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Please Do Not Bend.

Please Do Not Bend.

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This is a creative writing assignment. We're looking at 'place' in writing, and had to do a field trip. I decided to go to my brother's grave, but soon realised that my memories carried much more weight. This is the finished result. I hope you enjoy, and feel free to give feedback! For the geeks among you, the commentary can be found here: http://www.scribd.com/doc/47697124/Reflective-Commentary-for-Please-do-not-bend
This is a creative writing assignment. We're looking at 'place' in writing, and had to do a field trip. I decided to go to my brother's grave, but soon realised that my memories carried much more weight. This is the finished result. I hope you enjoy, and feel free to give feedback! For the geeks among you, the commentary can be found here: http://www.scribd.com/doc/47697124/Reflective-Commentary-for-Please-do-not-bend

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Published by: tangiblepublications on Jan 27, 2011
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12/30/2014

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A note from the author

:
The following is the entirety of my latest project, Please do not bend. It's an honest collection of memories to do with my brother, Francis, who died 8 years ago. It is a physical piece comprising of many different sections. However, for the purposes of online viewing, I have scanned each section in, page by page, view by view, to give you as close as I can to the real experience. There is no set order in which to read all these pieces, this is just a potential order that I've put them in for the sake of this document. Feel free to read them however you wish. All the sections are found inside a large brown envelope, which is shown on the first page. I've tried to show the contents from all the angles that the reader would.

(A few last things: All the paper is white. It may have come out pink due to the scanner, but it's all white. Pomanders is laminated and there are holes cut in each page. There is one section that isn't scanned. It is actually the main body of the text and I've copied it out by hand into a small notebook. Because of the nature of the book, it is nearly impossible to scan it, but that's okay, because it's also the least visual part of the work.)

Field trip report.
T.A.Wingfield We visit here for his birthday, his anniversary, Christmas and Easter. Beginnings and endings. In the bottom right of the grave there's a little picture: two bars of a musical score. The notes are taken from a design James did above the picture railing on his bedroom walls. As it turned out, he never finished it. The last bar is a crotchet short. Francis was the most musical of the three of us; James had art, I've got writing. He used to mix and scratch records in the spare room (which was James' room before he went to uni). He'd lock himself away to play his electric guitar, so I never actually heard him. Over the last couple of years, whenever it's snowing, both me and James throw snowballs at the back of his grave (because you don't throw them at somebody's front from that range). The best bit is knowing that they'll leave two snow marks on the black stone. That must look so weird to passers-by. I've noticed this year that, thanks to the moles, the grave is leaning (though I prefer to use the term 'laid back'). None of us are that fussed though, because at least his doesn't have the grave makers logos like some of them along this row. We've put a miniature Christmas tree up here as usual. A young one, about 2 feet tall. We make natural decorations for it, dried orange slices and cranberries on a string, so that the birds can eat them. I remember him as very well dressed, though never exactly 'fashionable'. He was always a little alternative in some way. I remember his surfer phase quite clearly, with the bright, flowery shirts and flip-flops. It suited his stupid grin. I couldn't wait till I was cool enough to pull off a flowery shirt. I'm still not.

I take a walk through the silent village to the churchyard. It's empty as usual. I stand by his grave and meditate. I read the inscription to myself, trying to feel each word. It's my little ritual. Francis Alexander Wingfield. th Born 15 September 1983. Died 11th January 2003. A wonderful son and brother who brightened our lives all too briefly. Your memory and your love will stay with us forever. Three pigeons fly over. Their silence accentuated by the stillness. They never quite come into view; the fog is so heavy that I can only see them when they're right above me, and soon they fade into grey. Last year we were watching some old home videos, a fair few of which had Francis in. Weirdly, seeing him alive on video didn't affect me – we've got so many pictures of him around the house. But then he walked in with his cat, Pizza. That hit me really hard, like an echo of grief ringing back from somewhere. It reminded me just how helpless you feel, it's like when you have a nightmare you can't escape from. That's what it feels like to lose somebody. I smile at the fog. I like it. It blocks off the manor house that overlooks the graveyard, cuts out the farm to my right and calms the air. The wind can really pick up along the fields behind me, so it's nice to have some relief. I feel a soothing sense of isolation, as if a hospital curtain has been pulled around me. Critical care is much worse than it is on the TV. It's not gory, it's just bleak. Violently bleak. The air is filled with the sound of dread and the antiseptic smell of lives disintegrating. Bleached away. There's no incidental music, no mournful violins playing, there's just a silence. And a beeping.

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