Only Pretending

Death was not the enemy,
but a continuation of a life less lived,
the final chapter in a faithless story,
the only power I could ever give,
the end was never about an ending,
but taking control over worthless skin,
destroying the negative thoughts and feelings,
breaking free of the demons within,
only the power never came to surface,
the story, it reached beyond the ending,
forgive me for believing the outcome was right,
forgive me for living, and for only pretending.

(c) 2008


The only antidote to mental suffering is physical pain – Karl Marx

Fibro. Fibro fibro fibro. Bloody fibro from my head to my feet. I can’t think straight. Everything hurts.

Haven’t had antidepressants since Friday. Mum put them away ‘somewhere safe’ and now we can’t find them.

My head hurts so much.

10 Day You Challenge – three films.

1. Pan’s Labyrinth.

In 1944 fascist Spain, a girl, fascinated with fairy-tales, is sent along with her pregnant mother to live with her new stepfather, a ruthless captain of the Spanish army. During the night, she meets a fairy who takes her to an old faun in the center of the labyrinth. He tells her she’s a princess, but must prove her royalty by surviving three gruesome tasks. If she fails, she will never prove herself to be the the true princess and will never see her real father, the king, again.

I love everything about this film; the music, the scenes, the CGI and the story. It wasn’t at all what I expected it to be; it was brutal and charming, all at the same time.

2. Alien

The crew of the deep space mining ship Nostromo are awaken from hypersleep to investigate a strange signal from a nearby planet. While investigating the signal, they discover it was intended as a warning, and not an SOS.

Alien appeals to my love of asthetic horror. Gieger is an artist I have a lot of respect for, and to see his work in ‘real life’ (as it were) in a film was wonderful for me.

3. The Lost Boys.

A mother and her two sons move to a small coast town in California. The town is plagued by bikers and some mysterious deaths. The younger boy makes friends with two other boys who claim to be vampire hunters while the older boy is drawn into the gang of bikers by a beautiful girl. The older boy starts sleeping days and staying out all night while the younger boy starts getting into trouble because of his friends’ obsession.

Much love for this film. I adore the soundtrack, and even did an essay on it in college.

Be careful what you wish for

S is taking me for a meal at my favourite pub this evening. We plan to get a bottle (or two) of red wine, sit near the open fire and talk rubbish all night. I briefly toyed with the idea of calling my old manager to see if he wanted to meet for a pint beforehand, but decided against it. I feel guilty, but I’m finding it hard to maintain the now internet-only friendship.

I’ve written briefly about P. He was the manager at the bookshop I worked in. He’s tall, gangly, geeky and ginger, with an addiction to coffee and amphetamines. At the age of 44, he still lived with his mother, was best friends with his cat and spent his life sorting books and getting drunk on Shiraz and Baileys. We hit it off straight away; our mutual love of Terry Pratchett and computer games pretty much sealing the deal. Now, let me state that I am a naturally flirty person; I can’t help it. I flirt with everyone but I’m totally unaware of it. So I don’t blame P for perhaps thinking I was interested in him. I made no obvious signs, but I did spend time chatting with him and going for pints, so I think he took my friendliness the wrong way. I was totally oblivious, but according to my co-workers, he’d been in love with me for months. Not just a crush, but totally in love with me.

I didn’t see it, at all. I suppose it never entered my head that he might have feelings for me; we were best friends, that’s all. I liked him, but not in that way.

When I got together with J, it all came out. He hardly spoke to me. We’d been very close friends for over a year, yet he just distanced himself totally. Still, we maintained a friendship of sorts. When I got with S, he went crazy. Deactivated his Facebook account, sent me flowers with a note attached saying I’d always have a piece of his heart, and disappeared off the face of the planet for months.

I was gutted. He’d been a really good friend, and I couldn’t help but think it childish to go on a strop just because I’ve met somebody. I never returned his feelings.

I miss him terribly, but it’s so awkward to know somebody has feelings for you which you don’t reciprocate. I’d love to be able to call P, tell him to meet me for a drink, and be able to share my happiness about my relationship with S… but I can’t.

I’ve never managed to have a real platonic relationship. Usually, the man has feelings for me; and I really don’t understand it. When I was younger, I used to wish men would fall in love with me.

Be careful what you wish for.

Perfect Poet Award – Windowpane

I don’t want to spend another night at my window,
I should have outgrown this, now everything’s changed,
but I can’t shake this feeling, I can’t find the proof,
that everything’s not still

Empty pill packets to force me to sleep,
an image of you, the last thing I see,
an image of me, once again in the corner,
I see you, but do you

The moon sits alone in velvet sky.
voices of neighbours who never knew my name,
I stand here waiting, waiting for you,
the clock reaches midnight,

(c) 2008

Thank you very much for the award; it’s very, very appreciated. I nominate Charles L Mashburn / Marbles In My Pocket.

10 Day You Challenge – four books

1. Girlfriend In A Coma by Douglas Coupland.

Girlfriend in a Coma is a novel by Canadian writer and artist Douglas Coupland. It was first published by HarperCollins Canada in 1998. The novel tells the story of a group of friends growing up in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada in the late 1970s. On the night of a teenage house-wrecking party, one of the protagonists, Karen, falls into a coma. More alarmingly, she seemed to expect it, having given her boyfriend, Richard, a letter detailing the vivid dreams of the future she had experienced and how she wanted to sleep for a thousand years to avoid that dystopia.

The book was named after the 1987 singleGirlfriend in a Coma” by The Smiths. Additionally, Coupland uses other Smiths lyrics and song titles within the book such as “Bigmouth Strikes Again,” “Hand in Glove,” and “The Queen Is Dead.”

2. The Wrong Boy by Willy Russell.

Teenager Raymond Marks has not had a charmed life. His profligate, instrument-loving father made an early exit, leaving him with a struggling mother and doting Sartre-fan grandmother. Fifteen minutes of potential glory when he saved a boy from drowning are cruelly compromised when it’s discovered that the boys were near the canal indulging in what they called “flytrapping”, and Raymond becomes “the precocious pervert, the evil influence, the filthy little beast”. Eventually packed off to “Gulag Grimsby” at the suggestion of his despised Uncle Jason, Raymond pours out his life’s woes in a series of missives to his idol, one-time Smiths’ star Morrissey.

Writing his letters with improbable speed, Raymond is ingratiating, unstoppable and superbly miserable, as befits a Morrissey devotee–and lucky enough to be surrounded by a bevy of gift-wrapped Northern character parts.

3. Gormenghast by Mervyn Peake.

The series consists of three novels, Titus Groan (1946), Gormenghast (1950), and Titus Alone (1959). A novella, Boy in Darkness (1956), tells the story of a brief adventure by the young Titus away from Gormenghast, although it does not explicitly name the castle.

Peake had intended to write a series of books following Titus Groan through his life, as well as detailing his relationship with Gormenghast. At least two other books, tentatively titled Titus Awakes and Gormenghast Revisited, were planned; but Parkinson’s disease and Peake’s ensuing death at age 57 prevented him from writing down more than a few hundred words and ideas for further volumes. Only three pages of Titus Awakes were coherently written, and these appear in the Overlook Press edition of Titus Alone (ISBN 0–87951–427–2) and in the omnibus volume (0-87951-628-3).

In the 1970s, Peake’s widow Maeve Gilmore wrote her version of Titus Awakes, which she called Search without End. The Peake family rediscovered this novel at the end of 2009 and it was published by Overlook Press as Titus Awakes: The Lost Book of Gormenghast. to coincide with the 100th anniversary of Peake’s birth.

4. Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk.

Fight Club is a 1996 novel by Chuck Palahniuk. It follows the experiences of an unnamed protagonist struggling with insomnia. Inspired by his doctor’s exasperated remark that insomnia is not suffering, he finds relief by impersonating a seriously ill person in several support groups. Then he meets a mysterious man named Tyler Durden and establishes an underground fighting club as radical psychotherapy.

Information taken from Wikipedia and Amazon.

10 Day You Challenge – five foods.

Ach, food. A difficult one for me, but I’ll try not to get into any eating disorder rants.

1. I’m a vegetarian, so I eat a lot of tofu, Quorn and eggs. I try not to eat cheese; it’s an addiction of mine, but there’s no such thing as low fat, delicious cheese. I’m lactose intolerant, so that doesn’t help either.

2. Cashew nuts. I absolutely love them, especially in a balti coating. Horrific for my diet.

3. Complan and Slimfast. I sometimes rely on them when my willpower to diet isn’t strong enough; I water them down and can convince myself I’ve eaten something. Strangely, I actually quite like them.

4. My boyfriend makes the most amazing roast dinner. He does veggie sausages for me, alongside broccoli, roast potatoes, honey roasted parsnips, stuffing, onion gravy, mushrooms… we eat it a lot, usually at 1am with a bottle of vodka and music on Youtube.

5. Spinach; my mother ate loads of it when she was pregnant with me, and I’ve been obsessed with it since I moved onto solids. I can’t get enough of it, but ever since having my gallbladder removed I can only tolerate small amounts.

See? No rants.

Llandudno Beach

You stroked your hands across my back
As I remembered pebbles on the beach
How your mouth tasted of salt and sea
How for a moment, it was just you and me.

Stones beneath our feet that day
Words carried away on the wind
We could see right to the edge of the sky
Hand in hand, you and I.

You held me close as tears fell
But you felt so far away
Taste of the ocean in my eyes,
You tasted every tear I cried.

A memory of crashing waves
I still hear the seagulls cry
I look at you now with fear on my face
Wanting only to be back in that place.

And now pebbles shift beneath our feet
Sinking sand keeps us miles apart
I reach to you but you turn away
As though nothing happened betweeen us that day.

On the beach where pebbles grow
Where the waves whisper our names
On that beach, on that day
I loved you in every possible way.

I love you now as I loved you then
And though the pebbles have worn smooth
Eroded by our years together
Pebbles, like beaches, can still last forever.

(c) 2008.

So can you squeeze me into an empty page of your diary, and supernaturally change me?

On Friday afternoon, I had my regular hair appointment. I love going to my hairdressers; I never feel as anxious as I do in other situations. I used to dread getting my hair done and often left it for years before some poor woman had to deal with my horrible tangle of split ends and breakage, but I enjoy it now. There’s something soothing about sitting in a chair and having somebody else take control for once.

I’ve gone from bright red to bright orange, at her insistence.

S likes it; he told me it was “gorgeous”, which helped with the inevitable “oh my god what have I done?” panic I was experiencing after. The negative came (as usual) from my mother. Her first reaction was a worried glance, then the painfully honest words, “why did do you that?”. She doesn’t like it, which is no real surprise, but would it kill her to pretend she does? Surely it’s a good thing that I’m no longer hiding behind dull colours? Isn’t it a sign of improvement in my confidence, if I feel able to pull such a bright colour off?

She will never have a positive thing to say about my decisons. I’m already considering going back to the old colour, just to stop the looks she’s giving me.

On a more positive note, last week I knitted a hat and wristwarmers, both from patterns.

I’m very pleased with them.

As always, the weekend was wonderful. I feel guilty that I allowed fibromyalgia to hit on Sunday and so spent the day sleeping while S sat on his computer, but otherwise it was lovely. I came so close to hinting that S is someone I consider someone I’d like to spend my life with, but I don’t want to scare him away.

10 Day You Challenge – six places

I wasn’t quite sure how to take ‘six places’. It could be favourite places, places you’ve been.. so I’ve gone with places which mean something to me, whether positive or negative.

1. My bedroom. I have spent years in this room; living in it, sleeping in it, eating in it, crying, loving, hating in it. My walls have seen fights, heartbreak, tears, sex, drugs, breakdowns and happiness. The essence of who I am is contained in this small room; from the purple flowery duvet cover, to the Buddah. From the wicker basket of knitting yarn, to the stacks of CDs and horror films on DVD. From the pre-pubescent me, burning incense and writing bad poetry, to the present day me; still burning incense, still writing bad poetry. The carpet is stained with evidence of late-night drink and food binges and is black and grey from spilled ashtrays. My clothes, my music, my books, my knitting, my shoes, my posters… they’re in here. This one room has seen so much of my life.

2. The embankment near my house. It used to be part of the sea defences, before they were moved nearer to the coast. I live a 15-minute walk from the coastline, and you can see the beach and the lighthouses in the Irish sea from the embankment. I often go there to sit and think, to simply be alone for a short while. It’s used by dog walkers, but they tend to ignore me; I suppose they don’t often see someone just sitting there, staring at a sand dune. I’ve been going there since I was old enough to discover it, often sneaking out of the house as a young teen to watch the sun rise from behind the water treatment works. I’ve gone to sit there when my heart has been broken, when I thought I couldn’t face another day alive and breathing. I’ve gone there to escape the drama of my family. I’ve sat up there, screaming into the phone at O, begging him not to destroy me. I’ve sat there and contemplated suicide. I’ve smoked dope and stolen cigarettes up there. I’ve had sex, hidden away in the tall summer grasses which grow next to the cow field. I’ve spied on the houses of other people, watched the occupants go about their lives. I took S there, and we sat together, talking and smoking dope. We kissed. I told him how much this place means to me.

3. A local college. When my child psychiatrist failed to diagnose me with anything exciting such as schizophrenia or bipolar, he decided I had Asperger’s Syndrome. It’s taken me a long time to write about this, as it still pisses me off. At the time, Asperger’s was the diagnosis of the week; everyone had it. If you didn’t have it, you had traits of it. Now, I have nothing against anyone with AS, or any autistic disorder, so I apologise if I sound insulting. I was incensed by the diagnosis; I had hardly any traits, and those I did have could easily be accounted for by the bullying I experienced in school, my ever-loosening grip on the world, and the incredibly stifling atmosphere I grew up in. I refused to accept what I saw as a negative label; I may have problems, but I did not have a learning difficulty. I didn’t lack empathy or find patterns in things. I didn’t misunderstand sarcasm (it’s my favourite type of humour), I was terrified of numbers, and I knew exactly how to fit in with the world and society; I just didn’t want to. I was a normal, albeit fucked up teenager. Still, the diagnosis was stamped, at at the age of 17 it was decided to send me to a college for young adults with learning difficulties; everything from ADHD to Down’s Syndrome. The night before my first day, I overdosed on my antidepressants. I cried, I begged, I pleaded, but it seemed I had no choice.

The decision damaged me, without any doubt. I had nobody to talk to bar the staff, and they treated me like I was stupid. I spent my days doing very basic English skills and acting out social situations in drama with a partner who couldn’t even eat by himself. I was sexually assaulted in a hallway by another student, but it was dropped by staff because “he couldn’t help it”. He grabbed my crotch and licked my face. Still, I had to turn up.

Nowadays, I have the Asperger’s diagnosis struck off my medical records. The psychiatrist who diagnosed me was later sacked for malpractice.

4. Haydock Park. It will always hold a place in my heart for being where O proposed to me. It wasn’t the most romantic of situations (we were in a tent and had been arguing), and the relationship came to a bitter, damaged end, but at the time, I was happy. Although I look back now and realise he probably never meant to propose, and that he was always scared to tell me… at the time, it meant everything. I don’t believe in letting go of the happy times in life, no matter how much they end up hurting you in the end.

5. A local bookshop. It doesn’t just sell books, it sells crystals and comics and fossils. It’s tucked away in a little side street on the main shopping road, and I’ve been going there since I was a young child. Along the alleyway entrance there’s shelves of books; books on every topic you could imagine. Books from the 1900’s, maps, instruction manuals. Inside, it smells of old leather. Floors creak under the weight of thousands of books; from modern classics to rare first editions. You can’t touch some of them, they’re worth so much money. Leatherbound editions of Alice In Wonderland rub shoulders with pieces of meterorite and shark teeth. I love it in there.

6. I honestly can’t think of a sixth place. I’m sure one will come to me as soon as I publish this.