The Locksmith #8 (Distracted By The Human Condition)

The Human Condition

The Locksmith had watched Emily leave the room, waited for Lord Harry (the little terrier dog) to return, before closing his eyes again. It took just a few moments for him to gain his composure.

Human behaviour often amazed, shocked, saddened and sometimes even amused The Locksmith.

It wasn’t so much unexpected – to hear the tales such as the one just recounted by Emily – it was more about how it made him feel. It was disappointing to him, that so many people didn’t see the deeper side of their behaviour; the real purpose to it.

Ultimately, it didn’t so much matter that their behaviour was destructive to themselves and others – time heals after all – it mattered that so many seemed ambivalent to it all. For he understood, when there’s indifference or ambivalence to anything, change will be slow, or fail altogether.

He understood how human indifference wasn’t necessarily their state of mind to begin with, for him though, it developed rather too quickly.

The perpetrators of harm rarely gave though to the damage they caused. Abusive acts, be they physical or emotional, were carried out with such disregard, it saddened him. This lack of empathy and consideration for others was what also amazed. How have they made it this far? He would puzzle.

He experienced equal measure of amazement and sadness, for how people had such low regard for themselves, and their lives. Life can be so beautiful when one takes a moment to stop. And to have such lack of regard for others, was often a clear reflection of the low regard they held for themselves, and all life in general.

All these unloved children, with empty souls, seeking what they lacked.

The Locksmith also understood, the self-centered nature of human children, often never left them. Was being taught ‘out’ of this, through educating children about the dangers of self-centeredness, being overlooked? He would meditate on such questions. If the only concern, is for satisfaction of the self, humans will begin to lose the very thing that’s made them so successful: Their togetherness. His mind would answer the questions. It was the questions that mattered.

It seemed to him, that the need for power and control over each other, remained at the heart of so many of their troubles. The playground games, of winning or losing favour with each other, was a constant. Taking sides, building allegiances; general bullying and tittle-tattle was also there. All games created by the children seeking power, attention, and above all, love.

At times it became a distraction for him. His awareness of this was an annoyance.

He did have better things to be thinking of. For example, what was the nature of the seed he’d been sent here to plant? He knew it had a lot to do with the human concept of love. A flawed concept, though it was.

When something isn’t universally understood, it becomes a struggle to find it’s true power, as confusion tends to defuses it. His thoughts often concluded with the realisation of it flawed nature, yet he was always soothed, by its usefulness. It is the best they’ve come up with, to explain their feelings, he would surmise.

Having regained his composure his thoughts returned to Emily. Dear, dear Emily. Such a lonely child. Could he not say the same about all the people he’d met?

Reaching out to her again he sensed her pain ebbing. In his mind’s eye, he saw her walked away, back to a life, better understood. He knew the whole purpose to her life was love, just not one, she yet fully understood. The sooner the better he thought.

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 #4

Loneliness
We all find ways to cope with loneliness

Loneliness. Walking in the opposite direction to Emily, Joanne was pondering on what she needed to pick up from her local convenience store. As it was Friday, she thought it would be especially nice to treat Molly, her cat, to some posh cat food and not the cheap stuff she normally bought. Amongst these thoughts wrestled the indecision of whether tonight’s wine was going to be red or white. To help, she tasted them in her mind, comparing the difference between the two, she also thought about what to prepare for dinner, if prepare was the right word, ready meals didn’t really count on that score.

Earlier, she’d reminded Emily about the Locksmith, because she was beginning to grow a little tired of hearing about her struggles with food; we all had our share of problems, and even though she often enjoyed listening, she felt Emily would be better off talking to a professional. Being slightly overweight was one thing, but Joanne believed Emily’s problems, ran a little deeper.

Now she came to think of it, the friend – less of a friend, more of an acquaintance – who’d first mentioned the Locksmith, had described him in quite vague terms, but said she’d felt deeply affected by what he’d told her. The more she thought of it now, the more she started to doubt if sending Emily on such a quest, had been wise. What did she actually know about the Locksmith? The old acquaintance who’d confided in her hadn’t been seen or heard of for some time, in fact, when was the last time she’d seen Rebecca?

Having climbed the few stairs to the landing she now stood at the door to her flat. The bag containing the cat food, and the red wine she’d decided on, swung from her left arm. Joanne was feeling good about her choices, as her true and only trusted companion, she felt Molly was especially deserving of a gourmet-cat-food-treat. The animal was very important to Joanne.

Whilst fumbling around in her bag for keys, she heard a sound from the other side of the door, a smile touched her lips, it sounded like Molly had anticipated her return.

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…