Tag Archives: Identity

Start The Car And Take Me Home



The worrying thing about change, I find, is that it’s always the same. Unrelenting; unwavering; unsentimental. When you find the moment you are happy to see out your days with…this too shall pass. Such a loss is many degrees worse than some of the most harrowing events I’ve witnessed or been party to; I’ve always learnt from harrowing events. How to be stronger; how to be more patient; to consider consequences. What have I ever learnt from a moment of happiness? Synonyms. Some were more ‘joyous’, others would be better described as ‘thrilling’. Few others, ‘bliss’.I fear less the darkness that blinds than the light that burns. One quickly extinguished, the other lingers. But what for?

This was as far as my asinine thoughts had pondered until I was distracted. There was a child, apparated next to where I was sat. A boy. Young, no older than four. Five at a push. Despite barely reaching the desk at his fullest stretch had his nose peering into my notebook.

“Hello.” In the same sort of way I would address a strange cat in the kitchen, I had an opening gambit.

No answer. His hands remained buried in his blue dungarees as he haunched over my writing. A self appointed editor-in-chief. With no parent in sight, I moved to ‘cat in kitchen’ line two:

“Are you lost?”

“Are you lost?” He echoed.

“I’m where I’m supposed to be. You’re not though are you?”

He turned to look at me and cocked his head. He was laughing guiltily as though he and I were sharing a secret. One I, perhaps, didn’t understand.

“What are you writing about?”

Amidst all else curiosity and wonderment had won out.
I stared both inwardly and onto the paper in front of me.

“It’s just what I am thinking. It feels important.”

Only silence in reply.

“…just to me. No one needs to see it. It’s cathartic. I want to feel like I’m doing something positive.”

More silence. Dead air I felt compelled to fill.

“I want the world to be different, better maybe.”

“Like Batman?” The energy of those two words obliterated the soundlessness from before.

“No. I don’t want to save the world; sometimes, I would quite like to believe it is worth saving.”

I wanted to tell him of complexities of adulthood; checks, balances; moral relativism; ideology; but I just felt foolish. When I was young, there was what was right and there was what was wrong. I had always considered that the world had seen its edges frayed, but, in keeping, it was more complicated than that.

I stopped and looked over the child properly for the first time. He didn’t meet my gaze, not avoiding it just…never fully acknowledging it. Distracted by everything around him all at once. He was somewhere where everything was new and exciting. Even as jealous as I was, I felt less of a man for considering taking that away from him.

“So is it? Worth saving, I mean..?” I asked. I’m not so certain why; the wisdom between the ages, maybe, started to shine through even just a little.

“Oh, yes,” the lone reply, tinged with auspicious excitement, “…there are dinosaurs.” With that he turned away with the grace (and accompanying roars) of a T. Rex and vanished as swiftly as he had come.

I now had my answer. I caught the knowing look in my reflection from my desk mirror. I replied with a curt nod before my eyes returned to marking time across the page once more.

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There’s a Part of Me That Still Believes My Soul Will Soar Above The Trees

I’ve been laid up in bed under the weather for the last few months. For the most part, if I haven’t been able to reach something from my bed, I have just, simply, had to do without it.

One thing I have had access to is my guitar, so I’ve playing about with that for a good while (much to the chagrin of my neighbours). I wanted to play ever since I was a child. I was gifted my guitar as a teenager, and I’ve been playing ever since. No lessons, and it shows, but I’ve been practising whenever I can, and enjoy it. The days I no longer love the guitar are very sad ones indeed.

I saw this quote by the more talkative half of Penn & Teller; it describes my relationship with my guitar to a tee:

With that in mind, something I did while being fairly immobile, and without completely steady hands (*excuses etc). Its both up tempo, but rather sad. The mix amuses me:

 

 

Having been ill for so long, and facing the prospect of being so for the foreseeable, my first thought was to consider that I needed to develop a relationship with it, as I, simply, had been ignoring it. My second thought was that – obviously, perhaps – I already had one:

I lived with someone many years ago who I absolutely despised. Not simply dis-like, I truly despised this man. It wasn’t one sided. He hated me just as much, perhaps more – I never cared to find out. From the many encounters of a wide array of people I’ve met during my life, some of whom – incredibly annoying; only two have been so beyond the pale; both former close friends, ironically perhaps – or very comic book villain. This was one of them. If, on pain of death I had to say something kind about him…I would still consider it long and hard before declining.

We lived together in one house. We weren’t always there at the same time, but each time we were we would do anything not to be in the same room as one another, often staying in our own space, safely away from the other. When the other was absent we would have free reign and our kingdom was larger; it would shrink to such an unsustainable size otherwise.

There were three occasions, only three, during a twelve-month period where our paths crossed. It was almost as though both of us acknowledged a mistake had been made, but defiant that the error was at the hand of the other. I use the word ‘ acknowledged ’, an exchange of a death-stare upon stopping whatever activity we had been doing is a loose definition of the word ‘acknowledged’.

He wasn’t always there, but it was my house. He was in my house. That’s where I go to be safe; calm; somewhere you can make your own. Even when he wasn’t there, he could be again soon. As much as it would pain and annoy me to admit – he would, quite accurately, say the same.

To add to the woe of this, people would confuse us because apparently we looked similar. Even people who knew us both, occasionally, got our names confused…or upon hearing about us both, would assume we were the other. I think I developed a twitch as a result of the number of eye-rolls I had to do in such a short space of time.

I write\vent all that for the simple reason because that is the exact relationship I have with my illness. Like for like. He had a small box room because I had chosen the master bedroom and was unwavering and not in a compromising mood. We lived in this fashion for twelve months. I imagine had it have gone on longer there would have been some sort of coup and I would have been turfed out and consigned to the Harry Potter cupboard. I have been under-the-weather for some time longer than twelve months, and am trying to make my new home under the stairs as comfortable as possible…

If It Looks Like I’m Laughing I’m Really Just Asking To Leave

This is getting closer to the story I want to write. It still isn’t that. Writing this has helped move that ahead, so that one day, when I finally get what I want written down it may have some proper substance.

I think its important to get what you want written done, even if it is not perfect the first time. It can only improve over time, even if the second, third, fourth are not much better. 

The below is the first part of something that will be much longer, that I’d quite like to finish if it turns out to be any good. I thought about holding off posting it until it was all done, but considered that this might mean it would never get read at all, and I do think its better than what is sitting in my reject pile (even if only slightly…)

I’ve been watching many sci-fi/dystopian/thriller type movies of late; I find them fascinating. Some are disturbingly relatable. Many so happen to focus on identity.

Then someone showed me this cartoon, which – absolutely bizarrely – I saw similar ideas in, or perhaps I’m seeing them everywhere (although this one managed it whilst being quite sweet and enjoyable):

Now Part One of my own short. As I say, I hope Part Two follows soon.


“Oh that’s just fantastic. Another one? That’s twelve now! How much more of this is there?”

The elevator doors had opened revealing a pensive pair of eyes. There was a face; hair; knees; nose; and all the other usual accompaniments too, but none of the room’s other occupants were really looking at those. They were all indistinguishable from their own. No one has ever seen their own face directly. Not once. The only way we see ourselves is from a photograph or at a glance into a mirror. As bizarre and unexplained the unfolding scenario was, none of the men seemed to acknowledge its gravity. The new addition drew little more attention, even when the feet edged gingerly into the room.

“We’ll call this one ‘Baker’?”, the man closest stepped forward and pointed to the new arrival, but he addressed the room instead. The Patriarch. He had identified ‘Baker’ as the youngest, the naïve one. That person whom people spoke about in front of, knowing they wouldn’t understand. He didn’t.

“Why Baker?” From behind, a pencil had stopped taking notes.

Patriarch continued, “He is the twelfth. The Baker’s dozen. Baker.”

There was a furious crossing out across the page, but the words were calm. “A baker’s dozen is thirteen.”

For just a beat, Patriarch was silent. He had been caught out. He turned to the one who challenged him and drew out his his index finger towards him, as though it were magnetised to the man’s face. “He’s Baker. Write that one down.” Writer recorded as such.

“My name is not Baker”, Baker said.

Everyone ignored him.

He took a moment to survey the room. An open plan office space, not too expansive. It held all the men in the room quite comfortably, but was probably at capacity. Fully furnished; computers; phones; a printer. All powered down. The strip lighting overhead, all off. The daylight seeping in from the windows from three sides gave just enough to see, even if the details were slightly obscured. Outside there was only sky, save for the speckled clouds and, of course, the sun.

Far in the distance, the sun was fast approaching the horizon. The watercolours surrounding it were splashing a rouged tangelo from the west. This sight was almost hidden due to the piercing glow. The shade provided blessed relief from its gaze. It was becoming ever apparent that this was not a problem to be contended with for long; the rank of shadows grew ever stronger.

Then there was that ‘thing’ with all the doors. There were none. The single egress was the elevator door, which was sealed shut. Like everything else, it was now powered down. This isolated world was a stage set far away from anything that could be considered knowable. A lifetime’s accumulation of experience was irrelevant.
Patriarch had been talking. He was spilling rhetoric as a drunk does his ninth drink of the night. Perhaps half of the room had been paying attention, although none were rapt. Everyone was grateful when the printer started humming into life; indeed, the looks on the faces across the room: Gratefulness first, then surprise. After that, doubt.

“One of your number is not what they seem.” Until now, this one had been silent, but as the printed sheet fed out, he was the only one to move and pick it up. Reader continued: “Find the werewolf. Eliminate him before he hunts you all. He will take one per night.” He looked up, at no one in particular and continued solemnly, “Night will come soon.”

“A werewolf?” Doubt turned to panic, “What crazy place is this? I’m trapped here with all of… you; and now, a werewolf is going to kill me?!?” Panic had found his shrill voice. The Peace and Reason that was self contained in the space was now fraught with holes; the amount of damage a piece of paper held in one’s hand can do has always far outweighed that of anything sharp or semi-automatic.

“It’s a metaphor.” Writer had stopped his note-taking once more, and contributed instead. His effort was wasted, as no one paid him any attention. He added this fact to his black book, keeping his future epiphanies to himself.

“Rubbish.” Patriarch replied, reaching out and snatching the paper from Reader’s hands. “No such thing as werewolves. This is ridiculous.” He scrunched up the paper and made to throw it but Panic held him.

This whole place is ‘ridiculous’.” Panic took back what had been taken and did his best to flatten it out. He folded it once and, reverently, put it in his pocket. “This is our only way to make sense of what is going on here.”

“What sense is there in chasing werewolves and fairy tales?!”

“What option do we have? What would you have us do!?” The two men were nose-to-nose at this point, the distance between them shrinking as their voices raised. None of the others interjected.

This…”, he continued, pointing frenetically between each of them, emphasising the “…Impossible.”

So it was.

As the final syllable faded, the word remained. One man; twelve men. Trapped in a place which, simply, could not exist. Speaking the word had exposed just how much it was smeared across the environment. Not one desk; no window; there was not a single face untouched by it. If they had not already, it would not take long for the men to realise it themselves. Everything that had once had a veneer of truth started to tarnish, underlining the layers of absurdity beneath. All with the exception, perhaps, of the word itself. It all appeared just plain wrong.

The sun faltered and was, finally, lost beneath the horizon.

There started the night.