My Eulogy

img_0066Take me to a vast and open field and with my last elegy being read, release my ashes as you set me free, free in death, to run with the wind.  No, tears you will not cry – at least not tears of death; but cry for me tears of birth.  Like a new born emancipated from the womb taking its first breath, I will be liberated to take breaths elsewhere.

Tell him.  Tell him that I loved.  Tell him that I loved, if not only him.  Tell him I tried to find the words, I tried.  But I soon found there wasn’t enough songs to sing, nor enough words to write and then, never enough time.  Tell him, I became impatient for more time, and then impatient with the time I had.

I want to be buried under a moonlit sky, with only the whistle of the trees’ silence, with no words spoken as I spoke them all before.  Write no words too, as those letters will never tell the stories that we’ve already told.  Cry, you will not, at least not from my words; and least not from our words.

In her ear whisper.  In her ear whisper that no matter what, I will stand at her side.  Tell her, my mother dear, the whisper she hears will be mine.  Tell her the whistling of the trees in the silence, with no words said, will be me.  Tell her to take me to a vast open field, so my last elegy can be read, and to spread my ashes with the wind.  Tell her there, to set me free.

The Insta Singer

I Googled myself today.

All that stuff of me singing came up.  I listened to it, cringing with each sung note.  I have that moment where I realise that I am a no singer, not at all.   You know, I really didn’t want to sing, I did it for you.  No, you didn’t know that – my question was rhetorical.  I was so desperate to impress you and hadn’t much in my arsenal to use – being broke, unemployed, with very little talent.  But I thought, at least you can sing (thought, being the key word).  So, I spent the last of my money I had in a last-ditch effort to impress you; to grab your attention.  Jazz.  I saw somewhere that you like jazz, so I recorded these songs – jazz songs – and every other day, I placed them on Instagram.  11 songs over 22 days (more or less), and you didn’t like any of them – not one.  And, to add further insult to injury, on 23rd day I post a picture of me cuddling a cat and lo and behold, I get a like.  I get a like because I was with a fucking cat – a cat that wasn’t even mine I should add (I’m more a of a dog person).  That was the day I gave up singing.  It should have been the day that I gave you up, but that task has proved to be a lot more difficult.

Did you know writing cost you nothing – well, nearly nothing?  Did you know that you can take as long as you want to let each letter turn into words, those words turn into sentences, the sentences into paragraphs?  Do you know that each time I hit publish and share my creations with the world I feel I’ve accomplished something?  Do you know the feeling I have knowing the words I turn into paragraphs are all mine?  Every day for the past seven months, I have written – mostly about you.  Yes, I know you didn’t know that.  And, I’m happy to say that in the past seven months you have actually liked one of my postings – me cuddling a cat – a cat that wasn’t even mine I should add (I’m more a of a dog person) – it seems you are more of a cat person.

And, I still Google myself.  I want to ensure my words are still there on the world-wide-web.   That the words I turn into sentences for you, are still there.  That if I die tomorrow my words, my sentences, and me and that bloody cat, will live long after me.


The Long Goodbye

Unable to hold back my tears, as I packed a suitcase. ‘Why are you leaving? This just makes no fucking sense!’ You are yelling, taking things out of the suitcase, as I put them in. I have to admit, it made no sense. None whatsoever. I am in love with you. There is no doubt in my mind about that and have been since that first day you spoke to me. I knew that I wanted to marry you even before our first date. When I’m with you, when I’m holding you in my arms, when I’m kissing your lips, when I’m close to you, my world is complete. And that is the issue, without you, I am not whole. I am not free.

But I don’t say any of that. It wouldn’t help you to understand any better. Instead, I close my suitcase, and leave the house, our house, knowing that I’m leaving behind things I will never recover, and drive off hoping that I can make myself complete without you.

Painted Nails

Today was painting my nails day.  The first time, actually.  I found that it helped me remember you.  I thought of your hands, your soft hands today – actually, I think about your soft hands every day.  From there, I searched and searched in your box of potions and accessories, until I found the perfect colour – deep, dark blue.  It’s the one I remember you wearing the most; the colour jumping off your skin; you holding my hand, my brown skin against your white skin, and that blue – that Sapphire Blue – tying everything together.

It took me several tries to get my nails right.  I was at it for at least two hours.  But finally, I was happy with the final result.  I know this is going to sound weird, but looking at my nails, studying how the paint changed my hand, made me feel, well, sexy.  I looked in the mirror at my hands and just couldn’t stop looking.  I felt like a new person.

After all the effort, I desperately wanted to show off my nails.  I head out to see mum, I know she will appreciate this new me.

Hmmmm.’  For fuck’s sake, I’ve spent hours doing my nails, and all I get is a ‘hmmmm’?

‘So, what else do you think?

‘Well, it’s a bit bright,’ she says with a flat tone, in both her voice and face.

‘Mum, it’s dark blue.  Sapphire Blue, to be exact.  Since when is Sapphire Blue a bright colour?’

‘You ask me what I think, and then you give me hassle when I tell you what I think.  My 43-year-old son.’

‘44 mum.’  She always gets my age wrong.  I think she does it on purpose.

‘Hush!  My 43-year-old son, walks in with his nails painted a bright blue, and he’s giving me hassle because I don’t like it?’

She had a point, I had to admit.

‘I know that’s the colour Janine wore, but David, the colour just isn’t…you.’  We both laugh at that.  Mum had her moments when she could be serious, but thankfully it was not very often.

‘So how you holding up?’

‘Fine, I guess.  Some days I wake up knowing that’s she’s gone.  Other days, I slip back into not believing it’s true.  Those are probably the worse days.’

‘And the therapy, is it helping?’

‘Yeah, I guess so.’   I dare not tell her that I’m on antidepressants.  That on top of the painted nails would make her worry a lot more than she should.

And was the painting your nails bright blue, his idea?’  Mum’s chuckling.  ‘Hey, hey, hey, go in there and let’s see what dad says about it.

She’s such a naughty woman.

Dour Dad, that’s what we call him.  Sometimes I look at him and wonder how on earth did he managed to bag mum, let alone have three kids.  I mean, no child should imagine their parents having sex, but I just look at him and wonder, how did we happen?  How?! He’s sitting in front of the telly, watching a programme that he will no doubt complain about, shouting to mum, giving her blow-by-blow updates of what he’s watching.  And mum, the silly muppet, plays along with it.  Half the time when she talks about something she’s seen on telly, you find out that she’s not watched one second of it, she’s just recounting Dour Dad’s ramblings.

‘Hey dad’, I said as I sat, next to him on the settee.

‘Hey son, good seeing you.  How’s it going?’

‘All going good dad.  All going good.’  Dad is not the sort of guy you share your feelings with.  I know mum will fill him in on how I’m really going later.

‘Good son, good.’

Three commercials come and go, and we sit in silence.  Dad switches over to BBC iPlayer.

What are you going watch?’

‘Some rubbish on Panorama.  It’s on best-up TV.’

‘I think you mean catch-up TV.’

‘Oh, is it?  Well, it will be rubbish anyway.’

I stifle my laugh when I realise that it’s about Thai Lady Boys.

‘See told ya.  Just a load of old rubbish.  I don’t know what’s happened with the BBC, they will air anything these days.’    Dad finally clocks my finger nails.  ‘Hey son, you been painting?  You still got some paint on your hands.  I think we have some white spirit in the kitchen.  Thabie, David has some dark blue paint on his hand.  Can you find the white spirit for him?

‘You mean, bright blue dear.  Yes, I saw that the minute he walked.  I’ll think he’ll be fine for the moment.  What’s on the telly?’

‘Something about Thai Lady Boys.’

‘Oooh, sounds interesting you’ll have fill me as it goes along.’

And there is my cue to exit.

As I walk into the kitchen mum says, ‘15 minutes.  It took him 15 minutes to realise you have ‘paint on your hands.’


I had a dream about you.  I was lying on the bed and was holding someone’s arm.  I couldn’t see the face or the body, just the arm.  It was just there, and I was holding it.  And then I heard a voice, a male voice.  He asked me, what colour nail polish are you wearing?  I looked at my hand to respond, and that’s when I realised that it was your arm I was holding.  I gripped it with all my might.  I didn’t want to let go.   And I kept kissing your hand, over and over, as I gripped you even tighter.  I just lay there not wanting that moment to end.   But something woke me up.  Some sound woke me up, and you were gone.  I had you for 5 minutes.  For 5 whole minutes, you were real.  I tried to fall back asleep.  I wanted to find you again.  But today is meant to be one of those days; I wake up knowing you are gone.


The Marriage Certificate

Fuck off and don’t come back!

I think that’s what she shouted.  Or is it ‘don’t come back and fuck off’?  Whichever it was, she bellows it each morning.

At lunchtime, always at 1pm precisely, she stands in front of my window, crazed, and yapping some undecipherable rubbish.  Today, and for the past couple months, it has been ‘go home, no one wants you here!

And as for my dinners, I get ‘you’ll only be lonely if you stay here.’ And in that regard, she’s right, my dinnertime, for the past two years have been pretty lonely.  She’s seen to that.

Looking at her through the window, I see her face contorted, dripping drool from the corner of her mouth, her eyes, ruby-pink with rage.  I’m not sure what I have done to get her in such as state – although I could rattle-off the many things I did for her.  But that is not going to answer the question of why she hellbent on whatever she is hellbent on – getting me to leave? or getting me stay?  I don’t know.  It’s all too strange and bizarre.  What I do know is that she works like a clock.  Tick, tick, tick.

I once tried to talk to her.  But you cannot make much sense of a person, who, finger-pointing at you, says over and over again, ‘J’accuse, j’accuse.  Je jure, je jure.’  No, she is not French.   No, she has never studied French.  Maybe she read Zola?

To make matters worse, for me at least, I work from home – as a writer (yes, I know, terribly clichéd) – allowing her to deliver her walk-by missives whenever she wants.  I found that eventually, you get used to it – I had no choice.  She integrated herself and became part of my daily routine, which I’m sure was part of her plan.  She clings.  She clings to me every day.  Each day starts and ends, starts and ends with her on my mind.  If she cannot not move on, neither can I.   If I could not move on, neither would she.  We are married.  Married, without a marriage certificate.

About a year ago, I travelled, thinking I would have some respite from her daily onslaught. And on said travels, I met someone – which, dare I say, was the point of going travelling.   We go back to my hotel, back to my room.  But her presence was now firmly planted in my mind.  No matter where I went, her voice was still there.

We kiss; I hear her voice.
Go home’.

We take our clothes off.
No one wants you here.’

We have sex.
You’ll be lonely.’

If she could not move on, neither could I.  If I could not move on, neither would she.

A friend suggested I should call-in the police to file a complaint of harassment; that she needed to hit rock-bottom and maybe if I helped her to hit rock-bottom, I could be the one to help her rise.  I personally thought she needed therapy, or a hug – both of which I could not, nor wanted, to provide.

I eventually called-in the police, relieved that, for once and for all, it was going to be resolved.  I watched, from the window.  As she spoke with the police, her demeanour crazed, and mad as ever.  After about 15 minutes of taking to her, she walked away.  ‘It’s over,’ I thought.  When the police officers finally came to speak with me, they said, ‘Sirthere is nothing we can do.  Just forget about her, as much as you can, move on with your life.’

That was six months ago, and not much has changed since then.  She still marks my mornings, my lunchtimes, and my dinnertimes.  And while I have chosen to move on with my life, we are still married, married without a marriage certificate.


The Barrister

supergirlarseShe is a lawyer.

No, to be precise, she is a barrister.  A distinction she is always quick to point-out,  ‘We wear the wigs, darling,’ she scolds with her deep, husky voice.  That bit – wearing wigs – always makes me laugh.  A white wig, on-top of her weaved, black Caribbean hair.  Yes, she is a barrister. I didn’t see how it was possible, but then again, I barely finished high school, and know nothing about the law, except what I’ve watched on Judge Judy.  She was a stunner, my friend, not Judge Judy (sorry JJ), and when she initially spoke, she sounded the part (of a barrister that is, not a stunner).  But once you scratched her surface, (or her veneer), you realised that she really was a bit, well… dim.  But I liked her company.  And she had a decent heart.

Not too soon after meeting her, I would find out that she had a bit of a reputation for her courtroom antics. What she lacked in legal finesse, she made up with such theatrical flair that judges and opposition alike, loved sparring with her.  Rumour has it, that during a trial involving a cosmetic company, she purposely shouted out, Mascara! rather than Objection! banging her hand on table so hard, she almost broke it.  The judge, use to her theatrics, did not miss a beat, and quickly retorted, Lipgloss – duly satisfied that she did not pull a fast one over him.  The whole courtroom laughed. Levity.  She brought… levity.  She lost the case. She loses a lot more than she wins, but as she says, ‘you grow accustomed to losing.  It helps you appreciate winning a lot more.  Never get to use to winning.’

She found out about a year ago. A routine examination caught it.  Caught early enough, but it was terminal all the same.  She swore me to secrecy and refused to tell me how long she had, ‘That’s not important to know, I even wish they hadn’t told me.’  She carried-on living the life she had, until it, the cancer, took its toll. Month by month, she slowed down until she came to a near standstill, the secret impossible to be kept secret.  ‘This is the bit I hate’, she told me,  ‘everyone showing me their pity, reminding me that I’m dying. Show me the pity when I’m dead.  Show me the pity at the funeral,  I’ll appreciate it a lot more then.’

In her last two weeks, it was just she and I.  She had no family – none that I knew about. Alone together for the last two hours.   Alone for her last words. She opened her eyes and said, ‘rosebud.’   She laughed, theatrical the very end.  ‘You get used to losing.  It helps you appreciate winning a lot more.  Never get to use to winning.’

1 hour and 37 minutes later, she was gone.

Work in Progress

We are all, works in progress.
Working towards progress.
Progressing towards work.
Working to progress it out,
to work it out.
Works in progress.
Progress, work.
Progress works!
Work progresses.
Working it.
Work It.

Come Home

Both feet on the floor and the reality of my day starts.

I didn’t think it was going to be one of those days.  I woke-up with so much energy, but then remember that you are not here.  Where the fuck are you?  It has been like what, three months?   You have been gone for that long.  Three bloody, long months.

My legs are like molasses.  I take steps towards the bathroom, which seem to take me forever.  Finally I arrive, to bask in the bliss of my first morning piss.   I make my way to the kitchen, putting the kettle on, before turning-on my phone.  Yes!  I have messages from you.  But, it’s the same old, same old – you’re having a good time, meeting loads of people, seeing loads of things, blah, blah.  The standard bullshit.  But you still haven’t answered my question, “when are you coming back?  I miss you – things are lonely here without you xx”.  I’ve asked it, over and over, with each message you send.  And each time, I get no response.

Today is Tuesday, Shrink-Tuesday.

I hate the guy.  Not the guy himself, I mustn’t over exaggerate.  What I really hate, is the idea of seeing a shrink.  I’m sure he’d be cool to go out and have a drink with, but as a shrink he sucks.  All shrinks suck. I don’t even want to be here.  I already know what’s wrong with me.  This is the first time we’ve been apart in 15+ years and I’m feeling it, you know.   I’m really feeling it.  I miss you.  I tell the shrink that I’ve received messages from you.  I get that same flat look he always gives me.  Interested, but not so interested.  And each time, he asks me what you said, how I felt about it and what I replied.  But this time, I’ve brought the phone.  That excites him a little, I can see it in his face.  He goes through the messages, and hands it back to me.  ‘So how does her response make you feel?’  I want to punch him right, bang in his gob.  The session’s over.  I ask when he thinks he’ll sign me off to get back to work.  I just need to something to do.  Something to occupy my time.  ‘We’ll see.  Let’s talk about it next week.’

Tuesday turns into Wednesday; Wednesday into Thursday, and days, into days, into days. My daily routine continues.  Wake, piss, coffee, check messages, remain idle.  Saturday rolls around.  Still no news from you.  I have the gruesome twosome over for a visit – your mother and my mother.  All they do is fuss, fuss, fuss.  I’m not sure why they don’t think that I can’t manage the house on my own?  I know you’ll be laughing at that when you read it. No really, they’re alright.  I must admit, I’ve had a rough couple of days, and I’m glad to have their company.  And, for the first time, I’m looking forward to Shrink-Tuesday.  I realise that I’m not coping.  I just need you back.  We go for a ride.  They both insist.  We stop-off for a quick bite to eat at Bernies Café (you love that place). With lunch finished, your mother wants to visit your father’s grave.  You know how much I hate cemeteries.

En route to the cemetery, and within twenty minutes we arrive.  I want to stay in the car, but those two wont’ have it.   ‘You came for fresh air.’  Fresh air yes; to walk among the dead, no – how creepy.  They mean well, so I acquiesce.  We arrive at your father’s grave.   Mum and I, our arms intertwined, watch as your mother, after sitting down on her portable chair, places fresh flowers on his grave.  Your mother is talking him, I can’t hear what she’s saying, but I can still tell that she misses him.  Your mother’s done.  I am more than ready to leave.  As I turn to go, mum pulls me back, ‘Go on David, it would be such a waste if you didn’t say hello.’  I can hear your mum’s voice behind me ‘Hello Janine, we’ve come for a little visit.  And look who I have with me?  David.  David’s come to visit you’.  I hear your name, and I become paralysed.  I want to run but I am unable to move. Mum is now standing in front of me, and like a mother with her child, she takes me in her arms, and slowly turns me around.  My eyes are closed.  I don’t want to see.  But I know they can’t stay closed forever.  I open my eyes, and it’s there.  I can see it – the tombstone.  Mum’s holding onto me, and all I can hear is my silence. Silence and my tears.  There’s so much I want to say.  But I can’t.  It hurts so much, that I can’t speak.  And what could I say that I’ve not said in the past 3 months?  I miss you.  Things are so lonely here without you.  And I just want to know, when you’re coming back.

My Conversation With Death

For the past two years, he has steadfastly remained at my side. I hope I did not offend when I told him he had come too late.

“I died many years ago,” I said playing with the handkerchief I held in my hand.

He looked at me, and put a smirk on his face,

“Yes, I know.  I hear your silence.  I cannot kill, what is already dead.”

“So why do you stay?”

“To keep you company.”

Our silence, once again, returned.

The Judas

scabal test29447Her decision had been made.

She snuck in, past the guards, during the very early hours of the morning. Having found his cell, she stopped and stared at him. In the darkness, she could see his swollen face, beaten so badly, she thought him nearly unrecognisable. This, she had not expected. She made the journey because she convinced herself that she needed to see him one last time. To tell him she was sorry, that everything was going to be ok, and he would back in his home soon, surrounded by his family. But now here, those words would not come. She was too afraid, and even more ashamed to call-out to him. She stood motionless for 15 minutes (maybe more). Still no words came. As she left, she heard him mutter – but she did not stop. She kept her eyes forward, carefully slipping past the guards once more, never looking back.