Exclusive Extract: Real Life, John Rogers

The country-hopping “indie music mogul” and Internet addict is in a confessional mood for his autobiographical debut
John Rogers

John Rogers is an English writer, artist and music publicist – he started Brainlove Records and is an “indie music mogul” to some – living in Reykjavík. Real Life, his debut book, documents his thoughts, feelings, fears and neuroses, the little victories and the inordinate amount of time he spends on the Internet, as he prepares to leave London for Iceland in late 2012. Here we present an exclusive extract…

In the bath, I am on my phone. I tweet a series of Tweets that are amusing to me, about a mystical forest that has wi-fi. I take my glasses off and put down the phone and wash myself. I wash my hair. I lie in the bath for a few minutes, staring at the tiles and thinking about things. This is probably the longest I am offline all day. When I step out of the bath, I tread on my glasses and hear an alarming ‘crack’ sound. I put them on the sink. I dry off. It’s cold. The dead of winter. I check my glasses, and they are not broken. I feel relieved.

I get dressed in ‘house clothes’ (old worn jeans, ‘Live My Lief’ t-shirt, thick knitted brown Icelandic wool cardigan, white socks) and I work on email for ~2 hours. During this time I also have a set of images open in Preview. When interesting thoughts and phrases come into my mind, I make image macros. One of them is a short poem called ‘A Hollywood Hello’. I post it on Tumblr.

I chat to some people on Facebook. I do more emailing. I am trying to get a video premiered on one of four music websites, and I collect responses from the various editors and writers and record them for the client. I decide to put up the 1 metre-tall-ish glowing fibre-optic ex-display Christmas tree I got for free when I used to work in the storeroom of a clothes shop. It is black and kind of gothic but it still makes the room feel homely.

There’s a bulky Christmas present under my bed that my parents dropped off on their last visit. They were worried it wouldn’t fit in my luggage after the holidays. I put it under the tree, and lie on my bed watching it glow while I intermittently reply to email. I check back on Tumblr. Only two ‘likes’, seems low. It seems warm so I turn off the heating.

I make plans to go to the Tate tomorrow with a woman I met at a party last weekend. She seemed like an attractive, intelligent and gentle person. She works in finance but has a strong love of art and culture. I wonder if we could connect as people. I wonder if I am creating this doubt as an avoidance mechanism. I wonder if it’s too soon since my breakup to be going to the Tate with a woman I met at a party.

I listen to Mat Riviere’s new album. On ‘Salathund’, there is a dramatic swell of strings and feedback that makes adrenaline flood into my bloodstream. My skin tingles and I get goosebumps. I shiver, enjoying the sensation. I cry a little suddenly, but not in a sad way. I feel a very strong connection to ‘life’ during these moments. This is the high point of my day.

Real Life is available through Habitat Books. Watch a short film from John HERE