Tuesday, 16 December 2008

These are the things I can't share
but often wish I could
somehow let you see them,
let you in.
Like a secret I once gazed upon
in a place far away
if only you could have been there
to witness it too.
I wish you had
It was glorious, it was magical, it was..
out of this world.
These are the things I can not share
but often wish I could
somehow let you see them
and you would know too.

White birds

What will happen to this memory
when I am gone
Where will this exquisite taste be
the one that lingers now
as I recall
watching from the train window
into the high blue sky
summer afternoon, 10,000 miles away from
the land I was born and all I have ever known
watching the white birds in the distance
rising into thermals
so Graceful, so peaceful
magic there, like an arrow it pierced me
and I was so alive in it
that a tear broke free and dropped down my cheek
and my heart ached with a joy
beautiful and painful to experience
I could not really grasp it
though it completely overwhelmed me
but I knew, that was just how it was here
and I wondered alone as the train began to roll
and the birds reached the apex and glidered away,
I wondered, what will happen to this memory when I am gone
where will this exquisite taste be

Monday, 8 December 2008

He's more elusive than the scarlet pimpernel

I dont think I am back here yet. I just started bumping into people who write. You have to listen to these things.
Sweet dreams that play around my head
I found my church by the ocean
restored a feeling lost to childhood english summers
a happy smile, a warm embrace of life.
I'll always miss you and the times we used to share
there will be no forgetting the blood on my hands
broken hearts, broken homes, broken lives, broken spirits
of grey pavement streets and running violence through the night.
but on the breathe I sank inside
on the hunt for redemption
sacrifice it all, at any cost to reach that place.
I'll always miss you, there will be no forgetting
but I made it, and in this sweet dream that envelops me,
I died, but when I woke, it was to something beautiful.

Friday, 24 October 2008

fuckadoodleday it's been 3 months

since my last post.

been locked in an orgasm actually
discovered tantra, like proper cool.

'nuff said, regular programs will commence shortly :)

Sunday, 20 July 2008

'If you could do anything in the world right now, what would you do?' she asked.

I thought a while.

'I would fuck my way into heaven' I finally replied.

'You're really quite strange' she said with a laugh.

'Am I?' I replied. It wasnt the first time I had heard it said. I never really quite understood what it meant. Surely everything was strange until we got used to it.

'You're not happy, are you?' she said.

'Are you?' I asked.

'Yea, most of the time. Life is what you make it' was her reply.

'I guess I still dont know what to make of it' I said.

'Oh god, you can be so miserable sometimes!' and she gently slapped my arm.

'I find it hard to ignore the injustices' I said , maybe a little defensively.
'I want to believe in happiness and beauty and heaven more than anything but...'

I didnt know how to finish my point, so I didnt.

We sat quietly for a while. She thought about dresses and social occasions. I wondered about why I always took conversations down dead end streets. I never seemed to learn from my mistakes. Like a broken record. I suddenly felt weak, petty and embarrased. I felt myself blush with a sense of self-loathing. I didnt know how it was I had become this way, not when, not why. I was stranded on a desert island with only mirages for company. I wanted to say something funny, something hilarious. I wanted to lighten the mood, bring joy, jump and dance and clap and sing.

We sat there. A chasm between us. It was up to me to cross but I didnt know how. It struck me that I might never find someone I had everything in common with, the thought of being alone forever was suddenly terrifying. The walls were closing in. I had the sudden urge to make a dash for the door and start running.

She looked at me. The silence was dragging on a little too long. I could think of nothing to fill it. I noticed her take a subtle look at her watch. People required constant entertainment. You could not just sit in silence with a person like we could with animals. I wondered why it was like that.

'I think there is a good film on at 9' she said.

The TV was designed for just such moments. To help you avoid life or to save a bored relationship. I didnt tell her this. I just grunted an affirmation.

'What is with you?' she half laughed.

'I just want to fuck my way into heaven' I repeated after a moment.

I noticed a little glint flicker in her eye. It aroused me. I liked that.
I put my hand gently against her neck and stroked it down over her right breast. When I reached the nippled I crossed it slowly. I held her gaze all the while.

'I'd do anything to set us free' I said and I truly meant it.
'It's not so bad' she said as if wishing me to feel how good she felt. But I knew how it ended. I could read fortunes, it had always been a curse. In the end you lose. The last thing you feel will not be pleasure, but fear mixed with pain. I could never shut that out, much as I tried.

I continued to caress her. We warmed to the body chemistry. This we had in common. It was love in the moment. Wholesome and genuine love and there was some kind of salvation in that.

I felt an erection start to build lazily and shifted in my chair.

'So, are you going to fuck me into heaven or what?' she asked, moving her face closer to mine.

I gave it my best shot and maybe we even reached it for a while. We stayed together nearly two years. She had an affair with a journalist and I left. I'd call her up sometimes just to chat but she didnt want to know me anymore. That hurt more than the affair. He'd even tried to pick a fight with me in a bar sometime later. I was about to punch him in the throat but thought better of it. The desire to kill him right where he stood was so powerful it scared me. Instead I just turned and walked out.

Monday, 14 July 2008

3am pass out

The time seems to have been racing of late,
And I am at the end of another night again
Where I find 2am sees me just warming up, but alone.
Wandering home, grab a cab.
Try to talk
To the stranger
That makes no sense to me, and I sure don’t make sense.
Various different toxins working in me
None of which
Seem now to bring me any kind of peace.
Just a hunger
Insatiable hunger

I have tried so many ways to appease this
And it is clear the more I try, the deeper and more demanding it becomes.
Maybe a smoke will cure it. I smoke. But it doesn’t.
Maybe more booze will cure it.
It doesn’t
More drugs, more sex, more food, more fucking ANYTHING!
So long as it is bad for me,
it works for a while.
Then the vacuum returns.
Bigger and meaner.
It is right in here.
Right now,
I can feel it.

A hollowness
The hunger.
For what? I don’t know
Sometimes I think it is maybe just life longing to die.
I don’t wish to be morbid
Just ask the question
What is this?
That is never cured in me
and aches, so much, just to be at peace.
This night
At 2.30am
As I sit and type
Into the moment
Alive, really as alive as it gets.
You don’t get more alive than this!
I know,
I have lived.
And time speeds up some more
Reminding me
I have no time.

Thursday, 10 July 2008

the magnetic fields - strange powers
you call it madness
I call it sanctuary

why is life so futile?
she asked me

probably the wrong person to ask
I said

I put on 'Private Investigations' by Dire Straits
pulled a bottle of wine from the fridge, a rose, Oyster Bay

someone banged on the wall from next door.

'TOO LOUD?' I shouted
but didnt move.
If I had heard a response I would have shouted profanities.
sometimes you just got to let the ears bleed.
despite the discomfort of your neighbours.
they'll be ok tomorrow.
but hell, we might die tonight

if it were not for the music
that plays
to save our souls

to save our souls

there's a funny thing

S.O.S

how many times I have laid drunk across my bed vomiting into a plastic bag, thinking

S.O.S

still no one comes.

I been playing that tune for years

'...scarred for life, no compensation, private investigation...'


but I had no answer for her.
nothing that would relieve the part of her that hurt.

maybe you are polar, or just artistic
I finally said

austistic, more like
was the response.

oh you are a dark horsey, ney

I smiled and we chinked our drinks. two lost souls making like it all meant something in that drunken haze. and it did in some little way.

I kept smelling cheap perfume, mine, not hers.
I wondered if I would ever get some class
but I figured not
why bother
why pretend, I am something I am not.
just a hot blooded gypsy at best
and not exactly the romantic kind

it wasnt long before I began to feel the wolf salivating somewhere inside.
locked in his kennel. chained and tethered. like it did any good.
I would never change.
just howl at the moon
and sometimes she'd come play with me
frolic in the wilds
in the heat
in the lust
where we both found it safe
but others often feared.
funny that.
how our wild hearts tame so easily
but some remain wild forever

Wednesday, 9 July 2008

and I told her,

Don't believe that I am an honest man,
there's no solid ground here to build truth on


And she smiled,
and stroked my brow

I stood once in the place where the last of the wild men held off the Romans,
it was where the old ways ended, right there. I could see the fight, I could smell the fire. It was across the water, a place called Anglesey. They were butchered.


What are you on about?
She laughed

I didnt really know how to explain it,
sudden thoughts, random and yet not

I dont know, I said, who I know these things for

Her eyes were blue as sapphire, as corny as it may sound, I could see dreams in them.
That was beautiful to me.
To see that life.

Mine weren't lost, it is just that when you've seen the end of the world through the bottom of a thousand glasses, the wait doesn't seem to appeal quite so much.

Listen gorgeous, I said in the best Sam Spade I could manage. We've got some hours of romance left yet. Why dont I take you somewhere you'll never forget.

She seemed intrigued, I could feel her excitement.

We left the bar into the orange street lights and the rain. Took her car out into the country, I directed her where to go. It was a hill, some way into Wiltshire. High up in the mists it looked out over the world. Lights of cities at night could be seen miles away, a train snaked across the land in the distance, the sound bringing the feeling of sighs. It was beautiful from up here. A cold wind blew, but that just helped to keep the people away. I liked that. We were alone, the two of us. Completely.

You're crazy, you know that
she looked at me, a little confused yet slightly charmed.

Sure I am, kid.
But I knew the magic of that hill, and how it worked;
it moved you, all you had to do was sit up there a while, in the dark.
Things happened up there.

I watched for the signs, that would tell me if we should stay or go.
I pulled out a bottle of Captain Morgan's rum and we took nips til our bellys felt warm.
Two owls hooted in the distant valley and the moon broke through the clouds lighting our shadows infront of us onto the grass.
The mist was light, but better than any Hollow wood movie could have done.
Then it hit,
and I felt her calm upon my arm.
Felt her relax.
Into the place I always had been,
into the mystery

It's beautiful, she whispered.
And it was.
And I knew.

This is when the fear lets you go
all the troubles of the day no longer have power over you,
where the joy comes back, like your childhood, all at once.

It's freedom baby. That's where it is.

I took out a small blue box I'd owned since I didnt know when, on it was a glittering hollogram, I twirled it in my fingers.
It had stars sparkling all the light of the moon that reflected in its depths,
and I felt her gaze marry with mine in there.
Two owls hooted in the valley,
the mist came in,
and we were gone.

Tuesday, 8 July 2008

In the end, I arrived at the ocean

I slipped that jacket over my shoulders, it felt good to be in it again. Security warmed my muscles, I smiled and stared out into the dark blackness of the ocean.

I loved the ocean at night, the fear, you could smell it. Where did it go, out there, our fear, I mean? Seemed like I could feel death itself touching me, a wave crashed loudly and made me jump. When your mind was dead from a day in the city, this was the place to come, hear the roar, stand before nature beating the rhythms of life. A little wake up touch.

The ocean and the mountains, the two places the Machine will never reach. Thank god. We can find our true path to freedom there. It's maybe why we love them. Love to stare at them in a day dream, remembering a feeling our ancestors knew. The concrete cannot block them out, cannot nullify our souls in these places, this is the wild truth.

This is where I have come, to stand tonight, and look out knowing I live just a short walk away, yea, that jacket feels good, like my iron shirt, my chi. I feel it return, into the depths of me. I fucking made it. It was THE road to hell but I fucking made it. Aint nothing gonna stop me now. I thought as a another wave broke and soaked my feet in cold. Except that of course. But I have time, and while I have, its good things I will do.

Monday, 7 July 2008

red umbrella in the sunshine

Took a break through lunch, I was in the city so strolled through Martin Place and sat on a bench to watch the women going by. Think I am falling in love with Sydney. Found myself staring at the sun shining off the tall buildings, listening to a man play some bad spanish guitar, it made me laugh, he was so bad it was comical.
Exactly what was needed.
Things had changed already and I noted it.
I had strolled this street many times on the way back to where I had been staying the past six months, but it was only now I had my own place, finally.
Shit, maybe I was starting to feel at home.

I was beginning to relax a bit, the first time in over a year.
Thought I would love travelling, but I didnt, it made me nervous, insecure.
I almost envied the stupidity of backpackers.
that and their money.
mine had run out.
it wasnt the first time,
but it was the first time I had no rescue.
Had been lost for a while back there, lost inside.
Still, things had turned out ok, as they often did, and I was in a place now,
I had somewhere to shut the door on the world.
light the candles, spill the wine, and listen to classical music.
funny how much we change.
funny how much we follow in the footsteps of others.

A girl walked by, she stood out from the crowd, something about her as much as she was carrying a bright red chinese umbrella and twirling it happily. I smiled at her and she grinned back. Wasnt ready yet to talk to people. Had barely spoken to strangers since being here. I didnt feel comfortable yet, it was starting to happen though. Yea, things were changing. The darkness inside was lifting.
I knew it was going to be alright.
She carried on by,
the guitarist played,
the sun shone,
alone and happy,
that's a good place to be.

Sunday, 6 July 2008

cj bolland - it aint gonna be me
XTC - runaways
I think it is the same for everyone , but the people who could save us are the ones that dont give a shit.
black fingernails, red wine

Saturday, 5 July 2008

Alicia

I’d been about a year living in Bristol when I returned to Oxford and to my old group of friends. I was about 21 or 22, the year possibly around 1988. At that point I was single for the first time since I was 15. I had split up with a girl of 6 years who had been my first love, and my only fiancĂ© to this day. I learnt a lesson there. I hadn’t handled it well and it took me the time in Bristol to start to bring myself back from a bad place. It hadn’t been helped by an acid trip gone wrong at the same time as my life spent in love was degenerating. So, I eventually returned to Oxford and into a shared house with some of my old buddies. Things had changed between us, but I hoped it would improve. They were my school friends but the split with my girlfriend had created some kind of irreparable catharsis in my relationship with my friends, I never really understood it. Bristol had been a hard time, I was alone with my dreams there and I missed company. My longed for dream was that of getting my band going. My band was in Oxford, so I gravitated back there eventually. I should have known it was over for us, but something new had happened to me; I had grown my hair, I had started to get a new confidence and shine that I had never owned during my claustrophobic relationship. Women were finally starting to look at me. I had loved Nick, I know that even more today than back then, but that love had a dark side; it had throttled us both to some extent, we were too young, we both had too much going for us to stay together, but breaking up had been soul destroying and messy, I had been totally devoted to her right up until the end. I didn’t know how to flirt or chase women. I had given that desire up the moment I fell in love with her. Could I have stayed with her forever and been happy? I don’t think so, I think my nature, or maybe even destiny, demanded something else from me. Finally, aged 22, after having slept with only 3 women in my life, I found myself at the crossroads, like it or not. It seemed I was attractive to women, and so I leapt eagerly into the opportunity to become a Romeo. I remember the night it happened, the very moment it began, her name was Alicia.

I was in a pub called the Gloucester Arms in Oxford with my drummer, Dave. We had just bought drinks and I was feeling excited by grand ideas that would never even get close to materialising, big bands dreams, every kid has them, most lose them along the way, it took me 40 years, I always found it hard to let dead horses go. A blonde girl came up to me and pronounced she wanted to fuck me. The look of envy on Dave’s face was something I would soon come to regret, it ruptured our friendship forever and ruined any chances of our band getting together. But this had never happened to me before; women wanting me was totally new. I left with her not long after that. She took me to a big house in the country just outside of Kidlington where she looked after horses, I don’t know where it was, but I felt like royalty that night, I was a vagabond gypsy, on top of the world. She was older than me, she was a hunter, a broken woman in many ways that I understand better now, but had no comprehension of back then. She carried out her promise, but she was too crazy for me. We saw each other on and off for about a month before she cut me off cold and I never heard from her again. I didn’t mind, I couldn’t really get with her trying to horsewhip me, and screaming inanities while bouncing viciously on my bits, then wanting me to beat her. I found it hilarious, but disturbing. I was just a simple country boy still. One of the last times I slept with her, I found a piece of paper under my bed not long after she left. She had been playing the ‘dice game’ listing things to do and then following how the dice rolled. They involved choices between having a picnic, leaving without saying a word, or sucking me off before picking a fight. It was too much for my young mind to understand. I felt I was with a much older woman, though she was only a few years older than me, still she was far more worldly wise and cynical, not to mention kinky. She would laugh at my dreams that I fearlessly expressed at that time. She called them ‘noble but naive’ and she was right. It didn’t hurt me, I thought she was an injured soul, lost, beyond saving. I wasn’t wrong, I just didn’t know I was on that same road. She knew, but she hurt too much to care. She fell for me in some way; one night after she had driven me to a bar in Islington, driving back, she said she was in love with me. I had few feelings for her other than a sort of self-centred pity and she was a fun fuck, obviously. I said she just needed something to hold onto, it wasn’t love, and that was where our relationship ended. I guess she didn’t want to feel again, and I wasn’t someone she could trust, I was starting to rise. She just wanted to control something, or be loved, or cared for in a way I couldn’t give. I felt sorry for her, but I was scared of her too. I thought I could do better, and that she was busted, but the truth was I just hadn’t been broken yet. I was healing from love wounds, but it wouldn’t be long before I found myself hurting, longing, wondering the same. Just another soul stretched beyond repair in the zoo.

I found myself in that same Islington bar she took me to 4 or 5 years later when I would unsuspectingly walk into it not long after moving to Mount Pleasant. It was a strange experience to be hit with the recollection like a deja-vu, it cut deep and left me wondering about destiny, and the way we seem to sometimes be delivered to places by people. Things connected up. Alicia had been the one to take me to London, the one to lead me into a new way of being, the one who showed me lust and it’s cruel yet oddly honest bounty. Two years later I had moved up to London, drawn by that same lust. My thoughts were of Alicia that night, I was flying high on drugs and seeing things from another angle. I had been through a lot of tough stuff by then. I was still a Romeo, so I liked to think, really I was just a slut. Things had changed. I was a hunter now. I was hungry for that same virginal shine that was now missing in me, eager to feed on some kind of innocence anywhere I could find it. I was one of the fallen, one of the beaten, one of the hurting, looking for true love, but taking lust instead, yet never getting enough to satisfy that strange, perennial emptiness. Lust was easier; it was colder, pleasurably selfish, it didn’t hurt or leave you vulnerable, and I think I preferred it that way.

I still wonder about Alicia, I seem to see things about her clearer now. I am fonder of her memory, I didn’t realise how much she had been hurt or what that meant, now I do. Now I understand how beautiful she was, kind too, but if I met her again tomorrow it wouldn’t be any different. It’s the romance of the lost moment, reality just never comes close, it would always develop to be an empty disappointment in comparison. But that was were it all began for me, with that girl that night. The magic landed on me and stayed for about 15 years.

*

I sit now alone in a recently rented apartment in Sydney, I am near the beach and trying to make things come together. Trying to find my little piece of happiness. I am no further in life than I was back then, no closer to love, no closer to making sense, no closer to succeeding in anything much. I have the same money in my bank that I did aged 22. That would be zero. I am pretty sure I have been through all the pains and cynicism that I could ever experience. Been through loves, and lusts, yet here I am still; alone, sighing, wondering at this feeling that lingers on each day, so much entwined in life that it must be an integral part of it. And on those lonely nights as I sip Chivas mixed with water over ice, a nostalgia comes, now that I am too old to use the glitter to attract company on lonely nights, even if I went out looking I know I would find nothing. I am not suffering; I have strength and a philosophical outlook, but I have to admit I miss those beautiful days, miss the magic, miss the Alicia’s that would come save me from the moment that might fall, and does now. I don’t know why I was given that gift or why it was gradually taken away. That’s life, right? It sure was good while it lasted and I made the most of it, knowing damn well it would soon be gone, but it makes no difference, maybe it is worse that I had it. But I have to say I felt blessed for a while, and I am grateful for having been granted that to experience. I took a big bite of the peach, but hot damn if I don’t miss the taste now it is gone.

The brief moments of feeling complete and content come when I am so fucked up I can’t speak or feel pain too much, knowing the fall back down is going to hurt so much more than going without would have done, but still people like me have to hurl ourselves at it, it is just what we do. It’s a cruel life whoever you are, don’t let anyone kid you otherwise. Devil or saint. There is no satisfaction to be had here, I still can’t decide if it is better to have loved and lost than never to have loved. To have been high and lived, or never to have lived. Either way it fucking hurts. I keep hearing those words a schoolteacher loved to say; ‘What you’ve never had, you never miss’ and he was right, the old bastard, but knowing that doesn’t leave us anywhere better, does it? Still we hunger, and still we are denied the pearl. One day soon I’ll die and be gone like all of us, it makes no sense, but that’s just how it is. How close did we get to nailing it?

I put the radio on and hunt for a station that works, it’s a new country, I am lost here. I find 106.5 where Richard talks patronisingly with his soft and velvety voice to lost lovers desperate to express their deepest emotions. Love songs play predictably gushing, new and old. Some take me back, some just hit me where it hurts. I sip the 12 year old whisky; the only salve I’ve got to hand, legally acceptable in Amsterdam. And I write into the computer surrounded by cold walls I cannot see through, and never will.

Tears fall upon tears
for all eternity
The damned have their dreams of salvation
but the righteous and good
will live forever
in fear of falling.

Thursday, 26 June 2008

An old boy called Dave

Some friends where going to Glastonbury town for the weekend and invited me along with them. I wasn’t doing anything special so I agreed. They were the right kind of people to go to Glastonbury with; kind, spiritual, genuine and intelligent. I usually went to the West Country with more nefarious characters; druggies who liked to rave and get high, so I figured it would make a nice change. There were 8 of us - three couples, a single girl and myself. The plan was to stay in one of the hippy retreats at the bottom of the Tor and explore. I’d been to Glastonbury town a few times I knew it quite well; the chalice well, the site of king Arthur and Guinevere’s grave, the Tor, the witches, the druids, the stories. I knew a lot about this world, you could say I came from it in some ways. I was a Glastonbury festival veteran, I must have been to 15 of them at least. It used to be my Mecca right up until the year the fences finally went up strong enough that they actually managed to keep illegal revellers out. It had to happen in the end, the law was about to shut it down for good, but that was the year Glastonbury Festival lost its real heart beat. It would never be the same again. You need the wildness, and it just won’t get it back. It is a corporate event now. Everything changes, it is just how it goes. Life cycles. The festival is something I could write a book about of itself, hell, maybe one day I will, but this story is about something else, it just so happens to have taken place in Glastonbury Town.

So we hired an 8-seater and drove the 150 miles from London to Somerset after work on a Friday night. It was winter but wasn’t too cold or harsh. Maybe it was spring I don’t exactly remember, but it sure wasn’t summer. We all stayed in a wood cabin on the grounds of the retreat. There was chanting and meditation in the evening, the usual vegetarian dishes, and lesbian hippies all over the place being twee and talking bollocks. Such places always made me sarcastic and obnoxious. I just didn’t seem to settle well into the whole pseudo-spiritual-environmentally-sound thing, which is strange considering how much of a freak I am and what I have seen and done. I always feel a little let down by them somehow, distanced. Like, where is the spunk? It’s all a little pretentious, or maybe I am. I am never certain. Well I tried to go along with it and play nice. My friends were the same, but seemed better adept at being polite and fitting in than I. So I snuck out for cigarettes and wondered when we would all go out drinking so that I could try and pull something. We found a crazy party in the end with drunken West Country cider drinkers playing ukuleles and cross-dressing, t’was quite a night. I started to think it had been a good move getting myself out of London for a change. We got up early the next day, hardly hung over, and raring to get out and about round the town. It is a great place to visit even if you aren’t a hippy. It’s small, but there is magic there, this is the true Isle of Avalon, and if you are even slightly bent towards a spiritual nature then I guarantee there is no better place in the world to have weird and amazing experiences. It is always good, always odd, and always somehow feminine, but I digress.

We did the town, and by the afternoon were ready for the walk up the Tor. For those who don’t know, the Tor is a medieval building atop a strangely layered hill that rises sharply above Glastonbury town. A king hung a monk up there once to prove some point, and there are strange tales about a Badgerman who lives inside the hill. Good old England. You can see the Tor for miles around and it has many legends associated with it. It is a powerful place. The sun was out, it was a calm day, but crisp, and we ascended from the far side up a zigzag path that had seats occasionally for to rest ones tired butt. It was at one of these seats that the single girl, J, met an old guy called Dave. I noticed him immediately because he made me laugh, well his hat did, it was torn in the middle, a flat cap clearly the worse for wear. I had walked past him and nodded hello, then snickered to myself, and continued on. J being the beautiful character that she is, decided to stop and chat, and the next thing we know she has invited him to join our little soiree up to the top of the Tor. Not a big deal, but as Dave’s story unfolded I was touched by J’s perceptiveness to know that this guy really needed something like this to happen just at that moment.

I can be a pretty ignorant son-of-a-bitch at the best of times, but it wasn’t long before I caught snippets of the conversation between J and the old boy, and my curiosity drew me to walk with them. It turned out Dave was 80 years old. He looked pretty good for it, I thought. He could still hold his own in the walk up the Tor. He said it was the first time he had gotten out of his house in a few months. Turned out his wife had died about 2 months previous and he had gone into a state of shock. She had been the only woman in his life; this guy was true old-school British. When she had died his world had, unsurprisingly, fallen apart. He said the last of their good friends had died a few years back and so when she went he realised he had no more friends on this earth. He had no other family alive, but we didn’t ask why. It had hit him hard, he said, and his collapse had been total. He was unable to make sense of the world for a while. For anyone who has had any kind of cathartic shock in life you will know that when these things happen you cease to be capable of functioning, and so it was his body and mind had shutdown. He said he got steadily worse until he ended up laid in bed for 2 days, covered in his own faeces, totally out of his mind, unable to eat, or move, and no idea what to do other than wait for death, and so he waited. What upset him the most was that no one from the local church they had attended for the last few years rang, or came to see how he was doing. Dave was a Christian. He was devastated by the realisation that all those god fearing so-called do-gooders had been so selfish. He couldn’t understand it. In the end, after a couple more days, he managed to get up and clean himself and left the house to get some food. All this had happened a few days previously. He had walked out from his home that morning to the Tor hoping to try to start getting himself back on track, he couldn’t afford the bus fare either and was waiting a few days to collect his next pension, what little it was.

I was shocked by his story and more so, that I had not picked up on his state at all. He just looked like another old boy sat on a bench enjoying the air. I had walked passed so many of them in my time and never considered it much. It got me thinking; how many people had I passed in my life and ignored, yet had this kind of story and just wanted someone to tell it to, some stranger to connect with? You just wouldn’t know to look at them. The loneliness of growing old was so unavoidable as you become more and more distant from people, with less and less reason, or ability, to communicate to strangers who would really probably rather ignore you. I had been pretty blasĂ© towards him, I was always like this, and I had no idea until then just how bad I was. I had seen that loneliness before too, with my Granddad and my Gran. It dawned on me that there was no escaping this fate for any of us. The only way out was an early death and no one wanted that. Life was so god damn cruel. The future was a pretty scary place.

Dave hung out with us for the day, he was so revitalised by having human contact it was a beautiful thing to see. He said he had never met people like us, always hanging round older people as he had, but he was no fuddy duddy, he’d had many adventures in his life, a few of which he told us about. You could see the glow in his eyes as he recounted them and the pleasure he took in having an audience that actually was interested to listen. I wondered what kind of life he must have been living the past few years and what kind of people he’d had to suffer just to find company. The human world can be so full of coldness and false pretence. He kept saying how different we were, but I knew we were just younger, it was changing for us every day, getting a little harder and more isolated.

We took him back to the retreat and the lesbians made a big fuss of him, danced with him, fed him, and generally totally won me over for being able to give the guy a bit of love that he really deserved. I was shamed to admit they were better people than me after all, they knew how to give love to a stranger. Another thing that amazed me about Dave was how he had no bitterness in his soul whatsoever. I was 40 and already 40 times more twisted over life than this guy, and my story was nothing compared to his. But there was an unspoken fear there, we all sensed it in our own ways, it was our fear; the reflection he brought to us that made us look into our own lonesome souls and quake in terror at the inevitable day that this would happen to us, that we would find ourselves alone, love-lost, and helpless. I guess this is why all those churchgoers shunned him, instead bowing to their false sanctuary they called the Church of God, going each Sunday to put a little money in the charity tray just to buy off the guilt they must feel, because I figured everyone of them knew damn well they were avoiding Dave.

The sad thing was, or maybe it wasn’t sad at all, but on the journey home the next morning after what had been a life changing weekend in many ways, I sat in the back staring out the window at the rain falling on the queues of cars taking the M4 motorway back to the Big Smoke, when a thought struck me; Had anyone bothered to get a contact number or address for him? I asked, knowing I wasn’t the sort to stay in touch, but thinking they might, of course no one had.

That was the way it went sometimes, you fell into a moment, you passed people like ships in the night, experienced something profound yet often disturbing, and then it was gone like dust through your fingers before you could grab the goodness in it. A guilty silence descended, but I knew we had done something right, there was nothing more we could have done really. The experiences came and went, like life did, and we had shared it in the best possible way. If we had clung on, it wouldn’t have kept the magic, it happened how it happened and it was right, I felt sure. I snuggled down, pulling my jacket round me, and listened to the hum of the engine and the music play quietly, watching the red car lights lead me back to one of the biggest cities in the world and yet a place where you could live in anonymity without speaking to a soul for years, all the while surrounded by over a million people. Makes you wonder about us all really. How cold we get, how uncommunicative we become as the years go by, and how hard it is to stay happy, so god damn hard just to believe everything is going to be ok in the end.

Sunday, 22 June 2008

The Blue Butterfly

It lay shimmering in the African morning sun. Iridescent blue that appealed to my eyes. I crouched down to look closer and saw it was a beautiful blue butterfly. The way the sun created such rich, deep colours on its wings fascinated me. But something about it was not right. Moving its wings slowly, not flapping, and it was lying on its side. It was about the size of my hand, but I had the small hands of a six year old. A shadow came over the sun and I looked up.

‘What you got there? said my mum.

‘A butterfly mum, I think it’s broken’ I said.

I could see something in her eyes change as she looked more closely at it. I didn’t understand that look.

‘Can I keep it?’ I asked

‘Well its probably best to let it be’ she said

‘I’ll look after it, I am sure I can fix it’ I was pretty convinced of my abilities, all it took was love, right?

In the end she relented, but there was something that annoyed me in the way she did. It felt like she was hiding something from me.

I took the butterfly to my room, put it on a shelf and watched it. I could see its little proboscis moving in and out. I willed it to get better, I spoke to it, tried to gently touch it and stroke it, but dust came off on my fingers when I did, so I didn’t touch it again. I made some prayers to God, made some promises to be good if he fixed my little friend. Then I got my eye up real close and peered at it. It had such strange big and round, black eyes. I wondered what it was seeing. My Gran came in.

‘What do butterflies eat Nan?’ I asked

‘You could try giving it some honey’. I thought it was a great idea.

I fetched some and placed a small amount by its head as near to that flicking proboscis as I could get. I stayed for maybe an hour watching it, praying it would fix. I knew it would. I loved it so much, I knew it was going to be grateful to me and stay with me.. There was a kid at school who had a pet a crow that would sit on his shoulder. I wanted a crow. I didn’t know how you got one, he never told us. He never said much at all, he was pretty cool though.

‘Dinner’s ready Mark’ I heard my mum shout. I didn’t want to go but I knew they would insist.

At dinner I sat staring out the window thinking about the butterfly, I was eager to get back but my family had rules about eating; Kids never left the table until all the family had finished. It always frustrated me, there was always something better to be doing, usually out in the garden, especially in Africa, there was so much to see, I loved it there. It was so alive, in any bit of dirt you could find something. All adults seemed to want to do was talk, and about really boring things. Their voices brought my mind back, it sounded like they were talking about me, but I wasn’t sure.

‘He’s got to learn sometime Meredith’ said Gran.

‘Learn what?’ I asked.

‘We aren’t talking about you dear’ my mum lied, giving me another look I didn’t understand.

Why was she sad? I wanted to hug mum. There was something odd about Gran though, she was pretty scary, I wasn’t sure I liked her. She always showed me kindness, but to a kid, her worldly wisdom made little sense, she was a tough old bird.

When they finally let me go it was from a silence. All their eyes followed me out. I ran down the corridor to my room, burst through the door hoping to find the butterfly flying around, but it wasn’t. It was still in the same position I had left it, except now it was motionless. It looked just as beautiful, nothing about it had changed, nothing in the colour of it’s wings, or the eyes, there was nothing that really showed me much of anything, it just didn’t move anymore. I pushed at it. I couldn’t understand this. How could it not be moving, why would God not fix it after I had promised. I didn’t understand what this was.

My mum came in. She had tears in her eyes, and as soon as I saw her I burst into tears too. I wasn’t really sure why, there was a feeling growing in my belly that I had never known before, it was vast and uncomfortable, it was painful and I didn’t want it to be there, I wanted it to stop growing but it wouldn’t, it grew until it had consumed the warm feeling that was normally inside me. As it did all I could do was cry, and the more I cried, the more my mum cried.

‘Why wont it move any more mum?’ I sobbed
‘Its dead, darling. God wanted it to go to heaven to be with him’
‘Why couldn’t he let it stay here with me?’
‘I don’t know darling’

She had no answer for me, nothing that I could understand. I cried until I felt sick. After a day or two I got used to that funny feeling in my belly, or maybe it just went away again, but I couldn’t stop thinking about the butterfly or why God hadn’t let me keep it. I wouldn’t cheer up. I couldn’t, instead I sulked about the house, being scolded occasionally by my Gran for not ‘being a little more grown up’. I guess I was a sensitive kid.

I was moping about in the garden when I heard a voice,
‘Mark, come with me’ it was Smart, the gardener who worked at my Grans house. I had never spoken to him before, he was a really old black man and that scared me, I still wasn’t used to people with black skin. They seemed to keep themselves very separate from us, he never sat at dinner with us, and I never heard Gran invite him. I wasn’t sure what he wanted me to do.

‘Come, come’ he said again in his African twang, and pulled gently at my hand.

In the end curiosity got the better of me as much as his insistence, and I followed him out into the garden. He took me to the rockery and carefully held my shoulders for support as he got me to lean over a small bush and look on the other side. What I saw there was the most amazing thing I had ever seen. There were two snakes curled up enjoying the sun. I had never seen a snake before. I looked at Smart and he beamed at me. I beamed right back, I liked Smart, and best of all that pain in my belly was gone too.

Saturday, 21 June 2008

The other world

I was struggling to see straight. We had been in the club for about 6 hours and there was another 6 hours to go, if we wanted it. I could feel the pills wearing off. I could see P chewing his jaw. He saw me looking at him,

‘What you laughing at?’ He asked

I couldn’t reply. I was still too whacked out. I just raised my slitted eyelids and dropped them back down again. Too much trouble. I think I was chewing my jaw too.

N came over. He had something in his hand and pushed it towards my mouth. I struggled to stop him. The reaction made my voice work again though I noticed that colours were still blurring too bright to make much sense of anything. God the music was loud.

‘What the f...!’ I pushed his hand away. ‘What is it?’ I asked. He was grinning at me.

‘Acid’ he said conspiratorially.

‘Oh, ok’

For some reason this was fine, and I took it and popped it into my mouth. Felt that ever so subtle slither of ether-like glisten on my taste buds that told me it was the real deal. I swallowed, and gulped it down with a bottle of beer he had in his hand. I already felt more awake just from knowing what was coming next.

We went higher that night. Maybe 7 of us. At one point I tapped C on the shoulder and pointed to a man walking across the smoke filled dance floor.

‘Blue Dragon’ C said.

‘Come from the underworld’ I replied.

We both knew. We watched to see where this creature would go. It drifted off into the smoke and was gone. Then a woman came up. She was all arms and zest, like a jumping cricket. She had a cricket soul. We could see it. She offered us a smoke on her fat reefer and we breathed it in. The three of us enveloped for a while in a cloud of weed. I don’t know what was said but something passed between us.

A little higher we went, a little higher, and a little higher. Edging up to the place where you would never remember, not even therapy could reach it because it made no sense. It was the other world. It felt like the place we really belonged. Everyone was happy when they got there, there was a calm and peace that decended and a joy too. An openness. I never understood why it was so hard for us to get there. We had to do so much. blow our minds. Sure there was fear, that followed us in, from this world. Always the fear but you could control it for a while. But when you fell, oh dear christ, then it went down like Icarus.

I tapped C again and pointed to the ground near our feet. This happened every time. He smiled.

‘Vortex’ I said, ‘ I think that is where all this comes from’
He nodded. He understood. It was good to share the vision. I felt good. Kindred spirits I rarely found.
The energy in this place was different to anywhere I had ever been. I reckoned it was some kind of portal to the otherworld. It was the only explanation I had.

Then F walked by. He appeared to be on something of a mission. He was wearing nothing but some tight lyrca bicycle shorts and a Vietnam US helmet.
We watched him make his way past us to the DJ booth whereupon we heard him try to order chips from the DJ. Unsurprisingly this didn’t go well. F was an insistent sort.

I don’t remember too much else. The acid and poppers were taking me out of the last bit of mind where memory could function. F returned past us. Disgruntled at his failure to acquire chips and aided by a suprisingly understanding member of Scorpion Security. C and me struggled to stop laughing long enough to observe him moments later attempting to unscrew the top of a black guys baldhead. That was too much, and I fell on the floor clutching at my stomach.

I have no idea how I got home or even if I did. This was commonplace in London clubs in the mid 90’s. The party moved on but my visions remain. They had always been there really, I just learnt to slip into the state of mind where I could see. We all have it. I just never came back from that once it opened up, some people are like that. I don’t mind. I would share them, but they make no sense in this world, so would be of no use to you.

Put those thoughts to paper

What is this longing to be free? Keeps me up at night burning the midnight oil. Keeps me fighting through life living for the dream. Keeps the fire in my blood. What is this mission I am inexorably bound to. Like a captain on a crewless ghost ship damned to sail the seas looking for a land that is lost in time. What is this? Why is this in me?

I have always been strange. It wasnt drugs that did this. Maybe it was all the travel as a kid, never settling down. Maybe it was this, or maybe it was that. It only became a bother to me when I could no longer control it. When it took me over. That is when it became something of a curse.

I have been an adventurer, but never quite became a superhero. Which is a shame as I would have done great things, but I suppose we can’t have everything. But when the adventure trail cools, and I sit of an evening with a candle on the table, pen in hand, and my ship gently sways from side to side still moving through quiet waters, I find myself back to that same place. That same lament. That same question, that same why.

What is this longing to be free? Free of what? I am not sure I even know.

Glitter in the eyes

Walked down to the end of Rushcutter bay. It seems to be the place I go when I need a Saturday afternoon chat with ...whatever might be out there listening.

I sat on the wall at the end and watched the sun glitter off the ocean, sparkling into my half closed eyes. It felt most divine. I let my mind undo reality for a while. Felt good. Took the pain of the hangover off.

Then a tune I had downloaded came on my iPod; Passion by Gat Decor. It threw me because I hadn’t heard this tune since I was high on ecstasy back in Turnmills in London during the 90’s. That glitter in the eyes mixed with the flood of joy at such an unexpected recollection hit me hard, and I remembered we nearly made it. We touched heaven on those nights. So far out of our minds we were insane enough to be liberated for a moment. It was tribal and wild. Half naked stomping about a club, feeling the love, dancing like bastards, like we had escaped the suffering, the pain, the drudgery of real life. For a few hours we had.

It’s a cruel twist that most of the people on that journey back then are now either dead, or struggling with inner demons from the effect of long term drug abuse. Glimpsing heaven has a high price. No one wanted to come down, so generally we didn’t. I don’t think drugs are a bad thing. I think we are searching for something, and there are going to be causalities until we get there. If we ever do. Freedom costs lives. We are trying to direct our evolution, speed it up.

I felt ok in my reverie looking out on the Harbour. I felt pleased with myself that I had made it this far. I was living on the other side of the world. Lost the good friends, but escaped the bad. Next week would see me move to Bondi, finally getting to live by the sea again. Last night was a full moon. It felt like a change had come, my phone broke too, so I lost all the numbers of people I had met since being here in Sydney. It was a new beginning and I knew this. I understood the rules of destiny. So I went out and got drunk alone in a club. Enjoyed the music. Always following the music.

I walked back home through the afternoon sun and Kings Cross. I was feeling pretty good. As I walked up the back streets I noticed two people at the top by a phone. It was a deserted street. I suddenly knew there was something bad about these two. I could see it. I can’t explain that, but my instincts are fine-tuned. I trust them. I was right. As I got closer I could see the eyes, I could see the effects of ICE wearing off. I crossed the road. They looked at me. It was jungle. We all knew something, like fucking telepathy. I knew they would kill me for money, and were high and in a bad place, and they knew that I knew it. I felt the chill of fear. Could this be it for me? I wondered. The creatures shifted as if trying to figure if they could take me. I knew they could, but I couldn’t let them know it. I then slipped into my own dark place. Nothing mattered there. I caught the eyes again and in that moment the bad stopped. No one wants hell to descend, everyone wants the easy life. Hell is a look in the eyes that means it. I figure all three of us were already in hell, none of us needed to make it any worse. It would have got bloody.

Fuck ICE. I am glad I gave up full-time narcotic abuse before that stuff hit the streets.

I pass the trouble, turn into the main road and am glad to see normal humans milling around doing what they do, shopping and talking and shit. That was close. It’s always too close. This is the world I live in. It is ugly and cruel. It is hungry and dangerous. It is nature in all her murderous glory. Beautiful to observe, terrifying to experience.

All we wanted was a shot at freedom, a real chance to make it, we never made it, we ended up in Hell. But some of us survive yet. We saw heaven, almost believed she was a real place, almost dared to believe. In a week I will be by the sea and my journey will continue. Maybe I am still a believer. I just don’t really know anymore. It is like I am in auto-pilot willing to fight only because I dont know what else to do.

Thursday, 19 June 2008

Yea, but I don't remember much...

Maybe you should write your memoirs – she said.

I thought about it. I had already noticed how past forty things start to get a little, well, you have memories and that’s it. The zing has gone. I already said how I felt it go. It’s cruel. Watching the world spin on without you.

I decided not to reply. I would think about it a while. I still figured I had the music in me. I loved the music, the music loved me, sometimes. I wasn’t ready to be a writer. I could write shit for days, but when I tried to say something honest, from the heart, it always seemed to come out wrong. It never read right. Nah, I wasn’t ready yet to write my memoirs.

I was in a limbo, some kind of formative stage where nothing more was going to happen in life, nothing pleasant at least, but neither was any of what had happened going to make much sense. Not yet. I couldn’t lay claim to wisdom. I was too young. 50 maybe. If I could live that long.

So what to do for the next 10 years?

I didn’t gamble anymore, it bored me. I didn’t fuck any more, it just wasn’t satisfying like it used to be. Whores didn’t do it for me. I wasn’t interested in love, it just hurt or made demands I wasn’t very good at living up to. I didn’t drink anymore, hang on, I drank like a fucking fish so that was a lie, but I had eased back on the drugs. I was pretty much clean. Jesus! No wonder life looked bland. I had chosen LIFE. And it seemed life was pretty boring as a straight guy. How had it come to this? Oh yea, I had decided to step out of the gutter for a moment and get a job. I was alive and almost healthy but as a result, shame of all shames, I was B.O.R.E.D.

I wondered how easy it would be to score some acid in this town. I saw a bus go by, a sign on the side said ‘Follow the Music’, I wondered what it could mean. Hell, I didn’t need acid! I still hadn’t come down since that brown microdot in ’86.

This was true.

Hmmm, my memoirs. I sure had done a lot of stuff, most of it crazy too. I figured I was a good candidate for a memoir. I just had no idea where to begin or how to write it. Or even why. What was the point? What would I be trying to say? Who would be interested? I checked the number of people who had visited my blog: about 400 since it began in June 2007. It wasn’t many, and of them only 3 had dared to leave messages. That wasn’t exactly a fan club. So whom was I kidding here? Who the fuck would read my memoir?

It was a good point and one that troubled me. The more I thought about it, the more I found myself asking what life had been all about. Never a good thing. Especially when you’re still caught in it’s pincers and feeling the squeeze, smelling it’s breathe and seeing the ugly smile of the crustaceous beastie, that surely will devour this sweet soul long before it gets a chance to truly shine. Aint that always the way here.

Fuck the fucking fucker!

I shall call it ‘Memoirs of the Brave but Stupid’, and it shall be a stormy tempest of truth and heroism. Oh aye.

Sunday, 15 June 2008

Ever wondered why you felt you were possessed by the Devil?

When you can’t find explanations for things that are hard to define, it sometimes helps to look at them from a different perspective.

There is a labyrinth of impenetrable darkness inside everyone. Kind of like a blind spot. Most of the time we don’t go in there, but sometimes we end up in there and get lost for a while. Sometimes things follow us back from there and we never get free of them again. Sometimes things come to us from there without us doing anything to provoke or call them.

For whatever reason today’s world wants to deny it even exists. We are scared of it. Anyone who shows signs of being in there is someone we go out of our way to avoid, in case they pull us in with them. Then there are the strong ones, the ones who go in there regularly and what they find in there they use to good effect in the world. They are usually powerful people and usually blinded by their own power. It is the nature of everything that comes from that place to be impossible to pin down, impossible to see directly, yet it is strangely attractive to us on a deep level. It has the effect of making humans behave in bizarre ways. Without certain key things to protect us, we don’t stand a chance against the effect of what happens in there. People who spend too long in there, or end up in there by disaster in their lives, or by accident, generally go crazy and often stay that way. Fear is the key to knowing that place and recognising when it is touching our lives. Fear is also the reason we have deliberately sort to avoid it all our lives, as have many generations before us.

This is a precursor to something that I have been trying to get a perspective on but failed to for years. Trying to find a way to understand and reference the things I have seen or that have effected me, but for which I have found no reference points in the culture I am born into. It is a real enough place because it is based on perception. As soon as our perception of the real world alters we find ourselves functioning from within this other place. Usually uncontrollably and with a constant sense of terror and fear that forces us to try to escape it. The things we find in there lead us to question our lives, our sanity, and our reason d’etre. They often appear to reach beyond our lifetime, and that is when things can become a problem in our current lives as a direct result of entering in there.

It is a doorway, the indigenous people who existed most everywhere around the planet before modern man, seem to have referred to it as ‘the spirit world’ or ‘the other side’ and dealt with it in far more deliberate and controlled ways than modern man does. There is a good chance a lot of the emotional problem experienced by modern man are a direct result of avoiding dealing with what lies in the darkness beyond that doorway we find within.

Emotional problems, inexplicable outbursts, uncontrollable sources of anxiety can often be traced to this darkness within us. Trying to resolve it with our current perspective clearly fails to work because it doesn’t provide us the tools with which we need to manipulate any part of us touched by it. To get to the root of it we need to look at it in ways that make little sense except in context of the rules of this labrynthical, inexplicable and mysterious aspect of us. It requires suspending our modern rationales and letting something older, and to some extent larger, come into play.

There is a danger here; in opening up to something that can affect us in ways our minds radar cannot pick up we risk bringing effects upon our lives that are uncontrollable, unexpected, and far reaching. In this regard an attempt to heal something can very quickly become a recipe for disaster that might take years, if not lifetimes, to put right. The seriousness of this point cannot be stressed enough. As a result any practices that help open a person up should rightfully be veiled in secrecy and protected simply in order to protect those who might stumble upon it.

It is not something we really ever have to be concerned with in our lives, other than as a dinner conversation topic, unless we find ourselves caught in an internal quandary that negatively affects our daily lives and defies curing by normal methods. It is under these circumstances that we have to draw on other forms of knowledge in order to bring about a harmonious solution and restore balance to our lives again. It is often a simple remedy that precipitates a cure, the hard part is reaching the place in which we can find that cure.

Karma, Past lives, Possession are all elements that are relevant in the context of this part ourselves. Anxiety, violence, fear and a sense of loss of control are all common attributes experienced when working in this area of ourselves.

To bring about a balance to agitation experienced within us we need to follow the symptoms to their root, into the labyrinth of impenetrable darkness and let another part of ourselves take over from the mind in leading us to a solution. In doing this we begin to find these symptoms are a cry for help from a part of us that runs deeper than our individual lifetimes. In trying to understand this concept it may help to think of our bodies having genetic imprints that we have inherited, this is easy for our minds to accept and explains to some extent how and why we function the way we do in this life; based on a long and evolved lineage of people going back to the beginning of man, and even life on earth. A grand notion, but one science has enabled us to accept. And so it is with the emotional and spiritual aspects of ourselves, through entering into that doorway we start to come across the long line of inherited experiences, lifetimes, that connect up to the living energy that we are today. From this perspective it isn’t too hard to understand how unresolved issues, emotions and actions that are nothing to do with our current lives, can come to have a bearing on us, all the while having their root somewhere else. Hence the difficulty in dealing with the cause of our reactions when we have no explanation or point of reference for them in this life, hence too the failure to bring about a solution. It is for this reason we have to go much deeper.

Looking at it in this way we can estimate that most people alive today and part of the Western culture have potentially at least 50 generations of people in their families between their indigenous ancestors and themselves. It is unlikely that any of those 50 generations ever dealt with their emotional issues in the terms we have discussed here. Is it also possible that we have 50 generations within us that are not necessarily our blood family, but our own ‘past lives’ dating back to a time when we ourselves might have been part of an indigenous culture that was aware of an ‘other side’ or ‘spirit world’ and actively sought to placate problems of an emotional and spiritual nature by delving into it on those terms.

It isn’t so difficult, then, to imagine that there are a lot of unresolved problems that could have filtered down to us today. Problems we probably would feel we have no responsibility to address, let alone consider. But what if we are wrong? What if the very clue to resolving many of our problems we experience today lies in putting into balance problems caused by people of yesterday? If we knew doing this would help us to live happier lives would it still be something we would be willing to refuse responsibility for?

Finding the problem is one thing, resolving it is another altogether. But the first step is in revealing the true root of the problems we experience within ourselves today. Shining a light on aspects of it that we have probably intuited all along but never had the method by which to hear what our inner being has been trying to tell us. In revealing this mystery to our minds it is possible we will set in motion that which will allow us to unravel the tension that has vibrated within us across time, and vibrates in us today. It is rarely a pretty experience nor an easy going one to face. But unless we address it, it will continue to vibrate in our lives, and resonate with the world outside us as we walk through it, and therein lies the root cause of our turmoil.

Ever wondered why you felt you were possessed by the Devil?

Sanctuary

I get in, its been a long hard day, I could have gone for a drink to take the edge off but something drew me home instead. I light a candle on my bedside table. Switch the light off and sit on the bed catching my breathe.

This is my sanctuary.

I look at the shadows dance about from the flickering light. The figurines that make up what I guess you could call my shrine. It is a shrine of sorts. Each one reminding me of something out there, a god maybe, a force, energy, or guiding light that we communicate with on such a deep level that words mean little to try to express it. They've been with me some years now. This is my personal religion, this is how I work.
I feel myself relax a little. This is where things make sense, not out there in the machine. In here I am some kind of shaman. I laugh to think of it. What must I look like sat here in a business suit in front of a candle, light dancing about over small figurines and little totems? Like a kid with his toys.

That anxiety is in me still, the one that tugs at the guts all the waking day. The ache. Sometimes so powerful it drives me crazy. I know what I have to do. This is why I came home tonight. I had to. I need to dress the wound that never heals.

I straighten my back, half shut my eyes, let my mind drop a little, focus on the breathe moving in and out of my nostrils and try to bring that nagging wildness that jumps and lunges inside to some kind of silence.

It takes me a while. Maybe 20 minutes and then I feel it. It is subtle, like a slow stilling of shaken water, but as it calms and the ripples inside become almost nothing, then I know I am there. I feel the anxiety dissipate, like a mirage that I had been unavoidably engrossed, obsessed with. Feeding it with my own energy all along. I feel it then, a smile from deep, deep inside. It doesnt rise onto my face but it is there within glowing inside me and spreading through my body, it feels beautiful, like a gigantic warmth and I remember again how it feels to be happy and strong. I stay there for as long as I can. Sometimes an hour but rarely more. The distractions come, maybe a thought or a sudden feeling of boredom, or some noise outside, but something always comes and breaks in. The world is so demanding, on the inside as well as out.

I am enveloped in an exquisite feeling. It's one I have spent a long time nurturing and growing. I wonder about it, wonder why I can't hold it unless I drop into this silence. Eventually I have to leave it. Surface again to the world to function, and it doesnt take long before I am fighting the demons again, feeling overwhelmed and confused and agitated. They are there waiting for me outside the door, one day their barbs and poisons will get through my armour, will get in, and that day will be my last. I know this. I dont pretend I am not afraid. But this is my church, here in this room tonight but it could be anywhere, I could make it out of mud and bones because that is where it all began. I believe it is the same for us all.

I open my eyes. I can feel a shine on them. I smile. Why didnt they teach us how to do this at school? This is what we need, this that has kept me alive these past few years. I look in the candle. The atmosphere in the room so different now to when I arrived. I've shaken it off. I know this is a special flame I keep burning, maybe this is my task, yea maybe it is. Maybe one day it will all make sense why it is with me, why I carry it here in the midst of the machine, the land of the spiritually dead, the world of amnesiacs. We stew in a pain that we can't ever let go until we remember where we came from and why we came. I hold the light tonight. This is the campfire and all are welcome, if they only knew.

I have my freedom. I have my escape whenever I need it. This is why I am not afraid anymore. This is why I can look at the dirt and decay, the agony and death, the bitter cruel darkness of any part of life. I can look right at it and know - as much as it can painfully devour us, it can never really touch us at all.

Saturday, 14 June 2008

For all or nothing

Something has got me mystified at the moment. The way we get opened up by life. It cuts to the bone. You recognise others who have been wounded that deep. It’s all the way. Only a few manage to stay sane, any bum on the street is a classic case of the fallen. The others, ones like maybe you and me, we manage to pretend, manage to remain functioning in our lives somehow. I don’t understand it. I have given up everything, been thrown and leapt into death and the fires of insanity, and yet sprung back each time. Alive again. Maybe not even wanting to be, but in truth, not really much caring either way. It’s almost a gift.

All I ever wanted was the world to respond, the universe out there, just to do something that showed it had a value to our existence, however small we may be.

I watch everyone each day. Are they all so blind to what is happening about them. Floating on a rock spinning out of control in God knows what kind of creation? And yet the most important thing to them is something so inconsequential as what is on the TV next, or what they can do to impress someone, to belong. That’s what I call crazy.

People think it’s depression. I even wonder myself sometimes, but it isn’t depression, it is a darkness, sure, but it is a powerful truth. A fearless truth. It has its purpose. Life in a foxhole. Staring at the shadows knowing the unknown lies behind them, fills them, waiting for us. Looking at them too long sucks the shine out of your eyes. That’s the danger. That was my mistake in the end. Looking too long and too hard in the hope of finding an answer, a cure for the fallen. I was warned, I just couldn’t listen, wouldn’t listen. Not interested. Give me one punch at God, just one good one. The difference between us is that I’ll help him back up and give him a hug and maybe say something like ‘see how it feels, now don’t do it again’. I wont leave him in the dirt.

It isn’t a cry for help, or a tear from a broken heart, it isn’t a wish for better days, or a fear of loneliness, or any thing of the kind. It’s deliberately living with a poison in your veins because there has to be a solution for all, and it won’t be found any other way.

Sunday, 1 June 2008

The ugliness of truth

I am struggling to survive
I feel pretty alone here, I just dont connect with people. I look at faces as they pass by me and as the weeks become months this becomes a painful recognition that I am failing to have any kind of meaningful communication with anyone. It creates an isolating feeling that snowballs.
I struggle to stay afloat.
I begin to understand why people take their lives rather than continue on
when all seems hopeless
but I believe I am better than that.
I believe I am stronger.
I know the truth is I am not, but if I dont pretend to be...
I can see the fall below
and I wont survive it.
I have to pretend,
so I do.
I make like it will all work itself out
eventually.
I lie to myself.
I know what is coming.

People dont like to talk about this kind of thing.
They get scared being reminded of their own isolation and fear.
So I dont speak about it.
Who would I tell anyway.

Right now I am broke.
This means I have no place to live
so I sponge off my family for comfort and a room
This can only go on for so long.
I dont feel secure but I have shelter.
I see the months go by and the pay checks arent enough to bring me up
from the pit.
I hold steady
I consider this something
It leaves me with just enough to drink
I dont hurt when I drink
but I hurt double when I am hungover.

I am lonely.
I never thought I would hear myself say that
but I am lonely as hell right now, if I am honest.
just to feel a human touch again would be something
this barren time
has left me needy for comfort
I never used to be needy. I dont understand this in myself.
I try to block it out
but it cant be blocked out.
not this kind of thing.
I tried paying for a whore
but it was an empty experience. so fake. and left me feeling more alone than before
and a lot poorer.


Drunk in a cab on the way home from a party I had to gatecrash to get invited to
I held a girls hand.
I never realised how much warmth comes from a woman's hand
when you need it so much.
I told her. She smiled awkwardly.
I tried to kiss her.
She pushed me away
‘I have a boyfriend’ she lied. I knew she didnt.
But she kept hold of my hand
and I was grateful for that.
When she got out, I saw the black cab driver had been staring at us all along in the mirror.
‘What?’ I said angrily, more hurt at being reminded how cold life was,
and how my selfish and desperate attempts had been watched without my realising.
I didnt understand his reply.
I wanted to be mean;
‘Just fucking drive the car mate’ I said, and looked out the window to take my mind off it all.
I didnt feel guilty.
I could see his eyes, and in them I could see something I didnt like. I saw that in a lot of people.

I wondered how long this would last.
I wondered how long I would miss home that didnt even exist for me anymore.
I wondered how long it would be before I had a life around me again
and not empty weekends spent walking round a city full of people
all busy going somewhere.
While I waited.
Not knowing what I was waiting for,
or why.
Looking at women.
Wondering why talking to people was so god damn hard.
I'd get drunk alone in bars
but that just attracted strange looks and strange and mean people. Lost souls.
I had joined their ranks and that was unexpected.

Destiny brought me here
but for what? for this?
I didnt understand how this had happened.
I used to be friendly. It was so easy once.

Now I was living terrified of the future. The emptiness of it. The pain of it. Every morning waking up from a bad nights sleep, maybe three or four hours at most. Looking at the bags under my eyes and fighting to throw off a heavy emptiness in my belly that came from knowing no meaning in your life. none at all. A sick feeling. A sickness I can't explain, but if you have felt it too, you will know.
It comes with a sense that there is nothing more than this.
That this is the truth of things.

Waiting for the pay check.
Spent before it arrives.
Hating the job,
but needing it more.
And no where to go on a Friday night.
Unable to talk to people for more than a few minutes
because something hurts too much inside.
It's like it wants to burst out and smother everything.
Slowly becoming a bitter anger.
like a lost and damned spirit
got caught in my soul.
somewhere along the way.
This is not me.
How did I become this?

This is the ugliness of truth
when we are in it
people cannot get near to us.
and we fall back
alone
into something cruel and cold beyond belief.
emptiness.
this is not a place to die.
but there is no way to fight it.
and there is no escape.
I do not know what comes next.

So, you wanna save the world ?

What is the point in trying to change the world?
The world is just some big reflection of what is going on inside of us.
The way we act in it, tells a story about how we are in ourselves.
People who want to save the world, it seems to me, want saving themselves.

and so on.

I sat in on a meditation class, they told me ‘I does not exist’ and proceeded to prove to me why. I got the idea. But grasping it to the bosom and really experiencing it, was not so easy. So ‘I currently does exist’
but is working on it.

I emailed someone from blog world, in retrospect it was a mistake. I either said too much or didn’t say enough. The reply. Well, the reply was silence. I have this effect on people. I am the kind of guy who gets bitten by dogs that have ‘never done that before, it must be something about you’

Correct. Something about me. That’s nice. Maybe it is my polecat scent.

Anyway I emailed this person and what I wanted to say was this –

‘Look, I actually understand you better than you think, I have no idea why, we have had similar things happen to us in our lives, bad things, real bad things, maybe that is it, but right now it seems to me you are slowly becoming a caricature of yourself, and instead of using whatever gift you have for good, you are heading down a path where your power will desert you and instead of owning it, as you think you do now, you will become what you fear. You are fishing with that shit and it aint good for you.‘

Yea pretty dramatic and judgemental stuff huh, which is why I didn’t write it and instead wibbled on like a homo and as a result got no reply.

You are probably also getting the hang of why otherwise placid dogs attack me. But enough about me and my ways. We were talking about saving the world and god knows, right about now it needs it.

I was thinking of starting a new religion. In fact what the hell, this calls for a whole new post...

Tuesday, 27 May 2008

at what temperature does cheese become a gas?

Time matters not

Excuse the time-line jumpiness of some of the below posts, I found them lost in the dark dusty folders on my 'puter and so stuck them up here since they needed some reason to be.

On the first day of dying..

Oh my god! old age is for real. I don’t know whether to fight it or just acquiesce. What do you do? you wont believe it when it starts to hit you. Its just a dull ache in the wrist and feet. A slight sense of difficulty getting out of bed, something, something in everything. It’s there I can feel it. I am sensitive. It’s just a hint, a whisper of it. but I seen it, felt it. Its not a death, it's just a door that shut while I was asleep last night and now I cant open it. In fact there is no door anymore just a wall. Like someone came in an pasted over it when I wasn’t looking. Like there never was a door. And its one less room I got in my house. One less place I can visit. but I remember there was a door there I am sure.

The sun is setting on a day that did something strange to me but I have no idea what. Beautiful red cloud summer skies, London. The overground train heading home. Harrow. more hell tomorrow but I am not scared only scarred. Youth gone and going. I did it well but not well enough to get to keep it. Got to learn now to adjust to this new way. It’s tough, tough and hard for me. don’t sink too deep that you get lost. Don’t give in so much that you stop. But don’t pretend you still are what you once were. Got to evolve. or maybe devolve. Now more than ever I need to find grace and elegance, panache and sophistication. Don’t let me replace my youth with pigeon eyes, regret and desperation. But don’t let me give up the light, the life, the lust. Oh! the lust. That’s what I will miss the most. My goddess; Lust. Too long calm and peaceful. This degeneration that has hit me today, needs her cure more than ever. Her touch could salve all my fears. Lady Lust. Let me pray to her now. A quiet personal prayer. come save me. come save me please. Don’t leave me to die here on the battlefield of my life. amongst shot and bloody memories. SEND A FUCKING AMBULANCE! I’m alive for christs sake! I am a celebrity get me out of here.

I can feel it in my veins. old age. Don’t believe them, it isn’t natural at all. It’s murder. Life is trying to murder me. Slow poison killing my life force. I feel it. sensitive enough still. blacking me out. trying to. I cant win. like an old git in a nursing home, they are upping the dose but the old bastard lives on. still eventually they’ll get him and have his bed, his air, his space. BASTARDS! life itself turns against you, the air, your blood, something , the spirits. Its that time. Its your time too. read and learn. You are allowed no more than this. You get to where I am. ready for immortality, wise enough that you almost know everything and that’s when it starts to fade out on you, something pulls the plug. They fucking got me. Bastards!

Tiger

Where am I?
sat in a room,
the sound of light opera fills the air.
the occasional car going by outside
an early summer warmth, the heating is off,
as is the sun, for it is night.
I sense waves of the invisible around me.
Saw reflections on windows tonight
fancied them to be ghosts of the ancient Chinese art
come to watch progress of what they began and passed down.
The night is calm, my computer hums.
Where are we?
Alive in motion I suppose, orbiting.
Everything orbits,
Even thoughts orbit in the mind’s eye.
a tiger jumps in there, I don’t know why or from where.
It inflates within me and I let it.
Feel its paws in my hands, its soft white-fur belly in my chest.
Tiger, tiger burning bright…
and all that jazz.
What am I?
Destiny was not that strong in me, so I remained a wanderer
merely flirted with the arts
never really becoming passionate for long.
Changing, always, hunting novelty,
wanting to belong but moving on.
Nothing original or satisfying
but not bland enough to be dissatisfying either.
Just mediocre and medium like the rest.
Nothing wrong, but neither is it right.
Tonight I want to change my life,
but tomorrow it will just carry on as was.
Now is not the time to be writing but it is the only time I have got.
Days, long drawn out days watching the clock,
desperate to escape my binds.
No where to run
no way to alter the path of the moving train.
Come alive in me tiger
I beg of you, come alive.

Up-tilted erection

I’ve got to try for a new angle
Its all out there in the world
Crazy whores, gambling, guns, drugs, sex, violence
Most times you avoid it but sometimes
You wish you could find it.
It’s a tough thing putting your life in order.
It’s worse still when you succeed,
only to discover boredom is more deadly
than any nightlife poor man’s street hustle, or hunt to survive.
And you sit and watch the TV, not even thinking.
Dressed in an ill fitting suit, slouched in a tired chair
bent by routine into the shape of your ass.
Your wife cooks cheap GM food in the kitchen
and a film of wafer thin adipocre covers your eyes in a glaze.
Your kids are outside getting dirty in the trash,
but you are over, you don’t even drink no more.
Just watch the news with a vacant stare and wait for the football
So you can go to bed and get up again tomorrow and do it all again.
You drift off for a moment and dream of shoving a chrome dildo shaped like a rhino horn up the ass of a prostitute…
Your wife wakes you up with a plate of beef and soggy potatoes
You rest it on your up-tilted erection and watch it slowly fade.

Infidelity and lust

I get up to a beautiful March day, the sun is rising and throwing warm golden light onto the houses at the back of my yard. Birds sing and traffic flies by. Things aint so bad, I tell myself. I still have some fire in the blood with which to push on through.
Yes I do.
So I fumble about my room and find a different set of shades, I put them on. Rose tinted motherfuckers and things look even better. Fuck, I might even feel a sense of happiness and peace today if I keep working at it. Last night I heard a tap at my bedroom door. I let her in. She looked bemused, a little forlorn, a little confused. She carried in her bossom and womb healing ju-ju for me. She didnt know this, she was just following and instinct. I was thirsty and I was ready to drink greedily, savagely from her.

‘Can I come in?’ she asked politely but before she had finished I had grabbed her wrist, thrown her against the wall, shut the door and was pushing my tongue like a snake deep into her mouth. I was mining for ore, my energy was tunneling into her looking for life giving sustenance, the stuff only women can bring to a man. She submitted to me, she felt good and that made me feel better. She felt hot and that released the dragon and it broke free, through my finger tips it soared pulling at her belt, ripping her trousers down to her ankles, snake tongue kissing again, deeply, lovingly in the magic of newness and forbidden lust. We were alight, like fireflies if you could have seen us, the soft penumbra of my candle lit room flickered shadows round the wall, ancient spirits all come to watch and feast on the moment. This was the animal world, animist and spiritual, this was sex. I turned her around and slipped into her, we both cooed to feel that chemistry ignite and we rolled into it, pushed into it, we burned in its combusting flame, and it felt good. It felt like life was real for a moment. It felt like we were free because we were.

A noise disturbed us, reality had come in the front door downstairs and in a moment the alchemy turned on itself and a poison broke into the purity of the mix. The poison of guilt, fear, panic, realisation. In an instant all hell broke lose where moments before we had let our minds go, had relinquished control to some normally dormant force within us both, we had been creating private volcanic beauty, growing it in the moment, cleansing ourselves with it, healing ourselves with that ju-ju. Now the poison spread fast, through our relaxed shields it went meeting no resistance and straight into our hearts like a dagger, a hyperdemic needle.

‘Get dressed!’ she hissed
‘Oh fuck him, he wont come in here’ I said adamantly and annoyed to be disturbed by anything in such a perfect moment. They were too rare to waste for anyone, not even for Justice or Death.
‘He cant know’ she said
‘He wont if you can be convincing and stop panicking!’ I insisted.

She knew what I was saying, she breathed deeply, tied the buckle on her belt. Checked her hair and stared at me with a more relaxed smile. I was sitting on the bed, my loose trousers already back on after the first panic. I just watched her and tried to calm myself. I knew strength and confidence and above all complete dishonesty were needed at this moment and they required calm. I was making myself calm, slowly the mood overtook her rabid refrain and she knew what I knew. She breathed deeply again.

‘So...’ I said and paused a while as if to lead her into the next line of a play. She just stood there staring into my eyes. This wasnt quite what I meant. Calm was one thing, numb passivity was another.

‘....so, I can cut your hair with a bit of a shatter style to it or we can just trim it and keep the shape you have. By the way what are we going to do about that incident with the landlord, I dont think it was us and there is no reason we should have to pay.’

She looked a little uncertain as I began to talk nonsense, but it dawned on her that we needed to bring ourselves back down. Slowly it got through. She began to play along. The game of life. We were back. We would get away with it this time. When the clatter of noise outside my room stopped she left and returned to hers. I breathed a sigh of relief. I didnt feel good about what had happened but I refused to feel bad. I lay on my bed and smoked for a while staring out into the night. I understood this, I did. But I didnt like it, and yet, somehow, as long as it was only ever our secret, as long as it never broke into the light of any one else's mind, then it was a good thing. She was healing ju-ju to me, and I was the same to her. This much I knew. This was the truth. But if anyone ever found out, the opposite would become true. And in that lay the very core of life’s paradox.

I also understood something else; the reason we feel guilty is because we dont want it to happen to us. Guilt is based on self interest. I wondered if I was as cold a person as I would be judged to be if this tale came out. All I ever wanted was to feel that magic heal me. I never meant to hurt anyone but the price of mining for those diamonds is a high one, sometimes the highest, there is always going to be blood of the heart spilled for it someplace. On the one hand I felt happier than I had for months as I lay in that bed, I knew sex was the cure in that moment, the chemistry of it healed, the magic of fresh lust was the ingredient not love, not familiarity, but quick burning instantaneous lust, the sort that doesnt last. That was the stuff. Maybe I was addicted to it, or maybe I was cured by it. I couldnt tell. I felt happy, I felt released, I felt peace and contentment. But on the other hand I felt like the lowest bastard ever to walk the earth, and by rights, that was exactly what I was.

Days spent too busy surviving to write...

Been so busy no time to write. No inclination as life roller-coastered me down a crazy tube. I am in Sydney still, for the record. Been working, struggling to keep my head above the debt line. But I can't complain. I have new friends here, I think they'll become good friends, and my brother is my life line when things get tough. I decided the lifestyle was better if a little more cruel somehow. So I am building a new life, I saw the date of my return to UK come and go. I watched the plane fly up from Sydney airport and said goodbye to a part of myself that went with it. I felt all the tears of loss and pain. I'll miss them all; good friends, good times, good days. All swopped for the loneliness of a city I am unknown in. Why? Just because something in my soul said it was time to follow opportunity so I did. Disobey the gods at your peril.

I lit a smoke, let the puff drift out over the balcony, catch the air and disappear. I imagined it took my homesick blues and nostalgia with it. I needed a distraction else I was likely to get dark and mean. So I took the lift down to the street, wandered around Kings Cross for a while letting the wildness soothe me, then fell into a bar and got blind drunk to celebrate or mourn I wasnt quite sure. 3 hours later, still alone but with double vision, a middle aged hooker suggested we shoot up cocaine and have sex.
'I'm retired' I said, knowing that in truth the only thing stopping me was probably the fact I had spent all my cash on booze.
I stumbled back to the flat, passed out on the bed in my clothes and woke up to a hang over. Welcome to Australia, I thought, they are gonna love me here.

Monday, 25 February 2008

I am i

I only notice the loneliness when I am in the company of people. Surrounded by strangers I have to talk to, I find I have nothing to say, I find it hurts.

Got an email today from my step-dad, he is 69 and just got dumped. He moved to Vermont from Corsica for this woman, on her insistence, who now has decided to return to her ex-husband in Switzerland or some such where. I am not laying blame here...but for fucks sake. Women are crazy, you learn this with time, yet it still catches you out. Until someone devises a truly workable alternative, we are stuck with them.

I like the cafe culture, I have come to feel at my most stable and peaceful in a quiet corner of a bustling city cafe where I can write undisturbed, where people I will never have to speak to drift by me never to be seen again. We will never run out of new faces to look at and I am glad. Even from the darkest, most cruel and cold nights I can find solace here in the daylight, in anonymity, amongst all these strangers, with just a pen for company. I don’t have to explain myself to anyone. I can relax here. Here, I am happy to let life slowly slip away from me. Other peoples busy-ness somehow exonerates me from it all.

I have a fucking big smile on my face and a warm feeling in my heart. A melancholic tune plays in the background and twangs a little on my heartstrings, just enough to make me feel this moment is real. I suddenly feel like striking a guitar pose and shouting at the top of my lungs – ‘FUCK YEA!’

I have to return to my digs shortly, have to talk to people again, people I know. I have to make sense. Say not what I am thinking, but what is appropriate and acceptable and least likely to cause offense. I will speak and listen to emptiness and wonder why or what could possibly be said to make it better.

I don’t believe I will die before tasting love again. I hope I can meet its expectations. I had hoped to find fulfilment out here in this new country. I guess I always was a romantic dreamer. Who knows, maybe she exists, maybe she does. Just try to remember – women are crazy. It’s not hard to make it work, you just have to play it right; Don’t sink too deep in comfort, don’t let too much of yourself go, and always keep an eye on the exit routes.

I sat by the pool today, watched a man pull a small terrapin from a plastic box. He petted its head then kissed it, all the while talking coochy-coo. I was struck by how contentedly in love he looked. It was some kind of bliss. The thought struck me that he was crazy. Ha! Like we aren’t all driven gently into complete fucking lunacy. I concluded that I was happy for him. I smiled a genuine smile when he looked at me, it gave me a warm feeling, and that seemed somehow a good thing, like it mattered.

Then, I leant my head back, looked up high above the tower block I currently wait in. The sun burning into my skin, burning into my eyes, at once loving yet looking for ways to kill me at the same time. That’s how it is. And love is just another burning sun.

Wars rage someplace far away, man pushes computers into space trying to figure out where, what and why he is. All the while birds, animals and plants just do their thing and already know, or just don’t care. I lie here wondering about all the things there are to wonder, while across from me a simpleton finds completion in an inch long amphibian that can't ever speak or act to hurt him. My step-dad sleeps a fitful sleep of pending pain and anguish on the other side of the world, a pain and loss he is probably too old to heal. Somewhere a new life just entered the world as another one exited. My heart pumps blood without me ever having asked it to, and I have no idea why I came here or what I am supposed to do with it at all.

A sunburst refracts off a broken window not far from where I sit splitting all the colours of life into my eyes and across my words. I feel wondrous. I feel alive, afraid, and despite all my fears or maybe because of them, I am hungry for it.

The last time I fell in love ....

My last five liaisons with women had been disasters one way or another. Coming at a time in my life when I was at my least secure just cemented their demented fear into my subconscious. I didn’t notice it happen, just one day I saw a pretty girl across a bar and a sweat came over me. Next thing I am outside walking home rather than face talking to her. This went on for some months before I realised what was wrong; I was afraid of women, I was afraid of the consequences of talking to one.

I hadn’t felt the warmth of another body in over 8 months, hadn’t heard the words of whispered companionship that gave you meaning for being here in so long it was having a deeply negative effect on me. I was becoming withdrawn and freaked out. Now, I was more likely to push away comfort than embrace it. I was watching this happen to me, and I couldn’t figure what to do about it.

The last time I had slept with a girl had gotten me into a fistfight with her housemate within 15 minutes of consummating the act. The time before that I hadn’t even slept with the girl, she just lay in my bed all night talking, the next day her boyfriend knocked on my door while I was cooking dinner. He threatened to knife me, I threatened to knock him out with a frying pan full of sizzling chicken. It was an interesting standoff. He left. 2 days later I fucked her out of spite. I was angry with him for giving me shit over something I had gone out of my way to avoid. The other tales all run much the same - a litany of bad experiences, lust gone wrong, innocent pleasure turned into evil and sometimes violent, hurtful chaos. Irreparable damage. Now, I was gun-shy, psychologically expectant of trouble if I dared to seek comfort in a female.

I took the only option available to me other than turning queer – I was in a strange town, in a strange country and apparently prostitution was legal here. I stepped up. Waited for a full moon, somehow that seemed the right time. I hailed a taxicab, he was Asian.
‘Where can I get some fucky fucky” I enquired.
‘Whaa?’ he said
‘You know ‘ I made a motion, ‘get some skin, flesh, woman, fucky’
‘You want a brothel’ he said laughing
‘You got it’ I replied.

The first two he took me to had snapping trolls, uglier than sin and scarier than the devils own mother. I wouldn’t have fucked them if they had paid me. In fact I feared for my life and bolted out of the door at the first opportunity. I was starting to think maybe it was time to just shoot myself and be done with it all. I gave it one more chance. The last place was pricier but was exactly what I was looking for. Funny how things can change if you just hold out long enough, and are willing to throw all you have left in the world at it.

I lay on a bed in a mirrored room as Ella stripped and we considered how she would best go to work on satisfying my 200 bucks. She was gorgeous, but it was a rare time in my life when I just wasn’t interested in sex. I wanted her to hold me, to let me near her without the fear of something bad happening to me. Women had driven me to this. I was a fucking mess. God, she was beautiful. The best-looking hooker I had ever seen. She didn’t understand my need for tenderness and she was certainly in no mood to reciprocate it. She was a hooker, I was a punter - a cold dish of unpalatable food. Even so, holding her, breathing her skin, smelling her scent overwhelmed me. I felt like crying in happiness. My eyes shut, my dreams of love, communion with another, the human touch, the sharing, the belief, it was something beautiful, it was something. It sparked again inside me and came back to life. I could believe again. It fed my emptiness.

But the body is a funny thing, it sure doesn’t work by reason. It works on feeling and I let myself open to the idea of love in there. Love maybe of the essence of what women are. It was unbelievably pure to me because it was safe, and I hadnt felt it in too long. I had bought it. It was mine for 30 minutes and for a change it wouldn’t try to kill me. My body liked that. Liked it a lot.

As I stood outside the house of sin some time later, under the awning of a bus stop smiling like an alley cat and blowing smoke up into the blue, moonlit night on the far side of a town I didn’t belong or even much know, it dawned on me that I had gone from the frying pan into the fire; I had fallen in love with a whore called Ella and there was little doubt in my mind that she didn’t love me. That’s the thing, that’s the bitch of it all if you are honest, because you just know that every which way you turn here, you’re gonna lose.