Brian the life of….

Brian – The Life of

Brian stumbled over the belt from his dressing gown and had to catch himself before he fell down the stairs. He paused to catch is breath, chest heaving and swearing to himself as he continued.
‘Another bloody grey boring day’ he said aloud to the empty hallway.
After standing over the kettle for what seemed an eternity, with tea in hand he slumped into the worn out grey sofa.
He picked up the remote and scanned the channels finally stopping on another rerun of Stargate.
As the speakers blurted out a jumble of noise the picture blurred and he began to yet again assess his life.
42 yrs old , living on benefits, a council house that he knew he was likely to have to give up soon. It was three months since Lorraine had left with the kids and now the house was devoid of life, just a cold stark shell. Memories swirling around him teasing him with visions of a fabled ’happy’ past.
It was funny how when he thought back, the arguments were superficial, meaningless now without substance. Most in his recollection were about money, or rather the dwindling reserves that they had built up over nineteen years of marriage. ‘Marriage’ he mumbled, even the word seemed dated these days.
The battered mobile began to vibrate, Brian glanced at it and resolved to ignore it, it couldn’t be Lorraine, not now, more than likely it was some flaming PPI tele-sales. Why they kept ringing him he had no idea, he had never had a blasted loan, he found himself wishing that all of them would just fuck off and die. ‘die’ what a silly little word that means so much. ‘Die, to die, death, torment, mourning, release’. He knew that his thoughts were stupid, even pathetic but still they held a fascination.
A loud knock at the door startled him. He began to stand up but then flopped back down into his seat. What was the point in answering it? It would either be the postman, asking him to sign for a letter, or worse the bailiff come to hassle him yet again for the arrears on his water bill.
There was another rap, but all it did was steady his resolve not to answer. The banging continued for a further few minutes then silence. After a while he plucked up the courage to sneak a peek out of the window. At first he could see nothing, no one at his door, but wait that silver escort did not belong there. Then a noise from the back of the house, a clatter and bang. Someone was there, prying spying on him. He felt his stomach churn, the acid taste rising in his throat.
Were they here to evict him? Had he missed a letter from housing? Had he done something else wrong? Was it the police? Was it some local kids trying to break in? if it was he would give them what for. Brian looked around for something to use as a weapon. Something heavy, something firm. He took a deep breath, looked around the sparse room, and tried to relax. What was happening to him? This was not who he was.
He walked through the kitchen and tugged at the back door handle, ‘damn’ he said as he realised it was locked. He turned the key and after the briefest of pauses he again pulled at the door. As it opened he moved forward and tentatively poked his head beyond the door frame.
‘Hey up’ a disembodied voice came.
Brian felt himself jump and spun around to see a figure dressed in maroon coloured overalls staring at him, a cheery smile the most prominent feature.
‘Where’s yer recycle bin mate?’ he was asked.
Brian felt himself redden but also calm. ‘Er the kids’ gesticulating with his hands as if drawing a circle around him, ‘they er, they bleeding keep nicking ‘em. ‘ he stammered out the explanation.
‘ah well, don fret mate, give the council a ring and they can sort yer another one out’. At that the workman turned and left. Brian stood there for a moment, embarrassed that he had behaved so dramatically.
Brian again slumped into the settee and focused upon the TV. ‘Ah time for the news’ he thought as he pressed the worn out buttons. The familiar red banner under the presenter read ‘Chancellor announces further austerity measures’. The news reader’s monotone voice in contrast to the half grin upon their face. To Brian it was as if they were thinking ‘ha I have got a job so it doesn’t bother me you losers’.
The camera panned over to a slimy looking man with dark short hair, a navy blue suit and a blue tie indicating him to be a ‘Tory’. To Brian it didn’t matter which party they represented, they all seemed the same these days, all corrupt and out for self promotion. The Eton accent proclaiming that this person had no idea what austerity meant, he would not even blink at spending Brian’s entire weekly income on one single bottle of wine. The smug face forming an almost cartoon expression of seriousness as he droned on about how these new measures were needed to ensure that the deficit could be significantly reduced by 2016. By now Brian was only half listening , taking in the basic message but not the detail. The overall message that benefits would be cut further, that services would be reduced, that the poor would become even poorer.
Brian switched off the TV and laid back. The grey mist descending around him. He tried to think ’happy thoughts’ but couldn’t formulate any. The despair growing, Brian was self aware, he understood that he should not be feeling this way. He knew that things could be worse but was unable to think how.
He felt trapped, stuck within this tiny cage. Yes he was mobile, he could get about, he could walk even run if he put his mind to it. But to where? He had friends, people when he had some money he could go out with, socialise with, but that was before, before he lost his job, before Lorraine left with the children, before he lost his world, his meaning, his will.
He tried to concentrate, there must be a way out, something he could do to end this torment. But what?
He stood up, picked up his coat and with an imitation of confidence strode out of the house. He cleared his head of all consciousness and opened the rusting iron gate. Without a glance back at the unkempt garden he picked up the pace. At the end of the close he turned left and headed towards the town. His gaze wondered, eyes moving from a straight ahead view to scanning the path. The endless grey tar only giving in to the occasional crack or blur of brown where some feral dog had fowled the ground. When he bothered to glance up there was only dismal skies and the monotone mass built houses to see. The drone of traffic further dulling his senses and directing his thoughts further into the abyss. Even the blank or at times suspicious looks from passers by only adding to this.
Brian ambled past a row of shops, glancing into the windows, sub consciously wondering at how what was a vibrant area, almost affluent ended up being solely made up of charity shops and take-away’s.
His vision now increasingly blurring, all his senses shutting down en mass, the world spinning into a mosaic of black and white.

Brian felt as if he had awoke from a nightmare. He felt devoid of pain, almost cheerful. Who was that? A figure became solid to him, the features forming into a face, a friendly face, a recognisable face, a face from the past. He could not understand how this could be possible, the confusion building. The face belonged to Lorraine, he looked directly at her and was saddened that her eyes were filled not with joy but with sympathy.
Her gentle voice asking him how he was feeling now. He tried to sit up but felt restrained as if his limbs were tied down with straps. With a start he suddenly realised it was not Lorraine, the face belonged to someone wearing the uniform of a nurse.
‘Where am I?’ he demanded.
‘Mr Blake’ She stated as if taking details for a form, ‘Mr Blake you are in the Hope Wing, it’s a mental health assessment unit, can you remember what happened?’
Brian tried to think back but all he could remember was the grey mist. He shook his head. The nurse explained that Brian had been found in a heap on the path. After being assessed in A&E a decision was made to place him on a section under the Mental Health Act. She went on to say that they believed that he had experienced an overload, what would have been described in the past as a breakdown.
Brian again tried to remember what had happened, but there was no recollection.
The Nurse explained that they had a care plan in place for him and that he would be reassessed after 72 hours. She gave him a small cardboard cup with four pills in it and a glass of water. All she said was, ‘these will help‘.
Brian woke up to a piercing scream, then the rapid footfalls of a number of people hurrying down a corridor. He lay motionless, at first a feeling of anxiousness giving way to a wave of apathy. The same Nurse came to discuss Brian’s needs with him.
There were then numerous interviews, meetings and groups over the next few days. He was pressured to tell all of his life. Soon the conditions of the section were lifted but Brian remained in hospital for a few more weeks.
Upon his release he did not return home, his home was no longer his. He was given a council flat in a small sterile block. All the memories from his family abode now fading. The prescription medication keeping him numb, forming a gate against the despair, never quite closed but holding back as if he were trapped in the event horizon of a black hole. No thoughts to the future but living within a timeless world.
Even his battered sofa was now gone. In its place a small 2 seater ikea bed settee.
On the odd occasion that he found a dog eared picture of his family in a drawer, or left on the side he would almost absent mindedly attempt to think back, but then be distracted by the TV or the echoing foot steps of the old lady next door dragging her shopping up the concrete steps.
At least he had visitors now, they may be paid to come and see him but were company, some link to the forgotten outside world. Less and less would Brian venture out.
Time moved on, the support provided was cut further and further, the disability benefits that had made life almost bearable for a time after his hospital discharge now removed. The daily visits from his CPN waned to weekly then monthly. Soon they too stopped. The ‘Austerity measures’ were putting a greater strain on what was once a welfare state. Health and Benefits were hit the hardest, hospital wards lying empty, people unable to get even basic non urgent care. Most state benefits now were only provided with numerous conditions to be met by the claimant. Suspending of benefits was the norm.
Every town and village had local food banks operating as this for many was the only means for them to survive. No longer a welfare state, Britain had become a Charity state, and for many even this was not enough to sustain them.
It was eight months after he had moved into this new self contained world that it happened. The vagueness won over, he took his medication, had his tea of a microwave meal. Sat down wondering if he had already taken the pills. A wave of panic took him, if he did not take the pills then the demons would break through, he took his medication, had a bath. As lay down in the tepid water, a question formed, had he taken his medication?
When Brian rose from his slumber he was amazed to see not just Lorraine standing there but both his children. He jolted awake, staring at the impossible vision before him. His thoughts now coming with clarity. A unfamiliar emotion, overwhelming happiness, but more, hope. It could not be true, surely it could not, at last the horror was over, the pain had gone.

It was three days before anyone decided to check on Brian. It was only that the old lady next door had not heard the TV blaring out. When someone finally took the decision to break into the flat they found the withered body of a man.
At the weekend the local paper had a small obituary simply stating that Mr Brian Blake 42 had died on the 13th June. He was a widower surviving his wife and two children who had tragically died in a car accident. He had no living relatives.
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David and Goliath (HMS Glowworm Vs Hipper)

David and Goliath
The engines strain at their worn and rusty mounts.
Bolts working loose the revs increase every second counts.
Another peak then trough jolting my already aching spine.
I grab the rail knowing the day may still be mine.
An explosion lights the sky off on the starboard side.
Another flash behind telling me his aim was a little wide.
I see the effervescent tracks marking out a eerie grid.
The voice beside me cut short as a shard kills the young mid.
The boat beside me stops still and glows bright red.
I feel the blast, knowing her crew, my friends are all now dead.
I shout my orders, which can only surely fall on deaf ears.
My eyes scan the wrecked bridge and I now realise all my fears.
No one can have lived through such devastation I decide.
But movement amongst the destruction puts paid to that visual lie.
I pull myself up forcing my inner self to carry on.
The small fair haired subbie now looking done in and wan.
Blood pools and offal now making each step slip.
I feel the deck rise then fall into what seems an endless dip.
Another salvo from our main four point seven inch guns.
The fear of capsize as the turbulent sea hurriedly runs.
Finally on her the glow of fire betrays a direct hit.
This no longer a one sided duel although we aren’t fighting fit.
A cheer is raised from our now skeleton crew.
We aim our bows at her, vowing to sink her I promise a new.
No longer noticing the tracer and explosive splashes.
Knowing it’s scant seconds til through her our bow smashes.
Alas the poor Glowworm won’t survive this day.
She hits the Hipper then the demon depths pull her away.
My lungs fill with salt water my life may end here.
But our story will live on in history for many a year.
At home our families will have pride of what we achieve.
Though that will help only little as they continue to grieve.glowworm-hipper-shellburst

Corrupted youth

I am painting a picture with my mind.
These words are for me so don’t be kind,
I am enclosed in a room of magnolia cream
The drab mono-colour causes me to scream

Feeling so very trapped within this un-life
Every comment offending with unintended strife.
It’s as if i live within a sepia silent film set
No longer searching for that challenge still not met.

My motivation has gone from this empty me.
My body and soul longing to live near the sea.
I don’t recognise this person I have now become
I just want to write stories whilst sat in the sun!

The inner me still fights and claws to get out
The tension still there as if I really need to shout!
Where has that which was me now finally gone
That bright good within that to me really shone.

I am still here somewhere hidden from sight
That young boys soul that was full of light.
The journey so far now going nowhere good
A miserable man where an innocent boy once stood.

Destiny

IMG_20160814_132633Destiny:
Well looking back to that lad that sat in the junior science lab in January 79 wondering if the heating would come on, a little scared that the latest prediction of the worlds end was but hours away and it was Chicken Supreme for tea!! Looking back I remember my aspirations.
I wanted to live long enough to ride a bike, drive a car and have sex with a girl.
Everything else would be a bonus. I wanted to be a dad but did not believe I would be. I would feel lucky if I lived until I was thirty. I was thick and stupid because Mrs Forster at Great Moor Junior School and Stephen Flegg maths teacher at Stockport School (Mile End) had kept telling me so. Stephen also decided it would be fun to get some other boys such as the weasel like Simon Hill and pals to bully me. Praising and rewarding their vindictive atrocities with open acknowledgement in the classroom.
I had no idea as to what my life had in store. I was outside of school an explorer, leader of my gang, well jointly at least with Wendy Hildrew and her sister Gillian. Two of my closest and most under valued childhood friends.
I wish I had then the understanding of the world I have now. I wish I knew that girls were really the same as boys, same insecurity but just different hang ups. That teachers were not gods or many not even wise. In fact some such as messrs Flegg and Forster were teachers because they liked remaining playground bullies into adult hood and would not function anywhere else in society.
I am happy to name these vile excuses for educators on the off chance if the still cling to their putrid abusing existence they may read this and either understand their epitaph is one of contempt or even better attempt to sue me in the courts. A challenge I would dearly love.
I sort of planned to be a daring soldier, hero, and cohort of kings, my experiences and choices led down a different path. I did fight but not armies. I fought abuse, injustice, poverty, hatred, discrimination and despair. I started in the forces of the Establishment, the local and at times central government departments.
Now I tend to see these organisations as part of the problem. Their bureaucracy tending to extend hardship, restrict movement and stamp on motivation.
Now however I am restricted by health, mobility and funds. I fight my fight rarely on a face to face field of battle. My weapons now my words alone.
This is maybe always was where my destiny brought me. With my illness’ I cannot look back and think ‘what if’ for these conditions would likely have snook up on me whatever choices I made, whichever paths I travelled.
Regrets? …. too many to contemplate without a loss of whatever grip I have on sanity.
Future? ….. unwritten. I have to keep telling myself that.
Next?…… who knows

Jonesy.

Naked

There is something primeval about lying naked upon your bed. Even though alone and with closed curtains it feels wrong but right. Good but bad.
Now I am not talking about sexual excitement. Though for some it may be a part. Its that feeling of non conformity. Of risk. Of what if…..
Freedom too plays a part. Free of pretence, being solely you. Being the vessel of your consciousness not the canvas of conformity.
There is little fashion or trend in nudity. Yes there are those with Tattoos, Piercings, and hair sculpture (or devoid of hair). And yes there are those that sculpt their bodies in the gym or with steroids and supplements.
But nudity relinquishes all other shrouds. Once naked there is just you. In your home that’s freedom but for me beyond my walls that freedom would become oppression. It would be my shame. My dread. Possibly my greatest fear.
Yet we are not born dressed. Naked is our natural state. Our true self. So why do it have any affect? Maybe its just me. Just my hang up?
Jonesy

Evil

I peer through the dark
Looking everywhere for that long lost spark
But all I can now see
Decaying old crone that once was she

The world moves on
I have no idea where my innocence has gone
When we used to hug
Was like getting fixed by the most potent drug

Why did the love vanish
All my emotion was suddenly hers to banish
Now feel so empty inside
Wish I had never found out that my mother lied

The screaming child
Cannot any longer be described as happy and wild
That part has but left
Of all emotion and warmth I now am totally bereft

Hope is no longer seen
Let them call me carrier of the fatalistic Judas gene
You see me as friend
But my loyalty I can promise is only ever on lend

Still blaming my past
Assuring you my mail and armour was built to last
No weakness on view
The creature named in revelations won my heart anew

She

She stands alone in this world of hate
She stare out beyond her now rusted gate
She remembers when the world seemed good
She now is existing in chaos and their blood

She remembers her lost husband and son
She remembers a happy life ruined by bomb and gun
She only has one path now left for her to strive
She has so little time if she is to remain alive

Camera

Having a camera inserted in your bum
I can confirm really is in no way any fun
But the day before sitting upon the throne
Means there’s little chance of leaving home

You mix the sachets in a glass litre jug
After an hour your face looks like a pug
Even andrex feels like its just course sand
Every time you wipe you’re cursing yer hand

They dope you up and wheel you in the room
A little tube yet it feels its a handle of a broom
That evil look on the face of your expert surgeon
After the drugs all the memories now are merging

Three weeks you wait just to get the information
Will you be told its just a bit of an inflammation
Its is the waiting that for me is absolutely the worse
So please accept my apology if i currently seem terse

Imagine…

Imagine…..
Imagine how many particles of dust are in your room. Any room. I am lay on my bed in a room that’s about 18ft x 16ft.
Imagine that those dust particles did not settle upon your dresser, window ledges or floor but slowly spiraled around your room. Spiral upon spiral outwards.
Imagine if each particle was a sun. Each sun had a number of smaller particles circling it. Then you sort of get some idea of the immensity of our universe.
Imagine now one in a million of those particles circling the suns sustained life of some sort. How many would that be?
Imagine then firstly the question are we alone?
Imagine then how important are you? Am I? Any answer?
Well its possibly wrong. You likely are totally unique, you therefore are important. You are not just a particle of a particle on a particle. You are you. No one else can be you. No one else will ever be you.
The chances are you matter to more folk than you think. You may believe yourself to be a passing thought in the lives of others. You are wrong. You mean something to so many. The fact your reading this means you matter to me.
I may not know your name, we may never meet but we have now connected. That can never be changed. Your reading these words are now a fixed point in time. In existence. You matter. You matter to me. To your family. To your friends. And now to the cosmos.
If the universe was to end right now you connected, read and digested this. That may be forgotten but never changed.
Confused? Why?
You are reading a post called imagine. Use your imagination. By doing that you will get there. You will answer your questions. Not with my answers but those of your own invention.
Those answers will be your right answers.
Still confused? Well if you got to here you are thinking. If your thinking then you have achieved more than most.
Is this just twaddle? I don’t think so, do you? And why?
Thank you for reading, for connecting and for imagining.
Jonesy.

Limbo

Limbo is not for me but some state of mind
It is truly a realm in which one you shall find
Treading water as the pain washes like a tide
As it ebbs out exhaustion ensures I now hide

Looking forward to when this is but memory
A battle to be won or a continuation of agony
There are islands of sanctuary but they are rare
Once over this turmoil how will I then truly fare

I want to believe this will no longer define me
But can no more plan or have a future I can see
When not affected its hard to remember I am ill
Of this chronic illness I have had beyond my fill