Monday, 30 December 2013

Cannonballs Ahoy...!

"A cannonball," she said.  "It could come crashing in through that window and we could all escape.  All except Jack Sparrow, of course.  He's got to wait for his ship."


"Who would fire the cannon?" I asked.


It was an interesting method of escape and one I'd actually not thought of myself.  Cannonballs were difficult to get your hands on in an asylum and I didn't think the Black Pearl would chance by, there being a distinct lack of ocean and all.


"Well, maybe Captain Jack wouldn't have to wait for his ship at all!  It might be out there waiting.  It might fire the cannonball for him to escape and we could get out too!"


I didn't want to mention my previously mentioned lack of ocean.  It often didn't pay to put to many obstacles in the way of her thoughts.  She'd freewheel through fantasies and ideas like a gymnastic jester, all tumbling arms and careening legs.


I also didn't want to mention the lack of Captain Jack Sparrow and his mighty ship.  Surely they'd be cruising the Caribbean awaiting the release of the next sequel's sequel's sequel.  If she thought the good Cap'ain was here then I wasn't going to say anything to the contrary.  I'd leave that to Contrary Maurice (invariably called Mary purely for the flow), who'd swear white was black and night was day even at noon in the middle of a snowstorm in December.


Besides, Alexandra, who didn't really mind being called Alex but pretended she hated it (she'd always tip me a wink when she was raging at the latest victim to fall foul of accidentally abbreviating her name), came up with some mightily inventive escape plans and, one day, one of them might actually work.  It seemed she was the Recreation Room's sole escape committee.  She was Steve McQueen, Donald Pleasance and that guy from Sapphire and Steel all rolled into one, and I bet she knew how to ride a motorbike too.


Alex (forgive me), of the deep red hair and deeper eyes, and of the laugh that was wicked, dirty and sly in equal measure, was my light on the darkest day.  When the screams were close to deafening me and the shadows were threatening to suffocate me, Alex was there to scatter my darkness's minions like leaves on the wind.


I questioned her residency of the asylum.  She didn't strike me as insane or a danger to anyone.  She was, simply, imaginative.  Perhaps she did live in a world a whisper away from this one, populated by imaginary ship's captains and cannonballs that came out of nowhere, but that didn't mean she was diddly-dolally.  It only meant she was eccentric.  Plenty of people were a little left of centre and some ran the country!


I asked her, once, in an attempt to ignore the curves that were difficult to ignore (even in the pseudo-scrubs we were forced to wear), what she would do if she was in charge of the country.


"Nothing," she answered.




"We're in a mess anyway," she said, smiling her smile.  "Each party inherits the mistakes of the one before.  How can you do anything with a pile of doggy-do-do that's been dumped by a hound the size of a country?"


I frowned, unable to answer.


"I'd let the people decide.  Pumps or heels."


"Pumps or heels?"


"Yes, I'd let the people decide which was best when the Enterprise came down to beam us out!"


She said this in a tone that implied the word 'Silly' was silently added to the end.


Alex for PM, I say.  Let her sail around the coast in the Black Pearl firing cannonballs at anyone who wasn't carrying a pooper-scooper.


Works for me.


Monday, 16 December 2013

Ghost of Christmas Past...

“I am the ghost of Christmas past,” she said.


Her head was on my shoulder at the time.  She was resting it there after telling me, if she didn’t, it would fall off.  Who was I to argue?  Who was I to risk the potential decapitation of someone such as she?  Besides, there are plenty here who seem to run around as if headless...


I asked her what she meant, and she didn’t answer for a long moment.


I could smell her hair.  The scent of coconut drifted up to make me think of chocolate and paradise islands.  I could imagine her laying there on the sand, counting the grains that ran through her fingers.  She be gazing at the sky, waiting for the stars to come out when the sun was setting.  She’d imagine seeing the birth of each one, rather than them being burning balls of fire, millions of light years away.


She was like that.  Whimsical.  A wisp of a woman.  Slight and slender.


Gabrielle.  She believed herself to be ‘not from around here’.  By that, she didn’t mean she’d arrived on the train from Kings Cross or flown in on the early plane from Schipol Airport.  She meant she was not... of this plane.  This existence.  This reality.  No one called her Gabby or Gabs or any other too informal abbreviation.  She seemed to deserve her full name.  Gabrielle.  It suited her.


“I mean, I’m the ghost of Christmas past,” she said.


Of course she did.


“OK,” I said.  I left it at that.  What could I say?  How’s Scrooge doing?  What the Dickens do you mean?


Besides, when she rested her head on me like that, something which happened at least a couple of times a week (she seemed to have a wobbly head), it was somehow comforting.  Perhaps it was the simple closeness of another person – a woman, indeed.  Perhaps I craved contact with someone who wasn’t on the verge of having a schizophrenic episode or who might take the opportunity to urinate on my feet.  Perhaps I just wanted to sit and not even talk.


“Christmas is coming, isn’t it,” she said.  It was a statement rather than a question.


“It is,” I answered.  I used to love Christmas.  I watched Christmas films, enjoyed giving (and receiving) presents, stuffed myself silly with the meal.  That was a long time ago.  I didn’t really enjoy anything anymore.  Well, apart from a head on my shoulder.


Don’t get me wrong, there was nothing untoward in my enjoyment of her proximity.  No mischievous thoughts (or anything else) were aroused.  It was purely platonic.  It felt nice to be just there.


“They’ll haunt you, you know.”


My breath stopped as it entered my mouth, deciding whether it wanted to hear what else she had to say before it chose to exit the way it had come or to continue down to my lungs.


“Who will?”


“Those who have died.”


I made a great effort to ensure no one knew of my particular problem.  I was a sufferer of extreme paranoia.  The asylum was the best place to be because those who were out to get me couldn’t in here.  Deaths?  I knew nothing of such things.


“I don’t...”


“You do,” she said quietly, interrupting me.  I did.  “And I know they haunt you.  I am the ghost...”


“Of Christmas past,” I interrupted in turn.


“Yes,” she said.  Her voice was little more than a whisper - a murmur carried to my ears more by vibration than by sound.


“They already do,” I told her.  I heard their screams every night and could feel their anger and despair every day.


“I know,” she said, briefly touching my leg.  “But you won’t stop it.”


I didn’t expect to.  I put myself in here to try and prevent any more deaths, but I figured I’d be forever haunted by the ghosts of those that have already died.  It was only right.  I’d snatched them from their lives.  I’d ripped their souls out and cast them aside like flotsam on the shore.  I was their Reaper.  I should be permanently reminded of that.

Still, to be told that.  To be slapped in the face with the fact.  Whatever I did wouldn’t be enough.  No amount of self-deprecation would suffice.  Leaving myself to the whims of Connors and his staff would, in no way, make up for what I’d done.  And, fair enough.  My torment was also my friend.  I gained solace in the knowledge I’d always be surrounded by the shades of my crimes.  That may not have been right – why should I benefit from such things?  But no.  There was no benefit, not really.  It was simply that I deserved my fate.


“You don’t,” Gabrielle whispered.  I hadn’t realised I’d spoken aloud.  “But they have nothing else to do except haunt the one who stole their lives.  Whether you were at fault or not, you were the flame that started the fire and they are like spectral moths, with their screams the beat of their wings.”


Erm...  Right...


She lifted her head and looked at me.  I found myself unable to look away from her pale grey eyes.


“They will haunt you, always.  Don’t haunt yourself.”


Don’t...?  At first I didn’t understand.  Haunt myself?  I wasn’t dead.  Maybe dead inside, but...  Unless that’s what she meant?  Don’t haunt myself.  Be alive?  Don’t dwell on the past but look to the future?


I asked her.  She nodded.

“What future?” I asked.  “I don’t have one, not anymore.”


“We all have a future,” she assured me.  “Even thirty seconds from now is the future.”


Somehow this wasn’t comforting.  It didn’t exactly imply longevity.


A thought occurred to me.


“What does this have to do with Christmas past?”


Gabrielle didn’t answer.  Her head was back on my shoulder and her eyes were closed.

She didn’t open them again for a long time.

Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Talking Tango...

You know, so we're told, when you've been Tangoed!


To my knowledge, I haven't - as yet.  Not the dance, all passion and power, but the drink, fizz, fun and flatulance.  No wobbly-bellied man, painted orange, has run up to me in the street - or the asylum - and slapped my cheek.  Neither have I ever gone a little too far with the fake tan, making me look as if I've been living on a diet of Satsumas for the past ten years or so.


Of course, with the slop we're served in here, it may well be Satsumas.  It's hard to say.  It could well be chicken or caviar.  Hey, it could actually just be tinned Slop!  Do Tesco sell that?  Is it next to the baked beans and spaghetti hoops?  Do Heinz do four packs of Slop, with a new, improved recipe?


No.  I don't believe they do.


Anywho.  I haven't, to be honest, any idea why I started waffling on about being Tangoed.  For an advert that hasn't been seen on television, probably, this century, it's still a well-known catchphrase.  A bit like "Do or die, spit in your eye" may well never be.  It's just, sometimes...


Do you ever feel as if you just need to talk?  Not about anything in particular, just to express words like a new mother expresses milk, the resultant flow easing pressure whilst providing sustenance?  Granted, I'm not a three month old baby, but sometimes simply chatting can be nourishing.  It can challenge the mind and entertain the senses.


In here, with a population largely consisting of misguided individuals (I hesitate to use the term 'delusional'), conversation can be somewhat lacking.  Four walls and a stream of MTV can only hold one's attention for a limited amount of time.  Well, in my case at least.  Many of my inmate friends are consistently captivated by the enclosed space and repetitive thumping base from the box on the wall.


A box within a box.  Like our mind within our body, except our minds are Tardises within the confines of our skin and bone, able to go anywhere and anywhen with seemingly infinite capacity.


So.  Conversation.  Occasionally, when Mickey is all Mucousy and Benny is Bending, I just need to talk.  Talk about normal.  Talk about mundane.


If I didn't, I think I'd go insane.  You'd assume I'd be in the right place for that.


Have you met Dr. Connors?


Thursday, 4 July 2013

I had a dream...

I had a dream last night, and you were there.


And you.


And you.


But, not you.  Unless you were the night.  Unless you were the darkness that crept around me like a skulking fox, waiting for the moment to leap and catch its prey.  Killing not just for sustenance, but for the taste of blood.  For the crunch of bone.


For the pleasure.


I had a dream last night, and you were there.


I felt your pain.  Felt the impact of the bullet and the slicing, burning flesh.  Saw the look of fear on your face.  Saw the blame.  Felt the guilt.


Not your guilt.  Mine.


And in my dream, I saw myself.  I stood.  Watched.  My face bore no sign of pleasure.  There was no indication, either, of horror or sorrow.  Merely acceptance.


But I am sorry.  I awoke to find my pillow wet from tears.  I still hear your scream and I can still feel the fading warmth of your hand in mine.  I held it as you went.  Tightly.  Hoping the pressure would keep some part of you alive, trapped.


It didn't.  You were fast cold.  The chill is in my own hand - it lingers to remind me of what I did.  What I do.


Often, when a dream that is a nightmare stays with you once you wake, the brightness of the morning washes the dark stain clean.  The sun uses its rays as a spear to impale the tainted heart of your mind's subconscious horrors.


Not this morning.  Not this day.


Not ever, really.


I feel the cold hands and hear the cries.  Yours and my own.  Except, yours are, most likely, my own anyway.  And vice versa.  Crying out together, in sweet, sadistic harmony.


You weren't the fox.  You weren't the night.  That was me.  As much as I watched, I also participated.  I can pray forgiveness and beseech that it wasn't my intention or fault.


It doesn't matter.  It was still me, the blame wrapping itself about me so I am unable to shrug it off.  I put myself in here, in this asylum, so I may prevent, or at least avoid, such things.  So that darkest part of me can remain caged.  So that, when I dream of you - whichever 'you' you may be - you do not die.  You smile.  Breathe.  Dance, perhaps.  Be alive.


But, I am the night, in my dreams.  I am Sin when awake.


Forgive me, for I am Death.


Monday, 13 May 2013

Under the Spotlight...

I hate interviews.
Well, I dislike them, at least.  I always feel as if I'm under the spotlight and picture myself restrained, with someone pulling a cover off a row of gleaming torture instruments.
Why are torture instruments - scalpels and clamps and the like - always so clean in films?  Are they not wanting you to get a nasty infection whilst pulling your fingernails off or removing your thumb from the knuckle down?
Ain't that sweet of them?
Interviews.  I don't like them.  I remember one I had.  I forget what the job was actually for, but there were three people facing me.  It was early days in my jobbing career.  Probably only my second or third interview.  There was a window behind them, with horizontal blinds left open.  The sun was shining in the window and the blinds, as I moved my head, kept causing me to be temporarily blinded and left in darkness as my eyes struggled to keep up with the sun dipping in and out.  I could have kept my head perfectly still, but didn't want to appear stiff and uncomfortable.
Instead I appeared, probably, as if I wasn't in control of my eyes or I had a weird nervous tic.  Needless to say I didn't get the job.
When Connors interviewed me prior to entry into the asylum, it was more informal.  He acted as a friend.  He smiled and offered me tea and biscuits.  His voice was soothing.
So, rather than an out and out predator, lunching on my discomfort, Connors was prowling.  Circling.  Choosing the best time to pounce.
Letting me walk into his trap.
Only right, therefore, that I choose to give others some of this medicine.  OK, so it's not Risperdal or even Paracetomol, and it may well not (read 'won't') make you feel better, but hey, I'll enjoy it, and that's what matters.
Of course, here in the asylum, it's difficult to interview anyone other than the other residents.  Granted, in a good few cases, that'd be quite fun, and I may well do that, methinks, but how about others?  How about you?
I can't do that in here.  I can't even do that on this blog.  As much as I feel I'm sneaking about writing this diary, I wouldn't be surprised if they (or 'THEY') knew about it - although talking about it now sort of negates any secrecy, doesn't it?  Hey, I'm in an asylum.  I'm meant to be crazy, though we - you and I - know the truth about that, don't we?
Anywho.  I've managed to do one.  An interview.  Shhh, don't tell anyone, OK?  I managed to ask the lovely Jan Ruth a few questions, just off the top of my head.  Of course, as I'm unable to put anything like that on here for fear of reprisal or victimisation (not just of me), I had to find somewhere else.  It was easier than I thought.  I simply hijacked another blog.
Yup.  A man's gotta do and all that.  The owner of the blog, some guy called Shaun Allan, hasn't seemed to have noticed, so, if you want to check it out before he does notice and takes it down, drop by and take a peek.
If you fancy a few words with a (supposed!) lunatic yourself, chuck me an email at and I'll try and let you sneak in too.  Don't blame me if, once you're in here, you can't get out, however.  Them's the risks.
It feels a bit dangerous, you know.  I can feel the adrenaline prickling through my veins.  I'm being naughty!

Monday, 8 April 2013

The Not-So-Grand National...

The Grand National.

It's a race. Not just any race - a horse race. Not just any horse race - one of the biggest. Not just any biggest horse race - the sort that gets ordinary people, who never walk into a bookies at any other time of the year and never switch the television or radio on to listen to the commentary of any other sporting event, to place a bet.

Now mental patients, asylum residents or (as certain orderlies call us) 'The Animals', are not normal. Ignoring my own... I suppose... PARAnormality, my friends are a little different. They see the world through a stained-glass window, one which casts assorted shades upon the world within and without. In more than one case, that window is shattered, or at least cracked, and the view is warped - a distortion of reality dragging the mind on a rollercoaster of reason with psychosis are its sick bag.

The orderlies thought they would give us a little fun and excitement. Nice of them, no?


They ran a sweepstake. Let everyone take part. A fiver of their allowance to pick a horse. Sat everyone down. Changed the TV over from MTV to Channel 4.

And they're off.

Of course, the orderlies had their fun. They prompted and cajoled. Pushed and conspired. They weren't idiots. Well, that’s debatable, but they're not naive. They knew.

At first, there was silence. A hush that is almost never heard - though hushes are generally not heard anyway - in the Recreation Room. All eyes were on the screen. A hands were clasped together, either in anticipation or prayer. All eyes were wide.

Rainbow Hunter. That was the first horse out. Brian, one of the Cornercopias. It was his horse. His five pounds. His chance to run free.

He cried. The tears were silent at first. They raced down his cheeks as the equine combatants raced around their track. Then the sobs took over and his body shook.

The orderlies laughed. Their first victory.

And so it went.

As horse after horse dropped out, resident after resident had their own drop-outs. Whether it be with fists of fury, as Brendan Blessed, who believed himself to be an angel and who had an almost permanent broken leg due to thinking the imaginary wings on his back gave him the gift of flight discovered when James 'Don't Call Me Jim' Carton's horse was pulled out by the rider. James, never Jim or your face would take, sometimes, weeks to recover, lashed out at the closest thing to him.

Brendan's head.

Or whether it be in manic misery, the way both Edna and her sister in everything but reality, Mabel, dealt with their steed's failure to complete the course. They're cries drowned out the commentary and the shouts from the other patients yelling for them to be quiet. They huddled on the floor in each other's arms, shaking, their tears becoming a flood that made Brian's seem a meagre tributary to their Nile.

Seventeen horses finished.

Half of those were chosen by my compatriots, the winning three included.

Mine came third. Bender Benny's was second. Luscious Lucy's mount stormed in at first.

Not one of us ended up collecting our winnings, not least because, when Auroras Encore proved odds in such a race were the stuff of dreams (meaningless and with as much substance as air), individual losses and successes merged into a collective furore that swept the room like a tsunami.

Four hours later, order was restored, thanks to the kindness of Jeremy, the dominance of Dr. Connors and a unhealthy dose of whichever drug was your respective version of finger-licking-chicken. The orderlies had smiles on their faces for hours after that. They'd had their fun. They'd split the proceeds. They'd massaged the maelstrom that a room full of patients can become.

I wonder what the collective term for a group of lunatics might be. I'd wager on 'A Stampede'.

The Grand National.

A race. Not just any race, but one which can take your reason, plonk it on the back of a horse and hurl it around the asylum.

A race, in here, with no winners.

Friday, 15 March 2013

Butty Day...

Steak and chips. I'd love steak and chips.

I like steak medium to well done. Can't have blood coming out of it. I'd feel like a vampire or cannibal. And proper chips. Not the frozen or oven ones that taste like soggy cardboard. No, proper, sliced from the spud, fried CHIPS.

Of course, if you're on a certain side of the Atlantic, that's crisps you're thinking of. Or thick fries. What do you call them? The weightier siblings or the French Fry? I remember, when I was younger and just being introduced to the fast food fury, that I thought it was kinda cool and sorta sad that our nation's favourite food was being called something else.

Hey! It's American! Fries! How cool!


Hey! It's American! No way can they change the name!

So I'd alternate by wanting to call them all fries, even when it came with batter coated haddock, to refusing to refer to them as anything other than CHIPS!

But, I'm from Grimsby. The home of fish'n'chips. It verged on heresy to a child who'd been weaned on deep fried everything.

Anywho-be-do. Steak and chips. Or bacon. A well done bacon and egg butty. Bread bun, sliced open, a better-bit-o'-butter, and some bacon and a fried egg.


Where I used to work, with a certain furnace I'm planning on becoming very intimate with, Friday was Butty Day. As it was situated in an industrial area, there was a mobile kitchen that would deliver for free if your order came to more than £10. As such, with various requests for my own delight or sausage and mushroom and more, they'd drop them off at the entry turnstile at 10am. Washed down with a nice cuppa, it was the perfect way to welcome in the weekend.

I miss that. They wouldn't, methinks, fancy delivering to an asylum. All those crazy people. Then there's the actual residents. If it had occurred to the orderlies, however, and if a similar franchise operated nearby, they'd take great pleasure in hungrily devouring such delicacies right in our faces. Taunting with moans and yums and dribbling chins.

I don't think I'll mention it.

Saying that, my stomach is threatening to tell them itself. It's started to grumble and groan. Like a distant thunder, its rumbling could well create a storm if anyone tried to force the reason for my stomach's verbosity.

I'll have to think of something else. Football. Like 'proper' chips, I mean 'proper' football. The sort played with, no less, the foot. Soccer, if you must. Again, like fish'n'chips, it was invented by this fair country of mine.

Thing is, we're pretty good at fish'n'chips.

At least we got one thing right...

Friday, 1 March 2013

What's Two Days Between Friends...?

Two days isn't a lot, is it? A flash in the pan of life, even for us mortals who exist for fairly short periods, two days isn't much. It's loose change in the pocket of a lifetime.

So how come February seems to be such a short month? How come, while only 48 hours exist between it and the likes of April and June, it feels as if we're cheated by the speed with which February comes and goes? Even more so when it's sandwiched between the mighty January and March, who clutch their extra days tightly lest an errant wind snatch them away.

Is February the runt of the litter? Last one out so the rest took all the meat? Does it have breathing problems and always get pushed to the back at feeding time?

Or, is it the black sheep? Getting into trouble and blaming its siblings? Small and sweet looking, so you'd never do that, would you Feb? Didn't think so.

We had our own February. Well, the month belongs to everyone, of course, but in here, in the depths of the asylum, February was alive, Johnny Five. And, most probably, holding out for a hero - much like all of us.

February. Small, red-headed, dimpled. Petite, you'd call her. She only came out of her shell during this particular four week month. Otherwise she barely spoke and remained huddled down within herself, as if her body had gone walkabout and her shadow was keeping her seat. I don't know why she was so different when January waved goodbye. Perhaps she was sympathetic to the month's plight. Maybe she identified with the baby of the year.

But, come the dawn of the second month, her body returned and February bore fruit.

She was a minx. It has to be said. A minx. Her double entendres had entendres and her normally dark eyes sparkled. She would have the other residents fighting over her affections, literally in some cases, as she flitted and flirted about the Recreation room. And she would smile at it all.

February was flanked, permanently when she had her brief bout of blossom, by two other residents. These were quiet and unassuming usually, but, again, changed when she awoke. The one to her left (they never mixed up their positions) took it upon himself to take a name that he thought would portray himself as a beast of a man. Someone you wouldn't want to mess with. Hulk was already taken, so he chose, being a Clash of the Titans fan, Gorgon.

His associate, right was always right, didn't quite get the gist of this. As such, he couldn't understand why we all laughed when he called himself 'Zola'.

They kept their little live-wire safe from the throng of admirers and held those who might have a grievance at arm’s length. Not that grievances were common in here. We were all as sad as each other, so there was little to cause animosity really. But, unfortunately, when you have nothing, even a little popularity is as valuable as a decent meal or warm fire. Or Rolex or winning lottery ticket, for that matter.

It all livened up a month lost after January’s New Year kick-off. As is the norm for this place we don’t call home, the fleeting burst of colour paled quickly. February faded, to be replaced by Anna, red-headed, dimpled, and small in every sense of the word.

Gorgon became Gerald. Gerald liked to play cards with an invisible deck, but never won a hand. Zola morphed into Brian. Brian liked to beat Gerald at cards.

Two days. It’s not much, is it? Why does it feel like a lifetime?

Tuesday, 5 February 2013

What Happened to January...?

What happened to January?

Is there a thief about, sneaking in the shadows, snatching months from under our noses as we live our mundane lives? I wonder if the petty stuff is seconds and minutes. Did he start on those and work his way up to days and weeks?

Do the Time thieves break the big-'time' when their confidence prompts them (with a whisper in the ear - Confidence can be sly like that) to move on to months? Do gangs of them plan heists of years, with only the decades reserved for the Mafioso of Time. Don Clock himself. No-one messes with him or his. Hulking in the background, a shadow across the years, taking the decades from the unwary, the wasters, those who squander the precious gift of Moment.

I imagine Don Clock, with the numbers etched across his face like ragged scars, in a bare room. There's a table in the centre. A bare bulb hangs low. Plans and drawings and notes are strewn across the wooden surface. The ultimate prize. Not a century. Not even a millennia. No.

Eternity itself.

But then, is time such a commodity? One that CAN be stolen? That it's precious, I don't deny. That it's squandered, well, I'm guilty of that myself. As I'm guilty of stealing it from so many. But death is my weapon of 'choice'. The Don and his minions and pretenders-to-his-throne don't murder. They let slip the dogs of wear. They slide it from beneath us whilst we have our heads stuck firmly in the television.

If, indeed, Time is such an object.

Is it, instead, a river that we float upon? Sometimes the flow becomes polluted and the worry lines on our foreheads multiply in sympathy. The is no Don. There are no thieves. There's rocks and rapids and the occasional waterfall in our paths that speed it up, causing us to hang on tightly lest we get overturned and drown, but it continues, ever, to the great Eternal Sea.

Perhaps it's neither. It's a being of itself. Monumental. Eternity and immensity blur to become one. Time. It sits and plays chess, like the gods of old, with us as the pieces. No, not chess. A cosmic Angry Birds, flicking each of us into a future we can't see and can barely control.

I don't know.

But January. What happened to January? Christmas was five minutes ago. Now, next Christmas is five minutes hence. Blink, and you'll miss it.

Best get the tree out again.

If they allowed trees in the asylum.

Wednesday, 2 January 2013



Do people still make them? Do those that do, actually believe that they'll keep them? I wonder.

How many will cut down on the fatty foods or cut out the cigarettes? Who will pass on just one more chocolate from the Christmas surplus? Possibly more than I think. Probably less than I'd hope.

I thought about making some resolutions. I could cut down on my fatty foods, but I'm not sure of the calorie content of slop. I don't smoke, so cigarettes are safe around me. I could, I suppose, be more positive.

But then, it's difficult to be positive when you've voluntarily put yourself in a mental asylum, feigning paranoia, because people have a tendency to die around you.

A little rude, that. Dying around me. That's a joke, by the way. There's really nothing funny about death. Or Death. He and I have had many a conversation on mortality and more, and he has a distinct problem when it comes to cracking a joke. Maybe it's the way he tells 'em.

But, even though the cries of those that are deceased due to me haunt my slumber and my days, I could, potentially, be more positive.

My friends, here, look to me for support. Whether I like it or not, I can calm and guide with barely a word. Perhaps it's because I'm the only sane one in here. Perhaps it's because of my accepting, tolerant nature? There are mightier powers than mine to judge. Whatever it might be, my friends call me The Reverend and ask me for a soothing touch - though we are all 'touched' in one way or another.

How am I able to be positive with them but not with myself? Why can I appease, please and put at ease those that suffer, but not when I feel pain too?

Perhaps because I am the cause of my own pain. I'm the Brutus to my own Caesar. The knife in my own back. The bullet in my own gun.

Et tu, Sinius.

Polly didn't choose to have her father become enraged when she discovered her pregnancy. Kenny didn't deliberately set out that morning intending to have a car accident. Penelope may have had too much to drink, but she didn't want to crash and lose her son.

Well, I don't want people to die either, but it happens. It happens because I am Sin. Spit in your eye, wish I could... fly.

I do wish I could fly. Sometimes I imagine I can. Soaring over the sea, arms outstretched, body at an angle so my fingertips skimmed the waters. Just like the seagull in the video I once saw at the top of the Blackpool Tower.

Then I'm suddenly home to roost back here. Fed scraps and slop. Cooped up.

I may as well be a smoker or chocoholic. If this is me being 'positive', I'm positively rubbish at it.

I resolve to be resolutely realistic.

I'll continue to just be me. Haunted but helpful. Sinful but sensitive. Perhaps it'll make me a better person.

I couldn't be worse.

Happy New Year.