shropshire), his roaming ground is London Fields, not Dalston as he likes to point out, a great place to watch the human condition pass by, filling him with existential thoughts as he sips his coffee on Broadway Market.
Episode #1: Trouble on Kingsland Road
Egon checks his bank account and wonders whether he’ll make it till the end of the month when his housing benefit comes in. Lost in anxious thoughts, he walks down Balls Pond Road, when his attention is suddenly drawn to a crowd of people. His anxiety disperses instantly as he realises that today is his lucky day, as he has just happened upon a crime scene, and he elbows his way into the crowd of ogling by-standers. Continue reading →