The Reconnaissance

Reconnaissance

He began dreading her appearance. Having travelled for an hour she’d step off the bus and instantly light a rolled up cigarette. Always 8:45. The cigarette was never finished before she reached the shop, so would stand outside, hacking and coughing until it was. The smell would waft in, turning his stomach, and he’d feel like vomiting.

Current Life

He likened his present life to being a little like eating cod roe when the richness of his previous life had been like eating caviar. He had of course lived many lives, and so also knew that being alive in the 21st century, was as good as he’d ever experienced it. People complained about this and that and it seem the weather was the biggest gripe at the moment. If only they knew how good they had it.

Having finished her ‘fag’ in she walked, still coughing, beginning the usual manic behaviour in an attempt to intimidate. As best he could he ignored her and made a conscious effort to calm himself even more. He rarely looked at her these days and so heard very little of her bile: This was wrong, that was wrong, constant criticism of others. He knew it was criticism by proxy but refused to bite, as he understood who was being paid, a managers wage. At whose door responsibility lay.

Even with the pay, she didn’t actually managed things, and with his refusal to do it for her, the store was a horribly toxic environment. It came as no surprise to him that the paper kids were out of control; abusive and testing. Boundaries collapsing. Just biding his time, about ready to leave.

Twisted Old Hag

Past Life

One of the places he’d worked recently had a ‘three strikes and you’re out’ kind of rule. Christ how the working classes ate shit. It followed that he now applied this to his current situation: one more incident of abuse from the poisonous old hag, and he’d hand her the keys. There was no fear, he simply didn’t care anymore.

Future Life

He had in mind a meditative journey. A light dome tent, sleeping bag and a thick inflatable mattress, was all he’d carry. He’d walk further into the west country, more weight to lose, without a care in the world. There are adventures to be had and it was always how his next life would start.

In his mind the twisted old hag smoked and burned like the end of her fag; she crumbled into ash and dust as he watched. He remembered what she’d told him: “Oh yeah, cervical cancer after I had James,” wow! How she must have made her only child pay for that. No wonder he became a priest. The guilt buried so deep it’s in the marrow of his bones. Priest James: a guilty child.

Just like his own birth mother having her womb removed altogether. Hysterectomy they’d called it. One way to make sure it never happens again.  The only way to rid oneself of that level of guilt, is to die and be born again, again, again.

The Future

Such a vile species are we not? Had the old hag come to represent his frightful birth mother now cremated. Probably, but he wasn’t going to switch the blame through analysis anymore. And the thought of breathing in his mothers, now free floating molecules, also made him want to vomit.

He wondered how he’d survive on his own once again. He wondered how long it would be before his faith returned; before he’d see salty rich caviar on his plate once again.

Weeping With the Effort

His alarm went off.

The smart phone was set to vibrate as well. The night before, he’d placed it on top of the headboard, so the sound of the vibration went through the whole bed. “Fuck” he said.

Later, on his way in to work, he suddenly and inexplicably, felt emotional. I could weep with all the effort of this shit, he thought. To Evo life seemed to be all about effort with very little return. He once said to a colleague of his: “All those things priced at pennies, how do you ever make any money?” His colleague had simply replied: “All those pennies add up my mate.” It was a fact he’d never been able to get his head around.

It all seemed like so much effort.

His arms and legs felt like they had lead weights attached to them. Everything he did was, to his reckoning, done to the best of his abilities, and yet there was no gratitude, no appreciation, no fuck all! At least that’s how he saw it. There was another part of him that knew different. It was the part of him that found the energy to swing his legs out of bed in the morning.

One of Evo’s favourite sayings was “I should have been dead years ago, I was only supposed to make it to thirty three!” God only knew what that was doing to his mind. Knowing Evo’s luck, it was lengthening his life, rather than shortening it.

To make matters worse, another saying that’d been rattling around his head of late, that seemed in direct conflict to the first one, was this: “The best form of revenge is to outlive your abusers.” A saying he believed he’d discovered all by himself but was shocked to read, some months after penning it, that it was actually quite well known. He’d probably seen it somewhere years earlier and his mind had tricked him into thinking it an Evo original.

At times there seemed to be a lot of conflict in Evo’s mind.

A lot of it had escalated as a result of his mate, John, skulking off during a night out. Just when the party had started as well. He seem unusually upset about being knocked back by one of the two girls that had approached them. They were just mind-fuck bitches anyway; just out for the craic.

He found the coke – that John had so ungratefully turned down that night – his way of letting off steam. If it wasn’t for that stuff, he reckoned he’d go right of his nut with the effort of it all. Perhaps it was time for a change. He remembered overhearing a conversation in the staff room once where someone, he didn’t know particularly well, had said how tired and worn out he felt all the time. How it all seemed like such an effort. Just as Evo had inexplicably felt earlier, he’d said that some days he felt like crying, when he thought about the effort of it all. His friend sitting at the table said it was depression and told him to go look for another job. Told him it was time for change.

If this was also true for Evo, the question was, what would he do? He was so wrapped up with sales, advertising and marketing – something he didn’t believe he was very good at – that he didn’t seem to have room for much else.

Anyway, there was always the weekend to look forward to. A little bit of the white stuff, with a Jack and Ginger to follow, and all will be well. At least for a little while.

The Locksmith Series #9 (John’s feeling Stoned)

“Of late John had started feeling a little strange”

Or ‘out of sorts,’ as he’d heard it said. At first he’d put this down to coming off cocaine. Yet now, the feelings had changed from the anxious twitchiness, you’d associate with coming off a drug habit, to something more akin to being stoned.

He wasn’t stoned, in fact he’d not touched a smoke, of any sort, for over five years; the white stuff he’d always sniffed up his snout, but now he’d been off that for some weeks, he was starting to wonder what the hell was wrong with him. The closest he could get to describing it, if anyone had bothered to ask him, would be a sort of detached – couldn’t give a shit – kind of attitude, very odd. Very odd indeed.

John’s feeling Stoned

Further to this, and as a general rule, John considered himself to be an ‘up’ kind of person. Not anxious as such, just a little wired, most of the time. So these feelings were something new. Although he’d described it to himself as feeling like being slightly stoned, there was none of the usual stuff you’d associate with that. No paranoia, no sore tightness in the lungs, none of the unpleasant encounters with rip-off ‘dealers’ and definitely none of the smell. He wasn’t doing drugs, yet felt the detached separateness from things, being mashed, had brought him in the past.

“On top of these unexplained feelings he was also becoming convinced his hearing was getting worse”

John had lived with poor hearing for quite some time now. Over recent months (even after investing nearly two grand in state of the art hearing aids) he’d noticed that he hardly heard anything anyone said to him anymore. It didn’t matter much really. Most of the time he was able to guess what people asked of him; all the questions were the same. The same boring repetition.

If someone asked him a more ‘left field’ kind of question, he’d not hear it at first, and so would ask them to repeat themselves. On them doing this he’d sometimes make a special effort to look up and work harder to hear what they’d said. But now, even on asking them to repeat themselves, he was increasingly finding himself just smiling and agreeing with whatever they said. One of these days someone’s was going to say: you’re a real cunt aren’t you? And he’d stand there with a stupid grin on his face responding with a nod and a yes. What a wanker. Perhaps he should make more effort to take an interest, but now – with this new impassiveness he constantly felt – that seemed increasingly unlikely. It was beginning to overwhelm him. Or was the word underwhelm. Was everyone and everything begging to underwhelm him?  

Some days he found himself wondering what the fuck this shitty life was all about. He didn’t feel particularly depressed or anything, he’d just quite simply stopped giving a shit, about anything. If he was honest, all he really wanted to do, was drink coffee in cafes, people watch, and eat cake. There didn’t seem much point in doing anything else. He felt surrounded by insanity and it fascinated. In fact, when he was doing his favourite thing, people watching in cafes, he’d just sit and wonder – between mouthfuls of coffee and cake: – What exactly are these fucking people doing?

“After his decision to stop spending time with Evo his life had closed down somewhat”

He didn’t think this was any bad thing – especially since the knock back in the nightclub that final evening – he just wondered what in hell he was actually going to do? What was he going to do surrounded by insanity? What was he going to do about feeling stoned all the time? The funk of it all was starting to weight on him. What was going to be the ultimate outcome of all this?

In quieter moments, away from the cafes and people, he’d recognised how unafraid he’d become. Most people, he surmised, must be driven, on some level, by some kind of fear. The fear of being sacked; the fear of losing a loved one; the fear of getting ill and dying; the fear of eating the wrong things. The list goes on, but he, with this new attitude, had simply stopped drinking, smoking or eating shit food (mostly) and that seemed the weirdest outcome of all. Perhaps, with this new development, it was time to add something to the mix.  

“With nothing actually mattering anymore, he felt almost serine”

Was this how people felt before they died? Or was it how they felt once they understood what really mattered in life: Hardly anything at all. It seemed the only thing that really mattered to John, right now, was breathing in. Why was it such a relief to be able to breath the fuck out again? For fucks sake!

Home, and alone in his apartment now, John’s mind went to Emily. He was curious about Emily. He’d noticed a change in her the last time they’d met. He knew she’d been to see that wacko guy called The Locksmith; she told him about it. What had happened to her? And more importantly, what had happened to him? Had she cast some kind of spell on him?

It had gone like this. The following Friday, after the increasingly common spat they’d had the week before, both she and Joanne sat waiting in the cafe. They were both sitting at their usual table when he’d walked in. They’d normally be animatedly chatting, but on this occasion, they sat quietly both staring into the middle distance. “Hi” he’d said and it seemed to take a moment before they even registered that he’d sat down alongside them. Eventually they warmed up, their usual banter, resumed.

As he pondered on that afternoon now, he thought: perhaps this spacey feeling he’d been experiencing, was some kind of illness, and it was catching? A bad thing to catch? Perhaps it was time to see The Locksmith himself.  

The Locksmith Series #7 (look closely)

Emily and the weight loss Questions
Weight Loss

Emily was aware of the disembodied voice asking her questions, she’d already asked her’s: “Why am I am I over weight?” “Why do I keep eating all the wrong things when I know they’re bad for me?” “Why do I keep thinking I deserve a relationship but keep myself feeling unattractive?” “Why am I crying right now?”

The Locksmith had anticipated Emily’s questions, everyone who’d ever been to see him had questions, and of course he knew all about how important they were to his inquisitors, yet he also knew, it wasn’t so much the questions that mattered, but how you asked them.

He asked Emily to use her minds eye and imagine a leopard running through the jungle. Knowing the next question was potentially deceitful (as the animal itself was often seen) but with good intent, he asked her:

“How is it the leopard isn’t fat?”

“I know all about exercise!” exclaimed Emily, “I work out at the gym, but when I get home I eat a packet of fucking biscuits, sorry about my bad language,” she added.

Lord Harry, the little terrier curled up beside her, had raised his head. The Locksmith’s question had worked.

“Well, it must be that eating the packet of biscuits is doing something for you, satisfying you in some way. What is the feeling you experience just before you open the packet?”

“Just before I open the packet?”

“That’s right.”

“I don’t know, I’ve never thought about it before.”

“And now that you are?”

Emily was feeling exasperated, “Christ! . . . , sorry,” she said.

“So if I’m hearing you right the feeling you have is sorry,” said the Locksmith.

“No, no, I was apologising for using Christ’s name in vain, I keep swearing.”

“Yes, and if you were sorry, what would you be sorry for?” asked the Locksmith

There was a long pause before Emily answered that last question, she was waiting for some rather inexplicable angry feelings to subside. Once calm she repeated the question to herself: if I was sorry what would I be sorry for?

Finding her voice she said, “I’d feel sorry that I was opening a packet of bloody biscuits, that’s for sure! . . . sorry.”

“Um hum, that particular packet, or the packet before that one?” asked the Locksmith.

After a while Emily came to an understanding the Locksmith was looking to help her with; he was helping her understand the looping nature of guilt, and how guilt doesn’t tend to be ‘date stamped.’

“We can feel guilty for something that happened years ago, or hours ago, and the feelings associated with each incident can be no less intense or destructive,” he told her.

“What we must focus our attention on, is the first time we felt guilty, eating. Also we must focus on how something has changed from necessity to guilt.”

That last part didn’t make any sense to Emily but she was listening all the same, especially when he asked her: “Tell me about that first time; feeling guilty; eating to feel better.”

She didn’t want to say, but somehow, Emily found the strength: “It was after the first time he touched me,” she said. Now the tears had become a well.

To be continued…

The Locksmith Series #6

Drugs. Back in the bar, the two girls had migrated over, John and Evo were giving it their best.

It was all going so well until the gorgeous girl John was talking to, leaned in towards him, and with her right hand, cupped his balls over his jeans and whispered in his ear: “It’s a shame, but if you weren’t such a stoner, maybe we’d have got it on.” John was so stunned, it was a moment before he realised they’d left.

“Sexy bitches,” he heard Evo say.

John let out the breath he hadn’t noticed he’d been holding. “Yeah, sexy bitches,” he agreed wistfully.

In his heart of hearts John knew it was time to make some changes in his life, he also knew – with this knowing heart of his – it would involve dropping Evo from his life. That would be the easy part, changing his habits, potentially wouldn’t.

“Evo, I’m off mate,” he said, “Things are quieting down.”

“Oh come on man, the nights just getting started,” Evo leaned in and whispered into the opposite ear the girl had used, “I’ve got some more gear.”

“Nah, thanks all the same, I’ve sort of lost me mojo all of sudden, I’ll see around.” He didn’t even give Evo the opportunity to respond, wouldn’t have heard him if he had, a moment later he was outside the bar, standing in the rain. It was time to go home.

The Locksmith Series #5

Abreaction is the phenomena experienced when we revisit emotionally charged memories from the past. These emotions and buried memories drive our neurosis.
Abreaction is the phenomenon experienced when we revisit emotionally charged memories from the past. These emotions and buried memories drive our neurosis.

Abreaction and Meditation. Emily was standing in front of the flame red door. Finding Vidya Alley had been surprisingly easy. A few minutes earlier, as she’d walked toward the door – clearly spotted at the end of the alley – she’d been puzzling over how, in all the years living in the area, she’d never noticed the alleyway before. It’s amazing what you can miss, when you’re not looking for it, she’d thought. As she raised her hand, about to touch the gold coloured knob, neatly centred in the middle of the door, it clicked open. The door continued to gently swing inwards and now, beyond it, she could see a softly lit hallway. There was no one there to greet her, and yet, after seeing the soft light, and now smelling the sweet incense, she decided to step forward.

Tucked into the right hand corner of the L-shaped hallway, sat a grandfather clock, it was gently ticking; the pendulum swinging, right to left, right to left: tick, tock, tick, tock went the hypnotic sound. Just in front of the clock, and somehow slightly out of context, there sat a small terrier type dog: quite scruffy and unkempt looking, and in that way dogs do, when they’re trying to work something out: a sound or something they’ve seen, its head was turned slightly to the right; he sat very still, completely unmoving.

As Emily stared at the dog, it sat so still, she began to wonder if it was a stuffed toy. But then, as if seeming to want to clear up her confusion, the little dog stood up, walked away from her, retreating further into the house. She looked on after it, slightly sad – thinking that might be the end of the encounter – when it suddenly stopped, turned around, and looked back at her.

After a few moments, and a slight wag of its tail, the dog walked off turning into the entrance of an adjoining room. Emily, perhaps foolishly, decided to take that as an invitation to follow, she glanced behind her, noticing that the front door was now closed. It had closed so gently and silently, she hadn’t felt, or heard a thing.

The entrance, through which the little dog had disappeared, was covered by a beaded curtain. Emily couldn’t see what lay beyond the curtain and so allowed her curiosity to pull her into the room.

On entering, the first thing she noticed, was a man sitting on a cushion in the centre of the room. There was absolutely nothing else in the room except a small incense burner and a similar cushion placed opposite him. The man appeared to have his eyes closed. He had very short hair and was wearing loose, saffron coloured, robes. She thought to herself, oh bollocks, it’s a fucking Buddhist.

“Hello Emily,” said the man, “I see you’ve met Lord Harry, and no, I’m certainly not a Buddhist, the reason I wear these robes is because they’re practical and comfortable, and I like the colour.”

Two things popped instantly into her mind: How the fuck did he know my name and who the fuck is Lord Harry?

“Lord Harry is the little fella sitting next to you who showed you in, and no, I’m not reading your mind, I just have excellent timing is all.”

She looked down, and sure enough, there was the curious little dog.

“That doesn’t explain how you know my name though, does it?” said Emily, “That’s a bit creepy by the way, and actually, now I come to think of it, this whole experience so far has been a bit creepy,” – I was warned, she thought – “and why don’t you have a phone, everybody has a phone, and how did you know my name?”

“So many questions girl, come, sit as I am, here, opposite me.”

The Locksmith, she’d assumed this must be who she was now talking to, indicated with his hand that she should sit on the small cushion opposite; she did as he requested; placing her bag on the floor; crossing her legs. Lord Harry, the little terrier dog, came over and curled up next to her; she felt instantly at ease, after everything that had happened to Emily, she was ready to be now.

Taking her attention for a moment, a single, white tendril of smoke, spiralled out of the copper incense burner, in front of her. She began to notice the soft lighting now, and wondered where the source of the light was. There were no lamps, wall or ceiling lights she could easily discern, and yet there was light; a calming, soothing light; it seemed to shift and change like the Northern Lights she’d heard so much of. Emily found herself becoming very relaxed, she dreamily heard the Locksmith telling her to notice her breathing, and how the in-breath felt: cool and relaxing; how the out-breath calmed. Her eyelids became so very, very heavy, she felt so relaxed and calm now, and then the unexpected warmth of that salty tear, as it slowly tracked its way down her cheek.  

What on earth is happening to me, she thought.

To be continued…

The Locksmith Series #3

Any form of rape is unacceptable and is conducted by the weak and cowardly. The use of drugs is a modern phenomena in this crime
Any form of rape is unacceptable and is conducted by the weak and cowardly. The use of drugs is a modern phenomena in this crime

Rape. It took John all of half an hour to find Evo. It was one of the reasons they stayed friends; they never made any kind of firm arrangements to meet, they just knew where each other tended to hang out, and so relied on fate to guide them. Beside’s, Evo knew some shady characters, and if John spotted any of them in his vicinity, he could easily avoid them.

Having found one another, and separately visiting the bogs for a line of the powdered stuff, the both of them now stood, propping up the bar, and were well into their second vodka and coke of the evening. Chat came easily in the crowded bar, flying high as they both were, they’d also noticed the menu, lady-flesh menu that was.

“It’d be alright if they’d kept on putting coke in coke like they used to wouldn’t it, we could kill two birds with one stone,” said John

“Nah, be less fun that, I don’t mind a quick snort of the powdered stuff myself. Have ya seen those two over yonder?”

“Of course I bloody av,” he replied, “they’re way out of our league though.”  

“You speak for yourself mate, I reckon after half an hour of my intelligent conversation, they’d be sneaking Valium into my glass, never mind the ruffies I’ve got in reserve for the red head!”

“The Valium I can believe, you’d bloody well need it with the amount of shit you’ve been snorting up ya honk of late,” said John, quietly adding, “and if you do ever use those ruffies mate, it makes you more of a wanker, than I’d ever imagined you to be,”

“I’d never use bloody ruffies mate, I’ve got the necessary talent to get what I need, so don’t you worry ya little head. I believe in chemicals though, all the chemicals I can get, but some of them are strictly for sale to the wankers.”

And so it went on, all typical patter to mark the beginning of a weekend that may, or may not, build into one to remember, or not remember, as the case may be.

For Emily and Joanne their Friday afternoon had continued on in a much more sedate fashion. Earlier in the cafe, soon after John had left, Joanne had shared what she knew of the Locksmith: his address, but also explained, that strangely, no appointments could be made as he gave out no phone number; it was just a case of turning up on his doorstep, and hoping for the best. A bit vague for Emily’s liking but her curiosity had been piqued by Joanne’s enthusiasm.

According to directions, off the main road, a few miles from where she now stood, there was a narrow alleyway. At the entrance there was a small nameplate raised high up on the corner building. The nameplate read: Vidya. Again according to directions, soon after entering this alley, she would find a beautifully well maintained door. On asking, Emily had noted that Joanne had said she didn’t know what the nameplate meant either, and added, she didn’t think it important. Emily thought otherwise.

As Joanne had relayed the directions, Emily was surprised to realise she’d never actually noticed the alley before. She assumed this to be similar to when people, who travel the same journey many times, tend to not notice much of what’s going on around them. This understanding was enough to dismiss her confusion. Back in the cafe, she’d asked Joanne if she’d ever seen it herself, and was met with a blank stare. “Why would I,” she’d said, “it’s you and John who go that way to work.”

Joanne had told her that apparently the door was a freshly painted red and a very striking flame-red at that. She’d also told her that right in the centre of the door was a large brass doorknob. According to the person who’d payed the locksmith a visit some time ago, there was no knocker, letter plate, bell or anything like that, so they’d simply placed their hand on the brass knob, to find out if the door would open or not.

Pulling her coat tight around her shoulders, she thought, how intriguing it is to visit a man, calling himself The Locksmith, who has no visible lock on his front door. Sounds a bit like number Ten Downing street but painted red instead, she thought. There was of course every possibility that the name Locksmith, wasn’t self-appointed, or whether this person existed at all. It could all be a great big, and very embarrassing, wind-up. If that proved to be the case, Emily had already decided to not let on she’d actually gone through with it, and visited the beautiful red door. She set of in the direction of Vidya Alley.

To be continued…

The Locksmith Series #2

Meditation helps to focus the mind as we seek answers to questions the mind wouldn't ordinarily reveal. There are many benefits to meditation.
Meditation helps to focus the mind as we seek answers to questions the mind wouldn’t ordinarily reveal. There are many benefits to meditation.

Meditation. He was sitting in a darkened room, cross legged, a firm cushion raising him slightly from the floor. His back was straight, he sat perfectly balanced with no perceptible tension in his body at all. As he gently breathed in, through slightly parted lips, tongue gently tucked behind his front teeth, his mind spoke the word: Shamatha, an old Sanskrit word meaning “Dwelling in tranquillity.” And as he breathed out, his mind spoke the Sanskrit word: Shunyata, meaning “Emptiness, void.”

He found that using these old words for a short time, at the start of his meditation, helped to rid his mind of all the chatter and the sounds of the world around him. He could remember a time when it was so, so quiet, and how they told him, he’d hear God’s plan. Beliefs in God, as was prescribed to him then, as a child, had long since faded though. There was a new God in his life now; one of his own making.

To the observer, seeing the Locksmith, sitting as he was now, in a darkened room, incense burning, he would potentially have been instantly labelled as Buddhist, yet looks can be deceiving. He didn’t hold to many of the Buddhist’s beliefs, just those he found useful. And he knew about labels, he knew about the label an observer would place on him, and how that flew directly in the face, of so much of what the Buddhists believed. Hypocrisy and nonsense so much of it. No, he was happy to have an identity all of his own, not Buddhist, yet not quite fully anything you could easily label. Human of course, just as human as the Buddhists, who’d even like to lose that particular tag; a tag all humans carry, right up until they die. No escaping that.

As the chatter of his mind stilled so did the need for the repetition of his Sanskrit words. Only aware of his breathing now: the sound and feel of it, a slow steady inhalation followed by that inevitable, yet no longer fully automatic, exhalation. Becoming more and more relaxed with every out breath, drifting down and down into that comfortable place of calm. It was then that the Locksmith heard and felt the name; the name of his next inquisitor: Emily. His mind felt the sound. He would patiently wait.

To be continued…

The Locksmith Series #1

Friendships
Friendships

Friendships. “I’ve always got my nose in the fridge or the kitchen cupboard,” said Emily, “like a bloody grazing cow I am, I know it’s why I’m fat but I just can’t stop myself, it’s like an automatic thing, trying to get some kind of satisfaction or fill some bloody hole”

“Yeah ya cake-hole!” said John

“Shut the fuck up John,” chastised Joanne, “that kind of comment really isn’t of any help.”

It was Friday afternoon and the three of them: Emily, John and Joanne were in their favourite cafe, well, to be absolutely clear, it was Emily’s favourite (she loved the cake),  for the other two it was something to tolerate, it was on their way home.

A few months of meeting like this meant it had grown into something of a habit, and now that casual familiarity close friends tend to have, meant the boundaries, in respect of the subject matter they discussed – and how they discussed them – were, to say the least, starting to become blurred and stretched.

Emily looked up at John, “Yeah well you might be skinny John but we all know why that is don’t we?”

“And what’s that supposed to mean?”

“Oh come on, if you choose to replace a proper evening meal with a line of coke up ya snozer, followed by a vodka and coke, or should I say several, we’d all be skinny; fucked up wasters, but skinny all the same.”

“Now that’s a bit strong, I may be a piss head with a teeny tiny coke habit, but I’m not fucked up and neither am I a waster.”

“Matter of opinion,” muttered Emily.

Joanne was getting a bit bored with their bickering. “Err, look guys, as much as I love the friendly banter between you two, the atmosphere in here’s getting a bit thick, and thicker each time we meet in fact, perhaps it’s time to call it a day?”

“I think you mean call it an evening, don’t you,” said John, “and yes, I have had enough, I’m off to meet Evo for a vodka and coke, and just for the record, Em, I might even have a packet of crisps as a chaser, so up yours” and with that, a disgruntled John stood up, pulled on his coat, and left.

They both watched him walk out the door, the little bell attached to the frame chimed again, as the door swung shut behind him.

“What is it with you two guys?” asked Joanne, “anyone would think you were old lovers or something.”

“Old lovers! Give me a break Jo, he just gets on my nerves that’s all, I open up about something and he just makes snide remarks, he can’t deal with anything serious or emotional.”

“Um, maybe, anyhow he’s gone now,” said Joanne, “off for a weekend full of casual sex and debauchery no doubt, he reckons it’s what gets him through the week you know.” A little bit of debauchery wouldn’t go amiss with me, she thought to herself. Wanting to change the subject she looked squarely at Emily “So did you go?”

“Go? I do hate it when you ask a question like that. It’s as if you think half of it, and only speak half of it, looking to get me into your head so I can work out what the fuck you’re on about.”

“Bloody hell Em, chill-the-fuck-out, I was just wondering if you’d been to see that guy who calls himself the Locksmith, that’s all. You talk about being overweight, but don’t change your habits. You just said you’re always in the fridge, or whatever, grazing like a bloody cow, was how you put it.”

Joanne took a moment to check herself: a long slow breath, she decided to change her tone. Sounding gentle and slightly conspiratorial she went on, “those I’ve spoken to reckon he’s really good and can help you unravel why you feel a bit powerless to change.”

Emily tutted her exasperation, “Truth is he sounds a bit weird Jo, and weird, is like the last thing I need right now.”

The edge came quickly back to Joanne’s voice, “How can it be weird to have an interest in finding out what makes you tick? If it takes a bit of weirdness to sort stuff out, isn’t it worth coping with? Besides, don’t you think it’s a bit weird always having your face in the fridge and kitchen cupboards?”

“Jo!” exclaimed Emily, “now you’re beginning to sound like that arshole who just left. I tell you what, I’ll go see him, this Locksmith, I’ll listen to what he has to say, will that please you?”

To be continued…

Ahhhhhhh… got me again!

It’s a nice summers day, I’ve been walking, minding my own business; feeling good; feeling calm. In the park nearby there’s a busker playing Spanish guitar. I listen for awhile; he’s very good. A few minutes later I decide to make my way home, when who should happen along, but someone I know through another friend: The queen of humiliation.

‘Hello Jilly’ I say

“Oh hello how are you?”

‘I’m very well thank you, and you?’

“Oh fine, fine. Have you been listening to the Spanish Guitarist?”

‘Yes, he’s very good isn’t he’

“Good, only one of the sixth best in the world!” she exclaims with a chuckle.

…………………………………..

“On the surface you might see that little snippet of conversation to be a fairly harmless exchange, on the surface, it is, unless you know Jilly that is.”

You see, the lady in question, has this very annoying habit of making you feel stupid, and she’s very, very good at it. So adept, at making sensitive men feel like arsholes is she, that I’m sure many actively avoid her. Some women get a buzz from humiliating men and I’ve met a few of them. So lacking in confidence, with so little love in their lives, are they, that this gives them a sense of superiority.

These people are transparent to the rest of us when we realise that humiliation will be something they lived through during childhood. In Jilly’s case, either from witnessing father humiliate mother, from being humiliated herself, or, as is more likely the case, both instances. 

It really shouldn’t matter that this woman can do this to me: get under my skin in this way. It really, really shouldn’t matter, but for some strange reason, it does. Within me there’s obviously some need to look in charge, to be in control, to be an all knowing, all seeing man about town. Impossible of course, yet we men, do need to feel this way and mostly, kind women, humour us. They certainly don’t look to humiliate us.

Jilly exposes this weakness. She metaphorically rips my head off and spits down my fucking neck. And not just once, no, every time I meet her there’s the same outcome. What a defence mechanism, genius, she’s pure genius. Was pure genius I should say. Past tense, because no one will be seeing Jilly again, and she’ll definitely no longer be getting under my skin. She’ll not be getting under anyone’s skin for that matter. You see, I’ve murdered her. Yep, bashed her silly fucking brains in with a hammer.

“No, not really. I jest. Even though I’ve not killed her, it is clear to me now, I’ll not be seeing Jilly again. I’ll be actively avoiding her from now on, and so, to me, she is dead.”

You might think this a little drastic (slightly less so than murder) however, I’ve taken this decision, because my wellbeing: the health of my mood and my mind, is so important to me now, that I’ll no longer be putting up with the bastards trying to get me down.

It’s not been difficult to work out why Jilly’s this way. Not difficult at all. In fact, she’s fucking transparent, but the thing is, I don’t care. I no longer care that she’s been damaged. I don’t care that she’s lonely. I. Don’t. Fucking. Care. My psyche is the most important aspect here.

thelake

People will constantly look to throw stones into the calm pool of our minds; if we let them, that is. This is their point. My whole intention, whenever I meet someone, Jilly included, is to just have a gentle and meaningless interaction with them, that goes no further than ‘how are you?’ and ‘isn’t it a beautiful day?’ Any further than this and we’re generally into game play. I’m bored of the games.

It’s easy to understand why the English only ever talk about the weather, any further on from this, and they’re trying to fuck with each others minds. Such ugly and unnecessary game play. Just leave me be, and all is well.

guitar

He is a very good Spanish Guitarist, but sixth in the world, and still busking. Fuck, there really isn’t any hope for us, is there? Or was it all total bollocks invented just for the gameplay? It must be accepted, sometimes even love, isn’t enough. Nice weather we’re having though.

The Language to Speak

I know English isn’t my first language, and yet, strange as it may seem, if I heard it now, I’d no longer understand the language of my homeland. It’s been far too long since I’ve heard or spoken it; a rapid staccato of clicks and other sounds, too fast for my mind to process. I’ve gotten slow in my old age. Besides, it seems to me, my first language, if you could call it one, is that of feel.

“I speak the language of feel. For instance, I feel, in the world today, empathy is currently on the wane. Perhaps empathy always ebbs and flows? Everything is reactionary, defensive or attacking. There’s no: let’s just feel what’s happening, notice the feeling, forgetting reacting.”

All that buried emotion, within each of us, finding an outlet through reactionary activity, as opposed to pausing, so understanding may find its way. It’s like the Dalai Lama saying, as he did: “I don’t feel like there’s anything special or different about me.” What he’s failed to hear, is the feelings he has, are only one sided. It would seem, to most, he’s been conditioned in the feeling of joy, and nothing else. Perhaps, it’s even a mocking joy, no one above, is failing to feel deeply enough, so as to stop disrespecting our efforts. No one needs disrespecting mockery.

The time of Siddhārtha Gautama was one of feeling. He would also feel it now. Predominantly, what the masses felt, was suffering and pain. No doubt, if you’re living in a time of pain and suffering, you’ll come to believe that this, is all there is. And so it is, the language of feel, is always on the precipice of dying out completely.

tonesgold
Tones and Colours of Pleasure

“You cannot fully understand this language if all you know are the pleasurable tones and colours. You cannot fully understand this language if all you know are the tones and colours of pain and suffering. You need to know all the tones and all the colours, or else, how can you expect to understand what anyone is saying? Especially those in need.”

tonespain
Tones and Colours of Pain

People talk of the language of love and I laugh. The language of love is the hardest of all. Imagine staring into the eyes of love and hearing its song. Can you hear that song the language of love is singing? It’s very soft, very calm and very, very quiet. You really need to be listening to hear it. Not listening hard, you understand. No, it’s about no listening at all. No longer actively blocking out, those around you, like so many do. Feel the sound as you look into my eyes.

“Is there any effort required to sense the language of feel? Or do you just feel it? Do you know how it feels to wash yourself in the river everyday? Do you know how it feels when there is no river?”

If you want a response from me, first, you must learn the language of feel. Can you feel the silence?

Bad Back (no bad thing)

He was starting to do that thing the shadow man from his childhood did: fall asleep a lot, but at least his back was getting better. Jane in the shop said, “I’m glad my teeth are all false!” It was her usual inane response to something that was going on in his life.

He’d told her about his appointment with the dentist later in the day, “another bloody filling” he’d said, and that had been all she had to say – “glad my teeth are false.” It was similar to how whenever he tried to make any conversation with her, what came back, was always on the defensive, she always got the wrong end of the stick and it always sounded ridiculous to him. He knew she’d lost her mind many years ago.

To make matters worse, she was now asking him to repeat everything he said, as if she’d not heard him the first time. He’d always done this to her, asked her to repeat what she’d said, and all because he had high frequency deafness, the more he heard something the deafer he became. That’s high frequency deafness for you. He was so very tired of hearing the same things said over and over again. It was as if he’d lived hundreds of years, not just fifty two, but she seemed to be just copying him. He knew this because it was a new development. Unless she really was going deaf too.

People simply refused to acknowledge his deafness; the fact they needed his attention before speaking, and how he needed to see their faces to lip read. They simply refused to believe him. Perhaps they also understood what high frequency deafness really meant. Say something interesting though, and you’d catch his attention, that’s for sure. So few did. What did you say? Pardon? Say again? What? Fuck.

The funny thing was, some weeks ago, he’d asked her why she called herself Jane when her name was Carol. He’d seen her sign on with her official name, as it were, on the shop till, so knew her name was really Carol. A name that had a negative blast from the past for him.

Anyway, it turns out, when she was at school, and the teachers called out her name for registration, she wouldn’t hear them, so they started to call out Jane, her second name, and to their surprise, she answered. All that time thinking she was deaf and it was only her name she hated.

It’s funny how the universe seems to pull you, yes that’s the right words, pull you into situations that have some kind of metaphorical meaning; some sad link to the past. That was how he saw it anyway. He’d recently noticed all the scars on her arms from self harm; the amateur tattoos. Yes, she’d lost her mind some years ago, and was now doing over seventy hours a week to compensate.

Perhaps that was the answer then; the escape from all the insanity, just fall asleep and become a shadow man. It didn’t matter who he was talking to, they’re the great pretenders, he would think, I’m sick of this pretending. People mirroring, copying, is there no one else in this world now, am I truly all alone? Where are the real people now? Have they gone forever? Have you gone? It seems as if I’m the only one here, and its got so damn lonely; worse than ever. The silence is deafening. Like his bad back was fading; core strength returned.

Everyone seemed to have some pain; some malady; some complaint. Everyone* He might see a child in the shop though. It was so lovely to see them. So full of life, so full of love; until it’s knocked out of them by the adults that is.

No use complaining though, one grandparent was seen to say: “no sweets today, those are the rules” and it brought some hope. He though today how strange is the human who seems to just fix the problem never the cause. Like the fillings due to his sweet tooth. No sugar – no fillings, like our ancestors with their beautiful teeth, before sugar. It’s almost as if he can remember. So the humans don’t stop eating sugar, they simply invent dentists, and sugar cane fields, and sugar beet fields and shit. And shit.