Me, My Mother and I By Roger Perrin

Part 1 There are Two Ways to Write a Poem
I am so confused said Rabbit Hare, as he skipped down the waste hole. Because my parents had me so muddled there are always two ways to write a poem. I got the sneaky feeling that people were looking at Mom in the street. A freaky show. Could have been her beauty they were admiring? Tight under the collar, realising with an Adams apple nervously and angrily bobbing my throat, it just was the erratic clothes, as she grew older, to lead passing folk to smirk in merriment. A new kind of experience; mom dying. Being dead was not going to be easy. Multiple Systems Atrophy, the doctor diagnosed, in a swish brown leatherette office at Sloane Square. As we listened, mother and son, in coolness to what he said, it looked like he might be correct. At least he did not doubt. His vocabulary ramming my ears. I did not like him one bit. Sitting, stone cold, thinking of his lunch at Harvey Nichols up the street, announcing to a woman of seven children and a few heartbreaks under the burdened, cloudy skies of an English day: “It takes three years for the disease to fatally circulate. You have three years to live.” Three years to die. I wanted the private doctor to be struck off the registrar. The way he spoke to us. I wanted to cut in. “Please sir! That is no way to talk to anybody. Show more compassion, give your analysis some dignity and respect. Please!”

The doctor had apparently learnt little from his induction into this caring profession. We both heard his report. Glancing at Mom I thought she was a bit too unmoved at the news of her demise. It might be shock. However aloof she might appear to be; the tragedy must have sunk in. She did not fully understand how to openly react in many situations. The same Mom who brought up her seven kids some days on water and crust. Who lived in a hurricane of life. I hated her too. In my youth, I despised the poverty balls of damp, jet, black hair convened at her armpits. Playing safe was the way Mom fought. Through the miscarriage of a broken childhood. Through the tremors of an adulthood pasted with volcanic eruptions of clinical doom, mountains of mistrust, pills of aspirin and valium, electric shock treatment and quakes of ups wandering the earth on The Queen Elizabeth The Second; my mother had learnt the only way to face her ‘three year lapse’ into the mines of oblivion was with a shrug. I wanted to hold her hand but she had at an early age already enforced in my physic the fear that holding was for the weak-minded. I wanted to shake her outlandish garments. To at least find out her feelings about her illness. “Mom! This is the way to behave! Think and react!” I wanted to sack the doctor for being so outrageously blunt, high on the third floor of his throne of an office; as the traffic roared, below, madly swished and honked its way round the Square. We got on a red London bus. I had not spoken to my sisters for a long time. I felt my mam and me were travelling across a very quirky and lonely desert. I never went back there again. Later, I heard, he had been struck off the registrar for some misconduct. The deal that Mom was positioned on the slide into extinction became a new chapter for

me. I expected to be bound with grief. Bombed with guilt. I never cried once when she passed. Multiple Systems Atrophy is a wasting disease. The body’s nervous system closes up and along the route body functions get cumbersome to use. A Zimmer frame. A wheel chair. Battered moons translate across a hardened earth. Losing the art of speech: easy when you are able to do such easy things as gossip. To slurred speech and the art of walking: easy when you can place a foot in front of the other. To crippled. But like with Multiple Sclerosis, my mum’s thinking will stay intact. I worked in a nursing home in Mottram, Stalybridge. I tended to Daphne who was dying of MS. Her thinking was lively, intelligent, inviting and comical as we, the care assistants, turned her on the institutional bed at hourly intervals. Usually to clean up between her buttocks. Daphne watched her ill ridden body lose control, wither and die as her pristine mind remained the teacher of primary school children. Daphne used to ask me: “What are you seeing at The Bridgewater Hall tonight?” Daphne teased me: “I’d like to roger you!” The crippled laughed. I call Mom before she had become an invalid. Ploughing across the holes of space between Manchester and London, I discerned that mum was having trouble holding her handset. To my ears it sounded like she dropped the receiver at least twice. A year and a half later, as we boarded a London Red Bus, at Sloane Square, we had just received the report that she was to decease in a couple of years. Life can be so tricky.

“OH! Shit, Roger. I keep dropping the phone!” Maybe there are ghosts living out there in our world. I sometimes hear Mom’s pathetic, tinny frustration, still chiming her bewilderment at me six years later. I had not been talking to her for some time. Some stupid fight now lost up in the stratosphere. The low down; she was not happy with my partner or me. But I wanted to gain entry back into her life. Back into her flat. The time elapsed long enough for a silly falling out. So when next down in London I called her and told her, blatantly that we were coming over. She found it difficult to answer her intercom and then her door. Bent over, the woman at the door could not be my mother. But she gave her radiant smile that she used for the world. “Hello, doll. I’ve got shingles and herpes on my face. God damn I can’t talk right!” “Mom. You’re a wreck.” A deep breath. I never seen her looking so poorly. “What’s really wrong? Have you been to see the doctor?” This is how we made up. Though our lanes often crossed in madness and arguments; on average, my mother, thankfully, was an easy maker up, when it came down to it, if she loved somebody enough. At least I sometimes felt in that category. In the tempestuous storms of a mother-child relationship, I would call her horrid things. Yet, if I chose to apologise she instantly forgave me. No thought involved but a sharpened smile. What do those puny poets of love say? And film writers? ‘True love means forgiveness‘. She gave me plenty of that for all my callous remarks punched into her face. But now I became speedily alarmed and nonplussed at her appearance. Crippled over, the woman who answered the door. Mom who bathed in nature, took her bunch and

brunch to Central Park, to dance amongst the daffodils, at every opportunity, now looked racked with arthritis from her spine, up to her head, down to her very toes. My mother always so physically healthy; shrunk in a day to mere, frail fragility. Yet, in sickness or health, was ardent not to give it up continuing to shop at Safeway’s across the street. She used to fall in the middle of the traffic. Her boyfriend came over. Tough as it was, and the shingles stung, she carried on leading her full life. Before our first meeting after our falling out, Dylan and I had walked through Regent’s Park, under a boulevard where the massive oak trees bordered both sides of the walkway. A violent thunder storm issued forth. The most frightening electrical furore. We could see the tips of the branches of the oaks being eclipsed in streaks of coloured, intemperate and dazzled lightening. We were scared at the power that came from a former sun shining between a few clouds, only, moments ago. We raced to find some cover at the tube station. Where death lashed out in the trees above us. I did not know it then, for I did not, yet, know the state of mum. An omen.

Minutes on and out of the rain, we rode the tube line to her place. My mother went deeper into her illness. I began phoning her every day and began visiting the capital frequently. She told me she often fell, bang, down in the middle of The King’s Road, when she went out shopping for her bread and milk. Perplexed why this could be happening to her. “Roger, why is this happening to me?” Meaning I used to be so physically fit! Dylan suggested we ring around agencies who could offer help to the afflicted. Jenny Lumbley chaired The Parkinson Disease Society and since there was no organisation meeting the needs of the people affected with Multiple Systems Atrophy, Jenny’s charity

her life could have been much more loving and complete. Jenny would also counsel as part of her job. therapists. Her eyes scrutinised the city still placidly. Home helps. She introduced us to the many services on tap. Should I hide my face? . Jenny often dropped by. Getting handrails attached onto the walls around the apartment that she could grip as she struggled later with her walking. bumping on such a dynamic. I felt a rounded warmth when I met her.also catered for these people. a marvellous help visited the flat often. The use of and obtaining wheelchairs. I am not bitter but if this fine woman had just woken to the fact that there were people out there in this warm world. For a naïve son. Too bad Mom could be such a sorrowful sod. A tall list. bodies and organisations that assisted people with their diseases and disabilities could only be great. Jenny Lumbley. My mother’s malady opened up a new skyline. downward slide. carers. The incontinence nurse came over to discuss protection. A panic button to wear round her neck and a stair lift to get up her short steps. unaware of the possibilities of help in The U. It did not bring rapture. I think I helped her a lot.. She offered her knowledge wholeheartedly. dumped and rusting. family/friends to give genuine helping hands. hawk-like. She could still independently take a bath.drifted and decaying pieces of forgotten metallicslumped. Not matronly but a compassionate being. groups of persons with similar disabilities that go out partaking in activities. she’d often go to a store and order another facelift or outrageous garment to wear in the road. massage. My practical knowledge gained in the nursing homes was expedient. offering a scope of knowledge of the services available that my mother could use. Perfect for her job.K. plotted along the sections of Mom’s tenets. Vacant car lots. doctors. dentists. Too interested in her declining beauty. the adaptation of Mom’s flat.

In one auditorium we attended. I worked in Nursing Homes. Surveying how best to get round obstacles the builders have left. We began to enjoy taking her out on London Town. ‘Tales of Autumn’ and ‘Chicago’. losing the power of her feet wasn’t easy. Matinees. being an ardent admirer of the celluloid and the floorboards. How is Melvyn Bragg going to do it when he gets older and trips on all the debris strewn in the road? Pissed off. Julianne Moore in ‘Cookies Fortune’. Bernstein and Sondheim’s ‘Candice’. I did not blush. The three of us almost became the matinee queens welding soft ice-creams from sticky fingers into scorched mouths. The area. I wondered of the state of their lounges at home. But there. Hand on my heart. Taking her places. a demolition site. I suppose they had the partner to pick up the dirty underpants. I say. the half-smoked cigarette. I thought we fall off the cliff top. she lost her empowerment and thus her dignity. Not a happy bunny. Going alone to Safeway’s could not be a solo pastime anymore. Day by day. Using the road along route from the bus stop was a tricky situation. smashing down into the English sea and there meet our . which she apparently thought too darkly lit. ‘Whistle Down The Wind’.Nobody bothered I stood within earshot. Pouting at each step on an overcast. We did. How long would she manage without the use of support or a wheelchair? I should hope as long as possible. To the cinema and theatre. My mother had to be assisted with due care by me. the steps down to our seats were too steep and we struggle. ‘Witches of Eastwick’. Negotiating with a body. Until she insulted my lover Dylan always accompanied us. Access was difficult at times. I thought about the times Mom wound the nappies around us. hot day. Across the back of Waterloo Rail to The South Bank complex.

Opening the side door of the theatre for us to use. There were ramps and there were lifts but occasionally encountering problems like the steep steps to mount again in some places of entertainment. Alerted to a plastic bottle left lying in the pathway. Alive. Careless debris to be tripped over. We had just been to see ‘Whistle Down The Wind’. Like rats waited their moment. Bad bacteria swirling my mouth. Give a risk assessment before taking Mom across London and into some of its buildings. Think of it. So easily disregarded by a person whose mother. so a safe passage ensued with as little hazard as possible. The staff were kind and helpful at Drury Lane. I wrote a complaint to London Transport. ready to attack. She fell back onto the cement of the pavement but luckily into me and nobody had been hurt. unsympathetic death awaits us.dampish deaths. the conductor who wasn’t watching pulls the brown cord indicating this vehicle to restart its journey. . Enormous impediments haunt us. I felt like swinging my feet hard at the plastic in the corner. Most theatres were handicap friendly. had no thought for another less fortunate person. When she finally became wheelchair bound. We waited for a bus on The Strand to take us back to Chelsea. I had to watch carefully at each step taken in my new education. They certainly travelled fast. hurtling past the hurdles of the audience. Taxis were usually good with my disabled mother. We almost had a bad accident. after all this activity of a life and sombre. I had never noticed in the road waited. As my mother boarded the bus. some cabbies would help us get on board while others would not. Small items. yet not crippled.

cyclonic winds. Our roles were reversed the moment I noticed Mom’s affliction. I was happy for all this wonderful support and after the play/movie we’d eat out West End in a restaurant. She had never been the one to be physically close. took out two seats in the back row for Ma’s wheelchair to fit in. Since I thought I held the hand of a . no problem. even it happened to be a posh joint we dined at. never-the-less. She took out her bridge from her teeth. I became the doting son to the witch. Downgraded to the child. Strange objects swirling in space. I got angry a lot. Pushing her wheelchair when she could not walk made me aware of how much our roles had actually changed. near her side plate. to my immense chagrin and social embarrassment.Enjoying a double bill of ‘Bringing Up Baby’ and ‘The Philadelphia Story’ at The Curzon Cinema. while I rose up to the power of the adult. Holding her hand in the road had almost made me cringe. She loved Chinese food. Brought me a curious sensation. That was illness. It became my duty to make sure she that she ate. Eating turned out to be a messy affair but I’d mop it up proudly. The cinema assistants. What couldn’t a mum been produced for me with more magnetic manners? But I did not mind the food trailing down Mom’s palate to her chest. People found the time to stare out at us through the dangerous over-crowded. When she stumbled I caught her quick. I sure hope she was grateful for all this attention bestowed upon her. Outside on the pavement of Convent Garden/Leicester Square. Soho. Pushing a sedan through the pulsating crowds of Leicester Square in the 24 hour rush felt like being near the centre of a tornado. shying away with disgust at each touch. Expensive dentistry had always been her habit and placed the offending spit on our table. Holding her hand in the street.

As expressively and punctually as two year ago. Her audience was not generous.” was her groan and nonchalance. Holding Mom’s hand in Kensington felt alien. Much of the time I was at the loss of the understanding of the diction. But couldn’t. What’s the big deal? “I went out with Margaret. Forming from the bowels of her mouth in some sort of intelligence. she’d go out without telling anybody when she was still able to do so. Encouraging words to flow. “Next time you go out please inform. Becoming increasingly difficult to express herself by the process of speech. Once when I holidayed in The Lake District she had planned to go out to the opera with her good friend.cold person. at last. It would have made me shiver in 1982. Sometimes patting her head. Whenever I visit Ullswater I remember the phone box I pass. Voice patterns captured. after much agonising. During our childhood her contact inflamed ice. The art of physically meeting was practically taboo. attempting to get the vocabulary quickly out of herself into my mastery. Margaret. someone! You might be lying in a ditch! We do care for you!” The relief of Mom being safe made me desirous to scream it . Nobody wanted to listen/hear her. An independent person. Held back. I scolded. Frustration crayoned the lining of her mouth. Only to guess at what she uttered. Only the speaker could comprehend. found out that she miraculously well and safe. Her verbal changed as the disease progressed. Locked now in a prison of words that a mind longed with fever to express. Did not think to inform anybody. Piecing a puzzle together. where I. giving her encouragement or emotional support calling her ‘dear’ became new for me. capped in her heart. gasping behind the thick curtains of suffocation and saliva.

Jenny. cut eyes. asked why did I bother? “Because you’re my Mum stupid and I only have one!” I never knew if she listened to my angry remark and took it in. Anxious that she’d be lying is some corridor of her apartment alone. giving birth to all 7 of us. This bothered me. Spending nights in casualty with a busted face. the hospital became the link with the lady who bore me. The theatre of my mother’s death. dripping onto the beige carpet. trying to sort out her grave injury. Luckily. . Nature had given her the best survival techniques. Sweating in fear if again she might be in a collapsed state but a false alarm.out all over the gallant geography. Mom unused to people caring. or in denial if they did. Then dropping casually and journeying down to the weekend-only occupied flat directly underneath. The fear of her falling gave me torment. I suppose. she’d be found. the social workers. Don’t forget I lived 200 hundred screaming miles away. I asked the caretaker to please look upstairs to check if she was all right. Managing to stabilise herself on the ground and then pulling herself slowly up by the handrails. She fell in her flat. If Mom did fall and often she would have a mishap. I wanted some lessons how to deal. I would have problems handling her end. She was strong physically. She deployed it in her illness. I knew of my frightened situation. If we still lived in a society that used the extended family unit she would not have had such lonesome troubles. At the point of her death I couldn’t cope with it. a smarting nose. Blood pressing from a broken chin. One day Mom wasn’t answering her phone. I dashed about dialling all sorts of people.

She could not wait to get home. I took more distance from the situation. Booked by my brother and sister she hated the institution. Vulnerable but undeterred living it out alone. She knew her needs and track in life. Now reading became an unbearable task so television was a . in assisted housing. Caring for an ailing/disgruntled relative is not an easy task. Finally Mom agreed to go into Nursing Care for some respite. Soon she’d need 24 hour care but she refused to dislocate herself to come up North . fragmented family I was relieved and grateful when my brother and sister became the primary carers in her life. the patients eating at their set tables in the dining-rooms. she at last had agreed to take. That’s what I thought anyhow. The phone had broken. to live near us. Many times she forgot to wear it. While I was incredibly frightened of her being shipped off to the gods. Given a panic button to use by the social services. Worry. At this late stage she wouldn’t leave a life she had built up for herself. Again she took my concern and fright in a calmness I found amazing. I worried. Being so far away made it much more difficult. Who could blame her? Her boyfriend lived in Croydon. “Everybody is so old. she did not give her death a trickle of a thought because she did not have the mechanisms to care a lot about herself. Taught all her children to read almost before they could walk. Unable to now read must have been hard. No other way was going to suit her. From a large. She complained. My mother had to get used to adaptation and her family had to get used to adaptation.The porter found my mom watching telly.” My family were all glad of this step. Shaking hands could not hold the page to a once ardent fan of the printed word. She at once declined the offer. worry.

sunken in her seat. I did social science at college several times. I spoke to the back of her head while I pushed her to the cash machine or home again. Life had arrived in a form I never knew before with mama. bent low on my haunches. High up. Shattered into mortification in not using the correct body language when addressing my mother. ‘Coronation Street’. The therapist demonstrated to Dylan. I sometimes used wheelchairs inside the nursing homes but it was all different outside in a crowded capital and when it happened to be your own relative disabled! God the brevity of life kept hitting my top. my brother and myself how to use the new equipment. One of my mother’s physiotherapists took us out to the street. Taking her out on The King’s Road. don’t talk down to me. Talking to her perched. Her wheelchair had arrived.helpful distraction. My mother sat in the chair while we practised. for God’ sake. “Roger. Underneath her white. But she didn’t like.” I thought back to something I learned on the care course. I grimaced all over. How to get it safely and with ease. The emotion slapped me in the face when you are pushing a cripple you care for in a wheelchair. On conversing with a patient you always speak on the same level as them. somewhere from the energetic. Too late now. The moment of buying her a £1. In respect I should have been talking to her face. imposing block of flats we took notes. ‘Neighbours’ and ‘Eastenders’. Yes.00 icecream had been lost on the chaotic pavements of Chelsea. I should have known better. ‘Emmerdale’. low down. It wasn’t simple but once I picked up the knack it turned out to be okay. below where she lived. on and off the curbs. shafting rays of the sultry sun Apollo made his enunciation. .

Now take your eyes off her!” I had an incident relating. a fellow walked with his companion. and I am not an ageist. Now on The King’s Road and this piece of observation was miserable. As her face wrinkled. It took me straight down to The King’s Road before she died.the crowds of audience stared out the spectacle because she was a handicap. There I encountered a dodgy situation. I presumed with no malice or sinister curiosity attached. they smarted at her outlandish attire. Because on horseback and wearing prescription sunglasses she valorously rode the trade winds of the top class holiday brochures up till two years ago. A woman with a walking difficulty. In goggling out their victim the culprit did not obviously feel any shame. I would get so mad at the rambling public I’d almost blurt out. Revenge described the look she throttled back at me. “She’s a person too. Around this reservoir coming in the opposite direction. I would have liked to gorge eyes out. My right. Mum in her wheelchair. I thought so anyway. Then as she grew older. .People stared at my mother because she was a wheelchair user. her array of coloured clothes became more pronounced and assertive. Last week I took my dog out for a walk to Dovestone Reservoir. No more going to Heathrow and independently boarding a jet. I looked innocently enough. I never minded an eccentric. People had admired my mother in the street once upon a time. Betty Davis. A beautiful woman. Lana Turner and Lauren Bacall. near The West Yorkshire Border.

We would take my mother across the road to Chelsea Army Barracks in the wheelchair. While here I am admiring the drama blowing round us. of you and me sitting in the Tower ballroom looking so wow. “Hey. Besides this woman suffering the hardship of her walking difficulty. “Blackpool Tower! You remember it? That picture in your flat. Mom! Guess where we are?” When she answered. Straight into the pupils of her eyes. on your dresser. mien set on her lips. He’s a nurse. Hey. A very angry woman indeed. They won’t go. let me talk to Dylan about my herpes and shingles. I did not own a mobile yet. angry Irish Sea serenaded by those Lancashire wailing gales best found at any famous sea front. Dialling the digits from a red telephone box. Where she’d practise walking. back home. They both get into rapport about shingles. And overlooking an extremely. The last time I visited the resort the government were building walls and shoring up the . The sea’s awash right near our feet and it’s great talking here with you!” “Hi.” I pass the telephone to my good partner. Pushing the chair along as support with her stubborn “I an not defeated yet”. she suffers her citizens’ prying insensitivity. a discussion with my partner made me realise that probably all through her wounded life the woman who walked around The Reservoir has to cope with people staring at her lower limb. The doctors can’t do anything. Rog!” “How are you?” “Not so great.Later. From the top of Blackpool Tower calling my mother. He might know.

beach to stop the rising tides from flooding Blackpool proper. Age sneaked up on him and as Mom’s illness progressed he needed to lose a bit of interest. Her words sounded far away. And by the bible. But the career told me she wanted to speak to me urgently. It seemed that Mom never would desert us. I found this quite puzzling and conflicting. “Rog. Throughout her illness until she died. That part she complained most about. He stayed over twice a week. Mom could barely speak into the instrument. my mother and Alan watched the fireworks from the balcony of her flat. One of Mom’s carers phoned me. I am the lucky boy. Alan lived on the other side of London and wasn’t able to give her all the support that she required.” . garbled. Come soon. Did Jesus once walk over some water? There were two fantastic carers to care for her when an autonomous life became out of the question. She had a partner. She had moved sweetly into the next century. the shingles on her face was more painful than the Multiple Systems Atrophy. As much as me she wanted to live forever. But in all fairness he stood there till the end. Unbelievably she took HRT until the end. Small housing against the solid backdrop of the new skyscrapers. miracles can happen. Then I think of one of the possible titles of my story‘The Confusing Dilemma Of My Somewhat Disconnected Mother’ On New Year’s Eve. Always a good view of London. which I must study some day. They had a relationship that had grown but they still lead separate lives. Imagine London had been contained once within walls and surrounded by farming.

The single syllable of it always makes me tingle knowing the user of my sobriquet thinks endearment towards me. Underneath my shirt collar I knew Mom had at last found the hardboiled route to her death. For prosperity I chronicle it. No messy doctors being the prophet calculating how many years she had left on this earth. I saw the end. My mother was extremely ill by now but picked up when she saw me. The End My mind the camera screening the scene of the flowers chiselled out in their soft hardness in the soiled and wet beds in a park in Kensington and Chelsea. Her carer took the afternoon off to look after her own poorly mum.I love people to call me by my nickname. I thought nothing of Mom’s request but hopped on a train when my next day off from waiting permitted. Pirouetting amongst her late nights and the flowers in the park where she all wheeled and walked and natured us once. A jaunt I know she’d love a few street away. Back on The King’s Road. we sat ourselves outside a café. I evaded the end. The coloured variety of the blossom hit against their dark green stem. Like Audrey Hepburn she’s still dancing. Roger. It’s relays good affection. It came to me in that park in Chelsea.” In my head Mom’s still alive. Rog. I took her to the park. Mom was the first one I remember to use it. I couldn’t lie anymore. She had taken her grandchildren there in healthier times. The camera memorising my Mum sitting in a wheelchair. I must have been in denial. I write it down with my plumed pen. We both had a Danish . “They’re so beautiful.

My mother sitting in her wheelchair. So we squeezed up crowded isles. my mother and her purse would be missing. leaving my mother’s handbag hanging lazily from a handle of her chair. She had the chance to go out so little. Flowers as a beautiful backdrop. sparkling up from the dirt. But I reasoned anybody who can drink coffee as a daily requirement in their life. Hungry too. Her carers would get all her needs and supplies. She’d point out to the gravely laden shelves and I’d oblige by gracefully dropping the merchandise into her small creel. Don’t forget the violent society and then when I get back to her.Pastry. Each piece of airless space owned by this corporation cost in the region of a million pounds at least. six o’clock evening. The shop being too hot and aggressive for the crippled . I get claustrophobic on an empty beach. is not going to go to rest in their coffin just yet. Thankfully all was fine. move out of the way and I have to get home or I’ll have a nervous breakdown!” Wheelchair or not. I would have panicked. as my urine pours forth. Going inside the café to use the toilet. Safeway’s was packed with the throngs of office workers who lamented by their halfclosed-frozen eyes: “ I’ve just had a terrible day. We were the anti-thesis to this slick set of town dwellers. A free Danish Pastry with every cup of coffee brought. The perfect opportunity for her to do some shopping. on The King’s Road. I had got a whiff of human decay in the park gathered with the buds of this April day. When someone is hungry I say: “Well Being!” An offer was on in the shop. I become frightened of my carelessness. With a shopping basket on her lap. At some point she became feverish and unsettled. Mom wanted to go to Safeway’s. she couldn’t have been in much pain.

” “Take deep breaths. the chocking lessened to a steady cough. I worked in catering in Manchester and I clung to my waiting vocation. I could see she still had difficulty breathing. I had to get home. Cause they just had such a good time saying goodbye to the tart. indifferent to humanity. we are protected against the invasion of death. at last conquering check-out. People filed in the lounge celebrating at the body’s demised wonder. Mom.” “Take deep breaths.and a lot of others included. But sadly not ours. We got out of the shop. Being my sanity in a crumpled world and of course my partner would also hold me steady. “And with surety he’ll find someone to tease in the next life. My soul protected itself against the final fountain of the plunge into her illness.” At last.” The process of dying and it’s announcement is too sheltered in our daily wanderings. her announcement into the entrance of her denouement. She started chocking. Immediately I took her away from the check-out into a corner which wasn’t much quieter. In our western society. Everybody cheering and then getting drunk at the pub next door. Now the breathless are immediately packed into a fridge so their presence is antiseptically hidden. Billie Holiday singing ‘You’re My Thrill’. As we crossed the thronged. I needed my routine. sunshine of the rushing street. The deceased were laid out in the living rooms of their former abode. When I die I want a long chain of mourners dancing. I could not be nervous. Some societies healthfully champion death as one of life’s processes. My father told me and not once his remembrance. The chocking. My mind raced numb as we took the lift to the third floor. To Dylan and to work tomorrow. “Hold on. . I was the nurse.

I lived in a sudden and cruel two dimensional world. My mother said she was always late. No tears but all the same I wanted to do away with myself. Her individuality cut at life. Make sure you wear the right gear for the chilly wind outside. Mom died in 2002. I couldn’t cope with the unfairness of the fact that society had not prepared me for my mother’s death. “But you go Roger. But was willing to be left alone. the beginning of her going. Too long.Tucked under the carpet. I am bewildered I became so changed from the onset of her illness to her ending. I did not know how to react. Too cool. Minutes ago she had been chocking madly across the street and had difficulty breathing. The next time would be at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital.” Obviously getting uptight. She at once ascertained my restless behaviour though I would not leave her alone in the apartment where anything might happen. “Make sure you wear a jumper. From an over anxious caring son to a caring and sedate person. I wouldn’t. My mind echoed. That’s was my acknowledgement she passed to heaven. She sure had charisma. I shudder at the strength. always astonished this lad. I guess. I had a lost ‘identity crisis’ on a slow burner till 2007. Chocking. So when is does inevitably happen we are not ready for it.” A chocking fit in a supermarket lead her to near death ferocity and she told me it would be okay to be left alone. I’ll be alright. You have a train to catch. We both waited for the carer to arrive back once I pushed her into her flat and she took the stair lift up the short steps to her lounge. She hung on and agonising for all of us hung on and hung on. It hurt as several family members . She became more settled once home but still was shaky. It must have been painful.

But actually to look after her own poorly Mom. short lungfuls down into her chest. She wanted to see me urgently. I never cried when my mother died. Making sure she used the toilet. Two full time carers had moved into the flat. It became very difficult to talk on the telephone. But one day there was urge in my mother’s mumblings. Before Lulu went we got my mother dressed. doing shifts between them. one of the carers. The haste of wanting me to be with her I surmised: she might know the waves were coming. I had been a bit fed up recently. Two Ways I never cried when Mom died. A drip attached to her face. looking after her. Coming down to London. I think my mom knew she was going to die. Jane/Lulu would have to explain what would be on my mother’s mind. It was 24 hour care. handing the reins to my bother and sister who were happy to take over.gathered round the hospital bed. Her spirits were good. I bossed out as soon as I reached her flat: “Mom! We are going out!” Lulu who cared that day went off to have a break. Positive spirits help body&soul in times of dire illness. Her speech had not been easy to decipher at the good times when she felt better. She did not seem much worse. Catching. She deserves The George Cross. Shoes . the way she treated my partner and I had stepped back from her cause a little. When calling London.

People out and about gasped at the early arrival of the season. Whose fixed rays of sun were priceless and not going to give up their robust radiation until the advent of twilight. Shouting. I admired the planted organisation of the flowers by artistic gardeners. Isobars that never were going to disperse. I liked spring in London or in any big city. This and Mom’s last days.gracefully clamped onto swollen toes. Dogs digging. Nannies happy but shouting at their pre-Eton charges. Yesterday held stout tones of chilliness. Pushing her to the small park with the church built in the middle. A day of promise coming by layers through the young leaves of the springfull trees. This was to be a lasting memory. The children. Blue potted in beds. On the brightest of days. Patiently working with her. Listening to the children playing. Ready to go out. A star shone on the other side of the world for us. momentous and I kept on harping on to her: “Wasn’t this good?” Just brilliant to be out in the capital of the world on such a capital . I love the sun on my cold body. the dogs. We said goodbye to Lulu. I felt so attuned with the weather. at last transferring her to the wheelchair. It’s freshness seemed to give me the edge of something that I would saviour. watching the glowing growth of the florets. Positioning the wheelchair directly in the face of the sun. dogs of famous and rich owners growling. My mother wasn’t dying on a spring morning. A moment. I would have liked to shout gospel. The swift shafts of light polished the concrete streets and pavements of West London. Not one like the picture of Joan Crawford dead on the beach in California.

She had done for half a century of my as this one. grumbling at the exorbitant prices in the smooth. she shopped thrifty. the lens. I had one now. Out of her eyes her dimple twinkled. mischievous grin that pronounced and reflected her anima . My eyes. Anyhow I got busy recording. Would she die like Eleanor Rigby in Liverpool? Nobody came. She didn’t this time. Part of her make-up. Coming out of the small plot of a park. I can’t divorce her from that wide smile. People looked at me proudly attending my mum. I half expected her to dismantle the bridge securing of her front teeth. after removing one of the chairs. The customers watched in support. and the sun. And back again along The King’s road to a café with tables and chairs arranged on the pavement. Memorising that elevated beam for all time. I never had kids. the park in the district of Kensington…. I sauntered inside the café getting two mugs of coffee and a couple of Danish pastries. Mom loved a bargain. compared to Central Park/Hyde Park anyway. She loved nobody. We decide to get something to eat and a cup of coffee. Pushing her wheelchair up to an empty table. No matter how much money she had accumulated along the way. We never got as far as ‘Tiffany’s’ She ate sloppy. With the happy. the dogs. I remember window shopping downtown with her in Manhattan. She hadn’t been brought up that way. This was her tragedy. Soaking up the spilled coffee with her serviette. I must have felt an end. glassed displays. Some moved for me and others smiled in concern. The . Mom smiled. Placing a napkin on her chest. Nobody cared. I know she would be dead but for an instant I felt a valuable person on Planet Earth. So French and open air. The pastry was free with each mug of coffee purchased. directing my mind the recorder. Brushing crumbs off her lips or chin.

Needing to use the toilet. They could just as easily steal my mum if some thief chose to.filled isles of commerce. She managed all her pastry and most of the coffee which she hadn’t shakily spilled. Most of her empowerment had dissolved with her not being able to get out much anymore. All I remember is that at the check-out she started spluttering. They lived out on a class of their own.. I counted. To use in the slave market in Paraguay. Not including the viperous stares. Decay in her refrigerator like all those unread novels stored in her guest room.” . She wouldn’t use it. I left my mother’s white bag swaying from over a handle of the wheelchair.two. Needing a few things myself we struggle up the narrow-over. While I urinated in the gents I kept worrying to myself: “Bet that bag will be gone when I get back. I pulled mom out of the queue.” She always held huge sums of money in her purse. Just in case. When I got back from my toilet both my mother and her property were intact. Her coughing turned into a impenetrable chocking. Safeway’s was packed.older women understood best. I don’t know what we brought. Our plight happened as the midst of them scrambled to get home as quick as they could. We got in a corner where I got her to take deep breaths. Banker cards too. “One. I have a middle aged man’s weak bladder.. We were heading for Safeway’s for things for her to buy. She directed to me what I should pull off the shelves. Heaven beckoned and how uncomfortable amongst all these rush hour office workers. She was a prisoner. for her great getaway I guess. calling her. Coughing into the other world.three. I am not sure if she got a panic attack.

My distressed brother phoned several times. She became more evenly settled at her flat. I had not been close to my brothers and sisters for a while but I . There was another room close to the one that my mother occupied that my family could take turns sleeping in. She always grumbled about drinking large quantities of the stuff.three. The Funeral It would be a slow death at the hospital.two. I got her to drink some water. Century-rushed had no time for us. One.” my mother accusingly warned.“Please. Safe territory. Lulu would be back by 6:45. She watched TV and I waited for Lulu to arrive back. Produce piled too high. Mom. 21st. “She has only a few hours. Isles too marrow.. I had enough. Due to catch the 7:30 train back up North. Shoppers.” I ran to London. “She’s always late. “It always wakes me up to pee in the night!” Made her some tea and put the groceries away. Another false alarm.” “Try harder. Mum chocking.” Maybe it took half a minute but she managed to get her breathing down to normal (I thought anyway). Mom.. Helping my mother back in her custom made chair. I paid the bill and we went for the door.

come to. murmur incoherent words and then go off somewhere. Space everywhere. I asked the nurses if she was comfortable and they replied in the affirmative. pass out. Stupidly she still . I began praying Mom would just pass away. God let her drift. Like I said it took ages to die. It had started with her chocking in the supermarket. Built like a huge ship. Breathing had become shallow and haphazard. By her slight eye movement she noticed people in the room. I work in The NHS but I could not believe its plush. Chelsea and Westminster Hospital I could not fault. The pain must have been almost impossible. Breathing would stop and then start again. Even at the point of death this lady was a tough cookie. ‘Do Not Go Gently Into The Night’. I learned at all the nursing homes that I had worked in that morphine is the last resort and in most cases it is the final alternative. Not at all like Safeway’s. I would not want to die like that. Unbearably hesitant. Not a bad aura.was really grateful for what they were doing. I looked at the glassed and metal roof space and I could be in a spacious five star hotel. Opened windows. She must have read that Dylan Thomas poem once. I presume into the vicinity of the unknown where we. The care was superb. She did not plan to go easily: she did not make herself simple for the taking. the relatively healthy are not allowed to trespass yet. My bothers and sisters and myself stopped chatting mid-air as her breathing lost rhythm again. Death was difficult. A drip positioned injecting her with morphine. You could have poured a boiling kettle of water over my feelings. Doctors and the nurses flourished here in starched efficiency.

but they made these ladies linger and carry on for to long. Touched at the woman’s passion for me but I still wondered angrily why the Health Service forced people to remain alive just for the ‘life is best’ reasoning. I sat next to her then I had been flying Away in the expanse and then came back to sit by her side again. It’s not when . Inhumanity at its worst. by the struggling female patient and held her hand while she twisted and shouted and sweated on the bed. For several minutes had a better frame of time. I watched the soul disappear marching up some stairs. Edna was a cancer victim. Which kept her needlessly alive and aware and alarmingly in so much agony. I had tended Edna at The Nursing Home in Stalybridge. at times. In sharp pain. I had got quite close to Edna during her time at the home. that she had just dreamed about me. diligently tending her. Once Edna woke up. But the woman was hitched up with too much drugs in her system to let her die untroubled. Her thinking must have been mangled up. hurting nobody? What was her crime for making her aimlessly hold on for so long? I sat. I loved my job as a carer. She declared to me. Rolling on the bed withering in immense discomfort was going to be her last shot of life. Awful and tell me where’s god’s love and the world’s dignity and respect for Edna? Who lived a long fruitful life.lived under the comfortless appliance of drugs. I knew all too clearly when the nursing management administered the morphine she would be swooning and sailing on the not coming back to share breakfast with us anymore.

Swiped me with a Brillo pad: I’d not flinch. If she had been alive. I considered still seeing the movie-show. Since I have found that a lot of daughters and sons have not cried for their mums. It wasn’t shock. Water would not gush straight down from my face. No more herpes and no more panging of the memories of how my dad treated her. though she liked me sitting there sometimes.” A splattering noise came from Obert’s tonsils. No luck. I stood up tearless in my court. Doing a management course at night school. She was gone but I had built up a closer relationship with my scattered siblings spewed across the globe during the impending crisis. and it wasn’t because so long I had been expecting it to happen. I just wanted to stay in the queue and enjoy the film. telling me how struck she had been at her mother’s death. so that when it came I had been already socialised into it. Right there. I told her back. she’d be sitting at the table with us. The anger and pain stayed away. Edna. Appropriate. I became worried about not crying at her death. Later that night my partner and myself went downtown for a Chinese Buffet. No more shingles on her face. A friend had cried. No body had died before in our nuclear unit. A deliverance my mother passed. We listened to a tape of Stephen King driving down to London. I studied during the morning of my mother’s’re in such torturous pain. I was buying a ticket for the cinema at Belle Vue when Obert phoned. No more pain in trying to get pipes of air into her bosom. celebrating her life with us. It came back to haunt me in other ways. couldn‘t be happy being still mortal. . “Mom died at 2:30. ‘Bag Of Bones’. We ate in her honour. holding her trembling and worn fingers.

April. Now I wanted in the wings for yet another nervous breakdown. Right for the making of a poem. Thinking of the woman lying in state. I stood at the intrusion of two polar comparisons. blossoming an uncooperative eternity. Comfortless and unrelenting. The green grass of the small square of the common appeared menacingly big as if it might hold the solutions. I lived a parallel life. Before the service. a few streets away. sucking into itself.” I had the experience of not being able to pass water. At one point I saw the unfriendliness of the parade of death and I wavered on that plane. Crisp. You will. To whom I was addressing. A enormous space of land. For much more than an hectare of an acre the humble public ground expanded. All this while the reality of life coiled. That we are never ready for. stoical and cold and not answering my questions. And cannot accept. While . The twinkling air whisked its way down into my soul. putting a test on my disposition. we stood overlooking a common.“It’s good when you can cry. It‘s like a monastic miracle. London couldn’t have been kinder. snapping back. cut in two. as my living entity’s eyes roamed along the tops of the tips of grass. I wanted succour in some answer. so it seemed. near the crematoria in Chiswick. Death had taken me to another level.” It trickled in different quarters. the sky luminous. I don’t know. Even if it’s ten years on. Asphyxiated with the sheer slicing of the futility of a life. I looked out to the grazing grass and the hardness of life pulled on me. being early. a few minutes away. bigger than the prairies in America or Brazil wound itself round and round. How quickly it will evaporate: this breeding and heart beating. A beautiful bright day. “I can’t cry about my mum!” “You will. A few months later I still tell Linda. metamorphosing into some solemn kind of oblivion.

Or he will experience an horrific illness. “Silly sod. This was terrifying. Holding Obert’s hand at special times during the service.on more realistic sands of time life beckoned me to become normal again. A Peggy Lee song. Reading out a poem I had composed in my mother’s honour. Mom’s partner gave me a picture he had drawn of her. I was hurt but I would not let the tears roll down my chest. Dylan and myself had the wake on a motorway service going north. up to his dirty tricks. piercing noise of death rolled and pushed up against me again just like on the common a few moments ago. My intestines had acknowledged I’d not be seeing her again. all stood beside the coffin in front of the chapel. I said words to that effect twice as the bolting. For some reason searching for her birth certificate. I muttered in anguish as Jenny turned to see the suffering. I think somebody gave me an arm to hold. I felt cold turkey for those harrowing moments. Lulu and Jane. Difficult to explain my feelings in Chiswick that spring day. Her friends. . most of mom’s children were there. Linda wanted to know from Dylan if I cried yet. I don’t want to see this!” I did not accept that she lay deep down inside that plush piece of wood.” Was her philosophy. In how to extract teeth. “This is not fair. The funeral was popular. his wife. Up north. Jenny Lumbley. I was touched. Obert. the only one who got acknowledgement.‘Is That All There Is?’ Where was my divorced father during this important history and upset? No doubt. He’s got to cry.

Too embarrassed to bring mates home to the house we now lived in. I mean. Dad didn’t bother to ever lock. Mom would . We had been used to being rich. Once more in my life I became the lost. I watched Judy Garland’s last televised concert live from a motel bedroom as we carousel down in the car to Key West once. I dreamt about Lilly-Anne. Jewish community? Ostracised because of our lack of the dollar. We rented an enormous. Twelve years old and running across the street to catch some cloth outstretched in Dad’s paw and smack it stained the side of my head. real-rich. Part 2 Miami We were poor living out there on Miami Beach. Mexican-type villa. who’d want to thieve from paupers? Who’d steal from a slum-stricken lot habituating in a slick.At indifferent phones exchanges in Switzerland or France. wandering boy sole because no matter how muddled my parents had confused me I wanted the blessing of crying and crawling at her state of eradication. Its surf pushes against our poverty. run down. I grew a closeness to Mom because of the car accident.

sitting Hollywood-style. despised her dour clothes and the smudge of her ‘pound store’ make-up. Grand opera turned to stink. hope polished from her face as we step off the city bus. a jet plane ride away from the luxurious mountains of Mexico where we lived a few years ago. I point at the wrong house. I did not know of the struggle or realise how unfulfilled a woman/person she felt. in keen disappointment. She had no honour and it made me throb that our middle-class visions of perfume and comfort had dropped to new heights of lowliness. Serving out our supper. I grimaced at her humiliation. Afterwards she must have picked herself up. I barely spoke to her as we walk back to our living quarters for our hungry supper of Hungarian goulash/rabbit stew. She did not shave under her armpits. even though the good woman made sure there was enough food lain out in the cupboard for the 9 of us. Her . Today they’d put her on suicide watch in some government-run mental care hospital. proudly across to where I actually slept at. Dad borrowed the money for our grub. I just wanted to vomit out my disgust at us being broke. But there waved Mom on the front dilapidated screened veranda. She stops and lets me get out. vegetables and salads and silent. Or sometimes running home we’d find her hunched over the front lawn. A brave face for us. She loved us in Miami. singing round a big dinner-table. To my horror she cut the grass with a pair of scissors. Nine blind eating eagerly at her stew. sugarless sweets.wait for us. her optimism outshining the scrubby space of weed she clipped. My teacher drove me home from school. She attempted to take her life a few times on the strip of everglades. I was already a snob and with true passion. I borrowed a pink majestic house. when the roughness cut at her heart at too fine a point. That was kept under wraps.

What a fucking. brothers and sisters and me gingerly climb over the wall of vegetation flung from the huge tree. head on in fury. as calm as a sunny day in any hot resort. My role was . The lady sped away back into her own territory. Our giant tree out at the side of our house just missed our tiled spanish roof. by a close shave. going on her way. My teacher grew perplexed underneath her sun-burnt freckles. My mother. My blood pressure rocketed sky high in my passion for my brethren’s safety. “Liar!” I slunk away to my waiting-arms-outstretched mother. We watched the news at 2 in the morning as Hurricane Cleo rips Miami Beach apart. Those eyes still scare and haunt me. My teacher delivers me one last retort of her incredulous. as she rounded the corner.” She’d protect him. but Dad could not get his car out the driveway the next morning. I felt found out. stupid fellow! He should look before crossing the road.delight at seeing my arrival back on the street yelled out my secret to Florida’s Education System. “Dad’s out. The plant’s debris littered everywhere on the ground out in the front. we didn’t believe in for saving us. She did not give a damn where her student lived! She must have thought the ghetto was nice! And in surprise.earning money to feed us and clothe you. I confront him. Obert was almost run over the day before the accident happened. The eye of the tropical storm restored us back to normality before the outer sphere of the crushing gales came hurdling back to our centre and brought more devastation. through her car window she shouted as if she couldn‘t figure me out at all that day. Thanking a god. “Thank God!” Mom stuck up when Dad could not be with us.. mocking eyes.

We fought cat and dog. shivering. I was jealous of him but this incident taught me that I cared deeply for him too. Mom. He needed cash or the medics of the state would not even consider operating on me. Mount Sinai Hospital was built near the causeway.supposed to be a responsible. Dad called out to me standing at the bus stop ready to board the coach. stinging. Unconscious for two days and in semi unconscious for a fortnight. The authorities had already moved me to a charity hospital. it was a 9th world wonder for us dilapidated Americans. I just skipped out in front of the . Dad had to sell the grand piano our fingers had been taught on. “Roger! You forgot this!” His urgent calling uprooted me right across the street to his grasp and what happened seconds before and the moment of impact became a blank interstice. Nature being kind wanted me to forget the scab of the red-bloodied. Eventually when we settled in Britain in our world-wide quest for Dad’s financial success and saw the free medicine given out and free medical care. I had left some article I needed for elementary school at home. But they did not have to operate on my broken skull after all. my brain content had split open. Rope climbing at the gym in school was the first in a chain of events. I can’t visualise Dad at the other side of the road ever calling out to me. Here my memory goes haywire. Doris. I guess. older oldest sister and sometimes her friend all trawled in to visit me at the hospital. To remember the sensation would be nightmarish. Obert looked at me dumbstruck. The clothing flapping at his wrist. And not being able to hold much. so I was told. That brought burns to my scalding hands disabling me from tying my shoes properly the next morning after breakfast.

Sitting there.” While I recovered begging her to come and be with me. I became news on the radio that day. She got a school book of mine. Re-runs of ‘I Love Lucy’ aired on the telly during the Miami mornings. Telephoning Mom from the pay phone in the hospital’s hallway at 6 o’clock most mornings. She never lost heart with us in Miami. “Mom when are you coming to see me. hoping for me to rise up and laugh too. Dragging my voice to the speaker. mature sense: if I had passed into the next dimension I’d never know about it. from her European holiday. trying to get a piece of diary back into the U. picking in merriment at the side of my head. I do recall the part of a show where Lucy smuggles cheese on board an aerocraft. I reasoned with my calmed. Whining for her to come and sit with her wee lad. The Whimpy chain had never been safe while we ate in them. he could not stop properly in time and in time’s end it gashed. We’d have wheelchair races along the corridor of Mount Sinai as my health improved. Whatever. about . Maybe the driver of the car had bad breaks. Crunched to a crushed sack of potatoes. both get hysterical at the sitcom star’s antics. But maybe I recollect it from another channel in another era entirely.S. Down that part of my body had been paralysed from my brain injury. The Perrin’s wrecking every joint they got into.waiting bus to my papa’s gesticulating hands without thinking of the oncoming traffic coming at me on the other side of the liner. I was never scared of death when I arose safely back into life. Mother taught me how to write and make my right side move again. Mom and Doris tried all kinds of methods to wake me up. disguising it-dressed up as a baby. As usual. Doris pushed her brother and her friend steered along another patient. Somehow.

Maybe I was born with too much chromosomes in my garters. bullied and maltreated with the labels of the dispossessed. Dad must have been empathetic. her slender hands picks off the bookcase and then pushing a pen in my hand she encourages me to write. return to. I did not hate myself for being whatever I aimed for. diurnally torched. I knew justice would be served out some day.Science. I continue to exercise to bring the strength of power back into my limbs. Slogans such as ‘girl. I became effeminate. But I can’t blame my discord on my injury entirely. Like us. as my friends made their gallant goals into the soccer nets. dedicated pursuit to make me stronger and well again. glittering shamefully in the colour. It all helped to build me into the person I am today. As my mates played football on the rectangle of grass nearby. My mother never mentioned my tangled up gender. but during the next two to three years back to New York and later when we settled in Scotland. pansy. She touched my handicap. I hung my head at my encroached passivity against their aggressiveness in sport. hit hard at my heart. at last. Because the black bloke was penniless. Good training though. how to be different and actually cope with its torture. In an adjacent field I wielded steel weights. She did not falter in her delicate. And could not afford to fix his . Being the sore plum with blooded veins on his face. I always felt in the middle of a storm where my peers laughed. much harder than the physical. effeminate’. I hated it back at school when I had to. I am not stating that it was Miami or the car accident that brought about my girlish glances. it’s purple. I don’t know. Mom and Pops told me to forgive the driver when we both had to appear in court. For sure the cruel world and even some members of my family gladly dished it out.

Doris convinced them. He pointed out to us how to make the character appear close up or distant on the paper. Everybody has one!” Dad and me watched as the teacher showed us his methods on the different perspectives of drawing from his studio on The Miami Mainland. Our salient and circumnavigate chief busied himself. He disciplined us at mom’s call. I can’t remember too much about him during this southern period of my life. A psychiatrist doctor displayed a stack of cards to my face. “It will make us smart. Though we were not wealthy he still took long haul disappearing often for the usual time. giving me the immediate all clear for a well-balanced-mentally-stabled adolescent. I don’t know if dad had girlfriends but he made himself unreasonably scarce. His sparkling eyes raved into the depths of me. This incident which I sometimes visit was the only time my Dad and me were ‘physically’ part of a family. .slippery brakes that week. at last in Miami. He was inspiring me to use the pencils after my mishap also. I touched him. Getting enough money to feed us in Miami. I do commemorate this about him: Television on Miami Beach boasted an education channel. to purchase us one.lapse of a week or maybe more. Dad’s arm slung broadly across my shoulder. My parents had been very slow in buying us a television. The fellow was so happy as we both stood before the sweltering judge in the Magistrate’s Court. in his office. I smelt him. They said it thwarted our knowledge.

my icon in a remote and intimidating society I had no chance of connecting with. Did Beth ever knew what became of me? We made a pact to share tomorrow with each other.Had some real feeling for him. To my distress.questionable. All the fashion to own one that decade. Standing up well and stoutly. The night before the prom we talked with excited anticipation.gender and I’d hold the glitzy and miniature toy through my insomniac nights against my nose in my bed. I‘d find her or him at last. A green-skinned. Florida. Jello aided me through the harrowing moments of being different and alone in Miami. I liked its trans. Now Beth and me arranged to go to the graduation at the ending of term and junior school that year. We spoke many times on the telephone. ‘Jello’ was my baby. sometimes I’d lose the object. Next year were the steps to High School. It had been our one vigorous dream living out there on Miami Beach. You can imagine how good that doll with its blue matching hair. I sensed it would be bad news out of his big lips and breath. iggy became my passion. monstered. to go back to The Empire State. Long I had fitted into the role of a social outcast. Dad towered in the dining-room as we ate. “Where are you babe?” My brothers and sisters would hear me calling out in insane. Hit the dollar bill and get rich and comfortable. Tomorrow morning we were to fly back to New York. smiling in the dining-room dresser amongst the cruets and cutlery minding her or his own business. jewelled. Whimpering into my stout loneliness calling out in cupboard and draw. I’d hate misplacing ‘Jello’. urgent undertones. A girl interested in me? Mad about Beth. Where our Mama did not .

” “Say goodbye to your pals. for the sleek airport. I wanted to bite back in the big apple. He had it in his make-up anyway. Malfunctioning where I was going to. Due to missing too much schooling because of my accident down South. Arson in my heart. I’d imagine Dad strangling Mom in their double bed as I burst open the door in the Big City one Tuesday morning. I still fight with Miranda about those competing and self- . I cried all night. Tears on my pillow. She suffered enough on Miami Beach and had her dose of the Florida peninsular She wanted to socialise at The Met again. Sometimes my life paced on these upward mobile patterns: as soon as times loomed hopeful.have to cut the grass and weeds with a cruddy pair of scissors. “That’s tough. In New York I was put back a year to the same grade as my younger sister. he could’ve at least with humanity waited a week. son. once again. to the next stop off in my life. The red trucks watch us land. sick and ready to kiss Miami goodbye for good. No ifs and no buts from the child department about his bad timing. curtailing any hope of my success or happiness in that specialised region I aimed for. We were going tomorrow. Presumably the undercarriage had caught fire. He shouted down my protests for being unreasonable. Shattered at his wrong doing.” Mom held back her teeth and let her man get on with it. I look out the plane’s windows. Imagine what that does to the lad’s self-esteem. down would come the curtain. I see several fire engines waiting as we begin our emergency descent. Though too. The dislocated Perrins take off from Miami Airport. It wasn’t going to be easy leaving the tropics. too hurt at Dad to care about fire engines.

unnecessary years.loathing. Part 3 . But I got back to life at 54.

Don’t do that!” Her eyes told me I was an obnoxious slob from any low lying gutter in Paris. Where it would be more private than doing it on the floor of a council owned Gents Toilet. Did Mom become part of the free thinking movement about sexuality then in them far-off days? Did she accept in an intermittently disturbed and aspirin-rotting mind the unorthodox as a matter of course? Caught in The Hilton Hotel for wrong doing. Giving the bloke his directions and told him in no uncertain whispers I’d follow him into the foyer’s toilets of the skyscraper hotel. The shine of the white tiled floor mirrored our steps as we marched onwards. France. Rats included. in waiter’s anticipation put on . moaning loudly as I use the ironed floral serviette to blow my nose: “Where’s your manners Roger.V.Pink Justice One of their in-crowd who hung out and about with them in New York was a gay ballet dancer called Zachary. Her loud Yankee jutted off the diner’s walls breaking a few champagne glasses. spending her thrifty.T. Having sex in a steaming-whitehygienically-proven-clean cubicle with an older man. We’d watch his blonde.C. And paranoia. This was before C. After picking each other up in the nearby public conveniences at Hyde Park Corner. The posh restaurant the hotel boasted where the good woman never forgets to remind me. We thought he was absolutely beautiful. rich penny pieces. We all loved Zackary. curling hair flap anywhere he happened to strut with his graceful legs and distinguished ways. Ha! Ha! The same hotel where Sonny and Cher had got in so much bother several years earlier. My mother had treated me at Trader Vic’s many times. At 19 year old.

situated not far up the lane from The Dorchester Hotel. The deeds of my act mightily stunned his capped teeth and harassed lips. Our opponent faces us. He brought me down to my knees by his rhetoric.holed office. Urgent fist shook at the door. did his best to bring me down swiftly to the criminal class. Her voice waves weaved its passage round the carpeted room. My mother’s attempt to list me could be elaborate. My partner gingerly opens the metal latch while I continue my pretence over water. I. The house detective of The Hilton Hotel. At the end of her complaint sprung a guttural “tut-tut”. The man the other side of the door only was the house detective demanding to know what we were up to. It wasn’t working. He wasn’t enquiring nicely. After releasing my older accomplish after a short questioning brings me to his annexed cubby. I knew we were caught.” He pierced my most vulnerable points with his incredibility. I became more mortified and hurt at his behaviour to the gay cause then caught red handed trying to have a wank in privacy in his salient bathroom. It could be alternative drama on Channel 4. Possibly he thought he was being helpful. “Children’s Home! Children’s Home! You work in a Children’s Home. I knew of the screaming media coverage and the job loss and the loss of faith and respect from god.other tables. who spent my pastime masturbating anonymously to 14 year-olds.abiding Londoners in their anoraks and glided bowler hats. I have spoken to many homosexuals who have been treated in the same kind of persecution by the security services and belittled to the floor. I pretended panic-struck to vomit in the toilet bowl. We were animals in a cage. Scared? You bet? Though I was young. .

to lunch or to the shop. public. near Hyde Park Corner. where the gross indecency incident only a few minutes previously had taken place. get out of here!” Who could I call in my distressed state. “Stupid man. I was shaken more. He doesn’t understand. She had no idea I bowled for the other team. “If ever I catch you here again I’ll march you to Scotland Yard and get you locked up for good!” His breath hurt. “Hello mom. How would she react? I shook. kissing the floor I stood on. It happens in other families. I wasn’t raping or killing. Maybe she’ll hit the roof disowning her oldest boy. Scotland Yard. And I wasn’t bombing Vietnam.I mean. “Next time do it in private. no less. telephone box’s mouthpiece as I kept pushing in shillings to the gaping machine.motherly. Everybody I knew was out at work.” That famous pause became simply the way I’d explain her to friends. The only one who I could telephone in my intruded state. my mother. counting so many seconds in the theatre of vital reality. Being in a different species of gender could .” My voice sounded weak and timid and I almost sneaked out a tear onto the red. I wasn’t robbing older ladies. “Now. though with what The Hilton had just called me that morning.” I dropped the telephone I spoke on. As an afterthought or an add-on she finished her moral valuation.statement I took notes. I did not want to lose my mum now by any count. shackled and just about to enter the dunking pool to receive my parlous punishment. Her liberation hiding behind the curtains shot and shone out stunning me. With familiar in take of breath at the end of her heavenlyperfumed. as my injured body waited for her reaction to the conception that I had been caught red-handed by almost the whole damned Metropolitan Police Force Of Greater London.

I did not talk to her again for weeks.I heard later had hinted to her I might be a queer. Did she not just say: ‘Next time do it in private’. Where gay men dancing through the night in pairs or in their threesomes. She did not care about 60 grandchildren to read bed times fairy tales too. “Well. I brought you in this world and I have to see you best contented and blest. A doctor friend of hers who had been counselling me after I smoked some strong skunk and panicked. usually the topic then. “So what and good luck. At sixteen. looking as amicable to any woman as they could. masculine necks. But I made sure that her . took Mom to comment: “Isn’t it just like kindergarten?” Then laughed and swished her body to the beat of The Village People. to mother her extended family. I’m still going on my cruise to The South Poles in March. Soon me and her were at lager heads again.” Was to be her motto. She’d be too occupied dancing in discos. about my sisters. Doctor Mendes. I majestically. A month later. Mom always accepted me being bent with open arms from the bottom of her heart.not be half bad if my very own dear mum accepted it. high as a kite. in the middle of a battle. palatial and statuesque on her grand staircase in the throws of a contest of hurting language try to give her the most horrible wounding.” But things never travel smoothly. This was her calling in this instance anyway. at least I don’t do it I toilets!” I dished out my volley while she tosses something with better velocity into my arena. I did not wear an construction helmet. In fact. “As long as your happy. she encouraged it. But she wins hands down. I brought Mama to gay venues. silvered amino-nitrate bottles clanking round their thick.

throwing it in a locker to hit the quick moments of pleasure of a late Friday afternoon/early evening orgy. in the . Blonde at 50. Gay saunas sprung up over the suddenly emancipated parts of the city. My sister complained that we were the orphans from our first day on earth…but on the other hand we are not the destitute or the new generation of the drug ridden 60 year olds. I have the true life history of my mom in the sweat less palm of my foot. She went to the pictures alone. Her downfall of the empire of her 7 children. Anyway I got the handsome prize my best friend spent all evening stalking in the nude. She lived in the outback. Nothing has changed much in my fifties (except now she’s dead). life eased a bit towards our lot and more liberated places of interest and activity opened up. During the passing of the 1960’s. as rapturous as a Picture Queen. She could flare out of the shadow of her prescribed medication pleaded from a doctor registered on wealthy Harley Street. Elizabeth Taylor through to Bettie Davies(‘we love you’) and Joan Crawford(and not ‘Mommie Dearest’) and finally coming down the tired steps as a Norma Desmond. Most of my friends were struck by her antics through centre of town in her white-peacock imitation would never end. called Keith. To Keith’s sulky jealousy took home the treasure to my mum’s where I temporarily resided until I found new living quarters. I got the blonde chap. Nobody easy to adore or to forget. Mom’s happiness could be top of the bill but the moments our paths sadly clashed bringing madness to both sides cancelling out the many times of true love. She smiled alone and ate out many times alone. Mom would not let us love her. She travelled alone. At the start of my sexual curiosity and prowl I trawled a steam room near Leicester Square with a college mate. Our kit off. Never mind Madonna’s ‘Vogue’.

Her approval always helped me along my way. I didn’t flinch. They can’t eat most things without using heaps of boiling. she liked English. They could castrate and mutilate if they wished. Wasn’t he handsome. I guess I must’ve got out the ‘Vim’. 2.county of Surrey. A mansion complete with a swimming pool. Mom was not so keen on all my choosing. I was the adopted cleaner. flowering gravy.” I’m sure she didn’t mind the one-night stand for a future son-in-law. My mom swoons to me later: “Gosh. And when the Ma came up to visit he would get so upset at her boldness and frank talking out would come his ironing board. Hiding amongst his creased garments. My sisters also encouraged me to get rid of the tea lover who always heated the pot before pouring his boiled water onto the tea bags/leaf. helicopter pad and desperation. cleaners. hiding any flavour already nestling in the food and. gardeners. tennis courts. When I started downing ‘Phils’ lager. One day he gave me directions on how to clean. You see. dogs. it too became her favourite alcoholic drink. being an true-blooded American but not a boyfriend who put me down on each turning. They have to heat the teapot before its use. In fact come to think of it she kinda doted on the lifestyle. Himself. One partner she found too stuck-up. for a second. We made love in the summered coloration in a southern green county of England high up in the grand house’s attic where the long windows elongated rapping onto the rooftop. he thought lovely. . “It tastes so much better!” “That prick!” sisters said. I brought my tall swoon of a lover down to the kitchen for a quick cup of coffee. full of disdain. for a while. No thanks! My mother thought he had too much control in the relationship. A teacher. on my hands and knees(no less!) the circumference of our toilet bowl. 1. Two things about the English.

He found refugee on the moors. Relatives scoured the streets and grasses for him. The clinically sick. A partner who also subsequently died of full-blown AIDS. His burnt out corpse made me concerned. Jim and his partner always on the verge on breaking-up.Jim was a hit. If I only I did that. He had been partly promiscuous on the continent with a new lover. Even I couldn’t get him out of.” Rang clear through this part of Lancashire. he became HIV diagnosed. The self-destructive. The body was discovered on Hartshead Pike. Years after we had split. He became more unsettled. “If only I did this. He became irreversible. Mixing in the wrong societies.was and my low self-esteem most of my bottom moments had also seen the sun. Drinking heavily. He had been dead ten days. A perfect mistake. Things brought my ex-partner to a psychiatric ward at Tameside Hospital. I’d answer my telephone and click the line went dead as I hung hopefully on waiting for response. “Jim. He fled the local hospital tormented. The last time Jim and me spoke he mourned. I never cried. Signally the depressive.” To no one in particular but the particularity of his eyes conveyed the suicide. Things darkened when Jim found that he was positive. He came back to me in the end. Taking drugs which didn’t agree. While I had always struggled with my identity: who-I. Jim got himself locked in a cul-de-sac. That was the world’s excuse anyway. Jim. The ghost of Jim tried to speak to me through the crackling lines of night. He’d taken off . They searched while I would receive haunted messages from a dead man late at night. It took me a long way to find myself back to sanity.

his shoes before stretching out on the numb grass. But during our time courting and even when we sported an open relationship and even later than that. We flew first-class. who all took a strong liking to the boy from Oldham. Most of my family attended Jim’s funeral. I could not be proud in my relationships. David Ellis had been a best friend from my Glaswegian childhood. we’d drive down from our flat in London eating out at ’The Clockhouse’ at Dorking. Dipping into abusive relationships his story would end as the tragedy. Touching but as it was one of our falling out periods I did not mention it to my mother. She was hurt she hadn’t been invited. the boy was popular with both my parents and siblings. I think all because of not letting the tears roll down my chest. His plot finished. When we lived together. So I sat on a bench in the middle of Stamford Park. his conical compass cutting en route for forever. amongst the spitting foliage hoping for reaction to someone I had loved with passion. Once Dad took the lots of us: partners included to South America. This happy event brought much needed stability to my destructiveshouting-temper. a miserable person. A chain reaction incorporated itself and grew with the advent of the death of Jim. eating out with some of the assembled family on most Sundays. Dry as ice. Several years later I suffered a nervous breakdown. “Tears will fall.“ they say. Booked by Dad. An immature mess lying scattered in several corners of confusion. when we only remained buddies. Deaf to the vicissitude. He drank heavily and had nobody. And one of the first things she wanted to know when I told her I was a practising homo: if David had been a boyfriend? David Ellis was girl crazy and sex driven even at the unripe age of fourteen .

He did not accept my sexuality initially. during the times I wasn’t pining or thinking about Jim or Brian. translated thus: . And our poor. To make him keel over and die. I hope to hit his intoxicated liver. “I can’t figure my husband out. And I won’t be having sex with her anymore!” Dad must have thought he was the tenor in the middle of some grand opera. Mom and me were discussing. Dad had been different. I trembled as I listened to his tales of lust and debauchery. not considering weighing the relationship. high pitched voice. She plumped for the easy throwing. “Enough is enough with your mother. He used the ‘queer’ word too often and we fought. its attributes and failures. Roger?” Mom would pout. I am glad I never married him. I married a half-a-shitman closet!” He did give me the impression of being bisexual. She sailed sideways attempting to find the palpable panacea.and a half. She consults me then: “We don’t have sex or kissing anymore. Dad recalled to Doris.” Waking up one day. put it down to the fact that he now turned middle-aged and experienced pangs of homosexuality. No Madame. where the poor/helpless heroine gets herself slighted again. dear and torched Mum who could not find a explanation to his subnormal cold cock. Not because his bored and fatigued sexual interest waned with every touch. it wasn’t going to be my trail out into our society. My mother’s free-thinking philosophy helped me love myself better. “Is your father gay. He proudly pushed the knife in. In my hysterical. By Mom’s emancipated standards I must have found it easier to meet my needs at 19.

She visited Madge in San Jose one month. He vocalised an obnoxious statement about lesbians. most times. as she barks back in a quarter storm of nervous energy. Down from the North to be with her. On her breast she must have loved me because of her liberation to my sexuality. We took her and later the woman in a wheelchair to cinema/theatre/restaurant. Two years of care and we sit in my brother’s lounge in south London. She got some. not budging an inch.“Ma. She vocalised back: “Creep! I’m gay and that’s a fact. In sunnier climes memories smoothly sift as she sooths my battered brow. Most of her children hated her horribly.” Mom quietly laughs. No question there. I am glad!” Sometimes she had an icy way of loving us. A victim saddling up to Dad (he only deceived her)in most circumstances. Dylan would not visit anymore. Regarding all her in-laws her misery and fuelled jealousy despised the relatives. We both cared for her. Dylan helped my mother in her illness. do you mind me being in the pink?” Her bubble gum waddles on her face. loving her daughter with pride. “Of course not! As long as you’re happy. She and Robert to my knowledge . She blurts and I ask you does she have a personality disorder? “Robert was always my favourite!” Her evil eyes search for reaction round the room. He found professional people to offer their assistance and services. Her rough brashness. we reschedule our time to see her in her last years. As they both got into the taxi at the airport Madge decided she did not like the driver much. Therefore Mom gives Madge a big-hug warming ‘you’re my daughter’ look. Madge who could burn people with the switch of her heart.

The money meant nothing to me. “Just don’t forget that!” She moved back to London from Surrey which she hated. to keep me from falling asleep near Birmingham. lived in bed-sits. After her remark Dylan did not see my mother again.despised each other with relish. I guess they must have been about to take here away. so he would not have to acknowledge her. Dying at the hospital. Where The Stones and Marianne Faithful once lived and my very rich mother continued to treat me at the swanky pillars of restaurants.” Big gums boasted. in Whalley Range. He would get out his ironing when she came to stay. Like I was the lucky baggage. “I’ve had a good day. capped teeth. My father had shoved £150 in my hand when I went dropping by Guildford once. I ate posh. I just hope she never wanted me to pay her back. I never asked grants or loans from my parents. But I longed to branch out on my own. I wanted to brush and shake Mom to her senses. Even if it spotted with drizzle. She’d want to parade in the park so she’d not have to sit in his pokey flat. It was . “Act appropriately or you have nobody in the end. She preferred the wet to the wet lettuce. “My treat!” Came biting through her expensively.” Living in a big house in Surrey she’d meet me and we’d dine out all over the geography of London’s ground. Dylan sometimes accompanied me to London. Pops re-rented Harley House but a different flat this time. But he stayed downstairs in the cellar car-park when I visited the angels upstairs.

The filthiest will fit. he glanced back and in no shy way. This sure beats the Mom cutting the grass with scissors. Sexual arousal is a perfume.” me thinks at my tender age of 18. sick. on another continent. He posed in the rectangular room near a wooded staircase elevating to the other floors filled with rooms of the happy. And if I could he would fill my young desire. one of my sexual haunts(great for us in the early 70’s. My parents were easily poles apart on some subjects. bored and sexually active guests.worthless. It finds the nose that it wants to mount without a doubt. My feet in anticipated excitement sink against the expensively. “Not bad. I dive down to Soho.” To use his money any other way while I earned my own keep would be a sham. like so many others did so many times before! Lust in me stirred as hot rhubarb against its tangy custard. pastel shaded foyer. Still I only hoped something would happen and once we were seated in the inn’s expensive restaurant I made my excuses to her and went hunting for the classy gentlemen who with . groping and peep shows). mother’s nose held high up in her haughty air space as he stood there. patterned. brownish carpet. pornography. not so long ago. “That cowboy with the big dick will just do. semi-lit-afternoon. My mother? Where was she? I forgot about her! In the hallway of Claridges Hotel I only had eyes for him. As the black suited and hatted doorman opens our taxi door for lunch at Claridges on a fit and fine June day. Our fate had been sealed. My father’s money I certainly wasn’t ready to invest in my health. Mom would be stingy with her money except if it was “My treat!!” while Dad was over generous with the yen. I look for pornographic material. swirling. I fell with immediate fainting force towards the floor. We pass through the gorgeous. disposed.

encountering. “This is me. Not the wizard in Oz. I would be the real person in the early 1970’s. giving her a too gracious smile. the great thing is if she knew what her boy had been up to. We had sex upstairs in his chamber. shadowy fashion seemed brittle. And it takes more face muscles to frown. Did she ever wonder why I had been gone for such an excruciatingly long ten minutes. To. just out of school and hesitating with the frame of my body to walk up the steps onto the limelight of the stage.fortune still hung out in the expanse of the bar space. her flaming. at last. Slipping back into the restaurant. Did she ever suspect what I had just been illegally up to? That I had been criminally naughty on other floors with an American? I did not blow my nose on the serviette this time but I enjoyed immensely the act on the third floor of the hotel. It’s easier to be in denial. all like me and not in a sexual. To face a mass of men. She never said nothing. sitting down at her table. Then she’d forget the whole damn thing and continue eating her blown-out and tired bubble gum and stroking the soup. The lighting of the hall fired fluorescent flames as I. got the courage to walk up . The shock of hitting the electricity of the sun. The core of it rinsing her mouth out. Hard luck but I had to expose myself to love myself. believe me. She never mentioned. You know. hard work. tutting noise would only have wrung the room at my flaunting myself yet again. In a hall at The LSE I attend my first GLF meeting. I had to pound the streets twice walking round the university block to catch enough breath of bravery in my heart for the formidable task ahead. like it or not!” I wasn’t going to be Judy Garland playing in a camp musical.

I could not believe what I saw gathered in the room at The London School of Economics. Addressing the capital my secret. “Queer!” “Queer!” He had no other word. What poor Oscar Wilde had to endure. Gay Liberation demonstrated across London holding many marches and rallies calling out for our causes and freedom. I glanced up for an instant. I became dazed for moments. I meant business at the School of Learning. Putting one foot in front of the other to seize the culture that homosexuality offered me. Hell played a drumming at my head. Even once. To cope with the acceptance of one’s sexual preference is a frightening occurrence at any age. Very good. the procession stopping underneath his office’s at Trafalgar Square at some red traffic lights. Men! And just like me! All ready to address the world our secret. I took deep. And just like me! They had jeans and bomber jackets! In the same room with them on a refreshing level and not in a rampant Gents readily available to partake in sex. His oldest boy in his sad red eyes only could be called a . Did those dusty net curtains ever so slightly twitch on the first floor? When the parade paused in front of his offices at Trafalgar Square I felt my old man sneered watching behind those intoxicated curtains. I don’t recall any wired negative from Mom’s mouth but my Dad waiting at home took my effeminacy in a poor way. grey doors of the hall. I walk into the groups of men listening to the speaker who is posed on the platform at the front of the arena. big choking gulps of breaths. Men crowded the expanse smoothly talking with each other. Being Mom’s son I tried to ride the timid uncertainty underpinning my bravery. suddenly I grew calm.the stairs and open the big. One step at a time. “Hey they’re just like me and me and me!” I made it to my first Gay Protest at 16. ironically. Hope can take a nosedive to the floor as I tried to walk out of the closet: “Will Dad at last accept my way?” Oppression is a terrible wounding.

defective. South London. Love? There was more love between beast and man than between Dave and me. On the way home I used to visit Baker Street Toilets ready for a pick-up with somebody who would at least talk to me under the horizons of the cubicle wall. He let me become hysterical.his late. I could not really call him a boyfriend in the true sense. Not a person at all.” The angling of his snickering patter bashed places in my heart so soft and defenceless and explosive my nervous disposition becomes elated. Very cosy except I got mentally and sexually agitated with Dave Sawyer. How could I ever have a perfect relationship with a man? How could I admire myself and be true to myself if the man who borne me and fathered the son would not trust my calling in life? Very tough questions for a 16 year-old lad trying to do good. Lauren cigar smoked half-way empty by now.after being with my first love. My father’s whisky wrinkles down his neck in outbursts of golden liquid. God bless him but Dave best description could be damp. He sits at the kitchen table drunk. stretched out. “Well he must be queer. As he tells me stories about his secretary. His verbal spit did more harm when I arrived back sometimes late. Not to beat me(so I hoped). Down Balham way. Just somebody who aggravated me immensely. motionless for hours on end. Though naive in the love department I sensed something was wrong as we both lay. His thinking I found injurious to my charms and thinking development. deficient deviant. He was a friend of Madge’s boyfriend. He lived on the other side of town. He got me wound up. Going to bed with my first partner I never called an event. . on his bed. He never told me his feelings but had a huge fence up bracing his mouth around a refuge camp where he decamped in the centre of. More like a screaming teenaged queen hoping I’d take up the challenge of his winching ugly lips curling around his Saint. He has long hair.

Be nice to her. filled out in yellow colour. His tactics weren’t working so he tried different methods to keep me crippling into adulthood. a cold. I called my mother a bitch that very morning.with married men and lost identity plotting along the spread of my graph. honest eyes could not ferry a piece of fiction. Our parents were famous for eating out and then doing the deeds. Never much home anyway. strange body evolved to dreams not resolved. . adrift relationships. Almost a grown person I had sexual and emotional needs that needed fulfilling. This is bad news. nervous breakdowns. My father could not bring me to heel. Sweating blankets. She has two years to live. He sat pissed at the dining table once again. Doris found out from our family doctor that Dad slyly talked a lot of nonsense. My erring never would leave me completely. The fabrication on my father’s part about the health of his wife to keep me peacefully in the flock. where my dreams bake knifing my mum to death.” I believe him at once. Like the American middle-class television play. Why was I so armoured with my sisters then? The throaty calm at his larynx. Stopping me from growing up. My heart is struck off the registrar. Even if my current couldn’t do the trick I knew there were plenty of others gathered behind the bushes amongst the gardens of London.with no centre. His wide and humbled. “Mamma has a heart disease. I once tried to explain to Dad the damage he caused me.I still went out to Balham never mind his threatening. my battle cry could be heard from my bedroom to the kitchen where she ran the tap. Sticking up for my sister. Graduated to beating up weak boyfriends. As we eat out in the steak and salad house on the ground floor underneath his office he kicks me out of home. Curtailing my rebelliousness. He invites me out to lunch. Guilty nightmares.

“Don’t go with strange men. Am I just another male predictor spit out onto the prostitution of the streets? Pure greed? Do I need a bored life to be spiced up by miscellaneous groping underneath some oaks trees in any quiet corner of a park? A bad day of work can bring a bout of me being a slag. Life gave me years to fill in the blanks. Promiscuous but safe. Playing the game and trying to cope with the gay revolution and its subsequent loneliness. darkness of the liquid the roots of the many mosses growing on top. adapting to the seasons. Or it will only get stagnant. Fractious with sex. Times contradict and I guess Pops saw sense. Getting my chance when I can. Not screwing without a condom. He climbed onto the band wagon of Swinging London and Happy Manchester though it was with Mom I felt safe with. I discerned its movement. Then he put me out to the streets. So even this decayed pool in the middle of a slum on Miami Beach had life attached and a moving record. The water of the pond in our run-down villa in Florida looked unclean and almost stationary. Even well before the disease. He never finished the sentence. Like mum always saw. Observing through the thick. It gave the booming birth of tadpoles once a year to our natured delight. If the restaurant supervisor tells me off and she’s got menstrual pain again. Life has the gift of changing. I go and cruise under the bridge to off load her curse. Once this man invited me up to his flat…” Unsuspected eyes look up at his face. Manchester: hunting its haunting and broad boards helps me get the . Dad corrected himself when four years later when he invited Jim to fly with us to Venezuela. Life has to change in its ever moving force.

woman’s sack off my back. She who usually tells me what a perfect worker I am.

In a short spurt staying with my parents at their mansion, homeless again, I fall for an artist. He is doing some work for Dad. Painting a mural on the walls of their Henry the eighth staircase. Cascading to their third floor, he sleeps over for weeks doing his creative work. I liked his clumsy, burly, not yet fat physic. The painter had a wife in London but unlike some bisexual men he had no trouble with his two-sided sexuality. No problem that he happened to battle for the other team also. In fact, I think husband and wife carried on an open relationship. I saw her once and I could tell by the twist of the red ribbon wound on her head that she believed in a pre-aids liberal lifestyle for herself. The theatre starts. We pass notes to each other at the dinner table in the big, blue-tinged-painted kitchen. Black and white linoleum included in the price. My mother was the first to own a microwave. “Don’t stand in front of it. You’ll be fried by those gamma rays.” Dad warned us whenever we came to stay. Amusing as the artist and I pass pieces of scrap paper. By route, underneath the gleaming wood. We write out our peachy passion for each other. A combination of lustrous poetry and bits of sexual description. In public toilets- and I love Billie’s song: ‘Waiting At The Cottage Door’-, when they still existed, before The Labour Party tore them up for health & safety and economical reasons, I exchange missives. This had been one of the ordinary methods of men wanting to pick-up in cottages for illegal sexual purposes. Or go stand at the urinals and pray for

no copper standing next door pretending to pee in the cheap smelling disinfectant. Communiqué which ran thus on the crusty, old-fashioned toilet paper you could eat your lunch off of and only found in the bathrooms of The British Isles: “What do you like?” “Sucking cock and poppers.” “How big are you?” Always asked. “Nineteen inches.” “Have you anywhere to go?” Sure beats dinner at The White House. When the judge comes to arrest me in the late sixties I longed to tell him in a shouted whisper: “Sir! You want me to stop cottaging and getting buggered under the wall? Well free my people from oppression.” By the way the police, I probably said a thousand times before, much rather catch a queer who isn’t going to fight than a hefty 18 year-old who will give him a bloody nose and a sick note for his trouble. I like the police, but their work is all about statistics. If Judge Bright forgave me, this would probably expose him as a true-blue-poof also. I had a riot doing late night sex in Dad’s house. Our act was symbolic. The Pops who just a few years ago was the true homo-hater and I’d steal with stealthily steps into the guest’s room with a sock in my mouth so I’d not wake up Dad during the orgasm. Dad might have been aware of our pact. He kept drunk and quiet reading The Financial Times in his rocker. Mom out of the country was travelling light. My lover had no problems with his bisexuality. That was joyously refreshing. Overjoyed with this mischievous, miscellaneous novelty. The kissing of our short relationship. I did not love him for a longer type of sentence. Eventually he goes back to London. I find my next

bed-sit and boyfriend. Believe you me: that sometimes could be a sentence. Pink Justice? Pink Pleasure? Mom believed in and supported me. Why I love her grace and her best flows in my homosexuality.

Part 4 Travelling Light
My mother became the escapist; the wintered traveller hunting for spheroidal treasure. This happy medium extended to the autumn, spring and summer. Riding a bicycle to Mercury, in anonymous wide-eyed haste, she doesn’t want to miss out on any glazed tourist spot along the worn-out way. A Polaroid camera wrapped round her chest,

complimented with a ‘Shirley Temple‘ bonnet twirled on her head. Her glued face looking for clues how to stay stable. Her expression creases in a thousand glittering wrinkles as she takes off for her next trip from Heathrow or Gatwick, to Panama or Peru, by Virgin, BA or Monarch. She never talked nice to the air servers. This fine lady had been born out of slums. Her baby girl left for boarding school in Switzerland, Dad’s idea that his wife was incapable of looking after her children any longer; to see her through her teenaged years anyhow. So she lay on the bed in the monstrous mansion, motionless and semiconscious, costing millions of pounds, which Dad owned. For a mentally, challenging lapse, she must have felt childless and cheated and deserted. And became one with the mattress. She got difficult to rouse. This happened on many occasions, her children knew her during her life. Sisters trying to coax Mom off the divan in at least 10 different instances and in 10 other nations. When I visited from London I’d try to get her to spring off the pillow: “Mom, why don’t you try charity work?” “Mom, you could go to college. You used to be a typist before you were married.” But all we got back would be the dreaded mind clinically made up: “Oh, God.” In a drowsily, valium induced voice. I looked at where she lived . I hated the prison walls also. One fine day she sprung up, leapt off the sheets, fastening her crippled bones together brought a season ticket to go round the world. This world-wide romance only stopped when she developed Multiple Systems Atrophy and it was in the later, advanced stage. And the pained herpes lingering, immodestly, wired on the muscles of her face. Till then

she didn’t look back. Not once. She tried Greece first. Where I had gone with Jim recently. She got her worth back shuffling through airports and passport control taking up her lodgings in all continents. Decorating her walls and coffee tables in Guildford and then London were the boasted objects of her new career. Testimonial to her global plundering. Pictures of elephants, pictures of her sitting at the captain’s table, photographs of mother standing with another member of the family on board ship. On a desert. Visiting Miami. She had romance and affairs too. Embarrassed that she was wealthy enough to travel. She did not seem to have any qualms about the starving in India. Flinching at the postcards sent from every crevice of the planet to my flat/bed-sit/my house/wherever I might have happened to decamp that month. Drained by a cocktail of emotions. I hated her when she had to crawl scouring the rubbish things for our eats on Miami Beach. Now haunted by her outrageously selfobsessed grandeur. Waving at the natives, sitting tight on the air-conditioned coach with thousands of Americans, Japanese and Europeans, all doing the same. Rising to a boiled egg or salami on a cruise ship was not a jot to my way of thinking. Swelling pomposity. Well, each to his own. Explaining to my dates that she drove on the highway of jettravel, world-wide cruises, rudeness to waiters and room service as her calling did not enlighten the prospects of how the men measured my valuation. They might initially think me as a loafer or a lay-about, who knew? So people hungered and she waved at the indigenous populations from the comfort of a bus. My ideals had gravitated projecting upwards to a cool, communistic heaven. I reasoned also. “Go and spend the money Ma. Better than lying like a broken, baby jane, doll on your bed. Ma, you had a crap life and a crappier man. Go out and enjoy the

Her new raffish lifestyle did not suit ‘Tanfield Place’. I had introduced the drink to her when down visiting in Surrey. In May. Lilly-Anne as she now spelt it became a fan of Donna’s. Abba was Number One with ‘Waterloo’. And it looked like for good. Suddenly Handel was wrenched off her phonograph replaced by Donna’s ‘Four Seasons’ and other disco dancing music.” I had recommended. en mass. you should try a bottle of this beer cause it’s so strong! Knock your lid off. She wanted to emulate and emigrate. opening up to the British tourist. On the isle of Rhodes I could actually see to the bottom of the deep ponds. Disco divas tapped loud on the amps as the domestics ironed in her palace. I hope it is dearly the same . My gloriously loose and pleasant lifestyle suited my mother’s plans. “Donna’s a real good singer. she began drinking Phils Lager recommended by some of my drunken nights out on the town. Affronted once.” But I never told her I had introduced it to my youngest brother too and we both rolled drunk out of our minds to Doris’ flat at West Kensington one day. Jim and myself visited The Greek Isles. “Mom.squander.” Mom knew that if the music was any good it’d be on the swaying of the our peoples’ hips first. No pollution there. Throwing aside the ghost-like neurosis to the good gods. I’ll buy you an album in London. “They play her in all the gay clubs. To my big sister’s chagrin! And Donna Summer and The Greek Isles.” How could I judge? Nobody’s a saint these days. I love the dosh too. Mom now had fully snapped out of her wretched and austere depression. a disinterested husband to get on with his own life as he saw fit: she’d not make him miserable anymore.

sultry . to eat. In the fashionable town of Mirabella Mom brought a villa. An imprint of the country person’s warmth and innocence issuing forth from their expressive body language. She became friends with some of its community. cloudy weather . Unfortunately in front of the concreted complex lay the most dangerous motorway in Europe. The travel bug had hit. Many foreigners wrote out their wills before attempting to cross the street. struggling and brave enough to cross.uncut liquid. Greece was Mom’s favourite hot spot for several years after she found out how so much my lover and me had enjoyed it. inclining the paths. on the boiling tarmac as underpasses had not been erected yet. The cars did not attempt to slow down as they approached a pedestrian. chesty.where she snored into the stilled. Our activity speckled with flashes from the sun. many of the fruit fell into my hands as I dashed to pick them up from the floor of the hilly terrain. She boasted of how well it spoke out to The Mediterranean and at the long expanse of sand. whole portions of light diffusing inbetween the large layers of the deep green leaf of the rangy trees. She invited family and friends to her Spanish flat. common practice. Today. numerous oranges. We were still a new commodity to The Greeks. Many. It was a beautiful experience. As Jim and myself hiked the mountainside. Off season. the grinning Greeks on their carts would chuck at us. She followed the light of the Greek landscape. all that probably that gets thrown at The British visitor is their rubbish back. The only way to cross was on top of the earth. 100 miles an hour . Jim and me flew British Airways and it was a big compliment and acceptance that the stewardesses on flight accepted us holding hands in the half-empty coach. But when I went there as her guest we fell out horribly. A groupie discovering The Acropolis in Athens. siesta.

How unnerving the ‘gay’ nose comprehends the right direction the feet will take to the castle. Good thing it wasn’t Judy Garland. Though I loved my mother I’d much be rather flirting with an European Man. I’m still searching. What’s next? Sex. Those women who have alleged and maintained and avowed that I left them in the lurch swooning off to the other side of town. That was good because my Spanish was terrible. I found a cruising area of beached pleasure. He had no trouble finding his English. Nothing wrong with that. “I love you. twilighted evening on the Continent. coffee-in-laid apartment. though I did once dress up in frocks and petticoat. Carlos never let me get a word in. Please! You don’t own me so please let me sneak from your scent.” His lips curl towards my face as we both try to balance on the saucy shore. They would have slapped me right and called me: “Tart!” And then throw me out for the week. I hoped. I quickly investigated my piece of miracle. He looked sincere through those Gallic eyelashes. You’d think being brought up-or not brought up. Billie Holliday or Bet Davies I had to parent me. Though give me a compliment at any time of the day or at any stage in our acquaintance and I’m the man! I decided to take the lad back to Mama’s for the night. drifting endlessly on this holiday. that I’d ever be assured by a man. I try to find his gums and throat. After all is said and done. twenty minutes walk from her lustrous. glass panelled. I met a Spaniard on the designated area who right away told me I was gorgeous and that he truly loved me. I am a man and I have my penis to attend! Then she’d wake up complaining that I did nothing but leave her on her own. Just so he could tell me that he desired my pectorals and triceps as the night howled out its blue crystallised . This dune was to be my Dad. I scampered off with other plans. Very good for a sunny.afternoons.

Her eyelids danced. I could now not resist showing off! To my former boyfriend. Her unbreakable arrogance. “Pass the butter. I sat underneath a poppy-red-parsley-covered beach umbrella hoping the passer-by at . Our falling out forgotten like milk that spilt 100 years back. indulged. I could tell anything I cared to know just by the glance glinted from her phizog. Feeling fretful about her money and the way she tried to gain peoples’ confidence. I told him the gossip. “It was so easy. Lived with this woman as long as I had. The next week. She rented out the flat getting a good buck from the deal. While I too sunk into the guilty.stars and I sung Barbara Streisand songs in-between. She certainly knew something sneaky had been afoot in the guest bedroom of her Spanish apartment. It was rotten being 34. I would have done a ‘Shirley Valentine’ right there and then but I never took his address. along the silent airwaves. After sunrise and the fellow had long departed. He did his business. So he could repeat and repeat in my waxed ear. I hoped he got jealous. She guessed I had Latin company but was too much my mother to say anything except. my tale of the conquest on the sand. “I love you!” That phrase would never tire my older muscles. Mom did not acknowledge my promiscuity at our ‘solo’ breakfast. leisure habits of a Harrods’s green carrier bag. helping to level the tension between us. an ex-boyfriend flew in to Malaga Airport. directed at him and complete with many kisses. how me smuggled the lover into her pad for the night. Just a sweet walk away from my living quarters.” We were friends again.” He of course looks down on me like I am the perfect tramp.

And so she could nurture body and soul into greeting humanity with tenderness. ever-lasting chewing gum. Taking out her bridge. Why was she like this? Some loving had missed her out when she must have been young. Working her teeth on the adhesive like a rotating saw on hard timber. Her money was control. But this problem is not uncommon. On horseback and with sunglasses she gallantly rode into the trade winds of top-class holiday brochures. slamming it down on the dinner table in a chic London restaurant. Dad pretended to see to us. Why pick a bloke like my sullen father to love? A bully-boy.” Filing her nails. To others she could act brash. I found out later as business acquisitions. Her aura: a no-go area. I have met plenty people plain frigid to any kind of compassion. A tremor to my heart. a shut-affair. Her grandchildren were getting the capital. I can’t remember her putting a new portion in her mouth. “Dad saw to you. Chewing gum that never seemed to be substituted. Her amour. Not always. So she could carry on appropriately. Difficult for her to evoke any long-lasting strain of warmth.least noticed my chest. Her pre-school years hadn’t nourished her the power of putting together those budding building blocks that flourish and level out her actions in life. Carried throughout her life: a bag of ragged. Her breakdowns proved the point of her disenchantment. A liar. Searching the earth for the thrills on the voyages of the rich. bolted and cemented. A fracas in steerage class where the melancholy . Gyrating the piece of strenuous. I became the willing reciprocate. She could not have respected herself. chilled bones.

teeming city!” Confusion with landing lights. The eccentric ways of my parents gleamed everywhere. The garlic smells of The Hong Kong Market.munched at her like a rabbit scarpers down his carrot. Jet-lagged and unsettled. so we can live. passing through towns at the dead of night. The Amazon. Journeying to Oslo. gazing back at The Golden Gate Bridge from the other side of The San Francisco Bay.” Later I learned he was out having love-affairs.” “Get your supper quick! Fool! Don’t play on the carpet. Mam’s passport became a busy affair. “I am so confused. One of the first Westerners to climb The Great Wall. “Dad’s out. Working hard for you. the surprise she found with this experience. Drained eyes take at maidenly moons on . Hoarding trinkets from her travels. Unfortunately this ignited on her children’s’ formulating conceptions of society and the decent way for them to act. “Roger. You get in the way of Dad and me going to the opera!” And the most famous of her arias.” said Rabbit Hare. staying away from London for months. Burnt skin drifting through customs again. Crushed on a German brand tourist coach. Egypt. The Vatican where I’m sure she’d loved to met The Pope. She recounted with lavish the joy. Paris. as he skipped down the waste-hole. At least she got happy out of some of it. Stamped from places like China. It’s sexually inappropriate. Escapism sweltered her heart. “Don’t come in yet. You could smell it at every corner of that great.” “Don’t touch. All stamped in Hong Kong on the backside.her parable was that her Italian father was a Catholic preacher born and stationed at Milan.

” “It’s that back pain. Affairs with lonely men on board cruise ships.” “My gums hurt. Joan . “Rainy again. back again in 2 weeks to take-off again. humourless sough positioned underneath the mutli-coloured comfort. L. to Hawaii. Another highlight of her cultured year. I imagine her lost at an airport. There was no music from the crochet of her grating speech when her language complained forth those blasted aliments of hers. In the middle of Africa.” “I need aspirin.A. It stirred in us a mixture of sorrow and hatred. But mother’s travels surely couldn’t match the expectations of her much sought happiness. We had just got used to the constant. I did not know the score there. Full marks for her though I got alarmed at her next holiday on the calendar. Not fully in control of her facilities. Mom got more infirm and we had no idea what debilitated her.board the drumming of a night flight over The Pacific.” She’d wail. Determined to venture on with travelling light. We always knew that she had been a complainer. Needing care and protection yet she decided to attend The Bayreuth Opera Festival. a broken swan. in spite of her handicap but vulnerable walking the paths of The Nordic or Australian towering mountains. A ragged and soulless baby doll dangling from her shoeless luggage. Something was fishy in the way she walked. Heading north and west with the travel bug. from the base of her bed.

lost and emptied. So I pleaded. they had lifted her at Heathrow. onto the waiting jet. Germany. Teetering on the speculation no-one cared much from the day of her birth about her requirements. Rog. Just walk on in and beyond the cool fires of your existence. You are not well. But the golden coin flipped metallic negative. on her bed. in an unvisited corner covered by blood stained sheets in an shopping trolley. How much she enjoyed the opera. she had been found.” And that was Mom all over. “But how will you get on a plane being in the state you are in. I knew she wasn’t well and I uncomfortably listened to the echoing patter coming in swift bouts of tension from the fathoms of her mouth reverberating near . Thank you! I bet she wasn’t rude then! She talked as she lay. Carting herself over the European continent: contents. No-one had even been recorded as being missing. She called from an hotel in Germany. Her warmth were bankrupt a long time past. this year in Bayreuth. Thank the lord. The devil spiked at me with her hot claws. anyway. Days later. She stumbled. I did not speak out of turn. by way of hoist from a borrowed wheelchair.Crawford beached on the Californian seafront wrapped in mouldy and mildew ridden blankets described to me her situation. “Gee. “Well.” I worried strange dreams. Mom woke up in hotels not knowing her name. I’ll be alright! Don’t you worry. Make sure you telephone me when you get to your hotel. many kilometres from her English homeland. That was good. The lady wasn’t taking advice from a world that never had been prepared to care or worship her. My nightmares hit off my bedroom walls. The staff made sure she sat comfortable in the cabin.” I worked in nursing homes. docile.

Lucy Ball going to Europe. without any grief done or hole fallen through or earthquake. “Promise my heart. long predicted before any of us noticed our Mum became ill. She made it though. A bag lady waiting at Terminal 3. you’ll never do it alone. Crossing the street to Safeway’s wasn’t possible…. Lost and vagrant in a visited country. Laura’s fearful and gloomy divination. ‘Gale Storm’.no questions asked. ‘The Love Boat’.” A thought occurred to me.when she couldn’t reach down to tie her shoe laces anymore. a once simple task had become a big deal for her. filling her time hopelessly in port callings. Maggie Smith in ‘Travels With My Aunt’ and ‘Travelling Light’ abruptly finished. She wanted to go to see the music and mother all over! Somebody could have robbed her.. Travelling across to Germany. again.Crossing the roads in the Roman capital: her impossibility… .. Years ago my young sister advised my mother to stop her haphazard vacationing. like a wandering destitute.

taught her brethren the ABC and phonetics. sieving the rubbish of the larynx through the white metallic utensil. In advance of us attending kindergarten in PS. Her own lack of education gave us the gift of thought. Think on. Most of us have been through some form of Higher Education. New York City. We question the motives of the media. Learning her children to read. We are all good readers. she too had an ambition for her offspring to succeed. Mom inlaid with golden goals. We do not take things at face value. at all the hours sent. nodding studiously at the table. Like picking grim off an organic head of lettuce. To reading.Part 5 Reading We say definitely she couldn’t possibly of loved us. gangster and prankster. politician. With all her negative tackle and abruptness. a filter. at 13 we ate Rice Krispies in relaxation for our breakfast against chequered wallpaper and read our books. Like the Asian parents. working to their bone. She made the respect for grammar fun. All seven of us! That is . While she roamed the lower side of a ripened Manhattan at 13 years of age. She delivered to the door. to take in the nonsense’s that sometimes get uttered from peoples’ spinning mouths. hacking at their grocery business down in the slummed Ancoates.

lonely and . about to change. Swinging on special moments. “If you don’t chuck it in with that fucking tart right now I am going to divorce you!” She never voiced the poverty of fear she felt in The Bahamas. We’d render back. young. Our life wasn’t mediocre. Our mother would be washed up. and sit round her glowing sonnets as early evening turned into a rustic and recapitulating night. Cuddled up in bed. housework done. Stationed at our bedside. white teeth washed. Where cut-out. bolted parlour door in New York City. promptly to leave town. Childhood complete and homey.when we were not fighting. Offsetting the darkening horizontal line of evening light. Her music built castles. We’d flock to her green and wooden rocker. stripped pyjamas in preparation to cosy off into the streaming bells of night. As Dad had her pack our belongings quickly up one night. His business partners sold him non-existent property. the passing on of the pivotal knowledge of the cool beauty of the verse and its blessed lyricist. reciting nursery rhymes to us. We did not know that Mom attempted to self-harm several times that year in Miami. We had no intelligence that Mom screamed at her husband behind the firmly. coloured moons winked ravenously out. Unfortunately for me. Wearing red and white downed. We’d meditate the vastness of vocabulary curled up in bed under a safe and searching canopy of awestruck stars. Our mother only seemed to be interested in making us smart at our pre-school years. These records have a value in my tribute. To take off to maladroitly drift sideways into a manifestation of anxiety of adolescence years and adulthood’s bounty of nervous habit. Sprightly. drenched in vocabulary before hitting the strict terms of sleep.

Lying. ‘Great Expectations’ made its mark in Helensburgh. London and Glasgow. Where he travelled I did. On a chair chin up. Dad would not buy a television set until I almost became a teenager and that was grudgingly. Reading would keep me secure in a city that howled at night. I had no choice. The author became my best friend for a while. I can’t forget the sensation that Dickenson gave me as father dumped us on another shoreline without putting it to the vote. The rhythms set a fire inside us. Would tomorrow be the day I wondered. I also ate the orange my mother installed in us. From one airport to the next time zone his children in an haze of baggage check-in. through the workings of the prose she read aloud to us. chanting complaints but these things did not happen to us during the bright times she encouraged her eager. We began to roam the Western World. late at night. I had friends here. got traumatic. cheerful children to read up and get wise at it. “Pack up your troubles!” My trouble was I did not want to move again. I felt toilets rolls and toilet rolls of comfort from Charles’ awesome novel. to a sleepless state? In a suburban outback chained to a jittery life would Wednesday be the day of the month Dad would ungraciously inform us again. insomniac driven. I learnt to dissect many fruits from the pastures.weeping at the deceit. bountiful books by Daphne DuMaurie as I struggle into the . That outlasted all the unbalance of the proceeding years. at least carried books in the palms of our pockets fallen from our bookcases: Miami to Mexico and at our house in Helensburgh were stuffed to heights with the power of learning. Its effect. “Moving again!” He was always being booed out of town. her flock gathered round grasping sounds. face down on a sweat-filled bed cushion less. Hunched on his black Victorian walking boots. I had to bite into the learning apple.

vowels and consonants cushion me. Yet I am despondent witnessing our language (Ann Taylor: ‘The Accidental Tourist. The United States is global power. in our ‘we know it all society’. evolution and history. The playwright and his daytime job of a catering assistant. unravelling other wizard locution amongst the literate debris. Education gone soft on its plumbed. Doris kicked up a fuss in Miami Beach that we did not own a television set. Astonished at the layer found in the simplistic. Today. Given the thirst I drank out of the brimming jug without misery. George Orwell: ‘The Use Of The English Language’) contracting into a messy. my imagination climbed trees. Doris gave me copy of ‘Catch22’ to read. Crapped on for a much cheaper version imported from The Americas. We let them go to war. We adapt to their nouns. I haven’t left her. heaped up illiterate state. centuries of the narrative of language is instantaneously slapped down. A poet and a waiter. . Smoked up with the word. I would break the gangling grammar down into smaller desserts. A writer and a window cleaner. I became interested in origin. Loving this pastime. pivoting me round. Even the accent of speech has changed. I am despondent at the cut-up. Mom gave me a yearning. And in The Bahamas raving to Enid Blyton’s ‘Famous Five’. Romance will ensue as epoch. In London. Prose picked up the by endless re-run of sitcom seen as the new saint. Its influence on living. Aroused. Words strong and foul would poison his virgin.clothes of a distraught teenage-hood. Its vanished or vague worth. Words will refresh. Buried for good. universal ethics. Dad banned it from the house. investigating their construction. ever. twirling into the global chatter of new understanding of how words hang together.

lived in poverty or went to the cinema on a Saturday we downed the opera music. Doing nothing special. Mom and Dad were advocated at the AGM .“For God’s sake we’ll only watch the educational side!”. Billie singing the blues is blissful to my person. he got for us.go for a swim. made him oblivious to the theatre. Or I must have been desperate. danced. As a matter of course. a black and white set. regardless to what the . pick up men. I am an discerning viewer. Dad famously fell asleep at The Metropolitan Opera House. Yet television never picked up as an addiction in our household after its initial boundary had been crossed and its service researched. I’d rather read a bottle of red sauce. Dad brought our first television spanking new from the shop. Peering out the half-opened-window at the wildlife of tigers and giraffes or to inviting silence or to Lancashire’s close cloud wrapping the skies can be more enlightening and have more nourishing relaxation techniques than a electronic box. His snoring in the rented box.. As our friends chewed gum. By mistake. She retorted halfway up the street and she could be hard stuff as she battled it out.. Television introduced too late into our home never became the staple diet for my brothers. my parents took us to the Saturday matinees. Not the television. her words of war washing the pavement. It was a landslide victory. We’d settled on the threadbare cushion watching the soft theatre. No static sound in the background of wandering newsreaders describing on telly what they are exactly reporting by the richness of their never quiet hand movements. sisters or me. Or be at gym. I may have switched the set on twice this year. We never fully took to its intestines invading into the lounge area. I can write words with the music on. I don’t know how to work a video/DVD. Words beat it by many years. I let my friend do that.or write this.

I smelt the red lipstick and richly scented perfume coalesced with the excitement of her departing out into the neoned. Its mystery?-something I couldn’t quite unravel yet. squared pieces of the huge and golden. The sound so loud and windy it rippled the material of his ironed shirt and tie. We were introduced to another type of art by way of Broadway. she’d kiss our cheek as if it was a last minute thing. Or the price of the ticket. She in a soft charm. the workings of a model. dignified hat. I had no idea how to walk the distance to the matured .orchestra was playing that weekend. I have a picture of the beauty in my lounge. sparkling stage curtain were sold for a dollar a throw. Mom and Dad spent much of their social life in New York City out at the opera. On those nights her young and light. We had no insight that we were in important times.lit.bear-hugging Manhattan night of Times Square and Battery Park. We laughed and were sarcastic once but how times have changed in my heart. Abruptly. She looks happy and well. gowned. When the demolition team knocked the grand building down for a shiny. redolent body. Dad needed his siesta as we listened within dim earshot or cracked corny jokes and mutely laughed. Crying out for that tiny piece of cloth that once was whole drape dangling at The Met. Opera bored us and I wasn’t gifted enough to understand. As the lift pushed its way down to the lobby 100 floors away Mom’s charisma still ghost-like roamed the flat. We were now looked after by the baby-sitter. exhaling the fumes as if it was his last statement on a serious life. caught me in the hard-hitting attention of the modern world of the grown-ups. Who gives a hoot about Wagner when we’re busy giggling at the pantomime? Or sensationalised by our gigantic father’s snoring by route of his Jewish nose. kitted out in black. She had other matters on her mind. bubbling. new glass plated edifice at Lincoln Centre.

As soon as Mom left and Nancy had made our hot chocolate and gave us a sugarless cookie she began the practise of gaily colouring in her toenails. pledging from a radio station in his Ford car. In a minute she’d get serious again. almost brave enough to pinch food from the crowded deck. I would flounder many times. It was the first holiday we . to our latest home in Jacksonville. Europe. a yet an unknown. She now performed the finishing touches of her beautification. I watched fascinated. Nancy’s legs would be scrunched up. you know. Her grin drooling down one side of her face. Its hazy ocean cargo setting its sail to. better things to think of Mum on her way out. She accompanied Dad ringside to these evening events laid on the impress his city gents. My Dad played started to play Ray Charles. All silenced for seconds at his new invention now on our very doorstep.” Mom told me that this used to make her laugh. At our brownstone flat to wind Nancy up I‘d be fallacious. Florida. She was so bent on her task as if going to university meant nothing at all.20th Century the colourless top of the remaining nail of her large feet. Doris brought home a Beatles album. Christmas in Jacksonville was the best Christmas ever. to us. The seagulls fluttering madly above the sea going treasure. “She drinks. almost out loud. as she sat in the royal box applauding ‘Madame Butterfly’. Blushless and brusquely perched on the stoned window sill within eye-grasp of The East River. While business associates and him discussed commerce and the rise and rise of The Dow Jones in gloating terms in yellow taxis she’d leave us in the care of Nancy Vole. its garbage and night ferries skirting along the surface of the famous water. unthinkable. curious. I already had whispered to my hurriedly. Dabbing in the fashionable colour of the mid.boundary.

I grew scared of a Cuban missile landing in my garden at the throat of night. Toasting the exit by a turn up the slip road at some motorway rest point with a mouth-watering fry-up. unusual darkness of the slippery pavements. By the mad season’s drinking binges. driving on some autobahn in North Florida. Dad and his business friends stopped the car. coaless cellars for months on end like Anne Frank hid in the attic? And how important television was becoming in a world desperate to keep up with itself. Dad had been robbed on Nassau Island. that this president had been fatally attacked. We weren’t rich. we were ecstatic finding true love lain in humanity in giving offerings out to others. I remember the sudden. Though we lived near The Tropics we still had a fireplace in our suburban house with a glowing electrical heater located at its base. The joy of giving and receiving amounted to greatness in our young hearts.exchanged presents with each other. Would it be the final time we would be able to travel freely in The United States? Would we have to hide down in our undemocratic. Got out and laughed when they heard the newsflash from the humming wireless set perched on the plastic and black dashboard. by Jove. Like my teachers. Kennedy had pushed . but. Sent home from school after the tragedy had fearfully been broadcasted on live television. We did not have a set at home yet. That would come later at our next jump to Miami Beach. While Daddy celebrated the man’s demise with a gallant laugh and slaps on the backs with his mates. Mom shuddered as she told us this story. We sensed the end of the world the day JFK got shot. Television coverage presented itself 24 hours a day. I remember the thick rain. Robert broke his leg about that time. as we school kids tried to cross the almost twilighted thoroughfare. And all Mom could report to us when they brought Robert in to casualty to get it mended was how many dead were carried in by stretcher.

the last port of call of our nomadic travelling was only a dreamed up society to our American thought. of the Kennedy clan with the now dead. Almost smashing the lid on our trembling and stricken fingers. Piano lessons meant religious practising. With its then completely free National Health Service. I loved reading and writing the occasional blur but my childhood schedule of performing with a musical implement got dropped as soon as I grew up. Great Britain. And believe me it’s still tops. I did not know of the link. a colder wind. Marilyn had became my hero in Nassau always a better example for me than any Kennedy could offer. as a bad lot. they would bite our hands at any wrong note.” She grew surly. When Daddy sold the grand in Miami before the hospital considered dealing with my unconscious state. down the peninsula. methodically training. I did not know my father’s feeling as I sunk into this astounding slice of historical disability. artistically hard and so bent on their careers. Our white or brown sugar content replaced by pronounced pink packets of ‘Sweet and Low’. Eternal problems with . yet. Did Mom love us? Did she? Sugar had been cancelled out in The Perrin household. Piano lessons were crucial to both my parents. “Look at your father and me! The perfect example of bad teeth. Terror ruled my heart Saturday mornings as I knocked on the door of my latest piano teacher in Glasgow. “Sugar harm the teeth. meandered into our soul with the now empty space of live repertoire in our house. famous Monroe. Mom scolded when we cried out with burning tears for a piece of chocolate cake shining on the many shelves of the prestigious supermarkets up and down the city. Our piano teachers. if our oleaginous digits spoke one crochet out of’ like my Dad’s out of New York City. My feet just wasn’t in it.

our fixed dentures, irreversible. The living product of a bad diet at childhood. Now go and eat the apple!” The gum she chewed had to be sugar-free. They saw the state of their dental heath akin to the poverty they had to bare during the cumbersome periods of their lives. They were unwilling to pass it down to us. True love? I ask you. Dad always told me he wanted to enjoy his food because… “If you can‘t enjoy eating! Forget it! It one of life‘s true pleasures.” And. “Imagine, if you can’t get any satisfaction out of what your mouth devours. You might as well be eating mud!” My mother wore a bridge in her mouth. Whenever I took her out to dine or just for lunch as she got iller and iller with Multiple Systems Atrophy, she’d slam the spitted object unceremoniously down on the white clothed table, as an actress slapping a spurned lover. Her teeth were important to her and she tried to nurture in us a love for our own set. She taught us good, basic dental hygiene. Come to think of it she spent thousands on her gums. So became her slogan. This: “eat an apple.” Munching on diabetic sweets with good intentions on my mother’s part. When all I needed was to be part of the gang at school. Souring and scoring their hole with all types of sugar content brought at the candywrapped tuck shop during our break time. No. I had to have a couple of strange parents who obviously had no wish to conform with the outside swirl of living. I desperately wanted to fit in with the crowd. We didn’t own a telly. Cave people engaged on the plains for suitable places to pitch our tent. We did not own luggage. A couple of carrier bags held our toothbrushes together. “Tough luck,” mum grimaced back, when I gripped of my alienated, disfigured plight. I grew to

never fitting in with the crush. Life with my parents had been written on the back of a discarded tissue box long before they decided to have us. Arriving at the opera for the Saturday matinee where Dad promptly feel asleep, probably drunk; in hindsight. Banging fists clumsily down on keyboards during piano lessons, I could never feel comfortable or confident at. While the instructing mistress howled her abuse at me. “Wasting shit!“ Diabetic candy and a father at times terrorizing the lot of us. What else was there to learn? I could not grasp at eight that Mom tried to protect us. Both parents carried terrible teeth and not looking after their fangs from an early age brought much future pain and decay. They did not wish us to row the boat in a mournful and mouldy mouth of infected water filled to the hilt with fillings. Educating us to brush regularly and forbidding us to touch the white crystallised stuff. Mom’s behaviour was exemplary in these instances. I felt the circus freak when a mate came over for his tea. I stared into a lonesome spot on the wallpaper as his gingerly opens a packet of diet sugar to pour into his bitter drink, praying he’d not pass comment onto the school gossip circuit. Because she wanted us to be as healthy and robust, as we’d be able to muster in this life, she brought on a good check list of eating well and looking after ourselves. But ask a 9 year-old kid and they’d swear blind they were being mistreated from birth. Punished from eating the good stuff. Fruit and salad was Mom’s password. We chewed the cud on sugarless gum. When we went ice-skating on Saturday’s sophisticated-frozen rink in the middle of Central Park’s barren green during the winter weather we never went a munching on the dime-a-throw, rich and ripe and so sweet, so harmful for my mouth

toffee apples. Glowing, real, chemicals glazing, brazenly, clamped onto the crusted redness of the fruit, I knew put together at the factory. Perfect the symmetry of the vegetable, I felt I could have skated around the world on a ruddy candy apple for the rest of my life. No! I was the guilty Adam to bit into this repast! If she was away for the day or not looking we cheated at the sweet shop. The whole clan of us wore braces to strengthen our teeth sometime during our childhood. I even wore a set of those monsters twice. Try looking good in them for the girls! It was all about her wishing us to look decent for the later trails that later dates in our days would have us subscribing to. Has Mom’s and to an extent my Dad’s sharp and sometimes extreme method of their upbringing tactics made me out to practise at my good habits? A salad a day is religious practice. Not one but I have three pieces of fruit, ceremoniously, instead of all that puffy up bread and marmalade toast for breakfast or lunch. I love garlic and raw mushrooms. I am not a connoisseur of your fast food outlet. Try to lay off the red meat or heart attack. Plenty of sea-gripping fish. For a mother, having little respect for the person she should have loved first - herself; she sure taught me the skills of eating right. Okay I might die of a heart complaint. Maybe get run over crossing the bustling street. She gave to me a list of the right kind of ingredients to eat. I love garlic and raw mushrooms. I will not eat the bad food a lot. Wholesome foods are the menus she channelled into my system, though many times she was not wealthy enough to buy fresh produce. This at an early age. My mum and me frequented a restaurant in London, near Carnaby Street, that specialised in serving only raw vegetables. Imagine! In my element crackling the virgin delights on my lips!

Unprocessed, tender, muscled mushrooms. Not sliced and mashed about in a tin. Crunching broccoli as raw as a thick downpour pounding on some other hot evolutionary buttery planet and dynamically green Brussels sprouts sporting a feast of an orgy. The texture of the rough and so fresh vegetables placed before famished dry lips. Ready to devour in a spoonful of scamper and lust. Mountains of untouched earth placed before my eyes in a big, brown earthenware pot in the middle of the round, wooden and unpolished dining-table. Mom and me glance at the feast, in preparation to demolish the nutriment. Some entrepreneur had the right idea! It was in Glasgow that Mum summoned us to the bathroom. She sat at the cracked and white ’Armstrong’ enamelled sink, scolding legs apart with a bottle of gooey looking medicine in her hand. “You all have head lice.” One by one she pushed us under the tap and by force and chemicals brushed the rodents out of our heads. An epidemic at school; she deloused us at home, underneath the cleaning materials and the streams of hot water tapping at our skull. Her hands sanitised our filthy habit picked up from other corners of the city. She did the duty not shirting once from the filthy job at hand. Exercising at the gym. Being a non-smoker. I never got to enjoy the leisure pursuit, though I did try inhaling those now extinct, minute Players Number 10 at 16 years-old, for a while. Until I smelt my fingers. Walking to the shops. Swimming the total sum of 80 lengths a week. How many is that during a 40 year run? A dream? Well, By George, to swim The English Channel! Reading books. Eating right. Today a healthy man. My house and appearance is one of cleanliness. The only time my house got dusty was when I had depression. Someone must have taught me to be groomed. I did not pick up the

custom from the air or the fruit tree. Doing time as Mam’s little helper in New York, I even made my little brother Robert a chart that reminded him to clean his teeth 3 times a day and to take a shower. Phew! Passing on my knowledge imposed by another. My mother. Though she was out a lot and could be brutal in her understanding of us, she has cared for us. She learned us several things by way of health and hygiene in our important early evolutional, initial, teething stages. Before she gave up. Did you love your 7 children? I scream out my quest to the dawn chorus of birds and frogs more interested in finding their breakfast. This solitary statement tunnels from my village in Lancashire, in radiation formation, to the blending, black holes where the dead still restlessly lurk . There’s never any response. So it is I answer. You. Did yes! You taught us to read!

Part 6 The Breaking Bit
Breaking out and Breaking down and Breaking up.

Breaking, breaking….torn across the universe, like a squashed mole nobody loves, my

lips froze onto the wall of the farmyard- who was I? Who am I? Yet quite soon to be rebuilt. I am put together like the action man; leg by leg, arm by arm, and then a mouth and a buttock. Well? Will it smile?

A nose and an ear.

Ladies and gentlemen! My life, so let the credits roll! Thrills galore!

Me. My area and not my mother’s, not my sisters’ but each comical, exhilarating or painful progression in “Me, My Mother and I” (title caught from a Billie Holiday number) demonstrates how I became the person I am. From her young son looking in the dumbfounded mirror in the apartment at New York; my first memory, to getting caught doing a sexual act, at The Hilton Hotel, London; then trusting and confiding in Mum discovering that I did love my Dad and today still dancing, dancing like Audrey Hepburn at some prestigious orgy in ‘Breakfast At Tiffiny’s’. Broken to breaking, exploding out on the landscape, muscles falling, falling like hard ice, all the time building something new aided by the golden tools of the universe.

Breaking, breaking, torn across the universe reclaimed a free man. God, was that me? One of my earliest memories and they are not always so bright is looking with astonishment into the long hallway mirror at the flat we rented at the brownstone on Manhattan Island. I must have been three by then.

God was that me? Having no suspicion my face was constructed what tore back at me through the looking glass. I had assumed the reality appeared different. That day somebody had thrown a rock through my soul; into a silent ripple less eternally young pond a thug shattered my peace for good! The pain went right down underneath my shirt material. Facial skin on bones, I had no idea existed banged out at me from glass with no apology. I shook and sank. All at once jolted with whiffs of disappointment at the results of finding my face and unprepared, I did not linger long before my reflection. I had complexes. One day as my head peered out from the upstairs flat of our brownstone on York Avenue I was held within the boundaries of a premonition. The light of the hour baffled at senses where the day might be a ghost; grey, mysterious, vivid. The air chocked at me. Further along the street towards The East River damp mist hung over the bridge but I only captured fright suspended over my eyes: something was not right, off angled on the city. Under the spaces of structural metal holding the bridge together antsized cars swirled and sizzled across tracks nervously clotting my thoughts of hellish devilments of the future embracing me and New York. Decade’s later events blew up more downtown while I suffered disorder and nervous breakdowns. Opera pealing through our penthouse from the phonograph high up on the 21st. Floor, also on York Avenue; a much posher residence. I loved my sisters. We sang opera too. Fun dressing up in New York City, living in the urban, copying the diction of the operas’ Madonna’s’. We were stars twirling in campish green bedspreads, stolen off beds in Mom’s lilac laid out apartment. Belting it out at the top of our brass, tenor and soprano competing with the radio. I was one of the sopranos, before my voice broke and

great. Dad lead me home through the stoically. climbing the elevator to her flat. . grasping evening. Running. I must have been eight years winning a handbag which I couldn’t wait to get back to York Avenue to present to my mother. It was fun being eight years old. Every July/August morning. Bedspreads and our throats disguising us in the pantomime of the opera. cool pavements. “Polka Dot Bikini” loud on the radio. spinning in ecstasy. making us laugh. a horrid mistake.if we could muster at Mom’s make-up splashed on our kindred faces we would have. day and night. open the door. Picked up early evening. I wasn’t shifting. feel older and where nobody questioned my gender. spending the day with counsellors to play at games such as baseball and soccer which I never was good at. I wasn’t shifting. So I led my dad back to the apartment. But forced to go to a camp where I had to spend the entire summer. whisked back to our living quarters and home. sharp-edged night outside The Cubs room hugged when I won at a prize draw. I hollered in the car. parallel to a blue Hudson River. cutting. I felt grownup as mid-town Manhattan gripped this new man. It was fine to go to the daytime summer camps. I needed to get home quickly through the night and with sweated impatience I arrived at almost every corner of the city with this golden surprise or it might disappear. Dumped at some out-skirted. driven on the freeway. Later on I became rebellious and organisations such as The Cubs or The Boy Scouts did not appeal to me but once the dark. That came later. under its roof. My happy success at winning the lottery made me part of the dynamic world of the vibrant and magical air. sparkling sky. Mom smelled my pride before she saw me. opulent playground in New Jersey.

Flustered. rich uptown junkies harrowing back to long centuries of slavery caught up to contemporary date in the 1960’s. black cleaners employed by white. Dad let Mom do all the talking. car window open. digging their language. I’d talk to our maids. Both didn’t look to happy.Mom and Dad used to visit us some weekends I guess to see how we were carrying on. Getting close. to an unwilling universe. “Dad’s out. My sisters and brothers gladly got back to their camp business when it became time to say goodbye while I jumped into Mom’s car refusing to budge. My father therefore did not teach me the rudiments of hitting a baseball or defending myself against some bully threatening me with my life but did come home to discipline us when asked. an education for me. their emancipation not achieved.” Mom would whisper trying to increase our guilt. Hiring maids at particular points in our life if Dad did well enough to afford the luxury. “I’ll have to get a man here to get you out of the car! Your counsellor!” Later when I saw a huge man making tracks with Mom following from out the back window of the car I changed heart. Dad in the background needed to get back to the city for tomorrow’s appointments paramount. only to get dressed up going out with my mother and his clients to sit at the exquisite opera. I’d smell their hair lacquer and rapport with the great women. Making money. A racist problem. . His face wasn’t coloured nice and both my parents were perplexed. the careless ‘European’ approach at life as they did the ironing or our filthy pots. Mom stood pleading. Never home much. Renting a prime riverside penthouse apartment on York Avenue was to be one of the times in my rollercoaster childhood Dad struck lucky. more enlightening than most of the speak I received from my family or hanging out at the school grounds.

whistled and laughed at this juxtaposition. Dad could have sued the hospital. When my young sister came home Dad placed his massive thumb alongside her foot in the pink cot where she lay showing how his fat finger matched the size of her minutest gland. I knew nothing then.dredged with low pay. Almost died with this intrusion welled inside her but she was strong and loving my baby sister so much I suppose.” Before I could ask I sneaked into Mom’s side and sooner than I could quiz my dad with any more urgent questions I soon slept beside his snoring face. Later whenever I recalled this story about his thickset thumb and her petite newly born foot my baby sister would be indignant and blush. The nursing staff had left an instrument after they stitched Mom back together. We were told at home that my baby sister had been facing the wrong way at delivery time. “Where’s Mom?” the child asked sleep still roasting in his eyes. only that I loved my friends. Gathered around him we joyfully clapped. The crumpled lavender sheets made it look like it had been slept in. Nothing about “Strange Fruit”. filling an unskilled job market and the prospect of a poorer education. “Gone to the hospital to have a brother or sister for you. claiming. “It isn’t true!” . the germs causing her to contract peritonitis. poverty at every level. My mother gave birth to my sister by caesarean at New York City Hospital. We were all looking forward to loving and caring for our dear little sister. One June morning awakened early by noise I padded across the flat to my parents’ bedroom finding one half of the bed empty.

paddled with a table tennis racket while my mother watched. All very expensive. haunting my quieter moments. pristine. I never questioned it but hid my swollen pride amongst the moth ridden clothes in the wardrobe. jaws satisfactory working through her cheeks. Once I broke a white. my mother’s wedding ring. My parents weren’t educated there were other ways. My cheeks stung in the deepest human embarrassment. me included were all summoned to the living-room. Recently I found out that she had passed . a patter of released air. You’d think she found me trying to blitz London. Social services weren’t going to be called in. He would have murdered me if there was a slight chance he would not get sent down. hard to ever forget his act. sisters. marbled-topped side table. Children don’t touch. the culprit handed out the punishment I let out a smile at my mother. Mom called Dad at the office downtown and that evening coming home fury widened his eyebrows. Turned over on his humiliating lap. misrepresented me. Keen on discipline she’d get Dad to mete it out. That type of parental care permitted last century I guess is now out of bounds. The war never ended in 1940 something. smooth as an ice-cube on which stood a purple coloured lamp. My bothers. A misunderstanding. After he gave the lecture.I picture the pinkie flesh of Dad’s manly hands. In the city we used to visit our Grandmother. boiled alive through the years. The hard ring of her slap across my chased face. Flicking. Dad went ballistic. a simple thick band of gold on a hand ready to punish. Both objects shattered to the floor. A relieved sigh had turned to tears of injustice. Somebody had stolen money from my mother’s purse.

That man never wavered his decision. crying out for her youngest boy.away in 1967 when we already had been living in Europe for a year. My grandfather was dead by then. Meek stood there dumbstruck as the woman ranted. Her tenement block shared by plenty of other dwellings in the centre of which stood a dim courtyard. Also I remember her as being thin but my dad the apple of her eye possibly because he the youngest out of a line of all males. She gave him her best. I never met him. That’s the story I heard anyway but I remember Gran best. Grandma disliked my mother. I got the feeling she just about tolerated us kids coming over once a month to her dark flat in the teens scowling over lower Manhattan. Grandma had been a Russian immigrant sailing west on the boat from the port of Odessa to The Americas. thieving her boy away. I didn’t like her much anyway “What do you think I am? Rich? Her intonation expressed richly Jewish. but of course that meant nothing to me then. scolding me with terror for using too much loo roll from out of her bathroom in the ghetto where she lived more down to the single numbers streets on the island. a loose woman who used to hang out on street corners smoking nicotine. Whenever she started her lecturing I held back against the rough surface of the scrubbed brown and white tiled wall. “Arthur could do much better!” . She never used much electricity to light her place. But my stubborn Dad had decided those non-compromising years ago he wanted no more to do with her. Grandma had severe hands. The nearest I have been to Russia is reading with difficulty Anna Karina and with more difficulty War and Peace.

Nassau Island on my tenth birthday: “You are too old to cry! God sakes you are ten!” She looked down at the mangled object not helping me to get back up.So Mom told her husband: “It’s her or me!” Simple. The place. for the new . The apple of her eye. burning through a steep. dislocating myself. And he refused to get in touch. blue scandals on. Mind made up Dad would not budge for a million pounds that day. I’m surprised we’re not all druggies or homeless lamenting the inhumane treatment of our grandmother. screamed out his name in the language of her ancestral home. I look at the tropical sun through water. At her death my gran desperately needed to be reunited with her favourite son. hurt in front of our house. We weren’t told Granny had passed away. he chose her. untidy. tumbling. Falling down porch stairs. Come to think of it he treated his wife the same way. I’m told. Like everything else our shadows were shrouded in whispers and mysterious mumblings thwarting our growth. He treated my sisters that way. Forever was forever to him. Her rattle. blind boy. walked to the tip of the wooden cliff where the top step began. Blind sun. We would search under all sorts of wooden planks vertically piled high and slanted back in our garage with other messy stored objects. ripping bones. My mother loved the cats we fed that kept on multiplying in all the secret corners of our garage. stony and slippery mountainside never-ending and all Mom did. Within range of Mom’s harsh nest of words. ideal for giving birth as many times as those cats did. kept for who knows what?.

I am desperate to express myself. Okay I don’t cry when I should but it still pokes and cancers its route. People die. I can’t grieve. I genuinely am unable to light the flame that will get my tear ducats working. the air can’t get out but the genius of its smoke destroys me in other designs. I even remained numb when my mentor died. Till it has performed the operation of slicing through my heart. though attempting. I can’t surface the formula to cry in any nation or continent. The harm comes out in other ways and I’ve had a crop of nervous breakdowns because I could not weep when Jim/Mum died. We just could not find them. Her socialisation process barred me from weeping. I stay static in my disease. Whenever new cats or their kittens were found in our garage on The Bahamas it became the hot topic. It put me in the right frame of her conception of male adulthood. so I can wash away my misery. so I can get happy again. I’ve lain on the hospital bed trying to rip out my eye sockets. At her chute into eternity I did not say farewell. Lost in a clutch of wasted seed. I’ve been permanently lost and the suffering is always likely around each and every corner. Mood that has been beaten back is dangerous. Instead I have to wait for another tidal wave. But once we sought out their shyness and their mother’s protection Mom would let us come with some evening milk to our garage at the end of the rocky driveway to feed the cats. I’d much rather cry a monument and then get over it. Tears extinguished on The Caribbean. It’s unfair. We loved them so much we wanted to adopt. The woman who told me it was childish and unboyish to cry had a long life to bear of her son not being able to express himself when his friends and relations get malady. .armies of kittens that we knew had arrived by their sweet urgent callings.

powerless. Mom cleaned out from under the rim of my penis with a cotton tip. This could not be abusive material. Yet our baby sister . I got it cut to a Jewish penis. I had a passion for Marilyn Monroe. Her bedroom door never locked and I loved my mother so much those months I would let her do anything. Innocent like. goodbye and goodnight and those words held more meaning yet sometimes my mother’s cheek could be so cold. We were not a warming unit. regarded it as an ugly set up. Mom. knowing what she did. But we kissed hello. At school in Scotland boys pointed at my penis and laughed. Were we going to be the future drug addicts roaming Glaswegian streets? Growing up devoid of physical touch. It was on a regular basis when we lived on Miami Beach and little did I know that she tried to take her life a few times that same year.I have a Jewish penis. My parents did not encourage touching. I knew she thought of more important things like of the next meal to cook or if Dad was coming home that night. It wasn’t taboo but to give each other a careless hug or a carefree pat on the shoulder seemed to take a lot of silent debate from them. The trouble with my dick is that it collects smutty mucus under the rim part. My dad had a bartizan. Not a good thing for their seven children to abide to. in most of her expression to portray a loving affluence married dad who wasn’t much better in the giving out department. So I stand there pants down. No matter what the Scottish lads said about my penis in the communal showers in Helensburgh I am proud of my penis. Let them gape. okay. This was not abuse. Circumcised when erect and circumcised when at ease. my mother we’ll talk about her later.

following her around the house while she argued with my sisters taking her side against their wars. In our rented. Relations between my mother and me were too close especially on my part because of the Florida accident. a pictured sex object rolling across the nation.” I can’t quite remember in what capacity I wanted this person as I stood aglow listening to my sister’s tale. As I stepped into society. the movement of sperm and what went on beforehand gave me a tingling new strength of knowledge I knew was forbidden. death by a drug overdose. She wouldn’t come and sit on a bench with me. draping under the stratosphere. The intricate ways women give birth. being so cute it became contagious showing our love. how she had been found naked. The birds and bees. I just wanted Marilyn. a very famous person. My second sister educated me. I always thought they were battering her and that she needed some of my protection.we all kissed vigorously when she arrived. It was very exciting the day I found out about Marilyn Monroe. I had a sudden passion for the adulterer with no clothes on. as I became even older. Did I only want to try her bra on? On the island where as kids we fooled on a street we nicknamed “The Bumpy Road” I felt my manhood peeking through. I found myself fighting against . slut. she told me of the truth of Marilyn. movie-star. She was dead. We all fell for her. white walls staring out to solid blue. run-down house on Nassau Island in my sister’s attic bedroom. “Finally found dead looking ravenously beautiful. A lot to break out and away from to be the type of person I wanted to achieve. Adult life started at sixteen tearing away from those tender feelings towards my mum whose comfort I did not yearn for anymore.

I knew she was missing a vital ingredient when behaving like a tyrant. Not good for my self-esteem being put down a grade after we moved back from Miami Beach to our place of birth. Common and uncommon ailments of the body will encourage the tourists to pick up a book and start. Heinemann she sparkled. Living with Mom could be hard and whenever in later life she came North to visit me turned out too difficult for me to be nice. writing about my mother. If Jane like Paul to much we yawn and go to sleep. whip lavishly at my head. There has to be conflict in a book. Broadway and The West End survives because of its antagonism. I know it takes two to waltz.highs. kitchen sink or the queen’s dramas .conflicts greater than my mother. a light in my anguished night. A misunderstanding between characters will keep the reader impressed to continue with their quest. She was selfish. I’ve learnt his hidden agenda from books about writing and I brought loads last year to up and up my knowledge of the craft of creating plot and thinking of the theme of the story. There is plenty battle about her. I also was at fault in many of our rows and falling out periods. I don’t particularly want that page in my memory jotter but with Mr. A woman living alongside the product of a mismatched socialisation process. I attended a play writing group where the director of the theatre or his subordinate preached the same theme. lows. conflicts will pass at intervals so the show does not fold on its previewing night. The person who painstakingly taught me how to use my body again. that on stage there has to be graphs of opposites. I loved my mother. . In the workings of plays whether they be musicals. An hostility of mushrooming toes smarting and squealing under the weight of athletes’ foot. In confusion all the forces drawing me in the wind. I hated my mother.

160 confronting her foe. The lady was not for taking or sitting. to share the same class with a younger sister. “How dare you touch my son!” But it was the scorching derision filling her eyes that made the man back down. Mr..S. not buttoning up storming out in the grey fire of morning mid-town Manhattan.New York City. her raincoat on. He never touched me again and I slept well that night. “How dare. I think a homosexual. Lillian flew to P. He might have been married but to me that’s the feeling he portrayed chalking the board nervously in white. Mr. Heinemann. . This teacher manhandles me almost throwing me down the stairs. We always fought : we always tore each others’ hair out. she brushed the trickle away with a mighty splash of madness making that much more impact because as our lecturer at last found his power to reply in his defence my mother walked away. Too put it mildly she went wild. Our second time around in the borough but this time sadly we could not afford the red bricked heights of York Avenue’s riverside rents with scenes sprawled and sparkling lavishly over The East River and beyond Brooklyn. So take note. in the 1960’s taking his frustrations out on us. To put it bluntly Mom wasn’t too right pleased. Heinemann dumbstruck stood before Mom’s ravings. our teacher the room all sensed was neurotic.” Saliva stole her mouth. “there is no fury like a woman’s scorn!”. In a white towering block across the street from the grimed white Lennox Hill Hospital positioned on Lexington Avenue I called my mum a bitch. The sweet man lost before my mother began. As a ‘married boyfriend’ once warned me years later in Manchester and to his credit he did have some sense. When I reported my teacher’s mischief.

Mom went to extremes to make our home on Lexington Avenue look reasonable. slides and water fountain. always a lover of fresh plus the conversation with a peer might have made the day more interesting. the way to keep awake with the frustrating punishment. Dad lost heart. But this time instead of getting throttled I had to write a thousand times. I was getting bored so I made designs with the sentence. Mom.We had just returned from hard times in Mexico. Mom’s friend had butterfly glasses and her only friend came to visit her one day. Mom. I even wrote some of the cloned sentences down. Nothing could be worse in the world then six brats all crying out for sweets. I knew I was receiving a beating. got busy turning on the dishwasher then began folding laundry.” On the ninth floor I started my work. So I’d try to run for my life. he went out not caring about the end results which weren’t going to be forthcoming. my mouth washed out with scented soap and red buttocks. we were . It was not allowed in the family.up before the smack or paddle hit down hard. Missing a few sideways or down. mouthing my screaming. Dad chased me round the living-room and he would snare me in his glowing hands but it was better having a few minutes warm. anything to get it over with. Florida and Nassau where Dad explained to me in sombre tone that he had been robbed by numerous business partners. It was degrading the way my mother had to creep. “I must not call my mother a bitch. The windows wouldn’t open wide enough for my great escape. too. She had started some gossip with a woman probably also with children on our excursions into Central Park to the same playground: swings. But I calmed down. not across.

Mom survived clinically depressed. The sun rolled in the sandbox as Mom watched us tight lipped but content. a victim of a harrowing childhood. She’d walk us. If Mom only could chose the happiness glimpsed on her face in Central Park and other parks of The Western World but misery drew her astray.almost broke. a real tough sun worshipper. Tea and biscuits wheeled through on a black trolley which Mom had scrubbed with brillo all that morning. she’d be happy having a house in the middle of the park of the city or the town wherever we vagrants happened to roam. To impress this way indicated something was wrong in our household. force us to breath air and we breathed rhythm richer in texture than the air-conditioning left running at the flat. wheel us. the open air was a religion and she figured it could be a good outlet for our health. I felt sad and angry that she had to creep to a woman who thought nothing of her. a tent would even suffice in the luscious richness of a metropolitan setting. Mom had positive mechanisms for a decent life. The children had to keep quiet. not like The Africans but to our neighbours we were relatively poor. we met mates shouting and yelling. we were the freakish outcasts holding up the pretence of all right but socks always fall back to the floor showing the bareness of the ankle. Mom was miserable boxed inside herself growing . it must have been unlucky meeting my Dad who did what most men do. Because of the harsh tragedy of her earlier years the woman did not shout him down loud enough. stub out the wife’s feelings and ambitions. Certain I lived in another world of my mother’s. Dad was a good borrower Mom got out the best china for the lady wearing butterfly glasses from the park who to me seemed to be getting an unfair advantage from my mother who just seemed to be like anybody else. she was well in the sunshine.a casualty of her adulthood. Mom liked the open space greatly.

And I still carry the scar to prove it. Even though my mother quickly was slipping into a grassless heavan. attempting to love us through childhood. At the end. her contraption parked beside near me while I rested on a bench. unhealed. my memory of her in a park. the day before she started into a coma and chocking horribly to death. us with our tiny feet and what do I do? Well. sisters and friends are all in a queue in readiness to hustle over the grey metal structure that water burst through in the drought rich summer months. She passed it on to some of us. What do I do? Brothers. she didn’t even pick a bible to hide into. Small enough to want to meet its challenge and big enough to feel like we achieved a great feat. not forwards like my other contemporaries somehow scratching my chin madly on the floor. when it comes to me I don’t make it over the obstacle because a few inches protruding to the sky dangerously turned a mile high boasting itself to heights I could never negotiate. Except that I needed six stitches after my mother took me hastily to Lennox Hill Hospital. Central Park . In New York City in concrete playgrounds situated at alternating paces are water fountains. One of the last times my mother now in a wheel-chair stood this earth.vines around her head. Under my chin where a line of thread dangled healing my wound of missing my jump in a New York playground and on the . the lady could not kick the habit of her life time. I don’t make it over the post puttering back down to earth backwards. And I still carry the scar to prove it. in Chelsea and Kensington Borough she still brought her children and grandchildren to the small parks of the locality when we came to visit. But for the days we played in the park she did more than her duty. her solace. smiling because she sat out in a park amongst the design of London’s beguiling flowers and foliage.

where the drifters of dreams. Strange that one of my future businesses would be a small cleaning company where part of the work tendered. Mom pay her for the service and everybody happy. My sister gave up the ironing as a bad job. me was too grown up and embarrassed. I tried to outscore my competitor offering my labour for naught. And when we flew across The Atlantic in cheap cargo. that my mother might be slipping away from my grasp.palms of my hands where I suffered rope burns in Florida and the burns on my head after the Miami Beach car accident and even where on my wrists there are scars when once fed up in Manchester I cut my wrists the wrong way and the nurses told me to go home and also why one leg is bigger than the other… I got up from the ground after I cried a bit in my embarrassment. maybe even dope. In New York. pimps. now we were living back in the city proper. She’d do the ironing part. as if bartering for love in the daily columns. prostitutes and thieves never manage to sleep for fear of missing one dynamic pulsation of their urban lifestyle. packed in my suitcase were my dusters and a fold up Hoover. with my car accident firmly frozen on a frame on a street in Miami Beach. she’d earn her pence somewhere else. I graduated to the domestic. Not until when in Glasgow a couple of years later did I confront my mother : “I don’t want to be your cleaner anymore!” You see. Once noticing from their bedroom windows eyes from the . Could I be the same person doing a good job for someone’s love in return. My sister made a deal with my mother. Keeping my mother sweet she could only continue with her affection. On Saturdays in Glasgow I carried out the major cleaning of the house. that many years later? Quite too deep for me to think. Smelling the competition. cleaning peoples’ homes. My parents’ first floor extended flat. My sister smoked instead by then.

The Frogs. Roger.S. The Beatles. years of Vietnam protest. That changed my life confirming any doubts. We could use somebody like you around. that older boy’s eyes followed my crimpled shadow. like I was a wonder from Mars. disbelieving me. the kids were? Mom’s lips were turned down and it looked like it would be difficult to transform them back to their original shape. I stopped cleaning stepping out in normal adolescent. I was not going to clean anymore for my mother. Dad had been away for days. So we took off and the first place we settled was a small fishing village in Scotland on Garelochhead called Helensburgh. for two reasons. We spied them both marching across Lexington Avenue from our ninth . I sensed something was up during the second episode of our living in New York City when one of us opened the front door to our poor bruised father standing in the communal hallway. Even later that night when she knew certain her husband planned to stay not venturing downtown associating with the shady district she still silently grimaced. “Gee. But I am sure my mother became only too glad for me to replace the Hoover for a more independent character.A. My sister spent the day at Coney Island unknown to my mother with her Puerto Rican black boyfriend. drugs.pavement sneering at my movements as I bent over my tasks and when making a move to the adjacent living-room. Our family left the U. My mother thinking my sister had been beat up and Dad coming home beat up. he came into the alcove kissing Mom asking how us.” The disappointment in her throat but my mind made up.

leaving Manhattan for the second time in a decade. Luggage and looking for my sister probably smoking in the toilet. Confusion and landing lights and ‘No Smoking’ lights onboard the aircraft. As we quickly geared ourselves for more dislocation I imagine Dad murdering Mom in my bewilderment. In those hazardous times in the City of Skyscrapers. The family portrait hanging in the corridor hastily stripped out of its golden frame piled high on the top of unwashed clothes in a black. Could it be that my sister had been beat up by our father for her behaviour? There was a lot of loud noise in the flat that night. a cheaper fare those days.floor apartment defiantly posed as lovers seen even that high up. unrest reigned like unwanted bugs and cockroaches but as the young . So she rushed her across the street to Lennox Hill Hospital to check for suspicious signs that this misdeed of her daughter might amount to rape or drug taking. This shocked my mother and her anger rose as they kissed goodbye at the lobby door. The outcome of her having a black boyfriend and telling a lie and Dad getting hammered and not once. Though some of us still did misbehave. never to return. The lady did not look pleasant escorting my sister across the avenue. plastic suitcase. Next scene: The Perrin Family at JFK Airport. For our next adventure in The Old World we took only the bare essentials. My sister supposed to be somewhere different made Mom scream and over react. our family portrait and clothes. Boarded a plane to jet The Atlantic via Iceland. By this time in our household. were to become contributing factors in 1966 for us to pack our bags and to buy passage East. clearing out fast once my parent’s mind had been fiercely made up. Scotland lay there awaiting us like bliss on its landing strip.

Good start to our new life with Dad broke. a wise person. School chums negatively labelling me continues. Dad had a friend slip our passports on the desk of James Callaghan the then Home Secretary giving us permanent residence. I smashed into her face. At least she never touched me again but . But we all went swimming and joined in the activities and we met a family whose father worked on the set of Coronation Street. twenty miles from Glasgow where my father would continue working with the same Scottish firm as he began to in New York. My sister’s collection of records had been stolen at Liverpool docks. By the time we reached the shores of The British Isles I became ready to nearly to celebrate my thirteenth birthday. a male effeminate had global dimensions I learnt and I paid in whatever country I camped. Finally my parents found a house to rent in Helensburgh. I learn to masturbate. One of the wisest decisions moving to the British Isles. We were immigrants. So hello Scotland. Mom never to be pregnant again. Or running away from impending disaster proved more truthful the tune why we cleared out so fast from so many various homes. Another memory is hitting my sister back. For a couple of years we had blankets on our beds courtesy of Butlins Holiday Camp and silverware laid the table straight from the stockpiles from the same compound in Ayrshire. The first place we stayed in Scotland was a holiday camp called Butlins in Ayrshire vacationing longer than the customary two weeks. It took Mom and Dad longer to find digs for us. taking it for granted that I came from an odd ball family moving around the world at a speed that unsettled me whenever Dad and Mom thought we would better ourselves in other tropics.adolescent I graduated to I never questioned the family’s torment. I haven’t been deported yet. Awash with Dad was bad soap but one thing about his charisma.

I wasn’t going to be punished write out a million times: ‘I must not shave until I am older. I looked again in the mirror blood pouring forth onto my reflection yet proud with what stared back but she was not having it. to begin a new chapter. at least. at least. quakes within me. Cutting myself terribly and bleeding. now top of the pecking order. Her pain trembled. Mom did not like the idea of me growing up never mind the blood.’ Her oldest lad longed to mature but forbidden . A day in spring I surprise the house by shaving. surprising me as much as her astonishment at my new found fists. she never touched me again. she never would touch me again. “You shave and you are only fifteen years old! You don’t need to shave yet!” My face still steamed with the shaving foam now intensified with the blood. into some corner to wail until Mom came home from the supermarket or opera to report on my injuries to her. the light quenching from her eyes I will hold to my stake. though worried about her feelings I remained defiant. I unwilling to relinquish it. “Don’t touch the razor again until you are twenty!” She did not threaten telling Dad. stronger. whatever went near the hands. In annoyance Mom gathered up Dad’s equipment. The apparatus still hot with use lay on the bathroom sink. Previously. in our upstairs hallway. At our upstairs flat. a chair. Mom saw me and cried. Still her defeat wounded worming into the very cavity of me. we’d chuck it at each other. an instrument. But in these conquests of might I always lost. I only wanted to grow up. using every bit of my strength. When I punched my sibling back. a bottle of red sauce.the hard punch of my slap hurt me gravely. not caring of consequences in our battle of superiority and in the duals of jealousy between my sisters and me.

a whole generation of difference parting me from my Mum and being called names by bullies at class (homophobia ripe at fourteen in education) and bad at sports knowing that I came from different species. Pirate radio in New York? You must be kidding we never get close to doing anything that adventurous. I had friends to party with at the evening discos dancing to Diana Ross and The Supremes or The Monkeys and I dug flaunting my body. Lying wide open at my saviour. And falling head over Charles Dickenson’s charms. Or on my bed listening closely to pirate radio. The transistor perched on the shelf above my bed shattering and alive. In between the tantrums of my family’s domestic touch the razor again until some genuine growth nestled those cheeks. my bedroom wall . I read David Copperfield in my bedroom snuggled in cotton pyjamas all summer long. while the Scottish sun set into a moon striped night. If only my life stopped inside ‘Great Expectations’ and I’d never have to get out to face another breakfast again when all hell let loose in the family kitchen. Books tore me to zebra crossings no other human had much chance of flying over with me. And full of the treasure. Fancying male pop stars. blushing behind my thick blue curtains. At her boy trying for a man she had to get hysterical again with a terrible shout and then just walked out. I fell into my world of routine. I read David Copperfield. Books held me fast during my crisis months. towering in my bedroom. feeling the fluid of my teens with Radio Caroline and Radio Luxemburg. Yet I yearned for solitude taught by David Copperfield or mark in my time the pop music above my bed: wrangling the words and tunes inside my head. It was such a shame when the pirate ships were captured by the establishment and yanked out of sea. Evolving to the man I nurtured.

I refused to clean the house for Mom anymore and got fairly rebellious fighting against both parents. The first summer living in London. We moved to a posh building. Dad. The prospects were better here for Dad. Best friends in Glasgow.faithfully decorated with their swift and swirl images. Exciting for two sixteen year old lads. Mick Jagger and Marianne Faithfull lived there once. I fell now dumb to. London calling. a certain member of The Monkeys. He never bothered to notice how much I changed. And though we debated politics. London calling. the property called ‘Harley House’ on the Marylebone Road. a Beatle poster erected. While my best friend David Ellis boasted of his conquests in the girl department I seeded in the male zone. David Ellis and me planned to hitch around the British Isles. It called us too and it wasn’t such a long time before we unpacked our bags in London. I felt temptation long after the light went out. David’s dominant character breathed heavy heterosexual fumes down my back and to his beliefs. on the up and up. but with my awareness concerning my found sexuality cemented in London I had trouble relating to my former best buddy. Thrusting him enough hints about me. All hung with drawing pins pitched at the plastered wall. Swooning at the bodies: The Doors. Underneath and above our flat now only resided defunct lords and ladies but we were happy with that. . London reigned the gay capital of the world in the swinging sixties just about the right place for a right sixteen year old boy like me about to experiment with the forbidden fruit of homosexuality. Or so my testicles felt. I confess. Hot with the touching. Impossible to get him motivated to see there might be an alternative life other than his own bulky one. religion and other youthful universes as young fast friends do and hard to separate us in Scotland. I never budged for nobody’s bible and Good God’s convention.

His choice. He boarded The Circle Line for Euston to take him back North again. Closeness can crack. Bringing the same summer shades of green and black back to my reminisces to this day. We said goodbye on a platform at Baker Street near to the toilets where I learnt how to hang out at. pools of pop songs on our lips I never forgot. 1970. enough daylight at this late hour so motor cars did not need their main beams yet. The green British coming up to meet our tent every morning but it frustratingly was a one sided love affair of David’s views. We decided to split after I got sunstroke at Margate. Both poignant and relieving for David to be gone. Bobby Charlton. Lying in bed. If I had been brave I’d spewed up into David Ellis’ face but I was too scared and polite. blisters . Once we slept at a Youth Hostel at Penrith. all David disappointedly dwelled on that summer we met up in London: the fucking element and the thickness of her thighs. The last I heard of my best friend’s whereabouts was several years later when he had been admitted to a mental-care ward. did I realise that thirty years later I would build a lasting relationship with The Lake District holidaying there at least four times a year? Watching The World Cup at another Youth Hostel at a remote town in Scotland. his lifestyle shouted me down and for all the other guys who might be different. At home with sunstroke my mother suggested I hit the road again. Travellers gathered around the set of the hostelry watching England play. Mounting the stairs to day lit pavements a certain ending in my life had begun. We were so north the Scottish sky still famously flamed light.our friendship built on an extreme passion I thought exceptional. okay for him and most men but by the sounding of his aggression. Though a wonderful summer around my new Britain. with all the eager bite in our voices of love and wrath.

A lonely boy tarmacing the pavement for a year which didn’t seem to want to finish. west to east and north. My first sexual experience took place in a toilet above a pub in Earl’s Court. I cracked the cocoon of being a mummy’s dummy. When we moved from Scotland down to the smoke. My first sexual experience took place in London. Primrose Hill. The first chance at my lust satisfied by another pulls me apart. Some pleading and embarrassing comment. but it had been sown. continue your adventure. hot that night. “Hey calm down. He looked to my pleading cries with disdain. Charing Cross. Relishing the graffiti exposed on toilet walls. highly charged.on the side of my face. Trying to fit the pieces for himself and make some sense of his life quickened pace. I could not stay away from the Shithouse Poetry masturbating in a urinal. I’d spend the days walking the capital city. she pushed and sat close to my blanket where on her mind positive thoughts ran. Mom kissing me goodbye at the cottage door. too warm to handle myself alone. It was difficult baling hay. But the young man cautioned me gently when I shouted out to him my urgency.ROGER IS AT LAST A FREE PERSON. Waterloo. high on the homosexual banter. The history happened quickly. but. Mortified at his sturdy refusal to love me. Following a man and this . Shoreditch. never mind the sunstroke. Bitterly rejected at my bravery. cool it. you’re so young. it lasted three days. “Roger. In desperation stalking a man near Gloucester Road. you will soon feel better!” Wanting to flourish my independence I suppose we both felt it time to scream it out on a banner. When the heat abated I went to work on a farm in Hereford. almost went into the cages of eternity. south troubled about a mysterious hunger nipping at me.” Find it somewhere else.

This I had never been taught in school. I did vow never to practise with a man again but slinking home to mom’s. I found it impossible to admire or to get a chance at to love David Sawyer. I found Billie Holiday to compensate. So disturbed at what took place. Years in the . I start dating a friend of her boyfriend’s. At last I found my vocation. After confessing to a sister a year later. my sister gave me her full support. I am certain my mother read more scrolled on my brow than I wanted to admit when I ventured into her apartment. The man who just gave me so much pleasure I did not wish to know. But instead he pulled my underpants down. instead. eyes cruise the many male buttocks on the bus. Where sunk in the bowels of the earth my lust complied itself. This could only be wrong. on the way back to Harley House I find peace in the toilets at Baker Street Tube Station. Disturbed again rotating against polar mood swings from gratification to hating. My glory got ironically discomforting when I noted I was ejaculating. It is such a shame I don’t communicate a lot with my sister. I still cannot hold a relationship down for six months without jumping into the next garden and his underpants. I had just committed sex strolling the boardwalk. living in New York. Because at my tearful agony with my promiscuous behaviour at such tender moments.time he did not point a finger at me. Once I found it I did not stop having sex from that moment. In degrees my guilt tuned up or down the volume. reproaching me to be on my way. That gentleman? He buttoned up and left but I had been caught red handed. This loving another man. playing footsie with another hunter between the cubicle walls. Into poles of paradise and hell I trolled. during this new found sordidness. Doris. As soon as I wet the damp black and white lino guilt also spilled on the floor spreading to the toilet walls penning my soul into flames of misery.

an underground . A sister introduced me to Dave Sawyer.universe and the difference is I accept the pattern now and explaining to my current boyfriend that I can’t change. he wasn’t in complete denial. I wanted to shout across the distance. could I be missing something vital? I believed that Dave lacked kick. I haven’t spoken to them for a while but it’s sad. I did not like him very much. He smoked dope and seeing him a couple of years later on the other side of the pavement he looked at the point of death as if he now took something more serious. the kaleidoscope gone raving mad. Dave. a friend of her boyfriend lived in the room next door on the ground floor of a house of bedsits and flats in Balham. On the way back home to my father gloriously waiting for me at the dining table his mouth stocked up with too much whisky and his next lie. from our relationship. I debated. “Get happy man! This is liberated 1971 so get out and smile and show yourself!” My lips stayed shut but boy could I be mad! And since sex basically did not exist between us our affair did not have the longevity to extend into our retirement. He joined the gay protest movement. My sister encouraged me to come out to Balham to meet Dave after confessing to her that I like the same sex. I’d nip into Baker Street Toilets. About himself he could not be a happy person. For things I could not talk with Mom. All we seem to do is to lie on the bed and he never touched me up. Dave hung up about being homosexual but he too put on a brave face. It is always with compassion my feeling for my siblings thinking back to my shattering voyage of who I was sexually. We listen to the antics next door feeling alienated from society. All three sisters help me in seconds of spinning confessions and confusion. turning to my sisters with my crying outbursts.

I doubt Dave Sawyer cried much when I did leave him. Soon to ditch him. We went to a demonstration that protested against The Vietnamese War that took place in front of The American Embassy. invigorating. Journeying down to The South of England getting lifts from numerous lorry drivers Dave and I walked on foot coming up to a roundabout. Taken aback the only time dour Dave had an outburst about beauty. My mother was a wonder.” He whistled. We had been to demonstrations in New York before but had just stood on the pavement loudly cheering . An ugly moment. Grovesnor Square. aren’t they beautiful? Those flowers. We went to a pop festival. headed for The Isle of Wright. Dave and me hitching lifts. Even though my dad waited drunk for the Queer Boy to come home at night so he could lie and verbally whip me I managed to get away one weekend. One of the reasons we escaped New York for The British Isles so that her oldest boy wouldn’t get caught up in the draft and have to fight in South-East Asia. out comes a sensitive comment. The Isle of Wright. “Gosh. Adoring anything. Adoring nature was out of his character. a solemn man almost in denial about his gayness. I looked at the zesty pigments. In the middle of this roundabout stood a green island with an array of flowers bloomed in brilliant colours. queuing for the dirty toilets though vividly stamped on my mind is not the part of the trip I remember best. finding gratification.out of his character. Silly going to Balham for no kisses but plenty of depression. Still that short collection of words surfacing from the depths of Dave Sawyer did not unfortunately make me love him any better. he didn’t like it. listening to music. His sentence confused and troubled me. he had dipped into life. Too sad to grasp at the alter. With a start. waking up on grass.haunt for homosexual men. bright. I think he died somewhere between.

The play I left at Harley House.the usual major disagreement with my father. My mother too used a voice at the rally. For no reason apparent police on horses decided to attack the mass and they came charging towards us. my distress breathing in diamond air. The law came into our arena whipping us in all directions with the notion of disorientating us and breaking us up into a thousand pieces.the protesters shouting their slogans. sprung up from concrete pavements. So this saga goes. before Dad joined the high rise business class his wife and him belonged to the Communist Party. including Mom. Our family saga goes. I grabbed a brother and quickly got him away from a pair of horse’s kicking feet. Many were clamouring: newspaper reporters all wanting a piece exposed of Mom and Dad and babe Doris in their arms. I needed the anonymity of a spacious urban sky to crystallise my . From my folk’s house one night I exit. My mother didn’t empathise but sat hissing in the uninvited audience. During The McCarthy Witch hunts they wished to visit Russia but were put under house arrest in Czechoslovakia and detained by the Soviets who thought they were American spies. Several of our family was gathered amongst the crowd which peacefully was picketing against the war. I had about a pound of hashish in my pocket. The government succeeded in scaring me but it did not change my opinion about The Vietnam War. My dad got so infuriated at the rush of them he knocked one photographer out. Grovensor Square frightened me because I had never encountered police brutality before. before Dad got rich and conservative. If this history is correct Mom had her fair share of being a rebel before Vietnam. gathering the golden streets of London above my head. When Mom and Dad were finally released a month later they arrived back on a boat which docked at New York Harbour.

Its hood tore at my ankles. feeling cool and part of the team. The dark suffocated me around the Park. I managed to calm myself down. I now stood near Convent Garden. Deeply. Reaching Hyde Park I started running attempting to release and stamp the drug out of my system. the nicotine got too stuck at the back of my throat.senses back to normality and I headed to Hyde Park Corner to be amongst the blasting stars reflecting on the park’s luminous grassy lawns getting the cool murder of my parents out of my tempting skull of damnation. rearing back at me and I could not get away. terribly echoing in the walls of my thinking. with uncontrollable torture. 10s cigarettes. Like sick. Smoking did not last long. I wanted to live. Escape to hell. Walked home to bed shaken. about sixteen then. It became a mission but almost an impossibility. Paranoid? I was worse. In front . smoking dope and experimenting with Player’s minute No. Except I needed to. I would not be released easily. bunches of broken birds’ wings. By the time I crossed The Hilton Hotel at Hyde Park my mind began flapping. I tried to get rid of this fellow. repeating over and over. smoking the weed and fags. stopping the hysteria. Quickly putting the small box of soil to my mouth from my trouser pocket I swallow back the whole bit of dope like it could be aspirin. All my thoughts hurled themselves at me. My catalyst. Attending a Gay Liberation Meeting with a boyfriend. you see. like grey vomit. I dipped into insanity never to return to my unhappy poetry of childhood. I never kissed my mother that night. When reaching the underpass taking me across the roundabout I was a goner. Another bad trip where the sky felt something the colour of which I’ve never forgotten.

I hated myself. Doctor Mendes. I yearned to be shut of him. Not good. to see if he could help to put me back together. depression clinging with stubborn intensity and if it was not for Mom I’d be in a sorry state. The stirring throttled my existence making me light years away from any recovery. The movement hurt the hairs of my eardrums never coming out of my damnation to be a happy man. Panicking and suddenly gripping my partner for life as the universe opened up its claws and sucked me into its Faust. seconds later crashing smoothly on the pavement. My mother’s son? She might as well dump me proper in the sea. Simple. The universe shifted above my cranium. She suggested I saw a friend.” . The barter developed into something with unbearable passion on his side while I got more stoned and agitated. My blood pressure must have dropped. Words began falling off my face as we shared a joint.” “I just murdered my teacher.of the vegetable carts we stood but he just kept on harping for an extended relationship. Doomed. the heavy mass changed rhythm. “I’m homosexual. Late at night get out of bed and sleep walk it to the sill like a disturbed ghost. Who was I ? My identity complete until yesterday found a rat’s hole and tumbled into it. Lost light. It went far deeper than the grave. At Harley House distressed and anxiously misplaced I knew I’d involuntarily throw myself out of Mom’s window’s encasement. Hurled into an infinite boundless wave directing somewhere I could not place. flying below. An ill man. I drowned in the sky. Funny with Mum nothing ever phased her. Okay I recognised the pavement I walked on but my face crossed the bounds of faith and stability. The day changed. Opening my bones. No suicide note left.

“No you’re not. Musings I now claimed. Doctor Mendes listened to me while I drooled. Describing to Mum I smoked a bad habit making me run away from myself. I almost fell for that solution of walking out without hesitation from Dad’s expensive parlour windows. taking his life. “The earth is lost only because that is the way you feel now. Explaining to Doctor Mendes. it wanders.“I’m having a nervous breakdown after I smoked that joint.” He replied.” I had accepted it with ease when I had come back from my car accident on Miami Beach and at last had laid awake on the fresh smelling hospital bed. But he calmed me down. “I’d never know the difference if I never woke up from the perished.” “But I can’t accept death.” Thoughts always there. caged much longer than life.” “You will feel better.” “You are not insane.” Doctor Mendes became a counselling session for me and I continued to rant telling him there could be no turning back. it has not fixed place in space. “The universe is lost. In the net of a very disturbed person. Trying to let him see my inner rubber ring of hysteria biting me up like a thousand flies at the open bandage. “I am mentally sick.” Then I had positive sentiments about . now simmered at the surface.” Mom’d look shrug and go back to chewing her gum and figure how the best way to go about it. Convent Garden would not leave my sensibility. Worse than my experience in Hyde Park Corner.

But Doctor Mendes coolly laid out to my terrifying stress. Though in my adolescence it was something else that would traumatise my whole physic. Ideal and easy. Unfortunately. Two months later. About this time. A friend of Ma’s he wrote books.” The way I am looking at it now Doctor Mendes had a lot of faith in me. Except I don’t . Usually he did not say much. My life began to create other shapes and sizes. Still I fell for him. My sisters are critical and if they say‘Don’t mind’ I learned at a very early age that’s a good compliment coming from their mortality. But waiting for a bus to take me back to Central London from his offices I felt better. Although never forgotten. it did not last long. Victor worked for a television company and he wasn’t pretty. I managed to get by without the appointments. the thud falling from the devil’s moon rising. On and on. Later Mom told me he told her I was gay. Doctor Mendes told me I was not mad at every incoherent syllable and at every awkward comment I spoke aloud to him. stronger. By the time I arrived at my destination I was chewed up and plenty again lost in space again. I shed some anguish off at last from my first major disruption in a life of street walking turmoil. my first true boyfriend after 1000 partners and my older sister did not mind him in the least. My mother’s friend listened courteously smoking a pipe. Breaking. Victor lived in Fulham. the neighbourhood of Fulham got fashionable.moving from slum to very expensive mews house and since I lived with my sister and her boyfriend down the road in South Ken it became ideal to meet at his pad. “Just think of it as being asleep. breaking but at last getting the egg back on sea. though.

Your typical middle-class homosexual man don’t kiss. I had a lot to learn in the behaviour department. With Victor I breathed like an overheated radiator. Being a first serious relationship. I dug it a lot. Planted in a different kind of soil. Guildford. really down there. I had yet to learn the art of being senselessly dead and cold if I wanted something out there in the homosexual twilighted world. Usually it voiced itself as. we would actually talk before having sex and I felt waves of freedom away from my family. “Isn’t he gorgeous!” I had left living with Doris up at Kensington and now had headed back temporarily to live at my parents’ house at Clandon. its white walls shimmering up staircases to other grand landings. ‘deep throat’ now or then in 1972. Maybe it could’ve been a time we weren’t speaking because normally the mother met every boyfriend. Victor. I can’t remember any comment about Victor. Victor’s house rose splendidly from the street. “Everybody owes me!” Young. “I’ll stay here. Now in another time capsule. There were a lot of more possibilities swooping on so much more variants. I don’t think she ever met him. I felt my own person.” My father did not trust me. my own decision making process. I look back over to the smart arsed things he did to me and I say back to him somewhere over the space into his vicinity: “You should talk!” . I kind of felt empowered and as if I knew I would enjoy my adulthood. a roaring teenaged homosexual screaming queen. like. My mother did not get much involved with my first love. Who were about to go on a holiday to The South of France but I did not want to go.think Victor took my hysterical tactics much. Not like I managed myself then. Dad.

“Try Victor. “. But it was never a definite decision to live at home again. “Come with us to France or sling your hook elsewhere!” So infuriated I stopped off at Clapham Junction and did justice with the world.O.” Victor did not even sorry so I phoned Dad and got me on a plane to meet them in France.” she suggested. flats and boyfriends sometimes I stayed the odd week or two. And he should be looking out for you. Dad I call out! some moments you aint half bad. of course. Before my affair with Victor began I independently lived with my sister called Doris. things that I knew would truly needle father’s existence. “You can stay here a night. ready to help out. After the bitter experience at Convent Garden and its aftermath. Something told me immediately pulsating out of his eyes he did not plan to be accommodating. they were my parents. the city of lonely dreaming.” When I got to Victor’s I kept on knocking.P. “He’s your boyfriend. Tomorrow the whole production team is filming in Bali. holding my body together in battle.His compromise. I think we grew up quicker in the 70’s. The G. In between bed-sits. When I did arrive back for a short spurt I didn’t linger but immediately went looking for out other resources..she’s leaving home…” Kicked out of home at 16 I never really went back. It looked like I never fit the stereo-type 55 year-old man still living with his mum. I split apart on the grass in Regent’s Park. So much for growing up and me being ungrateful. Tower at the . Doris couldn’t house me when I arrived back in London. At 16 booted to the pavements I became a free man.

I realise its all relative but a week goes as a day once did. Whatever drug I smoked must be the vehicle for development. to get right again. Everything happened as my mother leaned over the kitchen sink complaining about one of my sister’s. but I had to leave home. Convent Garden gave me the final incentive to get out. west. Fired up. where dad fought to find rent. their photographs shot outside its vaporous elegance. fleeing away from my parents.east. government officials and television actors leased the property. and started racing ahead and hasn’t stopped its momentum when every year accelerates a good deal quicker than the year before. then stood up. a clean break to find myself. Life rose after that moment on grass. no matter the time span. At first I went living with a college lecturer and his wife who wanted to include the . Face down in the soil of the earth. On top of me. “Bitch. I yelled the insult out from my bedroom. praying I would get right again.P. only throbbing confusion. Tower whichever point on the compass it lay from me. north or south of me.” This time it was not the spacious lounge overlooking The Lennox Hill Hospital. But a flat in London so posh. On the lawns time took a tumble. I knew nothing then. A restaurant directly beneath his office Not to discipline me. My earth life had a terrific bang and the umbilical cord snapped dismantling me forever from my mother. And unlike Lexington Avenue where Dad had me write about a zillion times. “I must not call…” took me out to lunch instead. pop stars. clutching at some seeds of pampas.O. The same room where I told Mom I would sleep walk out the window one night. my identity wander its way somehow back to my temple. Or lifting my head up to peer at the G.

Betrayed and cheated were my feelings when I learned later from Mom she was worried that I would never rebel. the urge of my liberation burnt into my software.peculiarity of me in his forthcoming book all about the psychological defects of the twentieth century. walking with her single-handed to her distant lonely shores whose blind sands blew me apart agreeing with her about things I wasn’t old enough to understand yet. I did try living back at home a couple of times. On one going back occasion got into a tantrum with Dad and he said: “And this time don’t come back!” My development safer away from home. Detaching myself from the lurid dizziness of both parents. or receiving my first wage packet. its dust hiding the glow of its perfectly polished furniture. I thought my father would one day lynch me if I remained home any longer. . learning me how to walk proper. I lay scared. The years of being close to my mother because of my car accident. At times in my life I felt central stage but did not want the spotlight turned up on me. The years of taking her side against the supposed volleys of hate. dumped in a corner but she could have at least acknowledged me at some point. a few months after Dad gave me my papers to see if we all could cope. After tasting the air outside whether sprung up from having sex with a stranger or shopping for myself at the supermarkets. supporting her against the rebelling tirades of my sisters. In gratitude for her help. I needed the release of the perfect peace which I began to find on my own. After that I went sharing a flat with my oldest sister and her boyfriend in South Kensington. I suffered a closeness not altogether positive for any growing child. My mother threw me back to the lions without so much of a “Thank you” as if I now formed part of a dilapidated worn out engine.

Talking about satisfaction I wanted to teach Dad a lesson. One day when visiting I told mum I had been interested for some time in doing some kind of volunteer work. “Gee. I surmised that he lied once again. I hope Sean got something from our short friendship. He would not let me stay at his grandeur property in the countryside . But we played table tennis together building verbs with each other. Sean educated in me a thirst for exploring deeper into the veins of society’s distressed. Hey I have a friend down the road who has a teenage son with problems. My job ay St. as he used to describe me to my humiliation and redness on my neck. Let’s go and meet him. I’d like to try something else out. eventually. my first working post in life did not give me the satisfaction I craved for. For not trusting ‘My Number One Boy‘. Little did she realise then that rich tapestries hanging from the wall could be so lonely. Sometimes they came out of his mouth with the force of cannon fire.” At first I felt intimidated with this much bigger lad than I was. When my mother lived in that great big house in Surrey she hated it. Teaching me compassion. Trapped and like it destroyed her. She knew of a woman in the next village who had a son with learning difficulties. He had trouble holding a fork and pronouncing his words correctly. Considering the needs of others in our selfish quest for fulfilment. almost. me and Mum fought though it never stopped me visiting her in Surrey or back up London where she moved to again. Roger that’s great. Pancreas Library. Who had difficulty speaking without drooling down his clumsy shirt. Almost all her grown life her ambition had been wealth. Till the end.So I just appeared at their front door for the odd week or so as a visitor not as a possible permanent lodger.

I was flying. I was in limbo between bedsits and my idea which I thought was okay: I would look for accommodation in London while I commuted from my dad’s nestled shack well into the bowels of Surrey. Only one closet looked locked and occupied and approaching its neighbour I jumped inside. I was going to teach Dad a lesson. I had never been to this interchange before but I heard rumour and boastings of the thriving environment of the goings on played there. The family still living at home giddily flew to the continent. Daddy wasn’t having any of it. homeless. two younger brothers and a sister and mum holidayed to The South Of France. They must have been still speaking.called ‘Tanfield Place’ while his remaining family. Inside Platform No. to bother becoming anxious about my wailings. On my rootless journey back to London. “Come to France with us or go live elsewhere!” Dad bared his teeth.” His logic barked back. 2’s seedy looking toilet there was not a soul at the stand-ups. the train stopped at Clapham Junction. Not fond of the dirty looking brown pebbled beach of Nice I elected to stay behind and declined his haughty offer of yet another holiday. . does this look nice?” She asked walking away from both of us. Thanks Pop. why can’t I stay? I’ll be good. Being too preoccupied fitting her Harrods hats purchased for Cannes on The Mediterranean Coast. Now I was talking. His conversation over but his body language preached he had major difficulty dealing with me. “Dad. “Arthur. Mom must have sensed my hot anger in the looking glass.

” Travelling by rail could be lonely and he wished to divulge to me some history of himself before our sex act took place. Notes sketched out on the Borough’s hard toilet paper rolled from the pisspot I perched in. Meet you there. to his pisspot. Sickening at his stout image. a gap under the wall separating us let me play footsie. grey pubic hair. I didn’t fancy him. Luckily too.Down the sides of the cubicle were minute holes drilled by pens and other instruments. Wanting to get even if only in my head. I didn’t like my father for going to France and not letting me stay at ‘Tanfield . before being stung with a cruel awakening that most men that went kneeling down in cottages didn’t care about taking us out to lunch. Back to the urinal. sucking his penis five pounds came serenely floating down to my pocket.” Granddad had golf clubs slung over his back. older lips and uninviting crotch area.” “Great!” “Do you want to suck my cock?” “Yeah. So gramps discoursed freely to me. Who just planned to make a mint of him. “What do you like?” “I love being sucked. the innocent presumed.. his halitosis.” “Good. “I’ll do it for five pounds. I hated my father. “I’m just on my way to play a game of golf. I am a grandfather. I glance at my first and only customer. I’ve got three!” He heaved his chest and he did look proud. This also serves the purpose of letting us pass notes brazenly to each other. Very easy for falling in love.where?” “At the urinal.

London. The depth of her voice mirroring my tangled. Back to his grandchildren and other life.” Doris didn’t have room to put me up. On the radio and usually a new biography out in print comes abounding out. surpassing the last one and the one before that. the client caught his southbound train to an anonymous golf course for a game with his buddies. Buttoning up those blue trouser legs made with such thick material the over 75 year-olds are famous for wearing.Place’. Listening to Billie Holiday today with no less relish than I did on the rocky route of my youth that brought out her vinyl onto my troubled turntables. Five pound richer. But which life rang the true bell? Who would he remember as he lay dying withering with cancer at some distant nursing home? Five pounds poorer but probably feeling better as the rent boy meanders on the Northern route to the centre of London. brought of course. from seventeen to eighteen and beyond. Gin and tonic at the clubhouse while I snicker somewhere in London at his experience. “I hate you Dad. My boyfriend Victor let me stay one night at his place in Fulham.D. destitute and disorientated at having no place to call home. At the tempo of my disturbed adolescence the singing of Billie Holiday was the rescue remedy. the . The album’s jazz emphasised my pain. somewhere on Bond Street. distraught wanderings. Salvation amongst tears. But when I discovered Billie it was the early 70’s and she still lived in a cheap looking record product. On C. She’s again a famous person. Thank you Pops. Saving me from the loose wires of alienation that no other singer’s tone conveyed on the passage from sixteen to seventeen. I wasn’t going to fancy the renting out business so I spat out to the wind and let Daddy buy me a ticket to join them in France.

“Nice Work If You Can Get It” written by Gershwin preformed by Holiday has been the theme going on in my singing head. After listening to a session I became at peace better than any psychiatrist would offer. But I’ve been to good plays highlighting the singer’s themes. On her own timing. Therefore when Diana Ross starred in a film supposedly about her life in “Lady Sings The Blues” I never went to see it. visiting from Manchester in the early 90’s. Billie Holiday helped me to climb out of many a well. have been written on the part of the note Billie sets foot in on her song. “Who’s that singing?” questioned Mom. For days. She made her point. for months. Pleas Diana.” He gratefully gave me a record he had purchased. That’s how I see Billie. Her sorrow about a man not phoning or black bodies hanging is a genuine piece portrayed through that fine voice. for years. We were in the car with my mother. I never liked him much anyway. she shocked me that one could hold such a disconcerting attitude towards someone I admired greatly. Brushed with such violent claim.torched hardship of her voice alight in a tunnel turning tremors. Books. Saving within me. I’m glad Liza got the Oscar that year. “Here Roger. I still think you did a lot for the world. bringing to my senses. One phrase . the bad men that she chose. Crushed into an unique passion. I know you like her. Feeling that it only sufficed as a cheapened version of her life. Just passing swish Mayfair when the diva’s voice came on the radio. it did not matter how horrible it was ever for Billie. It just was her sun rising. the racism. An ex boyfriend of mine could not understand the texture of the voice. “It’s tedious. “Why that’s Billie Holiday!” Silence answered me back.” The look on his face had brought wounded surprise to my chest that he missed the mark of the beat whenever Billie entered into a song.

. searching all record shops for a replacement. In her attic bedroom on The Bahamas this information carried double whammy. Being found in bed with no clothes on proof that she portrayed an enlightened woman and adding its repertoire as an example of people being able to carry on with the pleasure of sex. my sentiments to a precision. up and down the country in my wandering wherever I chanced to live. Holburn Library never got it back. Taking it around London from one bed. But when I lost my religion. Except we took the disaster of the movie-screen-sex-siren one notch further. travelling to my groin.I became half a man without my cross. The melodies of “The Sunny Side of the Street” to “God Bless the Child” rapturously screamed out my homosexual loneliness. My sister. “waiting at the cottage door”. I found Billie Holiday in Holburn Library. My sweat glistened on that record. Impossible to find. Looking for decades for the album cover. Though I have brought other recordings I never found the one record that introduced me to the momentous singing of Billie Holiday. .sit to the next place of residence.drops me in. I told Doris about Billie. For mixed with the information about how’s your father was the tragedy of Marilyn Monroe. Was she happy? Not when she can strike chords in my head. Gob smacked. my devout promiscuity. Rose was the one who educated me about the birds and the bees when my parents were too lazy or just too damn scared to touch the taboo subject of the basic common elements in life. Stuck on a rack the album’s cover looked alright so chancing it. Coming up for air with the magic spitting out the torment. leased it out. And that’s how I feel about Billie. probably in all my movements around London.

discovering music made before our staple diet of The Beatles. Glen Miller. Skidding through the air of the loft of the lightly coloured orange walls crazily. the “chu chu” of the poetry.In Marilyn sex came alive from the silence of my parents. That we now moved to. To the glossed shining white door. another garret. People religiously went for morning coffee or afternoon tea in a sedate part of Surrey. Her photographs were already beginning to be mantled and strung. But I like to think Rose and myself danced to the thirties before the likes of other young people began taking up the jazz/blues rhythms of previous decades. Living in paramount colour. Hands on hips or palms opening outstretched. another decade. Even though I followed David Bowie with flowered passion there was just about to be an explosion of Billie Holiday. Catching the clamour of whole beats of the big band jazz. another continent and we danced to Glen Miller around the carpeted floor. Ella Fitzgerald and others into the seventies music market. Stumping the floor with . “Tanfield Place” sliding to the clarinet. It became all the vogue. exciting as a disco. Rose and I. Marilyn Monroe was a role model of how to enjoy oneself while still carrying on with life’s tedium. Skipping under the roof of my folks’ expensive mansion. We did not know that Marilyn had been entangled with The Kennedys. Expressing ourselves around the mansard. The venue. location. liking the newness the old music gave us. Our stamping bodies coming apart in the fun and nonsense of our clapping camp. Voices shrilling the air. swooning in the room of the sloping roof. A rebel saying “I don’t give a diamond!” I might have been only ten but already she headed my list of iconic women. pushed and posted across the globe. Dancing to a record bought at a market stall or second hand record shop or might have been our parents’ once. the time.

Watched by the neighbourhood watching my hovering in our upstairs privatised flat.“Tuxedo Junction” or anything Glen played to us that month that brought satisfaction to our musical hearts. I was one of the fortunate ones. Glasgow as the puppy faithful. Proud of her stance. So I supposed. all the same hammered with my guilt. An outlet in Leicester Square. Her determination could bring about goose pimples in the protecting neck of her misguided dog. I woke up. Things I would never contemplate doing myself she spoke of damning the world that had disappointed her greatly. We were in the throng of customers all enjoying the novelty of the menu and now able to order American burgers and much thinner factory processed chips . Miami. Her actions and lack of grace shocked me instead. I rebelled. We had sung opera too from our penthouse apartment on York Avenue once. New York. Though. that all came to an abrupt end and like some people. Flying. Turning all the bad things she uttered or did into the elements I fought against. Not every man can swear that he’s got a mother’s love tucked on the lapel of his shirt. Well. the first to open in Britain had just opened its doors. The calling got much worse from my classmates. It just proved how greedy my mother had become when she stuck up for the MacDonald’s chain. Understanding her arrogance sometimes as an attribute. And how quickly then they have multiplied in England. I did not still be wanting to live with my mom at the age of 52 acridly making her claims with the raw deal the world served her. I cleaned the house and took the abuse when labelled pansy by the neighbourhood and even my own kindred Mom included. Following Ma round her house. But worth it for my dear mother’s love. Scotland and the rest of the world.

soon nothing that is British will be left on our island. Greed and get what you can well as the choice of a heart stopping milk-shake. Run England out of town. A woman who never had the chance to grow up. Destroying cultures. That also made the most money. now dry from arguing. What’s wrong with this enterprise coming across The Atlantic to The English Coast?” I obviously had slighted her by criticising our country of birth. “America is everywhere. This.” My mother snorted. Her voice thick. I made my point. Diet drinks. quickened back and banged out: “What! America’s got the right idea. In its own infrastructure in Europe and Africa and Asia. I hated its propaganda smell. mingled with contempt.” I passed a mouthful of the now famous grub to my starched mouth. ice-creams and cartons of coffee were also the fare. Mom’s opinion inflamed by her socialisation process was not written on The Constitution. Not over zealously patriotic about the . the same woman who protested in Grovensor Square a few years back against the Vietnam War. The USA spreading itself like a fat cat all over the world. Something more startling was about to take her fancy. I looked at my mother waiting in the queue for her food. A little girl dressed in a bright pink pinafore. It’s imperialism. I passed another mouthful of my insistent argument to greedy mum munching on her sophisticated fries but she never listened long to disagreements. “I think it’s wrong. She is not able leave me in a ditch. Disgusted by the antics of the fast food chain I was determined never to venture there again. The freest country in the world was being questioned. I saw her pantomime.

This after Jim and I decided we were not to be reunited as lovers. Living in bed sits becoming my staple diet for a long time after leaving Doris’ flat in South Ken. The first bed sit I lived in was in a room in a house around the corner from Swiss Cottage Tube Station. a big white. an extremely uncomfortably. just down the street. Reflecting graciously shining metal shelves holding its merchandise. Many times in my mother’s life she changed her markings. Doris and her wishing to visit Communist Russia. her goal posts. I changed by then. I ran to the north saluting cloudless skies and opened flowers to be with my boyfriend Jim in his upstairs flat on the Mossley Road. Close by were swimming baths. Close to Swiss Cottage Library. Even moving up north to Lancashire in 1976. I could disagree loudly enough. Her modes locked up in a corporate timetable. Her ideals and The MacDonald’s experience sat in direct opposition to Dad. Who the fuck am I? I asked my self. I couldn’t sway a mind opposed to public services.flag or Pocahontas she did like America’s image of making money. hot sunny summer I managed to house myself in a single room. no moving her away from its rota. Which also contained in it a kitchenette. No wonder I can still look up with madness at the moon at 52 wondering who the heck I am. She shadowed Dad’s own beliefs in this. Very forward thinking I thought. I opted instead for the life of a single man. To sharing. though she used them in the last years of her life. Unfortunately she dumped her confusion on me. very modernistic cement and glassed faced building. opened for business till ten at night during the week. no point showing her the statistics of an over ambitious nation biting off chunks of cultures in its power for world supremacy. I used the . I could not stand the heat of a relationship.

Sometimes mustering enthusiasm for me. I felt were not genuine but he temporarily played the lead as ‘Daddy’ before taking off on the route for Beirut and his business deals before the city was blown apart. uselessness. I never flinched at my diet. Dad adopted an orphaned child and paid for his schooling in Beirut. Dad knew little of me at seventeen and going to library school would not figure on my agenda. Days of eating crazy. My mum and dad were pillars of contrast. Smiling at his drink fuelled giddiness. . Those facilities would figure later in my life but I now was happy just to pass those buildings on my way to work at St. And then horse radish sandwiches on trains on other days. Perrin but your lease runs out next month and we will not be renewing it. Dad suggested enrolling at library school to study the trade. The only other time I recalled my father speaking about careers. In his fuzzy mind he dealt with a son not standing before him. His feelings. he thought he beamed cuteness but his sarcasm nurtured in me a pathos. Chocolate bars on The Bakerloo Line for breakfast on the way to my job at the library near King‘s Cross.’ This forecast scrolled on his lips at various times during my growing up period. He made suggestions but they weren’t me at all.” “I’m sorry Mr. Pancreas Library I threw a book at a customer. Pancreas Library. Never sincerely interested in my development wholeheartedly to any extent. But sometimes coming up for quaffs of air between his boozing and his earning money to pay the rent and buying The Beatles ’White Album’ he managed to make a little interest in me. his prediction I would become an ‘unemployed actor. They were surprisingly civil to me my telling me in a pleasant way: “You’re sacked. The council called me upstairs to their rosy office but they treated my offence with some lightness.pool once. At St. I got the sack. Today I will even eat Marmite sandwiches if the larder is empty. Be in a profession.

Perrin’ sounded stern enough. but she held her corner and I did nor forget her advice to my young body desperate for clues how best to survive. Pancreas Library did bring a wealth of colour to my startled. I suppose that they could have imprisoned me for attempted gross bodily harm. It helped me to balance it out in new shades of chalk. a void and just plain boring. unhappy. Time to think about another career?” And I stood there expecting to be harshly reprimanded and being called ‘Mr. Sharing her strife and ideals as I got on with my task of stocking the books back on the shelves.Time for you. She was not a happy person. imprinted on me like words engraved on a plaque. Because I was young I wasn’t going to make a career decision. I remember her reasoning. She rapped it out to me. I found a whole world out there far beyond the walls of Harley House. One customer had taken a liking to me. Her woes hit the contemporary furniture. I knew I should hang onto her words in my future life. minutes of bliss where your life is mundane. “Pick up the happiness when you can. her mind alert with savage convictions. Infantile made it easy to . young man. A bit bitter. The council boss smiled at me behind his cluttered desk with diary dates. I earned a paltry £55 a month which amounted to pittance even in the early 70’s. Her throaty knowledgeable breath diving and stormed me. She spent her time following me around on the industrial beige carpet counting to me her whims of philosophy. Because that gladness only comes in short stays and it doesn’t come a lot. to be moving on.” Her list existed while her body cumbersomely wove round the library area. But St. burgeoning curiosity just out onto the world’s stage. There are big spaces in between those infinitely minute. tiresome. I did not scar the gentleman’s raincoat I pitched my missile at. A lady I did not throw a book at.

Looking into the future could be scary. But would be held back by proper encouragement in childhood. filling her leisure time gazing out a window. With her May Quant hairstyle she’s spend time biting her nails down to the bone. The wish to end her like never did upset me. We had good conversation together. Cathy’s astuteness found warmth in my heart. Cathy who also worked at St. Languid hands clasped doing zero activity. I never got a chance to pot the ball at them at all. I attained glad that way. And do you know it always had been my American . People with their miserable thought structure seemed to be attracted to my disposition. I liked the woman though a manic depressive she learned in me that at times there is nothing better than the total relaxation of meditation.excuse myself of a metier. I became to the type of guy who fitted in best with being educated by all the different moments of life and it if was cleaning windows on The Empire State Building or licking postage stamps for my dad or serving tables or cleaning toilets. Gathering her musings out on space’s weightlessness. I claimed the wide and broad spectrum of life to find all about me and the earth. But because we are pushed by The American and The English dream theme of a profession and money I realised that I would hit a lot of disappointment in the mature years. Nothing stood right. I. Pancreas Library wanted to commit suicide. She also thought that it was fulfilling. I became a drifter. Suicidal attempts running on her veins at intervals like an rackety alarm clock going haphazardly off during the year. To compensate for the lack of career I wrote poetry and prose on my study of the world. The goalposts were waiting and standing for me on the foggy fields of the future. I learned my occupation. too would be sucked in. She roughly hammered her life on the paper of my consciousness.

” he began. super marketed vegetables. these units of flowering theories from the philosophy of the populous. propped up. Maybe one step further what John implied but I am a healthy. After the library was over for the day I headed back to Swiss Cottage. “Waster! Get up and make use of yourself! Your life is going nowhere staring out the window or around the ceiling tiles!” This had an adverse effect on my ideals. washed. . cheerful lad. Now I get yelled out because I do not wash all the food and if I drop sometime on the floor I pick it up and I will eat it. prodded these different people. Scatting down mental dictation and storing it. Or maybe I’d meet a friend. about my conversations with the others I came into contact with. “I never wash raw vegetables because the dirt and soil are good for you. And back in this early decade I took the commissionaire’s advice. All the time my virgin. You see. He also gave me his wisdom as we would spend time conversing in the canteen. I wrote manuscripts about my experiences. unblemished notepad.mother who’s voiced out her prejudices as I lay resting on the bed. “Roger. apples and pears weakens our immune system to fight the bugs encroaching on and putting strain into our fragile system. Perhaps cottaging on the way home. maybe no career but I am always learning. Anyway this porter to me. I found out that every soul on this earth has a piece of themselves to offer of interest to me. Whenever I wash the fruit I think of the black haired jovial porter who worked down in the cellar of the library.” Overprotecting ourselves with penicillin and pre-packed. London a buzz the of easy homosexual sex.

a less of an existence on the top floor of a boarding house but the view lain out could be magnificent in the evening’s warmth of the stilled light. Doris who got an itching for Billie Holiday after I . The Shaw Theatre joining the library must have been his business. I met Jim the next day at Shepherd’s Bush Tube Station.Doris and her boyfriend came over for her meal in my top floor bed sit. The meal lay out like a horror picture. Oh yes. The cheese I could not grate. Nineteen. A famous person. And the sink behind that. As we tried to eat the pudding. A panorama of the wealth of the north-west of London. one more thing to do with St. gloriously we strove to admire the London sky. Pancreas Library. He never took out a book. She handed in a book with her wiry fingers said something to me and just slipped dead on the floor. The three of us sitting down in the one room. small in stature I can’t remember much else about him except I dug his music. He worked in the first ‘Virgin’ shop on the Oxford Road. I managed to serve the dish almost raw. I meet Jim at a New Year’s Eve Party. By luck. A squared table. a bed to my left and a cooker to my right. He told me later with hesitation he was twenty-nine. In short. I made cauliflower cheese. Keith and me arrived at the gay party together swinging somewhere near Greenwich and the moment I looked at Jim I fell inside his eyes. Buses ran on the floor. While we starved underneath the stars at my bad cooking. The cheese could not be melted properly on the tepid vegetables. Oh and a woman once died in front of me at the counter returning a book. Elton John used to come to the library. he lived the next street down to Doris. I wanted to be rescued. screaming my anger out in London. a messy attempt of a dinner party. I can’t remember if we had sex that night but it was not my buddy Keith I walked out with.

my mother and sisters did not like every partner of mine. I wished she’d shut up. Strongly. Nobody knew the miracle of how to get me out of bed and working again.” I’m surprised he showed up. her depression again. She could rant anyway. . Found on moors on Hartshead Pike in Lancashire and not being able to cry at his demise.lent her an album. “He’s been in an institution you know. I suffered a nervous breakdown and as a last resort admitted my bag of bones to ’The Retreat’ in York.” Catching the bliss in her voice.” He eyes told me she realised that she knew she acted sly. I never thought I fitted his type. Dad didn’t think nervous breakdowns occurred. Roger. “God. lying on the bed in an hospital in Holloway. Believe me. picturing her when we visited. People I’d rather not have the knowledge who’d be quick to give me another award against my character. We weren’t told. And though I yelled. I fell. Years later when Jim and me relocated North. Sometimes subtle wasn’t her art. Those first few years I loved Jim. Madge another sister brought me a whole Billie Holiday album because a song ‘Jim’ was on it. My mother did not help. Mom liked him a lot and my sisters thought he real cute. I can’t help loving Madge. But again when we both stayed a weekend in Wales with Donald she had to pout him the news. I relegated myself to a corner while she talked about the excitement of my downfall and then about going on her cruises. While Mum boasted to my friends for a year afterwards. sexually attracted to his soft eyes and his tumbled hair flying at my burnt out senses. She sings about those men all the time but with what meaning. though. we all were older now. “He’s been in an institution you know.

taking my collection out on Jim by the way of my vocal chords. So much vomit to get straight. At our beginning. I yelled at Jim. was possessive and though I slept around. One darkened erring dangled. The trouble with Dad. What do you expect! He’s my brother!” Though famously foggy at times she made a fabulous sister. Not a pleasant atmosphere in the love department. We were thrown out of our flat in Maida Vale for being too rowdy in our arguments. at him. magistrate. I denied it to my boyfriend but if I thought Jim tinkered I’d get so angry I’d bite the walls off. Jim got it all. never fitting in. in one way or another we had some contact with each other. Quietly spoken and careless about his life but I was calculating and took this as an excuse of pounding the hate gathered from all the living quarters of me. The bullies at school. being poor on Miami Beach. the fights with Doris and Madge and Louise and Vax. “Yeah. From her teaching me about the birds and bees via Marilyn Monroe’s death to the way she belligerently looked at the law . rich in Glasgow and London. I met Jim at a New Year’s Eve Party when I was nineteen years old and until he lay shoeless. his pleasures I wanted to saturate in mud. senseless and claimless on wet vegetation lifeless in 1986.. I pointedly posed as jealous. a soft touch. Jealous of him also.Back to Jim. We managed to get our rent lowered with the New Rent Act recently come into force. He did not absorb my madness. Vax dressed in punk came into court to give a character reference.he’s a fine fellow. the closeness with Mom. The Italian landlord and his Italian wife used my screaming antics as an excuse for getting rid. The bad breath.

my ex setting up in Willesden Green. I wanted him to bale me out of my misery. Jim worked in a carpet shop. He took us to Venezuela via Trinidad. I did not think the whole fault belonged to me and my hysterics. We almost came back on separate aircraft. Or at a bar crashed out in another part of town. “Baby get lost!” He could not stand up to me and when resettling back to his place of birth near . Probably because he had a shady deal in mind. Jim had drink problems but when he took a load of pills to his mouth promptly washing them down I awoke to his suicide call making him vomit the alien material out. He needed the family to camouflage his their finery sitting at The English Courtroom. sometimes pouring blood. then set up as a carpet fitter. Riding first class as well. Though Willesden Green’s flat was unsuitable for two quickly I made my move. I think I stayed a night if that. After college or my part-time job after school I’d find him paralytic in a gay pub in Earl’s Court talking to anybody who’d listen or at least pretended to. I was not proud of it but it clung to my face with such reverence and addiction I could not simply shrug it off. Partners included. Dig me a grave. After this trip Jim and I had planned to split. Dressed in clashed velvet and pink and would happily murder rather than for her brother to suffer any injustice. I found a dreary bed sit in Islington. A lad encased with perplexing problems. steerage class. Loving Jim but I could not respect myself or his weakness. I wanted him to tell me when we fought. The same Christmas Dad got a bright idea. My screaming mouth could not be parted from Jim for an instant. Actually I do remember him rendezvousing with someone in a car park. It always takes two to tango. The fights were enormous on The South American continent.

My caller wanting to come upstairs to sleep the night. Though Jim tried to dissuade me from moving to his county initially. This time Up North but the difference being the tables were turning. I still gave him a hard time but never-the-less all the time pulled away. a new chapter commenced in my life.Manchester. Even perhaps as I would a child or naughty . I began to feel the first free puffs of air miles from my family. I presume to get away from me. wait a minute. I made the relocation. staying in Jim’s flat and working for him in his new carpet shop for the summer I signed on to start a full-time course at catering college in the autumn.” Half the time I did these hospitality gestures in my sleep and the next morning could not have been more surprised to see my ex-boyfriend stretched out on the bed. Instead of clinging to Jim with no hope attached in my heart and sharing with him. can I come up?” his drunk breath called from the ground. In a way I began to feel I looked after him. My resuscitating of Jim. “I’m half asleep. the bully made his move. I found a bed sit at Guide Bridge and though stark housing with cheap looking curtains. And that chapter has never finished. in Lancashire. once more Roger. Intoxicated it could only be Jim. A nice freedom while Jim slipped into drink and drugs. there still existed plenty passion between us. Great to be away from my mother and the family. This practice would become commonplace. When I moved to Ashton-under-Lyne. Ironically as I gathered more and more independence shedding skins of immaturity and fits Jim slipped down a chute of despair and woe. Sex over. As late as two in the morning stones were to come a knocking at my window. While my breath snorted of last night’s sour meat pie. “Hey Roger.

Mom got on with Dylan’s mother and sisters. All sorts of problems occurred. Mom used to come up staying with Jim’s parents. Then Jim lost his license by a drink driving offence. He needed to me to live with him. I kicked him hard in the shin and we never made up until two weeks before he disappeared and his death. When I dated Dylan later. Then the caller would hang up as soon . College did not work so I went to work full time for him. It wouldn’t work with my bustling in the way so we took the final stock of our carpet shop. We sold carpets. Dad lent me some money. He never asked for the money back. queen. Still dependent on Jim but not to the extent of screaming. People seem to want to find me in the end. I kept getting strange calls late at night. I moved into his house in Mossley where we had great rows until Jim got his license back and finding a new place and letting me rent his other house which he had brought for the princely sum of £200! ‘It takes two to tango’ and two to fight. It made our relationship that more real. I broke a window and out flew bananas. Which he was happy to do so I was able to form a business partnership with Jim which dissolved with loathing on both sides a few years on. Neighbours all smirked talking about the tussle for months until the story became a boy. Fantastic that Mom got on splendidly with his folks. I say anyway. mad jealous at him. Mom especially became fond of Jim’s Dad. Foolishly I consented. We had other partners but there always was a bond between us. that part finished. In one incident we had. Jim got involved with somebody serious dashing the companionship between us. Arriving Up North Jim and myself would never hit the high note of being lovers again.

Its wheels steaming in the wake of my attitude. Not a proud man by any mark. As we landed at Heathrow. I couldn’t escape elegantly out of my obnoxious ways. Though I felt ugly and unwanted after my tempestuous scenes. depressed me but he took me in his pokey flat up north town. Storming out of a shop on the west side of London in hysterics once. Picking up men. I have to hang my head in shame today. The winter dark. After Dad took us to South America we tried to split. That was all the time they were searching for Jim. not thinking Jim. Jim and I weren’t getting on well during this period. he had me back from my one boxed cell at Islington. Most of my family endured me behaving badly. The time I told my dad that Jim and I parted all he could render back. I remember kicking the cat. He came bloody back after the blood dried and my shouts subsided. When living in the capital fighting my claims out in supermarkets. The poor shopping trolley stranded in the middle of a meat aisle. More mad than Bet Davis in All About Eve. myself. in a groove. and be faithful to him. Crying. I acted terrible. Behaviour that would make men run more than a mile. Never-the-less when arriving home at our flat in Maida if Jim wasn’t back and usually he was not. I fought against Jim’s betrayal though never intending to miss a trick. And myself to Islington. Though madly jealous if I thought Jim slept with somebody else. So to get some smart breath and distance we negotiated to go out separately most Friday nights. .as I answered the telephone. Jim and I weren’t getting on well in any period. I was not a good candidate for life. I remember breaking objects in the kitchen regardless of humanity and dignity. I don’t know what I promised or could offer him except another kick in the teeth. But he must have been a masochist. Jim took a taxi to Willesden.

Jim watched television and getting dark I decided to take a walk to offload some of my restlessness. I needed out of the makeshift flat where the furniture. This was after Madge suggested I ask him for some guidance. a telling off. I was small fry. Very Joe Orton. The housing on the avenue were lower middle-class semis but the climate made them seem exotic bungalows. cheap made me feel trapped. We all used the bathrooms in London in the 1970’s. big star sometimes it merited national coverage. Bisexual men and gay men and men in the midst of trying to find out who they were.” Then head down deep in business with his Financial Times.“Serves you right. Married men. A Katherine Hepburn film. On the avenue we lived at Willesden Green halfway down stood a toilet on a miniscule patch of grass. If you were caught a prison sentence. also served as a cottage. His personal hatred towards my sexuality. If you were a big. It made me imagine bamboo trees and a Mexican landscape. Raining. Once caught at ‘how’s your pappa?’ in The Hilton Hotel a few years back in similar circumstances to the Willesden Green incident. slanting downpour. An illegal practice. on or off the premises. His . A meeting place for men to have sex. Wet but warm and I could see through the misty. Then Tony Blair closed them in ‘his liberated 1990‘s‘. Shocked and alarmed at the preconceived notion that the officer held of me. orange and wood. a name but yours smeared with paedophile in the local paper and all three if you happened to be ready to roast in hell or have a hot iron slammed on your face. The rain that day reminded me of the tropics. And men for my penis. The scene at Willesden. dual purpose. The toilet halfway down.

I just hoped he would promptly follow me in. But on the other hand who am I to argue with the law? If the fuzz thinks a queer is more important to track down than a mugger or rapist.” Things were not quick to come out and maybe I stammered. to an impostor bursting with poison. The man waited at the cottage door.” He didn’t beat around the bush and he repeated. who pretending to be prey. I. Ready to attack me. my pants felt the hardness churning inside me like a volcano rising. Taking a pee at the urinal -no luck. well built man stood at the top of the lane that led into The Men’s. He rowed on other rivers and mine he never crossed. Eyes undressed him. I felt embarrassed and deathly criminal. so I proceeded out of the damp room posing my bulk across the street: hands settled deep in jeans pockets. A gorgeous. Only now to come over and probably arrest me. My soul went pell mell to the bottom of a bottomless hole. “You were trying to pick me up. really an undercover agent for .” He showed me his ticket. The straight man threatened giving me a slight shiver hurting the points of my feelings. “You trying to pick me up.. Because so quickly tricked by this man. I had to answer. greatly. Yet as he got nearer the expression changed on his face from a hunter with the same aims as me.unsavoury tactics in my opinion did not warrant the energy and time and money being spent on witch hunting our minority. Eventually he came walking over to me quite casually. staring at my sex object and hoping for action and rampant. who am I to argue the toss in 1979/1980/1990 and beyond? The scene in front of the toilets at Willesden. Hold my dignity in the face of his debasement. I could not relate to this person. Even though caught I had to somehow defend myself. available for some fun. “Well. I always had a soft voice.

I learnt how to cope with the harsh methods of the homophobic police force. Made me feel helpless. Vowing to myself never to use a lav again for improper purposes. Besides Jim. have to plead for bail but the copper dished out the punishment all the same. It made his teeth click.” It could have been worse the entrapment on Willesden Green.” “Sorry officer. I could get you locked up. in fact the little lad was caught out. I had become attracted to the region anyway for whenever we came visiting Jim’s family from .” Disgust filled his pallet. I might have been married or the Prime Minister. And though I relied on Jim too much at least I brought the distance between me and my family. a crushed cat but not divulging my anxiety to him. Break out from their space which both caressed me and fought against me. paranoid and cornered. “You were trying to pick me up. “Don’t come here again or. “You think I’m interested in your kind. the reason I moved north so I could get away from my family.” I would not. A dangerous occupation was that. Pretend you are a weak sod and just keep on mumbling. Slinking back to Jim. I did not bother phoning mum as she thought I was loyal to my boyfriend. using the heel of his shoe to verbally.The British Police. “Sorry officer. thank the lord. playing as a gay to entrap me. being way too proud to explain I was a opened relationship. Second time.” Spit out his aggression but not before swirling it around in his mouth like last night‘s scotch. almost ethically cleanse my sort. My face drying on the early edition of the tabloid press. That is a criminal act.

Its rough material was virgin and solid against my face. Because I am American they treat me as a celebrity. But my gut grew to love Manchester and the surrounding area. My very own freedom. Derbyshire and Yorkshire were within my grasp. I needed words describing my growth which I could readily do in Lancashire/Greater Manchester/Oldham. the pub. A panting dog. The growling out of my system of my dependence on persons to survive. Northern woman don’t tell lies if they don’t like you. I did not feel a stranger or full of discontent or alone in the living-room of the north. Their recipes are gorgeous. Life vivaciously quick but it could also be slower. Beginning to enjoy my own company. Sixteen in London saw me alienated and low and twenty-three in Lancashire felt me top note. my home at last. magical mood of the not so nice weather making me more nostalgic for more of its vibration. Lancashire. And if you don’t like that I guess it’s tough. a whistling step and it hasn’t stopped yet. People smiled speaking their greetings in the street. . A great feeling. I’ve written poems about this special close proximity between country and city. I hit north following my partner. I wished to paste its landscape onto the pages of my notebook. Strolling with comfortable step.London I relished the whipping sounds of the invigorating winds of the region. I loved walking in the north. The people were warm and friendly up north and not at all stiff upper lipped like their London lot of cousins. The corner shop still existed. They tell you so to your face. The stormy. the chippie. one minute lying on a rural hillside in Lancashire or Derbyshire and within a twenty minute rail drive the man stood at Piccadilly. the heart of a bustling metropolis. It is the opposite. Nomadic during most of my life. You can still eat Lancashire Hot Pot and Lobby.

the corner shop or the supermarket. And the other way it is a 20 minute journey train ride to the throbbing city. Maybe a divorce or separation of . We played table tennis. Yes. spell it out and repeat the exercise. Blackpool and Fleetwood waved. I first experienced working in a social setting with a son of a friend of my mum’s who lived near Guildford. The miles of sand on Formby. The Lakes in two hours. From my house it is a ten minute drive to the moors. Surry. I am a lucky lad. I learnt of an organisation based in Manchester that attempted to teach adults how to read and write. I can be in Liverpool in less than an hour. I found it a fairly difficult task teaching this subject literacy from almost scratch. If I needed to talk. And if I wanted a kiss there always was a gay disco dancing somewhere. The adults attending the course were interested in bettering their prospects and would diligently listen. I found it better and healthier living on my own. This group met once a week at Longsite Library. Getting satisfaction from my deed without being patronising or so I’d prefer to think of it. Grown-ups encountering reading and writing problems usually found the stem of their difficulty rooted in childhood. This could be due several factors. It became the same when moving up north. I still had that special yearning of wanting to help people. I fell in love with Windermere and Ullswater. I’d go to a pub. within Manchester. A fractured home life at a crucial point in their education and development. Communications are brilliant.Destructive though it seemed coming up north to be with my boyfriend I landed on the miracle of discovering within my wings that I actually could enjoy deeply living with my own company. There the teacher got heaps of fulfilment in return. They say barm cake in Liverpool meaning muffin another language and culture.

I became a stripper. To please the female population I’d have to be brash. “Your penis is small. The volunteer would sit one to one with a member of the literacy group at a big shared table and my lesson at the library began. everyone was treated in equal manner. Some students attending these weekly sessions at Longsite also had learning difficulties. The star falls flatly on his face right off the stage.” “Get an erection. directing my unclothed body to all points of the compass.” Why in the hell was I going to do it? For cheap fame I guess. Aspiring to the art. but seeing only a mediocre show. I did not relish the thought of doing it in front of the ladies thinking the abuse I’d go through. “ I worried. After a line of boyfriends and many moons after Jim. . arriving in town for a good night out. It did not feel romantic and of course I acted nervous. “They’ll end up disappointed.” “Give us a wank. One of my friends also a stripper would take me to all sorts of venues so I’d get a feel of the movement of taking my gear off. Whatever the reason of their lack of spell or reading.their parents or by abuse or moving in confusion from one school to another or not attending school properly at all. taking in their nonsense as I undress myself. Jenny just could not swat her ABC while her big sister continuously told her she was a pig. And then the coarse laughter in the hall but I prepared myself for doing it so don’t try stopping me! I did a show for the ladies in a pub in Aston-under-Lyne. I don’t think it will work.

I knew it would be better stripping for the men. I wasn’t to be invited back for an encore. That I’d ever achieve being a pristine dancer. Okay I had been drunk while I did it. So at the public house’s saloon in Ashton the women took looks at me through their whiskied glasses and black laced monocles. My knickers dangling somewhere in the mid air of an indifferent tornado. Their densely packed cigarette smoke.(Like dancing school which politely kicked me out of their industry. But I felt stupid and tepid. You see I could not even bend down far enough to touch my toes. It did not strike me that again I would be rubbish. But even before the fatal day fell when in the director’s office she explained to my swelling ears it would be better if I got another career. In front of ex-boyfriends and friends but you see I had done the rehearsal this time. Immersed in a My feelings and fears were similar for the . But they did not stop the conversation with their ruby coloured lips and some yelled with slight pleasure at my show. I could be putting the washing in. I had a fabulous stomach six pack. I had been taught all the ways to point adjusting my movements for the homosexual population. The applause dried out quickly. My calling wasn’t to happen at all in a public bar in a suburb of Manchester. My first gay stripping appointment and my last time stripping at all was held at a gay party south side of Manchester. Not for me but since I had started the creation in my head there could be no pulling back. I had already surmised modern dance had only been idle scribble in my heart. stripping. Give them what I got. No lustre omitted from my body. I had practiced. Impossible to get off the cartwheel of the stubborn track. I wore a jock. My back too stiff that’s what you get for having Hungarian and Russian ancestry).

not even my mate’s came that night. The ’wife’ did not seem a happy man that night as I twirled amongst my velvet and a cheap imitation chandelier suspended over my head. Not their adulation. The sinking feeling when you are in front of a million of anticipated. just did not have the merchandise to make the china sparkle. Roger. the curtain is up. That’s how I felt. I don’t think he knew sex had been invented. Within a circle of party goers south side Manchester crushed me. stayed stubby. I tried baby oil too in desperation. Nobodies’ idol. embarrassment flew from the audience. breathless raptures at Carnegie Hall. I was Audrey to dance at the orgy. Taking off my clothes. The right kind of fodder for him to ring me the next day and cancel. the stripping appointment turned out to be the end of our relationship. pig-headed. he could not have been less interested and our relation felt frigid to say the least. You know you are a flop. Falling flat on my face. Unfortunately. No way that night could I . Humiliation gripped me. He came along with some of his friends to watch my act. My cock. I wanted him. When I got to the jock strap bit putting some hard and jerky rubbing KY on my flaccid to make it at least look presentable. not getting a proper erection. It would have been more satisfying to piss on them. I felt turkey dry. I never wish to be repeated. there is no turning back. Anyhow it didn’t work. trying to be gay as I danced and twisted but feeling trite. one of my props waiting nearby. This fellow probably wanted out of our relationship anyway. Trade Description Act relationship with a very good looking younger man at the time. a bad blushing moment. The audience weren’t booing they just weren’t watching. I pranced and paddled forth in the middle of the Martini drinkers.

I felt a pratt sweating with fright as the fast ball didn’t have a chance of coming to kiss my bat but instead swirled dead fast past my face with laughter from the thronging from the back. instead of negotiating on the soccer field how best to avoid at all costs the smacking punishing might of the football.sculpture it into its true size. Callous naming pansy in Glasgow which across The Atlantic in the New World had been translated from ‘girl’. I’d run from the round monster instead of heading it like most of the other Scottish lads managed. I did not walk. I guess it must have been worth having a healthy set of gums. The lot of us would walk to the parks. My mum’s good diet consisted of salads. I wriggled. pram in tow with our new brother or sister which must have installed in most of us of taking an regular amount of exercise every day. Inviting us in the sparkling sunshine in the green parks wherever we unpacked our bags. My heart felt daggers for this stripping experience. at an early age from her close attention of gifting us with reading skills taught those pre-kindergarten years. Though we all felt ostracised and hated her because of her dictatorship. I had a severe handicap in the male orientated world. People picked me out as effeminate. Never a sportsman in my schooldays running away from the violence of the ball. in all direction. At football in Glasgow I hide in fags and cross country running. oranges and plenty of other fruit. Miami Beach. The orb of the pitcher flinging his number at my trembling physic at 150 miles an hour on a summer camp Upstate New York. be it New York City. Which she willing passed down to us. no charge. Whatever the vocabulary used of . Showing her children the rich open air. I learnt to read books and with comfort angling the word. Getting my healthy teeth from my mother’s strict upbringing. And another boy on the list left me. Glasgow or London. You see from an early age I didn’t have a hell of a chance in excelling in the sport’s arena.

like cleaning the house. A lion. The lad never trespassed on my way to school again. People tell me anyway. like sex. She can make a straight man go limp. He without haste disappeared back into his bush. like eating salads and fruit. People my age and even much younger have pot bellies and thin legs. His words were loud and unkind and I hid underneath my scarf. David Ellis once coaxed me during school holidays to do twenty lengths and his intent left me breathless and exhausted when I managed to finish. like reading. Sport like writing. Beside the gym I took up swimming when I came up to Lancashire. Fascinated at Doris’ powerful usage of words but I knew then it should have been me fighting my own battles. Because when I moved up North I took up sport. the bullies took up chant where we decamped and set up tent. Now I have more confidence. He left and I never did. Jim introduced me to the gym. Never argue with Doris. old Victorian fashioned.the insult. If David still lives I’d like him to know I do eighty lengths a week now no trouble. Doris walked with me one day and heard his malicious rumour abounding from his mouth. A horrid boy in Helensburgh called me names from the bushes as I walked the lane to Hermitage Academy. And I have biceps the size of a . like going to the pictures became the religion of my life. I boast a muscled body. A tiger.” he’d yell out from the other side of the chlorine smelling. Addicted to sport. sharp and gleaming white tiled swimming baths. “Just ten more. Maybe that think I’m cottaging again. Given a mug one Christmas which says: my home is the gym. There is no worse anger than a woman. Boyfriends don’t like it. “If you bother my brother again you’ll get my fist!” she hissed. Not quite but it is close.

Y. Being on stage made it feel more professional. to drink. The prize. we used to have sex occasionally. to dance. I took a married neighbour. Something that reminded them of themselves. Who needs drugs when you’re famous and they want to chew your dick off. A Carrie film. ideal for a beauty contest with its spacious floor space. he seems to know what he’s doing. probably AIDS.“Well if it’s Roger. a trip with a friend awarded to me. but not my parent’s. one of the founding members of The Clone Zone chain. We had friction together in the Gay Mecca. but somebody told me he‘s dead now. flat he sure come a long way. I went to the disco without a dream in my heart. a weekend in Amsterdam. Something touching the forbidden. This event hosted in an old mill in a Lancashire town called Whalley. I won the competition and the applause made me feel magically powerful I felt right there and then if I held a gun I’d quite calmly gun the gregarious.small mountain. Appearing live and naked in a magazine. The rush I got from the whole performance made me feel a glad goddess.” They both seemed to like the side of me that lay somewhere on the erratically exotic. a friend. To the little boy who followed mamma round the N. “Roger! You’re always disappearing in those back rooms leaving me stranded and alone in the hotel! What kind of week-end is this?” . with two friends. Gay Final held at a dance hall brought opportunities. threw me a jock strap and I put the undergarment on. to cruise. The organiser of the event. clapping crowd down. Most mothers’ would flinch at their sons’ partaking in porno films. In fact they supported me. Outlook that could be both distinctive with lashings of earnest adventuring. My parents were smooth and cool with me and at 29 winning a heat to the Mr. something anti-social that appealed to the rebellious spirit.

I started to appear in gay magazines in the United Kingdom. of course. The German lad had the hots for me. His cock did not look a healthy sight or it might . would pay for a year’s supply of popper’s bottles. We played and acted at sex and I did not even have to shoot semen. It turned out to be nothing like that. Of course I answered back with no doubt in my voice: “Yes!” I came down to the smoke with stars tripling round my boots knowing that it would not be career but for experience what a glam! How glamorous! The money too. Paul introduced me to the other actors plucked out of obscurity and heading right back when the shots were composed. Pleasant being a star for about a glittering month. I didn’t find filming seedy. I entered the region of Cynthia Payne. I had no plans to touch that. very nice. They used somebody else’s. I still had bad breath. but dad said “Good-luck” anyway.” he badgered. Ignoring his request and he asked more than once for “real” sex. an off shoot of the competition. Zipper. I would receive 200 quid. Another opportunity popped up when Paul the organiser of the competition at ‘Monroes’ in Whalley gave me the chance to be in a porno film. the route it took did not look a pleasant sight. Again I got my kit off to do the tricks. “Let’s go upstairs and do the real thing.I never won the final held in London. Gay Times and Him. To be shot in south London in a house. The dwelling looked decrepit where we were to be created into celluloid. The house sited amongst a length of an anonymous avenue of run down semis I felt more like a gangster rolling up on a red bus doing an illegal trick than a man who owned a carpet shop up north. Everybody fine and relaxed like they did it every day. One of the pornostars who happened to be German had a penis with sores gripped round it. I felt sick looking at the bulging warts.

a mate called Dave came up to me. I guess. He had just come back from Fort Lauderdale staying at a gay hotel in the swish son’s in it!” It was a rare sight even in raunchy Chelsea: mom dressed up to the twelve’s with her blonde hair milk shaked over her pink vest. Though unlike Norma Desmond I wasn’t pushed off the palatial steps of my success. “They were playing you in a blue film on closed circuit television in Florida at the motel I stayed at. peacock feathered coat shedding its hair in every direction she spoke. Poor confused shopkeeper on Kings . I only did it once craving the experience. My porno career was not long lasting. He stands in front of his bedroom door identical to all thousand other cloned doors of the hotel staring outwards at this gracious figure about to shoot his load inside a tv suspended from the ceilings of the verandas. With her Chinese friend she tried a shop underneath her flat she knew stocked gay merchandise.” I imagined Dave standing on the balcony of his hotel. white. and take your salary. Or the heavy lippie. A sexual dream but in reality a bit dim. mesmerised with this well toned Greek God who happened to be me. “Hey guess what?” Dave drew me in. it brought me down to earth with a slight tremor. You make your choice.have been a different answer. I light up on fifteen thousand closed circuit tv s. A good event but I did not use it as a turn on. A few years later. And let’s just say I won’t go into the mascara she probably wore that day. Porno film making could not be my bag. in truth. I wonder if George Bush got to see it when it did the American circuit. Her imitation. To top it all my mum is asking for a gay mag. “Have you got “Zipper”. My mother got very excited when she found her son adorned with uncritical admiration the middle pages of three “girlie” homosexual magazines.

a very good one dissolve into rust. Brain denounced him a rapist. He drove crazily to Chris’ at unsafe speed where we both barged into my friend’s innocence and privacy. For heavens sake we used to run starkers in the forest. My world turned round. as of yet. They turned out well and Chris gave them for me to keep. Who easily could flick through 50 channels with a touch of finger on a gadget seated in his plumed lounger. I stood by and watched my friendship. Chris lived at Belle Vue and also had an devout interest in photography. I could not pose and had to forget my haunting past. Another fan. sexual. Brian. In his eyes I was the strumpet having sex with my good friend Christopher all because he took pictures of me.” My best buddy took me around the set at Granada Studios which busted with the stars of the high drama. So both women jumped in a cab and rushed The West End for copy of me. Chris worked as a cameraman for “Coronation Street. Married.Road answered in the negative. I might have attempted to send them off to other publications to see the interest and try for acceptance. Living with his wife. Until those mad Victorians got their plodding feet in the door. He could now get up to instant information from parts of the world it previously took hours to come across to The British Isles. I told him Chris had once taken revealing pictures of me. Featuring me amongst its sharp pages. Smooth and cool with pictures of my bottom too. fetching positions. I had a fan base. Being mates I suggested he take photos of me in some good. Then I met Brian. Sour wasn’t the word colouring his eyes when. I remember he got satellite before anybody else up north. I found a lot of them drinking their tea in the staff canteen. Dad managed to buy a glossy also. In a relationship with me. without thinking of the consequences I related to him part of my history. alluring. sharing my .

bed too. With not too much cloud and not too much sun.” Putting together the story “Me. I’d reverie it for the rest of my life. Or a Requiem. Loving one moment of being the son of my mother. “You’ve not an artistic ounce to your name. The day just about right. I had one of those joyous experiences with my mother when we went to The Royal Festival where she had booked good seats to listen to the orchestra. Cheating on everybody including himself. I headed for low esteem and disaster. Enthralled in the capture of Easter. Sitting with mom in the concert hall pleasure balanced out just about right. Two children. Heroic to acknowledge that I’ve been writing the plot and never tell nobody but Dylan and only because he’s a lover and . Chris. but I think that Jesus Christ rose sometime about this season and though I’m not an ardent fan of the chappie me and me mum. I did not know Brian yet. but it was Easter time. It could have been a Wagner tragedy or a Nina Simone‘s ‘The Other Woman‘ song. I smiled listening to the music. No matter what that stupid waitress said to me at The Midland hotel one day. both. Not too cloudy and not too sunny. Just right for the two of us enjoying the rock of the music. I’m not knowledgeable about religion brought up agnostic. seemed to be greeting something way high up there in the skies. My Mother and I”. The warmth of the world let itself seep into the enormous space of the room filling up as we entered the auditorium. the first casualty. And I know the composer was definitely the Handel one. This is me being creative.

To stand at attention on the page forever as I try to gather the uncurious to al least read some of my work. I want to storm The Barbican and get write-ups in “Time Out”. Enjoying my art greatly but I am a bitter man to my ungrateful audience. I want what I see to be entwined with what I write. late some nights. needs recognition and feedback. off-shore. My writing too can fly in the wind from my mouth but it is all so damn lonely and unappreciated in its birthing development.cops me writing on the desk. and be somewhat curious between the advertisements on television. Via the subway system we felt as if we were one of the last visitors in this ghost of an urban resort spun from the metropolitan. I am a desperately artistic type. A rocky roller coaster on a rickety soon to be scrapped Coney Island ride up to torn skies festering over the never remembered or photographed bricked tower block flats of the district. Feeling a prince on the surf of Coney. amongst the debris transported by pipeline. Like any painter that lives. I’d like to pencil that feeling gripping me about the loneliness swelled at the tips of the fuzzy white waves coming over on The Atlantic Ocean. as he makes his way into the kitchen for his Horlicks. I looped the ball twice. I argue with one of the fair’s stall because he kept taking my American money making sure I kept losing at his game. from cities along the Eastern seaboard. Counting cans floating and . writing it and writing it with sobriety. on our word processor. Drug free but I’d love a joint at times if it did not make me feel like running down the pavement. These tower blocks built by The City of New York lot when the borough still carried wealth in its pockets. Then swimming out on the drunken foam of The Atlantic. Flying laundry out on its balconies. dwelling on Mother Earth. Only a small crowd arrives these days at Coney Island.

In Harley House I put an E. I bled. Sporadically I composed and strung words together during late adolescence and adulthood. its glories. It made my wandering. Though I wrote poems at home in the pen of my studious room. Almost healed. warring on the intensely insane. didn’t those two birds feel safe while they watched my distressed state.P. of the composer Greig on the small phonograph my bedroom boasted. incorporated two birds sat inside a pathetic picture on a twig hanging from a wall of my rose coloured bedroom at Harley House. Inwardly culminating in one of my many lost identity nervous breakdowns of that decade. To even be considered winning a Booker Prize. one of my many nervous breakdowns of my life. I talk false. feel better. I just always come back up. My first stabbing at Creative Writing took place at Kingsway College. Jack Bubushio took the class. He’d tell the classroom of my young student friends but surely I was too confused by the nature of life to make any headway into the grand literature profession. I had no idea if this was because my soul had been twisted with a quantity of . Breakdowns experienced painfully in one form or another before the age of 52. Sometimes the two birds on the wall and the Scandinavian’s masterpiece is what I revered. One of my sonnets and man I was depressed. I reiterate. Still going strong onto my twilight. we brave the breast stroke in the sewage compounded spewing from the living of sweet Manhattan and beyond. Not decade at all. Sorry.bobbing in the ocean. And by a good measure he thought my writing skills keen. Go absolutely wild into my pillow with the Scandinavian’s set of music. I picked out the subject from the college’s curriculum.

I might also gel with others who appreciate the point of my prose/poetry. The proprietors gazing down from behind the safety on their blood free serving area. They took their wrapped food and proceeded out of the takeaway. When moving up to Ashton-under-Lyne I join an evening creative writing class at Tameside College. “Hey what do you think you’re doing?” They turned around and beat the fuck out of me in the chip shop. Sylvie. with from no help from the owner I never stepped my toes inside that restaurant again. I’ll never understand it but Sylvie got out of the car and started arguing with the drunken crowd of louts. One evening I drove a woman home attending the course. We stopped off at a chippie. They look as I twirl and twirl in their shop. Began heckling to my friend from outside the shop to her seated in my saloon and grey car. He died several years later. An activist. but the teacher mad as an hatter. He supported my writing. A counter separated them from being battered themselves. Three noisy men in the shop greeted me. So far so good. They probably got this bad behaviour most nights. In protest. . like he. a teacher of writing. endlessly talking dribble at a pace I couldn’t quite fathom it out. Not prepared to stay silent I went out into the street and told the three men to lay off Sylvie. a washing machine on spin. Jack also taught my sister Madge when she too entered the academy. gave me reason to write.unknown drug and I was to be booted into the realms of aloneness. Jack did not compromise his gay. My body got internally sprained and broken as the thugs smashed it from wall to wall with their alcohol. While my mate Sylvie waited in the car I got our order of supper. made me think. Madge told me how much Jack liked me.

thinking of its immediate closure. slight. The W.A (Worker’s Education Association) run classes at Manchester Polytechnic. My body knew it could be that close to death. I did not think the description good. I had up front viewing of the continuous movement of murder in a mans’ eye. a dark haired chap.E.“I’m sorry. I wasn’t happy. I can’t get the point of you writing at all!” Him standing there I gape at his thrust of power in my small court. The teacher who ran the class. Tasting my blood brought their adrenalin up to such a pitch. all through my continuous journey in literature. Please. a good man. stop it. My heart panicked and thumped. gave me positive feedback for my work. Hence they could not stop their battering. Neville replied his profound appreciation. That month a wrote a prose piece: a report of my misadventure. Well. It means nothing to me! In fact it’s horrible. I only wished in my trembling attempt to portray the sense of being senselessly punched and throttled with no reasoning attached. A weak looking fellow snarling through a set of strongly polished teeth putting an opinion out and I am mortified at his middle-class accent. taken . Not the last/only time attacked as more treachery arrived in my life. He might have liked my work best in the class. I showed it to a friend who worked as a hairdresser. brilliant or effective. He is young. I am breathing back. sunk. But his charisma spilled rudeness.” Repeating it. one evening a member of the class comes up to me. He gave me a dim look in response after reading the story. “Your writing means nothing.

Where he lives now? Does he still write? His bad talk coming straight for my gullet. “Ditch that tart and move in with me tonight!” I think not. I wonder about my peer. He got out of the car.probably all he wanted was a quick wank in some secluded playing field. I knew he had the delights for me for some cancer of light caught him out within the ray of his vision when I turned up that night. I could not shake his insult easily off but I am getting stronger. That her lover had the running lust for me. He needed to take a leak. Tones I found hard to digest. I haven’t exactly built up walls to surround myself and my flowing auburn hair but my eyes have learned the magic of how and when to tell the insulters to get off my back. Maybe he had a worry shaking his insecurity off on my veins and spirit. When we started our relationship . I wish people would stop moaning at me. Signing up on another course in the Manchester district.aback by his startled analysis. Dylan encouraged me to take up writing poetry again. I preferred to remain in my automobile. while he did his business. If it’s not for my poor Creative Writing. The world always on my back because it thought me too weak to take their punishment. The hatred for my art. The leader of the class takes a fancy to me. One night before class began I arranged to pick him up at the digs he shared with his girlfriend. “Are you coming in to hold it for me?” Not kidding but would he have taken it even further if I said. Of course it’s not so bad now. it’s because I could not hit a baseball or was gay or walked and talked with a wiggle in my heart. On the way back to his home in Whalley Range we stop off a some local urinals. The girlfriend didn’t notice or care about his flirting eye.

” I said with expectation. at last. Boy. After scanning a bit Elaine returned back a blank nod but it was a worsening insult for it . I could be jealous. Eventually a week later. “Roger your poems are good. She’d like to shop at AKEA in Warrington. I never would make the stardom of Simon Armitage. So I get immersed in the penning of my poetry. During one of our breaks in the dining room I showed her the bit of writing I though she’d be interested in. talking in the car with my mate dreaming of owning a house in Marseilles. “Your poetry is worth it!” A lot of their time I get burnt at their profit versus art. where the artists’ work only turns to hollowness. Who needed a career now. I thought junk from all the years of memory.with fortitude he read some poems stored messily under the spare bed.” I pointed at my sonnet there on the page of the small press. I did not know what scan meant. I showed Elaine. I was to be a published poet. proud a poem of mine in a small magazine. “I wrote it. Nacs spelt backward. She was a nurse working in the same nursing home as me. “Look.” He could not have been kidding so I went back to writing though I did not have the vision to study other poetry yet. Delirious. We were quite close and would laugh a lot. I came across a lot of Vanity Press where the publishers would not print unless I subscribed to their cause or worse still asked for money up front. turns his ears away from my own deafness. muttering the nonsensical about hot myself. Will I win The Forward Prize for poetry? I walked the cobbled boardwalks in Stalybridge dreaming. my friend bored with my being made-up. Published in small press and magazines which stupidly I equated with rack star status. I got the identical comment.

Jealous of the likes of Seamus Healey. Magazines stocked in The Poetry Library in London. Century poetry. Frankly. I lied in bed worrying how in a night the western world had changed. I enjoyed . Century. But that wasn’t all I wanted. “Why did this have to happen to us?” I tried for grass but cultivating only weeds along the path. it smite me how narrow and baseless my poetry sounded to these staunch writers of the 21st.happened to be a friend I tried to encourage reading some of my workings. Licking arse and paying dues and that did not even guarantee a statue at Madame Tussards. I felt repentant entering upon a career although only part-time. The library sends me feedback of its projects often. I gave up Poetry Writing when planes drove into The Twin Towers. Accounts written by well-known writers and artists and I stood gob smocked and felt contrite in a western world screaming. We would correspond but you would have to be on their wavelength subscribing to them or nothing cooking. A world in shock I brought the Sunday papers. Building up relationships with some of the owners and editors but discovering the truth of what they were really after. So from gladly gleaming and bargaining her to share my craft with me instead my ego with such force dropped in the rubbish bin. printing and howling why the world fell apart in 2001. I went to hear and see Wendy Cope. Carol Ann Duffy. While on the floor lay a tangled mess of media. The Poetry Library picked three poems to display on their internet site as examples of the 21st. I had work published in small magazines. So I got on an HNC Course at Tameside College and obtained a distinction in Hotel Management. But bruised after seven years of submitting poetry to the small press. My poetry seemed sheepish compared to these gallant events.

Educating myself on the scheming of writing.” My Dad had been supportive about my writing generally. “Gee.” Ten years younger than me already performing at Carnegie Hall. “Cor. I could not stop my dithering and when my college course ended. we have a writer in the family. especially the Accounts. Years ago I had wrote some prose about Dad shopping on the market at Province in France where he lived which pleased me. I never could write as well as him..” As I wrote my poetry and waited on tables at The Midland Hotel I hear the constant adulation for yet another boy wonder. For months I read. gosh. helpful tips and how to get motivated bits to keep the dear reader happily engaged. I sent it afterwards to my sister-in-law who in her southern glee expressed to me her reaction. Not at all romantic when 90% of my visions of the world were accepted as end of shelf life meat products. During the span of my Poetry Writing time I dearly wished stabbing Simon Armitage.the course greatly. He also became pretty happy about the action and the description. back on course.” His global fame soon brought a sickness to a crumbling heart. It seemed as if all the poetry junta in The United Kingdom and in the expanses of other countries were bowing to the new poetry king. I chose prose. though not as interested as me attending the gym. “Boy wonder. isn’t he just great…terrific. I am so glad he didn’t . So I posted him a copy. Dylan found some books on writing in the library. “Roger. First I heard of the poet after subscribing and submitting to the magazines of The Small Press. began once again stabbing at the workings of writing. Stephen King being one of the writers’ and other books I needed I purchased myself..

I waited at The Midland hot and bothered and getting grey under starched collars. trash to most ports of call. For . though I could not read his poetry as of yet. Employed in my country of origin: fiercely slapped. his poetry made me shiver in its brilliance. Marsden I think. Bloodaxe and Faber and Faber. how much more could I take? He joined the debate late evenings on Radio Three. So disturbed I had became at his successful fashion with poetry diction. Ten years older in the finger of experience I with a hated heart felt with shamed passion that it should have been me signing books at Watersons/ reading out poetry to a panting and sexful audience at Manchester Polytechnic. lacked any distinction or dignity and the crucial factor could only be that a lot of editors did not think me aglow with the jazz of a cool artist. got SAE sent back with no love at all from the fractions of The Small Press. Giving him compliments. Other grand artists thought he should have been picked out to be the next poet laureate. I felt extremely envious as I relayed my station most nights at the hotel’s restaurant. Licking his backside with baby lotion.make it to the poet laureate that year. He performed at The Purcell Rooms. Rowling came on the scene? A lot of opinion of me if any. The Guardian let him write for them. No chance for me. I could not get away from my failured feelings. While Simon won prestigious poetry competitions most of my stuff. Years later when I did read Simon. He came up the road from where I lived. Wishing to emulate. I heard academics found him sexy. Can you imagine my loathing when at last someone like J. Simon Armitage worked in universities in The United States teaching undergraduates. or even sideways to get a click at life. Judging him supremely. Not being able to move up. anyway from around the Huddersfield area. Hastily turning the volume down to minus naught.K.

astonished at the twist his poetry piece took. I’ve grown. I think how good the gift of writing can be. In fact. I certainly don’t wish to harm Simon Armitage and don’t spit whenever I chance to hear him mentioned. At least fall flat on his face at an award’s ceremony but nothing ever seemed to go wrong.a fee I could be persuaded to appear in the nude in Newsweek. not on the cheap or drowning. I truly turned cruel. Becoming more confident within and without. Metamorphosing my talents to the gracefulness of prose writing. whinging walls and from the steam rising in steam rooms. he is one of my favourite poets. From such a flaccid personality. Instead of getting famous I spent those years bathing at saunas (hey. They sent out a complimentary copy to me as reward/payment. It’s never too late. And Sylvia Plath. one poem made me jump. whenever I glimpsed Simon Armitage mentioned. And Pam Ayres. The two female editors who were the proprietors seemed genial. That’s all changed. No artist has ever made me move thus. I waited as an under study for his disembowelment. Shivering. hey. And Dylan Thomas. And any first World War poet. I was included in many of their . I’d wish he do something wrong for god’s sake. also. don’t put me down. One based in Bury accepted much of my work. Subscribing and submitting to many poetry magazines. very tasteful women. When able to give it a go and I got down to reading his work. His endeavour struck a bell through me. Their copy appeared well put together. because they liked my work. well-bred. wet back there on my neck. about to close for lack of funding. remember that’s how Bette Midler first found fame by singing at New York’s bath-houses) searching for clues how to scan from their wet.

I hurt a month. But if recalling correctly my work explained how exaggerated the millennium event had become in a world about to push itself under the dark. god bless their souls. Seen the likes of singers such as Julie Felix. “Look at teletext I’m on it. Therefore did our 2000th year turning warrant such a colossal chant? Did humans do enough positively to sanction such a gastronomically wondrous jollification at this particular moment. But gave her up years later when Louise did a dirty on my partner and myself. For the millennium celebrations ran a competition put out by teletext asking for poems that captured the spirit and hope of the new age of the next thousand years and saying farewell to the last thousand. Indeed they must have admired my poetry and my wavelength. And mom’s typical gush and support for her gay boy so refreshing even though my best friend up north could not be bothered to even read it. Christine Collister. for many centuries. I can’t remember much of the content but my poem had been selected.editions. the ladies from Bury. About the same time. possibly. Slanderous. I did not think so. It’s . Happier than Judy to be asked to read some poems of mine I picked a poem out without prejudice to read at the 2000 year celebration. Eliza Gilkyson and attending several plays that had been put on.” It pleased me rotten that my milieu shone in print for a bigger audience. “Gee Rog isn’t that great!” Mom’s chewing gum never the less going 10 to the dozen round the tumble drier of her mouth. From the lot submitted the best would get broadcasted on the teletext channel. were in the process or organising a poetry event to take place at Bury Met. I often attend shows there. I showed off to my friends and mother. A poem that had won at Channel’s Four Poetry Competition on teletext.

those that appeared nice: broke. sweltered for several days until my soul burst open. I owned the New York night blanketed on Manhattan Island. And I couldn’t wait to arrive back at the flat to present to my mother. I listed to him amongst other poetry hardships and other new revelations how this press . Stung by their correspondence. Myself and my living with no backward aggression. They could have been devout or perhaps they only wanted to include me in their repertoire the poems that had been submitted by myself and hence accepted by their own magazine. I gave her private viewing. My choice of poem. Given the approval by their consensus. The expression on her persona carried me a long way back to New York. a purse that I had just won at a Cub Scout raffle. Rehearsing in Mom’s flat several weeks before the reading on stage. I needed her reaction on my speech emphasis and was my breathing right? She could not make the journey to Bury. “Is that all there is?” She always expected more from all. The two ladies insulted my material. But she said when I finished reciting my bit for Bury Met. Pavements sprinkled with happiness while I carried proudly with Dad at my side.not Alzheimer’s but the title slips from my mind. She smiled. Giving her some flavour of my poetry skills. It was out in the city centre and blurting out to Dylan finally telling him my angst. Obvious I could not use my century’s turning poem at Bury Met. Hideous. well and truly my heart. The happy dark. “Is that all there is?” Maybe they were insulted my millennium account cried anti-religious fever. everybody included and often used the words from the Peggy Lee song to voice her own lack of fulfilment.

Last year I joined a playwriting group at Oldham Coliseum. on a Saturday night. don’t go! You’re too good for the likes of them!” Disillusioned with poetry. They were nothing more than a couple of old dears. staunch supporter. A bit of the very contemptuous. And I knew that it had to be them by the description of their activities. your poetry is beautiful but it just don’t scan. plain fact stared me out. Writers are the strangest bird. believe me. rhyme. So my good friend.” Since then I learn to read other works of poetry. My two enemies turned up. Today I’d laugh. Doris. buying many firstclass/aero mail postage stamps. I think my aim to prove that her brother grated higher than a carpet salesman/cleaner/waiter. suggests as easy as the rain falling down on me. “Don’t go!. hammering it out in front of Yates’s Wine Lodge at Christmas time when all the plastic reindeer hung out like everybody still believed in Christmas. Ironically at the group these two were bossy.treated my art. But I still felt the carving blade well inserted into the pit of my anatomy. Four years ago they had sent me innocently enough letters enquiring why I never bothered show at Bury on the night of their poetry occasion. I almost did. I visited Doris in New York. I never made it to Bury Met. it ain’t professional. Thwarted. I almost cried in front of Yates’s Wine Lodge down on Princess Street. I stayed mute. Whenever I famously got accepted by a poetry magazine I’d dash a copy off to my sister. I never was going to be famous. changing the day the group met : for it wasn’t suitable for them or something like that and they never showed up at Oldham again. . “Rog. It makes no sense because of this. Dazed at my fruitful success.

she’s now divorced and I presume happier. could have no way helped my startled soul. I have pictured them all. Her critique. After the bomb in Manchester I photographed the council rebuilding a shattered city. My art lacked the living element. Doris could not be having a good day. This was the girl I sent my gizzard to. The height of the couple picking on my faults sat in judgement on their settee on 89th and Broadway did the “egotist” in me no good. Surely lights would come up on the velvet curtains one day. Quickly I felt the cheater scrapping his vocabulary together with little sense of thought. To compliment my writing. City street. river and motorway. Fat luck! I like photographs. trembling me on the other . Did sister Doris wonder if I used a Thesaurus? Such was her graceful disdain of me. She just threw the dice in my tub making me squirm. I’m not sure if that might have been her wish but I wasn’t prepared just yet to live in a cave coming out at night when all the night had darkened the solemn street..” My biggest sister wasn’t nice.bless her cotton socks might have been right. I’d never author the poetry books for children to learn at in kindergarten. And these I brought over to New York to show Doris. I photographed mills soon to be abolished and set alight to make way for the new cheap housing estate. The con man putting words together hoping it could be art.. the lights of Broadway quickly dimmed when they both chatted thus to me. With her husband chipping in while I sat in the dust of their flat. She never made me die. Though she lived fractions close to Lincoln silent. “Why are there no people in your pictures?” “They are so lifeless. now she said I did not make the mark. I never sent another poetry pamphlet to her house again. Still desperately trying to heave myself out of oblivion.

Long before this building was hatched into motorway highway planning and when the bureaucrats down London way were only discussing their infantile idea I arrived on the . that much quicker than journeying along the minor roads. after a lot of hiccup and protest the M60 which would be finalised as the orbit around Manchester. It would extend. He’s very rich now. I mean. This land ran uniquely in an urbanised area which had been heavily industrialised from the age of The Industrial Revolution. People in government lack imagination but it seems in the finality that nature will always be right. Daisy Nook devoured because they needed a transportation system and communication circuit that swung and encompassed to complete a missing link around of the whole sprawled region. The M60 dissects through it. There must have been an alternative. got slit up. I am not the one to hang out my dirty washing swamped amongst the pages and paragraphs my literature. But when you got commerce versus beauty and birds singing you well know who’s gonna win. This is not a tirade against a sibling who happened to comfort me in great times of my growing up period. I’m not bitter. Am not doing this? Am I? Then read no further. A blade of burnt grass camouflaged in cement. Daisy Nook when the contractors set their tiger feet in. But people as far as Rochdale miss shopping at his place but it means I can get to my place of work. at last. statistically it might happen. There were grave planning permission problems. Prestwich Hospital. Tameside Council should have stamped Daisy Nook as a treasure. National Park. Don’t get me wrong. Doris just didn’t like my work (or her husband). No. The man who owned the garden centre on Ashton Moss I knew from the gym.side of them. There were plenty protests about this impending development.

Scrubby satellite town forgotten. A few years back I saw only endless stretching of pampas. It becomes unpleasant when the land we once loved becomes worthless. Overjoyed at some fluke or God’s good will miraculously leaving some state of land safe from the building industry. And I took my first train ride from Ashton-under-Lyne to Manchester. bruise less and unbroken. KFC and futuristic movie complex sit on it. rode in such lingering excessively rich grass.shores of Lancashire in the mid to late 1970’s. into rural wilderness my blue carriage roamed until reaching the stop of Miles Platting. In 1976 I became gob smacked as the train headed south from Ashton. I knew of Balham and Clapham and once lived a summer in Croydon. Then. Today Daisy Nook is a mess. Towns and villages in the western world spoiled by the greedy housing market. Here the city would begin in earnest. I can’t see grass. The wonder caught me as I sat in the British Rail. Whenever I look at from my gym on the top floor. Unique really for our county. over looking Daisy Nook. Here farm and cow stood stretching endless mileage along the track with lack of chimney pot and television aerials. nose crushed against the glass out onto the landscape. The red-bricked housing estate. devoid of nutrients and animal call. I see only a massive complex of depressing car showrooms. After the smoggy mill town of Ashton. I cried brick by brick as the local government put the new concrete down. Quite well versed with cities and their spilled suburbs. it could have been somewhere in Africa. an autobahn and a disaster to a rich and unusual setting. now commuter suburbia. I had never seen this before as my train had actually with majesty befitting a king. And to make matters worse pieces of the motorway are bordered by world wide cloned design of fast-food and cinema complex that howl down .

pubs and Travel Lodges crushing the living daylights of any chance of wildlife underfoot. pushing Daisy Nook into history books. bang.S. My complaint. “Why does everything have to go running and ruined for the name of commerce?” I composed a poem accompanying my display of now mounted pictures. aired them for a term to my great liking. or even on the outskirts of Paris who once prided themselves on individuality. The natural is sadly sanded down and traded for an extension of the big glistening city and its cheap suburbs. bars. Bulldozing. Photographs and photographs of the beauty. the swamps and insects. I took pictures of the contractors and their like. A refuge from city life right in the jam of a city. accommodating the middle-class by the hour and I make no joke of that. That they will collapse in the global warming damp and mud . entangled amongst slides of fast-food chain.A. Car-parks. I don’t know who looked. I had an idea. But over priced pebble dash cantering on both sides of the M60 motorway.any hope of saving from extinction our treasured culture. Today I enter the motorway from Ashton. pubs and bowling alley where centuries of farmland once stood not so long ago. Daisy Nook stood original. At first the builder ( or destroyers) used machines so antiquated and light they looked as if they could not run over a mouse. voiced over the chocking air and dust. they shot Daisy Nook down. bang. Unimaginative housing. I almost became proud at my protest. only. The dip and dell. Stalybridge Library. now you can’t tell where it is on the globe. Built on the moss. the natural life of the trees and all who dwelled in and nearby them. I took my shots of afterwards and shot in the heart I saw a motorway and new warehouses. agreeably. Hurt. I could be anywhere in the U. multiplex cinema so distinct you could be enjoying a night out in Sydney.

But loved my autograph up on the hard board of what I deeply felt. attended her Ti Chi class ( where we occasionally joined in too). Renting a room in a community hall where a friend. Taking my famous ride into Manchester from the district of Tameside by rail spoiled by tackiness and lack of genuine planning to make our earth any better. Serving wine in the interval. in fact out of pocket. orange. I received no feedback. It went all not disastrous. Carol. . Maybe somebody agreed with the grievance at Stalybridge Library. The new city depresses me. But only five people turned up to my poetry our only hope for a quick rejuvenation of the cherished countryside. In the succulent summer months the northern light flowed through the old school’s institution dappling the room in acidic heat waves in the early evening hush of a Monday. But seeing that I did not do much business that night. I had an idea. old. Plastering signs in the local shops. green or laundry white sometimes in the winter months. Now a plot for new supermarkets built opened by famous movie stars and their like. Salutes me. Where once was grass and suddenly I don’t want to get up in the more to breathe in our fretting earth. rambling mill. any that would allow me in my village and the next town down the road in Aston-under-Lyne. As I walk with difficulty up the hardened floor to the fourth scaling the deep. Happy decades ago this land whistled virgin. My gym is housed in an big. stone step I see peering through gigantic Industrialised Revolution created windows the ghost of Daisy Nook. Frankie’s and Bennies with Ella Fitzgerald singing in their car-park. the good lady in charge of the hall said I need not pay.

Dylan and I blamed my father nobody turned up. And what better? Than at Dad. in the interval time. winning the beauty pageant and now. This boy as come far in the sticks. Though at this stage. I only wished more numbers joined in my poetry celebrations. As part of the event I suggested in the advertisement for people to bring along a favourite poem to read. But as Dylan and I packed the poetry and its props back into the car we both felt understandably let down wanting to point the finger. Nothing could be madder than that! . I mean by his very own misfortune he helped breed me into the world so what better choice of culprit. By the way what a difference two decades can make. Then. My neighbour Linda did really well. By a wand of witchcraft place a heavy hand of any chance of my happiness. The wizard’s bad charm put a spell on my success as if he could wreck my poetry event from his long distance stance. Finished reading my verse yet surprisingly the applause deafened me. Even though I still felt crooked and famished at the attendance I reasoned everybody there must have enjoyed it. I knew it could not be Dad who made only five people show. Pleased at my endeavour people remarked. so far so good! My neighbour was there and her daughter-in-law and two fresh men from Ashton-under-Lyne who I never saw again but I can tell were well in the rock for verse. Our friend Carol made up the five. “Looking really good…” Music ran intermittently in the background and as I gave out the wine. Hung on the walls of the room I mounted my photographs against black. Anyway it went all not mishap. reading some of my proud poetry before a congregation. proper poster paper.

I got included in many of her magazines. London. Let’s call her Jackie. She would not print anybody on merit. I had cried to Dylan in the middle of Manchester on that winter’s night about Christmas time. now an unidentified part of Greater Manchester. You pays your money and makes your choice. on paper. I checked she wasn’t kidding. Alas. Jackie liked my sonnet and verse well enough. I don’t think a copy ever got sold off the varnish at Dillions. that only five persons attended that Monday night in an old industrialised mill town. Before I cottoned on to her deceit. She also got me into one of her anthologies selling off the shelves at Dillions Bookshop. When I get annoyed I work by dynamite. I. a soft touch in the past.” Omitting the fact. Like a lot of them she battered my sensibilities and subsequently broke my darn heart. “And I gave a poetry reading in Lancashire. deliberate garlic breath. only if the writer subscribed to her poetry journal. Oh no. coming to this realisation. Displayed photographs too. hastened her end quite fast and put her out of my life. I a Proud Mary. well read London. You see I dug it being in print. tear spun.V. A gallon of water spat over a dimly lit vain compliment. longed to sit in the centre of a thriving. I had good correspondence with an editor of a small poetry magazine. I found Jackie from the index of The Small Press.But now I always included it in my C. she had assembled a poetry book highlighting nine authors and myself. But also on my complaint spewed out through clenched teeth. so what if I . But before I had extinguished the vanity career with Jackie. besides the fit less fashion the women from Bury treated me was how this particular lady called Jackie had let me down. My father and one of my lovers knew I could be the biscuit impossible to break.

My essay one day that somebody will want? When I read poetry I need the silence of the quiet for I am booked into the specific beat of the poem’s author. Nina Simone and Eartha Kitt. And to my glee I found my remains on route in a store in the big smog. my heart quickened seeing the blue copy. Famous once! Not quite giving out autographs. Shirley Horn and Clare Teal. Jackie. In fact so sure of my noble arriving from the ghettos. a little rusty at the spine. My article. I could be as conceited as the next model in the queue. I paid my dues. I dream being. Hence I wrote back to her idea. every night. I’d love to be in your pamphlet. Carly Simone’s album “Moonlight Serenade”.had to dig in my purse to be included in the book. Did it sell? And it might still be there.” That sealed me into her project. I don’t care. slum dwelling now famed in flames. This gave me excitement intense. Some time later that month I woke up cancelling Vanity Press from my system. Donna Summer sings “On The Radio” . Down in London at my mum’s I nipped inside the shop breathing in the cheering perfume of gallantly being on the case. “Yes. In fact. Mozart. Then. on Graham Norton. I dreamed catwalk. All giving me impetus. motivation to write and help spelling out my rhythm. Billie Holiday. And the music hampers or distils the importance and my insight into his/her tragedy. I’ll buy six copies. Broadcasted twice on the radio. Though it did looked a bit untouched by a pessimistic public. Well. Broadcasted on local radio. I love music. Madonna’s “Vogue”. Bach are tucked between the pages of my book.

by train. Not giving up my learning. 90% were professional women out all day at professional occupations. Even though most editors won’t touch my stuff with a barge pole only to criticise me and like the good ole Doris said “You gotta scan to put life in your sonnet for God’ sake!” before going away to do research work at her university. Too old-fashioned in America. Hum. But they liked my poetry well enough. We all tramped lumbering into a relative’s car to listen to my programme on the wireless. Mop business. When Doris and I went upstate New York. “Roger. visiting aunts and other memorable relatives they did not possess a tape machine. An announcer read my poem on GMR BBC local radio. A world wide success. “What’s this tape-machine anyway?” in their Jewish. I got notes back. I aim to learn something until I die/lying on my chaise lounge poisoned with . Etc. The world went silent as I listened. I posted another script and the DJ aired that trick. little used car recorder. Hum. Dylan taped it for me. On the second occasion I was cleaning a suite for my Mr. You must have heard of me. Jeez you still got his thing in EUROPE!” And this wasn’t necessarily a question. When I do write the occasional number. we didn’t know you were so talented”. Mop Cleaning Business to listen to GMR anthem of mine. do the best with my limitations. Not for my waiting at home boyfriend not for anybody as matter of fact. I tried to get customers of my now defunct Mr. Still you must have heard of my name. The poems were called “Domino Days and “Destroy”. “How do you work it. yet. I do enjoy the writing of poetry. In respect Doris kept her mouth shut. Not as famous as Andrew Motion.

The bullying. So if I want to purchase a specialised book or maybe even a classic I have to take the bus/car/train to Huddersfield/Manchester. Or to widen my knowledge mounted on top of the one that a subsequent fantastic further education college gifted me for two years in adolescent London. I think it’s insulting they try to close libraries and then commerce commences to relocate our book stores downtown. The passionate. Boys taking the mickey of my Jewish penis in a Christian dominated schooling. I sat my “O” and “A” Levels there and did better than I would have at the prickly school I attended. But at the same time we are told that our opportunities are supposed to be opening up. W. Very glad to get rid of school at sixteen embarking to Kingsway College.dementia or whatever the Alzheimer’s. In the Scottish showers my hands sorely wrapped round my manly semantic particle. Learning being a course at an adult education centre/self-taught from library books. Our circles are narrowing. Though I’m not sure where my philosophy lay? To embark on a learning process other than my comprehensive had offered me once. Sparks taught the “A” Level class in English Literature. competing verbal and sparked physical flaring up between us. Greatly influenced by her wise sense of society and how . Teaching there was more motivated and relevant. Smith is not a bookshop precisely. Mom hurrying in to threaten the teacher with prison for manhandling me. My town has no really decent book shop anymore. Being in the same grade and class as my smarter sister. books brought at Waterson’s or the second-hand market stalls.H. I hated school so I was ready to move to Kingsway. Enrolling at evening classes after just resettling up North. Mrs. when nobody could watch underneath the table in Maths. That’s discriminating. The head bully touching me up when he thought safe to do so.

Teacher more street wise and alert to the current crises facing the country and wider international situation. I became addicted to the stuff and marvelled at the content. Jim and me were on rocky times. Unfortunately I did less well in my exams at “A” Level.literature could fit into our real world. Spark’s. This was one of the many course I followed. I know I passed all the “O” Levels I took with good grades. serving the persona of the likes of Victoria Wood. My gay/foreign/different isms for once did not feel out of place. Mrs. Sparks.P. I worked then as a waiter at The Midland Hotel Manager. theme and character development. HNC in hotel management. I still use her brainpower when battling in my debates to this day. Here the students read their composition in the class then a discussion forum ensued. With all my moving I lost the certificates. Pleasant to be in a room with like minded artists. We used C. by her insight in the novel showed who ruled the country. I did a part-time course last year again at Tameside College. Mrs. Graduating to college meant free skies juxtaposed to my warped schooling days. Freer from homophobia anyway and a much broader outward sense of living. I passed my English Literature and Sociology at “A” Level two years later going back as a mature student with a grant can you believe at 20! So joining a Creative Writing Class at 23 at Tameside College could be said an extension of my further education started initially at Kingsway College down London. I attended every class religiously.’s Snow “Corridors Of Power” as our set text. Equal footing with everybody even the lecturers’. the fault lines and the attributes of the plot. Tuesdays and Wednesdays after work I scribbled hotel . the shining diamond I never forgot and I still quote her sage. about to move rapidly out of my life again.

Free myself from the evil memory. In 1986 the government offered a year’s grant to persons with the enterprising nosh to come off the dole to set up business with sound prospects. Kicking with confidence of a reinvented person into the exhilarating piles of . Liberating myself. Learning at my desk. fly the skies. Mop”. And her saddened scowl would break in a thousand sunshines whenever we spoke of my new business idea. Thrilling a bell in her mechanic make-up. Sod it now. At first Accounts startled me but my the end of the year I did the sums easily and it became the most enjoyable subject. Mom loved it when I opened Mr. My carpet shop folded a year back. stirring life into my muscles. I’d been picked out and beaten in school by the class bullies. Breaking out I would do the dusting for a living. Summer over now. I acquired a second-hand crumbled down white van and bob’s my partner. Elegantly imaging advertising in neon on Times Square but I made do with leafleting in suburbia which was mushrooming at a rate on flood plains and the valley floors those years (and still is). My pride cancelled. Planning the idea. The crispness of nippy air would waken me up quickly. Where boasted the words in bright but not too gaudy red: “Mr. And great. Mop. And big. November for me was always a month to start afresh. Just great to be back at the drawing board. Called derogatory names at home also. my dream enterprise of wearing uniforms I tried pulling all the stops out and could not go far enough in my aims to make it work. I never did get to use the HNC as I moved into the nursing sector but I received a distinction and a prize for being the most dedicated on course. aeroplane wide and gallantly sticking two fingers up in the atmosphere. Invigorating in me in the snapping energy of autumn. This would now become my next namesake.

Thought I might lay their wives mysteriously in the airing cupboard. They did not pay me.A Mr. Mop. Finally dropping lithium pills like chocolate candy but more of that later. Wiping out areas of natural beauty and the burrowing animals on Daisy Nook but it meant in the near future travel would take less time across part of the district I served. public houses. I thought my business a grand opening. sure of some success. Even my sometime vigilant brother became jolly at what I schemed to start. A broken species on a private bed in a mental care “Retreat” in York. I advertised in Thomson Directory. suffering and recovering a nervous breakdown. the local press and the free press. offices.molten coloured leaves scattered on ground. Bringing Ashton out to the linking communication hub around the county. The last link of the M60 was about to be constructed. The company loosened the man from his centuries old stereotype. I grafted. Though I ran a carpet shop for many years I never considered myself good management. The customers just would not pay the rates I gauged my survival on but bartered me . suites. Mr. a year and a bit later I’d be struck down. Only their husbands appeared distant or blushed incredibly at this man from Mars. Now it’s on with Mr. Doris in New York like its passion too. carpets. Soon to get in the cosiness of the winter months. That hopefully might help sell the business idea. Mop! A brother gave me an answering machine when me and mum visited. I got by. Mop cleaned houses. I didn’t know that in the future. I envisaged working women that needed hired help to rid the accumulating dirt from their shelves might be happier at the prospect of men doing it.

Her house was about organised as a shipwreck. She liked the novelty of a man doing it I suppose. You takes your money and don’t look back. Their impersonal lodging houses smelling of burnt and chips and grease depressed me no end. I did not need vast capital starting my venture. In bad hygiene. her filth looked no different from when I approached four hours ago. I had transport but I did need to buy a carpet/suite cleaning machine.50! Customers did not understand my aim and goal. a “good” witch racking up herbal potions. Some of my customers were eccentric. “This house is too grubby to be cleaned it needs a bulldozer to put it right! Or. the dirt residing for weeks. I found some properties mainly boarding type houses in horrid state while others were too tidy and polished. Mop entailed the muscle engineered from my back and two hands. A floating company on The London Stock Exchange. “Why does Sharon need us? She obviously cleans before our arrival!” Tackling the task of doing Doreen’s house each week. Because of financial reasons I initially . So in the 1980’s some hours I would be earning a paltry £2.down usually to what a cleaner would get for a day’s work out. Mainly the work of Mr. Landlords would hire my company from as far away as Didsbury. Because no matter how I would strain my eyes searching for a less amount of her magical dust. Quickly I became demotivated. Like a recurring terror. I did not make much in profit but the £40 supplement from the government helped me float. So I questioned. The buyers came. did not care if it got lifted but more waited in corners ready to pounce. People refused to pay the company rates but agreed to settle on what they would pay an ordinary cleaner.

Tangled in cob webs. 1986 I chose to persevere. therefore paying me accordingly. slave labour and close to a nervous breakdown anyway (but I still had no inkling) I would not barter back.m. How difficult it would be to raise myself from this poverty wage but the grant coming in from the government helped. Worked for The National Geographical Magazine. Single. She had me walking round her lush garden to catch my breath worried at my exhaustion. amongst trees and the grass I say to my passenger. Whenever I smell The Ajax I cleaned her house with…” Circling her grass barely able to lift my limbs. she worked for The National Geographic Magazine and she cared for my physical health. still that year. her big house set back in the valley.m when I managed to finish all my work at last. . I incorporated all kinds of cleaning work usually not arguing the time x price but I held my head proud that not every man that decade could boast that he cleaned! Sandra lived near Glossop. I think about Sandra often. I would not bark. My lone practices were doing me in. you work so hard!” Sometimes I’d start cleaning a pub at six a. Cleaned her house once upon a time…. And whenever I pass where she lived on the road to Simmondley. on business. Skidding to the other side of town for less than a degrading dollar an hour. “A very nice woman lived in that house. She liked me right enough. Friends hired me but paid me pittance. I wasn’t a business man. “You need a rest.did the work myself. but still fit in the gym at seven p. Customers assuming me only as a cleaner. wishing that I could be in touch. They were dead tight. A sweet woman who travelled to Japan frequently.

monthly. Potential customers frequently call today though I’ve been closed eight years. My knackered state on the bench press. Rising early to begin the work. laughing in my face. . Most of the pubs that hired my business were diabolically dirty.m. Christmas was a busy time. weekly. If it was a public house I’d wake at about six a. pub and office were on a regular basis. This time. spring cleaning or my industrialised cleaning type of work.. Remember how I was treated at school? I did not become dismayed for I designed myself to be the pioneer liberating the male. Mop did momentarily become busier I’d employ a body casually to assist me. After twelve hours graft I’d weight-lift at the gym or swim at the local baths. The owners were not much kinder than the slipshod state of the interior of the building housing them. Excepting this.” Able to charge the going rate for carpet and suite cleaning jobs. somewhat effeminate. And with no intention of ever giving up my sporting programme. no argument and the lucrative side brought much needed money in but cleaning carpets and furniture came by season. I’m still here. The memory of pain desiring sleep remains deep in my groin. yet urgently needing their premises tidied. I remember watching the athletics once on early morning television. do that undertaking for a couple of hours before graduating to house cleaning. When Mr. Treating me with disdain and contempt. the stereotype. Summing me up. leg extension and in the swimming baths exercise could be torturous. So much so I though any minute Health and Safety would walk in and close the joint down. fortnightly. those of the domestic. There were extra jobs that always needed attention such as spring cleaning a bedroom or cleaning a suite. Some of my jobs.“Hello.

I experienced the bowel too close up for comfort. anyway and so sorry I too. Sometimes the till would have remained opened from the last night’s revelry. Pee. Good management policies did not come easily for them. I had to shovel up human soil in the hostels’ toilets. A lot of the bars and pubs I took on were on the brink of financial disaster. Revealing the tempting £20 notes. staff eating the profits. to keep their purse shut. I presumed their front rooms at home looked and smelt a sham too. stereotype. When I was sixteen I worked a Christmas helping the organisation “Crisis At Christmas”. too hasty to remember in their last bid to get every drop of lager down. in fact. I wondered next week if we’d still be cleaning The Church Inn or Molly‘s Bar. I can’t get in!” I’d panic as the place was quickly closed down at midnight by the creditors. vomit decorated in patterns on the owing for this and that. Some of my customers seemed to be in direct conflict with the police. gone bankrupt. A social issue. The revellers didn’t care the abstract art they drew. But cleaning up the disco the morning after turned my stomach. The rooms issued a stern Heath & Safety warning.Pub owners seemed a tribe somehow rough. under the shadow of eviction orders to be sent out. I’d turn up for work. thigh-high swamped the floor in the toilets. Statements lay strewn across the rooms. The toilet bowls full of . Urinals full of cigarette stubs. Ironically loose change would lay strewn on the mildew worn carpet Drunken customers. One nightclub I took out a contract in Hyde the condition of the toilets made me retch. proud that I could be part of helping. at last orders. “Hey. Again I’m sure if the Authorities unrepentantly turned up the hall would be closed down. I’d wear gloves to protect myself and only I hoped it would inoculate me enough. So either I’d have to take them out by my hands or mouth.

She’d check when she got home from her employment. Gertrude!” I became a key holder. her demanding notes. I . this job like its cousin in the domestic market paid well and it wasn’t seasonal. Regardless.shit and sick. Buy a private plane. I knew the competition did it no cheaper. Mop grew to a Bill Gates prosperous prospect and ready to be introduced on The Stock Exchange. Mrs. buy British Airways. plugging away. Aroused to Merry’s insanity. When Mr. last night’s pint glass disregarded on the table by harassed bar staff. Merry’s notes addressed to me. There were the complainers. If they don’t complain they won’t come back! Mrs. Merry moaned fanatical about the dog hairs. cute. I was trusted. In fact she wrote the soap opera for me. I never let the landlady/lord haggle with the price. She counted my movements around her house. Was I using two separate cloths to do her bathroom and toilet. I willed myself to inhale the fumes of the stagnant beer. Turning blind eyes to the burgeoning empty packets of drug taking/inhaling. Merry drove me mad with her clever neurosis. toiling the soil. Virgin Trains. innocent Irish settler who lay there as I polished and cleaned and read Mrs. Or phoning me late at night so we could discuss the cleaning. Every single black. “So get it somewhere else. the diphtheria would have been well worth it. But I continued to work these places to the bone for one day I would be able to employ staff to do the labouring. I left a bunch under the bed/forgot to sweep them out the kitchen. Cleaning pub carpets. Livingstone was her big. Sleep in his eyes but alive under by private agony of trying to do right. shiny dog hair she wanted surgically removed from her Glossop house. You’d think I was writing a script for her.

complaining but she never moaned about the ironing.” Maybe she hated men and now was her chance. blab. Her poor wage packet money that I could not even afford a holiday to Bermuda on and my guilt pulled me back to her place. Oh I need you!” She thought she owned my passport. A job I did badly getting the least pleasure out of. Mrs. my mind felt so muddled that as the last resort I booked in at The Retreat in York. She knew a sort touch.only watched her react. Leaving me feeling shamed. finally leaving him. I suppose. Not even ma. Her temperament weaved its brutal way. . Which curiously cured me too! I woke up one Saturday. Mr. Anyway her upper English jarred on my hard drive. When it blew up and it really was his wife he wanted. I had a love affair which I met in a car-park toilet. “But why Roger. How did she greet the colonel in the morning? By complaining. Her husband was some kind of colonel. Her tears flowed like Buxton water. I left her employment twice. blab. Mop had gone home for the night. “I don’t like the toilet seat left up. Spending a fabulous fortnight doped in lithium.” Blab. I closed my life shutting everything down. Where I found disaster. When I got out of the cage. She now acted insidiously like I was the person on top. phoned Dad. Merry had me summed up. “You didn’t finish the job. and left on the late morning train back to Lancashire. after Mr. A woman on the verge of a nervous breakdown. All men are bastards. For the likes of her suddenly I performed brain surgery. Her anxiety reached places in me nobody else dare tap into. He made me so low I could not lift my head off the pillow case. She’d always be on the bullying blower. Mop happened to be one of the things I lost.

After my illness the first job I took waiting on tables in a steak house. But because there had been such demand. This time. One day I fell down my staircase. The part-time cleaning got busier I left the diner. Mop again. remarked. Although I had got over the hurdle of my low self-esteem mushrooming up over and through those stormy weathered years I still found it almost impossible to say “No!” or “Enough” to my mainly female customers. My broken leg was not going to be a tragedy like my graphically announced nervous breakdown tried to be. Maybe I could afford The Bahamas after all. “What hat are you wearing today?” I’d finish a Mr. having me takes walks in her back garden when I came to clean her house. Because of my American accent receiving the best tips. “Where you drunk? What’d you drink?” My mother said to I. formally opening Mr. I’d hit the car. Only that my breakdown made me slightly dizzy and burning at times. I knew I’d not go back to that place in York! I got rid of the demon who wouldn’t leave his partner yet held onto me like I was the man who would save him. Of The National Geographic. ripping out of my cleaning tackle in the staff toilets of the restaurant I worked at in the centre of Ashton. “Stop!” Sandra’s ghost talked. Jumping into black slacks and waistcoat and be on duty on the floor in really no time at all. I cautiously reopened my cleaning business. I worked that many jobs friends . Still a zealous worker. I had been pacing myself too quick. with no scheming to make it fantastic but only as a sideline accumulating more dosh to my catering employment. Subsequently my poor overworked body screamed. Mop job in Derbyshire. I started advertising in the local again.

Like my mind. one month. So warn I’m gonna be late. When Dylan came to work for me. But out of the blue phoned me up to complain. Encouraged on course by his grocer mother. A very bumpy ride where every hole and bump in the road was an agonising journey skimming over hell. I telephone my regular round of Saturday customers. And the one driver and his in front kept on talking while I quietly screamed my way onto Tameside Hospital. “Rest. I had to be the true addict. How time does slid back and forth. she did not lift an eyelid but perkily made two cups of tea instead of one. I lifted myself on the road again though one leg is bigger than the other. Lyn studying to be a barrister offered to take over some of Mr. I refused to acknowledge the cut of bone to my shin. soon to be dusted fireplaces. about a tiny piece of carpet in .” the Indian lad studying to be a doctor says to me. The nurses didn’t remember or were too busy to consider. One of my patron’s son’s Chet had me going back to bed after recording to him my mishap. Last drop there when I entered Ward 36 a few years back. Her husband owned a chain of butcher shops: Stalybridge Market. Realising I would not exist without her kind support. Talk about the needy. She had two fierce Stafford Terriers who used to wait for the burglar in front of one of their mistress’s prestigious looking. my leg healed. Hyde to name a few. “Put your leg up. it’s best.In fact at the bottom of the stair. Grateful for a helping hand. Ashton Market. coming to me with stories about the houses and clients that she assisted me with while my leg is held up plaster. I did the gym with my cast on. Mop while I lay inactivated.” Robert told me to phone for an ambulance via my neighbour Lyn who turned out too good. Nancy and I became friends during the time I cleaned her farm house.

Forgetting to dust the spare bedroom. 5. Only months back such a staunch supporter of all I did. So much mixing the business with fun. 4. To my quaking senses and insult. I cleaned the carpet again to a completely revised silent and a sudden scary Nancy looking on. Her dismissal of us through the telephone call with Dylan is too quick for my ears. her part of the telephone conversation over with. 2. A woman trusting me once implicitly. She could. I’ll list ‘em.her hallway not being properly cleaned. . Building up such good rapport with her during the working two years on Hartshead Moor. Clean up Rosso’s poo on the carpet ( and that was a daughter). By a telephone call to Dylan the lady sacked me. The hurt voice. I fart to release the nervous gases buttressing up my inners. sorry that was Harry the gardener. Nancy and the butcher and their daughter had come to a party at my home. 3. In her windpipe chimed a thousand grievances I committed. Nancy is a client and the customer’s always right. (How many times has that been bitched and pitched at my startled nerves). 6. You stole ten pounds off my dresser. With an almighty sigh of a pant Nancy might be thinking of the death of Troy. 1. Her sudden aloofness to my cleaning company passes her lips. The job took less time than getting the machine over to her farmyard. And to boot! You did the clean the hall carpet up to my august standard. Your work is not up to scratch missing corners. Not even brave enough to tell me herself hanging up. abruptly. Put the dog out. no. Dylan told me later been auditioning for Hamlet since there was such a large amount of gravy browning in her vocals a she spewed off her trite.

Mop. One of our customers’ from The Ukraine. using plenty of carpet detergent. Only a two minute walk from the house. We did all types of cleaning for them. from spring. All this for looking after their cats while holidaying in Spain. moved in and worked for Mr. he had multiple sclerosis religiously indulging us with cakes and mugs of tea for our break in the kitchen while she sat in her lounge. I got in a healthier relationship.Holding humiliation in a hot hand charging five pounds for cleaning that piece of the operatic tragedy. Munching over her over excited prancing dogs. ideal for weekends. soon had us working for her extended families and friends. nurses. A chain reaction. to weekly to carpet/suite cleaning. This group of professional people were doctors. All loyal to us. Taking a pub job that year to supplement the business. Good working for these people. by goodwill. They were Jewish and soon we cleaned for a lot of the Jewish folk around the Whitefield area of Manchester. He wasn’t married or any hurdling obstacles floating in the background. as always. Something my parents installed in me. Dylan having pressure from home. I cleaned their carpets. I met Dylan at a bus stop. Evelyn. Half a year later after reopening Mr. commerce people and teachers. Some were even willing to pay our company rate. Mop which then nearly supported the two of us. picking up other cleaning jobs from the drinkers standing in front of the bar. Me being drunk but not disorderly on a bottle of whisky given to me by the kind and helpful Lyn who also had brought me the shirt I now wore that fateful night. She liked the way we worked and got the ball rolling. etc. Unfortunately she still expected us to . Some complained but the ones who didn’t made up for it. I worked diligently. a nurse from Crumpstall Hospital hired us to clean her house.

Another dramatic hopeful waiting to audition for RADA. she acted at arm’s reticent length. And with me. did not believe in furniture polish or in fact any chemically enhanced cleaning powder. In a posh house on a dirt track. I mean I could write a big dossier about the patrons of the Mr. D had a soft spot for Dylan. Mop enterprise. My lover carried the duster and mixed with the cleaning tackle and hyperthermia screamed our misery of the -0 weather conditions and being forced to come this low in our lives. I’d much rather be marooned in a row boat off Tahiti.” Jole lived in Broadbottom. We received nice letters. My slogan rang out ‘Never let a customer down!’. Most of the customers were sympathetic about Dylan’s misfortune. A good customer conversing well with me until I brought Dylan along as my helper. “Umm. impossible to drive up. She only began counting the chocolates in every box of ‘Rose’s’ that . She said the power came from the fist.clean the day after Dylan’s mum died.” she’d mutter to us in accent. very difficult to get access. “is elbow grease!” Mrs. cards and flowers. I had to leave her eventually for other reasons. Delta. base of the hill to clean the pub in Saddleworth. I snow walked swaying with the grey Hoover at shoulder level just lingering over the virgin mountainside of snow. We parked at the snow packed. What a problem. Fell a terrible snowstorm. a lady leaving in flats in Prestwich Village recommended to us. Mrs. “All you need. My anger stayed intact during the remaining weeks we cleaned her house. The cold gave our jumper covered body never felt before fatalistic frostbite and hard to recover from hyperthermia. I always managed to arrive to. The landlord did not give a sodding damn whether we showed or not but at our arrival nodded and muttered in his unsavoury hung over way.

I wasn’t going to make Hollywood. She did not give us the sack 100%. low ceiling mahogany dining-room and she cried ballistic remarks. I felt we were so little clearing up trash in the baskets. We cleared up well enough to my immaculate standards. Only I grew suspicious that Jole got all her staff to drop screwed up paper.” When we reported the mishap to her she cried her smart 16th century Shakespearean cottage down: “AIDS!” “My baby is at risk.she owed. I could never quite figure out what kind of business this firm spent its time doing. paper clips and other paraphernalia on the floor every Friday last thing before the office closed and before the weekend cleaners moved in. Eventually I found employment elsewhere. Mop for the final account! So the plan became thus. I would have to phone Daddy up in France again crying. Therefore we felt so lucky. We downed our tools and just walked out one fine day. “Broke and burnt out!” Eating our vegetarian butties in the car I wanted out. I would never succeed in this business. The funny part was.” Not the precise words but get the meaning? So she made us wear gloves in her house. we weren’t sacked from continuing to clean her offices in Stockport. Lady Jole: “Accidents do happen. So for more sense this time shut Mr. That became the end of our cleaning duty at her cute low-roofed-country mansion on a dirt track. When . Dylan got a job in a nursing home. She then accused us of stealing them! Once my partner broke a vase standing on her mantle piece in the red carpeted. Lady Jole made our task nonsensical. Make no mistake she happened to be a filthy bugger. Joel was at risk from herself. Disheartened and unmotivated Dylan and me added up our meagre takings and the addition wasn’t a buoyant sight.

a weekday at the Ashton New Road lavatories. attention. Dad the professional businessman always gave his thoughts to my business. black and white tiles if she was out before starting the house. Hard to break completely from the flight path. veins and arteries of Mr.we both arrived back from visiting Doris in New York. Shrivelled body parts which did not mean a lot to me then. Didn’t I try to invent the man doing the housework? I like to think I started the protracted progression in a richly dominated male world and gave the woman some of her time back. Or crash the car. The next time the government gives Elton John a bronze for being a homosexual please spare a passing heartbeat for Dylan. Mop. I gave him keys to my house. company for those long stretches of emptiness during day and night. My famous six-pack which once I had been so proud of and was . A lonely boy desperate for kisses from any quarter. And I was ready for my plight. But catch an hour’s sleep on her cold and flinty. Mr. He changed my life. I met him in a toilet in 1986. And Mom until she died. I suppose from a mental health point of view because I had been badly treated during my life I now settled for the 100% victim. Roger Perrin. I picked up Brian. if you can’t find a loo and if you piss in the street or behind a tree you pay eighty quid! Brian changed the flight plan. flowers. I’m sorry if you’re Catholic but I met him in a toilet and he changed my life. Mop and myself. And I wasn’t going to give a whit. gleaming. I’d work a night shift and then go and clean Joy’s in Whitefield. smiled broadly at the anecdotes of Mr. although I had a new career I kept some Mr. I mean with a name like that. Wholeheartedly giving him the directions to journey and later to canter callously over the soul. middle-aged and wizened. now. Now bricked up by Tony Blair. Mop customers on for a time. I was ready for the fight. I lent him the use of my car. The things we do for a piece of bread. But.

Mom on Nassau Island with Marilyn Monroe dead and John Kennedy soon to follow made sure to her grave that I would never be able to cry. though the death was not my fault. Is that why I met and wanted a Brain? Was he the point that I would a last get to correct myself. I bowled out in my younger days. Mountain lording over me and the family and his secretaries who if the truth be uncovered nothing scarier than The Wizard of Oz. To go right down. So instead I lay on starched hospital beds tearing my brains apart. My fury tunnelled into his soft heart. Volunteering to administer drugs in my blood. He lessened me as a son. I sat on a bench at Stamford Park and tried to cry at his demise. A premeditated attack. My behaviour pattern had been unfortunately sculptured into treating a past partner ferociously. submerged. Hovering under a bad spell. All I saw was the orange roses and the velvet blues sitting in plots but their essence did not . a mysterious. his cruel jokes injected a forfeiture of self confidence. It would have worked out better if I had been able to shed tears for Jim. When Jim committed suicide on Hartshead Pike where an Armanda Beacon stood. However Jim carried on he did not deserve that. Travelling further back to the way I interacted with my Dad. Twenty years ago is a lifetime away. under the mushy waves and embrace back up the new man? I thought though I was in denial that I had acted maliciously to Jim. Connected to the way I carried on with Jim.the envy of every straight and gay man in the gym would soon crumpled up to being plump. In his deftness. Never mind Iraq. I lost track again. usually intoxicated liar. unkind. But he thought smart. my gut took the blame without control. Guilt as wide as The Mississippi. I assumed everybody despised the boy from New York City who had no halo.

Dreadfully mixed up I could not label myself the victim yet. He beat the fuck out of me. proper bad. throwing off the culpability I felt in society. Kick me in the teeth. Obviously. I liked to think that Billie Holiday had sung ‘Jim’ specially for me. Madge had brought it to Manchester. I did not want to leave the man.pander to my stormy senses. The trick of sex kept me in the make-up. I had to fall yet further into the folds of the universe. I could not leave Brian. good or bad. Slot me in a hole. she too felt the passion of my love for Jim. Friends were shocked. “Something’s bad going to ensue. It just wasn’t real. a quaking shaking shadow lurked in the velvet curtains. Brian’s scheming I could not ascertain. A disturbed mind does not discriminate between right and wrong. At my damnation the devil found ways to grip. Brian fitted. And mirrored long back over the brittle waves of time to the powering confusion of my family life. I wanted a man to love and that was that. I became sexually attached to Brian. Just out of reach of the corner of my eye.” Walking into the relationship with my sinus wide open. Fuelling my remorse of 86. “Man settle me in a ditch. Crippled alongside my quaking socialisation. passionate spot on The New Road where we met. I could not keep my hard-on down. All I . told me it could be no way to carry on. ready for a kiss and his onslaught. Easy meeting Brain to master and beat and paddle me. You wait and see!” But let them talk! I had no plans to move from this space. An obsession. for either of us. So friends watched this boorish expanse and became distant at my lack of self-respect. To break into this inner torment I suffered for a past lover. I met him in a toilet in 1986. Planning to knock me down. But I screwed any good thought. Often I travel across the grisly.

We met in a smelly bog. A good sexual fantasy. His mother happy with grandchildren under her feet. Thunder never cautioned. Imagery put phrases at my disposal. By the way we played Brian and my needs were being fulfilled on a level. for God’s sake. Black metal fencing is erected where the historical meeting plan had shone twenty odd years ago.” Brain tried to explain the situation to me as we lay in bed after having sex. The faultless. shooting through our eyeballs at the precise. “When the preacher made me promise to be faithful. worn-out couch. Mother Earth would wait. Brain never shied away from the fact that he happened to be married. I wasn’t enamoured. “At the alter I felt guilty. He sat on my beige. “And he’ll let me get on with my own life! You wait and see!” He flew the gay flag anyway. so sure of success in the relationship. I took Brian back and invited the slender sex object in my house.see today is an empty space where the loo once stood. Not being able to think straight I branded about. addictive. What could I be thinking? Only obtaining a marriage licence to keep his mum happy. I knew I could not be committed to . Heading for a massive down turn? You bet your sweet life. I am lost. To fill his status in society. not the placemat for a long standing relationship. A married man. floral. exciting. less pressure for me…he’ll leave at dawn and the ‘other woman’ gets on with her life…” I boosted all these findings to my friends. but as the weeks built up within the tempo of time and amino nitrate our relationship became fun. Which in its turn sat on a more worn-out. Love did not sparkle. perfect partner for me. Brain built lissom. Boy I could grow to love that! “Well it’s bound to be easier. Bells never rung the head. shag-pile carpet. green. same moment in time. On the first day love did not materialise..

Yet unknowingly. I observed his life and doubted his universe. he kept suggesting. The bills and their children were more important than their bed. Then I stood still. the wife of Brain and himself still shared the domestic. Brain gave hints that he planned to leave his wife. Cement held it together. But then what could I do? It was an adventure for me. While our affair pasted itself together with sellotape. Not look back. In the clear manual of day I deciphered with a bitter. “Come and look at my mistake. His cumbersome psychology would in the future smash me against a wall. What held us together? A few weeks and sex? Not enough. lying to the wife. I crawled into the trap of the tourist who watched events with little say of their outcome. What with their kids and other day to day commitments Brain wasn’t willing to relinquish. I loved my freedom.the relationship with my wife because I practised as a homosexual already when our marriage vows took place!” I should run at his words. Fool. We watched a porn movie on their big . But cheekily we made love in their bed. Even if the man underneath his attire breathed a true blue homosexual. His wife did not know that he was gay. One day it was on the agenda. “But I can’t just now for a variety of reasons. Nobody would get hurt. only as a social oddity I wanted no part in.” he pleaded to me but that would not correct it. I am no moral monkey but then I did not see that it’s not positive to closet yourself in something so deep as marriage. Living alone would feel the right thing for a while yet. without much gusto.” I did not mind. He had two children. sinking taste round my mouth that the relationship with his wife had the thicker substance. a girl and a boy. It did not fall into place and right his wrong doing.

At last he could express himself on the purely.” His steamy account brought some gladness to my heart and hope in a murky bottomless ocean that our relations would at last stabilise as Brian. Though our affair started on shaky notes. Whatever had I adopted? You don’t ask me that in 1986. I fell down hard down on my independence. My dignity. For although I assessed her a weak character I did not hate her. would be able to spend the all important nights by my side. Brain . And what we were doing to Anita. I as of yet. I wanted all our odd moments spent together pieced into a well balanced union. Crying at first but she got over it.” “How did she take it?” Whether or not I liked. She had done nothing wrong to me. I wanted Brian all the time. larking in their lounge. “Oh…” Brain started. at last. physical level. We had along talk. I needed Brain and although he comforted me with promises. She’s okay about that. An agreement was sought and an arrangement made. Ate food from the cupboards but our secret kept us whispering and one night when Brian came over to my house he hastened to tell me his news. I accepted that the hours spent with his partner would be on a non-sexual basis. I hit my nose. I’m going to begin to sleep over here with you and commute to work and Anita and the children at different times during the day. “I’ve told Anita I’m gay. wanted or happened to be ready for it I stood centre stage in the swarm of Brian’s broken heart and confusion. I made it bleed. Not too much to ask of someone who loved you.television set. “She was shocked alright. battled it out with Anita for his affections. His notion would be to spend time with her and his children and the time spent with me would be the ‘real’ time.

Then hurrying home to his lover. In fact I felt a tad cheated Anita showed no sign of liking or contempt for me when she meet me. But maybe she cried tortured tears underneath. My friends thought I had a dead-end relationship and I’d end up in the grave like an . As if his clan needed pacifying. Our new rota was : Brain would arrive the night at my place. Anita swooned apathetically to our romance. the certain way her hair positioned on her head. Many others have played the role of the other woman. She could have been serving me in a supermarket for all she cared. I imagined after tucking his children and wife in their respected beds. cold and hard. I persevered. But all this in retrospect. Her language showed naught to me. I knew right away Anita was indifferent. I think somebody has even sung a song about it. Did she know it already that the groom she married might have been a bisexual guy? Baffling. It surprised me that her hubby’s revelations lay no claim on her personage. Her husband and the father of her children.sure in himself that I would be happy at the news he decided up Rochdale with his wife. The night club he owned was a five minute walk in Chadderton from their house so it would be easy fitting in work and tending to his family. Call me a simpleton. My heart stabbed the air. closeted. I smelt in on her clothes. Up till now Brain visited me till the late hours messing up my sleep patterns. It could only be positive he now proposed to stay the whole journey till dawn sharing the ruby red rising of sunlight on my pillow. at least become violent. At last I became the slapped tart. I needed some kind of counselling. carried homosexuality in his pocket all these years. The air thin. If I had been in Anita’s place I’d have hit the roof.

“He’ll never leave the missus!” The common consensus among them. She went on to say. pink bathrobe she forget her strict regulations as she saw both of us splayed out in her spare white walled bedroom over looking the panorama of Mary Poppins’ magical London Town with all those short red . I found out whom my true friends actually were. In the morning groggy eyed in a fluffy. My baby sister even encouraged it. “Nobody came. I baby sat for his children even though I felt insecure about what his wife’s opinions of me might be. Probably not much difference there. Jim and later Dylan slept over in Chelsea we had to sleep separate. It became a challenge loving Brian. Later when I lay in my hospital bed.” They’d talk and gossip daily about the sport. My sisters and brothers at the gathering in Pimlico liked him well enough and they had arranged a splendid buffet with a colourful wealth of food laid out. Mum groaned. I surprised her again by my outlandish ways. During the Christmas period I brought Brian down to meet my family and they were well impressed. But it was the same with all my men. Until she feel asleep. Very few came to see and the ones who did generally retorted bad things to my outcast face. A bad sign. screwed and rotting. But being my mother she always spoiled me in this respect and accepted it in her chewing the bubble gum mouth of hers. I always dreamed of putting Bet Davis and my Mom side by side just to look at the comparison. Mom’s favours stopped at the door of her flat and whenever Brian. Anita did not look in my eyes when she spoke.‘Eleanor Rigby’. But she must have trusted me to occasionally sit for them. “A married man! What next!” And then her familiar grin and spearmint breath talking about the incredulous.

perverted as it seemed. yeah. I got out of the car told the man to take it back! Made my own way home but Brain could be very manipulating.” A limited world view made me jump in the car with Brian rushing off the confront Chris who innocently enough became alarmed at . I suppose if he could cheat on his wife. Brain could not take this bit of comradeship. even before the marriage. drove those tainted thoughts far. Being so caged in. We went to an auction off the M62 in Yorkshire where Brain and me traded my motor for another second hand motor. so sexually drawn to him. he drove my car when I went south to visit my mum. you must be having sex with Chris. I left Brian many times because of ‘the wife of Brian. knowing it is bad. I could not endure being the pig in the middle much more. Actually I suffered for Jim. Threatening me with his nagging I had no idea where he was at. Deep down I must have wanted to be a part of his whole life. The dealing of the dope. cut in half. later in life? “You’re a touch nut to crack!” I didn’t trust the man.roof housing. Far away in the final second. Whatever else would lead him to photograph you? I’m going to sort him out. He had keys to my house. It was too be one of his strongest characteristics. Whatever Brian discussed with Anita I would never be a part of. “Oh. My friend Chris had taken some nude shots of me during my days of a stripper/porno artist. He told me later when I cooled down that I made the right choice. yet I could not climb out of it. I could not understand the jealousy. god all theses cliques describe me so well in the autumn months of 1986.’ Traumatised. truly stuck. the cards were dealt and I. the loser cried out. On the way back we rowed. Now doesn’t this sound like my dad? Whoever said you go back to those unfinished relationships that you had with your father. I’d be run over with a lawn mower too.

Because of his bisexuality and locked up in bondage for so long. A camera man who then worked on Coronation Street. Once we all met at The Palace. Chris lived on an estate at Bellevue. We did not even venture going out to the cinema. his rant. If I could turn the cruel hands of the clock back I would. Suddenly I did not socialise with my friends. what did I expect from a closet who has a wife. He would have done more. Brain kept a deliberate distance while I sweated. Brain at last able to fulfil himself to himself by our ‘ gay correlation’. Brian included. Though I went out with friends I got losing them fast down the track. astounded at his outburst. Brian bullied this mild tempered friend of mine. to see the opera ‘Rebecca’. All to Brian’s smugness. I temporarily destroyed a gallant relationship but like a true friend Chris forgave me. showing so much of a charred character. in hindsight. Brain had not the right to be proprietarily. Chris stared at me in perplexity. He did not offer a warm hand to be shaken to any of the assembly of friends attending the performance. Culturally life dragged me back to the suffocating sticks. The sex gratified Brain and myself. he felt the stranger going about town with an openly gay crowd. Poor fellow. We never went to town for a pint. Brain continued his tirade. He almost thought at last he could be happy. Like fist’s at dawn Brain stood there. awestruck and though I knew that it sounded wrong I wasn’t courageous enough to take sides with Chris or to pull Brain away. feeling . I mean. “Don’t you ever dare take pictures of him again or you’ll get more than my fist!” Passively I listen to my master.his foe. his beating banter until his steam had gone. A lovely guy he did no wrong but it almost broke up our friend ship when I did need him in the later months. Bitterly strange for me who considered himself a warm person.

A summer past I wrote on a scrap piece of paper listing all my mates and whether sincerely real or not they added up to the grand total of eighteen. Then I left Mr. We did not go to the crush of the theatre bar with our friends for a drink of coffee. So strange sitting in the circle close to my friends alienated. I did not bother to catch them. Brian drove back to his family home during the day to see and I suppose still console the tribe. I did not care about that. who knows. I did have some loyal customers and with the right help. “We’ll start a business together. What he and his . Mop could have made it with perseverance. “Put on glasses. back and forth he became tired out. Quick as the melting snow on the majestic Alps they fell away. For I took Brian’s side in all this nonsense. Maybe I needed a change. violent passion. We never got asked again. The earthquake that had erupted in my head drove my crushed ego to close my small enterprise. Mop.” So I had no friends. Fuck the money. Brian had so much going back. But we went back to my house and had the customary sex but at last I felt Brian’s boredom about our acts. lazy. Mr.” he suggests. aimless hours of daylight sleeping in the afternoons. I opened up my inner qualms to all sorts of questions. I’d manage. He did not work until the night anyway. I always was tense anyway. “They’re all shit anyway!” I told delighted Brian in a merry. I’d rather spend the time snoozing with Brian in the late summery afternoons. He had no clue to fit in the circle. I was getting sick.estranged from my clutch of friends. I found all excuses why the floundering business had to go. “We can pretend you’re somebody else. kick start and encouragement from my partner it could be a slight success. But Brian had other designs. Instead of starting a business up or even helping him to run his club in Chaddertton we spent washed-up.” Maybe he thought I had money.

hell dragged me down its core. I fell apart. People had seen us lofting around and I honestly could have looked after the business better for them. Brain came and looked after the shop with me and this irked my friends when they came back off their holiday. Who had a spell on me and it looked like I had to see its course through. so it seemed. I drowned. my Mr. Like a dungeon lit. at the onset. Anita did not help Brian with his entertainment business. So quick. Come back to me in the night. Going out of my head. white note paper of things I could do. While the free sky in its array of free colours laughed me down. Mop business. no thought attached to the consequences. I suffocated. I couldn’t get the salty salvation back up at my breath. Watching a carpet shop for some friends on holiday I began to make lists on ruled. In the gym we got the area kitted out with our half hearted equipment brought somewhere in the Shaw area. Distracted by my partner I let the side down. Go home to his wife at tea time.wife spoke I had no clue. We also tried selling fire alarms the ‘vogue’ thing at the moment. The workingmen’s’ club I don’t think was doing much business and Brian wanted to branch out a bit. We attempted to start a gym in one of the rooms not being used as a part of the club. I think but at least we had a chance to have sex on the makeshift floor before we gave it up as another poor undertaking and packing it up as another bad job. What did Brian do in between on his journeys I sometimes did wonder? Did he stop off at toilets or the . It broke me up. I felt lost and had to keep licking parched lips and a dry mouth to convince myself of my existence. The gym got only used once. I was falling into the hands of a married man. So deeply disturbed at closing down my livelihood. truly out of character for me. I did not care. I already entered the final zone of cracking.

occasional cruising ground for additional sex? Unlike him I wasn’t fumed in jealousy. One has to experience the official stunted sensation to want to come back to being settled. He knew that I swam my lengths there religiously a couple of times a week. Inside myself from this moment I had to be more confident about my own destiny. When a young lad comes up to me in the pool as I turn to head . Control until the final moment. I already made the first step. I let him leave with all the power of letting him think almightily that he finished the relationship. He did not come/enjoy it and I looked out of the top floor bedroom. I could not be. Though the last time I heard from Brain happened funnily enough to be in Ashton Baths. The last time I saw him in the flesh he decided to do it. This man wasn’t much for turning! Anyway the ’police’ threat stopped him from ever sniffing me out again. The only way I’d do it would to get Brian shut out of my life. My Father would just not stop peeking around the glum corner! We had sex for the last time even though we were splitting up. Or did he still have sex with his missus? A mess and nobody looked after me. But it had to be the only option I would take. metamorphosis and develop and throw off the skin and be a better me to me. Wanting him out so I could get sorted at any cost. Dread at the tips of my heart. As fast as possible. Constantly. only for the jesting. “Leave me alone or I’ll call the police!” I started at the First Grade. I suffered with too much hurt. I had to go through what would now come. Brian began to call me afterwards. could not tackle it with the right amount of rigour. sparkled May day. Shot out to the darkness in the bright. I told Brian and the wife of Brian to get out of my life but my heart not strong enough. My relationship with Dad and my relationship with Jim and my relationship with the world all contributed to this moment and I had to shake off the skin.

With a straightened mind. I got rid of Brian but not yet fully in the living regions. Get stuffed. Brian had his needs. Waking up from the unconscious state. his side kick did the dirty business for him. I do not think that he was ever particularly careful about using protection. “Brian’s on the other side of the water. Changing climate of how I would manage my world. Into the blue chlorinated water I am swift. Going with Brian had similar compelling collation. Into the living regions of the orb. Maybe he’s dead. Maybe. Because experiencing death at such close quarters I had been blessed with a type of awakening. When I could not rise from my pillow. letting me navigate my environment under new steam. His guilt about his gay wanderings brought him horrid. Maybe he’s there now.” I suppose this young flusy. At last. I just don’t care. Nobody could help me now. Brian just . He’d like a word. in 63. Mom ran three paces away from sight of a nervous disposition.deep end again. Maybe. In the last resort I borrowed money off Dad and to his shock and dismay booked in a mental care hospital. swimming into and rising above the tidal wave like a bird with battered wings on the mend who knows at all costs will accomplish at last. alarming bells which he tried to trick onto me. under new lenses. Experiencing a head battering car accident on Miami Beach. gave me discernment of how I viewed concepts. Much more to come. First I went through a nervous breakdown to get out the other side. I ditched Brain but I wasn’t yet right. Above new piston power I engineered to escape from Dante coming up and then learning by my bad experience. I did not look at my ex or turn to his boyfriend again continuing swimming into a new direction. Brain talked of immigrating with his wife to Australia.

Stopping exercise. But God got out different patterns for him. A torn man pasted right back together. Friends already hesitating to venture down my paltry path noticed the filth scattered on the window sill and along the pile of my carpet in the drawing room. I have to do the nervous breakdown bit first fist in my mouth. A good candidate for illness. They weren’t much help. Then he wanted me broke. Just about triumphing that goal. I called New York. Mop which wasn’t doing well financially anyway but that wasn’t the point. at my discomfort in life.needed to be a straight man in a heterosexual world. But I go too quick. When I asked her could I please come to London to stay at her place for some respite her retort turned my sickening eardrums under the water cold tap. Plants withered. dried and stood lopsided. My house. Nothing was forthcoming. It might be a truism but Brian became the catalyst cleaning me out. That’s what I learned to say. I could not get out of bed. A new palm on a palm tree blowing in the gentle breeze of a Florida sunset. miraculously as a garlic of clove washes over the germ-filled body. needed cleaning. smirking. I tried calling Lancashire. undusted. Going with a married man and babysitting for his children. It will take a marvel to get the fallth man to rise again. After Brian. God Bless the child who has his own. I could not get out of bed and a thousand other things. . And the county jested. My mother did not help me much. My founding father was the breakdown for when it ended I got right back up and got stuck into society again. jobless and lost with no friends at all. Get the head off the pillow and head for The Labour Exchange and get a job. Too bushy munching biscuits over the mire of some tourist spot in Mexico. the gym. I dialled the country for help. swimming my lengths. dumping friends and leaving Mr.

Taking her away on another illusion leaving my feet planted on the runway of destruction. I took an overdose of five aspirin tablets. I’d lie on the bed in the early afternoon. I took impromptus train rides to London anyway. I cried for her food on the way back. I had no anchor to hold. Guildford. I stood in the capital at her doorstop a few short stops from her place at Sloane Square. When I arrived I phone Mom from the steel grey of a London telephone at Euston Station. No. palpitating. My mother’s birthday May the twelfth. Put on a ward at Tameside for a night. I shout out! I wanted my warm childhood back but she just went on dreaming of Mauritius or boarded another aerocraft on Dad’s wealth.“I won’t be there. Miami Beach. Back to bed. I can’t leave keys!” How could my mum do this to me. I’m on my way out!” I dialled Mom many times from the station. Embarrassed when I look back. recalling for her the real. “It’s not convenient. I was the reminder that spring day of what she could never run from. Holloway. My brother living also in the south made me phone for an ambulance. Nassau. She’d rather travel the world on a first class billet instead of my troubling mind reflecting back chunks of her burnt by the sun of what she had to endure through all her momentum life. My mother did not like me being upset mentally. lucid ghosts bottoming the plantation of her minds. Her gruff behaviour towards me turned the propellers round my head bursting neurones. catching breath. Did the nurses laugh? The same ward Jim ran away from. . I telephoned her to tell her where I was now. jobless and whimpering for her homemade chicken soup. I took the next train home to Manchester. No matter how many ships or limousines she boarded. The lady wouldn’t let me in even though she knew.

Look what you done. Around my part of the city.” Royce who with diligence showed me how to clean the outside of a toilet bowl on my hands and knees when we were an item together and I shared his digs in Whalley Range for a while. A gay doctor more interested it seemed in my body than the case history. “Fool.” Too much I thought glancing down at my once six pack now gone lumpish. So I pounced on random rides on the orange and green buses with the headings. Anyway a sigh for the doctor to let the wired-up wool go home since in his eyes I could not be ill. some of my most important chums I managed to pick up again. Droylesdon. “Are you eating properly?” “Yes.” she said.“Thanks a lot. I mean it was not them who had picked a married man for a lover. Most of my friends refused to visit me. I even let you stay over last night in my spare room. Afterwards when I became well and settled again. Royce came in the night and in the morning a psychiatrist interviewed me. Openshaw. Royce came on the ward on his way to a night out to tell me off. His body language conveyed directly to me that he had to be somewhere else pretty snappy and I was just a passing through and how do you do. Manchester City Centre. cold footed I would foolishly disembark and . I had nowhere to go when people were off to work. Royce couldn’t understand my erratic behaviour patterns. A laughing stock mess but a remaining good friend. Took my distress out on an unassuming lad called Jim or had been blessed with a tyrant of a dad. He released me after inquiring. I tempted friendships pulling all my mates into my mental hardship. Down his high English nose snarled. I ate. Wasted everybody’s time now. Can’t get straight. Another ex boyfriend.

Roger’s coming. I could not make a decision running from one companion’s house to the other.wait for the bus to take me back home at 8:00 in the morning. Thoughts imprisoned me with no chance of off-firing them off into space. Living that seemed full of goals and aims. She put a bandage on anyway. wishing I could be them. in the cool oblivious stream of devouring eternity. I cut my wrists(the wrong way. I also realised that my friends to this point had enough of me and time might come when we would part our ways but for now my clinical depression and the fact that I could not climb out of bed needed support or else my confusion and apathy would misfire me at last to a comfortless death. But feeling alienated from these citizens too. . I thought I was genuine enough in my disenchantment. The NHS looked at me abruptly. Fretting jealously. breaking up gratefully. “Watch out. a pathetic sight which took me urgently to the doctor’s surgery. Alighting in the zones’ of healthy peoples’ life I observed them with sickening heart. down the hill. Their outside daily living and inside misery come to that. too disturbed to consider that had crisis’s too.” The B. “Look nurse. I guess I was clinically depressed. I learnt later). see what I done!” I scream in at reception when it was my turn in the queue. overhead line hissed as they warmed each other. for good. I stripped wallpaper off the front of my tacky ramshackle clothes cupboard in a frenzy but even that action did not make me walk the streets of the planets a smiling and saved man. though. several seconds from my house. My mind could not release itself from the grim gun. Flying away.T. I raced back to bed in the middle of the afternoon. could be just as tricky as my own. I had become a long sentence all right. Yet something more stubborn than me held me in its power and would not let me move one way or the other.

hence her advice and condolence did not surface. My swagger lay on deaf ears. Inhaling oxygen and exhaling tripe. One of which was. They were getting tired of my moan and arising from my bed at any tousled hour of the day. “Hey. I expected too much.” But I could not figure out the advice from this quip. All sorts of doors are closing. Believe me I’d go to the moon for a cure. It seemed another age when Brian and I ran a stall on the Grey Mare Lane Market selling second hand junk on one of their opening weekday slots. Our neighbouring stall owner must have sighted something disheartening in my countenance. . I swam at Victoria Baths. It had begun already on The Gray Mare Lane. “You’re thirty-five now and you realise that you are beginning to get on. I just managed to do 100 lengths! Ain’t that grand?” Beaming to my sister and boyfriend. Anyway the tough lady from Gorton like a soothsayer must have seen my impending fall from grace. I got back and boasted. Laura suggested I come and fix myself better with her in her flat in Victoria. She shared the apartment with a boyfriend and thought it would be healing for me to have some company but she did not know the true state I had digged myself into. London. I found it difficult explaining to a woman many miles away in some other continent.” Doris at a loss. swaying and swanking across the length and breath of their room. “I can’t get motivated.Speaking with Doris in New York as the strong coloured sun of spring shone on the patio gate and bounced off my eyes. could not commensurate with me. I sat outside on a deckchair trying to describe to her of the frustration thumping up and down my ego. For the good lady dishevelled as she was kept on coming close to whisper in my ear her suggestions.

white. a big shock would be best to spring me from this bed for good. “Are you eating/are your bowels flowing?” If they answer replied was yes. this answered a lot of the questions. Dad alarmed but his fright did not equate with his fear and upset at me thinking I could be so sick. The Mayish weather singed the wall’s of the London flat. would be to book in a mental health hospital he became shocked and wondered if there could not be other alternatives.” But if I told Laura that I aimed to hitch to the moon for a remedy and lunar respite on a way ticket out in space she say’d “Yeah” before I got to . Impossible to get a job. perfumed sheets back and at last set the body and mind to function in society. The light grey colour of the cemented street glowed below. now. By my dad’s standards too. The tint of the orange dazzled sun on the cars in the cul-de-sac made me melancholy almost happy enough to cry out. Whitney Houston would sing a great song from a parked car’s transistor and through its opened window the music bowed and tingled my eardrums. When I told Dad that the only option for me.My father and I communicated a lot on the phone. A million times I asked him and others for advice to kick Brian and the sole of the world out of my heart. wherever he happened to roam that month. “Like what papa? You suggest?” But I already knew the de-brief of the question. I guess I just wasn’t improving. Desperate to get better. I had got rid of Brian and his wife and kids and that life. Laura’s place wasn’t giving me what I needed. Fold the creamy. I made up my mental malady. laid on the bed in Laura’s flat. I needed to progress to get me afresh. if you go it will be on your record forever. long distance. “Roger. He too had no recipe of medication for me. His words stern sounded like paranoia. I needed a kick start.

Such a drain I had become to my sister. Talking with my father on the phone arguing my case back and forth. So it was. The type of distraught persons living in a place like this. Though Dad did not approve of Lara’s and my decision he paid for my care. I love you sometimes Dad. I cut myself in two as his words whispered into me interfering with Laura’s and my own initial decision. Laura’s push won the battle.while the other less secure portions of me would not entertain myself entering. Superlative parts of me wanted to be cured by the shock of entering an institution and the therapy it would offer to me. a place like that. She had a life to lead and staying there in Pimlico had no chance of gelling. The fact I had to be cured. It just didn’t make sense. “Dad I’m going to ‘The Retreat’. I can’t remember the hospital’s weekly rate but it was expensive. I promised I’d pay him back. ever. I did not want to be serialised into a mentally ill person.impossible to get a job…” Platitudes lurked my mind. Suddenly I had doubts. so it would be easier to go straight back home when I did get healthier. could not be similar to me at all.finish my statement.” Laura wanted me to go. but he wasn’t too bothered about that. We picked ‘The Retreat’. From a matter of pride when I did get better. the hospital situated in York. under one roof. Far from London. Dad all the time cautioned me not to take up the crack and booking into a place he had no conception of relating too. I did pay him back the nice amount he ‘lent’ me. .. “Always on your record.thin. Dad’s words weighed me down. Laura did not want me really to come running down to the capital again. I did not want to go.dry-tried tone of voice. She had got so annoyed at my droning of rounabouting and only ending up in my head where I started in the same old vein and paper. “Basically I am ducked.

“Roger. Its coloured. It’s all a mistake. When at last I settled there I got high at the foliage. To a sick man who had no chance of thinking straight I traversed further an further into my sharp nightmare. You have to try elsewhere. I suppose to frighten since the beginning of their evolution. That would be a mile stone I had to get out of . I still fantasised having sex with Brain. I already decided in a minute walking up the wide drive with my sister that I would not stay a night there. I was not sectioned and could leave the grounds of the home anytime. What institution is comforting? They’re not built to be revered. You need to find the peace. Now go!” So we sped towards Yorkshire on the express. I drove Robert over the snowy tops of the M62 for his first interview. you exasperate me! You haven’t even tried it yet. “I don’t want to go. I hesitated all the way. Its reddish stone did not comfort my senses. I could tell she thought. The sloping gardens out at the back were magnificent for perfect peace. The asylum did not greet me. tranquillity and meditation. Robert and Laura had both attended York University obtaining music degrees.” Laura was firm with her pronouncement. Enlisting as a private patient and after I had been taken on the ward to unpack my case a nurse took me on a walk around York. slabbing brick could be used as a Hammer Horror location if they still were producing them. She looked steady into my eyes saying. But the young nurse came on a stroll with me anyway. “What the heck’s wrong with him?” The imposing building of ‘The Retreat’ had been built in Victorian times. London did not do.Laura and I boarded the train at King’s Cross for York.

sniggering at my false conceit. methodological routine. Get back on the train and once you’re back at the hospital ring me!” Definite. my goddess. All else then would fall in place. A dismay of older men and women sat on the institutional tables trying to eat their repast. This could not be the place to get healing at all! Most of the patients were older but the man who lay on the bed next to me on the ward had looked the same age as me. when I wasn’t thinking straight for a chance to get better. Until I got a phone call from my sister. I was sickened at the humbled lunch where nobody talked but everybody was drawn into the uninspiring. prescribed. All that bloody effort we spent on getting you there. Lancashire. I could be stubborn but Laura. again. My first meal in their dining room well and truly put me off. She sneered and she wailed and her determination would not let off until she got finished. I did not receive much in the way of care. I’d never adjust to eating porridge or rice pudding in that setting so I took the first available train back home to Mossley. But sometimes I even look back wondering . angry. fearsome. returned me to York. disorganised shack wondering what to do. Nobody seemed ‘mad’. Only me could do it. I had cried out to the nurses but most of them looked at me like I had passing toothache. Now I sat in my dusty. Mossley. I began to realise. Terrible to start off with. “What are you doing! You perfect numbskull. at system. My dad had been right in his foresight. Suddenly I could do it myself I planted myself back on British Rail and headed back to the city of York. Don’t you want to get better. Sometimes it did me good to know a bitch.

A love affair gone amiss? Too much aminonitrate at my head? My change of life? Like I said the nurses did not heed my call when I tried chronicling to them my dereliction and derangement. at the nurse doing her work in a neighbouring room: for not paying proper attention to my fate.“not the time or place. Consider my mother. I’ll take any drug. One day yelled and howled from my bed. “Rog. like a lunatic owl.what all the fuss could have been about. emotive way. more objective about myself. I slept for two whole weeks and when finally waking up to a whole new brave world and a new arrival. It is a very powerful drug and I don’t think it’s in much circulation today. Families were just tough luck. cut out uniforms and white. As for Jim. My saviour. And what an absolute mess I had managed to dig my life in. So just shove them down my throat!” The same for lithium. I still hoped one day. Always like I made it up! So maddening. But this lithium. My . At last I agreed to take it. I could at last be more rational. Believe me the relief couldn’t have been more sweet. To me the amount of money paid to be here was not worth its salt. Brains fried numb at 55 from too much valium. Any drug going to elevate the childbirth pain. The damage seems to happen before the child is even aware they are being duped. strict clogs but immediately thought. I’ll always remember what Laura said when she gave birth the first time. I would be able to celebrate his death in an human. I used to be suspicious of taking aspirin. pot. I mean look what happened when I ate/smoked the seemly light drug.” Yearning for Brian no longer. starched. I adored it. Suddenly I wanted to dance riotously with the nurses in their blue. Give me a heaven full and I’ll get cured of any ailment. a lad in the next bed: it felt like I’d been healed. Then the medicine kicked in.

but at least.father’s shadow always would remain many sided. free to roam with any visitor. “A jazz musician friend just committed suicide. He had problems expressing himself. I could now be pragmatic about Dad. oozing from his limbs and joints. when the mood caught on. But that Tuesday he visited I had my own inferno. I had not been sectioned. I looked out at the back grounds of ‘The Retreat’. His misuse of authority towards our mother and his children. wrongly directed misshapen adventure. He had been very depressed. abusive at times climaxing with a crescendo of a table tennis bat on of his children’s’ buttocks. We walked around York. So I spent most of the time asleep/resting and clearing my memory of distaste But I timorously arose when one Robert came to call. There lurked in the backwaters of his intricacy goodness too. A man to his son. Did Robert once such . Unearthing true solace amongst the beauty of the flora and fauna. Why come wake me up to tell me this? What’s it going to teach me? That I should have done likewise? No way did I need Rob’s negative gossip. greenery. I saw the point of nature with a sudden trust. The week the nostrum began its target to the second and final week of injecting it by mouth I began waking up to myself as a more settled person. trying to come to terms with my fired-up. foliage and flower also helped to bring me back to stability. I sat on a bench in a churchyard which boasted a somewhat squat church just behind us. This counterbalanced not a lot. Maybe he told me in innocence. But all said and done he had been brought up by a fearsome person too. shrub. In fact.” All I could do? Look at Robert and see the gallons of miles of our friendship ebbing away for good. The goodness of the dew kissed park and its chanting birdsong.

a swarthy pal think before he opened those thin lips? Thrust upon a stage. On Friday I arose a free man. I cried out sick but I could not be too ill to realise that naughty Robert sat in the churchyard. Friends could not cope with my delusion. very sad and then mitigating this misery by talking about things more light hearted. he thought of all the times I’d vehemently hit zero and below: on the mindless ground again after promising to stay above sea level the last time. Bad haunting omitting from his mouth. I met Royce at the gate. I had to challenge every step at my head and how was his dialogue meant to comfort me and tell me I was better? Robert liked being up in his old University city and after he left me went around revisiting the grounds of his college. After the two weeks of my episode of drugged up. a difficult task and for a time a became bitter as soured butter. the building and the . since starting my medication I felt desperate to get my feet tapping the floorboards again. built on rocky planks. Not Royce. I met Royce at the gate and he became almost at once alarmed at the severity of’ The Retreat.” He glanced around the perimeter. He must have truly loved me in a way. Well never mind. You could have given me the Statue of Liberty and I’d still ‘ve asked for more. Royce arrived in much better spirits coming to visit this time. Chris wrote me off. The newness startled me.’ “How did you get here?” “It’s for loonies!” “Nor for the likes of you. Being one of the only friend’s with enough mettle and strength left in him to drop by (though York was many miles away). He went downtown to look at walls and I got back to the most important thing in my life sleeping the unremembered dream. He could have said a mate passed.

gleaming.circumference.” Which brings me circling back to Dad.A. looking fit for any attack with their polished. armoured backs. I did not belong here anymore but its trick worked. I had to do it in my own way and in my own time.” I thought. Fleeing his business troubles in the U. The American dollar went far in Central America. You do not belong here. I knew with surety though that I must walk out ‘The Retreat’ on my own for the accumulation of wealth that had built up in my staid during my stay here to be any good. He surmise of ‘The Retreat’ was more damning than good. Saturday. “Don’t worry Royce bet your bottom dollar I’ll be gone tomorrow. He took the lot of us to a resort one weekend from the village of Cornovaca where we lived in splendid pleasure. It flew away like the fed blackbird. We had maids again who cleaned the staring cockroaches from under our pillows and beds. Not a happy fellow. His English nose sniffing the air as emphatic as a West Highland Terrier looking for his last morsel of food. I pacify Royce. He continued his disdainful observation of the place where I had come to be restored to health. No more did I have to sleep numb and muttering. Be drugged. Dad. I remember Dad coming up to visit me in Lancashire with such a bad hang over he had to spend the afternoon upstairs asleep in my bedroom. “Come back with me now Roger. I don’t like rats but spiders and cockroaches I can get quite friendly to. For the sickness was gone. Dad rented a huge. when we immigrated to Mexico. twist.S. roof tiled villa . turning in my lack of ambition anymore.

Gleefully tucked under Dad’s arms we rode down on the grey waves of the swiftly. But there are small indications too. In this particular resort. The support omitted from Dad when I left the mental home was a book in itself. Another weekend holiday. quick. Dad and me having a race in the outside baths in Key West. When I looked round Dad struggled. To a screaming mother on the dock. smoke smuggling so slowly from his fat cigar his loved gripped and dazzled me out of my mundane condition. With a high. We’d all run up to take a peek and then clamour back down the ladder in hysterics. Or chased me round the garden in my pyjamas with a powerful object in his hand. there was a fairly large pool at the hotel we stayed at. All I could discern was the bottom side of my father. Like the extensive. I don’t know if the man loved. Dad climbed each of the six us individually in his arms to the mountain top of this metal monstrosity contraption. water-gushing down slide. where in our lives passion crossed and yes! The man is mine. You see now that my enlighten about Dad is confusingly two fold.where he used to sunbath nude on the rooftop to the everyday might of the hot. as I questioned his motives. Two legs trying to come up for air waving frantically. hard. blue veined. that Dad took us to one weekend. rich. hitting but heaven-blinding mid-day sun. the perfect monster beat me round the head with his cruel superior sarcasm. declining and flowing water to be deposited into the surging swimming pool of a lido just below. I guess he must have been drunk. . There were the moments when my father. From one side to the other of its length we competed.

Dad I’m at York Station. You won’t have to wait long for a train now. nothing that I would have to pay him back for. “Hi. My father not giving any opinion about me being in a psychiatric unit. “I’m packed.” Every step of the way my father giving me his encouragement. puzzled or disturbed I had decided to sign up at a psychiatric hospital listened when I told him I had been spent of my evil forces.” “Good lad. my head boosted in the glowing Saturday sun.” “Well done and that’s good. It were not only me walking away from York. I knew you’d pull through.I telephoned him from inside the hospital’s kiosk. No fee. But my father guiding me beneath the soles of my feet. Though he did not approve at first and he thought the measure too drastic and might ruin my future chances he accepted fully that it was a decision I made. My father not angry. Phone me when you get to the train station. Roger. I’m now leaving. “Dad. I think you made the right decision. to the oncoming boundaries of a light that awaited right there for me showering its energy on . Make sure you got all your belongings.” I liked Daddy’s voice. What a waste of a life! Dad must’ve had so much acute conflict in his life and whatever his intentions might have been once or twice he became soft enough to comfort me/put an arm around me. Phone me when you get home. This monster who had evicted me from home for the crime of growing up when discovering himself in puberty played the role of being my left shoulder brimming me over with inner peace. After dialling long distance to Switzerland. My father carried me from the darkness to the surety of light. Reverse the charges.

But I did not have to wait long for more success. The man has travelled back. I got home I told nobody I arrived back. I’ve made that journey a thousand times yet in my summing Let them find out in their own time. People cart wheeling as usual through the market doing all the usual Saturday buying and gossiping. away from York to the safe haven of my home. that’s justice! I looked out my train window. summer fog. I read a book. Saturday looked fine in Cheshire. But he asked what could he ever write because he had seen me beyond the walls of a brown bricked mental hospital? I certainly was having none of that today. Hope pinned to my heart. mountains arose out of the hazy. But now I’m going places! You bet. A waiter. I went down The Job Centre and got the first job I applied for. Dad and me. at last. My eyes told him. Two friends who had visited me up north were angry I had not announced immediately my home coming. I celebrated the new blue feeling running madly through my veins with its exhaustive yet adrenalin power. What do you expect or want of me now?” . an activity I had not been well enough to do in a very long time. painting it to a luminescent white. I like to think it was Dad and myself both traversing that young spring May day path across York. “Stop being such a sod. He encouraged me to walk from ‘The Retreat’. Mental illness is distracting. I busied myself and besides doing the housework and getting ‘The Mr. Muscle’ out to a crisp cleanliness I tackled my front door. When. sweetheart! At Stalybridge I searched for a bus at the small bus station. And you know I’ve not been back to ‘The Retreat’ or similar since. to the simple station. I asked Mickey to kindly give me a reference. The Pennines just touched my nose.

For back at work they fed me too from the restaurant’s generous cookhouse. I could not use them. I can be by myself and happy. Hour by hour. Healing on the way. She in her turn just about looked at him like most hard-boiled mother-in-laws have a tendency to do. Again Mom’s mouth fell apart and dangled from her chin with her bubble gum when I told her Dylan was just seventeen. . “or I’ll tell News Of The World all the places you been banged up on the quiet. best with jealousy and too critical acclaim. I had an appointment at Tameside Hospital which was a follow up to the last one and the doctor apologised when I told him of my brief stay at ‘The Retreat’. the old dear and it was always: “Whoops. “But it don’t matter doc. I’ve got a job now. Day by day. I shouldn’t ‘ve said that!” “For chrissy sake shut the damn up!” I’d exclaim. Holloway Hospital…all those private places and clinics. face on. Whenever my mother came to visit her eyes declared with a flash of the boasting moon on them that I‘d been housed in an residential home whether an inspiring and productive experience or not for me.” Mother always found something perversely curiously good in all those bad times. Ma got surprised and maybe envious when I boasted to her I dated a married man.He ended up giving me a glowing reference. Never mind the agony Brian just about was going to hand over to me on my willing plate. Getting happy purchasing groceries for my Mossley kitchen. That small story ended me up: a mad man nobody much believed at a retreat. The crockery shattered. She’d then look at me.” I still think he looked at my legs as I recalled my story to him. I think fingers crossed it’s going to be okay.

waiting on the platform. Like the first time she walked into a new home/bed-sit/flat of mine. In the distance as she Lana Turner marched from her train compartment towards us. Lancashire. Both of us intoxicated with lust until the too honest morning told us other news. Very nice. I had my roots. I owned a house. Begrudgingly they never parted. She could have been inspecting my grisly carpet in my apartment for the first time. “It will be your responsibility to look after Dylan. We were all due at my brother’s house for a sunny lunch. Sleeping the night in other peoples’ beds stopped. Boys kipping over my house. Her mind made up about Dylan. I am leaving him in your care. I felt that her eyes were doing her snake bit at my poor partner. One thing David said stuck in my mind. Waiting in the still of the night until it became decently polite to say goodbye fleeing towards the light. At Wigan’s social services David asked me questions and I thought it all rather vague.“Ahh. Mom’s lips had a rare way of curling as she pondered.” And .” She wanted to find fault. When I met Dylan he worked in an hostel for younger people with learning difficulties in Leigh. She alighted off her British Rail to met us at a suburban station. in her black slacks. cruising and hating people. Dylan pulled me out of my wild days of drinking. Men who did not love me. I wasn’t what you’d call vagrant. she hadn’t said hello yet. too. I had a meeting with Dylan’s sombre social worker when we decided he could not live with his mum anymore. My life drifted in and out of amino-nitrate bottles and cans of Phils lager breath. cavorting with the wrong people. For heaven’s sake I might be a child abuser ready to sell my boyfriend off to the pirates or a serial killer.

Known for drinking under underneath the damp. A week after I had sat in her lounge on a council estate above the fault . Luckily for me and Dylan I stood friendless now at the bus stop. they had brought me a bottle of duty-free whisky which I proceeded to drink before heading off to the more salubrious quarters of town. blue jeans. Only seventeen and twenty years his senior. They had given me a set of keys asking me to fed their cats. With God’s fortune I had not trapped. who even half listened. This strange chatting up line would sound hurtful to most peoples’ decency but being drunk I immediately excused myself. Dylan stood next to me at the bus stop at Piccadilly. They also got me a present of a red floral shirt which I put on before drinking half of the jar of booze. Telling this story many times to almost everybody. wearing my ripped. For their gratitude.I only guessed he knew that we were an item. “Are you rent?” This line became another part of my oral history when describing how I met Dylan. I met Dylan pissed. when they arrived back on Lancashire soil. On the shores of the rat infested Bridgewater and Ashton Canals merrily hoisted up with a big bottle of cider in attendance. stormy. I asked Dylan. it became lore. Paula was a waspish Jehovah Witness hating homosexuals. My neighbours. I have never broken my promise to David or to Wigan Social Services. Her son and especially myself included. Myself ready to board a bus and come home after spending a disorderly and clumsy night in The Rembrandt/New York pubs nose frozen hot onto the wall. I don’t know how young Dylan felt. Lyn and Pete were holidaying in Spain and at least I remember the country. dark and malodorous bridges of some Manchester central canals. eyes swimming in fishy movement and sexual anticipation.

Everybody gathered round but she was not too ill to cry out in a shrill projection of voice. Her crime was her adversary towards us. a bottle of tegretol and a full bottle of epilem found by Dylan’s grand-dad. Two years later and one week before she tragically died she gave Dylan a message for me on the telephone. I had no intention of being treated like the leftover. I envisaged a strong woman knocked down many times. Dylan waited in the car around the corner while I did this frightening task. past. Thankfully he lived just down the street. A life. A litre of whisky.line where the coal fields of Lancashire used to be mined for their wealth. Now it was me who sat outside. Using drugs during the hard times made her condition more complicated. though I am certain that her son thought different. Then she found a new religion. Like I said Paula did not have it easy. a pattern of mishap. the abuse of her children could . What swayed my kinder mood is that I at last saw her plight as a terrible occurrence. Paula had to be admitted to hospital by ambulance. “Tell Roger it’s okay. What I’d do for love. she refused me entry into her house. outing the news that her son was a gay man.” She must have wanted peace in her glacial sorrow. present and future rocked me. Seeking out the best in people is the easiest way for me. remembering my promise to the social worker and my love for Dylan. my pride aching while Dylan had his interview with his mum most weekends. Paula had swallowed an overdose which nearly killed her. Beatings. Paula had the coils of tempestuous weather weaved in her palms. inside my car.” I slunk from the dormitory eyes in pockets. I did not think it appropriate being treated in this fashion but I had no intention of absconding the relationship. “What’s he doing here? I don’t want him here. She held little blame for life’s hard circumstances and challenges.

It made him feel guilty about his sexuality. Therefore her void needed some velvet cushioning. My partner had been introduced to that religion when a mere child and had been dragged and carted along to its meetings. an epileptic injured herself many times. there had . Bumping blindly into walls. She too had taken an overdose. She commanded her husband to sling his hook. Paula. For a change. Mom had met her way before she had banned me from her premises. The ideals of Jehovah were not what Dylan and I stood for. She opened the bottle. The explosion of her temper vented. Like daughter like mother. Dylan. had sometimes turned on her children with unfair vehemence. My mother could emphasise with Paula a lot. Anne’s. at least. I don’t know their strict rule book. In her case. mother and I waited outside in the car while Paula visited. Falling when the fits took hold. My mother’s life had similarity with Paula’s especially the growing up bit. But it was positive because. She. Mom bonded with Dylan’s mum. They liked each other. We took Dylan’s mum to visit Karen( a sister of Dylan) temporarily in care in a children’s’ home at St. my mother was not in denial of how she had been reared on the harsh streets of society in all that bomb of New York City in the forties. Sad events burning and humming into my eyes. She eventually came off the drugs she forever battled with. All before she kicked me from her place because of our sexuality and her opposing religion. It saved Paula from the grace of peering into a wide hole of nothingness. even too. Their issue with gays and blood transfusion seemed stupid causing more hatred in a world brimming over with political and religious conflict. It was too much of the negative stuff for my liking.not have been an easy way of living. trapped with brittle and over worked nerves.

Most of his teenage years Dylan had been in and out of care and it was not easy admitting to his mum that he batted for the other side. Hair that appears washed with pious vigour that very early mourning on their awakening. accident prone and clumsy to hurting herself badly found troubled waters where every tap and faucet flowed. fixed clones with mission. You’re still my son. young in suits and clean young in neat dress departing out of their morning service or their other businesses of the day. “Ummm. Strolling near on meeting days I eye be a reason for living.something which brought extricate to Paula he could not detest. In an ardent. This religious fever brought powerful forces of alienation.” And at first she looked blank. Each to each owns I say. feverously hemmed in unison. she came not to register it in glum. “I can’t let Roger in my house. But you come. they labour through the night.” Paula’s life. Dylan’s gay. There is a big sign advertising itself as The Kingdom Hall. There is an assembly building in the village where I live. I could see those set eyes had become hardened and a week later we received a phone call. I faced her. She never . Banging at Dylan. Unlike the Wife of Brian. Jehovah re-established her place. So they pass along the concreted cement to each other. in their long animal queue. But as the second wore on.. apathetic silence. I sat on a low stool. passing brick by brick. hungry world it gave her necessary hope in her desired. To make what? This new structure. Her times tumbled into mental chaos. Zealously. Now how do I begin. new role. Incredibly it takes a quick 48 hours to build a Kingdom Hall where people flock from all over county and country to help construct. Too bad you hate us homosexuals. To me.

We had sat in Dylan’s mum’s sparse lounge except that she was now dead. Dylan. Karen were the lost tragedy. At her funeral. Back into his prison. We suffered for it yet held on. Paula you could call a victim whose memory did not rest in peace.would accept her boy being gay. brotherly and sisterly compassion between them. Swatting it off like a ward of flies. Nobody was complete. three lost children gathered around the frame. Same with the death of my mother though I did not cry out I became suspended awhile on another visionary course. It was not good for our relationship that a mother could be so plain-spoken and dissenting. Dylan won’t ever forget that momentous march into his freedom. So much like my mother. there is solid friendship. Decided to call home and then reversing his compass and legging it all the way back home to Leigh. You don’t know this plane exists until the circumstances unwillingly invite you there. The brown pattern carpet as always laid horrific in its . Running away from home at sixteen. Karen and Margaret at first did not take the news kindly. Death puts me in a parallel place where life is lived out on another level. nobody knew what to say. But that is all passed today. The news sunk sideways into Dylan then catapulting as the necessary arrangements were made. Like we fell on hard times. Coming upon Granada Studios in the distance. Before this we had sat in Shelley Street after panting the full breath from Mossley on a December’s night on hearing the news of death and death could be so strange and bizarre. Life becomes an unreal quantity. Frustrated just glad to be clamouring the cobbles of The East Lancs Road almost as far into the stomach of Manchester. Though sometimes Dylan’s anger is big and when he wants to he can still stand a solitary figure statuesquely away from imposing people. Margaret.

. We were fraught. Bingo is still called. A social worker is harsh.” Those words smote me and if I had not felt so obligated I would have punched this government official through his balls. But other lives and objects stoically rotate around the glorious warm sun.nylonic cheapness. Pictures remain in place. the bottle of Stardrops rooted the pointed. Somebody’s mother dies. later in the dark bad dream. Dylan was told to sit before the speaker told him the awful story. Dylan cried out and I followed the noise down the stairs two at a time. Its stay in my physical system stems to the wavering of eternity. exactly where I had left it. When we got back. at a corner of the bath when I had followed the noise down the stairs to meet Dylan’s desolation and distress. “It’s just another Leighton. Like because the family lived on the edge on a council estate their claim on life wasn’t note-worthy or respected. We bury her in an almost . Arrogant and bad and like I said would have thumped him for being deliberately cruel about Paula discovered stiff dead in bed. That sounding from Dylan’s throat though it was no means loud will buckle my mind. Its just another Leighton. I cleaned upstairs when the telephone rang. Children attend school. It would have been a different set of values and a more thorough investigation if the client happened to be wealth/famous. And please tell just who was he the man to judge? Social workers? Ohhh. He knew the whole family were upset but the social worker still managed to retort almost but not quite under breath. Though the police ruled out any notion of suicide Dylan did find some pills somebody had disposed of in the rubbish bin. The miles to get here were earth shattering. Somebody’s mother dies.

Parallel to the important ones in Dylan’s.unmarked grave. There was no wake after the funeral. Highlighting such dates as his birthday or the Christmas season and even once as he sat his exams. Trying to come to terms acting normal but it was the height of loneliness. rocking of the following days. a life time away. The conflict about my feelings. The terrible panic down to Leigh. So Dylan and myself brought tickets at The Science Museum on Deansgate. I can’t remember the relatives gathered around at the hospital where Patricia’s body lay in interment. Death will make me frightened. At the corner of the bath the detergent stood indifferent and motionless to anybody’s gushing. No one shared our grieving but a couple of museum pieces and their living molecules. With all the upsetting movement that eventful night the bottle of Stardrops that I had been using to clean the bath stayed the exact same place I had left it twenty four hours. She had shut me out her life. The coloured blackness curfewed our feelings. The cutting up of Dylan into smaller parts. Not of this place and miserable. Dylan’s mum lived off the centre. The equation held by society. His refusal to cry though there seemed movement about his jaw line. “Death is not nice. generally speaking that a youngster who is blessed with a poor upbringing will fail in future life resorting to all kinds of drugs/a thief/molester is . Nobody wanted to celebrate such a sadness.” And unlike other centuries and other societies we are unprepared for it. we were in deep shock. Patricia had attempted to take her life many times. She had schemed and screamed so Dylan could not fail to listen to her tap pounding under the veneer of the coffin. The shocking.

He never saw her alive again. He still will quote a teacher. Having a worthy job in the community and most important. I mentioned in other parts of my narrative it was Dylan who took the initiative. Breaking away from his troubled and downhearted parents to grow into fine adulthood. respect! He too has a stable relationship whatever the mishaps and dare I guess. He stayed some of his holidays there. In several children’s home in between his mum’s outbursts. After that callous denouncement Dylan refused to see my mother again. Without his assistance Mom would not have received such good and extensive care. Dylan supported me when I had to drive . But please. Dylan did prefer some of these good schools to the threatening behaviour of his mother.. It couldn’t be her illness. His speech is more eloquent that my bad accent that nobody can place. Dylan lived during the course of his hurricaned childhood with winds whipping the veranda. Could I blame him! I became mortified too at the bitchy comments for no reason. She still always asked about Dylan and wanted to see pictures of our new dog. I always remember her being somewhat jealous. I know plenty of people who did well. He got me to contact various agencies when Mom was stricken down with Multiple Systems Atrophy.happiness. Some of these homes were excellent places and he speaks of them with much fondness.not a stereotype that is correct. being the only pupil in residence. How did my mom thank him? “Richard. let’s not get bitter about her wrongdoing. The dramatically hot lady knew how to hurt. She knifed herself in the gut. Always was my favourite!” And then looking round the room boasting off that she said something real sweet.

Teacher. his head down in an underground car-park. How important education and teachers are for their welfare. collapsed in spirit thinking of my place in the world and where do I fit in.down south. of the retiring age. But maybe. Huge words plastered on its sides glaring down at me in my car just about to hit the roundabout. Now ready to begin her painful entry into the womb of quietus. I am following a single story yellow bus. The last time to visit her in hospital after she toppled over in Safeways. M60 something. But even she could not stomach the pain of grasping to stay alive. news presenter or politician and all these labels in prime marking. ’Well. I am thinking of being a waiter and I am cautious and red at the seams when I think on my employment in central Manchester. Care assistant? . He stayed underneath. really. I mean really. Driving to work. unlike me pushed and shoved on three different continents pursing conflicting education systems. Go for your education!’ So make the most of your teacher. The colour looks oddly as it has been fashioned from a description of a school bus seen in a Hollywood teenaged blockbuster. beneath the massive hospital on The King’s Road and the man who was soft enough to love anybody with a smile would not come on the ward. Do you want to be a doctor. Breaking me out in more sweat and breaking over and even breaking under the pressure of ’why didn’t I aim to get a decent job?’ Its messaged crawled on its uniformed yellow sides are aimed at school children not somebody like me. Well and good. I understood his refusal and watched the lady from Manhattan cling stubbornly to life through her short sips of air. if you do kid. The slogan goes on to give choices. I approve motivating children to do their up most with education.

Why weren’t these careers mentioned at all? Not even in passing. Glasgow or were broke at a Whimpy House in Helensburgh we all squirmed at our parents and wished under breath they’d shut-up and get on with the dinner! Dad paid with his purse maliciously bullying service staff. the film director. I did not go to cocktail parties with Doris pretending to be another. Both Simone and Holiday reiterated in their life histories that if it paid enough they would be cleaners instead of the jazz and blues. His reasoning being that it was fit for toilet cleaners. Bless him too. So my being rebelled at holding the job as a waiter. That my father treated waiting staff with contempt is to put it somehow mildly. I am feeling sorely depressed today. I could only put it down to this. If the television happens to come on in my house and Michael sits there in an interviewing chair with quite a smug face me gets out the Pledge and a duster and goes for the exact spot his scarred scowl is transmitted on the monitor. Cutting through to the marrow of my bones. Whether New York. We need ’em. His bad behaviour astounded me. Michael Winner would not accept an offered award. This is my kindred snapping at some innocent bystander. the actual person carrying this slogan on their vehicle. Nassau. Mom sided with Dad in his zeal for supremacy at the ritzy restaurant where we all sat and ate. The occupational list of the unobserved/not thanked in society is endless and I sink deeper into my driving seat. they . Nina had been caught many times hovering late at night her apartment in between socialising with her dinner guests.Nurse? Fireman? Cleaner? Bus drivers.

stupid and lack of ambition of the lower ranks of the hierarchical castle. That restaurant happened to be the one I got the job at when I became forty-five. “48. Thus graduating from the limp less. We ate a breakfast of eggs and bacon before going onwards to enjoy one of our special days. I burned up right away. Dad flew a British Airways from London to met me and took me. Hence the manager came to hear of it .thought they had fled safely enough from the servers/wrenches class. By the way. “48 and you’re still a waiter. Bit I did report his smart behaviour to a few workmates. They did not want reminding where they came from. to a British Railways Hotel in the middle of Manchester where inside we found a fashionable restaurant. or so I surmise. I got the job when I reached the maturity of 45. his number one son. But I never speak such remarks back just in case I someday get famous and my resentful answer somehow gets in The Sun or The Guardian. If circumstances ever surfaced might well end up back there. I think. picking up stacks of plates did more damage to my back than carting older people around in nursing homes ever did. The cleaning businesses had folded and the nursing home hurt my back too much but I was never the one to be discouraged and I took the job on as new enlightment as most things in my life. When I reached the maturity of 48 Christopher the new assistant manager on trail for six months at the same job glanced across listening as I collected drinks from the bar to go onto Table 17. What do they call it? the political correctness on their unobserved agenda? Ageism.” my superior whistled out his astonishment half gleefully. Fav asked my age as I loaded up my laden tray.” Christopher could not understand it. His spite synched my veins.

“Roger doesn’t seem to need a proper career where he has to think and have responsibilities. Halted in my tracks for decades . I am sure there is job satisfaction found. Dad had an irritating habit of speaking about his off spring to his other children in half whispers.from all three. It doesn’t matter to me. window cleaner or Marilyn Monroe. Or another brother arriving to give me a surprise visit on my 29th birthday. Waiter. High on a tatty public bar stool. cupping his lip so the other world wouldn’t hear his comment. I got that all my life. not always saying the most complimentary thing. sinister curvature of his lips only lasting seconds I could tell he thought likewise. I could sing songs all day about it. same thing. He ended up the lame duck and I got happy.” Dad’s summing up stuck the back of my throat for quite a long time: He seems to be quite happy messing about with the irrelevant. Later that month the bosses at The Holiday Inn did not renew Christopher’s contract because he did not met the company’s standards. swimming his lengths and the occasional published prose in the Small Press. He must get his spark from the gym. I suppose he wasn’t putting me down but he certainly wasn’t building me up either into his idea of an budding executive and he must have spoken to Obert with his hand across his cheek. His surprise was “Sis Doris thinks you’re a wanker selling carpets.and had a word with Christopher. deep in the middle of a green and sunny Hyde Park. waiter to Monroe. I stood his shock.if looked for. Obert. Dad once confided to his middle son.” That other brother always brought such glad tidings wrapped up in his nasal chords and by the swift. No. Not as bad as he did in the olden days.

There stood someone who did not look quite well amongst the professional classes running along Robert’s lawn clutching their various glasses of brightly lit champagne flutes. swollen lips.assuming I was less and less. Eyes that used to be opened in companionship.” I go starking bananas. My current place of employment. deep in the bowels . “Roger I loved you in your kilt. If the high polloi ( a favourite expression of mum’s) chanced to asked my trembling masculine frame. absolute conversation with each other. red-glared. making positive. I hadn’t seen her for ages but I remembered the first happy time we met up at a fancy dress party. exporting even grander vocabulary from their moistened. As I faced her now I saw a frightening aura cast from her eyes. Besides the major point falling in love with a married person. I could never attended the cocktails at six crowd for fear of blushing to the roots my peroxide.” From that moment we laughed whenever we went out as a group to the pub or cinema. The same gathering that told me my poetry sucked. Except she did not grin now. But sullen crowd of ‘nobody special’ try analysing me from my job’s occupation and I’ll parachute down from the mountain side today with a good sarcastic retort. If somebody tells me “ I’m just a. I had been invited to a ex-lover’s 50th. Deadened within from this coldest of comments.. Rose always smiled at her memory. I am proud working for The NHS. “And here say? Boy? And what do you do?” Which people always do. Her hair looked distressed. When I wavered on the line that razored my throat and banged myself up in a mental home my status in life had been troubling me too. do at important events.

of the catering department at the hospital. not expecting the kickback. And my pride fell sideways. And this is someone I had been once so close with. And Rose’s eyes though disturbed with other parts of her life were not too wretched to flicker when I told her my news. This woman did not seem the same woman. I think that she had no children then. .” I proudly acclaimed. I bank too on the wards as a nursing assistant for extra money. I skipped the tree lined avenue alongside.” Rose’s estimation of me bottled to the lino. coming in only intermittently. “Kitchen porter. Who had seen me in the raw in fancy dress with my cock almost falling out. I suppose the lady expected me to name the profession of doctor. “I work for The NHS. They treat me nice and give me plenty of overtime. Her children were about ten and it had been so long I had actually seen Rose. I blushed of course. Her children ran madly in the background. Pay’s okay too. paediatrician or dentist. staff nurse. Caring for people with mental health problems and the job satisfaction here? Too good to be true! But Rose swirled a glass of pungent white wine with her finger tips clasped tight around the liquor glass. Something must have upset her since I last had contact with her. counting daisies along the route. I am not picked upon like the manager hassled me when I was at The Midland Hotel. “Doing what? I too work for The NHS. She did not await toilet brush. She had been a woman who ten years previous. Her gawky husband chatted to various people at the party leaving his wife alone in the kitchen. Conditions at work aren’t half bad even though they are changing.” Rose awaited my resplendent reply. modern matron.

Why don’t we all just drop pills and be quiet? Margaret: a char at Linda’s at the B&B. I never spoke to her again at the 50th birthday celebration. We almost crash landed but most of the passengers at least got whip lash. This happened to be when I worked as a waiter for The Midland Hotel’s. I always kinda thought she dug what I did. the pilot could not find Blackpool Airport. This wasn’t the girl I had ever hung out with as a bon vivant on a mutual level of understanding. titling her head towards the fridge. Her arrogant stance hit the roof. twice a week I studied on a HNC Course in Hotel Management at Tameside Further Education College. Mop I sometimes did spring cleaning at her hotel. She found my business through The Yellow Pages and when I ran Mr.” I loved Linda and respected her. “I am a psychologist. Surprisingly enough Linda too was cursed with the importance of what somebody did in our competitive Western society. Linda and myself went to a fashionable. fashionable Chinese diner. Linda and myself once took an historical trip to Iceland where on the way back to the U. We all got talking to the manager in the local. a hard . Some soil had fallen from the sky onto my plate in life. In the evening. local Chinese restaurant not far from my house for a banquet. Like a lot of women did.” I walked away from this self-tagged important goddess. We built up a platonic relationship through the years.Somebody I had been compassionate with now regarded me as some dirt. She felt titled and privileged when she told me. I almost bent down to pick up her scattered pupils from the floor. Now disregarded me. “I am a psychologist. Dylan. Kicked her husband out of her home and borrowed money from the bank.K. I never saw her again. She built up a thriving Bed & Breakfast from a shack. Trafford Restaurant.

An interesting experience getting the whole event on the road included with music.” But what if I wasn’t studying for a degree in hotel management? Does that make me less a person in the county of Lancashire? Though I still go out with Linda she punched me in the stomach. Linda and Dylan came to the course’s open day. no sarcasm from her New York hooking culture and no lowliness. Fun serving them but now I found this lady thinks me small embarrassment! Also she quipped in my car at the tuneful radio. I landed the job of waiter/supervisor. My mother’s attitude was: “At least you have a job!” Her statement jingled and bubbled whenever I get misery at the calling in my life and I did not do enough in my youth. But mom says ‘at least’ with no foul play. from working in the kitchen to the white table cloths in the restaurant. Linda with her best friend Val had come to The Trafford Restaurant to see my skills of serving once and to enjoy the fare. She had to clear her throat like apology and qualify the point though. We gave our project on the workings of the restaurant from cooking to table service. “Oh.working doll. artists and kings are lords. Pop stars and celebrities and Amy Winehouse make front page news. “You listen to Radio 3?!” Waiters just don’t tune into that channel. career-wise. When I got displaced. Grabbing no front page . Mom’s note takes me up an octave in a realm where architects. after complimenting him on his staff giving us such good service. serving the rich and tasty and Victoria Wood. he’s studying management at Tameside College. sometimes I complained to her how low down I feel with it all. I should not be too hard on Linda as she did support me. Linda pointed out that I too worked a waiter. My job did not fit in with the aspirations of the world. waiters work hard breaking backs.

Mop I had no been graced with such good conditions. heavy shoulders with her positive comment of. There must be less stigma in that country. of course. Our tutor for the subject. Feed me any information from the library. “At least you have a job. ‘Roger. mouth or film and I am a happy child. Education will never stop. I loved college. This was something I had never been entitled to in my other jobs. Amongst other priceless memorabilia I personally read at the service were the countless times my mother had dusted off my bad mood off my heaving. the waiter: upstart: runs away with gay millionaire record producer!” But in Germany before you become a waiter the student has to attend college for three years obtaining a degree. Especially working selfemployed in the carpet shop or Mr. Rachael never gave . Though I bet Madonna don’t act haughty herself and I could just conceive the headliners. The restaurant gave me bereavement leave so I could attend Mom’s funeral and other related matters. Accounts I liked the best.history only if they happen to marry into that class of be a housebound wife or a politician she’d have picked the latter. Lucky enough to get the occasional tip from a prickly punter for walking straight. Surprised I could cope with accounts. Though it did not get me far. Memories of the children. Laura got together a booklet to be read at the funeral service for our mum with small clippings and remembering of her life.” Sometime my mam appeared outlandish/thoughtless though I truly love her for these important pick me up moments where I know if a woman then had a choice in the age of the 1950’s. Kinds words from her help balance the memories of her strange long pauses in depression where she never could find herself.

Money’s not a priority. for course work and attendance and this was shared with another student. right? Well every evening when he arrives home from work the television goes on and does not go off till he’s ready for sleep. I am 75% settled. Sorry to disappoints you Pops but I‘m not a professional animal. And do you know what? I am sick to death to tell the world anymore that I am a ‘proud’ boy.up on us and I obtained a HNC distinction for the whole course. contented boy or however today’s fashionable jargon might vogue it. “Ouch he’s so intelligent. happy. count as scared. Cinema. Nikki. I just want to get on with it. Misleading. I smile. The first time I went down to his place on a one night stand. My gym and swimming are my religion. Though I’ve not used the HNC certificate yet or may never do in the future I enjoyed college for the thrill of tutelage as always adds zest to my living and I am a devoted fan. Dreaming of being a published writer like dreaming of that man I met last Sunday phoning me. reading and dancing in the disco are hobbies so right now I don‘t look for career for mental/financial advantages. “ I swooned like a burke. magazines such as ‘The Economist’ where dotted on the coffee table. I can’t get enough. intelligent vocation. Where I work now for a NHS Foundation Trust there’s overtime and two jobs. At last someone with a head and not just balls and cock. Proud of his job. Misfired. And job satisfied enough to stay parked though I remain never stationary in life. I knew a teacher once. To Mom and everybody else who . At the close of term college awarded me a prize. I weave in and out of my experience like a salty cat.

Hated him at once. Amongst other important matters this enables the new employees to discover the company’s equal opportunities policies. Racism. Sadly though. the amount of television they watch. They should also look at how that person structures their time out side the canon of work. sexism. mocking at baldness are supposed to be eliminated in the workplace. too. Employees in their workplace to be contented instead of peed off and their company’s constitution giving us a firm foundation to work on. Books? Excuse me. this did not make the long term bigots suddenly flourish into rose-tinted fun-loving peace and love to you all sun-worshippers. I still found instilled in them much prejudice in valuing others. Who had not the attention span to read the whole article in the journal. The chain wanted to encourage staff to smile/greet/say good morning. People judge you from the job you do. ageism. Before I became waiter and 48! for The Holiday Inn Group I had been unaware of the induction as my introduction to a new job. I did not leave him properly until I let his tyres down on the forecourt. Surely it would be meant for people like me. Two years later I left him. homophobia. But the girls saw right away under the coffee table’s polished surface. “Isn’t it great!” I told Doris. Bullied at school and a bit in life afterwards it was good hearing that intimidating did not fit in with the firm’s equal opportunities policies. no matter the induction. My manager had a specially bad manner. Waiters and waitresses and the managerial staff encompass many ethnic groups.half listened. The criminal just didn’t let Personal hear the racist crack aimed hard at the unfortunate victim. I still encountered homophobia at my workplace. Bad breath should be accepted and I never encountered this type of helpful language before. . who needs them in our new technicoloured age.

Its concepts had been developed in The United States. We used the station once.The swanky restaurant where I worked was located on the ground floor of a hotel of The Holiday Inn Group. We depended on their fare. when we came down to meet friends living in Manchester before all of us going onwards for a holiday at Butlins in Bognor Regis. regarded doctor. At least get a cashier’s position but no. The same restaurant where thirty years ago I ate breakfast with my dad. My new manager. Today the same train station formerly named Central Station has been converted to a conference centre. Dad never forget his kindness when he became financially successful again. Their rich life-style thrown in my face clashed with my poverty. I lived with Jews on Miami Beach. First I grabbed his limelight as the golden boy. I could have gone far in that job. His father had a top job as a highly. It did not last unfortunately. owned by the railway company. Hidden in the verdant shadows of the all-yearblossoming palm trees on the boulevard my family scrapped for its living. I got hit on the side of my skull by a car. I had proof of the pudding. I wasn’t looking and he had no proper brakes but that same wealthy neighbour helped pay my hospital bills. Dad paid him back ten times over when he got rich again. Dad did not have the bread to feed us but a Jewish lawyer was the man who lent us the money to eat with fortitude. travelling down from Scotland. Then it had been amassed with the railway station across the street. . This was in the late 1960’s. that the guy. A lot of our customers at the restaurant were Jewish. We tolerated each other. Janos was from Portugal. I did not like Janos’ attitude one bit. Janos. You see. He came to our work taking over the managerial position. could have done with some counselling. His brother worked as a solicitor.

candles of agony in mass murder terrorism. my history. a hard man. As a matter of fact I expected the fellow to hate all sectors of society that were not white. my ancestry. Today you could go to prison. never want to relive that feeling. His body language mocked and swung to the rhythm of his irrational patter. well that’s the tale I heard anyway. I became perfect bait . he made many apologies. as he recalls this plight of World War Two. Leaving cold acid showers. I voiced by complaints. After all he could hire/fire as he chose. But his dialogue. never-the-less pored confidently forth. Dad helped carry the murdered Jews from out of concentration camps. now the tears ignite from the back of his sockets. The next day I took Janos aside.who should have known better talked a lot of rot. you still could tell a mile or so off that dad was Semitic. I never. never cried. killing several generations’ hope.” A icy wind goes through me as he speaks. male and heterosexual. He told me about his job. Those bodies. But for the next year until I left The Holiday Inn Group I would bear the brunt of his sneering.carried onto my back. Vermin orchestrated with smooth laughter from his lips to his hips of his hatred for The Hebrew Race and Cause. And to appease him most of the group laughed. My father. the state they had gotten in were as light as a box of matches or paper or feather. trains rides and screaming indignation behind. “Roger. Drips of moisture. Except he did not know who listened with Jewish parentage. if you could call them that. Immediately without hesitating. At break before we made our moves to open the restaurant for the evening sitting he starts to recant a distasteful joke about the Jews and microwaves. Jew was parcel of part of my upbringing. Though my parents presumably had both became Christians before my birth..

Janos being the type of guy that picked on somebody to make him feel worthy in a society that did not respect the catering trade. burst a blood vessel in my head hoping whatever comes round goes round. He would ask me disgusting things. I didn’t trust this guy. Eventually Mike was relocated to room service upstairs . There was another gay lad working at the restaurant with a drink problem but because of the hotel’s equal opportunities(or so called) policy would not consider sacking him for being late or taking more days off due to his illness. It was humiliating that other members of the teams saw him bullying me and especially when they told him to belt up. veined hands as if I should be so grateful. I’d quietly. They saw alcoholism as a health problem and treated it thus.for the monster. Not someone who walked with a wiggle in his arse and shed his grievance to the one who caused it. But he was an all hairy male. Fondling my bum aimlessly at me as his answer. took me out to dinner and kissed me good night. He was not gay friendly and that had been obvious from the start of his harassment but he would feel my bum with his thin. An indecent person that would never now promote me to the vacated position of cashier in the restaurant so I left for the position in The NHS. even though we fed them and smiled usually doing it. Like I said I felt I could not complain to the top management at the hotel. Janos did not have the balls to tell me I did not get the job but for the many times that years made inappropriate sexual passes at me. instead. “Are your pubes grey yet?” He slid down the Richer scale from an already low point on The Stock Exchange. a Greek lad who had just recently started. I just felt I could not approach the managers in the office. I wouldn’t be flattered if he handed me a million quid . He gave the upgrading to Alex.

another waitress would complain. All I know is that he took permanent sickness. We don’t know if the poor lad’s liver died but all we could fathom out that at home he lay in a bad state. New York and a small resort in Africa. one of our supervisors noted on my report that my attire could be scruffy but softening the point with her other observation pencilled in that I always presented myself as a clean person. global design. “Roger no matter how you taunt us girls with your flirty kind hearted but sometimes silly banter. We knew that his partner cared after the long term ill. Cloned in Tokyo. Spellbound me into wanting to hurt him back. all the same coloured . until we’d all dearly love to clout you round the ear at least you’re open but Mike… never talks about his gayness and we don’t know where’s he’s coming from!” Mike mimicked my mannerisms too. I went out of the interview room and gazed in the mirror at my handsome face. a safer environment for his problem. Scruffy but regularly washed and shaved. as we gossiped.where he could not drink the stuff. Mike could not accept his homosexuality and Risa. He made fun of my voice as he comes out of the lift carrying his wares from other floors. But Mike being a closeted homosexual did not necessarily bring about his disease. I hate the deserter to our cause. I used to march past Dad’s offices in Trafalgar Square as my father’s curtains worriedly twitched at my coming out and protest. We were taught that all inns carried the same logo. Mandy’s mum did her English ‘A’ Level at the age of 66! Global uniformity. Mandy. It might have been in his genes. whatever you are and how many times you wind us up. For the four years that I worked one took place about every six months to discuss our progression. He must have been tortured. I never had an appraisal before I started working for the chain.

towelling, bedspread and table-cloth. Individually as last would be wiped off the planet. Hello happiness. Toothbrush, the paint on walls, the colour of the cleaner’s shoes all necessitated the exact same colour the whole earth over. This enabled The Holiday Inn customer to easily identify anywhere in the world with the brand. Excepting the fact that they were blind. I’m sure they came up with something in Braille. All easy thinking in a safe,-air-conditioned ecosystem. No matter how hot/oppressed/poor the outside of the window pane looked to be. The bedroom’s layout and size of the shampoo packets were stamped with complete similarity in an Orwellian nightmare circulation. But I never was the person to play this card. I wanted to throw red sauce at the walls to bring back street living and my cause, in a now sterilised world. I rebelled in other ways. Like having rampant sex with the occasional man. For this post I had been invited into their premises for no less than two interviews. Please, I am no great snob but this is only a waiter’s job. Certainly not brain surgeon and certainly not ballet dancer. In my youth, I had already been turfed out of dancing classes. The managers of the restaurant, always chopping and changing themselves were uncertain of my credentials; wanted a second shot and just for their record wanted to make sure they were going to make the right decision in giving me or not giving me the post. I had traipsed Manchester already entering many hotels and restaurants, in looking for a suitable job, remembering Dad’s words during the hard depression, that he finally got accepted at his 99th try. I thought I’d get something. My back hurt with the continual lifting at the nursing home, my current job, which wasn’t particularly health and safety regulated. At the interview pristine pen in hand one

of the interviewing managers ringed round my age with a lazy swirl where I had supplied the information. 45. And when I began working there for the first few months it became common verbal for some of the waiting staff to talk of my age as a strange occurrence like I had dropped in as a stranger from Pluto. To this day I find people are constantly get up about ‘age’. People don’t view age as another process in the beautiful, passing stage of life but rather as a mishap that will never happen to them and they sneer at the development. I was seen to walk with a Zimmer frame. All constructed in out of space design. Harrowing now when I look back that that my problems of ageism started right then. But maybe they started right back in New York City when I had been put back a grade. “Wow. Roger are you really 45,” I remember Una gaping at me in wondrous perplexity but then I figured that this could be them in feeling ambiguous themselves. They felt scared of 45. And they wouldn’t achieve their dreams before getting there. They weren’t being unkind, just unkinda thinking. Occasionally I fell. Getting red underneath my bowtie. Sweat would drop from my starch as I saw others rising. I remained stationary. I had not enrolled at college yet. Students would be back off to university after working the summer shifts. Back at their desks laden with knowledge preparing to embark on ‘real’ careers. Waiters would be promoted to a better job in the hotel. I stayed put, not glad at these times when I fell into these musings, lost what to do. Waitresses got jobs on the stock exchange, their true vocation put them in the place they deserved. Dialling numbers, advising clients while people might consider me too dopey even to write. It became brighter after I took the management course at college; this gave me something to aim for. I needed some kind of

goal to help me. Even if I never use the certificate, it helped motivate me, clearing the locked fatalistic in me. Like I said previously the learning experience was wine hitting my airwaves. But underneath I will always rebel at the ‘controlling element’ of fitting in the ‘I need a career mode’. Working shifts. Starting at 5 in the morning, or 7, or 8 but at least I could finish early and have the rest of the day to myself. On the other hand, working the late, at 5 in the evening until after mid-night. In all the different shifts we were allowed a twenty minute break which we did not mind for we weren’t forced to have a wasted unpaid dinner hour. Reading my book in the staff canteen in the basement, Carla complained. “Why are you always reading when you could be talking to me?” The Portuguese waitress scowled and scolded me with her pointed, warm nose for being a bookworm. In her chagrin she wanted me to join in the dialogue. I picked up an out of hours habit after working a late shift on Saturdays. Most of us preferred the early on Saturday but I seemed to be plenty lumbered with the late session at the restaurant. Waiting done I’d meet my partner downtown and we’d go clubbing until 5a.m. 9 times out of 10 I’d have to appear Sunday morning at the place. Groggy eyed at 9 serving footballs fans coming to Manchester to see their team ‘United’ play at home. If they knew what I’d been up to just a few hours ago not many paces away from their grand hotel. I expect I got up to much more than they ever dreamed a gay fellow could transcend. At the flick of a switch in the course of a night and in between shifts. Tiredness oozed out from my horse tired dancing legs. I attended the buffet, all the time aware of all the crippled portions of me and the long queues of zealous Manchester United fans, queuing well out the front entrance of the restaurant into the lobby area.

Waiting to be served by me. They wanted to eat and their freshly perked scrubbed faces challenged me as they soon cleared the buffet of cereals, sausages and juice. I refilled the orange juice a thousand and one times. Racing down the stairs to Linda in the kitchen for more bread rolls or lavish cuts of bacon. Trying to hear the latest gossip from Linda’s white apron and portly frame. “Joe the monster did not turn up for the shift again. Too much gin with the missus.” I even enjoyed my weekend stint running the buffet. Its high energy kept me awake from the early morning dirty clubbing. We leave the club at God knows what hour she dreamed up. For my two hours sleep. The restless sounds of birds chirping their merriment and looking for food along the pavement. From brownish urban branches they descent down onto the now stilled town. ‘Through The Night’ on the car’s wireless enthrals and entertains. Dylan and myself head east towards The Pennines. Never mind being up in two hours for my work at the hotel. This is much better than being a child and constantly curfewed by a drunken father. So I’d come into work and boast to stout Ollie of my exploits downtown. Another waitress, who I could not fathom if she fancied woman or not who joined the force about three years after I started my job there. Her lineage span from East Europe. A robust woman who many not dared to speak a cross word with. She looked strong as I showed off of my gallivanting which had taken place but a few hours ago, several streets due south of the hotel. Standing in the city with a glass of coke/water to my mouth. Raving to all the gay icons. Madonna or Kyle Minogue. We were all creamed out on the dark dance floor in the early hours of the morning. “Gee Rog how do you ever make the morning shift after only two hours sleep?” This

Ollie would growl through her eastern teeth. Ollie also whistled. I did not drink and if I did I knew that I would not be able to get up for the shift but would have to grumble my way phoning in sick. And we were not paid sick days off anymore as workers in other departments had taken advantage of the hotel’s ‘kind’ sickness benefit. Ollie joined a cruise ship and we lost touch. We enjoyed going out to the pictures and eating out until I noticed the lady liked her drink too much and when our last platonic date came round, sat waiting for me at a café table, liquor pouring down a excessively nourished throat, revealing stubby lips. She forget we were going to the flicks that night and had got drunk on too many martinis and vodkas. A pretty Spanish waitress called Roberta came to work with a for a year. Her true vocation? Teacher. But she needed to speak our language fluently first. Who had loads of internal mess. I sensed behind her facial expressions already sorrowful enough; dolorous. She noted my age with insulting alarm one Saturday morning as we shifted cumbersome tables, from the ground floor to the third. “Aren’t you afraid of getting a heart attack at your age and dying.” Roberta asks on a dusty landing between floors on the clumsy way up the narrow row of stairs. Roberta was hung up about death. “No”. I wasn’t in fear at that moment in life. I couldn’t figure her dead end philosophy. I able to do many more press us than a beerswelling 25 year-old. I didn’t smoke or drink much. I walked the dog, the gym, swimming my lengths. My list became endless. I still stood. Ever did I drop dead from

They had planned to get married in the spring of last year. one day. I think she had to identify the headless corpse thrown into the wayside on a busy intersection near Madrid. when I left their . I stopped setting my table. My time with The Holiday Inn. Roberta’s attitude unplugged me and I became to be dismayed at her knocking view of me. By chance. Roberta birthed the fear of her cloistered clemency.’s retro music. broken the age of 45 when I started and older. God brought me alive again on Miami Beach. Like all of us Roberta wanted a good time off from the slave of the hotel work. I saw her gaunt mouth drop ever so often as her Spanish hips swung out in front of a massive video screen to the sounds of the gay night. working in one of their fairly busy restaurants. apart. the unfairness of her lover being snatched away as such an early age. A group of us would spend time in the gay pubs and bars dancing with vigour to the hits of the moments. I learned that her boyfriend had been killed in an horrific motor bike accident on the Spanish roads. And her soured-up wretchedness. her clinical loneliness. yesterday tunes or to the D.J.carrying too many tables up to the third floor of an hotel from the ground! I wasn’t obsessed with mortality like my co-worker obviously was. But it did not take a doctor to realise that things troubled the girl. With certainty that Saturday morning I wasn’t afraid what came to all of us. Faced with so much gore. at last I put together and puzzled out Roberta’s torn. but younger at 49. She had found it difficult to come to some kind of terms about his death The fatal accident would go on blistering her forever. She told me on the day of the first anniversary of his death. Strong compassion blocked my view of the room. in a very busy hotel.

Just maybe my thrusting dreams at last would materialise and maybe I’d not have to bear the brunt of the world’s spat of being a waiter much longer and my dreaming selling out to the bright. Astonished to see a man lying on the pavement in front of a shut up launderette. rushing up to me as I set my station for lunch.employment. where my harsh and sometimes limp wrested opinions became at last foundation for the basis of some current moral philosophy. green. I appeared twice in The Manchester Evening News. I skipped over the zebra crossing. In the . A published writer. She beamed in wonder. A fairly picturesque spot and the town boasted of a mixed bag of people. Well forget about my one moment of fame there. When I finished work I rushed over to Deansgate to get yesterday’s copy at their main headquarters. The first occasion of appearing in that rag did not bring me riches and success like Hollywood would bring to Ian McKellan. Janis a waitress and cashier had noticed it in the print. Almost as good as living in New York again. written day where I’d be interviewed on day time telly. I must have disturbed her tea break. You do not expect to see what I saw in the village where I live. the night before. A tiny town with two small main thorough fares. “Hey. A village where the hills climb into the next county. Up into the rugged soils of Yorkshire. On one of these times I wrote a small story to their paper which was a true account. there’s an article you wrote that’s inside The Manchester Evening News! It was pleasing feeling her pleasure. “Get a life!” The lady at Deansgate wasn’t too forthcoming about getting last night’s copy out of the stack to present to my eager waiting.

could not get my car up the slippery and steep angle of the hill we lived at. Thankfully somebody else’s social workings had been pinched by my actions and she phoned for an ambulance as more human beings thought and passed. Turn away. Pass. whispering and dying. The only noise coming out onto the street were those muffled soundings omitting from last orders at the pubs. I got down on my haunches to assess if the bulky bearded maybe dead bag of muscle and bone had been hurt. obviously. Where were all these socially contracted persons with able bodies? In our village. Look. the night before had been forced to park in front of the bank on double yellow lines at the bottom of the hill. gloved thumbs. Its dark. One January. beaten lady be the same air worshipper who once took us pacing up the avenues to Central Park nurturing a need in her children in their later life to take exercise and be out at least once a day in the light. coldness nipping at the passing peoples’ rounded. Dylan used to accompany me to London until she put an end to his good deed by insulting him. Car . Many persons of all classes. they turned the other cheek to deprivation and would not even enquire if the fallen man needed any urgent medical attention. Could this stricken. My letter showed the disgust I felt with humanity. That was the first time I appeared in The Manchester Evening News. My mother lay on her bed. dank. Or sat in her flat imprisoned with Multiple Systems Atrophy. I’d go down south to visit her often. In fact the road had become so icy that night I had even had trouble manoeuvring my car in that illegal space. Frankly I got a shocked and became hurt. during a cold snap. I did not expect people to pass.deadened bliss of winter too. a strong lady lay. protected ankles and frost bitten. So subsequently.

owners constantly pop in and out of the bank all the while to use the bank’s cash machine. The news took up the story of the aggravated who only wanted to visit his poorly mum. A photographer wanted to take a picture of me leaning against my offended motor to accompany my lamented story. derelict Manchester . parking on the yellow lines in front of the bank. Who thinks the police treated him unfairly. When I got back to town I had been forced to visit a dirty mass of a warehouse to pick out my stolen car and to pay the cost. I mean I had not left the car underneath Big Ben for the night. I left a note explaining my plight inside the windscreen and explaining where the owner of the vehicle lived. I had booked myself on a train going south to London that day and I did not expect not being able to drive fifteen miles to connect with Virgin Trains. to see my ailing mum. a massive security alarm in the age of terrorism! I got a call at home and at The Midland Hotel later that day. The traffic wardens take a blind eye. Bad road conditions had forced me to park on double yellow lines and I did leave a note inside my frost bitten red car. When I got up next morning and walked down the hill my car had been towed away to a pound. to get a train to get down south and when I got back to my village Dylan helped me submit another letter to The Manchester Evening News by email. “Three short steps up the street!” Not my red car. Who had been hampered by the traffic police in his request for being a socially caring member of a family. I became increasingly angry being forced to take a taxi. In the still scattered snow after my shift we both drove to an angry. The police said I’d need so much money to get it back. immediately.

I’d run a mile. playing the game of confidence. Nursing homes. careerless. working the jobs nobody wants. Life is a learning curve. The other was employed in a support setting. children homes. . I was still a numskull. believe me at the then sweet sixteen or the now matured sixty. Putting on my dancing shoes. My working career has been cut in two. restaurants and kitchens.side street in Ancoats. older people homes. made the print so many only spoke about in dreams! But I make too much of this. “Roger was that you in the newspaper?” or a “Nice picture in the paper!” Patrons seemed pleased I at last. Striding like a stud in our ‘two up and two down’. but now only a famous one! Customers talked in the restaurant when I serviced the buffet or carried toast to their table. A movie star being photographed best described my feelings. If the diners were famous I’d go legging it back home to Dylan with happiness sure in my crotchet. That was one half of my fired up life. Never mind the injustice now! I was over that! I would be a waiter today. It became fun teasing back. Customers flirted in the restaurant. Several years ago I’d never entertain flirting now it became a way of communicating myself on a lighter level. And there are plenty of them up North. a sex kitten crumpled on her bonnet. Working the pubs. hospital environment. Majestically light in a tight sweater.the manager had asked me did I mind mice sandwiches? There must have been a rodent problem there. The first restaurant I worked: a swish affair in Sloane Square. Throwing my shyness and my morals on the ground. I felt important like Bridget Bardot. Anyhow I sent copy to my family who were all sure how young I still looked.

“Guess who I seen in The Midland today?” The only famous person to give me negative vibes sadly was Victoria Wood. Screen. Wishing once this lad could be heterosexual! Mamma what have you done to my song? Famous bodies frequented our restaurant because Manchester can be proud of being a central city in a country teeming with all kinds of entertainment. While the stars that had come from abroad and other towns in the nation booked the hotel for its accommodation and sometimes making their way down for an early breakfast not quite made up in the face yet. I unfortunately never got the chance to see the hotel’s guest. But as for the Beckham’s. I always seemed to be . sent this old heart palpitating to distant prairies. Too great for words. Some horrid and some pretty good stuff which meant work for television stars. Esteemed folk fatally not dressed up to their celebrity style yet. Punella Scales. The cast from the soap/drama ‘Coronation Street’ only used our hotel for dining at. Anita Harris. I remember her on the explosion of music videos in the 1970’s. My gaped at expression watching another Marilyn Monroe take flight. footballers and the occasional movie queen in its city. She had been my number one hero for so long. Deborah Harry when she came to play The Apollo or MEN arena. sing and dance from a big TV. The BBC is soon to make Manchester its base. Celebrated people working in the locality are greeted with a fanfare. singers. Surprised at the comedian’s behaviour towards myself. The waiting staff had a proper look at what the throng of movie goers did not get to see. most of the stars from Coronation Street their manners were exquisite. The distinguished in the rough pillow of dawn with glue still pouting from their mouthy faces. And just a look from Toyak Wilcox whenever we chanced to catch each other’s eye. crusty and sharp. Martine McCluchen.

Patrick Moore sat .P. I met Anita Harris who wanted me to take her for a night out at the gay village.’ Royalty too stayed at the hotel. a village located quite near my own.I. His world here is over excessive or ‘please murder me because you see I am an important V. Once Punella starred in a play at The Uppermill Festival. usually breakfast on a Sunday. Instead he rented a couple of floors at The Midland with. Remember for his television programme ’The Sky At Night’. positioned with the Sunday papers opened before her at breakfast. powerfully giving it out to other members of her group. A relaxed. all good serving staff do. Neil Diamond never came down to the restaurant to eat his grub.on the other side of the room sweating from worn out armpits. smiling woman not at all affected. Not the sensational sex siren dancing on stage at her proud age. Don‘t forget we live in the awkward of the hand-made bomb and the killer gun. I visualise 8 bulky bouncers waiting to pounce on a innocent bystander if he happens to twitch an ankle. It looked a truly domestic scene in a roaring restaurant especially when the football fans were in town. Tucked in their chrisom. Down for working the pantomime season at The Palace Theatre. When Punella Scales came to town she resided at the hotel taking her meals at our restaurant. She did not kid. person who has the private militia protecting me. Her famous husband sitting across. wearing her common day clothes. but my waiting companions told me that on examination she looked liked somebody’s grand mum. an alarming amount of excessive body guards protecting him. Spectacles on. I mean the guy ain’t a god in my book. I thought. I would not be happy living my famed days out on red alert. cherished en-suites not venturing out. They too had all their meals delivered by room service.

Tony Booth always had a flattering word with me. That part of the trip stuck in my throat. The papers probably told fibs when they called these people. When a mate and I were holidaying in Scotland. Even now I can smell that fabulous sunny weather capturing the same sturdy. I had felt I had grown with her. I was not keen on Victoria Wood. It was on the balcony and overlooked all the other diners. A portrait of a woman much on her own at table. unoffending and so gentle mannered. I felt I had matured somewhere under her armpits first finding her first broadcasted the radio. but truthfully I am quite happy to leave them be after the first burst of being in contact with them has passed. I grew excited. The creator of her own destiny. Refreshing that such prominent people could be unassuming. When I first heard that she had entered the room. Not Victoria Wood.sometimes in the vicinity of the restaurant twinkling. spilling their garbled nonsense. stirring light that falls from the startling sun when I blink and close my eyes for a moment. The media throw their specked dice at anyone who passed. And talk about all the lonely people. I found him a right on gentleman. This ex-sportsman always booked Table 21 to be at. those centuries and memories ago we had listened to her and Julie Walters on Radio Four from in our car overlooking the mighty Scottish verdant geography. Not a mild feeling at all. With most television and sports stars it can be nice and interesting to see how they carry on. Martine MacCluchen seemed to be one of them I am sure. After the radio . He had been the first footballer I ever had a crush on. Number 24. It sold their paper. But even George Best surprised my concept. The media called George. A true delight to serve in a world of rude taxi drivers and drunken prostitutes.

I did observe her looking towards my crumpled. I went back to the Trafford Rooms’ kitchen to prepare some more hot bread. I retreat back into the safe bowels of the kitchen and decide I’m suddenly not too caring about Victoria Wood anymore. funny television series captured later on video.shows came the extremely. I was plucked. I think it must have been brown toast that I place nervously in the toast rack for my good lady of the comic queen. Treasured and laughed at forever. Never to make ascension into her realm. no matter how many times seen or how many years later viewed. The lady sounded gruff and disinterested in my welfare. Sharply panged by the tone of her voice and displeased that an icon had steeped me into the soup. “Can I have some more toast please?” The comedian asked me on finishing the first round. In her realness I had been slighted. My heart punched and pounded. Unfortunately my bit wasn’t all that appreciated. “I’ll serve her!” My sudden. Stupidly I whip away her small bread plate that Victoria Wood was just getting ready to continue to use for her recent new arrival of more warm toast. “Do you mind. middle-aged person of a . I had been genuinely interested in her script. Being of little consequence. Later however. She didn’t sound the funny lady. Wood was special by her splendidness to the whimpering waiter. pushy manner told the others.” The phase stung more that being strapped in Scotland. So Ms. But I suppose I’m too sensitive. So I strolled over and did my bit. My ears flop disappointedly to the floor. Though throughout the years I felt I had known her and been a bit concerned in her history.

They usually. In the flesh he appeared skinny but I could tell a very healthy lad. You see we too had a job to do and like everybody else in the world we looked forward to our leisure time. And when David played for Manchester United they’d use the eating house on a regular basis. because on closing my eyelids I can still picture which table the well-known people sat on. But it never was to be me. It’s strange how unimportant things cement in our brain cells. I felt as far away from her thoughts like I never was or had been in her locality of vision. I liked the Beckmans. like me and Audrey Hepburn.working fellow. While David’s mum and dad sat on one side of the restaurant. or radio or dancing. The in-laws would accompany David and his wife. ’The Balcony’ where two other round large tables were placed. Honestly it was no big deal. Victoria’s folks usually positioned themselves on the grandiose balcony. Both of them plus their entourage would flee the plot sometimes exiting by the fire escape like the dramatic parts in a Shakespearean play. As a waiter on minimum wage to a magnet on a fridge who is a favourite gag of Queen Elizabeth. waiting to jump out our jackets once out the tradesman’s entrance. too. Both parents would let Brooklyn wander about the room and he would smart our legs as we tried to get on with our work. Sounding like the love struck . I think it might have been the mechanisms of the orange juicer as the smashing multi-talented piano played glazed over writing her next script. We called it with our pretence. But I did like their calm behaviour towards their little boy. At the next table to the footballer and his wife. With our feet up posed in a soothing bowl of hot water before the late night TV. used the elevated section of the restaurant. In the throws of explaining how a gadget worked in the restaurant to a child. As serf to queen. David nodded politely to me as I served him but saying little. I could be spinning yarn in Japan.

the bottom of the earth but actually the bottom shelf. moaning her lamented sorrow. I think had been offered the whole meal deal free. Had to go to my doctor’s for physiotherapy. distressed from leaving the eatery last night. It was not my shift to serve her but I heard they were pretty foul. Old and worn out. That’s how I heard this story anyway. the supervisor on duty. “I thought she’d have something more pressing to think about than bad grapes! At least let her secretary do it or something!” . The mishap of the fruit fevered her brow..knifed my back in. She wanted the staff to cable down to the kitchens for more of the fruit and “don’t send it back rotten!” but there wasn’t any anywhere in the house. The next morning she rang David. She complained about the grapes. unhappy. but I digress. We gave them priority in the centre of the restaurant setting up for her company another big round table. . No chance. Bending down and heaving heavy piles of plates from almost floor level.I came to this industry to heal my back problem.Let’s get back to Victoria. “Isn’t it a little strange?” I try to figure out her logic and debate at my colleagues at work.groupie. Once I could not get out of bed for a week. which to me. lifting heavy furniture was parcelled in with the job. Wrong mate! I am only in love with myself and my fame! Victoria once booked a table for nine people. Victoria. Sleep not quite out her voice. they were not like top class fare the restaurant boasted of. More like left over from yesterday and the day before.

For the next ten minutes I stood there and explained to the relatives’ of Victoria and David Beckham the merits of my nationality. I couldn’t help but quietly submit to myself how much. Beforehand I did not urinate or spit my saliva in the white ceramic vessel. And a Spice Girl daughter. different pot of the hot liquid. Meanwhile my toes rattled about this off spring. a spoilt picture formed about her pampered manners. Curses at my breath at the people who kissed themselves in the pleasure of the rich and famous. “Jez.” I thought. igniting me with her qualms. “Are you American?” My mother would have loved it.From then on. And while I gave a somewhat edited chapter of a life. branded footballer son.A. No matter how many suns and moons back.S. But I could not fault.” Victoria Beckham’s mum tells the miscreant. Victoria’s folks asked me to make them some hot chocolate seated on their forever grand table at the balcony. most of the European population sway and swoon and coo when they find out I had been born in the U. “Your hot chocolate’s not much cop. Until on day I came to serve Victoria who happened to be sitting somewhere else in the restaurant this time. I brought back a freshly. “Another fucking complainer. . so for. Even if they have a world-famous. And I smile back.” Yet I did know now from my college training that moaners always were sure to be the customers that came back. Her behaviour was super. Like an average guy in jeans with a kid in tow being both gracious in body language and deportment. Once the whole lot came into The Trafford Rooms. of quite a big celebrity. Of my dreams and hopes. I managed to emanate to them where I originated from. They were not happy. This happened quite a lot before David got shifted to Real Madrid and then on to Los Angeles.

On the forensic block. Jim and me must have been to a night club but I can’t remember the occasion. pretty pronto. letting me continue my journey into the distances and wilds of the backstreets and darkness of Mossley. There is hope for the lad who was insulted by the assistant manager for being a waiter at 48. Most honest people had been asleep in their bed for ages. Mary from Ireland has a 21 year old daughter. David came to work on the wards. box-like Renault. Eventually receiving a secondment from The Trust to study one day a week for two years. Now he wears a nursing badge on his chest. a practising nurse who had been a taxi driver for a year had a change of career. Jim ranted and raved and I just about prayed while one police officer stationed himself over my opened car window. And Jim much drunker than I swayed stupidly in the passenger seat. on a deserted road not far from my home. He heard my voice! All change! He did not ask me to get out of my French car. “Where’s that accent from. Anyway they began questioning which I knew would lead to breathalysing which would land me in prison. Curious where I hailed from. Should I change career and become a full time . or out of a job. He looks my age too. She if 48 but looks thirty-two. This is illegal talk. The fuzz stopped my brought by daddy. Not round here?” Even though I was not legal the fabulous cop lost interest in the case. blue. He lorded me. or at worse both. These days I work at a Salford hospital as a catering assistant in the kitchens and as a bank nurse on wards for patients with mental health problems.Once in the 1970’s I had a pint of whisky too much. “How old do I look?” She is studying to be a nurse.

In the hospital age is not such an issue. And an outlet. We are educated about the negatives of staying static. When that manager fondled my bum aimlessly in the kitchens of the hotel I did not feel confident enough with the organisation to complain about him to the next line manager. The patients remember me on the ward when I do a shift. About the practise of staring out the window fruitfully thinking nothing. “Roger who works in the kitchens!” It’s a bit of a novelty. And though ageism hit against their equal opportunities policy nobody bothered adhering to it. My age was of such importance at The Holiday Inn. To the staff it gravitated all my movement and they challenged it daily. No wonder with so much pressure the suicide rate is rampant this century. No wonder men murder. I reflect over the relationships I have with the patients with their mental health problems as a precious and vital occurrence. I feel pleasure and treasured that they trust me with such intimacies. all ages are employed at the hospital. A glow alights as one man waves to me twice from his dining table. Like ethnic groups. We are gaily guided towards the silver ladder by our parents. We are taught about the quality and quantity of achieving a Christian setting. I feel better protected in The N.nurse/occupational therapist? I have good communications with the patients who greet me fondly as I walk around the hospital site addressing to me personal things about their progress. I think it’s called empathy.H.S. And this constant goaling does not leave us until retiring . In our socialisation process we are taught about goals. comparing it to The Holiday Inn. Mentally ill people do that. If I have a problem I can discuss it with more ease. teachers and peers and even in the pre-school years by particularly vigilant progenitors.

mounting. so be it. Cleaning Tesco’s windows at five in the morning in Derbyshire when it’s minus 5 degrees outside. Stick with it. of world wide experience. For me. There is too much stigma attached on this island about going places. Climbing the ladder is the way forward to happiness. It’s a tall order. Nurse or porter wasn’t amongst them. Hands burnt over with the cold and wet mop. We are taught that requisite. Dad was never too interested anyway. Childcare officer. It is not for everybody. Carpet shop owner. Think of the jobs that yellow coloured American colonised bus encouraged the children take up. morning burning sun climb the rugged skies. My family will not be the decisive factor in selecting my career. I am stubborn. Things I have learnt from to put in my C. Window cleaner. And the graduate will watch 16 hours of daily television.age. Nobody directs me to where to place my clubbed feet. In order to feel good about myself pursue a career line. Lowly jobs on the market are dead end and not fit material for a film score. Watching a lazy.V. I have done all types on the labour twirling out from the bosom of the blossoming economy. the blue azure and the colour of poetry. not where my sister thinks fit because it might fit in with her book of thought. So if he chooses to think less of me being a Waiter at 48 or working in the kitchens of a Manchester hospital. going places might be walking around a reservoir in Yorkshire with my dog. A competitive task is not for everybody. Not a hardened heart which can’t look because I think of only where my next dollar is coming from. Which man can say he . But I aim not to look at myself as a less identity because I never will match the pattern. The media respects a university education with a certain kind of a job at the end of it. things that I have been proud of. it will be his loss. I go where my heart calls. We do not want to be a Waiter at 48.

And though badly paid the chaotic running around is good for my soul. That’s the way my horoscope’s read. The way the planets lay at my birth or will lay at my death. Which man can say he once had a job as a porno artist? Support nurse. Care assistant but still finish at the end of the race. sparkling organisation. Yes. Not qualified is not accepted. I never peed in your soup. If I came out a movie actor/camera man/dentist/politician/model I’d be blessed doing less hours for the greater wage. I don’t want to be a Tom Cruise for anybody’s ticket and though once I wanted to wear the t-shirts of Simon Armitage I have learnt to make due . Billie and Nina again and perhaps a whole lot more closets. The badly. I have scrawled on my glistening forehead sweaty with forbearance. I enjoy the manual labour. So to remain solvent I do plenty hours. shaken and dusty to some clean. Well never mind. So sorry for Fred who is getting palpitations on the London Stock Exchange because the £’s not worth more today. Or maybe it because of all the agony my parents’ went through. Wrench at the various veined age of 48! I am mad! a waiter does not fit in with the spirit of the vodka circuit.stripped as a career? Cleaning business entrepreneur. Cleaning as a career. Luckily I don’t sniff or smoke. I too would dearly like to achieve something too during my stint on this colossal planet but not from the employment model. I have to work harder to push the half penny in my pocket. ‘non-achiever’. So I don’t have to talk ( and I am mute). I have two jobs to pay the bills. Enjoy the running round. That’s the chance I took at life. That’s me fierce to the end. I’d get invited sometimes to country mansions in Hampshire for Sunday lunch. The bank is always calling me to borrow more to pay it off. messed.

when everybody began eating the fashionable and cancer ridding raw garlic and The Brits/Americans could no longer distinguish my breath from theirs. (I just had to get out for an abusive manager refusing to promote me and with fortitude found an advertisement for The N. When being a waiter becomes a respectable in Germany. So they corner me in for being Waiter 48. I am not drifting.S. It is not necessarily the norm. are drifting from a pillar to a post. There are workers. say that. Until Arsenal went around with shaved heads. Next. Is horrendous. Some who are waiting to move on to a better position. I can honestly. Or in poked out bed-sits with blocked drains.with my own collection. When that went out of fashion they fence me in for having breath that smelt on rain clad days of an out of date.). There are some in the catering industry who gladly drift. Then. up and down the versed lines of ‘Me. Never my mother’s. who would be quite happy being a waiter for the rest of their employing years. and a trendy way for the middle. Not true. As of yet living with their dad. First they pick on me for being effeminate in school. overfilled Hoover. Drooling in run down accommodation. A beatnik stretched out on a road hitching for his next life to take him to his house of dreaming. So peoples’ prejudice is horrendous. It’s a common rumour that persons in the catering industry. Rent in arrears. like me. they pick on my baldness.age/middle-class to earn a living what prejudices will next be found for me? It is especial that a male makes good in . Whatever she did wrong which probably was not her fault anyway. chest out. who can’t get another job. My Mother and I’ she always had been proud of me being homosexual and a Waiter 48.

Mobile telephones sew into the palms of their hands for the sentence of life. too. Somewhere in a defenceless and Third World It may sound like I am complaining but low self-esteem is bad for my limbs. Meaning have decent employment. Walking almost into my ‘waiting’ uniform outside The Midland Hotel as I cross a thronged street near the traffic lights. A holiday in an enclosed ‘Jamaican complex’. Recounting and going back to when I complained to my good mother how low down I occasionally felt. The plug cannot be moved from the socket. it just makes me want to kill myself. under George Orwell futuristic skin-clad armpits. The woman perhaps is not as pressurised to find a chunky executive chair as her male counterpart. I conjecture that a male is more pushed and geared to finding a lasting. Who really couldn’t be a snob. To be buried in the sweet bowels of the earth. Fill my bath with acid and take the plunge. who rise up the ladder and feel competitive and dial with neurotic passion and beer swelling abdomens Stock Exchange digits in Peru. looking up to the thunderous skies. But that is only because society still deems her as a housewife and mother. Big camera watching them cross the street or take a pee in the new cubicles in case they are terrorists. Growing up on the lower numbers of . will I wait to rise to the skies. I sense their impending fear. What is worthy? Oh ask them at The Stock Exchange or the dancing college or at the carpet shop. I left my brains at the dock ready to be packaged off with the nuclear waste. I know girls. A nervous breakdown. wealthy career than his female. They are wound up like an electric clock. Frankly. They are on their way to General Meetings where to be late is a harsh scolding from their superior. The sexist plight.

She had the gift of making me feel a better and braver person. parttime. waiting for another job. A builder is both butch. looking for something else in her lazy behaviour. By a smile and mutual agreement. foreign. So when mom calls out to me: “At least you have a job!” I feel better. Pictures in the backdrop. Thankfully he got his due. Even when they were divorced she never truly called him. make me feel as lower than the mice running riot when he declared straight faced. The assistant manager before he got the boot for being incompetent. Hindu.the East Side. Folk are cruel when they do make someone feel low down on the deliberate. It is easier to group people because suddenly everything then makes sense to the masses. Real low so there is no way they can trust their own facility to come up with the right product in the complex thinking department. Black. . particularly a white. I realise that she did side with Dad in picking on the waiting staff but only because she must have felt it often the simpler way to get on with the bully boy. There is a certain type of class attracted to the catering fraternity. uneducated. smelly and gay on the sly. Asian. Historically in England serving people is the bottom dimension. I am still chuckling. Jew. 9 times out of ten coming up with the wrong slides. Dismissed for his poor workmanship. English husband. An architect will live in a posh penthouse. A model is skinny and snotty. wealthy. A waitress. It is the same with employment. Just plain daft. “Waiter at 48!” He had no idea of the sleepless havoc he caused amongst the swirling orbit of my blood red gushing tumour. Social qualms stereotype. drifting.

mechanics. Its deep mysticism hangs before my groping soul like an omen or a beautiful curse. Bringing unequally to the 21st. human nature of greed. Windows of affordable housing to look out of. That for me is one of the best bits of film ( and I’ve seem loads of pictures) that I have experienced. Especially because of the beginning of the film. the butlers. that the capital of Iraq was Afghanistan. This orange brief glow of celluloid of the county of Iraq is a seer for me. It’s easy to work out the statistics on a computer.C. there is a sequence of shots of Iraq.. Why bother with death at such a great mile.Throughout the centuries the wrenches. Where it remains difficult to stop from blushing orange round the collar when I chance to explain my job to my latest pickup. Georgetown. kitchen equipment and dusters have been grossly ostracised. Before the smart camera zooms to the place of the main story. I don’t agree with the war in Iraq. I wish it were different. We can’t deny it. Packaged holidays in exotic places. I have been to see ‘The Exorcist’ many times. One contestant thought. prostitutes and nurses. They go bomb Iraq. Them. Iraq. I saw a stupid show on television today showing how dim some Americans can be. Its all about human lust for the good things in life. Iraq. We buy the politicians spurious scam wholesale.” No matter how logical my argument is. The government giving us a shopping trolley to fill up our immediate. “I am a waiter at 48. the care assistants. after a lot of debate going on in her head. Washington D. The Theatre of The Lebanon. Century. I mean the politicians dangling mobile phones before us and cheap The Middle East? . chauffeurs. Erupting before our voting practices. Shopping trips to New York.

Shadows of the suicide bomb. Preposterous as its population starves in Africa. We purchase those dreamed of things in the germ free 21st Century arcades and malls.” Visa and its eternal credit status. We are dizzy with our catalogue buying power. Dad used to look down from the skyscraper where he worked at or out of the window of a jet he travelled on.We give these guys the thumping thumbs up. Our rulers bomb Iraq. The beaches of The Lebanon are now graved with blood. We will prostitute our dignity and our empowerment for this. it’s alright. Not stopping is anarchy. have an agenda for us to achieve our goal. But I was suspicious of the reasons at the start of the invasion. Fuel to keep our telephones running at whatever the cost. Dad also disclosed his bewilderment. If you’re in the right earning bracket and ‘Celebrity Big Brother’ to keep us alive and kicking. “We all look and behave similar to ants. fulfilling our greedy mouths and greedy pockets. We buy the leaders jargon. At least 15% of our weekly shopping is thrown away as excess. Plasters have replaced sun tan oil. . Another thought for Roger from the genius of the man. Not think twice. out of the equation. We cherish the power that generates our Westernised lifestyle. Or is it just imperialism where The gallant West tries flexing its over powerful sinus cowboy muscle again? Simple. The politicians. thus. Why did The West go in Iraq anyway? Does Jonathan Ross know? Or can Tony Blair’s wife come up with a solid accounting? To rid a tyrannical leader or oil or to open a MacDonald’s? Or for other mineral wealth nobody yet knows of? It’s questions I can’t answer yet. like stopping at traffic lights. We never had it in the 15th Century. The way we are queuing at the roundabout. Sun doesn’t linger on the sunny parasols any longer.

If Daddy could only be around I’d say to him. “Roger. Moonless at night.” But some of us do air our views today and some of us do join a band. People strike for all sorts of strife. But it will glow at Westminster . decided to bomb The Lebanon. Because of the little noise the clamorous crowd does create. A coalition to fight against the injustice of the war in Iraq. “In the 30’s there were riots to address the issues. Charging up to ash carried skies at dawn where even a switch of god‘s hand won‘t part the almost atomic heated clouds. Starvation. It all seemed to be on the pencilled in list of things to do. As long as we’re comfortable within our circle. Unemployment. boiled alive. till the innocent drop mortally wounded onto the floor. War.” I know the logic for the current lack of interest. We are pushed to awkward corners by the media. All quiet on the Western Front. Now? Not a whimper. People don’t protest anymore. Watching or listening to the news programmes.I guess for a capitalist he might be unique in still holding true some of his good ideals of the youth. assemble at points. Things that connected and added up to greater things on the timetable. Smoking dope on the lawn. Congregate and we shout but later we feel futile and end the day by shopping at a Sainsbury’s.” He’d bemoan the whole human race. When no big power seemed willing to intervene or help negotiate a ceasefire. Hyde Park/Albert Square/Glasgow. This month. words snaked forth from a pulsating point on my forehead. He’d go on. People in Newcastle read the reports in The Financial Times breathing mechanism intact and normal. when children fell from a burning sky. “Mobile phones. The sun’s not interested enough to shine. In our bungalow.

” The woman just there for theatre. Please help me out. No oil. We are in the future. Save my people. The battles of Iraq were acted out on the many televisions sets above our heads at the check-outs of the Tesco’s as we waited for our weekly groceries to be totted up. Rice stood there in front of global television kidding with the world and its patience. Her mocking eyes on my set did not synch with the catastrophe deepening on the dimensional picture on the world medium. Her carefree smile told me of the hardness of her gut inside. My insurrection.and Washington till the end of time. I pamper out my gruel of verse“Lebanon burning. On a small . The candid camera told us she certainly did not graze into its lenses to stop the bombing of The Lebanon. “Like I don’t quite know why I’m here anyway. The sand knows now it has lost the war. that she makes a point of not concealing from the world. It broke me up the way The West picks on The Middle East. Rice gleefully on her sleigh equipped with bells and all. Uncomfortably watching C. I’d like to send my protest off to the news desks. A cheapened gesture.” It looked like the West wasn’t prepared to cry enough. No bodies helping. Up my nose at daybreak the damp desert swelters. War becomes another reality show. whistling through The Middle East and Europe. The West must eat its breakfast. Minds had been made up months ago in Washington with a kiss and a pat and a wank from Tony Blair/Gordon Brown. A wide grin plastered on her face.

What may be good for the people of Iraq. three thousand million of indifferent steps away we safely shop in supermarkets. Its outcome is a theory. Yet from these humming boxes high above my head. Monitors. Lacking in any true motivation or spiritual belief. Everyday newspapers from the herald to the mirror forward their reports informing us how many more . Will it rise into something even greater than the destruction that it is now .and they are all blameless been hurt. can I be blunt. In our sterile universe. But another big rating for the media giants. I could not tune in with the blood bath that fell from the poor soldier’s collar. If there would be any aim or mission. And globally as important. I mean I could be watching an episode of ‘Friends’. As fearful as the First World War attacking from its trenches. festivity. The first deed The West did was to re-establish the oil line when the fire supposedly came to an end.screen. We are not encouraged to get involved. ‘we shop till we safely drop‘. Watching history made or broken. maimed or fastened to their coffin. Far away from the terrible. While the soldier is densely trapped beneath the screening of glass. In The United Kingdom we buy the eggs as the shelling rages above us in TV. somewhat antiseptically. Iraq has now escalated into the land of the dead never to return back into some kind of living. It is played on and relayed on a plastic frame journeying to us along a false passage of gamma rays. I fell apart and quickly divorced myself from the side show. The much awaited downfall of Saddem Hussein did not bring the expected peace. It is as impossible to advance to tears at their plight as it was to cry at my mother’s death. An inconclusive war that has no finishing post. War oozed out with coloured freshness and with almost.

Or the belief that in the end their nation would justly win with dignity. the infants of Cambodia today are being deformed borne. I am watching guiltily. The impoverished countries and its troubles will be on the stretched miles of landed life on another planet. The Middle East is never going to give up its fight. The West is fighting a power greatly motivated.A. The native soldiers are ready to ambush and disembowel the enemy into oblivion. Watching Iraq/The Lebanon from our English soiled viewpoint( on the telly). Fighting on foreign soil The U. The West will never win. The chef at work says if he son is ever called up to fight for the British government. There were many deserters and protesters. They will die for their unjust bludgeon coming at them. There was a programme about the amount of military who deserted Vietnam and the massive numbers shocked me. a power installed deep onto their kneecaps and a passion pledged grandly on their hearts. a . Vietnam experienced this.K. are disadvantaged not being familiar with its terrain. I don’t think your normal British lad or soldier will think this such [passion of detail. One of the reasons our family up and left New York to another country was so I would not be caught up in the draft. He’d rather drive a car in Ruislip.causing? I am nauseous. The babies of Vietnam. the father will hide his son. They never knew the landscape and their hearts weren’t in it. But before they were chased out the aggressors made sure they damaged the property pretty completely. and The U. I am guilty. With not half the anger or throttle of their counterparts. The Americans had no chance of winning on the Asian continent. Jane Fonda. It had never been disclosed to me before and seemingly the secret had been kept locked in a cupboard.S. they did not understand the foe they were meant to be fighting.

Wars hold a booty. Use Scotland as a landing base. Its pleasurable riches. a college education or fight in a country you know nothing about?. Maybe The United States holds up our economy and although there is a lot of American hate in this country our Prime Minister falls head over heels in love with The Presidents of The United States. not shell shock. Their country being at war is an shocking disgrace. my brother and myself were caught up in The Grovensor Square protest and subsequent riots when the police decided to charge horses into our crowd.strong protester against the atrocity in Asia became a hero for me. shared my sentiments with the was in Asia Minor. Set up . Underlining in their expensive red ink. whether it will ever be used or not is another thing. Doing Saturday’s heavy duty of laundry in the tower block’s basement and not hampered by newspapers reportage of their country fighting a useless battle that it has no chance or balls of winning. We need friction. Mum. Bomb the moon.S. Would you rather get further education. Most of the crowd I have managed to discuss with are solidly against the treatment the folk are getting in Iraq and again in The Lebanon. Mom. apparently approving what the U. policies are doing. helping to build up the arsenal.but caught a page or two at from a scant history book once? A country you never heard of before! People much better want a hair-do. But we need wars. My mother laid her claim against The Vietnam War. Men and women purring peacefully through the streets would prefer to continue shopping at Bloomingdale’s and Sears Roebuck. To calm down the populations. Need the money and employment that war dishes out. A war is antithesis to any country’s morality. too. We need the fear. We are left deserted and clueless watching them kiss every opportunity they happen to meet. Off the dole queue.

But please remember about the wrath of a woman. Not war. Hammering on my keyboard. And I actually became hopeful beginning the course at the Oldham Coliseum. minutes from where the learning experience took place. “Dialogue. This just might be the winner. Some bad and some good. If only The West had the compassion and balls to talk more. So I would park my distinctive blue Peugeot. for about the length of a year in the same bay on Union Street.” The hasty politicians got there first. Projecting my muscle into new horizons. This would be at 6 o’clock on a Wednesday evening as . new faced. I had attended so many writing classes. I’ll always climb into the next silvered day like it was a golden Cadillac I mounted. I picked out the term at Oldham because: I wanted to attempt seeing if I could swing a script. You see. prose I tried them all. Or scripting my ink on an A4 size. My two sisters live streets down the road from The World trade Centre. The text of my thesaurus is scrubbed and thumb marked. Tears long ago dried on the eiderdown as I face the broken hearted. Meeting the eastern morning sun and my cold breakfast with bits of hope clinging onto my anatomy like stubborn rope burns. We would not all be in the throws of death we find ourselves in at the start of the 21st Century. Anyway I always wanted to be the adventurous type using as many genres until I would find the real ghost expelling forth from me. Whose surface scabs refuse to go. If my writing is substandard this boy will never cease. I had some work published. When it came down in roaring flame they wisely told me when the phones had been reconnected. Poetry. my mind looking for new ways to say it.another take-away in Camden Town.

Aghast that class members had been cut by scores by the third meet of the assembly. This well might have been because of the straight forwardness of the director of the theatre. I thought that the director/teacher of the theatre gave it out too bluntly.folk were sitting down to their comfortable I get up to use the loo on the first day of class. This amount quickly dwindles. By the end of the month his love had all too quickly died. Surprised to find out that he was a married man. to a core of six. as fast as snow defrosting to slush. fallen on hard times. The class met every fortnight. most in front of the telly. The class started with a startling amount of 40. And I soon got his customary sneer of“I am a director and what the hell do you think you are doing here?” Glancing not at my frame but at the brown Oscar Wilded wall behind. My masculine form let out a wind of relief. Something drastic was amiss. We used several different spaces according to availability on the night. Whatever the reason the students were not going to peruse their learning experience here. gracing the tables and chairs of the workroom. Some in front of radio. Mixed mainly with the women attending as I found the men too competitive amongst themselves. Barking things under their breath when I chanced to . Perhaps the artists came with different plans mapped out and were unwilling to compromise to the rules of the organisation. Showing up at the workshop I never missed a session that year. A few others and I waved loyal salutes. The type of fellow who gave my groin area that special kind of admiring attention reserved for people who fancied a bit of me -including Dad’s business partners. therefore no love lost there. He initially chaired the group. He said he was a married man. I did not like him one bit and he did not like me. I socialised with the group fairly well in the rooms of Oldham Coliseum.

The first teacher taking the group only filled a temporary post. One evening. after one of out tutorials Jay held back with me at the communal table going over in detail my work in progress. Her love could never be returned. Whenever I suggested meekly meeting for a drink.speak. A drink never materialised and her wrath cut me stupefied. Though I understood her patter. Outside the arena there was not much social contact though I tried. “Pardon?” I indignantly growl back. “Oh yes. A man suddenly died at home one week near Christmas. I speak out a lot. Her suicidal thoughts braided her for another breakdown. With the director sometimes in attendance guided us perfectly and without bitterness in her excellence. her retort. The permanent coach coming back after taking her maternity leave had the hots for me. Off her rocker. Was she sitting just a little bit too close for comfort? The fact that Jay actively appreciated my coming-on play made these claustrophobic thoughts stay in San Francisco Bay. A budding playwright arrived intoxicated to class. Lots of the group seemed to have their own agenda and became deaf when I ventured to ask them for an after class drink in the pub next door. A good slap in the face is what I got back. Could it be my mother’s fault? And this caused lots of mishap. A woman confided in me. And did not like my comments back. I guess there’s nothing better to do!” Like she gambled in her head whether I would be a friend or not. A social worker by day gave me some poetry of hers to look at. I wasn’t bothered. . I could tell that she dug some of the vocabulary.

well…no answer.“There’s a preview of a play at the theatre next week. “I am going with my partner. after this helpful. I became the punch bag of her unrequited love. Not slept together. Danger flashed out and in hindsight I should have thought twice. Which instantly informed me that I had snubbed her. never kissed nor ate our dinner out of paper plates on my rooftop apartment at night. Wondering if she found the time to read my latest play between the last meet and this evening. Stupid men! I never learn. It’s not going to be alright. We got tickets already. My fate had been licked and cemented. Paralleling my smooth thinking of the world. But I thought nothing more of it. grow up. She was only small in stature. Why so strange? I’d not cottoned on yet how long the distance of revenge could go. But thanks all the same. in my ignorance thought that was the end of that. I live in a liberated world and if I happen to have a partner.” I. I did not savvy Jay would react like she did. she now turned a disdainful and blind spot. For a flicker of a whisper of a quarter second I manage to catch the look absorbed in her eyes. Swelling my ankles. Now . Being once interested in my composition. The tickets are free to our group. I should have known by now. We’d not been wed ever. Do you want me to get you one?” Jay asked me as we both stood near the door ready to part. inspiring lesson finished. I would approach her. just tough luck! After that night Jay treated me like I had the clap. divorced.” She’d mumble in the theatre bar during our interval. During all subsequent workshops Jay held back her information. lady. Being the person she was. Too busy. “I did not get a chance to look at it. Her answer harassed me. For god sakes. Or chosen my words different. she made me suffer. promising to look at more of my writing.

I guess that it does work both ways. So we discussed why we were disgruntled. sliced up and hurt. Moaning with the unmelodic white blob in the sky. But I wasn’t the happy bluebird singing. No. slightly cursed. My crime of not reciprocating back to her advances brought on such bad rudeness. But in no circumstance wishing to fall flat on my face. it transcended amongst the lot of us how disenchanted we had become. The aims of our gatherings at the Oldham Coliseum. that night. silhouetted against its planet of whiteness. BBC I think. On one night there was no room booked for us and while we waited next door in the pub. I wasn’t happy with women. dejected. boy. The moon was out again. of a man not replying back to woman.were not clearly stated. Ready to prove to myself that whatever the woman’s reckoning I still could be able to take advantage of the learning process. Good luck boys! If you’re free and up for the grabs.. the majority of the students lamented. Face first in the fire. disappointed and feeling second . And the lady in question gets angrier and angrier at me. Her spell I’d make disappear. I had sex in the car park and through someone else I heard she got a job somewhere else. I pulled into an anonymous car park where I knew I could pull and toss off. for further instructions. I felt bruised. So much for that. even months later! Her logic for teaching the class seemed suspect for me.being able to discern the root. Before returning home. she must’ve been wanting some volcanic eruption. I did not get a thank you. drinking coffee and glasses of mineral water. The last time I saw Jay I brought her a drink from the theatre bar during our work set’s break. Poisoning my very belongings in the end. I drove my car away from that same bay on Union Street where I had parked so often before and guess what? I never came back. Stubbornly remained with the education.

If we protested could Oldham come up with a change in their policies? Teaching at times seemed so light hearted. I don’t think that these workers get paid but the education they receive is worthy and recognised by the government as good foundation. You just write its blind pattern out. We made our proposal to the director and Jay. the tempo gushed from my heart. This we all whole heartedly agreed on. I had written several short pieces of theatre and the response had been lukewarm to. Our group wanted much more from the workshop. Could it be that the management were only interested in holding these classes for cosmetic reasons? I distinctly got the feeling the gods above were not overly bothered about us. “I don’t like it very much. For the first few days a social worker is involved on the in the theatre. There is a programme at work in the catering department: at the hospital. But this would cost us. Even sometimes these people will go on to get some kind of full time employment.” So much for that. But when I came to work on the play ‘Learning Difficulties’.K. where they employ persons with learning difficulties. And hope. Doing an risk assessment so as to make sure their client will be safe . slunk away. I had already left. maybe you heard of it. Certainly more feedback. I hope so. Feedback would also be more forthcoming and constructive. Maybe they were funded and needed some kind of agenda. who in response to our wants suggested having a bank of additional bodies to chair our assembly. I read somewhere that J. Making the workshop no longer free. Rowling said that you just write but you haven’t the faintest idea whether the stuff is any good or not. smitten before these alterations took place. So much so I did not give a damn what the public or Joe Smith thought.

We have a strict policy at work. This course lasts for several weeks. not apparent to us at first and what a man! Brave in every way. no discrimination but running along the plains of my spirit snarled this exemplum: What if the fellow met with awful discrimination from us instead of the positive circumstance. He happened to be there that night at our ‘play in progress reading. directing the current production would be attending our fine outing. And adding his thoughts to the sense of our work. is that the poor sod broke down and cried on his last day. Another director. My excuse I am an American. in actual fact. All the group members had written a short piece. But at the next session I got them all talking. I aint no Shakespeare and I had no sheepskin to record my composition upon. (because writing leaves me so vulnerable and naked). Friendly. On the first reading of ‘Learning Difficulties’ in class at Oldham Coliseum I scrutinised how incessantly and intently the director listened. we embraced him with.’ But I quaked when I also observed his bemusement at some of the usage of my words. I tightened up some loose bits and I changed a few locations until the play sounded right to me. This transpired to be the theme of my piece. who was a ‘guest’ director. At home. there were . The lad who came to our department had a slight handicap. lived everywhere and have a culturally. diverse foundation of vocabulary. willing to try his hands at most things. His opened thrust touched us all. We all promised to keep in touch. It had the director listening the specific workplace. not too long. which in turn we all discussed. Several pages of how David met with hardened intolerance because he had an obstacle. suggesting possible alternatives to improve the plays for the next session. Why I had a desire to imprint the lad’s footsteps on paper and across a frozen universe.

The night chimed in a classical concert in whipping enthrallment. the Asian director came up and apologised to me for being so forthright about my use of language in the text.” he invited. As I drove away from my parking space on Union Street. The radio even wasn’t on. I: as high as a bottle of amino-nitrate or toasting love with a flute of champagne or both.’ “They discussed your play the most. “then you can be a critic for my play. I could see that everybody enjoyed the sentiment of the piece. ‘one in residence’. I was in seventh heaven doped on their enthusiasm. And not until I reached the roundabout at Mumps Bridge did I notice the good driver behind gastrulating to me about the open limb . There were about 7 of us who had work at hand. When the meeting came to an end and most scripts had got the run around. Very good for my ego. Not quite finished or polished to perfection but not a fragment either. There resulted something in my play ‘Learning Difficulties’. this Asian director admired. It was agreed by the majority of the people attending that my dialogue and its word choice needed some alteration and attention to make the story sound more plausible. “Come to my preview next week.actors as well as the two directors there.” Helen remarked. The actors joined in with the lively discussion of our group’s work. Actors who under their ‘master’ were right at this moment rehearsing their latest production at Oldham. drove away in the sootless clouds of ecstasy above this now defunct but once industrial heart of the western world. In happiness I left my boot up. Called constructive criticism. Who now were employed reading out the various different characters of our plays in progress.

no. I squirm. Like the action man. If I did something would hang right. Her tragic stance threw me out. . At last hard to take.of my car. then a buttock…. bully!“ or “Get off my case. I didn’t enjoy or deserve such a roasting…. Say yes and mix in with the group instead of standing out. daddy!” or. lady!” or “Get off my case. First a mouth. “No I won’t do the shift!” No. lighting and actors in place. gay gateway to my final curtain. The play did not make it to the end of the year’s special performance. I sent the play off to the BBC to see what they thought of it. Not always the best.I will writhe and when the pain finishes get off the mattress and start again. I found Jay’s conduct to my person debase. “Get off my case. I won’t let Janos feel my arse while he tells me I haven’t got the cashier job in the restaurant. Take a Niagara waterfall of breath for my new sake. casting.. And then putting myself right. But that’s all about breaking. I did not fall in love with the opera singer. But neither did I. I like the carefree. even “Get off my case. Don’t like hurting peoples’ feelings much because mine have been hurt that much I can emphasise before their cloy is out. I have to learn to say. in its small theatre upstairs with all the production. that Oldham Coliseum would produce. sister!”. The voluntary group was called ’New Bridge’ and a woman named Janis ran the group from its headquarters in Salford.

I got to get a chap called Robert who lived over there at Magull. This took place several times. The backside of profit against the fore front of social caring. Well another new experience for me. My friend also joined the group and he got to write to a fellow named Maurice. Why did all the patients come clamouring around me whenever I came to visit Robert? Did lots of the patients have nobody to visit them? Were ‘outside’ humans in short supply.The group’s main aim is to befriend prisoners/patients in a secure unit. I did not understand. Mop’ company. I did not like Ashworth in the early 90’s. But it could only be good for him to have contact with some air of the outside world. Either by corresponding by post with them or visiting them. His handwriting I could just about decipher. Lads with mental health problems who could be at risk to themselves or to others. I . We began a limited passing of letters by The Royal Mail. Even though I was busily involved in the working of the ‘Mr. Robert sounding by the tenor of his letters seemed to have learning difficulties and on meeting the man I felt this to be the case. then. Ashworth Hospital in Kirby is a high security institution housing male patients. This could be done two ways. This hospital sure called out for volunteers. Ashworth: all high risk security. Boy. Broadmoor. Dribbling when he spoke and I am no better in spitting out my enthusiasm when I too speak. Robert’s mental health problems were screened to me by the way he spoke. some of his body language and the general limited themes of his conversation. When I came to visit Robert and myself went into a room off the ward and had our interview. the locks on the hardened steel doors. Roehampton. I could not take the institutional smell which landed on my nostril. And both. if felt good to be in the throes of humanity once again.

Robert would tell me how unhappy he felt in hospital and how much he longed to be shut of the place. on its forensic ward. He felt little hope in his circumstances. Salford. What could be my role be in this? So I listened.lit that contact with the outside. as a Support Worker. . The voluntary work at Ashworth helped me when I applied for my current post at Prestwich Hospital.

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