He's a hostile character, Aldous. Once he enters your life, things will never be as they were before. I liked him at first. He was fun, if slightly rouge and boisterous. But things turned sour, I came to realise that companionship to Aldous Pinch is never as voluntary as it may seem at first. Once he has his hooks in you, you can never leave.
Please note that I'm posting anonymously for my own safety - though I've been assured that Aldous is still yet to acquire computer skills, and therefore cannot access this information.
It was a pleasant summer evening around 10 years ago. I was young and free, drinking with a companion in a bar in Marseilles. It was a dimly lit, shabby establishment but full of life nonetheless. Friday night's commotion was underway; a band made up of old sailors were belting out Muddy Waters songs from a stage in the corner, a French baker was arm-wrestling a Russian back-packer over shots of tequila, and the giggling Irish girls we'd been chatting up all night had just opened a fresh bottle of red wine. As it spilled over our table and into my lap, I leaned into my friend and suggested that we weren't making sufficient progress with these fine drunk women. He agreed, and urged me to play my trump card - 'Get up with the band' he said with a wink.
And so, I found myself up on stage with a guitar around my neck - smiling drunkenly through the fog of cigarette smoke at my table. I staggered slightly as I turned to the singer and asked what key we were going to play in.
'How the fuck should I know!? You scrawny sack-o-bones!' he snarled into my face. And that was the first time I met Aldous Pinch.
Despite this frightful introduction, Aldous took to me right away. He loved the way I played, slapped me on the back and insisted on buying me a whiskey. We spoke intensely as we drained the bottle, although he never sits in one place for too long - not a thread of conversation can pass without him jumping out of his chair to put a passing stranger in a grappling headlock or plant a cigar-flavoured kiss on the lips of a disgruntled bar girl collecting glasses. The clock hit 1am and Aldous demanded a lock-in.
I woke up the next morning rolled up in a thick carpet with the sound of the sea gently lapping around my head. Panicking and unable to move, I tried to roll over to see where I was. I managed to shuffle onto my back and face up towards the blazing sun, only to see it eclipsed by those blood-shot eyes protruding from that restless, demonic face.
'Calm yourself, boy. We're going on tour!'
I was in a small fishing boat and Aldous was rowing us frantically across the sea. He explained that he was touring the world, and he simply HAD to have me as part of his show. We arrived to play a show in Barcelona that evening.
And that's how things have continued. Whenever he has a gig, he insists that I play with him. He knows where I live, and when I'm not home, he always seems to find me. My involvement has become less and less voluntary over time... last month in Glasgow he forced me on-stage at gun-point! The worst thing is that the audience never suspects a thing. Any violence and they think it's all part of the show.
If you come to an Aldous Pinch show, do spare a thought for the backing band. We've been through more than you'll ever know.