Sunday, 31 March 2013
Kinfauns condition was discovered in the United States of America in the year 2017. The condition was characterized by a broad range of symptoms including lethargy, delusions of grandeur, crippling despair, and elements of attention deficit disorder. After its discovery up to 40% of the population were diagnosed as sufferers, within 20 years this figure had rose to up to 70% - 80% according to conservative estimates. Governmental awareness campaigns of the condition were coordinated through the usual social media channels along with information on self-diagnosis using an online questionnaire. Self-diagnosis in this manner was considered adequate grounds to apply for a prescription for medication.
It was with a mixture of fear and relief that Jim Seagold learned that he was a sufferer. The fact that he was suffering from a new, unknown mental illness was definitely unsettling, however, relief stemmed from finally knowing what exactly it was that had been troubling him for what felt like most of his life. In reflection he struggled to recall a time of the calmness, optimism and certainty that others seemed to project and that he himself felt entitled to. As well as the comfort of a definitive diagnosis, he also had access to the cure.
Sympaprex-Pro was a new experimental treatment developed by Dr Larry Kinfauns, the founder of the illness which proudly bore his name. The overwhelming epidemical nature of Kinfauns syndrome was such that government health boards gave the green light to synthesize and prescribe this new treatment to anyone who required it. A lack of scientific testing and the range of alarming side effects (including hallucinations, nausea, episodes of severe confusion, panic, Tourettes and listlessness)
What heady times he lived in! Children as young as seven years old were being diagnosed with the condition and immediately being prescribed with Sympaprex. Jim felt a sense of righteousness and specialness as he asked for a private word with his manager to patiently explain his diagnosis. To his acute dismay, his manager grinned ruefully and disclosed that he was also suffering from the illness, as was Rachel in accounts and Steven, the head of the SEO department. Full acceptance and sympathy/empathy was directed towards him, the 21st Century was ushering in a new era of understanding and benevolence compared to the stigma and ignorant persecution associated with mental health issues in previous centuries.
This sympathy did not extend to Jim's wife Shelia. Disdainful of his tendency towards childish self-sympathy and malingering, Shelia was skeptical of her husband's avowed condition. This skepticism was unspoken but registered by Jim in non-verbal cues, or so he thought. There existed, of course, the possibility that paranoiac thoughts were forming either as a result of the illness itself or even as a side effect of the medicine. Jim was in the privileged position of being able to afford his own private reality counselor to help guide him through the the violent waters of Kinfauns condition. Such counsellors were appearing all over the country and used techniques including neuro-linguistic programming, meditation and physical exercise to boost sufferer's moral and disperse with unwanted thoughts. Jim's own counsellor specialized in paranoiac behavior and instructed him to take up a hobby, Jim selected poetry. He attended bi-monthly workshops and readings where medicated poets assertively heckled one another. He took up chess and attended a weekly club. He began learning Spanish and enrolled in a course to study graphic design.
Of his half dozen friends, two had already tearfully confessed to suffering from Kinfauns syndrome in grim late night bar encounters, another two he was certain were also sufferers.
Sunday, 30 December 2012
It being the end of term the club was understandably quiet. A trio of young men occupied one large table, one spectating as the others engaged in a frantic blitz battle. Present at the other table were the club president, captain and a couple of the stronger players in the team, all of whom were engaged in a heated analysis of a recent team match game.
He took a seat at the table with the three young men and set up a board with the guy who had been spectating the game of the other two, a lean and neurotic looking Scandinavian guy with watery eyes. They shook hands and he played 1.e4 which was met by c5 and after Nf3 followed by Nc6 they entered the main lines of the Sicilian defence.
Something was distracting him and this thing was the presence of an elderly lady sitting in the corner of the room, attending to her knitting. He asked his opponent who muttered about it being 'someone or other's mother' or words to that effect, he couldn't quite make the guy out, this guy being known for his habit of whispering meekly. With this distraction combined with his generally weary state of mind, he gradually entered a hopelessly lost position within an unknown variation. Without thinking too much about what he was doing, he reached into his pocket and nonchalantly dropped the plastic leopard onto the middle of the chess board. An apprehensive silence ensued by all who beheld this bizarre spectacle.
The old lady knitting grimaced and shook her head. The club captain sneered and averted his eyes. The club president looked totally aghast. The two guys playing next to them had ceased play and were marvelling at the wee plastic leopard poised in the middle of plastic rooks and pawns.
He stood up, an inane grin spread across his chapped and slack lips. Then, to the bemusement and disgust of all present, he exited the room in the manner of a professional wrestler.
Friday, 14 December 2012
To distract himself from these vexing matters he attempted to focus solely on the matter at hand; the ascent of the staircase. Approximately two thirds of the way up was a landing on which a window overlooked a melancholy garden. The walls were adorned with bleak oil portraits of aristocrats playing chess. He knew that the staircase led to a hallway and that the hallway led to a door. Whenever he passed the landing window it seemed to be late afternoon and he felt inexplicably sad. It was hard to convey how lethargic and morose he would begin to feel.
Once he had encountered one of the girls on the landing. She had asked him if he was okay. Her manner of asking was ambiguous; he had been unable to determine whether she was concerned or amused. This had angered him and he had repeated the question back to her, taking her shoulder and shaking her. She had grimaced and walked away. And that had been the end of that, he'd never seen her again. Another segment of the mystery. He smirked ruefully. He had arrived at the landing. He looked out the window at the sun smouldering faintly in an overcast sky. He knew that he was almost at the second floor and that there he would encounter a hallway which led to a door.
He was terribly quiet. His quietness was a terrible thing. In what sense? In the sense that it rendered others unnerved. Which others? Other persons, one is liable to encounter persons. A silent consensus seemed to have occurred, he had somehow been elected by the others wordlessly. One feels an obligation sometimes. To do what? Blethering again, silly stories, blethering away to himself. It was a quiet, overcast afternoon. His glass of whisky. His spectacles. The chess board. Everything seemed perfectly inert. Somehow objects drained him, hurt his arms and made him feel tired, different objects, what objects? Who objects? The others. But the silent consensus had occured nonetheless and there were these damn obligations fuck he couldn't find his slippers. Where had he put the damn things. One loses the slippers, the wife the mind. One blethers away, incomprehensible nonsense.
A sheepish grin occurs, automatically. Caught in the act, one assumes a pose to lend the whole debacle a theatrical aspect, an absurd aspect. Shuffling, dancing, an angry dance to mourn the lost slippers. Later on that same afternoon he designated further contemplation to this issue of his obligations. Did they exist? What were they? He felt stupid. He felt like he had to kid on he knew until he figured them out. Sometimes he liked to pretend that his plight was pitiful and pitiable to make light of it somehow.
He had stopped to appreciate one of the paintings. Except that before he had even began to examine it he felt very cold, tired and bored. His bones felt cold, and ancient, old before his time! He tried to look but his eyes couldn't really anything he was so bored and his mind already wandering. Murky meandering thoughts about nothing in particular. The girl was standing nearby he realised with a start. She was near the window. He had to climb farther to reach a hallway which led to a door.
Friday, 26 October 2012
"Right, what we having?"
"I´ll have, eh, a Guinness please Jon."
"OK, two pints of Guinness please and a bottle of Becks."
The young men took their drinks to an untidy table and sat down. They sat in silence for a few minutes, tentatively sipping, furtively avoiding eye contact or any kind of contact really.
And then Rob spoke. "Somebody we all ken and love has just been put in the ground. I think we should all take a moment to remember our good mate Stevie." Jon and Andy nodded solemly though Jon seemed slightly embarrassed. They continued to take small, perpetual sips in a kind of weird rhythm they had going between them. And then Jon stood up and he was going to the toilet..
He went up to the bar. "Excuse me mate where´s the toilet?" He was directed down a perilously long hallway, so long, unending, nightmarish, a nightmarishly long hallway adorned with bleak oil portraits of aristocrats playing chess. Eventually, after a good ten minutes of wandering, he realised that he couldn´t find the damn toilet and, what´s more, he was hopelessly lost. Doorways multiplied. He wandered if he should just turn round and try to get back but that seemed impossible now and, besides, he was still bursting on a piss. He did a wee dance, clutching his penis through his jeans, trying to hold it in. Hundreds of doors had been passed, not a single one with a sign to indicate that it was a toilet. For fuck´s sake man. In desperation he lurched for the nearest door, grasped the handle and pushed it open.
"Where the fuck has Jon got to? Is that cunt taking a shite?" Andy pondered. Rob smirked humourlessly and continued to leaf through the copy of the newspaper he had found abandoned on an adjacent table. They let another ten minutes pass before finishing their drinks and abandoning the premises. A light drizzle had began as they shook hands and bade one another farewell on the street outside.
Jon stepped through the doorway. He was in a corridor illuminated by pink light. Weird, ethereal music was emanating from unseen speakers. He stepped forward very slowly, walking as if imitating slow motion footage of himself. The corridor turned to the right ten feet ahead and he didn´t know what was round there and he felt uneasy. He crept round the corner and passed through a white door and found himeself in a room with blue walls and a window. A weathered single pedestal dressing table was positioned beside the window and here a young lady sat gazing out onto the gently sunlit late autumn street. She seemed engrossed in some kind of stupefied contemplation and hadn´t notice Jon enter. "Whoops, oh shit, sorry hen," Jon was muttering and she merely turned slowly, a laconic grin spread across her face. She wore a navy blue dress and all of a sudden that was off, up over her head, and Jon had the sensation that he was dreaming. She walked slowly towards him in her underwear and casually reached for and unbuckled his belt, undid his jeans with effortless precision. Then her hand delved into his boxer shirts where it found and clasped his penis, stroking it with gentle insistency. Alarmed, excited and perplexed, Jon found himself massaging her breasts, sliding the straps of her plain cotton brassiere down over her shoulders to help facilitate this task. She was tugging his penis more vigorously now and it wasn´t long before he was snorting and spasming as he ejaculated, large globules of semen arriving on her bare thighs and plain cotton pants.
"You have to leave now," she was urging him, helping him with his breeks and ushering him out the door, her manner now changed, somehow perturbed. She closed the door and he was back out in the pink corridor, silent now; the music had stopped. It was very cold. He would have to make his way back to the bar now and he had no idea how to go about that. And the need to pee, which had absented itself whilst he had his handjob, had returned with increased intensity. He did his shuffling, penis-clutching dance and began to walk back the way he came, through the interminable corridors and hopefully back to the bar. He would have to pee out on the street or else rush home.
Jon was reported as being missing on the 24th of October, five days after the funeral of his good friend Jason Grieves. The last reported sighting of Jon was at a small wake in a local pub with his acquaintances Andy and Rob. The two reported leaving the pub after Jon went to use the bathroom and never returned.
Monday, 24 September 2012
Sometimes one encountered a vertiginous feeling.
That poor wee dog had been so perturbed! And he could sympathise. The horror: men felt it, dogs felt it. If only he could have summoned the courage and resolve to sweep the wee doggie up in his arms and run off with it, if only he could muster the courage and resolve to do anything. It was the way she had smiled, a gleaming grin. Such things are liable to haunt waking bodies. He could hear some construction in the distance, it sounded like ominous music. Quickly, walking quickly, too quickly.
Tuesday, 14 August 2012
Old lessons had to be re-learned. In order that he might move ahead.
A decision had been reached - he was moving to Papa New Guinea. This was serious stuff, a serious decision had been reached. How had the decision, how had he arrived at it? It was the result of angry, spontaneous thought and, as such, was unlikely to endure.
Other things for consideration - he had been so angry earlier it had been impossible to conceal, despite his wont to conceal such unpalatable states of being. And then, observing his anger, she had become angry at his reluctance to elaborate on said anger. An absurd state of affairs. His reluctance to demonstrate anger was proliferating further anger.
-Why are you angry?
-I´m not angry.
-I can tell you´re angry!
Her vitriol seemed to surpass his now, at least superficially. But he sensed his was more deep rooted and lasting, slowly burning itself out and draining him in the process.
To calm down, he attempted to make a list of things one could purchase with 5000 pounds. He meditated on the character-eroding power of 5000 pounds, how it could hold sway over a person and effect lapses in judgement, erosions in moral integrity and other lamentable occurrences. The desire to attain said sum of money, that is. The sum itself could be utilised in various manners, positive, harmful, frivolous, indulgent, beneficial etc. But the desire to attain said sum, perhaps with no particular aim or purpose, the mere sum itself, the inherent potential.
He was going out to take a walk and he told her but she persuaded him not to. It was 1am for fuck sake. Some things said cannot be unsaid and these things shall haunt the waking mind, amen brother. The sheer snarling power of that odious figure 5000 had become ominous and even disgusting. Disgusting, yes. He had the sensation that horrifying insects had planted eggs in his belly button or some damn thing. The disorientating sensation of briefly glimpsing the true nature of someone´s character.
He suddenly thought of his friend´s cousin, a young lady who had married a wealthy man 20 years her senior. The wedding had been held in a grim city in the north of england on a rainy day in December. It sometimes struck him that wealthy people lacked taste or subtlty. Something had went a wee bit wrong, the money had fucked up their brain somehow. The insane comfort of wealth, the insane meaninglessness of wealth in an ends in itself. The desire to be wealthy with no particular aim or fixed purpose. Wealth afforded ye options. Ye could sit and consider your options. As ye amassed more wealth ye would be afforded more options and then ye would have a hell of a lot of thinking to be getting fucking on with. Even the seemingly paltry sum of 5000 pounds demanded much consideration, one would have to be careful not to blunder and part with the money unwisely.
Perhaps better not to spend it at all - wait and amass a wee bit more! There were always further options and further desires to consider. A lack of ambition was definitely for the feint-hearted.
He was pacing angrily around the living room, she called through to him to come to bed. He answered no and explained that he was moving to Ethiopia.
But seriously man far too fucking angry to lie in a dark room brain ticking over he was still trembling and occasionally sneering or sighing or some sort of damn exhalation through the nostrils.
-I´ve just bought a flight to Ethiopia and I´m away to the fucking airport, he called through. She groaned in despair.
It was a mild, almost muggy night, as close to muggy as one can reasonably expect in Scotland. He was Jonny Marks, liker of not anyone, pacing the streets in a fury, a frenzy. This state of escalated anger must not be allowed to hold sway over him. He desired 5000 pounds, so what, who didn´t even someone who already owned 5000 pounds would surely like the same again. Even someone with a lot more could not reasonably be expected to dismiss such a sum offhand. But a desperation for the money did not exist. What could effect such a desperation? Debt, addiction? The usual disruptive factors. What sort of behaviours could such a desperation inspire? Fraud, theft, armed robbery. Prostitution.
He remembered the father of the bride, his speech at the wedding... he loves my daughter and makes her happy. His love made her happy. And did she love him? This was not taken into account, the question was moot. He made her happy. And did she make him happy, he with his self proclaimed sleeping disorder, OCD and violent mood swings? He supposed she did, he loved her after all. He desired her as his wife, even confessed to wanting to marry her from the moment he had met her. An immediate marital union, swiftly skipping past the usual period of courtship, such he had desired. Some patience my man! Such impulsiveness was unwise without a shadow of a doubt.
Jonny Marks, hater of people, was walking under a bridge, so to speak. No I mean, he really was, and here were two down and out cunts pissing against a wall. A most distasteful spectacle, right out in the open. When he came out the other side of the bridge he noticed the moon in the sky. 5000 pounds, five thousand fucking pounds. Not as little as three, not even as much as 10. That was important to stress, the exactness of the amount. He imagined a cheque, five thousand pounds only. Not a cent more my man! A sardonic smile. Money exchanging hands. A full moon glimpsed through mist. The inevitability of certain events.
She had changed, he had changed, changes occured. Or didn´t. Maybe they didn´t, changes in perception occured instead, revealing previously unobserved factors.
One thing was for certain, he was moving to New Dehli.
He walked past the Scottish parliament, this part of the city was quiet at night and he found it to be peaceful. As oppossed to certain other areas which had the potential to inspire a sense of chaos or despair. Pushing onwards, ahead, that was the thing, the thing to be doing. Imperative. Inertia would prove fatal.
An alcoholic drink was now desired, one costing hopefully less than 5000 pounds as he lacked such a sum. He wondered if this made him undesirable as a person. A lack of wealth was an odious trait, definitely. He imagined being asked to perform an unpalatable act to obtain the sum of 5000 pounds. How would he react? And what bars were open around here at this time anyway_ Never fear, he knew of one. A cracking wee place, dimly lit, real atmospheric. Interesting types of people hung around there he supposed. He would ingratiate himself with them, maybe even become interesting himself. Being interesting made you desirable as a person, may even land you in the position of being somehow able to obtain 5000 pounds.
Jealousy was an undesirable trait, envy of soming owning 5000 pounds for example. Jealousy over what someone might do, someone you cared about say, what they might do to obtain 5000 pounds.
Plans were required, both immediate and eventual. The immediate plan, visit aforementioned cracking wee bar for a cold pint. The eventual plan, emmigrate to Mexico City.
The bar was on a side street off the Royal Mile, he entered and approached the bar where two old fellows were blethering. The guy working behind the bar was known for being a right flippant cunt, consequently Jonny aye adopted an uncharacteristically aloof, almost aggresive manner when dealing with him. Just kidding, he was a polite, meek bastard unless he´d had more than a few in which case he could end up bouncing a hard object off some cunt´s head. He was always duly punished for such transgressions by irate doormen etc. so please do not be too horrified dear reader.
A fridge behind the bar contained a numbre of tasty Belgian brewed beers and suchlike, but such was the low level of the lighting that Jonny could not discern any of the names on the bottles. A most frustrating state of affairs, dear reader, I´m sure you´ll understand and grasp. Not to worry, he would seek the counsel of the helpful cunt behind the bar whose job it was to supply prospective customers with the necessary information to arrive at an in formed decision with regard to purchasing something to drink. It was important to make the correct decision, wheter matters at hand were trivial or otherwise. In fact it seemed somehow more important to get the small matters satisfactorily in order; as it was easier to extend more influence in trivial matters it somehow seemed more tragic if these were not correctly solved. Such was his feeling anyway, others might harbour an altogether different viewpoint. They were welcome to. He squinted his eyes and tried to see what was what. Not a damn clue, he couldn´t see shit. The bartender seemed even more bored than could be reasonably expected under such circumstances, admittedly banal as they were.
-Are those Belgian wheat beers there?
-I´ll take one of those.
-Which one? There´s like five to choose from.
Fuck sake. Make some effort in yer job ya cunt. Convey the merits of each product to the prospective consumer, the selfsame guy about to pay the not inconsiderable sum of four pounds for said product. Relatively speaking not inconsiderable I mean, it wasn´t five fucking thousand pounds or anything like that. But still, but still. And then his hand was reaching to grasp an ashtray on the bar so that he might propel it at the floor or the man serving. In protest, you understand.The barman didn´t seem to understand at all.Such behaviour seemed to amount to little more than anti-social savagery in the wary eyes of the bartender. Jonny quickly understood he was no longer welcome and quickly made his way for the exit to pre-empt a situation where he might be conveyed there by means of force. Expressway to yer hoose. No, not even yer hoose, just the street, ye had to stagger the rest of the way. Roaring into the night. Victorious. Fists in the air. Falling into the gutter with the rest of the scumbags. Cunts pissing under bridges. The lot. His brethren. Just kidding. He felt no affinity with those wasteful cunts. Truth be told he was an ambitious bastard - various ambitions including amassing wealth - 5000 pounds to be specific. And of course his travels, emmigrating to fucking the Middle East or some damn place, these ambitions could not be ignored or thwarted a second longer. Immediate action was of grave necessity.
Monday, 18 June 2012
Sunday, 10 June 2012
Friday, 8 June 2012
Monday, 4 June 2012
Monday, 28 May 2012
Monday, 7 May 2012
What chance did one have to absent oneself from the proceedings? Answer: none. Zero chance. So one absents oneself mentally ie by getting pished out one's skull ie the usual methods. Here he was a 38 year old man in the position of being gripped by a curious kind of inertia, an inertia that held itself over him for sustained periods. What could be done about it? Solutions were yet to occur to him. Life wisnae so bad apart from the fact one had the tendency to become immersed in torments. And then there was these tunnels you could end up in and not even fucking realise it. Hopeless, completely hopeless, one had the urge to abandon all hope.
One had to maintain a keen sense of the absurd in order that one not go completely doolally. A classic case of the horny auld goat no longer able to something or other. Eh? Things to be taken into account: his perpetual resentment towards everyone and everything. Not a huge issue.
A fifth drink was to be ordered, and then consumed. But he would have to be wary of the rate of consumption. He could already feel a slow, heavy stupefaction settling over him. Not a disagreeable sensation he supposed. His friends were arranged in groups away from him. Some were dancing, others just talking. A group of three over there, his girlfriend and his best friend. This was fine, the condition of sitting alone at the bar being preferable at the current juncture. Perhaps he could slump forward, still gripping his bottle of beer as he was sometimes wont to do. No, there would time later for such shamefully unabashed drunkeness. So, his friends had seen fit to abandon him. This was fine, a completely agreeable state of affairs. Really. The cunts got on his fucking nerves anyway. The need sometimes to just be fucking left alone. He held the beer bottle tight and took another swig, his eyes gazing at nothing in particular, the dim gleam of bottles behind the bar perhaps or the purposeful movements of the two barmaids.
So, ye had zero fucking chance, okay, so we've established that, okay, so what now? Thus liberated from the constraints and burdens of hope or potential, he began to drink faster and faster. Mibby a wee whisky. His girlfriend looking over at him. Fuck sake, why was every cunt avoiding him? He should just go home, right fucking now, go home and have a good greet. The thirty fucking eight year auld man boy in the fucking huff. Perpetual resentment, man, he was addicted to it. Another beer please. The barmaid brought it to him wordlessly, perhaps a bit alarmed at his rate of solitary consumption. He could not discern a way to proceed. (The trees, damp streets, wind and neighbours converged in a wordless conspiracy on this rainswept afternoon).
He snapped back into lucidity. Perhaps he would stand up and immediately vacate the premises. Was this something he was capable of? Fuck. He had fallen over. He grinned. A couple of young guys were helping him up. He chuckled and grinned, all teeth and bulging eyes. Face flushed like fuck. Man. He felt fucking amazing. Time fir a wee dance. A wee fucking boogie. He had both fists raised in the air as he ventured onto the dancefloor. He began thrusting his hips. Then he began this syncopated motion whereby he thrust his hips in time with his fists, like as if he wis pumping a burd. Needed to find some wee honey to grind up against, fuck the burd Displeased with the situation, yes, definitely Christ, things took their fucking toll, it couldn't be denied that things took their fucking toll because they fucking did.
Tuesday, 17 April 2012
Not too long after that they found themselves, just he and she, in a nearby pub. An unbearably strained atmoshphere gradually established itself as they sat over two bottles of strong Belgian beer. It was impossible to even look at her. It felt like the saddest possible thing in the world. Then they were walking back to her flat. He held her hand for a while until she shook it off. She suggested he go home, he became upset. Terrible, it was fucking terrible.
Back at her flat they smoked some marijuana and it put him in a bad way. He felt deeply, deeply perturbed. She recited poems and seemed amused. He didn´t know who she wa, didn´t know who he himself was.
Somehow he eventually managed to get a few hours of sleep. He awoke at dawn and sullenly left. His whole body felt as if wrought by agony. He headed homwards, purchasing a packet of cigarettes en route, an uncharacteristic act. It seemed as if things were over between them but, in fact, only one week later they would travel to the coast, fall in love and eventually move in together.
Friday, 6 April 2012
It seemed a small audience had gathered. People watching with interest. What were they watching? What were they thinking? He wanted to get up. He wanted to get up and dance, dance with them. Real close. The dancing. Dance real close. With movements approximating the wind. Weird snaking movements. It made perfect sense to him. He could hallucinate suitable music at will. An admirable feat, probably. He no longer cared. He had grown quite weary all of a sudden. And yet he felt he must continue to affect this strained grin, as painful and humiliating as it was. Complete exhaustion and ennui. An overwhelming greyness. He stood up. He donned his coat. Snap out of it, he suggested to himself. A dawning warmth. A blooming sensation. The old familiar tingling and numbness preceeded a surge of something or other.