23.09.14 (Day 275)
It’s been over a week since I last wrote here. Not much to tell really. There’s the usual progress on the homing front (none), the usual co-operation and assistance from various organisations and agencies (little) and my frustration and tiredness levels are as normal (very). This is prescribed therapy though and I do have thoughts to commit. So this will be those.
I’ve not written for so long as I’ve had lots of other things to occupy me; mainly interruptions and interference. Not writing wasn’t troubling me as much as it has in the past but I was prompted to write again by the person who cares about me the most and I was reminded of a short story which is one of my many works in progress. The story concerns patients, inmates, call them what you will: people, perhaps; in some sort of facility: hospital, prison; what’s the difference? Somewhere they’re not in charge; not in control; not the free spirits they wish to be; caged; smothered; forbidden; abandoned; misunderstood; forgotten; in some sort of comatose state: cut off, disabled, asleep. It’s about loved ones who are out of touch and when they contact these people, they are awakened. It’s provisionally entitled The Prettiest Lies. The prettiest things only lie when they’re asleep. Often people are only truly awoken and brought back to life by the one they truly love.
The prettiest smiles
hide the deepest secrets
The prettiest eyes
have cried the most tears
And the kindest hearts
have felt the most pain
So the wife – one of my closest friends but also the assumed and forbidden love – asked why I’d not written for a while and suggested that perhaps I should. This one goes out to the one I love the most.
Despite ours being a relationship which the thought police might consider inappropriate, we are inseparable. We’re soul mates. We’re symbiotic. I need her as much as she needs me. Knowledge based on years of experience which benefits one without and vice versa. No-one can stop us. No-one will. We’re in this for keeps. It’s about helping people to grow and move on.
The planet Somnia still eludes myself and my chosen passengers in Ghost Bird. I’ve been awake since 6am (a lie in for me), after five hours sleep (a luxury). Over the last month, I’ve averaged around four hours sleep per night: not good and neither am I. Apart from my one constant, my assumed and forbidden relationship, affectionately referred to as “The Wife”. Constant because she’s an insomniac like me.
The wife and I often sit up late at night, watching food Network and we talk. As always, she put a smile on my face before bed. With the quote of my day:
“The fucking stupid cunt street cooking shits on and omfg they scary fucking mother fuckers r on there if they stare again boi I’m ganna flip xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Street Kitchen and they ain’t even on the fucking street cunts need to sort that out and not stay in a fucking field twats where’s the fucking point in that cunts stared kill them kill them now xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Love u xxxxxxx”
Great (and filthy) minds think alike (and so do ours) and she’s referring to Street Kitchen, which Food Network use as filler in lieu of adverts and which annoys us both. Always the same recipes; they’re not on the street; the recipes take an absolute age and are not the kind of food which one would acquire on the street, even if the kitchen was on a street and not in a field. And then there’s the camera pan shot at the end, where the cooks give the camera evil looks. That really gets the wife.
And she gets me. Most of the others just want to fuck me apparently. Well, I’m taken.
Back to reality though on planet Me and today will no doubt be spent chasing up people who are supposed to be sorting out my life whilst I sort out the lives of others. Solving and causing problems.
This is the captain of your shit, calling. For someone to wipe arses.
I’ve just returned from CRI, where I received the usual amount of help (little) but wherein I happened to see my writing mentor, who is affiliated with The RSA (Royal Society of Arts). I shall dispense her advice, now:
“It’s impossible to stop someone like you thinking but equally difficult for you to contain those thoughts (and yourself) and dispensing your unique form of wisdom. You are extremely clever but you’re dangerous. Focus more on yourself rather than other people. I know you like to help and you can’t be stopped from doing whatever it is that you want to do: that is the nature of the beast which is you. Read even more than you do already; write more: you’ve not written anything for ages. But try to talk less. If people around you need you, then fine but use your quiet moments as they should be used: quiet moments. You are naturally an extrovert but be more introverted. You are loved and hated in equal measure: people love you for being you but hate you because of you and what you are, stand for and have. They envy your intelligence. If people are looking at you, use CBT (Cognitive Behavior Therapy). They may not be looking at you and relying on you to start their stunted conversations; they probably want to fuck you. Smile in those moments. Think more: there’s no stopping whatever goes on under that hat of yours but you lifted the lid. Find somewhere as far away from distractions as possible. Set up a writing desk in a corner somewhere. Write more. Talk less. You have so much to tell so many people and the best way to do that is to do what I miss you doing: write your blog. That’s what it’s for…And I need a short story from you. You’re short and you are certainly a story – a bit of a legend in fact – but if you can knock one out for me, we’re publishing an anthology of short fiction for Christmas…”
So with one of my mentors and the prettiest eyes watching over me, here’s the story so far (first draft):
The Prettiest Lies
My name is Frank. I think.
Maybe I used to be Frank. I’m not sure anymore. I’m not sure I can be. I seem to have changed.
You see, I met someone out there. It was poetic: her name rhymed with mine. She took me; they took my life. They didn’t approve.
I don’t remember much but I remember how they got me: they kicked me, punched me, bottled me and throttled me. They cut me and burned me. Then when I was down, they did it again. But it doesn’t hurt when you’re dead already. It’s just something fun for them to do. I provided entertainment: always glad to serve a purpose.
Out there, where I long to be. With the one I love.
For now I sleep here, wherever here may be.
Sometimes I wake up. Occasionally when I’m awake, others around me are awake too. I ask them what rouses them. They say it’s when someone thinks of you; a bit like your ears burning: right for mother; left for lover. I lost my right ear in that final fight.
I’m new here and I ask lots of questions: why does my remaining ear (the left one) burn so much? Why can’t I rest? Why am I awake so much? The others close to me say that it’s because someone is thinking of me. Or talking about me. I wish I could tell her how much i think of her. I look over her and I guard her.
But how can I be with her?
Those who are close say I have to fall from here; to break my wings. My arms, legs and heart were broken a long time ago and many times, so this won’t hurt: I’ll jump…
…And now I’m beside her.
I’m broken but I’m awake. She was my awakening. She came into my life that was. I’m alive again.
She’s asleep. I shall watch over her for the rest of my days down here.
The prettiest lies. Asleep.
Am I dreaming?
Two alternative endings; the first:
A figure approaches. I squint into this strange new world. All I can make out is actually a figure: 873. It’s on a name badge.
My vision clears. I see a light. The wearer of the badge looks down on me. Behind him, people in white coats are gathered.
“Frank? Are you Frank?”
“Yes, I think so.”
“This is your future wife, Frank.”
I look at her and consider this sleeping thing who apparently thought so much of me; the one who woke me up. I’ve been asleep for an eternity it seems.
“Frank. Life can start again. Do you want to try again?”
Or this one:
A figure approaches. All I can make out as I squint is indeed a figure; a number on his badge: 873.
It’s a man; possibly a doctor. He’s wearing a white coat: Am I mad? He speaks to me: “Frank? You’re alive again. You came back. You came down. Someone was thinking of you enough for you to take that leap of faith. You jumped Frank. You’re broken, so you’ll need to stay with us for a while but this sleeping girl is the one who’s dreaming of you.”
I croak: “Really?”
“Really.” The man in the white coat smiles. I realise there are others around him, all looking at me; some smiling too. “Frank, this is your future wife. Do you want to try again?”