Monday, 18 August 2008


I'm lying on the bed. My limbs tingle with fatigue. The room is illuminated by the throbbing glow of the electronically twinkling Christmas lights. The house is silent. The phone is unplugged.

Pale wintry light filters in through the window when I awaken. I feel I have slept a while. I exhale deeply, feeling rested. I get up and trudge downstairs in my underwear to prepare coffee. Before I do this I reconnect the phone. As I sit in the armchair by the window, sipping hot coffee, it rings. I continue to sip my coffee, ignoring its shrill notification.

After two cups of coffee, I wrap up in a heavy coat and head outside to embark on a stroll. I have a cassette player to listen to, an old Sony Walkman. It is scuffed but functioning.

As I stroll, I contemplate the facts of my existence. I am 43 years old. I still live in my grandfather's home. He died five years ago, aged 95. I am a freelance copy-editor, working from home. I resist direct contact with other human beings as much as possible. I want to impart this information now, instead of relaying it gradually or incidentally.

I walk alone along by the canal. A shriveled, bewildered old woman is feeding a few swans with bread, muttering to herself incoherently. I have seen this woman before and am somehow fond of her. I recall a time when I was 26 and I thought I should do or be something more. Since then I've the vague notion that I somehow missed my opening.

My breath rises before me in white wisps. I pass a deserted playground, its metallic surfaces glinting in the sharp wintry light. The day is quiet and still. And cold.

I am of a fairly neurotic disposition. I dislike brushing my teeth. Showering unnerves me. Neither of these traits should be attributed to laziness or some sort of willful hygienic neglect. Although I come across as lethargic and preoccupied, when I apply myself to something I am thorough.

My feet crunch the frosted grass as urine coloured sunshine spills over dead grey buildings. I walk quickly. I use walking to exhaust myself, a therapeutic exercise I have learned. Oftentimes physical and mental levels of energy are intertwined. If I sit for too long I become restless and agitated. I walk each morning, fuelled by coffee. I mull over prospective literary ideas.

My aspiration, you see, is to become a writer. I've been at it, on and off, since my late teenage years. I've had a few things published, articles and stories here and there in mostly small publications. Still, I indulge the fantasy of publishing a novel one day.

I suppose I don't have the mental wherewithal to see it through. A certain type of mental agility and tenacity that I lack. Sometimes I think my best pieces of writing are my brief, fleeting journal entries. Spontaneity seems to be my muse.

I've had my fair share of pussy in my time. I haven't really had much of late though admittedly. Partly this is due to a slight resignation on my part. A loss in interest as well as a decline in self-confidence. I rely on occasional masturbation, abetted by vivid, complex fantasies, to satisfy my carnal urges.

For a time I was engaged to be married, but that didn't pan out. She changed her mind. She found herself someone else. No, she didn't. Yes she did. I've always felt different from 'normal' people. Too quiet. Too withdrawn. At worst I make people suspicious, at best, uncomfortable. I don't mind too much; I have a rich inner life, the kind that too many lack these days, or so it seems to me.

I know what I must do now; I must exist solely to write. Other things have passed me by. This is all that I have left.

A pretty girl lives along the street. Sometimes whilst masturbating, I imagine her kneeling down, nude, eagerly performing a blowjob on your humble narrator. Then I ejaculate and am horrified by such depraved machinations. Then, a few days later, I repeat these proceedings.

Other times my fantasies involve reluctance on the part of the girl whilst I brutally force sexual acts upon her. Post-ejaculation a hopeless numbness overcomes me, rendering me totally lethargic.

I have an extensive record collection which I rarely listen to anymore. The promise and earnest urgency of my youthful music tastes seems irrelevant at this stage in the game. I prefer the ambient sounds of a small suburb at dusk.

10:05am is a good time to write, 'specially post-coffee. There's been some rain today, the sky is overcast. The telephone ringing is like a banshee wailing. Tempted to go some place where I'm not obliged to leave the thing connected.

It's not such a bad life, I reflect. Save for the occasional bought of crushing melancholy. Beautiful girls on the street; you make me want to sob into your golden hair.

I reflect on a key moment during my formative adolescent years. The day in high school when me pants wis drenched wi' pish. It was harrowing, kid. A part of me closed off that day, possibly for good.

Gazing out the blank window, I apply some cheap fragrance for no apparent reason. Why this overwhelming sense of vague urgency? And these unnamable anxieties, where do they emit from?

My uncle was a homosexual, my auntie is an embittered spinster, my father is pussy-whipped by my domineering mother. I can only conclude that they had a flawed model on which to base relationships.

I walk to the library, browse the books, smile at the Chinese librarian. All the while filled with a fragile awe, as when regarding slowly tumbling leaves.

Thursday, 14 August 2008

Jonson Jones opened the back door to allow his dog to exit the house. The dog had been scratching at the door persistently for the past five minutes. The door now open, the dog scampered out and Jones poked his head out into the night air. It being a mild, calm night, Jones decided to join his pooch outside. He fetched his glass of wine and sat himself on the bench beside his house. His dog wandered over to him and allowed itself to be stroked with gentle fondness. Jones sat like that for a while, listening to the hushed roar of midnight silence. He enjoyed this respite from feeling weird, from being bogged down in bright light and human emotion. He enjoyed the dark and his mute animal companion. Well, mute that is except for occasional coarse, territorial barking.

Presently he heard his neighbours' back door opening. He could just about discern the vague shape of his neighbour emerging silently onto her back doorstep. She stood there for a minute and Jones had the impression that she was watching him although he couldn't be certain she noticed him at all sitting so still in the dark like that. But evidently she did because she spoke to him, commenting on the fine nocturnal weather. Jones murmured his agreement. She opened the wooden gate in the fence that segregated their respective gardens and sat down beside him without speaking. Jones heard her swallow in the silence. What a peaceful sound, a comforting, reassuring sound. He grasped his knee and tried desperately to think of something to say. Then he sipped his wine and relaxed and asked his neighbour if she would care for a sip from his glass. Indeed I would she told him with a hint of playfulness in her tone that made Jones feel almost nauseous with excitement. He wanted her to stroke his dog, he wanted to stroke her knee. He longed to embrace her delicate frame and kiss her lips and feel her breath hot and heavy in his ear. He took a long sip of wine and allowed himself to feel giddy and irresponsible. His dog lay at their feet and sky was tinged with violet and distant streetlights were an acidic amber colour.
Wires jutted out of rolled-up posters. Jan realised these guitar strings and felt out of his depth. No, you're not out of your depth, he told himself. He looked at Luna and wondered if she would take off her clothes. She was preoccupied with changing over a battery in a fuzz pedal.

Luna was much given to solitary pursuits. Mainly playing guitar and other art projects. Aged 19, she had already prepared installations, guitar based, for several of the city's hippest art spaces and cafes. Jan interested her as he affected to be a poet. He was aloof, preoccupied, nervy, all the classic traits of said profession. His poems also happened to suck but that was besides the point. He was gorgeous - he looked bored, dreamy, angelic.

She was gorgeous he reflected. He felt surges of tenderness, excitement, fear. He watched her carefully light an incense stick and he wanted to take her small hand and kiss and lick it. Sad, slow whisps of silver smoke trailed upward to the ceiling. Minute billows destined for consumption by the greedy heavens. Please don't rain, he prayed. Allow nothing to extinguish this moment.

She put on a John Cale CD, one of his more abstract conceptual pieces. Jan had to sit down and hold onto something as he felt the room go into a wild and dreamy orbit.


The phone rang. It was Frieda, with an invitation to escort her to a roller disco.
"I'm not a roller disco kinda guy," Jock replied gruffly, and dropped the phone back into its cradle.

Outside it was cloudy. Jock made coffee. Halfway through drinking it, he remembered he was 'caffeine sensitive.'
"Fuck it," he said and finished the mug off. Then he screamed and shattered the mug on the tiled floor.

Frieda phoned again. She was 'concerned' about him, quote-unquote.
"Concern yourself with something more mysterious," he advised her.

Because there was no mystery anymore. The visions had dried up. He hadn't felt the sober chill of a winter sunrise yet; he slept all day and barely wrote anything.

"Dammit, Frieda, come back to me," he murmured to himself. It was midnight, pouring with rain. He stood staring at the phone, aghast. The four walls of the rooms were obscene in their oppressiveness. He had sat staring at a fresh slice of paper all day, clasping a biro. Poised, agitated. Trying to channel a feeling or some sort of vision. Nothing.

Nothing. Just blackness. An insurmountable feeling of lethargy and hopelessness. He tried to wrack his brain. Somewhere in there the writing lay dormant, waiting to be excavated from his subconsciousness.

He didn't know what he should write. What should he write, dammit? He didn't know. What did writers write? Writers were... clever... He wasn't clever, dammit. Here he was affecting to be a writer and he wasn't even smart enough to defend himself.

Intellectual warfare. It was...
The phone rang.
"Frieda?" he asked, hopefully.
"No," a blunt male voice answered. Jock began sobbing and shrieking hysterically. He knocked himself over the skull with the receiver a few times and then smashed it against the wall. The he administered the same treatment to the cradle of the phone, rendering it a mess of cracked and splintered plastic. A surge of euphoric catharsis overwhelmed him and he collapsed, exhausted and calm. His tears twinkled under the single bare lightbulb. The doorbell rang.

He composed himself and slowly opened the door, red-eyed and sniffling. Frieda stood there, shy and beautiful as ever. He wanted to lay his trembling hands on her but found he couldn't. He couldn't bring himself to spoil such an untainted vision of sheer beauty. She coughed and smiled slightly.
The amateur gardener stood examining his plants on a mild summer's eve. He was smiling tenderly and then he had a far-off look in his eye. The garden swelled with dignity and promised beauty.
Suddenly, a small fox came trotting into the garden and attacked the gardener. But the gardener remembered not to panic. He remembered all was just dream. He remembered and he grinned. The little fox savaged him ineffectually and the gardener, he just giggled. A shrill, effeminate giggle. The fox was growing at a hallucinatory rate, becoming increasingly menacing. It drew blood as its teeth sank into the gardener's tender, aged flesh. The gardener continued to giggle with an added note of urgent hysteria. The giggles screamed and the screams transformed into the sudden silence of a corpse. The tender wee fox cub retreated into some foliage to pick at bones. It would be another warm, lonely summer.
With his shy four year old daughter, Billy decided to visit the pet shop. He pulled over and parked and together they went into the small building which lay between a hairdresser and a health food store.

Belinda was captivated by the hamsters. Billy watched her with fondness and recalled his own wretched youth, when he had owned a pet hamster named Mr Dink. That poor bastard had escaped and chewed through the goddamn electricity cable.
A sombre, preoccupied middle-age lady appeared and asked if they required assistance. Billy explained that they were just looking. The woman nodded and returned to the storeroom. Belinda continued to study the hamsters scurry around in their cages. She kept a light grip of her father's trouser leg, hesitant to move too close to the cage. Such a shy wee lassie, Billy thought with tenderness.
It was sunny outside. He yawned and itched his testicles. Then he set his mind to the problem of what to have for lunch. Tuna, he decided. Yeah... tuna...
Jock lay in bed, doodling on his testicles with a biro. He had pulled the skin taut in order to facilitate this inane task. All of a sudden, his sister entered the room and demanded to know what he was doing.
"Surely it is plain to see," he told her in a shrill voice. Maddened tears began to stream down his cheeks and bared his teeth in a hysterical grin.
"I love you, Jock," his sister told him and began weeping also.
It was at that moment that armed police crashed in through the window and confiscated the offending biro pen!

Jock's first instinct was to protest but his sister silenced him with a stern stare. Then she hissed - sssssss - like a snake. The sound was so overloaded with eroticism that one of the officers dropped his assault rifle and began groping his crotch and grinding his hips. An obscene spectacle if ever I saw one.
"You utter jobby!" shrieked Jock's sister, indignant now. The offending officer turned bright red and then committed suicide. A wave of cheers and applause.
"I'll help you bury him," Jock offered to the other officers. His [Jock's] testicles were still exposed, perhaps inappropriately. At that moment the telephone rang. Jock's sister rushed off to answer it then reappeared a minute later. She asked if she could be excused; her pimp had been on the phone with a lucrative contract for her. Jock told her it was fine and chuckled sheepishly to the officers, saying "pretty crazy line of work for someone her age to be in, eh?" He seemed embarrassed.
The officers seemed beguiled and titillated. Jock said: "wait here, I need to check something outside." Then Jock vacated the house and locked the door, trapping the police inside, and set fire to the building. Only one of the officers survived the fire. And he was scarred beyond recognition.

"I must confess... I've developed feelings of tenderness towards you," he whispered into the ear of the frolicsome wench, a cynical gleam in his eye. She gasped and said "...the light oot, Jock." This rendered-uh him beguiled-uh. He realised a whole word had been omitted. An impressive feat to be sure.
"Jock, make sure that light gets pit oot!" she reiterated, more firmly.
"Damn, girl," he murmured, his voice husky, shaken.
Jock and Joanne were standing at the tobacco counter of the supermarket in which they worked when this encounter took place. The same supermarket which at that very moment spontaneously imploded due to supernatural forces!

Follow @dharma_ass