The Pen is Mightier Than a Ham Sandwich

•December 31, 2012 • Leave a Comment

Words swirl around in my mind, pitching and diving, weaving behind and in front of each other for their short life span before fading silently to nothing, dropping out of existence with nothing to mark their passing. In the shadows behind those words, darting across my mind, unseen but sensed, ideas and concepts play through my mental landscape. Invisible to the eye yet seen, known, by some other unnamed sense.

Some days I am good with words; they fall into place on a foundation of ideas and concepts. Tiny threads sprout between them, connections tying everything together into on coherent, structured whole.

Today is not one of those days.

Something wants to be said, but it is shy, maybe it doesn’t even know itself what it is. So it prowls on the edge of my consciousness, leaving me to face a disarray of unrelated, disjointed words and ideas. Pick a word at random, go fishing and see what I catch. A shopping trolley and an old boot. Try again. “conundrum” good word, but what does it mean?

No sense will be found today. But that’s ok, nonsense is as much use, if not more. When we make sense we have shaped, twisted, and tricked words into the meanings we desire. But through nonsense the Truth can be glimpsed, just visible between the words if you look at a certain angle. That’s Truth, not truth. Something raw, primal, deep down in our very soul. Freud knew this, which led him to “free association”. Speak out whatever words come to your mind as they come to you, and your Truth hides behind like the Sun seeking out between blinds.

So if I pick words at random, what is my Truth?

“xylophone buggery”

Ladies and gentlemen, that, apparently, is my Truth.


Second Life

•December 27, 2012 • Leave a Comment

In my second life I was a prisoner. I was tricked and captured, then forced to work. My life here was hard, my privacy and freedom was taken away from me and I was made to follow arbitrary rules that served no visible purpose other than to occupy and torment me. The prison warden was a hard, cold man who handed out punishments like breaths. A man seduced and corrupted by power, he revelled in his role and had developed many manipulative ways of provoking his victims into a rage. This he did often, for it gave him the excuse to hand out punishments and torture yet to blame others.

One day he provoked me so much with his twisted manipulations and vile comments that I flew into a blind rage. My fury caused a riot; things were throw, destroyed. The army had to be called in to contain things. But in the end nothing changed, only that the Warden got to exert his power some more.

Suddenly, with no warning, the Warden was called away leaving the prison under the supervision of his second in command. A stern woman who could easily match the Warden if you crossed her, but far more amiable at other times. Life as a prisoner became much easier for the six month’s I had left. Not that I knew my time was almost up.

Sometimes, if I was lucky, I would get to go on trips. I met many interesting people on these trips, some of whom even became friends. And then one day, while I was out on one of these carefully supervised excursions, the fates intervened and a new opportunity snuck out of the shadows with a whisper and a knowing look. The resistance whisked me out of the clutches of authority and off to another life…

Hickory Dickory Dock

•December 13, 2012 • 2 Comments

My palm has started pulsing with a red light, and that can only mean one thing.

As my hourglass runs low I find myself looking back at my lives. I have experienced so many lives, but can I truly say I have lived them? Have I quaffed on vitality and feasted on experience like a starving man at a king’s banquet? Or have I picked at the edges of my plate suspiciously, too wary to brave the unfamiliar before me? It is true that I have had many courses, many dishes of life, but I have discarded so much.

A mirror spins slowly, and in each side I see my stories. The image reflected back at me each time looks like me, but different. Not just different people, but different worlds.

In one life I was a child, young and foolish but headstrong, fiercely loyal to my beliefs, with a sharp glint in my eyes that took in all around me and cut through the veil of childhood innocence. I had many adventures. I was a spy, a warrior, a thief, and a guardian. Guardian to a mother tormented by an evil curse. Some days her mind was so numbed by this spell that she fell into a deep sleep that no shaking, no command, no bucket of water could rouse her from. Then some days she fought back and regained enough lucidity to tell me of what had happened. “They” did this. Their corruption. The poisons they forced on her or tricked her into taking. In bottles, in food, even through the tap.

No one could know that she was under such a powerful curse, that she was so vulnerable, or they would assuredly come for her again, as they did that dark still night. Only this time I knew she wouldn’t escape again. So I put on a performance worthy of any stage. I fooled everyone around into believing that she was strong and healthy. I would cook, clean, and shop when it was needed, when she couldn’t manage it herself. And when she was at her weakest and most confused I would cover for her, protect her, and guide her away from prying eyes.

Every day I was alert for the agents who worked against us, always aware that They had spies everywhere. Trust no one. Keep the secrets. Hide when they look. Look when they hide. But above all beware of Him. The serpent, the rapist, the deceiver. He was the one who cast the spell. More poisons she was tricked into taking, and the moment she did her mind shattered and she became vulnerable to Him and his twisted ways. But I would protect her. That was my role. To keep her safe from Them. From Him.

In the end I realised there was only one way I could protect her, only one way to save her. And that was to betray her. To offer myself as sacrifice. To save her I had to abandon her. Leave her defenceless and vulnerable.

And that was how I became the Betrayer. I became one of Them. They had me, as she always knew they would. My actions were out of love, but appeared loveless. So as I betrayed her, so she cast me out.

A turned back.

A slammed door.

The mirror spins and one life ends as another begins…

Music Soothes the Savage Beast

•December 1, 2012 • Leave a Comment

I have a friend who, due to a neurological disorder, cannot enjoy music. It does nothing for him, no more (and I suspect possibly less) than the sound of someone making a cup of tea.

I have another friend who has no brain impairments but has no interest in music. I cannot understand this. I am a musical person, if I could I would have music playing around me constantly. One of my greatest pleasures in life is to close my eyes and lose myself in some music. Pure escapism and bliss! I don’t just listen to music, I experience it, and it touches my soul.

One of the reasons I like music so much is that it distracts me. Without this distraction I may find myself contemplating my own nature and worth, and nothing good comes of that. Those around me see me as a caring and good hearted person, but my measure of myself is quite different.

Without distraction, which music provides so well, I start to acknowledge what a vile, detestable, self-centred, pathetic excuse for a human I am. Behind the veil of good deeds and kind words, a darkness lies.

I disgust myself, but music provides the distraction so that my reflection appears human.

What’s the worst that could happen?

•August 20, 2012 • Leave a Comment

On one hand the destruction of the known universe and all life within it.

On the other hand, strawberry ice cream.

Totally worth the risk.

Title not found

•August 18, 2012 • Leave a Comment

The waves are lapping at my window again. The mist is reaching up my nostrils. My eyes are bloodshot black, and the toaster is reciting Shakespeare’s sonnets. I am aware how ridiculous that sounds. It doesn’t even like Shakespeare.
Hot chocolate bubbles float through the air, rising gently like the chest of a coma patient. Technicolor darts cartwheel into the sunlight that is hiding behind the fridge, and an army of weaponised green olives marches across the linoleum, searching for a place to make camp for the night.

As I sleep a ferret whispers in my ear. Whispers secrets never told and never heard. The toaster is lying.


•August 18, 2012 • Leave a Comment

–Excerpt from the diary of Meursault–

In a world where everyone can see the future, can see the consequences of their actions, can you imagine what it is like to not have that ability? As a child I was taunted and bullied, the lowest rung of the social ladder. Lower even than the kids in the special class. Everyone treated me like I was utterly stupid, mentally stunted. Even though I was as intelligent as any of them. More so in some cases. But that didn’t matter, I couldn’t see the future so I was treated like I was dumber than a house pet.

Then I got older, and I looked back on the days when I was mocked and bullied with almost nostalgic longing. When everyone else aways makes near perfect choices, can you imagine how unpredictable I appear to them? How dangerous? They can see three hours into the future, more than enough to avoid accidents. Me? I’m a deadly accident waiting to happen. Of course I can never be “unpredictable” to them, but they can’t understand me, can’t understand why I do what I do. Worst of all they now seem convinced that I do everything on purpose, that I set out to cause accidents and hurt people. They are afraid of me. That is why I have ended up here serving life imprisonment for a minor accident.

But I’ll show them. This is one thing they won’t see coming.