I was talking to a friend the other night and told her that there was a time in my life when I’d nearly become a serial killer. “It was probably the closest I ever came to becoming a serial killer,” I told her, but when she pressed me on exactly what that meant it turned out that I’d just been reading a couple of books about serial killers and had spent a few nights in my garret room atop the house of the mad salving my raw, deformed ego with thoughts of the bloody slaughter of innocents. It was one of those many times in life when I felt constantly and unreasonably humiliated and not in a good way. I’d finally been officially sacked after my spell in the loony bin and had moved to Portsmouth the next day with a bag stuffed with cassettes and books. I lived there for a couple of months with a bunch of similarly fucked up musicians and mentalists and a dog that someone gave us, but it was all too much Withnail with no Uncle Monty to bail us out and I bummed a tenner off someone’s sister and fled. I ended up as a live-in support worker in a community home for ‘mentally handicapped adults’ . There was always something mad going on – someone had been sick and the chickens were in the house, eating it, a rabbit was raping a duck, someone was giving someone a blowjob outside the kitchen window, all in this little midterrace house with high fences and an attic room in which I couldn’t stand up straight but which had a bed and a TV & video and a sink into which I could piss while looking out at people fighting in the car park. I’d only been a few months out of hospital and was still quite mad – my scars were still livid and I was filled with some awful, blank rage at everything. I worked six days a week and from Monday to Friday I would accompany the house’s residents to a local garden centre and nursery where they would make themselves more or less useful between 9-5, and I’d work alongside them. Consequently, by the end of the day I would be in a similarly dishevelled state as them, twigs in my hair and mud up my trouser legs. When we were driven back to the home there often wouldn’t be a spare seat in the car so I’d have to fold myself in half and get in the boot, where I was clearly visible to other road users and curious pedestrians when we were crawling through the traffic, a mad tramp squashed in the boot in a car full of care in the community cases. That’s when I nearly became a serial killer.