David Gale’s Peachy Coochy Nites #17

20 slides are each projected for 20 seconds and spoken to for the same period, no more, no less. The script for one of these precision-based presentations is found below.

Season 3: PC#17


Previously on Peachy Coochy I had discovered that my unconscious had been scrubbed clean and this explained why my dreams were exactly like events from my everyday life. I knew that I had to go through my life all over again and rebuild my unconscious. Eventually I would have enough stuff in there to be a person again.


I would start with my earliest memories. Some of these were as vivid as if they’d happened yesterday. Many of them came from when I went to America with my parents in 1951. I was standing in the doorway of a restaurant in a fishing town in California. The light was soft and phosphorescent.


It’s not a memory of an event. Nothing happened. Just an atmosphere. But the closer I get to it the less I can see it. Now I can’t see it at all. What a waste. I wanted to go inside the memory. But it was just a picture. I can’t even see the picture now. It was near the sea but the sea wasn’t in it.


Yup. I was wasting my time. I hadn’t thought it through. If my unconscious had somehow been erased then indeed only pictures would be left. But they wouldn’t actually link to anything. How could I fill myself up? How could I lay down layers when the whole point was you had to start from the bottom up?


I was like a sort of drawing of a person and the drawing is trying to draw the person who drew it. I was trapped on the surface of a sketch book. I no longer had dreams. I no longer  felt part of anything. Perhaps I was free. If I was free then I could have whatever experiences I wanted and they would start to go down as layers inside me.


I found myself increasingly drawn to Lady Gaga. It occurred to me that if I joined up with her I would have a lot of exciting experiences and these would be laid down in layers inside me and could become the basis of my new being. I understood that because I had lost my unconscious my new being would be nothing like my old being.


“Hi, Stefani, this is David here. Shall we join up?” “Nobody calls me Stefani apart from my parents. Who is this?” “I’m sorry, Gaga, it’s David Gale.” “Do I know you?” “I’m the curator of David Gale’s Peachy Coochy Nites, in London.” “Oh yeah. I heard of that. What is it you want to do?”


“Just, you know, join up. Have some experiences together.” “Okay. I have a boyfriend, you know.” “You’re back with Rob?” “Fuck, no. There’s a new guy.” “Shall I come over then?” “Why not?” Gaga was staying with friends in Stevenage. I jumped on a First Capital Connect train at King’s Cross.


For several days Gaga and I rode through woodlands together. She found the countryside restful after her hectic touring and seemed keen to learn about the ways of people in British rural habitats. At night we gathered the horses into a circle and slept within their warmth. We bought a bag of oats that we could share with them.


One morning we found ourselves passing a small cottage. There was smoke coming from the chimney and Gaga said “That’s so neat! Shall we see who’s in?” I realised that this was precisely the sort of experience that I needed to build myself up. Gaga was a full of beans sort of person who was game for anything.


The door opened and we were surprised to see that it was Kevin Spacey. “David! Son of a gun! What are you doing out here?”  “Do you know him?” Gaga said to me. “Well, yes. We worked together. Kevin Spacey, this is Lady Gaga.”  “I’d know you anywhere!” said Kevin to Gaga. “Come in, both of you!”


I could see Gaga was puzzled. She didn’t see me as the kind of person who would be friends with Hollywood film stars. I asked Kevin to explain. He told her that the British director, Alan Parker, who was well known for films like ‘Bugsy Malone’, ‘Evita’ and ‘Fame’, had asked him, in 2003, to do a film about capital punishment.


The film, co-starring Kate Winslet, was based on my work in campaigns against the death penalty. I was very flattered to have Kevin playing me because I happen to think he’s a fabulous actor. The way he works, in fact, requires him practically to become the character he’s playing. I have to say, because of that, it was very odd talking to Kevin on the set.


Gaga took to Kevin – he’s very easy to like – and we started to hang out as a threesome. At times, particularly during a long conversation, Kevin would start to pick up some of my mannerisms, as though he had to go into the studio the next day. It would be corny to say it was like looking in a mirror but it was certainly pretty peculiar.


One day we got talking about Gaga’s early career and she mentioned her nose job. Typically, Kevin pretended he didn’t know about it. I asked her if she was sad to lose something that had been so much a part of herself for twenty years. She said not really, when the nose went all its history went with it. She didn’t miss it for a moment.


Kevin told us the sad news about Kate Winslet’s marriage. Kate, of course, had played my girlfriend, the journalist Bitsey Bloom, in the movie. Kate is a gorgeously attractive woman and when we met on set there was a certain amount of electricity between us. I was very discreet about it, not wanting to compromise Kevin’s intense professional relationship with her.


Gaga  had gone rather quiet and I wondered if she resented the obvious warmth that Kate and I and, by extension, Kevin, had shared. Of course there was nothing between Gaga and myself. We simply enjoyed each other’s company. But there was no getting away from the fact that, through Kevin, I had been very close to Kate.


Kevin and I grew closer and closer and Gaga  never left our side. It was clear she found Kevin very attractive and, of course, as Kevin became more and more like me, Gaga and I found more of interest in each other. The only thing that worried me was Kate. I didn’t like the idea of her being on her own.


Kevin took us to Leo DiCaprio’s place near Baldock. Imagine my surprise when Leo came to the door with Kate! She hugged Kevin and, to my further astonishment, called him ‘David’! Then she turned to me and said “Kevin, you rascal! How did you know?” I had to get back to the Old Vic so I left David and Gaga with Kate and Leo and got  the coach to Victoria.


I think about David from time to time. He’s likeable enough but he seems quite undecided. He’s very adaptable but I wonder if that’s necessarily a good thing. If I were him I would stick at something, lay down some roots. You can’t be a leaf in the breeze. You have to have something you can come back to. There’s no rest otherwise.

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