Woman in the bathroom

I arrived at the station with time to spare before my train. As I entered the toilet to grab some tissue for my runny nose, I scooted around a lady stood, brushing her blonde bed hair in front of the streaky mirror. She wore a smart black jacket matched with smart trousers and it was quite apparent that she’d had to leave for her job in a rush. Unprepared and vulnerable, she wore an embarrassed expression as a result of my clumsy entry. Poor thing just wanted to be caught up in her normal routine where she could feel normal, safely herself in her surroundings. I met her eye with a reassuring smile and whilst pulling the tissue hurriedly from the holder I wondered what her morning had been like. Perhaps her alarm hadn’t gone off, or after a stressful day she’d allowed herself and extra glass of wine before bed and slept through the snooze button. Maybe she’d woken to find her cat had been sick on the new beige carpet during the night, or the shower she’d been meaning to get fixed the last couple of weeks had been playing up again.

All in all it wasn’t a good start to her day. So I closed my eyes briefly and secretly wished something wonderful would happen to her, like she’d find a tenner on the floor, or bump into an old friend and arrange a drink after work, where’d they reminisce childhood crushes and adventures, wistfully wonder where the time had gone and make heartfelt and determined promises that they’d escape the clutches of the adult routine and start truly living again, starting with a cultural but fun wine tasting holiday in Tuscany.

Walls

Ah, the walls she built to shut herself off from our dangerous world, to keep her demons at bay.

Nonetheless a veritable Romeo, he effortlessly scaled her high reaches without a care for risk or the fate that awaited him there.

She lived by the metal river, in a box that was blessed with a beautiful view. It had been years since a man had found the tunnel to her heart. Subterrainean and subjective, an army couldn’t find the entrance unless she bared it.

He was honest and unusual. He held the key to her deepest caverns in his mouth and he was quite capable of traversing it’s tunnels unharmed. It was him she had to look out for. Him, she had to watch from sentry post with eagle eyes and baited breath. He had the power to conquer her, hold her tower up or tear it down. If those bricks crumbled, her reality would come crashing to earth engulfed in smoke and fire and she’d be no more.

So, does she take the risk for this beautiful man with a humble complexion? For a man of devout erection who made love to her and held her as she slept, shielding her from nightmares whilst she dreamt of him instead. A man who let conversation flow to and fro, like a ship in gentle waters. Or was it the calm before the storm?

She’d been fooled before, but found herself full, with implicit trust. Where does she go from here…and should she take him with her?

Mosaic

We are in the dying days of summer and the weather is ever changing.

Even darkened plumes of tall column like cloud structures, intense and foreboding can almost instantly dissipate and make way to a scorching sun, that burns me with ecstatic energy.

You are my weather machine.

Engulfing me with a light I thought was out of reach, blinding me to a darkness that has held me in its bleak clutches for what seems like an eternity. Sadness has no concept of time. How long I have stumbled in the dim light of day I do not know, holding onto the notion that nothing is forever.

Nothing is forever.

Hard times will fall away like sand through grasping hands, hardened with guilt at the vulnerability we were unable to change fate and save those we love. Much like every beautiful moment is precious and fleeting, to be celebrated and missed on passing, everything will flow it’s course and drip away. All these the colours of life’s great mosaic, a portrait of each person made up of every second we take, every moment we make with ourselves and others.

Others are the most valuable.

I cannot find peace with what’s been, but I can learn to accept its pain. A branding on my heart that will ache from day to day. I can learn to lift my face up, opened eyed and mouthed to clouds and rain. As if I don’t, it could subside but I’d never feel sun again…and what a shame to feel just nothing out of fear of feeling pain, so I embrace all that tethers us together and all that makes us the same, whilst I wait with baited breath to bask again in suns warm rays.

Doing the deed – Becoming a do-gooder

There was once a time where do-gooding was frowned upon. ‘Interfering do-gooders’ were known to meddle and cause problems for those of us cantankerously surviving in our mundane day to day existence.

Thankfully these times are changing for the better. It is becoming more popular to do good and I am stumbling across more and more adverts/short films/music videos that promote goodwill and kind gestures. Us human beings have the power of endless love and compassion locked beneath the barriers that our minds create as a defense against hurt, anger and rejection. These barriers however do a good job and we almost always forget what we should do. i.e. that poor old chap trying to cross a busy road. ‘Sorry buddy, no time for you, I’VE had a bad day’.

How did we come to act on such selfish tendencies? How can we say “I don’t care, I’m looking after me right now”?

Imagine if instead of this we all looked after each other. That we donated a moment of strength to someone who was struggling. Imagine the bond that would form with someone who rescued you when you most needed help and were too scared to ask a stranger. That on seeing that poor guy trying to cross the road, no doubt terrified by the noise and endless streams of machines intent on mowing him down, you took those few seconds to take his arm, walk him over and carry on with your day.

It’s these few precious seconds that are nothing to you…and everything to him.

Think about the relief he’d feel, thanks to you. Imagine the smile on his face when he tells relatives of that lovely person who helped him when he felt vulnerable and needy. Doesn’t that make you feel good?

How about that kid trying to get on the bus, or a mother paying for groceries amidst screaming children. They’re 20p short which means a long walk home, or missing out on some sort of essential item. Do you have a lose 20p floating about? I’ll bet you do. The thought crosses your mind but you shrug it off quickly. ‘No, I’ll need it’ or ‘It’s right at the bottom of my bag’. You stay quiet and they suffer as a result. You need it for what anyway? A pint at the pub later? A packet of crisps for the walk home? Just give them the 20p and change their day for the better.

It’s these little things that will make such a difference to those in need. Also, the enormity of joy and satisfaction you’ll receive from seeing a smile on someone’s face that you’ve put there is second to none.

There are countless moments like this every day for those who choose to see them.

So next time you see that opportunity to help, ignore that little arsehole in your head who’s only looking out for number one, waltz up to that person and do it. You’ll be surprised how good you both feel as a result and you never know, you might make a habit out of it.

And let me tell you, that’s one habit our world needs more of.

Apologies for the unexpected interlude

Good morning!

Apologies, my page has been quiet for a little while. Things should get back to normal shortly.

I’ll level with you. I’ve been stuck in a valley of a life situation that needed changing and after stewing on this for quite some time those changes had to be made.

Life is a bit like flowing down a river, some times you’re carried and some times you have to steer the boat.

After a period of distraction I awoke to realise I was following a path I’d never intended to. I was missing valuable components to my happiness. I’ve found that life will do this when you’re not paying attention.

It was time for a revolution.

Firstly, after years of coasting jobs for the money (I had never been able to decide what I wanted to do), I took the all important step of applying for a degree in Creative Writing. I love the arts and have dabbled in almost all over the years. Much like a one night stand they came and went, slipping through my fingers when the sun came up. Like finding a soul mate, it was time to commit to the one that has naturally been the most happy and true. There is nothing more delightful to me that when words come flowing out onto paper or onto screen. I start my degree in September. I am twitching with anticipation.

Next came the job. I was working in Customer Service for a large corporation in which I had no faith or passion. The parallels to Orwell’s ‘1984’ were endless. When I started I felt hardened to it and thought I could exist quietly under the radar of the management. As long as I kept my head down and got on with my job, I could last until September. Alas, corporate companies can be the most soul crushing of places. I watched from the shadows as free thinking individuals were marched through in their masses, eyes a’glimmer at the lure of their own desk, coffee and a decent pension scheme (don’t we all dream of someone to look after us?) As days went by their smiles would dim and one by one they would lose all sense of self and become hosts, amalgamated into the machine with nothing to say other than pre-thought phrases handed down on little sheets of paper left on our desks every morning.

I had to escape there immediately, before they got me too.

With rent to pay, I stomached the last few weeks whilst looking for something else. I took to daydreaming of not going in when I knew I inevitably would. I imagined the delicious joy of staying on the train past my stop and ending up somewhere completely different, just to prove I was in control of my own decisions. Luckily, I found a job working the bar and waitressing in a local gin and whisky lounge and started the next day. The change in lifestyle has been instant and glorious. My character is something to be celebrated, rather than taken as a threat. Instead of waking bleary eyed at the crack of dawn, I dawdle home to the sound of the early birds. I have no need for the gym as I spend a good 10 hours of my day running around, carrying things, with a smile on my face and a cheeky word to say to ears who’d like to hear it. Yes the hourly pay is less, but there’s tips to be made and as long as I’ve got my means covered, then that’s enough for me.

I have no drive to have more money than I need at the cost of my happiness.

The happiness I’m feeling for these 2 changes is uncontainable. After concerns I had lost who I was, I have never felt more myself and in control of my life. It’s not been easy and I’ve felt the fruit flies of doubt at my apple but I believe in a world of distraction, the capability of being true to yourself despite hurdles is one of life’s greatest satisfactions.

Our hearts scream to our inner selves when there are changes to be made. Don’t ever be scared to make them. You’ll never know unless you try and this fear can hold us back from so much. I have returned to dancing around my home to my favourite music, wearing nothing but a shirt, cider in hand, feeling blessed to be alive.

And get out of the office. It’s not normal. Not for me anyway. Damn, it feels so good to say that.

Worm

My face is flushed
A searing, hot heat races from my heart,
to my feet and my face.
I am a disgrace in your embrace.
I squirm
A turning worm, writhing in the sun
Surviving next to one,
who won’t burn me out.

The fishe’s mouth

Judy dangled her feet into the cool murky water. It was a hot day and his was her favourite thing to do after college. The trees wavered lazily in the breeze. The world felt peaceful and still.
“What’s wrong with you today?” Ben crept up and sat himself down next to her. He took his shoes and socks off. She noticed he had holes in both. “You weren’t yourself at all”.
Judy continued gazing into the water. She was mesmerized by the sun’s reflection on the surface, all that glitters is not gold. Her dark hair trailed down the side of her face. She was unkempt, but beautifully so.”Nothing, I’m ok really”. She looked him the eye “Sorry, I shouldn’t have said what I did”. She went back to looking down and he rested his hand on hers for a moment. “It’s ok, I just worry is all”.

She wiggled her ankles in gentle rhythm.Out of nowhere there was a splash and the ripples ticked her skin.
“A fish!” She gasped and pulled her toes out of the water to safety. Another splash, then another. hey had seen fish in the river before but they weren’t normally this active. Suddenly the cloudy water made way to an enormous gasping mouth that opened and closed with apparent impatience. They were dazzled by flashes of gold, blue and purple. A large, unblinking eye was set at the pair of them.
“Well” Ben said, shifting uncomfortably. “I’ve never seen a fish like that before”

They were transfixed on it’s mouth. It was opening and closing at an alarming rate. They became concerned that it was dying and were unsure if they should try to save it.

As it transpired, the fish was saving them.

Just like that, they were somewhere very different. They could hear hustle and bustle but they were still deeply engaged in the solemn stare into the darkness of the fishes mouth. Everything else had changed around them.

Ben tore away first. He looked around briefly, not fully registering what he was seeing. It wasn’t long before he looked back at Judy. She was very still, he found this creepy and disconcerting.
“Judy?” He touched her arm, then with no response he pulled her face towards him. Eventually her eyes snapped onto his. He felt a pulsating feeling for a short moment. Her eyes were glazed and her watched her mind come back into her before looking at out him.
“Where are we?” She murmured. She was almost to frightened to ask aloud
“I don’t know, he replied. But we’ll work it out, we’ll be alright”

Inner Claws

Her hair was a beautiful mess of feisty curls. When she sang her face contorted as if she was making caricatures of various expressions and emotions. Her reactions were that of her riding a wave and rather than having ownership of her voice, her voice had ownership of her. It was a well controlled performance that still had the smell of the wild, that odour so invigorating to breathe in, it brings out a person’s inner claws and uncontainable urge to howl at passersby.

We all have our inner claws.