Is it wrong to wish to write for writing’s sake? Is it wrong to feel the need to write a disclaimer only I’ll ever see?
I sometimes think I was born to the wrong era, that before computers and watches knew your name, I might have been happy. I’d have sat in my room as others scampered about living their lives and smiled at the view beyond the window, written down what I saw without forethought or fear. The clouds would’ve drifted across cerulean fields like mythical beasts and birds would’ve tweeted the minutes. With a quill for a sword and a wooden chair for a colt, I’d have lived out my days as a warrior of words and others would’ve been happy I did. But it isn’t days of yore, and there’s no time for idealism in today’s world of exactitudes and uncompromising rapport. We are. We will. We do as we’re told.
I sometimes wish the curtains to close and never open. Here wrapped in my private night, I’ll live in peace with these hundreds of thousands of words scattered all around; most long forgotten and stashed away in burrows of rabbited nonsenses. The songs I love will play in endless loops through ears with no wish to hear the spouted obscenities and harsh realities — or so they claim — of this, that and the other. Darkness will fold around me like a lover’s kiss, all-encompassing, and I won’t even know if I’m dead, nor care. But then the words will come, white on black, and I’ll feel more alive than ever.
Sometimes a voice calls from deep within that I presume my own but still doubt. This — let’s call it soul — knows my name, my home, my life, wife and circumstance, but even this supposed virgin self is dubious to my needs. What are my needs?
I have absolutely no wish for anyone to read what I write. I have absolutely no desire to be famous. If people happen upon these reams of written words and enjoy them, feel them, I’ll smile and thank them, and expect no thanks in return. If a child picks up one of my books and their eyes light up with wonder, I shouldn’t care if their parent commands them to put it back — not if the spark’s already lit. If? Such a little word. Such a pertinent package. But the cold hard reality, is something has to pay for a coffin and good intentions won’t.
Sometimes I think I’m free. Sometimes, but not often.
There are shadows, they lay in strips like a black, trellis fence at acute angles to the world and all it contains. They simmer like sardines in a pan stinking up the place without any thought for others. But they are the others? I’m the odd one out. Thank God!
Something about a winter sunrise stirred my soul, coated it in liquid gold, a protective cocoon that only angels enjoyed. Everyone got the summer dawns but not the winter. Timing was everything. Solitude essential. One had to just get up and relish them. And I have. And I will again.
As many of you know, I'm a simple guy. I take great delight in often very basic things and express little joy over such monumental purchases as cars, houses and their ilk. In true Yorkshire fashion, 'I like what I like'. So, you can imagine my delight at buying a toothpaste consisting of three coloured stripes: blue; white; green. I'd never had that combination before.
I started using said toothpaste a week ago. Blue and white were the colours that squeezed from that tempting tube; green failed to emerge. I put it down to how it was filled, and though bitterly disappointed realised I would someday soon achieve my three-striped dream. It did not come. I was less than pleased. This morning I could take no more!
Now, before my rant unfolds, I should also tell you this. I am quite robotic. I do things in certain ways and enjoy the repetition. Towels will always be folded the same way, food packed in cupboards in a set fashion; my timing of getting up, going for a run and other similar events are always the same; if I bash myself, I'll do exactly the same thing again within minutes, and the list goes on. It's just the way I am. If let's say, my wife, should move something even a yard from where it should be, I'm lost in an ocean of confusion. This happens regularly. I just can't help it. Back to my rant.
I squeezed in anticipation, my tongue in cheek. That green stripe had to be there. It had to! It wasn't. Oh dear, oh dear!
I was on about my tenth curse when my wife risked walking in. She'd heard me and wished to help. Instead of trying to explain, she took my toothbrush and turned it upside down: the toothpaste fell off with a resonating, cataclysmic boom. It did, you know.
And there was my green stripe. I'd squeezed the toothpaste onto my toothbrush exactly the same way each day with exactly the same result; I'd hidden the green stripe. Oops! In conclusion.
Don't leap into assumptions that you cannot prove. Don't rant and rave over the trivial. Just remember this. Toothpastes only last a few weeks. Don't sully those special times together with anger.
A Richard's Life Production
For an on behalf of Lunatic Studios.
Coming to a supermarket near you.
I had doubts. When the nights came, the bedroom walls pulsing out like ripples growing further and further away from my bed, those doubts amplified to the beats of my hollow heart.
Echoes, I called them. The echoes of a misspent life had come a calling. They would never leave. No matter how hard I pressed the pillows to my head, those residual murmurs remained. Sweeping in across oceans of night, they haunted my island self. There was nowhere to hide. I didn’t deserve to.
Time: a relative concept, more so still to the timeless. I was timeless, a salient detail my demons knew. There would never be respite from my tormentors. Never!
When sunlight came sweeping through my curtains like filtered candy, I opened my eyes. Another night over. Another night done. Breathe, my mind said. Breathe, it repeated, as it was wont to do at each new dawn. Just breathe.
One hopes for evil to pass, prays for it even. One imagines those doubts dissipating like broken clouds to never regather. And, sometimes, when the darkness was dismissed for the daylight hours, I thought it possible. I’m me again, my brain promised. I’m me. That’s when the voices came.
’You don’t really matter,’ they said. ’See you tonight.’
My eyes are my giveaway. They abandon me when I need them most, look away when I wish to gaze, hide behind black plastic and still fail to respond. My eyes are my bane, my downfall, my shame. They weep when I would wish them not, flicker when I would wish to stare at the rain, blink too often. My eyes, how I hate them! Yet, still, they gave me you.