Monday, 23 September 2013

Crossing Swords



I thought I knew this area like the back of my hand. And by road I did. But the fields were another matter. I’ve been rediscovering the locale while circumnavigating the dog-walking circuits and strolling the lengths and breadths of the footpaths and bridleways of the area. No longer just the trans-village routes either, but now the inter-county rights of way too.
I’d been walking towards a fading sun that evening before pausing for thought on the footbridge between the maize and the Miscanthus fields. Someone else’s broken conversation was carried to me on the wind as I stood there trying not to listen:
“A cold, eh? What you need for that is eucalyptus . . .”
“Isn’t that what George Formby used to play?”
Their voices came and went until finally silence prevailed and they went their separate ways. It wasn’t long though before I heard a lone voice aimed directly at me, “Penny for your thoughts.”
“You’d want your money back,” I replied nonchalantly.
“Try me.”
“I was just gazing through the gaping holes of what might have been,” I told her, “and feeling like an interloper in my own life. In my mind I looked back at the blank canvass with which I’d started, tarnished now with an unsightly splodge rather than the resplendent work of art I would have preferred. All right, I admit I did deliberately go over the lines in the great colouring book of life, but even so . . .”
“Don’t talk such bollocks,” she said sensibly, “Mind you, you’re right about one thing, I would have wanted my money back. Come on you miserable old sod, let’s walk.”
It quickly struck me how overrated walking into the sunset was. You can’t see a thing!
Trudy and I continued to cross paths and frequently cross swords too.



Written and conceived by M J Race

Copyright © 2013 M J Race
 
All rights reserved worldwide. No part of this publication may be reproduced or distributed in any form or by any means without the prior written permission of the author.

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events and incidents are either the products of the author's imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.



Tuesday, 17 September 2013

Stopping Wallowing


During my ‘wallowing-in-it’ period I wrote this (among other things):

"I keep getting out of bed and breathing in and out, somehow knowing I won't always have to remind myself to keep getting out of bed and breathe in and out. Somehow knowing, one way or another, there is a light at the end of this tunnel. And it isn't so very far away.

Days won't always be spent gazing hazily in the direction of walls, or whatever happens to be in front of me.

Every crisis is unique, and none last forever.

Life-changing evolutions into the unknown don't happen everyday, and are not necessarily bad things. I am looking forward to the silver lining now. When I get to the end of this tunnel I'll turn the corner and see where that leads me, and into what I'll metamorphose."

Three years on in the refuge of my parents’ home and all I have to show for forty-eight years on the planet are seven boxes. While they still remain firmly closed to this day, my own chrysalis is beginning to open.

I now have more to show for life than things. And what I have now won’t go into boxes. 


Saturday, 14 September 2013

Dog Ends, Dog Poohs and Dog Collars



A series of events that seemed unfortunate at the time made me decide to withdraw my services from my then employer, sell up and return home. Initially I enjoyed a period of what can only be described as "wallowing in it."
In the interim years dad had scaled the dizzy heights of St Ivy's church; from a simple parishioner to a sidesman, from a church warden to a minister. Being aged and retired though, he was only a 'second fiddle minister,' but my reverend father could bury and marry folk just like the best of them.
Dad was 'enthusiastically' mentored by Rev "Black Cloud" Sourby, who may not have been as joyless as he first appeared, but he certainly knew how to disguise his evangelical zeal and Christian good cheer. This was the very man who'd coined the phrase, "Grimace, God loves you."
St Ivy's was one of those ancient churches. Not the sort of place where one goes to be healed; there was no wheelchair access for one thing. Although, with some careful manoeuvring it might just be achievable. However, with a few modifications and a bit of careful thought it could be made totally impossible.
No, it was more the sort of church where you went in healthy and came out worse for wear. Just one of the sermons delivered in those morbid tones would have been more than enough to give migraines to the untrained.
But Rev Sourby could lend something to a funeral service that few others could.

Anyway, as I was saying, I had moved back in with my parents, for my sins (or theirs), but quickly learned how privileged I was. If for no other reason than hearing about all the latest local deaths before they became public knowledge. And some before they’d actually happened.
I made one or two tentative attempts to re-integrate myself back into a life that once was by attending village fĂȘtes and so on. Some people looked exactly as they had years before, almost as if they had rotting paintings of themselves in their attics. While others were totally unrecognizable, but I didn't know who they were.
Likewise, I was just another stranger in their midst. A lifetime ago the locals knew me because I was an appendage to a pillar of the community, albeit a spotty and obnoxious one (me, not the pillar). Now no longer youthful, I was an alien on my own stamping ground. For me, around every corner there were constant reminders of bygone days. For the villagers, around every corner there was some greyish, balding bloke with a fag in his mouth who they'd never seen before and didn't care if they ever saw again.
That was all about to change: after another series of events which seem unnecessary to describe, I bought myself a Dalmatian (a spotty dog rather than a Croatian person). I became an indoor type with an outdoor life. A life which consisted primarily of dog ends, dog collars and now dog poohs.



Written and conceived by M J Race

Copyright © 2013 M J Race


All rights reserved worldwide. No part of this publication may be reproduced or distributed in any form or by any means without the prior written permission of the author.

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events and incidents are either the products of the author's imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.