Joined: May 2008
Originally Posted by planktonnn
I couldn’t take a picture of it, so you’ll never see what I saw. Instead you’ll just have to synthesize your own apparition of it, but then isn’t that always the best way? I’ll give you a starting point: it’s me lounging on a kerb. Before me the big ugly beautiful dark living thing that is my beloved but aged ratted-up motorsickle. A ham-fisted mechaniconundrum of valueless old metal I’d built from out of oil-stained cardboard boxes using all the wrong spanners, to form a steel substitute for my stolen dignity. It suits my self image – cosmetically knackered yet mechanically sound, and it was about the only possession I had to show after 3 years courting, and 22 days short of 15 years of marriage to my imminently ex-wife. Everything else that was ‘mine’ mine had either been burned, binned or stuffed into the ‘Shed-Quarters’ at the end of the garden at my former family home some weeks ago, when I’d left there to take myself & my madness away to be locked into un-sane sanctuary. The beautifully bodged up bike had spirited me away from said loony bin earlier this evening, carrying all I now retained in the world crowded into a cheap tank-bag and rucksack – a compressed & condensed living kit that was all I needed even had I been able to carry more. I hadn’t left those Palaces of the Broken & the Lame with a destination in my disintegrating mind, however even in such depleted circumstances there is one place we all must go, no matter where we think we are headed, and that’s to a gas station.
So there’s the next element you need to pictorialise, a gas station/convenience store outside the little small tiny time-capsule which is Thime, a strange & backward town in the blandly beauteous Oxfraud English countryside. I’ll shortcut the rest – the usual eponymous sealed tuna sandwich & a chocolate bar, my first food after five weeks in the hospitals that I’d locked myself into, but perhaps more vitally, had locked the detestable world out. Add a bottle of water and a sky-full of red & yellow & blue sunset and you’re just about there right alongside me. You can even leave me out if you prefer. Just comprehend & encompass letting go of everything you spent far too many years building just to lose in a single morning, get the shattered framing and perspective right, and you’ll have your very own self in the picture of where I was at. Hang on, you’ll need to add a local paper, because where I was at was looking for somewhere to be. I still am, and in the meantime I’m living in the woods. But we’ll come to that delight in due time.
Of course none of this life was going to plan, but my outline sketches of planned futures had been based on self-delusion, and everything I thought I’d planned was subsequently unplanned & liquefied with spectacular swiftness, so I’ve been swimming adrift ever since. That’s how I came to be at the gas station you’ve pictured, and what a good job you’ve done, probably.
I had no inkling of a convincing campaign strategy, which I didn’t mind, but I did know I’d need some petrol whatever happened, and wherever that ‘whatever’ happened. We all need something to fuel for our fires no? A little combustion to feed our compunctions.
In the garage I’d had to go to the till three times, completely unable to simultaneously remember the items I needed. Trekking back down the aisle to hand-dabble my meagre funds with my befuddled and broken brane in tow. I’d complete a transaction and only as the till pinged would some other required item find the slot in my one coin only thought-box. This was really no surprise though, as on the ride way the fuck out of town I’d already confused my ‘Me’ to fuck, by pulling up & sitting in a small wood-lette bursting with tangled ivy, carelessly discarded cans candles & condoms, by an unwanted duvet rotting in the dankness. I walked, and stopped to just breathe, and walked, and paused a beat to listen to the ringing tones in my ears form a minor chord. After a short while I found a fitting tree that I could grate & grind my aching back against and right there & then appreciatively received a soothing massage from its gnarled & knotty bark. Does a tree rub, so to speak, count as being unfaithful? In answer to your unspoken query, no, I didn’t shit in those woods. I hadn’t stayed long, as this scale model of a provincial eden was put down right next to the road and so was far too noisy to afford the societal separation which I unthinkingly knew was so overwhelmingly essential to my staying alive. But I could at least park myself there for a pausing flash of temporary touchdown in that leafy rotting landing pad. I smoked all I had, and felt a sense of ‘home dear home’ for but the passing age that it was, which is probably as much as you can ask from a little roadside coppice. Perhaps more than you can ask, depending on who owns it?
Now if you were to ‘own’ your very own withering desiccated copse surely you could do whatever you liked there, put up any form of not-unsafe shelter for any unformulated purpose and/or function you could half-plan or semi devise. But then of course you couldn’t, you wouldn’t be allowed, not even if you ‘owned’ it and all that lay upon or under it. Both here and in the woodland where I would later stay I devised an infant citadel to meet my every need, but under no circumstances could I assemble it module by podule from accumulated salvaged substance & hoarded leftovers - and all because some officious cnut somewhere came up with the idea, the totally stupid idea, of the Town & Country Planning Act to freeze the country somewhere in the mid ‘40s. The consequential artificially hyper-inflated cost of housing, which I myself consider to be a basic human right rather than a privilege (for which any old Jonny Smiffton is locked into bondaged slavery for life), ensures we (they, not I) clock in every Monday morning of our (their) mortgaged lives. And still we (they) don’t even see the chains. I’d have had more land rights in the 15th century… But forgive me, I (by design) digress toward one of the countless reasons why their ‘society’ considers me mad…
Late that Sunday afternoon I’d left the rehabilitation unit at Mandalay House (Nuthouse Minor) of my own volition, departuring the ailing organism of care just as I’d entered. Last Thursday I’d been told I was to be moved back to Nuthouse Major (the acute admissions ward) for the variously stated reason(s) that there was a bed management issue; a medical assessment that I was regressing into crisis; a team decision that I was closest to discharge; or was the patient least benefiting from the therapeutic regime; or some other substitute reason I was given by differing members of staff. Probably it was that my state was effecting the states of others. I was initially deflatedly resigned that what would be done to me would be done, that I had let go of direction of my affairs. So I packed ready for the Friday move (which took about 2 minutes, I’d not unpacked or moved in for a reason) and then that was that. I was up for meds at 8am as was the norm, had an argument in the queue with ‘The Heron’ (he went angling a lot) about trying to allow him to go before me because I knew my meds would take a while to bring together - they’re locked in different cupboards & needed two nurses to sign them off. Apparently he’s not very good at mornings, and I felt he didn’t seem to want to go before me. I got this impression because he went all shouty & squared up to me and bellowed & shook (rpt. daft commotion). I waited for his peculiar attempt at ‘tough’ to subside into its flaccid & futile end and left the queue, then momentarily rejoined behind him. Having had both the last laugh (as if it mattered) & my pills, which true to form took ages, I went upstairs and collected my pre-packed tank-bag & vacated ‘my’ room having stripped the bed & tidied what tiny mess I’d made. That was a room in which I had shivered & cried a lot.
It was a bright warm day, so onwards to the garden, where I took up the role of the waiter, that is having to wait until such time as I would be told to move ‘right now, right now’, as had been the case when being moved from Nmaj. to Nmin. in the first place. Some thirteen hours later I was informed the move was ‘unlikely to happen tonight’. There’d been very little communication throughout the day* but though I’d sat calmly, I’d naturally become increasingly internally perturbed. The 0.001% of confidence I’d generously gifted to what I knew to be a car-crash of a mental health system had now understandably evaporated in the white heat of no progress. So I resolved not to follow along with a return to Nmaj., and instead to initiate the process of self-discharge, as was my right. This is one of the reasons I’d self-admitted, as I might explain later, it makes the ‘out’ end of the process so much simpler, not least because the other ‘sectioned’ way means the convening of panels & the drawing up of discharge plans & all sorts that will never get done. Appearing before panels is not an activity I dislike as it’s always good to stretch a muscle one has built up thru years of recalcitrant argumentation. Apparently it’s called ‘Oppositional Defiant Disorder’ and is real & written down and everything, so seeing off panels & hearings is something I’ve proven to be quite good at when I’ve had no option, & indeed I’ve enjoyed parts of it, in a sense. However that all takes time & energy I didn’t have, & though I’d have preferred to linger a little longer there, under the imposed impending conditions of return to Nmaj. I just wanted to book out of Nmin., rather than go back to an acute & disturbed environment. This would of course be a retrograde step, as I explained in my probably charming process-triggering four page letter to staff, which I’d presented first thing Saturday. But still it took ‘till late afternoon Sunday to get the redundant & elongated procedure completed, though that’s understandable given how all society doesn’t work & everything. But as my dear Lusean once suggested I say at the conclusion of an inconsequential short performance – ‘And there’s more, but not yet…’
* Which is mostly because whatever they tell you will be changed in 15 minutes by a contradictory phonecall or similar, and then back again, and then to another variant etc. It seemed to me that they sought to keep the patient out of that chaotic loop until the outcome was ‘finally final’ out of good intentions, but I’d rather know what’s cooking.
So, in this early evening at the gas station I’d gone and gotten to know the sales clerk much more than I’d meant to, though she didn’t seem to mind. Of course, I had entirely honourable intentions towards her, though I’m not wholly sure such chivalry was reciprocated, and I doubt her father would have approved. I had, don’t forget, by now verified myself to be horribly meagre son-in-law material thru recently completed rigorous long-term practical experimentalism. But then for either of us it was no more than a moments diversion & illusory dalliance and fleeting flash of confidence inducing flippant tittery, though I suspect it was just my make-believe ‘props’ for my battered, tattered & besieged self-esteem. I doubt she even remembered me for more than a minute, and I’m pretty sure she only wanted me for my money anyway.
Having consumed protein of a sort I was engaged in a meaningless but agreeable tête-à-tête by a pausing van man, wherein he (true to form) listed his own two-wheeled mechanical pigs of past possession & pleasure, being enchanted and inspired by my tattered but tight transportational tool. It looks like a black mountain of crumbling scrap at first sight, but for those in the imaginary ‘know’, it rewards further examination with unanticipated delights of depraved engineering abuse, away from the yardstick BMW Airhead toward something far more intriguing. My forename initial is D, and so I’ve insolently ground out the middle bar of the B on the starter cover casings to read DMW, for it is mine and there’s no other like it - it’s my MeMW.
In the same ruptured vein as the residue of my misshapen self, it’s de-manufacturing is premeditated to evince the simple but satisfying rejoinder of ‘What the fuck have you done there then boy?’. I’m 45 at the time of first writing this, but the moniker ‘boy’ is the vernacular hereabouts for anyone devoid of a vagina. It was an agreeable enough trafficking of untitled tattle chatter, twixt he & me, and he waved as he went by on his pre-defined wayward route, bringing a smile to my thinned fizzog. I had yet to determine which way my way would be. But do you know?, that self-authenticated reality was a glee-inducing mishap of fortune and had set in motion within me a mounting consciousness of an entirely natural & enchanting sovereignty over my own essence, such as my soul was, is, and will ever, or could ever be made to be.
As that precious & discriminating companion (and one time thought-consort) Lusean had formerly declared toward my slow, crow-black brain: to salve is not to solve, and I was not in need of salvation - I most definitely & undeniably required solvation…
For the next couple of hours I just rode to nowhere at all, listening to an iPod-touch full of loud Fela Anikulapo Kuti, and wreck-lessly pitching my brutal & battered 1000cc ratty old one-seated packhorse headshaking & backend-bucking into an unending series of winding on-camber turns and rapidly looming twists & rises as though held stationary while a whole world full of previously un-travelled roads unrolled themselves beneath me - I levitated and had the globe rotate itself below, landing me somewhere else entirely better.
I was thinking about the interminable inescapable truth of Solvation, and, if you get what I mean by this, I just ‘was’. For 16 or so years I’d worked for Fuckinemshite Cunty Cuncil, and therein struggled & strived to do my own small part in what I’d (stupidly) thought was a co-ordinated & achievable attempt to in some way ‘modify’ society for the betterment of us all. But I’d finally been irreparably forced to accept that such change is totally & eternally impossible: for possible means not what we may picture in our imagination, but what can actually be made to exist and last. The overall solutions are themselves a simplicity, but the will toward change is entirely absent, and I was left feeling that even if you produced a utopia of sorts from out of thin air, then it’d be perverted & corrupt within five years, if not five days, five hours, or in five seconds, three, two, one - gone. To control and be controlled appears endemic within human nature, has always been, and will always be. An eternal tomfoolery of self repression induced & endured by involuntary reactionism.
I’d therefore concluded that the only possible option is to limit ‘their’ societies influence over ‘you and yours’. To remove oneself and the ones you love from the malevolent authority of ‘Power Men’. Now of course the vast mass of the populace believes it’s possible to do this by gathering enough ‘imaginary money’ to buy their way out, but I’d not managed even this, and had never believed it possible to purchase ones freedom from modern serfdom anyway. This, my dear indulgent patient reader, is why I’d vainly searched for an abandoned wooden palace in former Southern Russian states, or wished beyond reasonable rationality that I could spirit away my so beloved family to live in an abandoned holiday resort we’d once helicoptered over on the northeast coast of Barbados, or any of the other innumerable futile & ludicrous attempts at imagineering a true independence from what I think you call ‘The Man’. But, predictably given my non-millionaire status (GAH!) & general buffoonery, none of these ‘plans’ had proved to be even remotely possible. This entirely cuntish circumstance culminated in my re-collapse into an overwhelming depressive illness, born out of eugenic ‘faulty brain chemistry’; and into the inexorable frustration at my total failure to fulfil the caveman provider imperative that’s manifestly programmed into all us poor penis owning saps. Am I anything more than a series of programmed neurochemical responses? No.
The drawn out snaking roadway continued to inscribe itself beneath my high rolling wheels, scuffing my ever more heated round rubber feet, and a sizzling engine burpled & beat beneath me like an expectant bull, smelling richly of high revs & boiling oil, and pinging contentedly as it briefly cooled at T junctions, roundabouts & traffic lights. It behaved as if elated at the healthy benefit of having the occasion to at last stretch its legs as like a long constrained steed, chewing up the aimless dash & rush to wherever I ended up, though unfortunately wherever it was it wouldn’t be the northeast shore of Barbados.
My inherent (& inherited) sickness and ultra-minus self esteem and the consequential maaaaaaaaad conduct had naturally, logically & quite rightly led eventually to my ejection from my family home; seemingly to my deletion from the beautiful hearts of my closest & dearest loves. One erstwhile wife & three glorious kid-lettes remained, but there was no ‘me’ there anymore & it deserved to be so. I accept she had no other choice and I respect her reasoning, & her bravery, I didn’t like it in the least, but I couldn’t in good faith disagree with it, and the resultant cavernous melancholy at the collapse of my enduring dream amply fuelled my stopover at the mad-land that is the Acute Admissions Ward at the local psycho hotel (Nmaj., remember?), and the subsequent destination-less travails I here relay in this barely credible & ultimately unmemorable me-moir.
Whilst furiously riding 50-mile loops, and feeling all this stream intrusively & uncontrollably through what is derisorily described as my mind, well, I have to admit that I didn’t really observe the speed limits, but then I never do, unless a misfire makes me. They tell me it’s all part of my ODD and who am I to disagree? I’ll avoid the obvious joke… Having zigged about, zagged around, and zoomed across the (for once) gloriously sun blasted countryside for around 300 kilometres (186 miles in old money), whilst endlessly running these big thoughts through my little brain searching for unsophisticated solutions for complicatedly barbed issues (& vice versa), I eventually found myself in the broad vicinity of the home of an ex-colleague (& pretend younger sister) from back in the now distant existence when I used to go out into the world & do things, have a job, and be capable ‘n’ting.
I’d never been into her flat before (would you let me in?), and she kept apologising for the mess, but frankly, having recently booked myself out of a mental hospital it all seemed really quite nice & well-ordered to me - at least no one had shat on the floor, well not recently that I could make out anyhow. She made me a tea devoid of milk but with masses of sugar, as requested, and just as I’d become used to drinking in the mad-house. I’d come to the habit of black tea as the milk there was delivered up in half pint/568ml bottles that my fellow muttering nutters habitually gulped deep from and placed back in the communal fridge, or more often carelessly left on the worktop of the small triangular kitchen-ette grudgingly provided for we poor patients by our semi-benevolent keepers. Tell me, you wouldn’t want to be drinking the milky splash-back of the insane internees of that decaying theatre of the absurd & disgusting would you? I’ve done many things, but I couldn’t do that.
The tea I now sought to sip scalded my mouth as, during my self imposed incarceration, I’d completely forgotten that people on the outside are allowed to actually boil their water just like grown ups. In Nmaj., we’d been thoughtfully protected from ourselves & each other (& the staff protected from us I guess) by having the water temperature in the urn limited to 74 degrees C, or to 79C in the rehabilitation centre (Nmin.) as there we were obviously slightly more un-insane, and therefore further able to manage the very slightly higher temperatures. Such is the nature of ‘getting better’ by degrees. Ha.Ha ha. I let the sweet steaming nectar cool a little (76.5C?) & we casually swapped chitter-chatter about absolutely nothing & absolutely everything, along with speculation that whole departments (mostly) full of bastards should be culled (ha ha haha, ha - oh yes, oh yes indeed!). It was restful & gratifying to see someone I knew & who knew me, and to talk about something other than my disgusting infirmities & malfunctions.
She’d first flitted into my existence when in late in 2001 I advertised for a PA at the Youth Music project I initiated & built, for which I’d secured (on 11th Sept. to be obtusely precise) £143,857.43 of external funding toward expansion of successful pilot work, and she spent the entire interview chattering away & grabbing her ankles. I might well have chosen another of the candidates, however I was quietly advised by the head of admin (who was a wonderful & wise woman) that this was by far the strongest & best of the bunch, and so she proved to be - We should at all times listen to the advice of those who, however grossly unfair it is, earn far less than us. Over the period of our productive & prolific work together my new PA was a truly extraordinary & precious asset, and I was able to keep her aboard through the next £600k or so of funding that I tugged & teased out of various sources with the closing skills I’d learnt in previous work in advertising telesales, liberally mixed with a few lucky ricochets and a healthy dollop of attempted ‘charisma/charm’, which never fails. Almost never fails. Yes, has recently failed but usually didn’t.
When in due course I moved on from that self-created job-dom to try commencing another venture (a video & electronic visual arts version of the previously successful model) I did everything I could to ensure she was raised to Project Director, and an exceptionally outstanding job she’s done of it. I had to move on because I like initiating projects but itch at the confines of intrusive policy & formalisation that encroach once you’ve got the thing running. The original project was nested within a local authority and, against the majority of my ‘superior’ officers wishes, it had reached truly astounding levels of success locally, nationally & internationally as I built it from my own sweat & intuition, along with a shining team of workers I assembled, who brilliantly delivered the organisational values & work programmes I set for them. As an estimate of a formula for success, I simply did the opposite of what the omnipresent uber-hated ‘they’ would do… There was one example, Mike Padmore. If I did the opposite of what Sadbore would do it was bound to work.
However, then, just as I was internally glowing from my self-devised/self-driven actual success, I had the entirely undesired & inopportune experience of being selected as ‘Employee of the Year’ out of 5,000 odd Cunty Cuncil staff. Odd in the sense of ‘around 5k’, but mostly in the obvious & frequently demonstrated sense of just odd. Though, in the main they may be pleasant & well intentioned individual humanzees, as a conjoined organism they (& any structure for which they work) are quite patently the core of the reason why ‘humanity’ doesn’t work. I can’t help but think its funded by you with the sole purpose of saying no to you, and the behemothic officialdom quite visibly expends more time & energy finding reasons to say no than is required to solve any given issue. Over here on this septic little isle I know as the Former United Commonwealth Kingdoms you can’t vote out council officers or senior education/justice/health/other workers, you can’t vote out the civil service mentality. It’s been permanent, eternal, unshakable & self-replicating since Mesopotamia, through Machiavelli & Ibn Khaldun, to all that is now, and while diversity of race, ethnic background, sexuality or gender may perhaps have made miniature inroads, diversity of thought & methodology most surely hasn’t. Everyone now has an equal opportunity to be just the same as ‘them’, as long as nothing changes.
Three or four insiders from the ‘Achieving Top Performance’ selection panel had called me in departures as I jetted off on a family summer holiday to tell me I was the ‘winner’ (but then just this sort of neat networking was one aspect of exactly what had supported making my work a success in the first place), so at the ‘surprise’ announcement event some months later there was little or no anticipation in it for me. I just waited uncomplainingly until I was called up last as overall winner of the ATP programme (‘Gosh! I’m so surprised!’) to receive my cheap engraved plaque from Moira Stewart (a hired in celebrity ex news-reader) & the Chief Exec - my work having apparently coincidentally embodied the ‘nine organisational values for change’ or some such. I’ve sometimes reflected on the notion that the world should get more in-step with me rather than the inverse… I took no great pleasure or self delusion from ‘the award’. I received the commemoratively inscribed plaque, poorly framed certificate & flowers from dear strange Moira, and as we chatted during the photo op I quietly mentioned to her that it was clearly no vast impressive achievement to be the foremost donkey in a Grand National full of goats.
Now, I’ve heard it said that the second Chinese curse (after ‘May you live in interesting times’) is ‘May you come to the attention of those in authority’ (apparently followed by ‘May you find what you are looking for’). If this apocrypha turns out to be so, then I can undoubtedly vouch for the truth of this fabled observation directly from my own excruciating personal experience. The following years became a misery of typically English workplace bullying & bile toward the seemingly ‘successful’, leading to a clumsy redundancy which reeked of constructive dismissal, ostensibly because I just didn’t ‘fit’ - a turtle in a tortoise farm… Now, I have to declare that I’m probably not really allowed to describe this in any great depth due in no small part to the amusing detail of being constrained by the 14 page gag-greement I had to sign to unlock the unfeasibly large severance/shut up pay-off I levered them to grudgingly pay me to acquire the right to say no wrongs had been perpetrated, oh no, everything was fine and no mistake, all delivered exactly according to policy, no-one was to blame etc.
I represented myself at the tribunals because I have no faith at all in solicitors & lawyers or unions, and out of all I best knew the breadth & detail of circumstances to be able to counter their inept presentation of fabricated misproofs. Plus, why pay for the legal fuckers if you don’t have to, no? Plus you’ve seen ‘My Cousin Vinnie’ right? So I greatly enjoyed beating the unholy crap out of managements case by (as with The Gorgons and particularly Medusa) reflecting their own policies back against them. It’s the biggest weakness they have as, to my miniature mind, middle ranking civil service administrators know way beyond nothing of policy frameworks they bungle within, and very rapidly realise that on the ‘happy’ event of their promotion they should (must) gently drop their little used moral compass and quietly crush it beneath their new Cuban heels. They learn to keep their empty crania beneath the parapet, because it strikes them that if there’s no scandal or provable diversion from the undeliverable policies they’re endowed with, then they’re untouchably ensconced in their comfy-cushy-cashed up jobs for life, or at least until they take their final salary pensions at early retirement, from which they are surprisingly hired back in as consultants to send forth approximately the same twittle-twattle as before, at a very much improved rate, of course. Sorry, I know that’s all ‘I Hate Local Democratic Structures 1.01’, but it’s stated here more to exemplify my operating analysis of my idio-antagonist than to tell us something we already know. That the obduracy of the civil servant is well within the neighbourhood of the root of all societal iniquity. You knew that, right? :-D
In the redundancy hearings my overarching (‘Keep It Simple Stoopid’) line of attack was as follows: ‘Remember – never engage your enemy on the ground of their strengths, but instead always use their weaknesses against them’. That is: If they have superiority in heavy armour, decline to fight on ground where heavy armour can be successfully or usefully deployed; if they can effortlessly marshal their troops in invincible formations (i.e. the Roman Testudo or Triplex Acies) then fight them in the swampy depths of the fetid forest where they’re rendered thoroughly incapable of forming up – Forgive the aside, however the disparate Germanic tribes of Armin son of Segimer did just this against the three Legions, auxiliaries & cavalry of Publius Quinctilius Varus (‘Where Are My Eagles!?!’) in the Tuetoburg Forest around 2000 years ago (he says, making himself appear awfully clevered up when in fact he was merely a jobless loutish autodidact with a libery kard, and an aforementioned good friend & consort with a wheelbarrow with which we’d snuck masses of books out the back of the warehouse of a closing bookshop - Sergeant Bertrand, where are you now?).
Diminishing your enemies strengths is a simple methodology which rang true from ancient times, and still does through recent history to Right Here Right Now & in the from now on forever ever-after. If the truth be told I can’t say I can really quarrel with having your vanquished (senior mange-ment) adversary stuffed in a wicker cage & burned alive as Armin did, the further I reflect on it the more I believe I really should have had that written into the severance agreement... For my simple (bitter) tastes, the institutional reluctance to do anything in order to assiduously avoid doing something wrong is one of the prime reasons ‘their’ humanity doesn’t work. Because, for the class of societal administrators which Plato described (through his voicing of Socrates in ‘The Republic’) as ‘Guardians’, it’s far better to do absolutely nothing than to risk doing absolutely anything for which they could be held to account i.e. not having followed policies & procedures they don’t understand, or haven’t even read. But this can be their flaw. Again, please do be kind enough to forgive me for the inclusion of kindergarten breakdowns of the process of administration, but these issues underlay my dysfunctions within it & downfall, and so are perhaps a germane diversion into the entrails of how a life falls apart.
There’s such a great deal more that had brought me to this current directionless motorised dash towards the distant & indefinite horizon type situation than the simplistic nonsense laid out above: there’s all of my life; what I’ve done to myself; what’s been done to me; what wasn’t done that should have been, plus of course the befouled spring of supplied sickeningly faulty DNA & upbringing that made me the broken mess that I am, was, and perhaps always will be - But you’ll only see that if I’m brave enough to write it down & you’re so otherwise-unengaged to have the time or tendency to read it… During my induction into Psychoville Number One I’d had to recite the whole soiled narrative to a motley assortment of staff some twenty or so times within the first three days, so I won’t go through it all again right now... Suffice to say that everything I do just turns to MUD.
As an aside, at least partially relative to the above, I’ll mention that it’s sometimes very difficult to communicate with the majority of psychiatric staff by way of any sense of the droll side of ‘madness’ – Peter, one of the dorm-mates who was on my ‘Not Wanker’ list reported that on ward induction a Consultant asked what had brought him to be there in the ward. “A police car” he replied with his impish sense of jesting… The staff expressionlessly recorded his comedic reply in his notes. It’s been my experience that most psych staff are unquestionably floating further from shore than the patients, not least of course because they fully believe their version of this sorry carbon based reality within inside the inner innards of which we unaccountably stumble on ourselves in, within, inside inexplicably. I’m sorry, I’m once more wasting time telling you things you know already – and if you don’t know them how the fuck did you get this far? :-D
With new arrivals on the ward we used to engage in the recreation of ‘spot the staff’, it’s not as easy as it might seem, with the only real distinguishing factors being ownership of a door swipe-card & access to the separate staff lavatory. They expected me to sit on a repugnant concoction of lunatics piss & fluidic psycho-shit, so strong a liquor it stained the vinyl floor on which it was untimely spilt, but they wouldn’t countenance it themselves of course, and keep the disabled toilet locked for their own dump domain. As another self-evident general observation I have to say that it really looked to me as though psychiatric nursing practice must have transformed significantly in the years since I was last subject to it, some 20 years before. Empathy & compassion look, in the main, to have been removed from the training syllabus, and on a number of occasions I observed instances of professional performance which seemed to my lay perspective to plainly indicate that the behavioural expressions of a patients ‘illness’ were but little more than a bothersome incommodious annoyance to staff, to which they often responded in a gratuitously belligerent manner, that’s if my observation is anything to go by anyway. I can’t say this of all workers, as some gave the impression they genuinely understood that patients problematic conduct was the result of many & various an illness, but on many more occasions than I felt fitting I watched workers treat patients symptoms as nothing more than a vexatious inconvenience. I watched one senior nurse repeatedly cause patients to rupture mentally, apparently intentionally, or at the very most generous reading for a therapeutic rationale I couldn’t fathom, what with ‘Dr. Me’ being a nutter too. Maybe she was in a job she really ought to (be) move(d) on from? I only ever saw patients jabbed into chemically induced compliance & ham fistedly bundled into the seclusion room when she was in charge of shifts, and she looked to my laypersons eye to have but two practised modus operandi – antagonistic/aggressive or passive/aggressive. This is all self-evidently exceedingly subjective as I may of course be projecting onto her, you know I don’t have any certificates on my wall at all, and am of course ‘mad’, so only modest credence should be given to my humble dupe observations. Especially by any hearing or tribunal… Can you show me a complaints procedure anywhere that actually works, but rather elaborately constructs a clean reason why they are right & you are wrong and writes it down & sends you a copy & files it and everything is ok. Oh Yes. Sorry, again with the societal simplism. But these are the thoughts that have brought me to madness.
I really ought to refrain from revealing further aspects of the unpleasant Cunty Cuncil employment disputes which illuminate the wholly unfortunate series of work-based malicious mismanagements and out-and-out dim-witted proceedings that led me to be so broken & lame, as, if I don’t shut up the Cuncil will no doubt ask for the money back in a very legal fashion… However the wholly regrettable reality was that during the period covered by the unfeasibly large payoff I secured I had been entirely unable to recover my health from this ridiculous & un-required four year battle with ineffective & unproductive authority; that I’d entirely lost all self confidence, and that this had ultimately led to the collapse of my entire ‘life’ (again); to being lodged in the asylums which I had just left to come to this coppice; this gas station; and thence to this friends home and so on… Its true to say that, to my mind, this whole grubby & incompetent mess was a major part of what had brought me to where I was at this very point in time, which was to be once more preparing to ride around on my stubby non-stainless steel steed fashioned in the twisted spirit of sheer bloody mindedness.
D J S
1 - An improvised route-map towards Solvation.
You see I was in a sense, sorry to have bothered her, it was around 7PM & I thought the time had come to let my ex-colleague get on with her half-completed packing for tomorrows impending visit to Ibiza-land. She’s always jetting off all over the shop, having just returned from Portugal, and off again now to the Mediterranean, she’d then be toddling onward to some other lush pan-European destination for work the following week. I really don’t know how she does it, but I’m proud that she does, and wish I could have. In every sense I envied her pert purposefulness, but for me the ‘now’ I had just been in was a dense purposeless wandering toward aimless outcomes, and I’ve got to tell you that after all the recent tumult & turmoil that maybe suited me just fine. I kitted up, hobbled off & rode away, but this time I had a destination, but it’d need to take quite a while to get there…
54' R51/3, 65' R60/2, 68' R60US, 74' Moto Guzzi Eldorado, 95' Mystic, '78 Honda Hawk...... the Axles of Evil!