Archive for the ‘identity’ Category

Too Brief, All Too Brief

January 10, 2008

Whatever hell you’ve been through
She has endured much more than you
Whatever territory you own
She will claim it as her home
We stood by and watched her fall
As she spurned the greatest gift of all
She could not see what she had already
And that, we all agree, is her greatest tragedy.

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GhostCat: Where are YOU?

January 7, 2008

There will never be a perfect time to have a pet. I am being bombarded by offers from my friend Andrew who works at a cat sanctuary – He has found a lovely little affectionate cat called Bounce. I don’t even feel like visiting. I am so tired. I don’t think this will be a good time to bring cats into a still grieving home.

Bella has been my (almost) constant companion. For a decade she has been by my side. (Apart from my trip to America and Europe when Bella stayed in Birmingham with my parents). But I thought about her, I dreamed about her.

But Bella was a stubborn little Madam and would make me endure lots of silent treatments when I returned which were resolved when Bella felt that she had made me suffer enough. She wasn’t nicknamed ‘Bratcat’ for nothing.

I know I will never find a cat like Bella again. One night, back in 1996, I opened the front door to let a friend out and, as the friend left, this little white cat invaded by apartment. She slipped through the door and let out a piercing miaow, a miaow that said ‘I’m here and I’m here to stay’. And stay she did for eleven years. A lady downstairs had one more cat than she needed. The youngest(Bella -6) was being bullied by the Top cat. So, she came to live with me. Melissa, her first rescuer, told me that she’d been wandering Mill Road – emaciated, with no fur on her back legs – when she found her. She took her back to her flat and was surprised to find that she was house trained. She had also been spayed. My neighbour nursed her back to health but cats can be fickle creatures and Bella began to explore other flats in a bid to find herself another home. Bella had made up her mind. Every night she stood outside my door calling for me to let her in. I did. And every night she came. I made an agreement with her human who found it difficult to have to deal with night after night of hissing, spitting, snarling.

So she surrendered and brought Bella to me. She sat perched on my chest that night and the purrs she emitted soothed me into a sleep devoid of dreams. She became a permanent fixture in my life, almost to the exclusion of everyone else. And she was loyal to the end. She died in her sleep. Next to me. The best way to die some say. I’m not so sure. Doubts are setting in

If anybody’s interested Bella was 17

More Later

Pollyanna? Moi?

December 8, 2007

During one of my admissions to the EDU (that’s Eating Disorders Unit for those unfamiliar with the jargon) one of the nurses told me that, in her oh so humble opinion, that I was adopting the role of the ‘Pollyanna of the ward’.  She asked me why I insisted upon focusing on other people’s issues at the expense of my own issues.  I hated her at the time but maybe she was more astute than I gave her credit for.  Denial?  Isn’t that a river running through Egypt?  This is the closest I’ll get to a mea culpa.

Mismatched?

December 6, 2007

What are Doug (92 year old war veteran) and I to do on these long, dark nights when I pop across the expanse of lawn that separates his flat from mine? Doug was known as Nubby throughout his time in the RAF and then the army. Apparently, everyone with the name ‘Clarke’ in the army is automatically known as ‘Nobby’. No one thinks to ask why,. Well, we sit, we watch TV, we talk, we reminisce. Sometimes I think that some supernatural force has pushed us together. Often I picture us as two helpless, stranded sailors cut adrift from our nation’s territorial waters and everything we once knew. Because the alliance of two people as different as we are is unacceptable in conventional circles. And it is those circles that squeeze the world by throat. So we delicately sidestep the demands made upon us by those who have never been where he has, who have never been where I have and, please God, with a cherry on top, see to it that they never do.

And, yes, another Remembrance Sunday has passed without a remark from Doug. He is more than a war veteran is his constant refrain but nothing can change the fact that when he closes his eyes at night, he sees things that most of us could never even conceive of.

The Patron Saint of Victims Everywhere

November 30, 2007

I stamp my feet,
This is not fair
For I am the Patron Saint
Of Victims Everywhere

Self-appointed, self-anointed.
But never, never effaced
I offer superficial harmony
In a chaotic world and this is why
I am universally embraced

Oh, come all adore me
For I am the one you have chosen
To stamp your identities upon
I am womanly, you see
The epitome of purity and passivity

But, in time, my foot soldiers fade away
Their attention strays, it wanders elsewhere
While I look for a way to remind you
That I am still the Patron Saint
Of Victims Everywhere

Adoration dissipates and this unlit stage
Is a lonely place. I expect empathy
But I cannot reciprocate
For I do not want others to share
My status as the Patron Saint
Of Victims Everywhere

The auditorium is deserted now
And I am devoid of admirers
I call out, into the darkness
I stamp my feet. This isn’t fair
Am I no longer the Patron Saint
Of Victims Everywhere?

Script:

November 16, 2007

Me: Am I a total cow?
Her: Why, of course, but that is why we love you.
Me: I’m not a fat cow though, am I?
Her: No, of course not. You’re a um skinny cow. A decidedly undernourished cow, if you ask me.
Me: Thank you. I can always rely on you to say the right thing

NOTE: If she’d answered in the affirmative I’d have bitch slapped her into the next millennium.

A Response to Anon@5.34

October 18, 2007

(See Dancing on Someone’s Grave is One Thing..)
(See Comments section)
To Anonymous at 5:34:
(Because the first was rather curt)

FWIW I have a lot of respect for some of JHL’s views. I wholeheartedly agree with him when he asserts that ‘We (ex-prisoners) are as human as our victims.’ I just find it odd that he extends the right to be viewed as ‘human’ to every single prisoner and ex-prisoner except Felicity Jane Lowde and (maybe in time) The McCanns.

You ask why I am on this woman’s ‘side’. I don’t regard this as a matter of sides. It’s not a game. It’s not a George Bush post 9.11 ‘With us or Against us’ kind of situation. Felicity Jane Lowde certainly wouldn’t think I’m on her side. I believe she has a serious mental illness and needs urgent help. I’ve been in and out of hospital a fair bit and I’ve seen this kind of situation. I even remember someone with very similar delusions to Felicity Jane Lowde – secret services, connections to government figures – all delusions of grandeur. IIRC one of the newer neuroleptics took the edge off her fear. But I could still see the anguish on her face. Her terror terrorised me. I firmly believe that this woman was genuinely afraid – that her inner world had turned into an inner hell. And it’s kind of hard to escape from yourself. But that doesn’t mean I can’t feel sympathy for the victims. After all, it didn’t matter to Rochester whether The First Mrs Rochester was mad or bad. The consequences for Jane Eyre and Rochester were still the same. Mad or bad, she was still dangerous.

I’ve more to write but this is kind of draining.)>

Stepfather

October 1, 2007

I am merely an object moving through space
Out of place and lacking in grace and you begin
With a disclaimer. You tell me I am essential
But incomplete. You desecrate my disordered dreams
‘Your mother is gone. She died in the night’
No one cried and then the great divide arrived
You only die once, after all. You move in on me
You disagree with my methodology. You disapprove
Of my every move. My words are unheard and undeterred
You detach me from all context and you begin,
Slowly and deliberately, to deconstruct me.

Rise and Return

June 21, 2007

They will tell me nothing of my origin
A sin, they say, that must never be repeated
I emerged from some obscure country
On some dark continent. I am an exhibition
I should charge for admission

The fog gathers and all the profanities
Directed at me reassemble themselves
In my mind relentlessly. It resembles
A kind of constant aerial bombardment
Insults issued in jest, they say

In dreams under cover of darkness
Guided by the yellow moon, I crawl
Slowly across the map of the world
To that once magical place that is the land
Of my birth and I unearth an elaborate
History that, until now, was hidden from me.


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