Tag Archives: Love

Escaping Reality, Emotionally Retarded

6 Jan

Pain isn’t something I am skilled at dealing with. Escaping pain, however, I am as good at as an Irish traveller is at fighting. Shrooms being my route of choice these days. It’s where the love lives. When life gets too ugly for me to be able to look at it, I discreetly slip away from the world and pay a visit to the realm of contentedness. These past few weeks I’ve been going there more regularly than I would usually need to. I am feeling emptier than I have in years. My spirit has been extinguished. An ache that won’t shift. A constant nausea. Too many shit things all taking place at the same time. A friend, one of life’s good humans, is lying in a hospital bed while her young kids and husband can only sit and put their faith in doctors and medical technology. Christmas. New Year. And not to mention the rejection dealt to me by a woman, – well, two rejections. Just one woman. But I was fool enough to climb back into her bed the moment she let me and then in the morning deja vu – who has, although not intentionally, absolutely crushed any confidence or feeling of self-worth that I had in myself before I met her. Destroyed. Man, I was in such a good place before that girl came into my life and turned it upside down. These things combined have knocked me on my arse. Not that anyone will know it. I am not a talker. Friends trying to engage me in conversation about what’s going on in my life just make me recoil. They meet a brick wall. It is not my way. Nor am I a social user of anything. I don’t like to have company when I’m feeling the benefits of whatever it is that my body has ingested. I fly solo. A bit of Me Time. I wait until I know I have the flat to myself for a night, and if that situation doesn’t arrive I take a bus out to my mum’s house in the sticks. No city, no cars, no street lights, no noise, and most importantly no people. A retreat. A place where I can get under the covers, drink tea, get as stoned as I want without being disturbed, and float away with the aid of some shrooms and some psytrance. It gives me perspective. Helps me to remember, even if only for a short while, that I have been prescribed an extreme dose of good fortune and managed to escape the poverty by being given the opportunity to work again, after a few years of sitting in a damp corner, occasionally having food gifted me by charities, shoplifting at times, and at other times just going without nutrition. Makes me realise that surely that was a far less desirable situation to be in than the current one of emotional trauma over a woman. Emotion is forgotten when you’re starving. These days I can eat when I’m hungry. I can drink when I’m thirsty. And I can smoke weed when I’m…….. awake. Basically. This time last year I couldn’t do any of those things. Well, as my dad used to say to me as a kid, “There’s plenty of water in the tap.” So I could drink. But you get the point. Things have been worse. Even if it doesn’t feel like it at the moment.

A week or so ago when I didn’t have any work the next day, I travelled out to my mum’s with everything I needed to be able to chill out. In the evening I laid down on the settee in the living room, ate some shrooms, wrapped myself in a blanket, got comfortable, pulled my hood up over my head, put my music in my ears and closed my eyes to block out the telly in the corner of the room that my mum was sat on the other settee watching. She knew to leave me in peace to enjoy my trip. And then the usual vivid memories started to come over me. The ones where I am actually back there, experiencing it again but at the same time detached, like Scrooge stood next to the ghost of Christmas past. If that makes sense. I went back to a night almost 20 years ago.

In that happy place

In that happy place

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Attention to Detail

9 Nov

‘Don’t you eat?’ she meant nothing by it, but it cut. Of all the times he didn’t want to hear it, now, her wrapped round him, fingertips pulsating down his back, clothes discarded carelessly across the floor, humans glowing, sweat, saliva, now was definitely one of those times. Normally the next words to leave the offending female’s lips were, ‘I’ll have to cook for you.’ And he always clammed up. And he didn’t see that woman again. But tonight she didn’t say, ‘I’ll have to cook for you,’ in fact she made no unfounded assumptions about his future, she invited herself to no parties. Instead, as she felt the backward shift in his comfort, she said, ‘It’s just that you’re so thin!’

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The Hippie Hugger

7 Oct

This is a topic that I never really expected to come up. I have met a man who gives the perfect hug. A hug that feels as though it is filled with the love of the whole planet and leaves you feeling the same kind of blissed out that you get from nice shrooms.

Juan is a long-time friend of my flatmate and a short-time friend of mine since I moved in here four months ago. He is in his mid 20s, has long shiny brown hair, a Californian smile, olive skin, is about 6ft tall, wears beads, smokes weed, works as a masseur and is always smiling and positive. He is a true hippie. Make love not war. And he’s nice to everyone. And no, despite the tone of my description, I don’t fancy him. I know that’s what you were thinking.

My circle of friends in this city consists almost exclusively of hippies, so hugs on greeting are not unusual. It did take some time for my English sensibilities to allow me to feel comfortable with this level of human touch with everyone, but after a month or so I had come to embrace it. But with one rule. I would always keep the hug just manly enough. A pat or two on the back. A tensed up torso at times.

And then I met Juan in the park one afternoon and was introduced. We shook hands. He held my hand for a few seconds longer than is protocol. I didn’t feel awkward. Well, obviously I did a little bit. But not much.

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Ruby Tuesday

8 Nov

Barney’s day had been a long one that culminated in a heated argument with his last customer of the evening, a thickset man in a brown leather coat, who had taken offence at the fact that the bureau de change in which Barney worked, in the arrivals hall at the airport, wouldn’t touch Albanian currency.

‘I’m sorry, sir, but as I have already said, we don’t carry Lek here. I cannot take your money,’ Barney reiterated to the man.

‘Why not? Why you don’t change my money for me? This is bureau de change, no? I am honest business man, I have factory in Tirana, I am not gangster. Why in every country I get shit for being Albanian? This is honest money! So you will exchange it for me into pounds! Okay?’

The man pulled the huge wad of cash, held together by a rubber band, from his wallet and threw it down onto the counter.

‘There! There is 80,000 Lek. I am not asking you for miracle, just take my Albanian money and give me English. It is not huge amount, something like 500 of your fucking great pounds, with your fucking great Queen’s fucking great face on. Your fucking great pounds that everybody everywhere in the world is so happy to exchange for you. Tell me what is difference between your fucking great pounds and my country’s money. Tell me difference!’ the man shouted, little bits of spittle spraying from the sides of his mouth.

‘The difference is that ours has the fucking great Queen’s fucking great face on it, isn’t it, sir?’ Barney said, calm as you like.

‘You little piece of shit! Get me manager, now! If you don’t hide behind this glass, I teach you to show respect to Albanians. But oh no, you stay behind there, because you know I can kill you. Get me your manager now, I will make sure you have no job tomorrow.’

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29 Oct

‘You stink of me!’ you exclaimed
As I slid up your sweat soaked torso
Kiss your mouth
‘You taste of me!’
Underneath me your whole body shaking
You couldn’t speak
Just laugh
The flesh of your inner thighs
Involuntarily and uncontrollably vibrating
You couldn’t even light a cigarette
I could
Just about…
And then we sank to the bottom
A shipwreck
In a whiskey bottle
On somebody’s desk
Destroyed by friendly fire.


30 Sep

“What’s different about this one? What’s different? Look at my eyes. Look! You see? That. That is what’s different.”

Frank looked across the room, stone-faced, into his sister’s eyes, as she sat curled up on the armchair, glass of red wine in her hand.

“Ah, what’s different is that you’re pissed? Okay, I think I understand now. Thanks for making things so clear.”

Frank allowed himself a smile. But he didn’t break eye contact with his sister. He wanted her to see the thing that he was talking about. He knew she was humouring him and entertaining herself at the same time, and in a way this pleased him, but he still hoped to make her see. This was how these two siblings, less than two years between them, had always communicated. One would be serious, the other would mock. It worked. They were as different as they were close. And they were close.

“What’s different about this one is that I’m telling you about her,” Frank said.

“Why don’t you quit?”

She was referring to her brother rolling a cigarette.

“Because the ones who get cancer are always the ones who don’t deserve it. I deserve it. But don’t especially want it. So I smoke. A lot.”

“You’ve never been normal.”

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Another Day at the Office

27 Sep

I reached over to the bedside table, turned off the alarm and rolled onto my back to stare up through the skylight.
I studied in detail the bottom of the seagull’s feet.
The seagull glanced at me, nonchalantly, nodded me a greeting, like he did every morning, and then went back to playing with his pebble.
I gave a thought to Paul Gascoigne.
“Do you ever wake up and feel like crying because you’ve woken up?” she asked, as she rolled onto her back to lie next to me.
I said, “No.”
And then I wondered what the most complex thought ever to cross a seagull’s mind might be.
“Do you?” I asked.
Of course I knew she was lying, just like she knew I was.
Only someone who had had that thought would ask that question.
“Stay here,” I said, and I walked out of the room and down the stairs.
I liked the feeling of being completely naked in my kitchen on a sunny morning.
Even the postman laughed with me as he came down the path, whistling to himself.
I returned to the bedroom with a plate of crumpets, topped with Marmite and melted cheese, and two cups of tea.
I was in a good mood,
So I put on her playlist instead of mine.
I shaved, shitted and showered,
And went to work.
At lunch time she phoned me.
“Have you been dipping into our bowl of Valiums?” she asked.
I said, “No.”
Then I watched Jason drink some of his tea, and I wondered how he could enjoy it without sugar.
“Have you?” I asked.
Of course I knew she was lying, just like she knew I was.
“Okay. I love you,” she said.
“Good. I love you.”
And then I wished that there had been a flavour other than ready salted left in the multi-pack when I’d packed my lunch that morning.
And I despised Sharon for having a poster on the wall above her desk that read, ‘You don’t have to be crazy to work here, but it helps.’

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