The spark that saves

Image result for a spark

It wasn’t just that she nearly killed a grasshopper on her windscreen, it was that I was hellishly miserable. Casual murder everywhere I look. And it’s no wonder I dreamt I was working in the library again. I told my boss that I’d come full circle. A complete back-track to the past. She smiled and showed me a courtyard that hadn’t been there before, a jungle of abandoned bed frames. It’s not just the meat, that I too have started eating, but the newspapers too. The radio interrupting my peaceful cooking time with a forced injection of panic. And why doesn’t the news come with a forewarning. Nudity and extreme language in films aren’t going to affect you as much as the random massacre on a beach full of sunbathers. It affects you deeply. This darkness, like a tumour, spreads until it’s stage-threed every last shred of your happiness, shattering the illusion of safety.

And now I’m blindfolded with the image of a man pointing a gun at a tourist, the image of the grasshopper getting almost crushed to death by the windscreen wiper. All this horror and I can’t bare it.

For all those of you ready to pounce on me that terrorism isn’t quite the same thing as bug death, I’d like to say yes I know. I appreciate that. I’m not comparing the deaths of many to one insect. I’m speaking from the perspective of my own feelings. And now I’m pissed off at all this self editing, too much awareness of my audience and who I could possibly offend with my words.

As with everything, it makes me think of Dylan. How much more I would have feared the world he would have inherited. I’d like to say he’s safe now. But who knows if that’s true. When I buried him my mother in law at the time said something to me which was barely audible. I think it was this: he’s beautiful now. It saddened and angered me all once. Provoked something in me that rebelled against the acceptance and peace she was trying to share with me. But it’s stayed with me, why? Because I think I want the sentiment to be true.

It’s an argument I have constantly with myself but I wonder why people breed when the world is so frighteningly dangerous? But then I see something a friend wrote about his son on social media: ‘what do you want to be when you grow up? A little tiny woman’ and I know why people do it. I suddenly know why they all would given the chance. Why I would if I wasn’t so riddled with indecision and fear. As simple as that. A new life. A little growing person who takes the world outside of itself and reinvents everything. It’s not Disney sentimental, its the spark of something brilliant in a haze of heavy shit.

Why do people hate so much. What is the impetus to kill when our days are numbered anyway. And why is it always the people who have nothing to do with the quarrel that end up losing their lives. Why must we sit in fear of our flesh being penetrated by the bullets of emotion sprayed like tears from dulling eyes? I don’t understand the horror that most have suffered, but I guarantee it’s enough to have ruined them. To have made it seem right to pick up a gun or a bomb or a sword and to lash out at the world, as it has done to them. And who am I to judge when I have never seen war from the wrong side of a TV screen. I feel for them too. I really do. And at the risk of sounding like a fucking idiot, I want the killing to stop. I want the aggrieved to heal, as we are all trying to do. I want armies of compassion to run bravely onto the path of war and disarm and diffuse till everyone realises what a prick they have been. Till every war monger looks themselves in the face and decides there has been enough killing. To see they have made their point loud and clear. On both sides of the fence. From all religions and governments and walks of life. Lets stop fucking killing each and take on the much harder task of doing a little good.

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Detachment: Like the cracking of an egg.

It’s easier to push people away than you’d hope.

The realisation of this is a hard one because it’s stalked by a terrible feeling of rejection. Feeling un-loved and misunderstood: and shouldn’t a real friend always assume the better of you?

I plough on, head held high, unsure if I’m right or if I’m wrong but ploughing regardless till I’ve cleared the entire field. And if it saddens me so then why do I do it? Hand shoots up erect to the sky, me sir, I know, pick me, I know. Because there’s a long overdue spring coming and I need a fucking clear out. All this clutter, the eggshells so much trodden on that they have become the carpet, it needs to go. So the new broom sweeps clean and if it’s so easily got rid of then it couldn’t have really been yours to begin with.

Sometimes it feels, in this life of mine, that the only thing I don’t lose is weight.  But maybe, I speculate, these things are needed before the real work can begin, for the untying of all those pesky knots. You can’t renovate a house without first removing all the furniture and perhaps in the same vein, you have to deconstruct in order to reconstruct.

But what is it I’m supposed to learn from all these dreams of keys and ducks and walls closing in? Is everything we learn in life simply a lesson in how to die? Tragedy-prone as we all feel we are, can we take lesson from these things and graduate with honours to the big bright beautiful ever-after? To the palace in the sky? To the pacifistic equivalent of Valhalla I dreamed of as a child. The truth has to be that through the acceptance and understanding of death, life will take on new and fuller hues, and perhaps sometimes vice versa.

Losing friends is like the shedding of tears, or the bleeding of menstrual blood. You feel while it happens: anger, frustration, sadness, hurt. But once it’s done what you have left is the slightly exposed scrubbed clean you, warts and all. And you will learn to live with the new found space, fill it with new things, perhaps things that were destined to come to you. But only once you’ve stopped playing that record over and over, stopped finding new ways to beat yourself up for the failings of others, you’ll take yourself in your own arms and be the friend you always needed. Because what I realised is this: the most abusive and unreasonable critic is the one that resides deep inside the mind. If we can conquer him, then the rest is just child’s play.

Delivering Happiness: Amazing People. (And all the other things that make my beard itch.)

Rejection: like the stinging of a cane across your soft bare arse when you really did nothing to deserve it. It hurts and you’ll be sore and angry about it for years to come. Another harsh lesson in impermanence that life dishes out. Another thing to feel cynical about.

Splitting a bond like an atom and there’s bound to be a reaction. I can’t bare to think of my day without them there. The people who watched me get married. The people who know how brave and strong I can be when inside I’m fucked. The people who kept me coming back, day after day, just for the jokes and the piss-taking, if nothing else. The ones who i ‘stick it to the man with’, the ones who I talk food with, the ones who know when my farts smell like peanuts. I can’t face the soul-drudgery of a 9-5 without them and I long to do something drastic. To revolt. Show them all how much I love them and how personally I take injustices against them. But I’ve got bills to pay, I’ve got the sweet-hearted woman who begat me and a grumpy arse cat who depend on me to keep my mouth shut.  And i cant let them down, even though every fibre of my being screams for action: to rage against the dying of an artificial light, to rage against the machine in the way I would have in my teens (or when Dawn and Owen left). Those who know me best know how hard it is for me to ‘keep calm and carry on’ (and all the other pacifying poster boys I can’t be doing with).

And who would have thought that after failing GCSE maths 3 times, I’d spend my days pretending I can add without using my fingers. Pretending I did learn my times tables and all the other useful maths tricks instead of dossing around in car parks looking for good hub caps to steal. 8 years later, I’m unrecognisable to myself. Not just chubbier, but more diluted. And now, this is the only place I write. Because I don’t have time and when I do, my eyeballs reject the screen like the biggest case of rastaburn you ever saw. This is the ‘short term’ job  that came about from a deal I made with Phil whilst laying on a bean bag talking about the universe. He said he would move back in with me if I promised I would stop walking out of jobs and knuckle down for a change. In turn he promised he would take me seriously. Maybe now he’s gone that deal doesn’t stand? Maybe there is some poetry to the fact that everything around me is being snatched away prematurely, like the baby I had and the dad who always made me laugh. Or maybe I over-dramatise (as I always do) for the sake of my prose. 

Where you invest your love: you invest your life. And that wisdom works the other way around to. So you see they aren’t just colleagues. They aren’t just people I stop thinking about after hometime comes. They are people I’ve grown to love, people whose secrets I keep, people who deserve a fuck load better than they have. I can’t just shrug it off that they wont be here anymore. I can’t rest easy when I see their heartbroken furious faces. But there’s fuck all I can do about it but hug them and swear and try to reassure them that this wasn’t what they were destined for anyway. And in a funny way, we are all redundant.  

Delivering happiness: amazing people. This statement is truer than anyone knows.  It’s a shame that the people delivering it don’t have it reciprocated.These people are amazing, and they’ve been the backdrop to all my dramas and daydreams. They’ve made me laugh at times when happiness felt like a fairytale and I wont fucking forget that as long as I live.  And when a decision is made from so high up the management chain that no ones sees the mess it makes when it drops: it’s easy to be callous, to be cost-effective and keep the capitalist dream alive.

There will always be an era that belongs to us. Like the hippies in the sixties and the Wonder Years: we’ll have our own ‘back in the day’ stories of the humiliating hilarity of fights, fancies and fucks we witnessed during our time here. So almost a year after my dad died, his words come back to me now more than ever: the best way to say ‘fuck you’ is to be nice.

The opposite of love’s indifference-and other new found songs.

 

Sentences spill out, somewhere punctuated with the word ‘fuck’. A gasp, a sigh, a constant delicious emotional ache. A psychological DOT DOT DOT, pause for thought. A questioning a wondering…a mosquito…a libido. And I’m the biggest fucking idiot that ever lived. I swear I am. Desperate to find a philosophy decent enought to hang this deviational ‘fuck it’ feeling onto. The closest I come is to think that the universe is indifferent…somewhere across the sea there is a culture of love and emotion without boundaries and rules.

And it’s all too much, precisely how I wanted and needed it to be. Because I AM a filthy tart: those that know the best and worst of me, know how true that is. Slutting all over this madly intense feeling because turbulence feeds the fucking life back into me and sticks a stubborn middle finger up at the shit-storm of bad news and dissapointments i’ve endured.  Like i’m finishing off something I started in puberty. A crush on curves and the undulating rhythms of this womanly world. Those ghosts coming back to haunt, taunt and tempt me. Reminding me there are still battles to be fought, urging me up from the sulky slumber and into the crisp morning’s light. Test my courage and my resolve and splatter it like spunk against the unwilling canvas of this modern world trap. And if only I could get my hands on a cock big enough to do the job properly.

If I could split like a fraction and live this life twice, like a time split, a parrallel universe of who I am and what I have: what else would I do? The answer comes thumping like a heartbeat clear, I’d do it ALL. Fucking absorb it all, experience everything. Have my children young and keep living and laughing till I dropped from the dance completely spent. A wild gypsy at heart, and for the life of me I cant think why that term chanted at me from a young age, offended me so much back then. I embrace her now, with all her stupidness and windsept hair. I fucking love her in all her freakish formidable glory, even if no other fucker does. And I’ll be her friend, tight and close and brain-spaced in all out cut-lucidness, like the hanging out of old friends. Like legs dangling from between banisters: teens finding odd new comfortable places to plonk. I’ll deliver a punch like a swinging steam-train into the faces of haters, i’ll defend her life like I never dared before. She needs no other but me and i’ll commit like a cunt, chasing chickens and chumps from her door: my snarling kiwi no longer the cute cockrest it once was. I’ll take my seat on top: perched comfortably like a proud pecking parrot casting my feathers a-wobble as I bounce to my hearts content. Bounce out a rhythm like the typing of a bestseller novel. Dig those ankle bells back out from the well and step out in a daring dance, barefoot and free as a tree. For this life is transient and you must take it up on all it’s offers while you still can.

This one’s for you.

Same shit, different year. And I say that with a smile on my face. You’ve been on my mind a lot lately. And I’ve wanted to share my thoughts with you, but we’re not always as receptive as we’d like to think. I’m as guilty as the next. So sometimes it’s better if private talk is in full view, if you speak personally to one person, in a massive crowd so everyone can hear. So I’ll spill my guts to you, and hope that you wont vomit at the sight. And remember that like the snake whose year it is: my hiss isn’t always venomous.

We haven’t always got on well, and yet we are the closest we can be. I’ve known you most of my life, or does it just feel that way? Sometime’s I’m convinced I don’t like you. I probably started off hating you, convinced you were a moron. But then I got to know you better, and I realised it was true. And just when you annoyed me the most, just when you left me seething at the thought of you and the things you say, I realised you’d made the grade: a permanent place in my heart. So the roles probably reversed, as they always do, and you made the mistake of thinking that I was expendable through my love for you, that you could do anything and I would always be there. But I am not a puppy, I am a snake and you’ll do well to keep that in mind.

So we let each other down, that’s what you do with your loved ones. Surely that’s the privilege you gain after you’ve known someone for a very long time? Surely. I hope like me, you don’t mind it, and forgive me anything. Because I’m going to have to take you up on that some day. Every day if I’m honest. Every day there’s a new confession. Even if I’m not confessing on my own behalf. Even if I’m confessing to your sins and not my own. And let’s be honest, we have hawk eyes for the failings of others, and little bifocals moley eyes for our own. Isn’t that true. But in this new year, in this year that I’m claiming for my own reflection and contemplation, I’m going to try to be better, give you false hope that I’ll be all you want of me. That’s my gift to you, even though it may not have got there in time, it’s there now.

And don’t think I havent noticed how you teef off my beef. Because I have. Waiting a safe period of time, and then you take my words for your own, thinking I’ve forgotten. Well I haven’t. And although I’m desperate to do the childish thing and confront you about it, snatching back the phrases so heavily plagiarised they came out with direct quotation marks, unwittingly. But I don’t because I know that you can’t put words to thoughts and feelings as easily as I do and I know that you concentrate too much on the external to cultivate the personality plant which is wilting with want of attention inside of you. So I’ll give them up for you, and don’t ever say that I’m not a generous soul.

But through it all, the push-me pull-you seesaw of feelings I have for you: I love you intensely, through the sadness you try to blink away and the mortality that will one day take you from me leaving me bereft. I want you with me, the forever wart in the centre of my hand. The perpetual tear in the circumference of my arse. The relentless rash in the tenderest part of my elbow skin. I want you. More than I will ever confess directly to you. And you might be richer than me, in estate and opportunity but I don’t begrudge it of you, because there is a reason you are compelled by me even though I have nothing of value to give. Because what I do have ‘is a stupid amount of overconfidence and a screwdriver’ or so the Doctor in me would have you believe.

Your longings are my own. And I know how you want to grow in stomach and birth a child, have a home filled with tea-towels that say something about who you really are. I know you want to quit your job and go smell the roses. I know the fury you feel about the shit hand you’ve been dealt, about the pesticides that have made you depressed, about the trip switch in your brain that just doesn’t fuse as it should. I know you want to know love in the deepest and most romantic sense, I know you long for the kindred who always seems to escape you. You can’t bare the misery of the world, and the pain it inflicts on others. You’re not always afraid to die, when things get really bad it’s a guilty comfort. Some days you find it hard being good. Some days you want to jack it all in and slurp up that chance medicine that might just make you big, but then might just make you too small. You’re tired of the failings of your body, and having to monitor it all the fucking time, just to keep it normal. You like the idea of things more than the actuality. You wish you could stay at home more. If only you were the benevolent dictator of the world around you, then things would be better. Because people aren’t as capable as you of getting it done as well or as fast and people just don’t take the pride in it that you do. People don’t know what’s best for them, and if you could make them all see what they’re doing is wrong then surely things would change for the better and everyone would be happy wouldn’t they? You don’t want to communicate with me all the time, because you don’t trust me implicitly and you’re right not to. And sometimes you don’t want to tell me those burning secrets that shackle you to the silence you’re so fond of because you’re afraid it will mean you’re a hypocrite or because you’ll owe me. You’re mistaken if you think I care about the things you say behind my back, you’re a fool if you think I don’t do the same, in the private folds of my trusty notebook. I know these things about you, even though you never told me. I know them because our insecurities are what unite us and beauty body brain business perfection is a fucking death trap that feeds on us if we let it.

My secret is that I know you have betrayed me. I’ve been sitting on the proof for years, but choose to keep it under my hat. In the hope that one day you might have enough love and respect for yourself to come clean about it. And when you do, you’ll be rewarded because I will follow suit. And take comfort that my betrayal is far worse than yours, trust me. And in shared honesty and humility, we’ll feel better about everything and the closeness will return: reminded how much we love each other. Grateful for every imperfect step we took in the wrong direction. Because our failings are what made us cool. Our impulsive indiscretions are what meant we have lived a foolish and full life. Bonded by the 60 denier knowledge that we are just as fucking bad as each other.

I know you will immediately think this is about you, see yourself in these words clearly and that’s because you’re right. This is about you.