1. "But I will be,
    A bridegroom to my death and run into’t
    As to a lover’s bed."
    — 

     

     

  2. When you’re young you have this nagging feeling that the world is against you and that when you’re older things will be so much easier. But really, doors are being opened for you every day. You are the architect of your own deficiencies, living within the illusion of fate and a lack of control. It is when you grow older, stumbling towards middle age, that something turns. You begin to wrestle with the world as you realise that you were wrong, life doesn’t get easier, the city isn’t your friend, and slowly you begin to long for those younger days you wasted bemoaning your fate. As you grow older the city begins to erect barricades all around you, barriers that you have to push through or you can go home. And it’s only when everything falls apart, when you are standing amidst the rubble of your life, when the emptiness is absolute, that anything opens up for you and you can go actually go anywhere.

     

  3. I read a half interesting, half stupid article today…

    … called “How to Deal with Crappy People" thanks to the fact I now have LinkedIn. It started so: “Ugh, I’m disgusted with my brain. I see people walking down the street and there’s like this killer inside me providing running nasty commentary about each person." - anyone who reads me will be aware that I am a reluctant cynic (in that I’d like not to be, but I really really am) and y’know, I do have that monologue that secretly hates everyone and tells them to get the hell out of my way and to stop being stupid and annoying. It’s my judging side, and that’s okay, I’m at ease with it, what else does the resting human mind have to do but say "who the fuck is this?" at everything?

    So, I read on; skimmed would be a better word. I wasn’t really reading, just bumming around on the Internet while I pretended to work. Lots of nonsense that might seem like Zen-wisdom were I not an intelligent man, but eventually I came to the passage I was half looking for, describing one of four types of people, #4 being: “People who will do you harm, no matter what you do, for no reason at all. They never will get it. They will say and do things to you and they will never ever understand how evil they are.”

    I thought, well shit, evil is a harsh word for the shitty people in my life. And then I thought about it some more, in a number of directions, all over the web of cynicism that is weaved over my mind to secure me in my mild sociopathic status. And several thoughts came to me 1) that yes, evil is probably an okay way to describe those people, and 2) that little voice in my head didn’t exist at one point, it thought that everybody was fundamentally good and could become evil, now it just tells me not to trust anybody and that everybody is bad. 

    I don’t know how that change came about (that’s a lie, I really do) but it doesn’t exactly seem a problem, it has probably saved me from a great many idiots. Whereas that former attitude put me in too many near-fatal positions thanks to those “evil” people all too ready to take advantage of it.

    But to the first point, evil, when google defined, throws up this definition: “profoundly immoral and wicked.” and the synonyms: “wicked, bad, wrong, vile, base, ungodly, morally wrong, malicious, ignoble”. Looking at those words, I thought, yeah, there are A LOT of people those words can apply to, whether they’ve actively hurt me due to a real blackness of the heart, or through sincere selfishness and poor character have just been consistently awful.

    The first group are made up mostly of lovers, for want of a better word, who have burrowed their way into a position of trust and then used that position to personally cataclysmic results. Then they walked away from the rubble unscathed, leaving me for dead. None of my relationships have really ended otherwise, but naturally, the stand out is a Canadian girl I had on my mind for almost a decade, whom I am yet to be convinced wasn’t trying to kill me through emotional turmoil.

    The second group is made up of users, people who just don’t care. This is pretty much all my friends, and yours for that matter. The general group around you who, if you let them, will fuck you over again and again until you’ve had enough. And then it’s your fault. The transgressions may seem minor, so naturally you’ll feel guilty for hating them for it, but as they stack up, day after day, you being to realise that it’s something huge. That’s how they get you. I have examples, beginning with E and L (they’re not going to read this, so it’s fine, and they’re too stupid to work out it’s them anyway), people who take advantage of my advice, who flake on plans (if they agree to them at all), and who fundamentally don’t care about anyone but themselves. 

    I’ve lost weeks to them, waiting for them to make up their minds about plans, and time further to the frustration and anger they cause by not being definitive and fucking me over. I’ve marched them through their worries and pains, supported and healed them, with no reciprocation. Met instead with indifference and apathy, and yet they insist on calling themselves “friend”. 

    The kicker, no amount of objection will make them realise how awful they’ve been to me. They won’t have it. They could stab me, literally, in the face and they’d evade responsibility. It’s astonishing how much these people can play on me to make me feel guilty for all that they have done to me.

    Of course, I have put myself in a position to be played and preyed upon, even when I’ve seen it coming (because I’m still stupid enough to have hope for better days), so blame lays with me. The difference is I accept that responsibility, and they do not accept theirs.

    They will torture you, kill you, and slit the thoughts out of your mind and not even care because they think they are doing the right thing.” is how James Altucher puts it in the article. Heck, it is torture. And somehow it is justified. Even I justify it for one simple reason: fool that I am, I care about these people. 

    They’re horrible. Simple. All those years lost to these people, locked in misery and guilt because they’re too dreadful and selfish to accept that they’ve done wrong. And they do it again and again, to so many people, without even realising they’re awful, and slowly the blackness seeps out of their heart and into their whole, and they do become evil. And when people, like me, cut them loose, give up, whatever you want to call it, we’re the bad guys, and it’s some ridiculous injustice against them. Because they are stupid, cold, and without heart.

    So much lost time. E and L, frankly, are responsible for all of my lost time over the past three years of my degree, because I haven’t had the will to get away from them until recently. I’m not getting that time back, it’s gone, and if I were to die suddenly tomorrow that time would be theirs forever. Which is sad, because they don’t deserve it, I do. Where’s my time? Lost, because they’re not going to give back all they’ve taken. 

    I’m not nearly as bitter and jaded as I seem, and that is what it has driven me to feel. Imagine what they’re doing to people with a deeper sense of angst. Killing them, and unlike me, they might not escape it. If we call people who kill people with guns and shit evil, why don’t we call these people evil too? That’s what they’re doing, killing people, accept it isn’t so visible, it’s inside out. 

    Naturally, those that have wronged me will know, one day, when I go through a phase of justice, in which I make amends for recent wrongs and make a final statement on those done unto me (they come around every year, these phases). But until then they will be blissfully unaware of the wrong they have done, as will all like them, and if they are aware they will think it nothing. I am too old for bitterness, as I say every day, I’m Zen. But that does not make it less sad.

    He finishes: “Remember this: When you get in the mud with a pig, you get dirty and the pig gets happy." - I’m pretty filthy by now.

    Is this a warning, a rant, a confessional? I don’t know, I don’t care either. A reaction perhaps, to something average that I read today. But I can see now that those people are “evil”, in a sense of the word. I have used many other words to describe them, but that one is encompassing enough to include all of them, so it is good enough for me. Not that I had an epiphany, I will continue to make the mistakes, I just have a name for those mistakes now.

    I make terrible errors in spelling and grammar and typing on my blog, because it’s a blog and I don’t care. Don’t moan about it, just get through it, I have to.

     

  4. I know I must face it, I know that now. There will come a time when I must banish her completely, and it will come soon. That one, vital haunting that reared its terrible head the moment I met Justine. When she scattered my world upon the floor like a child’s toys and neglected to replace them she had no idea that, amidst the broken dolls and action figures, there laid a rare and destructive antique of a memory that has since grown into something more. Polished up and replaced on the mantel by my neurosis, it stands ready to destroy me. 

     

  5. So the choice is mine: I can return to the city and continue to search its streets for answers regardless of who it hurts, or I can face up to what I have done and see what the world will hand me as a result. The latter is my only true option on the road to becoming a good man once more, if it sends me to seek more answers so be it, if it drives me to the streets once more, okay; if I die I die. 

     

  6. "…I was not myself for weeks yet nobody noticed."
    — 

    (Source: camoxytocin, via josephinebw)

     

  7. How did we get so empty?

     

  8. Stormy Ol’ Weather…

    Time draws on as slowly as ever, it’s cold and it is dark. Not that that ever changes either. The world has become adorned with a subtle haze as my body and mind prepare for another bout of inertia. These periods come and go about three times a year, often around big dates: Christmas, birthdays, Hanukkah if I’m unlucky.

    Things become blurred, people get a little lost. Kind of a spring clean, I suppose. Time to hoof out those hangers-on and users who don’t have any real value, but who like to drain my own. There are too many this time, but some I can release, and others I can ignore - I’ve no desire to see strange faces that aren’t my own.

    Familiar thoughts of leaving and the open country come to my mind, but they are dismissed quickly. For all my distaste for the world I have made for myself, and indeed those that have invaded it, I am a stay at home fellow with little use for wanderlust.

    It certainly feels time to clear out the old store, break away from those that have too much to take and nothing much to give. Too often have given my life and time to people, only to have it given back a little more damaged than before; irreparable and bruised beyond recognition. It’s somewhat tragic when you realise your battered boxset of extended Lord of the Rings DVDs that everyone borrows is actually a microcosm for your life as a whole.

    Got to ramble on, though. That’s the way of things: what is is. Just got to clear out the trash and get on despite the stormy weather.

     

  9. "I’d rather be dreaming than living
    Living’s just too hard to do.
    It’s chances not choices,
    Noises not voices,
    A day’s just a thing to get through.
    Yes, living’s just too hard to do."
     

  10. "That’s just it, it isn’t. Even people who think they’re completely different aren’t. They will say “it’s good to be different” and pretend they are different and that it’s okay because people are fine with them. But the truth is that they do just as much to fit in as everybody else, they just deny it. They will still go to the bars and the clubs and join in, because they have to, that’s the done thing. They make out that they are different, but really they’re just the same as everybody else."

     

  11. And if she asks you why you can tell her that I told you that I’m tired.

     

  12. Why not follow this person? Not because she’s fun, witty, or interesting like me, but because I said so. 

     
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  14. "O victory, forget your underwear, we’re free!"
     

  15. The Unselfish Giant

    My father used to tell me a story and it comes to me now as I recover from my drunkenness, a story about an unselfish giant. He would always tell me at the strangest moments with a weary tone to his voice, like a man that had lost something important to him. I remember once we were walking in the fields near my childhood home, not far down the motorway. He sat me on a stump and sat down on the bank beside me, looking off to the distance for a moment, at something only he could see. There was a giant, he would begin, an unselfish giant. Children of the land would marvel at the dark tan of his skin, a tone he achieved from spending all his days in the sun out in the olive groves or by the lake. He didn’t live in a grand castle like all the other giants, instead he lived a simple life making his home under a tall yew tree, and he was content.

         The giant did not keep diamonds or gold – which was strange, because it is known that giants are great hoarders of precious and pretty things – but instead carried with him a large sack of fine goose feathers. The giant liked them for their softness and their quality. He picked only the best and whitest, and maintained them with care and affection. Occasionally monks from the neighbouring town would come and barter for some of his quills, trading food with him, and he accepted only out of necessity for he would have happily given the feathers away.

          But the time came when a selfish giant, discontent with his high walls and great stores of gold, envied the dark giant. And, mistaking the cause of the dark giant’s happiness to be his store of goose feathers rather than his uncluttered conscience, came to him one morning and asked him, “ho, friend, why don’t you make a gift of some of those feathers to me?”

          The dark giant happily obliged and gave the other a handful of his feathers. The selfish giant looked at the feathers and felt content. “Yes,” he said to himself. “Now I own these I can find my bliss.”

          The other giants, from behind their high walls and their large stores, saw their friend’s happiness and envied him too. “What makes you so happy, friend,” they each asked. “These feathers, of course,” he replied, showing them his grubby fistful of down.

          The other giants laughed and slapped their friend on the back for making such a fine joke. “What silliness, feathers cannot make anyone happy! It is gold and silver and fine precious things that do!”

          “Ho friends, then ask the dark one in the forest, he is the happiest of us all, and all he owns are some feathers.”

          So the giants all came to the dark giant and found that their friend was right, he was happy. So, all together, they said, “ho, friend, why don’t you give us some of those feathers so we can share in your joy?”

          This lifted the dark giant’s heart, that giants usually so greedy for gold and precious metals would want to share in his love for goose feathers. “Of course,” he said gaily, handing each of them a handful of feathers each. And then they left, contented by having what they believed was the key to happiness. And retreating to their castles they displayed the feathers above their gates like trophies.

          Before long the lords and kings of the land saw the giants’ feathers and wondered what on earth they could mean. Were they a trophy of war, a code that only the tall could read? With all their houses about them, the kings and lords rode to the nearest castle and asked. “What do you mean by these feathers, tall ones?”

          The giants all laughed. “Don’t you know little ones, these feathers are the key to happiness, just ask the dark one down in the forest.”

          So a great host converged on the dark giant’s forest home, kings and lords from all over, friends and enemies all. The dark giant greeted them kindly, “ho, my friends, what may I do for you?”

          “Those feathers,” the highest of kings said, “won’t you make us a gift of some?”

          The dark giant happily obliged, handing each of the host a feather each. Joy in his heart that so many would share his interest in such trivial things. Each man walked away with a profound pleasure in their heart, convinced that the feather each owned was the key to contentment.

          The dark giant lay down by his tree and looked into his bag, finding it half full (for he was ever an optimist). I shall have to go to the lake and fetch some more feathers tomorrow, he thought as he happily fell asleep.

         But in the morning he found a crowd gathered around his home. Stretching as far as he could see. So many had made the pilgrimage to see the magical goose feathers; the goose feathers they had been told were so vital to true happiness. The giant was taken aback, but happily he handed out the feathers to those that had come one by one.

         Once the pilgrims had left the giant took his rest, laying down against his tree and letting out a contented sigh.  It felt good to do good, the giant always thought that. But when he reached into his sack he found that only one feather remained.

         “Well,” he said to himself. “We all have at least one.”

         But when the giant went down to the lake the next day he found there were no feathers to be found. The geese too had disappeared. The townspeople, seeing the happy pilgrims with their feathers, seeing the lords’ joy at their quills, seeing the trophies of the other giants, had decided that before them they had a fine source of revenue. So they had gathered all the feathers they could, and captured all the geese, and meant to sell the feathers for their own profit.

         Dejected the giant sat down by the bank and cried and cried until he could cry no more. Not for the loss of his feathers, but that his one joy had become a monopoly. He railed against the greed of the other giants, and of the lords who should know better, and of the people to whom he had given so much to and yet received nought back.

         Day turned to night and back to day again and still the giant wept. “I gave away these feathers in order to make people happy,” he said to himself. “Because they made me happy and I thought that is how you spread happiness. But all they have done is taken what I love and what makes me happy and made it into something sordid and greedy.”

         Suddenly, driven by grief, the giant craved castle walls and vaults of silver and gold and a safe place to store feathers where only he could see them. He was ready to throw away his kindness, leave the open air and beautiful olive groves, and seek a life of gluttonous solitude when up came a girl, maybe six or seven, in floods of tears.

         “Mister Giant,” she spoke, mild and sweet, “why does everyone else have a feather and I don’t?”

         Struck with pity the giant handed over his last feather. Instead of the confused greed he saw in the faces of the townsfolk, the giant saw in this girl a surge of pure joy. “Oh thank you, Mister Giant!” she cried before she skipped away across the grass. The giant sat beside the lake once more, without sorrow in his heart, without feathers in his pouch, and smiled.

         When he finished my father would stay silent for some time. I would ask him what it meant; what exactly the moral of the story was. Why did the giant give away his last feather, why was he so happy about it, and why are feathers any good anyway? He would never answer and I would have to be content with his silence. Sometimes I was, and sometimes I would shout and stamp my feet as only a child could, demanding an answer. He would simply sigh as if he were disappointed in me.

         The story often comes to me now, and each time I try and find a meaning in my father’s old words. But there is none that I can ever pull out; none, at least, that I would deem worthy of my father. Typical morals of selflessness and doing good were not what my father preached, instead all his stories were of the same ilk, and he would tell me as if he too were trying to glean something from them.

         He was ever a mysterious man. Never short of a story or a piece of advice, childish mischief never far from his mind. Often we would walk together in the fields that bordered our home, he would take me on adventures brimming fantasy and escapism. My mother never approved, her Catholic upbringing spoke against frivolities like ours. Whenever we returned she would scold first my father and then turn her attentions towards me for encouraging him – often I thought it should have been the other way round.

         I came to realise later that he was not a happy man, and most of that unhappiness I attributed to my domineering mother. But, in truth, there was something else hanging over him that I am only now beginning to comprehend. It was the evenings that brought sobriety out in him, in the sunlight he was a jovial and kind man, even when my mother was rampaging as she would through the house. But when darkness fell he seemed set upon, as if the night-time was fell and harrowing. Often I would wake in the middle of the night and hear him talking, but it was not to my mother that he spoke but into the darkness. At other times he would mention someone whom my mother and I were unaware existed and then just pass it off with the phrase “that is another world”, and we would always assume he was talking about work.

         Seldom did he seem truly with us. He was an editor for some big magazine in the city, nothing too fancy, but not pulp either, somewhere in between – a phrase with which I could describe his entirety. He always seemed stuck between something, which I always assumed was my mother’s good and bad sides, now I realise it may well have been something else. I realise that I may well have inherited this other world from my father: gorilla man and all.

         It is hard, in moments like these, not to think of my father. In fact, rarely a day goes by that I don’t think of him. Where my mother was a taskmaster, the perennial “bad cop”, my father was always good and kind to me, and I loved him dearly. His death left a hole in my heart that took years to even begin to fill, and even now it feels hollow still. Afterwards I left the family home and moved to the city, my mother left too and moved to the coast some years after, and now that family home of mine is home to another, while the memories and hauntings of the old place stand derelict.

         It is a sombre thought, that such a place is lost. Sad also that my best memories remain those of my childhood and that I have failed, since the passing of my father, to make any new ones. It used to be that I would be hopeful of new things in the morning, now I just hope I can make it through tomorrow without incident.

         You should sleep.

         No, never sleep. That is my life now: of waking and thought. I place a record on my old turnstile, a set of LPs and the player some of the few mementos I have of my father. Simon and Garfunkel. Sounds of Silence. Too many thoughts of my father, too many of his old favourites, first the film and now this. I can only hope he is at peace in his new world.