Sunday, 8 January 2012

Absolute Spool

     It's been a long time, probably far too long. Life has gotten in the way and taken up far too much of my time. The little spaces in between these segments of life have been filled by various films, books, television programmes and the occasional travels up and down the country. In the long run I am sure this is a good idea, however for this blog it has been detrimental. So now here I am typing away with no real purpose, occasionally tapping the backspace key to change a word or reassemble a sentence. There is no real plan, just spool. This was always the intention of the blog and this unplanned rambling could very well turn out to be a perfect example of this. It could also be nothing more than a steaming pile of arse gravy.
     the other week I heard somebody say that a hungover state of mind offers a strange type of clarity, making it easier to write. My brain is currently going through an alcohol recovery period and I don't believe this clarity exists. Flashbacks of the homemade cocktail that slowly decimated some brain cells last night still occur, the liquid was thick and brown, think long island iced tea but with more inebriating ingredients. The main flavour of the Concoction was sherbet, a colourful flavour for such a drab looking liquid. The creator of this drink withheld the ingredients, but assured me that it was not just a mixture of all the remaining alcohol. After half a dozen glasses  being poured from the jug I didn't really care about what went into them.

     Once again life has been able to stop my thoughts.Over an hour has passed since the previous paragraph, any train of thought about drinking would have to be dug up. The television on in the background occasionally addles my thoughts. The little black screen is  is lit up by the news, which is full of people babbling spun stories and jargon that really doesn't mean anything. I can relate.

Consider this arse gravy excreted.

Monday, 3 October 2011

Before the Sixth Minute

                The other day, after waking up much earlier than anticipated, the internet showed me another one of its marvels. Somebody had emailed me what, at first, appeared to be a music video. Halfway through this video the woman who was meant to be singing her upbeat declaration of love decided to pull down her underwear. This part of the video definitely caught my attention. I was completely engaged when she sat down and opened her vagina. Then from deep inside the bloody chasm there is was another mouth that continued lip-synching . I did not know what was worse, looking into the centre of a menstruating sheath before sunrise or that I recognised the pop song and could actually name the tiny teeny bopper that released it.
                I took this as a sign. It was either a warning or an invitation. Rather then accept I declined, vowing to stay away from technology for the day. Maybe I could find some small deserted island and stay there, just me and my senses. They could be trusted, they could lead me downstairs towards the kettle where I could sit and listen to it boil. Unfortunately there were obstacles. On the way to the kitchen I had to pass the living room where a television was discharging one of those ‘chat’ shows. A show where the host exposes his guests most intimate flaws and problems to the rest of the world. The show is extremely in your face, conversations are spouted at you the same way a dysentery infected arsehole releases faeces. It is shot out runny and goes everywhere, ruining everything.
                As I meander into the kitchen the radio is blaring out adverts. Catchy jingles designed to impregnate the brain with simple riffs offering a better world of motoring. Maybe I would appreciate the advert more if I could drive. Motorists themselves may smile in wonder and ecstasy when they hear the jingle repeated every twenty minutes during long car journeys. I gulp down a coffee, black and instant, before leaving through the front door. Nobody asks where I am going, they just let me go. It is entirely possible that they do not care.
                I end up at a park covered in green grass with trees surrounding the edges. At the front there is a play park for the smaller children, but I have no reason to complain about children in a park. That is, partially, because there are none. Today is an overcast school day. I wander towards a bench and sit down. I have no music player to listen to and I have no book to read. I am going to thoroughly enjoy the peace and quiet of the park. For five minutes I have peace and quiet.
                Sometimes five minutes is all you need, muscles feel like they relax in the brain. The girl with the singing vagina is now something amusing and, unless they actually found somebody with a mouth inside her labia, a lot of time and hard work went towards that video look realistic. It has the potential to go viral very quickly. Good for them. There is a breeze, gentle and calming. Waking up this morning is in the past, it could be a memory from months ago. Maybe it is.
Then I notice it across the road from the park; a bright purple billboard covering half of a brick wall. Across the solid block of purple is an ageing rock star with a body that must predate history. It is a body that has been used; it has seen damage and danger, taken near-fatal blows and survived through so many addictions and afflictions. It has endured through time and experienced more than most. Now it can now sell car insurance. Heroin can lead to worse things than an overdose. The peaceful mood is killed before the sixth minute. There is no physical escape. I will never have my own private island to escape to. Some days it is easy to avoid the things that you do not agree with they can be ignored like. Other days they are forced down your gullet. Repeatedly.
                When I return home the television is still on, excreting the same program. I am informed by my housemate that it is an omnibus. He then offers for me to join him, holding out a spliff. I sit, intending to stay only for a minute. Instead I stay a little longer and help him decrease his drug collection. As mentioned in the previous paragraph there is no physical escape from this world. But the physical and the mental can be two different things. I’m not suggesting that through any drug I have managed to reach a higher plane, or become enlightened. But I have found minor escapism and even numbed my mind. I can sit back, not worrying about what I see or intake. There is no negative, there is no positive. Today there is nothing. As the camera pans into the host of the show, he gives an unnatural grin and tells us he will be back after the break. I smile through the adverts and think of absolutely nothing.

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Filling Quotas

Words are interesting. This should be common knowledge. Some people love to indulge themselves with long unknown phrases and decadent descriptions where every last detail is denoted. Others prefer to keep their sentences short and sweet. There could easily be a variety of different styles for a variety of different people. These variants could be based around knowing the dictionary back to back in many languages, or simply the complete knowledge of a succinct vocabulary.  Somebody once suggested to me that one of the reasons there is such a difference in how people use language is because we each have a different quota to fill. This is why some people are happy to be seen throwing around words with meanings that they will never truly grasp and understand; they have quotas to fill.
The other week, whilst walking my dog, I bumped into an old acquaintance. We have never really been friends just people that meet up by chance and talk. This is one of the benefits of owning a dog, you gain many acquaintances. As his dog ran past me I removed my headphones and said hello. It had been eight months since our last encounter but the changes in his face suggested it had been years. His hair had grown grey strands that could be seen flowing out of his head, mixing with the brown, as well as the occasional silver sitting above his lip in his moustache. The eyes were surrounded by crows’ feet, bags and wrinkles while the pupils were full of forethought and worry. Something was different about him; he had realised his mortality.
It was not long before he told me about his situation. Doctors had found a lump in his neck. Before cancer could enter my mind and escape through my lips he had already dismissed it. Instead this lump is something different, another growth that comes with a list of its own personal complications. The lump does not belong alongside the Adam’s apple where it was found and must be removed. This operation destroys the vocal chords and months of speech therapy must ensue if he is to ever utter a coherent sentence again. As I was about to release a quiet, shocked and measly ‘I’m sorry’ he tells me his speech therapy will take longer than usual because of his dyslexia. My useless apology for his condition is eventually freed from the back of my throat and graciously accepted.
As we walk the thought of this condition is something that goes through my mind while he is, naturally, taking his mind away from it. Having lived in the area all his life there are many stories and facts that he wants to share. It is like he knows about the concept of a word quota, and is desperate to reach his before the operation. We talk about everything. I am filled with information about the butts of the field, how underneath foliage there are metal tankers that were shelters during the Second World War, after 1945 they became a place where the military tested explosives. He would spend his childhood roaming the farmer’s field with a metal detector, one of the old cheap ones that specialises in the discovery of bottle caps and old half penny pieces. Except for those lucky days. On those lucky days he was able to find the old unexploded bombs that had been left by the military. As a child he saw them as toys something to be thrown around, testing them to see if they will go off; only to be woefully discarded at the end of the day before returning home. Pieces of childhood are being thrown at me and I am more than happy to try and catch the different segments and store them where they will not be forgotten.
As we approach a wheat field recently cleared of all its wheat, he takes me back much further then his childhood. As we stare at a path of flattened dirt that runs through the middle of the field, so thin and barely visible he begins to explain its origin. The path dates back to just after the Norman conquest of Britain, making it one of Britain’s oldest non-monuments. The path leads all the way along to the next village where there is a church that was built shortly after William the Bastard’s coronation. As the path was never made into an actual road most of it now is submerged underneath an A road. It is only through this little square of dirt that its remains can be seen. Suddenly my imagination takes hold of the situation and I can see groups of families all meeting up to take this micro-pilgrimage to church. It is winter and there is snow, I am not sure why but do not have time to think of a reason. The villagers have wrapped up warm as best they could, but supplies are limited, and they make their Sunday morning trudge to chapel. A little girl is holding her mothers hand she is cold, tired and worried about her mother’s health. Before my mind’s eye can develop this any further I am distracted by my companion, who is now half-guide half-raconteur. He is talking more about the history of the land and I do my best to take it all in though in hindsight I know some information has been forgotten. I catch his eyes while he talks to me about his gardening skills and they are no longer consumed with the cold fear that was in them. Instead they are relaxed and he is smiling.
At the end of the path, before we go our separate ways, there is at least an hour of standing and talking. We are both lost in conversation while our dogs sit bored and damp on the cold pavement. The conversation goes onto girls, his brother was always much better at getting good looking ones, even if they had the occasional marble missing or a drug habit that came with them free of purchase. The conversation then turns to more illicit substances. Since the discovery of his lump a world of opportunities have opened up, he no longer feels afraid to try new things. One of these has involved the consumption of Marijuana. Mary Jane. Bud. Weed. Skunk. Being a gardener he is not just interested in smoking the plant, although this has been included into his schedule. Instead he has knowledge of all the different strands, how to create the right climate for each different plant, how to tell from the smells, tastes and flavours. He is a connoisseur of the herb and that makes him happy. His enthusiasm is infectious.
After the conversation has moved onto the devious and egomaniacal schemes of the local Tory council I look down at my four legged companion. Her eyes look sad, but also incredibly pensive. She could be questioning why I have decided to stand in the rain talking for so long when I know full well that there is a sofa at home waiting to offer her comfort. I know that I am the only one who can make this conversation end.  As I say goodbye and walk away, I know that this is the last time we will meet and talk to one another. It has been fun, a deserving last encounter. On the way home I imagine him bumping into another one of his acquaintances, another one willing to stop and talk. They talk for just as long, letting him get closer to filling his quota.