All 7 entries tagged Writings Of The Socially Maladjusted
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March 10, 2006
February 01, 2006
Hiya guys, I'm running for the Welfare and Equal Opportunities officer sabb position, with the tagline "Webster Fares Well". You can read my online manifesto at www.sunion.warwick.ac.uk/voting. Hopefully you'll read it, like mine the best, and vote for me.
Even if you're not going to vote for me, PLEASE VOTE! It is collossally important that as many students as possible vote in this election! Voting is open until Friday night so please vote, and hopefully you will help me to Fare Well for Welfare (sorry about the pun).
January 11, 2006
Another cabaret story.
My Granny the Tranny
When I was just a boy, I felt extremely lucky to find out that whilst most other children were fortunate to only have the regulation four grandparents, two grandfathers, and two grandmothers, I had an extra grandmother, who only visited on weekends. And I didnít find it odd that her name was Roberta, or that she lived with nanny-Abigail, or that I never saw her and grandpa-Bob in the same place at the same time, or that sometimes she had the beginnings of a beard, because sometimes old women are a bit stubbly, and itís not polite to point it out.
Every now and again I went to stay at their house, in the spare room that smelt unused but very clean, with the bed that had floral patterned and held a slight scent of perfume, which I later found out to be Chanel number 5 as Roberta liked all her rooms to smell pretty. Over the course of the weekend Iíd play games with my varied grandparents. Iíd go travelling with grandpa-Bob, clambering over, around, and below the furniture, through Antarctica battling polar bears, through the regular Artic running from the penguins and more polar bears as we could never remember which pole they lived at, all the way to Africa where we were dodged and danced through Zulu spears in the dessert, then on into Asia to meet Maharajas and Samurai, and, with a startling disrespect for basic geography, we plunged into the Amazon, and Bob called the Amazons a gaggle of hussies who should put some clothes on. Finally on to the most dangerous place of all: Canada, where the Cannibals lived.
And all the time granny-Abigail would keep us supplied with glasses of ginger beer, pots of tea, steaming mugs of hot chocolate, biscuits, cakes she claimed to have baked herself and all the other stereotypically English things to eat and drink that grandparents think theyíre supposed to give their grandkids because thatís what their grandparents did, and thatís what our generation will do to our grandchildren too, if only because we read it in Famous Five, and tooth decay be damned. Though none of my five grandparents ever gave me a Worthers original. Whoever made those adverts can fuck off and die.
Then on Saturday would always come the favourite part of my visit, granny-Roberta would descend one morning, make-up perfectly applied, summer dress swirling just below the ankles, hair held up with varied shining hair pins, breasts expertly in position and realistic as always. Sheíd sweep into the breakfast room, give me and granny-Abigail a kiss, then casually ask her thatís really what youíre wearing today Abi, darling? Then weíd all be whisked off for a nice breakfast at one posh hotel or another and one granny would try to feed me up, while the other tried to slim me down. Then weíd hit the shops and Roberta continued my education in looking damn good. She would point out to me which shirts looked good with my complexion, which jeans were too ripped, and which werenít ripped enough and try and try in vain to wean me off wearing Hawaiian shirts. She bought me my first jar of hair gel, and taught me to style it in five different ways, each of which made me look like a marine from WW2, but in a retro kind of way, it really worked.
It was invariably granny-Roberta who I came to when I needed further education, when I started to realise that looking good was only the slightest of comforts in the battle of the sexes. Knowing the minds of both men and women she always gave me pertinent and sensible advice and while I always ignored it, I always realised I should have.
Eventually I had to find out exactly why I had a surplus grandparent, and suddenly a lot of things made sense to me. Like why granny-Roberta had fake breasts but never had breast cancer, and why she used a beard trimmer to shave her legs, and why grandpa-Bob had shaved legs, and why I was the only person whose grandmothers frenched. Though I never did find out why they still did that aged 80. I felt like theyíd been lying to me all that time, maybe because theyíd been lying to me all that time. It was like finding out Father Christmas wasnít real, really like it actually, as my sister told me this one too.
But even though I knew, I never let on. It was a comforting illusion to us both to think weíd never figured each other out, even though he/she must have known that I/ Ö me(?) knew, and that I must have known that he/she knew that I/me knew, and if I say knew one more time itíll become a really uninspired gag, wonít it? So we both knew, but to admit it would mean that I didnít have an extra grandmother, merely a grandfather who liked to wear really nice dresses, perfume, make-up and a garter.
I kept up the pretence and one day when I went to visit granny-Roberta I was told by granny-Abigail that she was upstairs, getting changed. I went up the stairs and knocked on the door and, hearing no answer, I went in uninvited. Inside I found grandpa-Bob, face down on the floor, suit jacket half off, limbs splayed on the bright, yet tasteful, carpet. One hand reaching towards the red dress heíd picked out for Roberta that day. I saw all this, I took a deep breath, then I carefully picked up the dress and placed it carefully back in Robertaís wardrobe and closed the door. After straightening Bobís jacket, I went downstairs to tell my grandmother that her husband had died.
So grandpa-Bob died, and we had the funeral, and it was all very sad, people cried, old women got out of their wheelchairs, things like that. But we never had a funeral for Roberta, she never died. And sheís still with me, in the back of my mind, and every now and then I can almost hear her. Criticising my outfit.
Read this one out at a cabaret last term, hope the bloggers enjoy it.
A Happy Story
You know it seemed to me that with this atmosphere of death, destruction, vague pessimism and general despondency, the world could use something a little upbeat. Some cheap and cheerful, nicely positive, cute and mostly inoffensive, bit of fiction. So I set myself to thinking: what happy thing would be appropriate? World peace? Well thatís too big, too unlikely. A whirlwind romance? Too unpredictable, too racy. A lottery win? Too material. A random shag? Too macho. A completely happy story, without a trace of irony? Now thatís just ridiculous. I was stuck, and all the thinking was making my head hurt. I needed to get out. Get some fresh air. Things were getting stuffy in my head.
I walk out and two things happen at once; a black cat crosses my path, and I sneeze as Iím allergic to cats. But out of this dual badness, goodness just happens to arise. Amidst the post-sneeze head rush and thoughts of how neat these little turns of fiction can be, a clear idea rises from the ocean of my subconscious mind, onto the beach of my imagination: a cute, fluffy little kitten, eyes wide and adorable in that way kittensí eyes are when theyíre manipulating you. Everyone loves kittens, right? How could it go wrong?
I approach my muse, holding off another sneeze, so as not to scare it away, and I absorb its glorious visage. And sure, itís a little scruffy and old and flea-ridden and scratched and bruised and skeletally thin and frankly a little on the diseased and smelly side, but I decide this is perfect. I will make this dilapidated creature beautiful through my art. As long as I donít have to touch it.
So I take my quill and parchment, read: biro and scrap of paper, and I write the story of the poor, yet adorable, kitten that is, quite inexplicably, totally unloved. Homeless and forlorn, this little black kitten wanders the streets until, one day, I cross his path. He follows me home and before I can slam the door in its face, as the poor creature expects, and as I, frankly, am wont to do to strays who follow me home, she opens her dark eyes wide at me, and Iím overcome by this adorable and pathetic little kitten. So I open my door wide and I adorably feed the adorable kitten saucer after saucer of adorable milk, as I think this is what youíre supposed to do. And the kitten is definitely not sick from all the milk, and I definitely do not have a sneezing fit, and despite the fact that I am a vegetarian I find some left over roast chicken in my fridge to feed her and she purrs appreciatively. And it was funny, because no sooner had I written this than an adorable little kitten followed me home.
So my kitten and I were happy, I was miraculously not allergic to her, and she never shat in the house, brought mice inside, or even grew up, but stayed forever a sweet little kitten, who never had to be Ďfixedí, who was never chased by dogs as she was too cute, and was never violently buggered by tomcats as she was too small and innocent. And if ever I had a bad day and felt the weight of the world on my shoulders then she would be there to nuzzle me, purr sweetly, and reassure me that the world is warm and fuzzy after all.
However Ö however, I could not stop myself writing. Before I knew it I had raised my quill once more and while my left hand tried vainly to tear the paper away, my right hand was writing away, turning my endearing happy story, into a tragedy. I wrote that my adorable kitten grew bored of me, bored of never aging, bored of milk and roast chicken, bored of living in a warm and fluffy little paradise, and it ran away. And it wasnít funny that no sooner had I written it, my kitten was off out the cat flap, down the garden path and straight over the fence, which was an odd melodramatic image, as the door was open at the time.
So I was sad for awhile, missing my poor, pretty, pretentiously perfect, little kitten. But I decided to be brave, to be strong, to try and hold on, and soon I decided it was best to get over the kitten, there was no use dwelling over the tragedy Iíd written of her life, making it an even sadder story, nor any point trying to write it a satisfying conclusion as Iíd only end up killing it in some horrible and tragic way. I decided to write a new story, a better story, slightly more realistic, but nevertheless very upbeat. The kitten, this boyís dream, had failed, but what about manís best friend?
I wrote a dog, a big golden retriever, with a lovely, glossy coat. This would be a real manís dog that would fetch sticks, chase cats without catching them and scare children, old people and charity workers away from my house. A dog I was proud to take on long walks through parks, and who was trained to sniff the dogs of attractive female dog-walkers, hence providing an obvious and clichťd opening to talk to pretty women.
True to form this dog arrive, bounding down my garden path into my arms, knocking me over so that we wrestled in the mud in a manly and good-humoured way, yet, in a stroke of good fortune, neither my designer jeans, nor his coat got the least bit muddy. And by the end of the week all the people I didnít like knew to steer clear of my property lest the dog should bark aggressively at them and snap at their heels, whilst never actually hurting anyone. And in the first long walk alone I had three phone numbers of stunning female dog-owners, who I seldom called as they had hairs everywhere in their houses and over their clothes and smelled of dogs, but the fact remains I had the numbers, and unlike with the kitten, I could leave my dog out at night so that I could go on the pull, safe in the knowledge that even as I would just manage to score a goodnight kiss from one bitch, he would have already shagged about three.
But again I couldnít keep my hands off the quill, this time I got greedy, I was nostalgic for my kitten and wanted both her and the dog, so I wrote my kitten again, wrote her returning, haphazardly over the road to my front door, as cars swerved to avoid her, always just missing serious accidents. As this happened, I was waiting on the pavement to scoop her up into my arms, when the dog ran out of my house, a golden blur, straight into the middle of the road, straight for my kitten and once more given the opportunity I could not stop myself writing this into a tragedy. He snatched the kitten up in his jaws and shook her this way and that, tossing her to the floor, a poor broken ball of fluff, matted with blood. And my dog turned his golden head and looked at me, his eyes aflame, blood dripping from his maw. Then the truck hit him.
Maybe animals werenít the way to go? Maybe something a bit more human, a bit more grown up would work. So I wrote a wife, not the masculine dream wife, the product of years of misogyny, but a balanced woman. She would be gorgeous, yet subtle, slender, but not thin, small, but not short, intelligent, but not pretentious and funny, but not comic. She would be a fantastic cook, who regretted the fact that she did not have much time to cook, due to her career as a hugely successful international human rights lawyer. And when she came home at night and ate the meal I prepared lovingly for her, humouring me that it could actually match up to her fabulous culinary expertise, and then we would retire to the bedroom to have absolutely red-hot, fantastic, explosive sex.
This time I couldnít even wait for it to come true before I wrote the tragedy, and before I even got to try her cooking, brag about her career, or take her upstairs even once, she had cheated on me. Then she left me. Then she died. I spiralled into a deep depression, and burnt all my stories, threw away my pen and never allowed any writing implements near me again in case I felt the urge to write once more.
Instead of writing, I went back to where I found that first diseased and dirty feline. I searched for hours until I found it, or one that was suitably disgusting, and I carefully guided it into a carrier with a sharp stick. I took it to the vet and I had it fixed up, given medicine. Then I took it home with me and fed it the proper cat food and a bowl of water every day. And I was happy that I finally had something real, it wasnít perfect or spectacular, it wasnít house broken, it scratched and bit sometimes, it brought in rodents of all shapes and sizes, but I was patient with it and knew that I was making its life better. But no matter how patient I was, I was still allergic, and the constant sneezing really got to me after a week and I had to turf it out and give it to someone else. Still, I tried.
So we all lived. Except for the kitten, the dog, and my ex. Who were dead.
May 24, 2005
Beginning of a longer work that I wrote over easter, I'd like some feedback to see if you think it's got legs.
Itís a dingy room by all accounts. Plaster cracked all over. At least three colours blotched on the walls, peeling or never finished. Rows of chairs that look like they were left over from the bingo. A bar in one corner, serving warm ale and cold water, even in here thereís a regular drooping folds of beer fat over his barstool. And at the back of the stage, the one stylish thing in the place, the black back wall, daubed with messy almost-rectangles of almost-white paint. Deliberate chaos, sort of what tonightís about.
The musicís magic. Rhythm and melody and discord and accident all blended together with crushed ice into one fiery cocktail. Inspiring and intoxicating, it bowls you over backwards and then whispers in your ear. But before you know it youíre on your feet and the musicís inside you, changing all you know.
A three-piece, even the band doesnít match. One tall, one medium, one almost medium; One thin, two fat; one grey and balding, one grey and red-faced (so if I squint heís pink), one brown and young. A replacement for the third of a broken set, dead for two years, heart attack, I donít remember his name. It bothers me because I should know; after all I performed the service. The kidís better, though he could use some dark glasses for his image. The dead manís brotherís playing saxophone, on a break now, waiting for his time to come, or for his breath to come back to him. If he doesnít cut back heíll wind up with his brother, playing the blues in heaven. Thatís the ex speaking, forever sitting on my right shoulder.
The double bass purrs at me, low and strong, I can almost feel the vibrations, disturbingly steady, deceptively regular. The backbone of the music, snaking around you, tying you in, always holding you, even when the pianoís path catches your eye. Itís there around you, solid. The piano leads you down a dozen false turnings, snaring you in a musical maze, making you run in circles, but never going the way you think. You fall through hedges, holes in the floor and sky, it loses you in every direction, waits for you to catch up. And all along, in and out of sight the saxophone sings its dance in the sky. Itís beautiful, itís stunning, it can make you stand in awe as it writhes, golden in the air, shouting at the earth, whooping at the heavens, then swooping down to stand still behind you and whisper burning longings. But it disappears into the maze when you turn around, and you run after it, missing the fiery brilliance.
Not only is the kid better, saxophone playerís better since the funeral. He played the service and it was the best Iíve seen him. Itís as if he wonít accept the 40-year-old kid is better than his brother so he plays for both for them. I once told my ex that dead guy was better off playing in heaven. She hated it. Maybe now saxophone player just has something to play the blues about, a real soul handing around to put the spirit in the jazz. My ex hated that too. We argued, but that wasnít really what I meant. Thereís no idea more gloriously self-indulgent than playing the blues to your own death. Nothing so tragic as playing jazz to everyone elseís life.
The saxophone player switches to the clarinet and he makes a long high-pitched whine sound like an angel crying because he lost his choir. The sound hangs in your ears, just long enough to interrupt itself with cascading notes all falling on top of each other, ending abruptly by flowing into another perfectly different whine.
The room fits the music like the music fits anything. Bingo-chairs, cracked blotchy walls and single stylish wall. None of it matches and thatís just perfect for jazz. That sound that doesnít fit in anywhere, that defies rhythm and form, subverts you to the path of freedom. Yeah, knaff walls, knaff furniture, cheap bar and a stylish backdrop: thatís what jazz is. Or maybe the music just made it seem that way.
The only thing bothering me is the ĎNo Smokingí sign. People are supposed to smoke during jazz, itís rebellious, dangerous, and self-harming; youíre not quitting like society tells you to. And the smoke creeps lazily up in a sinewy silhouette, curling its way to a cloud in the ceiling, only it smells foul, gives you cancer, and really it just conforms to the idea that smoking is cool peddled by a different part of society. Itís just thatís normally the part of society that likes jazz.
November 24, 2004
This is a little bit of fiction I wrote for a short story, most of the story was shit, but I liked this. If anyone reads it then let me know what you think.
What She Said
"It's not fun to be around you anymore."
I can't believe she said it. I never thought she would. I just did not believe she had the cruelty in her to say those things. I guess I was wrong, because that's what she said.
"All you ever do is feel miserable, and when we're together all you ever do is make me feel miserable."
There's a reason I'm miserable, I just thought she'd be able to see it, that's all. I thought she'd be able to see the reason I was unhappy, I thought she knew me. I guess I was wrong.
"I know you're under a lot of pressure, I know you're having problems. But even when you were unhappy then, you seemed to come alive even for a moment when you spoke to me, but recently, after … you don't even seem alive. It hardly registers when Iím around you, you donít even respond when I kiss you. Your skin feels cold … dead. And I can't understand why."
What makes it hard was that she knew why. Even if she didn't realise, or know that I knew. She knew all right. And I can still see the look in her eye when she said that, I can still feel the pain, still bleed from the heart. I retreat from my troubles into my head and see the look of loathing in her eye, the subtle glint that told me how she felt. I can still hear the tiny flitters and fluctuations in her voice that gave away her hatred.
"And I don't think I want to understand anymore, if you're not going to even notice that I'm here, not even going to acknowledge me, then why should I stick around? Why should I stay with you when I donít care, when the only people you seem happy around are people I know you despise, give me a reason to stay Ö please.Ē
The bitch of it is, I wanted to give her a reason. I kept looking at her face, begging me, pleading with me. Asking for a reason. But I couldnít give one. I just couldnít do that. I couldnít do it to her Ö I couldnít do it to us.
ďFine then, itís obvious that you donít want me around. I donít know what happened, but you said you loved me. When did you stop?Ē
I wanted to tell her, to tell her that I never stopped … that I would never stop. I wanted to say that it was not in my power to ever stop loving. But I didnít, because she needed me to be the bad guy, and I didnít have the heart to correct her.
ďSo youíre not going to say anything? Youíre just going to sit there and let me go? Why? Why wonít you stop me? Whatís happened to you, where did your passion go?Ē
What happened to my passion? You happened, my dear. I looked into your eyes one day and saw that you were trying to think of a reason to leave me. Thatís the real question here, not what happened to me, but what happened to you. Do you know how painful it is to look into the eyes of someone you love and see them squirming inside because they donít know why they donít love you? Do you know the agony of looking at someone with nothing but love and passion in your soul, knowing that they are trying to think of a way to leave you?
ďFine then, if you wonít try to stop me, Iíll just go.Ē
And go she did, not understanding why she was going, misplacing her anger onto me. Because the loathing I saw in her eyes wasnít for me, it was self-loathing, because she was a woman who was going to leave a man who loved her. Because she was a woman who couldnít understand why she didnít love me back. Thatís why I let her go, thatís why I stopped caring. She had already decided to leave me.
ďBut please, just remember what I said.Ē
She was my love, my other half, my perfect being. A woman trying desperately to justify what she said.
November 01, 2004
Hey guys and gals, this is my attempt at writing something in the horror/fantasy genre, if anyone reads it, please let me know what you think.Dark shapes flitter across your screen. You don’t know what they are. You only catch a glimpse of them, shapeless, dark, the stuff of shadows. They only appear for a moment and then they are gone. You wonder what they are, why dark shapes should fly across your screen. But it only gives you a moment’s thought. It’s probably just the TV acting up. Just a slight glitch in the transmission. And you sit there, sipping your beer, or coke, or orange juice, or water, or whatever it is you drink when watching the television. For some reason however the unsubstantial shapes still float across your screen and as you watch their pace and frequency increases, and you get a glimpse of their shape.
By now you’re worried. This isn’t what you tuned in to see, and there is something about these shapes, something … wrong. The way they seem to float gently across, yet still go too fast for you to see them clearly. The way they are shapeless and seemingly made of shadows and darkness, and yet out of the corner of your eye you can see half formed, wraithlike talons reaching out. Or maybe it’s the way that the only light coming from the screen, the only light you can see the shapes from, is coming from their eyes. You begin to go from worried to scared and for some reason you never think to change the channel. Then one of the shapes flies straight at the screen. Its shape is terrifying, the dark matter it is formed out of seems to reach out and invade your living room, shutting out the light of your lamp and the comforting sunlight from your window. The last thing you see before you fade from consciousness is a not yet fully formed claw, reaching towards your heart. And you feel a terrible coldness; the freezing touch that reaches into your chest and the coldness that storms into your whole body would make you scream if you had the breath.
“A ghost’s chance?”
Suddenly among the ghostly shapes and darkness, a ray of hope emerges, a tiny figure, radiating light, and giving off and resonating voice that sounds like it could make the shadows flee with its purity.
“You don’t know how right you are child.”
The figure gets bigger, striding fearlessly and purposefully to the front of our vision. To one person’s vision in particular.
“You said that. You said I had a ghost’s chance of catching you. But ghosts aren’t defenseless, ghosts aren’t easy foes you can brush away. You can’t hurt a ghost baby; you can’t even touch them! But they can touch you, they can hurt you.”
A man clad in the most brilliant white now stands at the front of the screen, unperturbed by the wraiths flying behind and in front of them. Not even flinching as they move inches away from his face, almost close enough to touch him.
“I fight like a ghost. You can’t struggle against me because you can’t touch me, I will always slip through your fingers, like water, like air … like light. As strong and clumsy as you are, it won’t be hard to find you. Won’t be hard for a ghost to sink its tendrils into you.”
As a ghost darts straight at the man, he twists his body a fraction and the dark form passes a hairsbreadth away from his chest. Another flies at his head and he bends his knees slightly allowing it to pass uninterrupted over him. It is at this point that we notice something wrong about the man who seems to be a paragon of light. Fearless before the darkness that leaves you cold.
“You think I’ve been hiding sweetheart? Ghosts don’t hide. They don’t need to. Why would I hide from you? I know I’ve scared you, I know you’re worried. Ghosts have that effect. And I’m not worried, child, because I have a deluded idea that I’m better than you. I’m not worried, because I have nothing to be worried about! I’ve tested myself against stronger opponents. More skilled enemies. They all fell before they knew I’d come for them.”
His form appears to fade, the ghosts becoming more and more frequent, blotting him out, covering the light that emanates from him, and as he fades he leaves you with this one message.
“You can’t fight a ghost, all you can do is be afraid, because a ghost can appear from anywhere, if you see a shadow … that could be me.”
He fades completely from your screen and as he does you reach out to the pure light that clothed him, and without realising you do it, you make it flare up, blinding you and filling the screen. The ghosts disappear. Then you realise what was not quite right. You realise what scared you about the man. He was too light, too obviously pure. As you realise this the light twists and slips out of your grasp, taking all light from the room with it, sucking away all your warmth. Stripping your being of light. The ghosts seem to multiply each one becoming four more. And like before, your light is extinguished. And just like before an intangible form reaches out towards you, its chilling talons clawing at you. Your strength is gone. There is barely light left to see, let alone fight in. As the insubstantial wraiths fly from the screen you already know what the talons will feel like as they pass harmless through your chest, rending your soul. You already know that they will claim you.