An inspector fails to call.

June 15, 2017

I’ve just finished  watching a documentary about cultural signs and signifiers in Japanese culture, whilst it was mostly things that I already understood, gundam, gojira, yakusa, geisha and the like, it went into the notion of kannagara to a much deeper extent than I already understood. Kannagara is a philosophy linked to the Shinto religion, loosely translated it means something like community or social responsibility. In Japanese society  people are naturally respectful to one another and crime is virtually non-existent. From what I can gather, this situation exists for two main reasons, firstly because children are taught at school to respect and take care of everything they use, cleaning up after themselves and carefully folding and putting everything away, and secondly, shame and disgrace are seen as major no nos in Japanese culture and are things to be avoided at any cost. 

Shame seems to be an unknown sensation in the west nowadays, it seemed to disappear as an emotion with Monica Lewinkski’s presidential spunk splattered dress and Tony Bliar’s dodgy dossier and a slew of reality shows of the Jerry Springer, Jeremy Kyle, persuasion. In fact, the only time I’ve seen the word used lately is in the defending of those wrongly shamed for their weight or sexual proclivities. Some people really should feel ashamed though but it seems to have gone out if fashion along with self control, acting your age, knowing the difference between right and wrong and most importantly, knowing when and how to apologise.

I was sitting with a few local friends the other day and we were passing comment on how the attention various people draw to their own charity or community minded activities is directly proportionate to the size of their egos and inversely proportionate to the level of their actual talent. Did anyone actually do things for the right reasons? We didn’t think so.

I watched “an inspector calls” again recently and was wondering while I was watching it how it would stand up to today’s crop of the middle class, or indeed anyone. I saw a production in the eighties with Tom Baker playing the inspector, who was playing it for laughs. It was the strangest thing, being led through something that dark and chuckling your way through it and thinking about it now, that is probably what it would be like trying to get anyone to feel a shred of remorse now…. A sick joke.  By the way, if you haven’t seen the play or any of the movie versions I have included a link on the photo to the crib note version using playmobile toys for those with short attention spans. 

I can picture it now, the rakish fiancé would now be drugged up as well as drunk and the girl he knocked up whilst in his twenties would probably be fifteen and he would blame it all on a bad upbringing because his parents got divorced and wouldn’t buy him a scooter/pony/ back tattoo/whatever. The sister would claim to have some vague disorder that would prevent her from being civil to anyone, particularly lowly shop assistants and shrug her shoulders and proceed to snort another line of ketamine off the silver salver on the table with a rolled up twenty. The husband would chuckle at the thought of sacking the dead girl and wonder out loud if this would qualify him to be a bigger bastard than that bloke off the apprentice or those mouthy celebrity chefs and would it be possible for him to get on television. Then the wife would explain that her only interest in running the charity that wouldn’t help the girl who topped herself was that it was that she was only doing it so that she could network herself into some more paid work contracts and the girl’s situation wouldn’t have got her enough attention if she spent her precious socialising time trying to help.

The inspector would be sent away because someone had googled what to do and they would start quoting their rights at the poor spectre, then they would all drop an e and go out clubbing and then to a swingers party and shag a few strangers whilst pilled up before going out and doing something the next day that they are morally unfit to do, like look after vulnerable children or give advice to the unfortunate.

This may seem to be satire, but all I am doing is cobbling together various actual things that I’ve heard done by people who should behave better and changed the details slightly. In fact, I have toned things down somewhat. Sadly, I can’t help but feel that the world today has become a place where corruption and immorality are starting to become a baseline norm amongst certain circles and I can’t believe I am actually having to write this. I regard myself as pretty normal, not predudiced, not homophobic, I have no real religious beliefs to speak of, but I believe in right, wrong and having a conscience and I spend a lot of time right now being disgusted with people. When someone like me started being appalled at your behaviour, you know you are a bad person and heading for a fall.

All I really know right now is that I should have been born in Japan.


Holidays in the sun. 

June 13, 2017

I have always been very wary of the urge to meddle, particularly as I hate it when clueless but well meaning people do it with things I have been personally affected by. This is probably where I would usually go off on a rant but I want this to be a bit more focused that my usual rambling and tangential waffle. I walked into town a couple of weeks ago along the Hastings sea front, I don’t do it very often and I was shocked to discover that a group of homeless people had set up camp on the beach. The last time I had seen anything like thing was during the late eighties and I worked near Waterloo station where cardboard city, a shanty town for the homeless, had sprung up in the underpasses around the station. It was like something out of mad max or the future world in the first terminator film. There was something deeply strange about this seaside encampment though, whilst there is never anything jolly about being homeless (I have been so myself), if you didn’t read the context for the people being their, you could be forgiven for reading to situation as a nice little seaside vacation.  It was a situation I felt a need to document as I suspected (quite rightly it turned out) that it wouldn’t be allowed to remain there for very long.

One thing that have been a constant in my work over the last couple of decades is the documentation of appalling things using overly cute and benign seeming imagery. I have found that it is easier to get a message across if people aren’t aware that they are being given one in the first place. This is what I tried to achieve in the new painting, Holidays in the Sun, a happy sounding title that also happens to be a song by the Sex Pistols. It’s all smiles and sunshine and camping at first sight until you think about why the postman looks so bemused. One of the worst things about being homeless is the lack of a postal address, you are instantly a non person in regards to getting benefits, let alone applying for a job.

 I decided that this painting would be going up on eBay for charity before I even started it, initially I was just going to take the money to the campers and buy them a load of provisions but as they have already  been moved on I felt it would make more sense to have the money go directly to the St Mungos  who run a homeless shelters and help and rehabilitation for the initial causes of homelessness. I am aware that someone will probably read what I’m doing wrongly or see some cynicism in it and kick off. That is really up to them I guess, I can’t control anyone else’s responses, only my own, which was that this occurrence needed to be documented for posterity in some way. There are far more offensive things that go on in this town in regards to the homeless, if you want to get angry about something then I can happily furnish you with a list of people who demean and patronise the poor and vulnerable hereabout and get paid for the privilege of doing so. Anyway, I said I wouldn’t go off on a rant today so here is the link, happy bidding! 


White cube, smelly shed.

June 13, 2017

Right now I should be staring at an arts council funding form to try and get some money to invest in ‘my practice’ and to find a decent showing space for the work I am doing right now. For numerous reasons, most of which would get me into trouble if I explained them in the detail I would like to, this is pushing my buttons and really pissing me off, let’s just say the words, disloyal, corrupt, ingratiating and hypocritical appear at some point in the tirade of bile that would spew forth. So instead I am pondering the notion of how we display art.

I’ve been working on a series of metre square canvases recently, I’m really pleased with how the are going and in my head I have this perfect space for them. White walls, skylights for perfect natural lighting, enough space for the paintings to breath but not so much as to feel lost. Big window onto the street with laser cut title, tasteful perfect bound catalogue and an unobtrusive invigilator, freindly enough so that people will walk in off the street, intimidating enough to politely suggest that the paintings are worth a four figure price. 

The reality will be very different I expect, their life will consist of a brief few weeks on a wall somewhere while people eat and ignore them  before they end up creating a storage headache for me. Sadly, this us the way many pictures begin their lives, piled up on a wardrobe, stacked up in a garbage, gathering dust in a corner in the vain hope that some day the artist will ‘make it’, sadly, most don’t and of those that do, it often isn’t in the artist’s life time.

I have this recurring nightmare of what will happen to my work when I die. After all, it’s all I really have to show for my blink of an eyelid on this planet. My vanity would like to believe that one of my family, friends or a distraught lover will rescue everything, lovingly curate it and bring it and my dead self to the public’s attention. Let’s face it, it would be so much easier for my work to find approval without me doing annoying things like pointing out what arseholes I think many people are. A dead Chris is a good Chris! Erm, yay!  The sad reality will more likely be some bemused landlord annoyed at the pile of old tat that they have to deal with, followed by an unceremonious chucking in a skip or some slack jawed, web footed, junk shop owner carting them off.

Probably the most ignominious fate that can befall a work of art is to fall into the hand of someone like the ageing trustafarian who occasionally raids the junk and charity shops of my home town in search of paintings to make ‘his own’ by daubing his own amateurish scrawl on top of them, assuming that he can palm off this technique as his own rather than that developed by the early situationist artists because anyone who lives outside the metropolis is a bit backwards and wouldn’t spot it! Wrong! I made a point of getting hold of a few of his ‘works’ and painting over them in return, sometimes karma needs a helping hand. 

Sometimes I think that it might be interesting to show work in something like the environment in which it originally ‘lived’ , Van Gogh’s masterpieces piled up in a spare room at brother Theo’s, Picasso’s blue period word stacked under a bed in some Paris hovel, Basquiat’s paintings  crawling with cockroaches in a squalid New York loft. It would be an interesting excercise in showing the reality for 99.999% of the world’s artists.

There are sadder fates that can meet an artwork though, like the Renaissance masterpieces stolen by the mafia to be used as security deposits in organised crime transaction for example or the impressionist paintings that sit in temperature controlled Japanese bank vaults, now no more than fancy bank notes or share certificates. It is a strange irony that art worth tens of millions meets the same fate as that worth nothing in the eyes of the artworld. To stash a picture away, unseen is the cruelest of fates for a work of art, it’s a visual medium, made to be looked at, and without that it is nothing.


The eyes have it

June 12, 2017

One of my most vivid memories as a teenager was watching my father constantly staring at himself in the mirror. Superficially, it seemed such a strange thing for him to be doing as he certainly wasn’t a vain man. Personally, I try not to look in the mirror too often as I can’t equate the strange looking fat old git I see with the image of myself that exists in my head. The thinning hair, the unruly pube-like eyebrow hairs, the grey… I’m not sure who that rotund creature is, but it is not who I remember being. I ignore him, but he doesn’t go away. My dad was looking for calcium deposits around his irises, a classic sign of certain types of heart problems getting worse, that was his reason. I’m on medication that is supposed to stop all that, so fortunately I can limit my vanity to the occasional beard trim, haircut or self portrait noting the inevitable decline.

I seem to be attracted to women who wear little to no make-up, I’m wondering now whether the two things are subconsciously linked, my dad’s illness and people’s fondness for their own reflection, or perhaps it’s simply the dread of going out with women in the past who would keep you waiting for hours whilst they faffed about with themselves. Back in the goth days I was partial to a bit of it myself, but I certainly never looked better for my efforts, it was more like tribal war paint.

I’ve always been fascinated by eyes, from watching Disney films and earlier Japanese cartoon on British TVs like Marine Boy and Battle of the Planets. Plus my fondness for all those big eyed painting that popped up during the sixties and seventies has buried an obsession with all things ocular. I think the tipping point came in 1987 when I saw the cure in concert for the first time. Instead of the ubiquitous dodgy support band for people to scream “fuck off” at, they put together a little art house film, featuring the deft use of one of those medical cameras used to venture down people throats and up their bottoms. Fortunately, we were spared a trip through Robert Smith’s bowels but seeing someone’s eye projected some fifty foot high stayed with me forever. 

Eyes are a wonderful thing to paint and draw, their reflective quality allows you to work in all sorts of pictures within pictures and hidden bits of meaning. The texture of the iris also perfect to be recreated using a fan of words around the (no sniggering please) optical sphincter. There is just so much fun you can have with just that one body part. They are so expressive too, from the ‘look of love’ through to ‘the evils’ , so much of who we are is expressed through these complex collections of flesh, muscle, and gelatinous glop. Then there is all the fun you can have with eye defects, probably not the best of descriptions, but from lazy eyes, through to squints and the full on Bowie, dual eye colour and paralysed iris, there are so many little quirks that can be worked in. I have a friend with a dual pupil in one eye, I didn’t even notice it for a year to my shame. In the self portrait that I am currently working on, I have overplayed my stigmatism as they aren’t usually that visibly wonky, I wanted to express a level of disquiet I constantly feel about myself and distorted eyes do the trick nicely. 

The only problem I have about eyes is the crying malarkey. I was trained out of crying exept for in the most extreme of circumstances, I was always stopped from expressing any distress about the squalor and discomfort that I was brought up into and by the time my dad died, I was being cried on so much that there was no time left for me to shed a tear. I have since learnt to cry a little but when you are like me and you are involved with people who can virtually turn the taps on fully at the drop of a hat, you soon see which way the sympathy goes…, it flows with the tears.

Eyes are also very important to me from an “I see you!” point of view. They are so huge because they represent that I see far too much and know too much that can’t be unknown. I walk down the road and I can tell you things about so many of the people that I see, who would recognise me and some that wouldn’t. As I may have said before, there is nothing remarkable about my appearance and I am not a show off in any way. I have often passed people that I have sat and conversed with at parties and dinner parties for many hours and they have completely ignored me (this is on top of the ones that blank me on purpose). As a result I end up hearing everything that they say whether I want to or not and it is often about people I know, the curse of a small town. I find it deeply claustrophobic and I dearly wish I had the means to move, just far enough that I could still see my friends but not to have to deal with the shower of shit that passes for the community hereabouts. Being dyspraxic doesn’t help either as I have little to no audio or visual filters to buffer me from this crap heap of a world and all the drivel in it. I see the good stuff too and there is certainly plenty of that but as I am also cursed with a really good long term memory, the nastiness clings around like shit to the bottom of a pair of trainers. I see all the corruption, all the nepotism, all the lies, all the greed, all the manipulation, all the bitchyness, all the vindictiveness, all the vanity, all the cheating, all the sexual predictors and I just want to go and live in a shack half way up a mountain somewhere. Of course then I remember that I like hit baths and Netflix and flushing toilets but the general principal is there, and that is that I do not want to see any of this stuff, but I do.

The series of paintings I am working on right now have particularly large eyes, even for me. This has forced me to alter my methodology slightly but it also gives me more scope to work with in the realm of what I can fit in. I have never been able to work out how to do fine detail in acrylic paint, I find the viscosity too inconsistant and the transparency rather limiting for fine detail work. That said I do like the vibrancy and luminosity, but I will never be someone who could paint miniatures  anyway, my hands are too shaky and my eyesight too poor. It seems rather ironic that whilst I am so obsessed with eyes, mine are slowly giving up the ghost. I guess there is one consolation though, and that is that pretty soon all my paintings will look absolutely amazing and, thanks to the wonders of blurred vision, when I look in the mirror, so will I.


The moving on conundrum.

June 10, 2017

I hate that phrase ‘moving on’. There is an assumption of a forward direction being taken, where the reality is that you can just as easily be going backwards or simply standing still and stagnating. Moving on suggests progress to a better state of being. In reality ‘moving on’ rarely is to something better, just something different. Moving on from a cliff onto the rocks below isn’t progress, moving on from adulthood to old age and then death isn’t progress, moving on from a sense of happiness to one of sadness certainly isn’t. And yet, here I am… moving on… It’s certainly wasn’t through choice and I put everything I could into not moving on…. But here I am… What has put me off more than anything else is the thought of the other party moving on and just how far they have moved on already I shudder to think as I have a self imposed blackout on what they get up to, mostly because all it seems so bloody dismal and depressing to me. What I have been avoiding though is the idea that if I acknowledge that I have moved on, I will need to face the sad fact that they have too. The reality is even sadder than that though, they had mentally moved on when we were still together but didn’t have the guts to tell me. I think the hardest thing I have had to do was to separate my own self worth from someone else’s action. When all you can see is string pastimes chosen above you that could have been devised by one of lucifers minions as an especially cruel torture for really nasty sinners, and people that Roald Dahl would throw into the waste paper basket as characters too vile to be believable, it’s hard to comprehend what kind of dispicable creature you must be to make your way down to the bottom of the pile with that sort of competition But however hard it is for me to wrap my head around, that lowest of the low, bottom of the caste system is what I became to another human being and that really isn’t a good place to be.

It not easy realising you mean less that zero to someone you care for  but I have to remember that other people’s choices have no bearing on who I am as a person and that all we ever really are is responsible for ourselves and our own happiness. The truth is, everything I have ever achieved, I have achieved on my own and that having to portion off parts of my life to others has only ever slowed me down or ground my progress to a complete halt, I have never felt like someone has had my back and of late they were probably as likely to be sticking a knife in it. That said, a life for creative success alone is a bit of a poor do and is certainly no way to live a life. That, I guess, brings me back to the moving on business again, and here is where I am in danger of sounding really arrogant if I phrase it wrong but, being as idiosyncratic as I am, the chances of finding someone suitable drop massively compared to someone living a run of the mill life and it really doesn’t help that I don’t trawl around the pubs and clubs, or that I am not a joiner of things to meet people , be they evening classes, groups nor dating sites. It took many, many years to find what I thought to be that special person and many more before that to make sure that I was mentally and emotionally well enough to be in a relationship as I felt it would be irresponsible to be anything less. Like most clever dicks who think they have got every angle covered, I discovered that I hadn’t because while I was worrying about my own mental wellness, I failed to take into account that of everybody else. Whoops! 

Whilst only hiding under the duvet every third day might not seem much progress to everyone, to me it is a godsend. It is allowing me to slowly get my mojo back and throw my paint on canvas rather than words on the digital page. I am my own worst critic and given the chance I will put the boot in on myself at every opportunity. Every so often though I catch myself and have the strength to point out that I devised a way  of turning the drawings of people with learning disabilities into marketable soft toys that can be ethically manufactured just a couple of months back and produced reams of artwork and am working on another show, I achieved more tangible good in six month than some do in a lifetime. If that sounds arrogant then fear not, because in a couple of minutes I will have forgot all that again and be back to kicking myself up the arse. The point is though, that I always manage to acheive, despite the self loathing, despite the illness and exhaustion, I always seem to pull a rabbit out of the hat from somewhere, and sometimes the very things that slow me down become the emotional rocket fuel to power the next thing I do. Is this me moving on? Or is this just me being me? I guess it’s all just a question of me making a choice where there frankly isn’t one. It this the future for myself I chose? No! Is this the future for myself I wanted? No! Can I take this future and make it my own? Probably. I’ll guess we’ll have to wait and see.


Election problems and finishing prematurely.

June 9, 2017

I am writing this in advance as, like a lot of people in the uk who are classed as disabled, vulnerable, whatever, if the election goes the way of the conservatives then my life is pretty much over. I have been hanging on by a thread for a while now, and that will be it, gone, my final safety net gone and I will be too distraught to form words.

When I conceived this set of four (and a half) drawings, inspired by the original series by William Hogarth produced in 1755, it was mostly as a means to keep my mind occupied whilst the election process went on and, as always happens, all the idiots come out of the woodwork and everyone starts being vile to each other.

This election series is in part intended as a reprise to some work from a few years ago, when I was in a much different place in my life, although, in its own way, just as vulnerable. Where as that was about the inevitable decline brought about by vanity, this is pretty much a comment on that rare point in culture where the privaledge are made vulnerable, if only nominally, to the whims of the masses that they mostly hold little but contempt for.

In the first drawing, An election entertainment, the scene is of a party thrown by one of the parties to encourage (bribe) voters to choose their candidate come polling day. The scene show the potential candidates having to deal with some of the general public they would rather avoid whilst the band plays on in the background. A party member counts out bribes whilst another local dignitary comes a cropper of a bass guitar. The figure representing the mayor, who in the original falls ill to eating far too many oysters, has overdosed on ‘sherbet’and an attempted resuscitation is in progress. It’s interesting to note that a group of local lefties were witnesses up to this the other day. Whilst you expect the right wing to be utterly evil, it always comes as such a profound shame when people who claim to be on the side of the people manage to overlook the misery and repression that comes as a result of their nasty little habits. In the far right of the picture you can see a man being coerced by his family to take a bribe in exchange for his vote as his son needs some new trainers. Through the window you can see the start of a riot taking place. In the original, an effigy of a Jewish person was being strung up, in this it is a vegetarian. It’s a reference to those who attack Jeremy Corbyn for such spurious reasons as his choice of diet. It is important to note that at the time of its creation, some two hundred and sixty years ago, the world was a very different place and racism and antisemitism were rife, Hogarth was regarded at very progressive for the times and was one of the founders of the foundling institute, providing care and education for the orphaned and desperately poor children. I brick flies through the the window and strikes down the election agent and to his left a child frills up a large container (in this case a paddling pool) with booze. As is usually the case in real life you can see me making an early exit stage left.

For the second drawing, Canvassing for Votes, I kept the three building scenario of the original. The pub on the left has been renamed The General Belgrano after the dubious British navel ‘victory’ of the Falklands war that rescued Margaret Thatcher from the doldrums in the early eighties. There are still two old soldiers outside, only now they are homeless ones rather than on a secure pension. A film crew utterly fails to notice the real story of the building being attacked by an angry mob as it prepares to do an interview with one of the candidates. Centre front is a farmer in the process of being bribed for his support while about him a derogatory poster has been hung over the pubs sign in reference to both the classic tv sitcom Father Ted and also the rather childish and negative poster campaign by a group local to where I live. A candidate is standing on a soapbox and being worshipped by some party followers whilst and impromptu halo dangles able his head. To the right, in front of the pub door, the original drawing depicted a lion eating a lily as a reference to England’s supremacy over France, it has been replaced here by a panda eating a teddy bear to demonstrate China’s economic supremacy over the United Kingdom. As ever a pub landlady counts her profits from hosting the day’s events, the only real winner of the day.

I had to think long and hard about how to approach the polling day drawing as the original drawing has a series of the disabled and the dying whole gave been dragged from their sick beds, something that rings horrific bells with the current regime’s poor treatment of wobbly folk. The poster behind the counter displays my feelings about the purpose of elections, that it’s a poor do that the only real involvement any of us really have in the democratic process is stick an x on a piece of paper every five years. Sure we can protest, sure we can pester people in power, but do they listen?  I personally feel the whole pantomime is there to make us feel better about how little power we truly have. But that’s just my opinion. In line behind a one legged and one armed man having trouble with his ballot paper is professor Stephen hawking, I wanted to show a definite statement in regards to the abilities of the severely physically disabled. Behind the professor’s minders waits a poor chap undergoing chemotherapy and behind him another one who has fell up the stairs and who’s head is turned to a very unnatural angle that doesn’t bode well. Beneath the stairs lurks the Trollidarity, attacking from the dark and shadows in secret as they do. To the rear a rather disheveled Britania lies, propped up against her broken ‘chariot’ as the driver waits for the breakdown truck, representing a country that is falling apart, just as it was two hundred and sixty years ago.

When I drew the last panel it was with a heavy heart as although where I live is regard as severely deprived, it is surrounded by small and picturesque towns and villages that are populated by the extremely wealthy and privileged who inevitably vote for the conservation party. It was with that in mind that I set about to produce the final drawing, The Chairing of the Member with current Home Secret Amber Rudd as the star. This was, however before a series of catastrophic disasters both by her and the Conservative party had slightly altered the chances of labour mp Peter Chowney becoming elected instead. This meant that it neccesatated me providing a second version of the drawing in true Orwellian fashion, doctoring the original image to a level that only usually happens in North Korea or Moaist China

In the Amber version, the mp is being sprayed by a child with a water pistol, a vague nod to the child pissing from the same spot onto the procession below in the 1755 version. In the original a bird hovers overhead, mocking napoleon’s use of an eagle as a symbol of triumph, this version features a chip stealing eagle, common where I live, the chip being a reference to a briefnewspaper feature about prime minister Theresa May lacking the common touch whilst trying to eat food from a fish and chip shop. Rather than the mp crashing to their doom from a dropped chair, she is immantely in danger of being electrocuted by a sabotaged power line. In front of the procession is a drummer rather than the original fiddler, a cameo by my friend kitty. The protestor is the same chap who was at the front of the voting line in the previous picture. A family of foxes run from the mp as a reference to current rumours that fox hunting might be made legal once more. The building to the right shows the unhappy members of the opposition party, suffering for their defeat. For the parallel universe version with Chowney as the local mp, I have played on the way that that some of their candidates have been almost diefide by those on the left and so chose to give him the full ‘chosen by God’ treatment, comparative with the hand of God marking him out and cherubs declaring him as our saviour. 

Whatever happens tomorrow (today when you read this) will dictate which four drawings make the final folio of prints. They have been printed  on dead posh Germany art paper using fade proof, archival quality, ink and will be signed and numbered to a strictly limited edition of thirty of each print and you can buy them here. They took a solid three week’s work to produce and as ever I am spectacularly skint so your support is much appreciated. 


One way conversations in my head.

June 8, 2017

For a while now, I’ve been exhausted in my head before I even managed to roll out of bed most days. I keep having imaginary conversations or more accurately imaginary arguments in my head. Am I the only person who does this? I know I’m not the most stable person, I will happily admit, but I’m not sure just how far on the weird spectrum this goes. It’s not like the devil is telling me to do something or that I think I am being bombarded by a thought control machine and am in desperate need of a tin foil hat. This is more like the version of my father that I carry around with me, the odd little comment or look I can remember, usually when I’m getting a bit big for my boots and I catch myself spouting some ludicrous explanation for whatever I happen to be doing at the time. The really weird thing is that this person is still alive.

One of my siblings has said precisely one wise thing in their life and it was this. “when someone you love dies, they have no choice, when someone you love leaves you they do.” Being abandoned by a loved one is the dog shit cupcake of berievment with and added rabbit poo cherry on top, and when you are left for things that seem utterly insane and self destructive to you it is the same but with added diarrhoea icing for good measure.

So there is this voice that pipes up in my head and as I am cursed with a ridiculously good memory and a really good imagination it is really no fun at all. I can be cheerfully minding my own business and off it goes and there I am trying to get answers to things I will never get a straight answer to, particularly when it is me basically talking to myself. It’s like Frost / Nixon, Paxman / Howard, Blair and, well, everyone. Squirming and sliding and half truths and misdirection… Exactly like in real life basically, except without the nice moments to break it up.

There are distraction techniques that are useful, the new Zelda game has been a godsend as is the act of painting, reading is a total pain though as all that passive intake of words just allows things to creep in… There are far more ruthless techniques to forcibly eject some from your psyche but that would just seem cruel, swapping out someone’s image for something grotesque or giving them the voice of something unpleasant in your head.  It seems so cruel though, and I don’t do cruel, I leave that up to…. Other people…

Well hopefully, in time, this will fade and it will be as easy to ignore as the tinnitus in my right ear, but until then I’ll have to put up with my brain lodger and try not to start another argument.


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