Three Degrees of Loss

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Three pieces about loss following the death of The Man I Called "Dad."
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#1 
Nightmares

The nightmares began the day my father died. Harrowing, torturous things which come to me as soon as my eyes find sleep and leave my body contorted and struggling to wake. Sometimes they toss me around and leave me fighting all night and at other times I manage to pull myself from their grip almost before they begin. But they do always begin, and it's been so long now that it feels like they've been plaguing me forever.

The dreams are always different and the dreams are always the same: My father, dying, stretching out for me and pleading for help. Sometimes he is in a hospital gown in a hospital bed. The bed is in a room and the room is white. It is all that exists in the universe. There are no windows, but it is dark outside. You can feel it, an infinity of black nothingness stretching out into forever. We are deep into dreamscope.

I am standing either just inside or just outside of that room. I have a profile view of my father from the left. He is on his back, slightly propped up in the bed. A sheet covers his body up to his neck. He looks smaller than I remember, weaker. He looks dead. His face is drained of all tones but grey. Over to his right is a machine. A calm green ripple runs across its screen. It's the only real colour in the room. My father opens his eyes. The skin around his cheekbones stretches a little tighter. Without moving his head he shifts his eyes across so that they are looking at me. Like that he speaks, his mouth talking to the space above his chest. He always starts by using my name. His voice is normal but quivers with fear.
“Shane, is that you? Shane???”
“I'm here Dad,” I say. He becomes agitated. Not at my presence but because someone is there and not ignoring him.
“Shane, where's the doctors? Shane, why are there no doctors? Shane, it hurts. I think this is it. I can't believe it. Two hours ago I was fine and now I'm dying. Death's here. Shane, this is it. Shane, do I look bad. Shaaane?”
By now his upper body is uncovered. His face is stained in hard and ugly ways as he tries in desperation to reach an arm out towards me. He looks like an old religious painting. His eyes are straining so far in the corners to keep fixed on me that they're almost looking back in on themselves. He starts saying my name over and over....
“Shane... Shane.... Shane. Shane, I'm dying. Can't you do anything? Can no-one do anything? Shane, it hurts. I'm hurting. Living hurts.”
I want to tell him he'll be OK but it seems useless to say that, and I don't want to admit nothing can be done because that seems even more hopeless. And so I say nothing. I stand there and I want to run. He is reaching out to me with ever more desperation. I'm not sure if he wants help or human contact. Whatever, it scares me. I want to cry and I don't want to cry. I need to cry. But I don't cry. He's never seen me cry and to see my tears now will only terrify him further. I want to tell him I love him and have always loved him and that HE is my father, but I know if I tell him that now, here, like this, it will surely kill him. And so I do and say nothing. I stand either just inside or just outside of the room, watching the strain of his reach and the strain in his eyes. And though he doesn't know it, that look he is wearing, that perverse, twisted face of desperation, is the first manifestation of death in hs body, making it  pull strange and ugly shapes. It's a real nightmare. And as my father struggles to live, I struggle to wake – we struggle together. I am somewhere between two worlds and for once I want the waking world.

In another dream my father appears out of a smoky distance. He's limping and in pain and looks like he's come home from a long hard war. His head is bandaged and there is blood, red on white, as he limps out of the dust of time. He's not old but more as I remember him as a child, as my father, invincible, The Man with Tattooed Hands, a gold tooth, and a square and solid jaw. There are tubes up his nose, black sensors on his body and a drip in the tender region of his wrist. He limps on in pain and he tells me it hurts and that I'm good with needles and could I remove the drip. He is deteriorating by the second and his lips have a faint blue/grey tint. He looks awful, kinda braindead, but he isn't – he's just scared. His eyes and cheeks are sucked in. It's like his body is eating him up. He's heaving and spluttering and a constant groaning is rising up from his chest. “Yesterday you was a boy and I was your age,” he moans. “Yesterday.” He says other stuff. I can't make it out but I know it's sad. He groans in pain but never stops to allow me to help him. He staggers right on past like he can't stop even if he wanted to. To stop is to die and to carry on is to die too – just a longer way about it. I don't fight his wishes, there's nothing I can do. He's not dying in a way which can be helped, and it's not his physical pain which is my nightmare. I watch him walk on. Trailing behind him are tubes, a leaking drip bag and wires torn from a machine. He is heading towards a shed, a shed which is an airing cupboard, the same airing cupboard that my mother's cat crawled into to die.

There are other dreams, a thousand different variations of the same theme. And in all these dreams, no matter how bad or ill my father looks, the worst thing is that he's always fully conscious of his condition. He is living through his death, aware that it is in him and taking a hold. That what only yesterday was an abstract thought is now here, conquering him. But my father is never conquered in the dreams - he never dies, just suffers on. And that is the real, real nightmare.

Each night, at the peak of my father's pain, my eyes shoot open and I wake exhausted sat up boltright in the  bed. And in the dark of the night, with the aura of the dream still fresh, I light a cigarette and lay back down, blowing out smoke as warm tears run free and curl up behind my ears. And some nights I let out a squeak of pain and sob “Dad... Dad”, but mostly I don't. I just lay there in the dark, on my back, in silence, not wanting to sleep any more. So agitated I'm awake and up, writing or mopping the tiles or doing the dishes or arranging my bookshelf. When the sun comes up I'll bed down, I say, it's much more peaceful that way, and cooler. I tell myself it's the summer and that the heat is unbearable and that when winter comes I'll sleep much better and at normal hours. And I will. I believe that. It's just been a long hot summer.
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#2 
60 Rosaline Road, Fulham, London, SW6

The house doesn't look the same any more. The door's been painted, the crumbling front wall fixed, the missing windows replaced and the weeds from the front yard pulled up by the roots. But the house is still there, and no matter what repairs it has taken it still faces the east, still takes the best part of the sun on summer days, and no doubt the back rooms are still dark and suffer from damp. I think often of that place. It's a good memory, even the bad times. We were all there, all young, all alive, and it was home, as tragic as it was. But a new family lives there now, maybe a happier family – I don't know.

When my father died early on this year he was no longer living in the old house. He'd moved out years earlier after my best friend had succumbed to a slow and suffocating death up in one of the top rooms. He said he couldn't bare living there after that, that death seemed to have a permanent presence in the place and was always on the prowl. He said he could feel it in the rooms at night, creeping in on him as he sat watching TV alone. By the end he'd moved everything down into the small front room that looked out onto the street, living there without visiting the other rooms in the house. Then he moved out, into a property opposite.

In a way, my father living across the road was even better. While visiting him I could then look out his window and stare over at the old ghost and reminisce of all the comings and goings, the tragedies, the fights and all the broken people and lives which had staggered to and from it over the years. Somehow, like that, it took on an even greater significance in my life. I suppose because I could no longer enter inside that it felt more like an encased chapter which could no longer be meddled with, or meddle with me. From my father's new place I could watch the old house and fantasize about getting back inside, taking a walk through the rooms and seeing how the new family had arranged them and if they'd discovered the loose floorboards under which I'd hid many young secrets. And while my father was still alive it remained like that, a presence across the road and something which housed an era of memories which seemed to grow dearer each year.

But my father is dead now and the council has taken back the property he died in. The name Levene has no residence or business on that road any more. To see the old house now I must specifically go there for that reason, and even then I could only pass by as slow as I can to try and savour the moment and remember how things happened and how we all used to be. If I go there now I'll be a wanderer; at home and with no place to go. When my father vacated his space something else went with him, but it's not quite clear what. That's when I started searching

60, Rosaline Road, Fulham, London, SW6. That's what I'd type into Google Maps. The address. I'd zoom right in and visit the street, walk down to the house and turn into the yard. It felt real. Other times I'd zoom in 400% on the house and look through the windows, examine the brickwork and guttering, searching for some trace of our old existence there – a name scrawled somewhere or a piece of brick I remembered knocking out. After I'd make my way up the street and think of how we'd play football out in the road all summer long and how we'd peddle our bikes to freedom around those streets. I'd go down to the opposite end of the road, the place where Josh's garage used to be, and imagine how my father used to look coming around the corner after losing all his money in the betting shop and with only twenty paces left to figure out how he'd raise money to feed us that night. Other times I'd follow the route I used to take to school and observe all the things that have changed just as much as all the things which have stayed the same. It seems like a different time now. Just invisible footprints and dead skin in a street I still think of as mine. And the weird thing is, after all that happened, after all the blood and years of life that was spilled in that house, if it came on the market tomorrow, and if I had the money, I'd buy it. I'd prise open that encased chapter and risk more tragedy. I'd move in, alone or with a lover or a dog, amongst all the old ghosts, visiting the little corners of the house where mighty things had once happened.

Sometimes, just for tears, I wish I could go back.
-----

#3 
The Snail Bank

I think it's only normal. After the passing of my father I've been preoccupied with death: His, my own, and everything from bugs to plant life. Somehow death and dying seems more real, and at the same time, more mystical than before.

I pull a petal off a flower and look at it. “That's death right there,” I think. “It's in my hand... gone for all eternity.” At the bushes, across from the bench where I sometimes sit and smoke and read, I look at the symmetry of the leaves and try to work out what birth and life and family and death really is. I try to understand why the death and rebirth of leaves and flowers seem so natural and acceptable, and yet the same birth, growth and death in humans seems tragic and flawed. At home I stare at the dead flies and moths on the window sill and it seems impossible to believe that they can never be re-animated. That even given infinite time these things will never again Be. A fly – It's hardly made of anything. Why can't such a little thing be fixed? It's hard to understand. There is no understanding. One moment things have a conscious existence the size of their known universe, and the next, the lights are out are we exist no more.

From my bed, as I write, there is a bug making its way nimbly across the floor. It's a small black rain beetle. They get in here all the time, crawling in from out the cold and wet of the plant beds just outside. My instinct is to jump up and squash it flat. But I've given up killing bugs, instead I drive them into a glass and then rattle them to freedom out the window. The other night I even went outside and picked up all the snails which had slithered out after the evening rain. I carefully unstuck them from the concrete and moved them out of harms way so as they didn't get crushed by the evening crowds. Why? I don't fully understand, but I know it's because my father's dead.

- - -

Thoughts and Wishes to All, Shane. X

44 comments :

Absolut Ruiness said...

i don't know whether i can "comment" to anything like that but if i can I'll just say BRILLIANT!!! and i do want to shout it out loud!

JoeM said...

It's weird how we can reach people in dreams in ways we can't anywhere else. There's always that moment before waking where you want to hold on to that reality.

Re-visiting childhood places is awesome if possible. I now live 5 minutes walk from where I was brought up. The house and church is away. The secondary school is still there. It's built on the site of the old primary school. It's strange to think how brand new it all looked and smelled. I remember the trees being planted, with little wire fences to stop them being blown over. Now they’re big fat old trees.

Whenever I pass by the site of where I lived from birth to 10 I always marvel at how small the space I moved in was. So much happened to so many in such a small place

dirtycowgirl said...

I sometimes use google earth to revisit places from my childhood, nostalgia is a funny thing. It makes you remember even the times you were unhappy with a sense of loss.
I lost my Mum 3 years ago this Dec, it still feels like it happened a few months ago, I have to work out how long every time. But I think the death of a parent makes us far more aware of our own mortality then losing anyone else can.

And while we learn to live with them not being here I don't think we ever really get over it. Especially when there are things we wished we said or done, that's probably what your dreams are about. Mine are.

eyelick said...

The first dream definitely pointed to how much you must be thinking about his death, and thinking of him reminds you of the house, and so on... Hopefully you don't feel guilty for not being there when he died and think that maybe you could have prevented him from suffering as much? ~

That's SO adorable that you're saving the insects and little creatures now, the ones that most people consider pests that deserve to die. It's very sweet that you're treating them as they deserve to live as much as any human. Am not as respectful, myself of insects - refuse to interact with them or even touch them, they're squashed with a paper towel under a shoe!

Chef Green said...

Shane,
You've outdone yourself on this one. Your words are like the fog rolling in: gorgeous, sad, unavoidable.

From the first paragraph, where you mention sensing the night but not seeing it, to calling your father the "Man with the Tattooed Hands," this whole work has a somber, reverant, almost religious feel to it. The reader can feel the sad and soggy seconds ticking by.

And what an excellent lense through which to show your thoughts-a word painter's tryptic.

In short, it was just beautiful-and a fitting prayer-homage-offering-to a man you surely love.

Wishing you all the best,
CG

kympton said...

Shane
I feel what you say regarding making the effort to understand the eternal change that happens within us when we experience death. It is hard to get your head round the fact that life does come to an end, and where does it go to? Death seems stranger in fact than it does in fiction. I sometimes go and park across from the house that my dad died in, and remember all the details of certain days and times that we went through in that house. Its almost as though I'm compelled to keep my dads presence on earth alive through my own memories. Anyway, I'm touched by what you have written....xxx

resveratrol pill said...

i, I read a lot of blogs on a daily basis and for the most part, people lack substance but, I just wanted to make a quick comment to say GREAT blog!…..I”ll be checking in on a regularly now….Keep up the good work!

Memoirs of a Heroinhead said...

Hey Absolut Ruiness, don't shout it out too loud someone might hear. They'll commit you on grounds of insanity and blame me for it! Just quietly pass on the word... it's the greatest help anyone can offer. (Well, that or hard cash!)X

Memoirs of a Heroinhead said...

Hey Joe,

These dreams I don't even want to hold on to. They're really traumatic and sad, and I know why.

I visit childhood places all the time in my writing. I have a few little tricks I employ to get me there and I can really see and smell and hear everything. It's exhausting though. These places I go to in order to write exhaust me.

X

Memoirs of a Heroinhead said...

Hey DCG,

I think as well as making us realize our own mortality the death of our parents and loved ones makes us accept our own death and makes it less terrifying, and sometimes even a welcome thing. I think after ones mother and father and sister and brother have experienced death then it makes it easier to experience it too.

No, the dreams aren't about anything I wished I'd said or done while my father was alive, I have no qualms on those scores. We had a good relationship, and though it wasn't affectioate or locving in a traditional sense those things were there but were just said in different ways. So the dreams aren't about regrets at all. The dreams are about knowing him so well, and knowing that for all his bravado about not being scared of death the thought terrified him. When he first died we kinda was thankful it just happened like that and there was no suffering, but as we learnt more what really happened it became clear that he suffered tremendously (physically and mentally). He was left unattended to have two heart attacks, resuscitated twice and was conscious of it. He was also fully conscious as the aneurysm ruptured and lived mentally through a prolonged death. The dreams are always of his mental torment.... that's what they're about, his awareness of this thing that terrified him.

Love and Thoughts, Shane. X

Memoirs of a Heroinhead said...

Hey Eyelick, no I don't feel guilty for not being there, or for not attending the funeral. I paid my respects through 35 years of life ad after all that happened that we were still close and had never had one serious argument speaks for itself. As for helping, no-one could help... so there's no bad feelings there.

Er, I think my insect loving days may have been a little bit of poetic licence... I think I crushed an earwig and two hideous squirming silverfish to death not even two hours ago. I hate insects... especially the ones I've married!

X

Memoirs of a Heroinhead said...

Hey Chef and Thank You! X

Yes I loved him and along with two drunks he joins them as the third poet of my life and of the three the most influential. Immoral inall the right ways I surely wouldn't ave been ME or write as I do without having had him in my life. I oly regret never finally doing a video diary of his life as I'd planned to do hours of interviews with him as he talked of everything from literature, to antiques, to gambling, gay sex, cooking, crime, prison, drinking, fighting, police brutality, corruption, magic and his paranormal gifts for finding gold and money. But more than any single subject it would have captured him as a story teller and a writer who never wrote. It's a shame I never managed to get that done. X

Memoirs of a Heroinhead said...

Hey Kympton, thanks for what you say. Yeah it's a hard one to comprehend. Most people think that us addicts want to die, but really we want to live... I think you'll agree with that. You can never be stoned enough to lose your fear of death. X

Memoirs of a Heroinhead said...

Reservatrol Pill, fuck off with your bullshit you piece of shit. You've never read a paragraph of anyone's writing in your life. You hit the comment sections and type out utter bullshit on auto. I do the same only I don't get paid for it. X

Dr Death said...

These are unique observations and insights, so thanks. Death is the only truly mystical experience most people will ever have. Its something to look forward to. Treat life with the utter contempt it deserves, and fear of death evaporates. Bring it on, keep it coming, your words keep Thanatos humming...

Memoirs of a Heroinhead said...

Sir Joe M, I'm glad to report that the idiot inside me is still alive and doing very well. While browsing around a bookshop yesterday, looking for nothing in particular, I was suddenly reminded of having put J Ellroy on my 'to read' list after yours and Paul Curran's recommendations. They didn't have many Ellroy though one they did have 'City of Lies' had fallen off the shelf, damaged the base of its spine and was reduced to €4.29. I snapped it up - despite the warning on the front cover:
A Richard & Judy Book Club Selection!

Back at mine I started leafing through it, eager to see what all the fuss was about and what I had been missing all these years. Well, it was nothing great... kind of middle of the road, immediately forgettable horse shit. I dashed the book at the wall(doing its neck in) and threw myself down on my bed, cursing and crying over the €4 euros I'd squandered and drawing up hideous plans of revenge against you and Paul. I was thinking specifically of murder. And all the while, as I lay there like that, the book was across from me, down on the floor where it had landed, taunting me... laughing, saying things like "You just don't get it! Ha! Joe and Paul get it, everyone gets it, but not YOU! You're a fool, that's why, as big an idiot as there ever was! Thanks for the 4 euros arsehole! Yours, the author, R J Ellory."

Ellory??? A Richard & Judy Bookclub selection??? Reduced to €4.29? 500 pages of horse shit? (And a damaged spine!!!) OMG, it can't be, surely not. ELLROY... ELLORY.. ELLROY... ELLORY. But it was - I had fucked up proper this time. Joe and Paul, welcome back, all is forgiven! The thoughts of murder were just a joke... Me having a laugh, you know. I made a mistake, but it wasn't my fault. The book was right... R J Ellory was right, a genius: as big an idiot as there ever was. The greatest thing he never nearly wrote.

X

JoeM said...

Shane I'm glad you read Ellroy - saves me the bother! I've never read him. I don't know if Paul C has - he was referring to Ellroy's biography, the mother murdered when he was young etc, which seems interesting and relevant. Having listened to him on that radio program I thought he was a boring self-important nut case - 'I don't want to infect myself with the culture'. I'm not surprised it was mediocre. I really don't go in for that 'hard-boiled' crime stuff. Give me Margaret Rutherford as Miss Marple in a twee black and white early '60s British film any day!

I love the fact that it was a Richard and Judy Book Club pick. That would SO enrage him!

Memoirs of a Heroinhead said...

But that's just the thing Joe: I DIDN'T READ ELLROY

When I got home I realized it was a different crime writer with a very similar name ELLORY I had taken. Probably spoiled my image in the bookshop for ever... I'll be embarrassed to return now! X

JoeM said...

Oh I get it now!

So maybe we're doing poor old James Ellroy a disservice. I feel we should both read him now to make up for pre-judging.

You first!

Actually I looked up RJ Ellroy and he sounds more interesting -

He cites Arthur Conan Doyle, Michael Moorcock, J. R. R. Tolkien and Stephen King as being some of the people who influenced his writing.

I should read him to make up for you're having done so...

Memoirs of a Heroinhead said...

Hey Dr Death, welcome and glad to see you in such good health and spirits.

I don't think life deserves any contempt, that's like kicking out at unknown forces. I think not to be scared of death means to be scared of living, because we only bother and struggle to live because of that fear. The only true Death Soldiers are the Suicided, and they did their talking with actions. People who want to embrace death kill themselves Dr Death, never forget that. X

Sailor said...

Hey Shane, I always do that thing with the snails. I freak out at them all exposed on the wet tarmac in their insubstantial shells and I have to pick them up one by one and put them out of harms way in the bushes. This post was so beautiful it made my heart hurt. S x

nikita said...

O my God, dreams...
I never forget the horrible tryptic I dreamt when I was about 17 and the selfdestruction grew up inside of me, slowly, quiet but inevitable...It took me over 20 years til the dream "get soaked" by it's meaning completely and got clear to me...Now I'm thinking, it was classical jungian thing.
Well, in a nutshell(it's YOUR blog, not mine, although I wish I have such a great polish-languaged public on my blog:)...:
I'm sitting in a front of an old big mirror in my childhood's ancients appartment and dress myself up/prepare myself for the funeral of my beloved Mom(I'm completely addicted to, whole my life-my Mom's(she's still alive in "reality")deep psychological deseased and unstable,but for those times She was the Higher Instance for me).I think it was time I should be "killing" and "burying" She metaphorically, but I didn't, so I "got sent" the dream to advise me. Well, I'm tryin' to pin up the big mourning headdress(the black bow)in my hairdo,but I can't struggle with it,no way.I'm turning back to ask my Mom for help,as usually... At this moment I get the "dark illumination"-it dawn upon to me She just died and I'm here to prepare myself to the funeral. Additional,I can see something like electronic clock:it shows:8.08...
I think this dream is just overloaded by different meanings:
8.08.2008. was the day my favourite dog died and I had to bury him by my own hands(it was the first time I came into such an intime/close contact with Death,the aura was so surrealistic and torrential I really could feel the touch/breeze of something mighty what overgrowth me thousands times).
Well, then I started doing H and my nightmare-series got replaced by illusionable, endless blissfull, hot, delighted dreams/unreal spaces I wanted never never end. I was awaking from with the feeling of sweet rush, fever and loss. Every time I woke up I promised myself to chase&catch that Miracleous Land, even if it means I'd have to travel into my mind...I had a pretty strong feeling there's some "Nowhere" existing in my mind-the place the all sweet mares resides.
20 years after the old nightmares back to me with the high tide turning into a real. Hard to explain. I'm living in the darkness now and I think it's my first real Season of Decay in my life.
It's like permanently screaming in vain; asking for help your murder, because there's no one ally on the dark street and we're used to ask. Exactly like the Mother in the dream I wanted so much to help me with the bow, while I was already talking to the Dead...

nikita said...

Hi, Shane,

it's me, again...
I'm really ashamed-your expressive writing made me "sunk" so deep into my own inner-spaces...so I nearly forgot, who is here the Master of the Stories/The Plotkeeper;) and who just have to comment;). I know you are doing your best to make this place interactive (what I appreciate very much), but abusing your kindness was definitely tactless/faux-pas(?)from my side.
But, indulge me please, because the reason I unintentional "smuggled" my own tale to here is I REALLY DON'T KNOW ANYONE ELSE (especially polishlanguaged)WHOM I COULD TO CONFESS/LEAVE SOMETHING SO SUBTLE LIKE DREAMS, without to take a risk one calls me "uncorrectable selfish dreamer". It's really hard to meet someone who "moves" so fluently within the Dreamland like you do. Looks you're so familiar with the special "unlogical logic" of the dreams, and the ability to catch them with words before they blows away/evaporates is absolutely unique.

I'm with you, Shane X
My best wishes to you
Jowita

Dr Death said...

Your words leak raw fear, which, as you know, my dear, is the curtain that Death draws when Fate's coming near

Memoirs of a Heroinhead said...

Hi again Death... still alive I see? Great rhymed comment... reminds me of stuff I was writing when I was about 13.

Let's cut the bullshit here, I've no time for that. My words don't leak fear; they ARE fear. The same as every breath I take is because of fear... the same every breath YOU take is because of fear. You're so preoccupied and terrified by the idea of death that you've even named yourself after it. As I said in my last comment the people who really have no fear, and really have a contempt for life, are long gone... they jumped off bridges, out off windows, blew their brains out or slit their wrists a long time ago. There was no fake bullshit from them... they did it. That you're even here talking such stuff tells me the very idea of death fills your pants with liquid shit, and far from treating life with adolescent contempt you tiptoe through it trying to project an image of exactly what you're not. I've heard every kind of nonsense bullshit there is... and none of it impresses me.

Take care and have a wonderful fake suicide. X

Memoirs of a Heroinhead said...

Hiya Jowita,

Oh, you can write whatever you like here... as long or as short as you feel. It's no problem and certainly no abuse of kindness.

Concerning dreams I personally don't regard them as such profound things and other than giving us an insight into our basic raw emotions I don't believe they're any more than our conscious concerns (be they joys, sadness, depression, fears, etc) kinda dubbed over a our mostly recent sensory experiences (vision, smell, taste, feel, sound). I don't think they show any great truths like some say they do. I regard the science and interpretation of dreams in the same way as I regard astrology... I don't go for it. I'm the least mystical, spiritual, person you'll probably ever meet. I see all that as a kind of religion with no God, and praying to nature is still praying. It's kinda like The Hippy movement.. for me, that was ground in religion: Hippies were religious people, they just had an unnamed God. And it's interesting now how that generation, on reaching middle age, did mostly end up is some conventional place of worship. I believe that the truth is so big that we cannot see it, that the human race is possibly a disease organism living on something much greater. If you look at our behaviour we behave like a virus. I'm working on a piece of fiction which lays out these views and they're complex and so will not go into them here.

But aside from that, and even though I don't put too much into dreams myself, as a writer you must use every means possible to get your meaning and atmosphere across, and if that means playing up to some general (but not personal) beliefs then it's valid. It's like I will often talk of 'the soul'. I don't believe in a spiritual soul but I understand what is meant by 'the soul' (everyone does). So whether there really is a soul or not, it doesn't matter, all that matters is what is understood by that idea. You kinda play on the general consciousness of the masses to get your expression across and give it different levels of meaning.

When I'm on smack I don't dream at all. My dreams begin when it's all gone (the money too)... And funnily enough, that's also just about the time I start praying!

Love and Thoughts, Shane. X

Anonymous said...

Hi,

How's the fine art world treating you?
Our industry been hit hard. Graphic design first to be slashed off the budget. To add to that; lots of people wanting to be graphic designers when a few years ago typography was unknown to most. When I started out we were making crazy money. I never imagined I'd be earning less as I grew older!

Got my order. He broke it. Texted me to ask me to be his witness for another case where he chased and threatened a guy with a kitchen knife. I was with him when it happened, 2 days later the police came knocked on our door and arrested him and looked for the knife. I feel bad about this but part of me was relieved until he came home after midnight. Anyway, I told him I'd be a hostile witness cos I saw him leave the flat with the knife and was horrified by what he did. I can't see any justification, reason he gives is this guy and his pals burgled his place but even then it's not on. Funny he's asking me after calling me a 'junkie whore'. But reason I haven't called it in is I think he's mentally fucked up. I had to pull a flick knife on someone when I was thirteen to stop him assaulting me. The whole time I prayed he would get closer or I'd have his blood on my hands. I feared that so much that if he'd stepped forward I probably would have dropped the knife and let him rather than murder someone. When I got safely indoors and the adrenaline had dissipated, I shook and didn't know what to do with myself for at least an hour after. So I think I know a bit about being forced to defend yourself. Once we saw a programme about child abuse and he said 'Nonces should have done to them what they did to those kids'. I'm not insensitive to this subject since I've experienced all forms of it and I had to say 'So who will you get to commit these vile acts on our behalf? The prison officers? The police? What kind of people would we have to employ to do this? What would it do to society?'. He's definitely sick and loves violence. I've seen his eyes fill up with pleasure whilst inflicting it. Things that most people would walk away from to prevent escalation, he's in there, prodding and pushing. And though it's made me disgusted, part of me feels sorry for him and thinks he's mentally ill. That's what makes it hard to call in his breach of my injunction. I don't like the power I have to incarcerate him, just like I didn't like having the power to take someone's life when I had that flick knife in my hand.

Hope you're ok. You've done so well with this blog business. I set up one for myself without my real id so I could write about the less pleasant childhood experiences (things that people judge you for) and things we have to censor ourselves on if we want a job (e.g. drugs/addiction). But so far, so slow. I'm frustrated by fact that things I could devote and waste so much time thinking about/reliving, I'm scared to commit to paper/screen.

Take care of yourself xKx

Memoirs of a Heroinhead said...

Hi K,
'Nonces should have done to them what they did to those kids'.

That's one of those brainless auto-responses that just about 90% of the population say whenever they open their mouths. really, people may as well have their brain and vocal chords removed and replaced with a tape recorder. When people say such stuff to me I very quickly find I can no longer talk or listen to them on anything. It's sad just how few people really are people and not some mouthpiece for a set of hand-me-down values.

I don't regard this palce as a 'blog'. I can't bare blogs and never read them. I read some other friends who use 'blogger' like me as a publishing tool. But to use 'Blogger' and to have a 'blog' are very different things. I think the test of what a place is, is this:

If you took the content and put it on it's own domain: MOAH.com would people think of it as a 'blog' then? For what I do, I don't think so. If they were daily, journal entries then no matter where it was hosted it'd be seen as a 'blog' and rightly so. Like no matter where you put a site that introduces itself with nonsense like: 'the crazy ramblings of a single-parent Mom' or 'Insane rants from a bi-polar turd'... well, that's a blog, and if your ever bored enough to read through, somewhere within it, maybe even in every post, you'll be sure to find: 'Nonces should have done to them what they did to those kids'.. or something very similar.

Take care K... Thoughts and Wishes, Shane. X

Anonymous said...

Hi Shane,

Yeah, that 'nonce' view made me feel sick, some people don't realise the implications of what they're proposing! But I did say the guy is sick in a lot of ways. That was one illustration of many.

Re: Blogs, fair point. I think the subject or your way of writing as literary.

'the crazy ramblings of a single-parent Mom'- such a common cliche, and when (if you can be bothered to read it) you find there's nothing crazy in there. 'Crazy' would be I had an extra square of chocolate today. Only crazy is wasting time reading the damn thing.

I must admit, I never got into twitter for the same reason; banality. I just don't see the point and seems to me the more ways we have of communicating the worse communicators we are. My friend calls it 'Twatter'. Maybe there's something wrong with me but I'm inclined to agree.

xKx

Memoirs of a Heroinhead said...

K, I think Facebook and Twitter can have their uses, but they're not as some think: indispensable. I don't use FB or Twitter but do have accounts. At least twitter limits the shit people can talk... or limits the shit they can talk in one go. I should do that here - limit the comment length to something like 4 letters. People can either say: Good, Shit, Arse, Fuck or Cunt!

That covers just about everything.

X

Calamity K said...

Hey Shane,
R u trying to tell me something?:
'at least they limit amount of shit people can talk'
or
'limit the comment length'
I just taken that out of context, I should've been a journalist or lawyer!

Anyway, speaking of talking shite, I've just posted my first 'memoir' if you can call it that. I think what I meant when I made the 'blog' comment is writing memoirs is not easy. The one I put down today, I hand wrote first and found my hands shaking. Didn't bank on that! I've become an expert at dissociation so this is extra scary. Revisiting the past can't be easy. I know sometimes it's easier than others and often it's the bits you least expected that hit you the worst. But still, I think it takes some balls to commit it to paper/screen for everyone to read.

I thought I felt disconnected by past events until I had to commit them to words and worst of all try to describe feelings. Reeling off a series of events and incidents like a menu is relatively easy but having to tap into them to try to describe the subjective point of view, how you felt at the time is so much harder and more invasive.

xK

Memoirs of a Heroinhead said...

Hi K, no you've taken it out of context. If I want to say something I'll say it straight, but more than say it straight if I thought that I just wouldn't reply and encourage it. My point was that at least Twitter gets a little closer to the essentials, and you know what, I think it wouldn't be such a bad idea for writers to use Twitter as a kind of pratcice for meeting editors and publishers adn learning how to get rid of all the words which aren't really needed. Though what you find on twitter is that instead of people limiting the shit they talk they just limit the length of each word instead (M8, bcoz, 2moz, etc). Now that's junkie behaviour if ever I've seen it! These guys and gals are hopelessly addicted to chatting absolute crap.

For me I have no emotional difficulties writing memoirs. I think because I've always wrote, even if it was just mental writing, that when I finally knock these things up it's maybe the hundredth time I've gone through the events. But even when i revisit for the first time it's never traumatic - just brings up normal emotions that one would expect. Sometimes a few tears.. sometimes a few laughs, but that's the same with writing fiction too, because fiction is often a truer form of memoir than memoir itself. Writing for me is not cathartic. The events have been dealt with way before I ever put pen to paper... there can be no other way. True pain or trauma or even happiness ls not able to be written of in the moment. When something in life really hits the last thing you want is to go other it with a magnifying glass - to go over it at all. Technically memoir writing is the easiest there is. It's self-containing: you pick a start and an end and you fill the rest in, and it's easy because you just write what happened. But that's pure memoir. Me, I prefer to have a larger theme in which all pieces of writing must fit into. The theme is never 'I'. The greater theme is a social thing, to do with a time in history, a place, a social level and the problems that existed (generally). There are usually themes of action and consequence, and also the consequence of living. All the memoir posts must fit into that context or for me, here, theyve no real value. The 'I' you use as a focus point, to show what surrounds a point in time... 360°. If I wanted to write a purely personal memoir, of all the boring stuff in life I do, I'd do that in private, because that's the only worth of such stuff. But I don't keep a diary. The daily details are something I don't really care to remember. We'll be doing them all our lives anyway. When I need to remember daily details I Google them. Search: 'cost of a stamp in 1992' or 'date Gn'R played Wembley stadium', and of course Google is more reliable than memory. And that gets to my final point, taht there is no TRUE memoir. It is subjective and we create the atmospheres and the feel. For every post I've written here I could write it with five different slants. I could looking at somethng very tragic write it with more dark humour, or take a very funny event and turn the joke on its head by a very thoughtful ending line which suddenly darkens the whole piece. The real truth is an emotional truth, and that doesn't need memoir to exist. Honest writing has nothing to do with telling the truth.

Fuck, I better stop typing... I'm on auto and without spellcheck. The mistakes, the typo's... now that's the truth, and as traumatic as it gets.

X

Calamity K said...

Hi Shane,
I was being sarcastic (lowest form of wit I know).

Just being nosy here... what do you do at Christmas?
If you're anywhere near family your obliged to spend Christmas with them. I envy you that you're not obliged to take part in this farcical pretense of happy families. So what's your typical Christmas over there?

xKx

Mitchelle Adams said...

Holy nightmare >.<

Calamity K said...

Brilliant post! You don't know what lengths I had to go through to finish reading that! I was at work and started reading the first paragraph then scrolled and saw how much more there was but didnt want to stop reading. So I copied and pasted the whole lot into a text box in indesign and had to pretend I was typesetting copy. Just hope I remembered to delete it afterwards or the magazine will have an article they hadn't intended! I think I deleted it... but did I?
hmmm... nevermind, riveting post nonetheless!

xKx

Dr Death said...

Precisely oh Shanoid One, I already set the date, and it gives me something to look forward to. A killing joke

Memoirs of a Heroinhead said...

Dr Deaf, is the date before or after your 14th birthday? You'll be trying to convince me you have bi-polar next. X

Dr Death said...

No, oh Shanoid One, I am not bipolar, I have lung cancer. And the assigned date for the ultimate act of self-control is the 31st - just after my 58th birthday. Shoot one up for me. It was a good story.

Memoirs of a Heroinhead said...

Hey Dr Deaf, lung cancer... well done!!! I can only say you probably deserve it. But what you're really telling me is that you've decided to accept death because you're fucked no-matter-which-way-what? That's no acceptance at all. But yeah, no worries, I'll have a shot for ya... if someone can confirm your passing on the 31st that'd certainly be cause for celebration. Thanks for passing your last few hours reading me... that's the greatest compliment I'll probably ever receive. X

Dr Death said...

we all deserve death, its the wonderful prize we get for living our pointless lives. I also deserve lung cancer, for being stupid enough to spend my life breathing in the exhaled tobacco smoke of my 'loved one', and covering my neighbour's ass probably too. BTW, I had always planned to end my life by my own hand - the intense pain in my chest just hurried the decision along. As for compliments, that's your interpretation. And I will be spending my last day alone at home with a bottle of vodka and several hundred benzoes and opioid medicines, courtesy of the UK-NHS - so expect no confirmation of my decomposition, it will be represented by just another number in Mortality Statistics for England & Wales, 2011.
Want to hear a joke? I thought so.

Memoirs of a Heroinhead said...

Dr Deaf (and your other two aliases), yeah your fictitious lung cancer was someone else's fault. You breathed the smoke in... you could have not breathed! That would have been perfect for your teenage "mystical death" bollocks. You prick. X

Dr Death said...

I'll admit I'm jealous of you and OK SO I'M NOT DYING but I thought death may impress you as I only wanted to be friends. Sorry. I still dig your writing and hope my comments are still welcome.

Dr Death said...

hahaha. nice one Shane, cool trick. You made me smile, I do so love twisted emotions. One day to go before the world ends. Have a New Year.

Memoirs of a Heroinhead said...

Dr Deaf, I told you you are an arsehole from my first reply. You came here thinking you'd get a pat on the back for being all blazé about death and instead you was given the boot, pointed out as one of life's idiots and told to fuck off. That's what got your pecker up. You got humiliated and didn't like it. X