.also, i am a twat
Joined: Jan 2008
Brief excerpt from Ch 2...
Ch. 2 – To shed ones former self.
It’s some-when around 11pm as I near the startlingly mild-mannered village of Haddenham, an excruciatingly amiable little place where the ‘old ways’ still stand and the locals have always been, are still, and will probably always remain pretty much all at the pink end of the human spectrum, especially as in the main they no longer have to work the land and tan their commoners hides. As is usual in such places locals can’t buy a house unless they’re lottery winners and that’s seen the usual growth of the wart that is ‘incomers’. It’s a common story & you’ll see this sort of place dotted across the violated fašade of the south British countryside that’s been trapped somewhere between the ‘50s & the 70’s by planning laws. I could be in any one of those putrid mini-townships, but right now I’m back in inglorious Haddenham. I’d long known of the existence of the place, and of those legendary & generally loathsome creatures ‘The Haddenham Boys’ by having been schooled with far more of them than I might have liked; by becoming briefly embroiled with the ‘Haddenham punks’, who were in the main (except the renowned Fitz) a motley bunch of cat kickers (well Jed once kicked a cat, I think that’s why we fell out); by attending divine parties at divine middle class girls divine houses and getting thrown out as a divine young lout but still landing the divine girls divine friend; by passing thru the village on the winding bus route to Oxford with the beyond divine woman who became my way beyond divine wife from whom I’d so recently separated; by furiously riding around the locale with the Haddenham Moped Boys desperately trying to reach over 45 miles per hour; by once having a Dunlop KR124 front tyre put on there onto my Suzuki GT250X7, fitted facing the wrong way - a fact I only became aware of when recently scanning a pic of the bike and noticed the rotation arrow (which I’d painted) was facing the wrong way, which now makes a lot of sense of why I kept losing the front end in the wet; by being the only person in Tonys room (in Rudd Lane) who was prepared to try to ‘sing’, and so becoming the singer in ‘the band’ with no name, but wimping out when it came to doing a gig, because I knew we were brilliant but shite but brilliant but actually shite; and lots of other stuff etc.
Mindful of the time, and of the overwhelmingly sleepy nature of the place even during the ‘fervour’ of peak activity during the day, I cut my barely-baffled engine and roll the last third of mile to the edge of the village, which is conveniently right where I’m headed anyway. Of course I had to build up quite a bit of momentum to coast that far, but I know how to do that :-D I’d taken a massively circuitous & pleasantly relaxing route to reach the home of Caro & Rick, dear dear friends for something towards 20 years, so I’d spent a considerable & enjoyable time meandering across the countryside down one side of humble wooded valleys and up the other and back again, my raucous boxer exhaust note pulsing around & about the hills. I deftly rolled along leafy lanes and tree shaded byways, pootling across the uninspiring Shires taking all the turnings I’d previously passed by and never explored – Where, had I somewhere to specifically be at a given time I might usually have taken a left, I took a right; where I’d have taken a right I went straight on and almost eternally rambled without purpose just to kill time. Can you kill time? It seems to me that this is precisely what time is for at times such as these.
Probably the only constraint I currently have on such broad, roving, galloping explorations is principally having enough fuel in my thoroughly untidy but soundly sealed petrol tank. It seems to drain all by itself. I’ve scrupulously examined it’s decrepit carcass and can’t find any leaks, except the two great big ones at the bottom with the taps. It’s almost as though when I fire up the grand apparatus of the steel & alloy instrument below, the beastly contraption heartily swigs the costly & capricious liquid down through its pair of 40mm Bing carburettors, ingests great gasps of air, spitting fuel into it and thereafter shipping the consequential collective combustible concoction into it’s inferno core. I park myself on its barely padded saddle and my unruly mount impatiently munches the miles, kilometres, yards & millimetres impelling me to the fore, lifting my ragged personage until I heave on the anchors to fetch it to a reluctant standstill at intersections & junctions. I fully embrace the all encompassing feeling of the mythical & much discussed freedom of riding a metal horse, but sooner or later this has to stop.
I hadn’t wanted to arrive too early in order not to selfishly eat up the entire evening of my as yet un-notified hosts, because they weren’t expecting me as such, but then they sort of were. I’d had a kind visit from Caro at Mandalay House the day before and amongst general conversation regarding my folly & madness she’d made passing comment that I could crash out & collapse there should the need arise. It sure had.
I could have taken up another couple of options, but during my self-driven exit route from the Barmy Bin I’d had to meet with a nervous & overly officious junior Doctor who ‘advised’ me not to ride the motorbike on my current meds. I reported I’d had no problems with balance, co-ordination or reaction times and hence was fully capable to operate the machinery in question. He persisted & I mentioned staff were aware I’d been riding all the time. I asked if he was telling me not to ride, he finally acceded, signed me off & fucked off. I then waited a further three or four hours to meet with two members of the Crisis Team, so that staff could divest themselves of any legal responsibility for what might happen to me next by having ‘gone by the book’ and asked all the right questions. I knew what I had to say to them all, and that in such situations procedure is all. With the most agreeable of intentions you could declare they’re all like drinks machines – press the right buttons and you get the outcome you’re looking for. Just don’t press the button marked ‘vegetable soup’ or you’ll never get out and end up interminably held in that vile broth of revolving door sickness which makes people perpetually reside there or thereabouts. I’d been what’s described as an informal patient, which basically means I’d booked myself in rather than being made subject to an imposed residency through the activation of one of the many varied & hateful sections of an assortment of mental health acts. Patients would swap notes on what sections they were on & how you could get off their particular section. To bring my delightful stay at that ‘Hotel of the Failed & Foolish’ to a happy ending I just needed to give staff a sensible discharge destination, and so Caro had the ‘honour’ of being the most level-headed option I could offer up.
Rolling to a silent stop I lock the bike up to a lamp-post across the road from their cottage, the central of a little row of three, and undo all my good work by clanking heavy chains against the resonant metal post. I detach the tank bag, aware that I’m being watched from adjacent houses as nothing much goes on around here after… well, after the 17th Century. I stroll across towards their door, and see there’s a downstairs light on. If there hadn’t been I’d have gone straight to the shed round the back, but as I approach the front door I can see through its small puckered window that Ricks sitting there with guitar & laptop, noodling. I gently tap on the door and he turns in mock surprise, disentangles himself from whatever he’s doing, rises & lets me in. I book into the Haddenham Hilton.
Rick tells me he’s recently returned from an audition in South London as guitarist in some band or another with some people in it, and that the bass & drums were playing together for the first time but were tight immediately, which is always the essence of a good sounding live act, he enjoyed playing with them. Rick mentions at some point that he was aware of the possibility of my arrival as Caro had mentioned it may happen. This comforts & relieves me greatly, but I then go on to bore him by chattering (no doubt entirely self centred guff) in his direction and he’s kind enough to engage with me over a cup of sweet tea containing far more sugar than he seemingly approves of, or did I just drink water? The details fade away now. Once I go through a series of endless comma spattered sentences in an extremely long paragraph chronicling my ludicrous circumstances and finally hit a full stop Rick replies ‘Well, it’s probably for the best…’ & freely offers me the sofa cushions on the floor in a desperate bid to escape my ramblings, but I prefer to sleep in their shed. It makes me feel as though I’m imposing less, as I have a need to feel that I’m not beholden to anyone, not loading my issues onto others more than I always & inevitably do. Not that Caro & Rick might see it as an imposition, but I feel less intrusive being in the shed. I’d slept on the lounge floor while house sitting for them a little while back, and had slumbered in the shed once a long time before… I roll out two smallish rugs that are laying on the pile of bits in front of the workbench, fold them to form an improvised mattress, and opening my sleeping bag over me I start to wander through my broken mind… I begin to ‘land’. I’m thinking through just a couple of the (to me & my little life) momentous events surrounding me, & endeavour to work the broken brane boxed in my cracked cranium toward even temporary resolution as my dear ‘happy happy joy joy’ paper-based chum Nietzsche once recommended i.e. ‘Solve ten truths before you sleep’. I begin the mental retching.
This assists me to impersonate the action of incompletely settling down. I go back to the kitchen to grab more water, and leave the kitchen light on (as I thought I found it) because what with being a townie from wot’s there where that crime stuff occurs I wasn’t sure of the ‘house protocol’. I should realise I’m in the country and that countryside conventions apply. At what had until so very recently been my actual home we had a little bit of a larceny problem, so, being the domiciled insomniac & consequently the last to bed I’d always lock the doors & windows and leave illumination on every night to comfort the children in the dark, as well as to ward off any unsolicited guests that might aspire to snatch our scant possessions. I now return ‘home’ (the exquisite shed) to excavate a dependable pen from my condensed possessions, by means of which I heave & vomit uncoordinated words into meaningless semi-expressions of absolutely nothingness onto the notepad I’d shoplifted some weeks before. I write that during my first post asylum stop off at the crappy copse (that had so very briefly been my first home), before the visit to the garage (that was so very briefly my second home), I’d sat next to my cooling motor-bicycle as it popped & pinged, and I embraced the newly recovered infinitesimal moment of the facsimile of some tiny semblance of a small portion of a minor percentage of a pathetic snippet of a feeling similar to relaxation. Because it was placed there before me by random circumstance I unsurprisingly looked through an open gateway that lay in the assorted parade of various species of trees over the road. There, suffused in the yellow & pinking light, I saw a field of verdant half-grown wheat, with the uniformly cultivated level countryside segmented by hedgerows reaching off toward the distant hills that formed a section of the despicable geographic bowl that contained nearly every single bloody stupid thing I’d ever done. There & then I ditheringly embarked on becoming acquainted with what might be described as release – in that my every thought was no longer steeped in injurious wakefulness of my comprehensive & unreserved failure as a husband, lover & father. The total removal of all these roles was of course a massive fucking failure in itself, however I wholly deserved it, and didn’t project culpability onto any part of my erstwhile family other than me/myself/I. Right now the thing that struck me was that the immediate cues of being constantly surrounded by incontrovertible proof of continually failing in those roles had been lifted from me. Granted, it was only because it’d all been taken away from me on the basis that I’d become so deeply incapable of delivering any of the roles, and because I was an immense pissed off scowling pain in the arse sitting slumped in the corner, internally whining & grumbling about anything & everything; about the disgusting default state of humanity and my complete lack of power to do anything about any of it; about being stuck in a shit town in a shit country etc. ad. inf. My removal was undoubtedly best for all involved as I’d totally bungled my functions within the family, but nevertheless the oppressive mass of being persistently reminded of my appalling blunder had been lifted, however unfortunate the circumstances that’d caused that to come about, and for the first time in years I didn’t feel like a total failure. You can’t fail at being nothing can you?
Now let’s be clear, the mere fact that I was right there right then and wasn’t experiencing the crushing emotion of deficiency in those roles was in itself a massive dichotomous falsity, because I’d botched those precious responsibilities in the worst possible way and had, quite rightly, been cut off, which was the only reason I wasn’t feeling the throbbing ache I’d felt for so long - However at that moment I didn’t suffer the burden of being repeatedly reminded of my unwavering failure by seeing it directly in front of me, and so I was able, just for that instant, to hoodwink my fools-wits into a temorary sense of flight from my intense & eternal displeasure at my unremitting under-performance. Whichever way it’d been achieved the pressure was lifted now & I could breathe again. It wasn’t that the family were gone, and certainly not that I was gone from them - more that the stifling airless pre-monsoon tension of the intemperate emotional humidity we’d all felt had, at long-last, broken from the chronic & unrelenting clamminess of undeclared discomfort into the essential reprieve of a torrent of reality, actuality & transformation.
Weird how the human mind works isn’t it? Extraordinary how it will blatantly lie to itself just to create even the thinnest illusionary veneer of ‘peace of mind’ in order to protect itself & the ‘soul’ that inhabits it. Is this how the vanilla ‘norms’ maintain themselves each & every day? I think it could well be how they achieve it… The poor inhibited & constrained mother-fuckers.
...using the wrong spanner since 1964...
planktonnn screwed with this post 07-12-2010 at 11:15 AM
Reason: Ahhh, synonyms & formatting :-) & to add more...