The Long Firm Thing

28.09.14 (Day 280)

09.42

A long firm (also known as a consumer credit fraud) is a trading company set up for fraudulent purposes; the basic operation is to run the company as an apparently legitimate business by buying goods and paying suppliers promptly to secure a good credit record; Once they are sufficiently well-established, the perpetrators then purchase the next round of goods on credit and decamp with both the goods and profits from previous sales. The goods can then be sold elsewhere. The procedure needs a certain amount of money to set up, often the proceeds from another crime or a previous long firm.

I never ran a long firm but when I was in business, it was common (and necessary) practice to build up credit with a supplier when initial capital was low or cash flow was tight, by placing small orders, paying invoices on time, then gaining a position wherein the size of the deals traded could be increased, credit terms made more favorable, buying leverage increased and margins improved. It was playing the long game: one I continue to play. Relationships failed, alcohol took over (I’m always honest, as I was for the most part in business), the companies collapsed and now I’m here.

Five days since the last blog entry. Not much to tell as not a lot has happened, or rather not a lot has changed.

Three days since the last entry in fact: a poem and a story, both published on here and pretty obvious to those in the know to whom they were dedicated. And she’s been away for the weekend. I was encouraged to receive encouragement (encouragement does tend to encourage one) from my writing mentor from RSA (Royal Society of Arts), in which she said, “Keep writing.” So I will. There are lots of notes: sleeve notes but I’ll keep those up my sleeve and stick to the more salient points.

Besides writing, I’ve nothing much else to do today, apart from cook a family lunch and dinner, read yesterday’s Guardian supplements and possibly The Observer. I have to keep distracted and keep my brain working, then I’ll hit “The Wall” later, collapse exhausted and fall asleep for a couple of hours before waking up with that fucking thing in my head still ticking away. So I’ll get up, smoke one or two of my 50-60 cigarettes a day, make some notes, then go back to bed for another couple of hours. I had a particularly early night last night and managed eight hours’ sleep in total but it was even more broken than usual as I have a cold. And everyone knows that the common cold can kill a man.

I’m due to see a doctor in the next couple of weeks, as I spoke to a particularly good one in the week who issued the latest extension to my sick note for alcohol dependency. I must admit that yesterday I felt more of a fraud than usual as a combination of tiredness, brought on by insomnia (it’s an amazing fact that one of the most common signs and symptoms of insomnia is tiredness: news to me when some clever cunt pointed it out) and the man cold, dictated that I consumed hardly any alcohol (by my standards). Then there’s the depression. With alcohol and insomnia, the three form an unholy trinity. This particular doctor is confident that the correct cocktail of drugs can be prescribed to bring all three demons under control, whereas previous advice was to address the alcohol first. This doctor recognises that depression and insomnia, although caused and aggravated by alcohol, can increase alcohol consumption. I thought this was a known fact (I knew it) but assumed that the cost of a cocktail of drugs might be against NHS guidelines on cost grounds. It seems I’ve found a doctor who is particularly dedicated and perhaps a bit of a rebel. Perhaps he plays poker in his spare time: takes a calculated gamble and plays the long game. So that’s only taken nine months to sort out.

85 days short of being out here for one year. The price I pay for being ill and largely thanks to my biobollical sister. Thanks to her though, it’s during the last 280 days that I’ve learned who really cares, understands, wants and gets me. And among others, I met the wife and the one I consider to be my real sister.

Everything else is still up in the air in in other people’s courts. I’ve done all that I can to move on from here, as I have over the last nine months. Although I’ve admitted before and will again (for the satisfaction of those who blame me) that I did bury my head in the sand and created positive ruts for myself, this was for a reason: I grew frustrated. A frustration compounded by the fact that I had no address thanks in part to my biobollical family. Well, they’ve disowned me and I have a real family now. A family who help me, accommodate me and provided moral and practical support in getting my life back on track, including the means to do so via simple means. They play the long game. They’re the ones who’ll benefit in the end as they’re the ones due my love and gratitude. And it will come. They don’t give up on me and because of them, neither shall I. And the extended family is one which I started when I had the intelligence, wherewithal, resourcefulness, charm and character (I still have those) to take over and run the squat; become friends with the property owner, even joking with him in court and garnering a wink from a County Court judge who I also charmed, simply by being me. I helped people and they helped me. It’s me who the people around me want to be around. It’s me who broke the mold, found an ambitious bone in my body, ran a business, fucked up, got up, rebelled and kept on fighting. It’s me who is the black sheep of the old family. I’m in a new field now and the grass is definitely greener on this side. I’ve grown and learn; done things that many on the other side wouldn’t have the balls of granite to do. In ten years time, the successful me with the model wife, thriving business and comfortable life will look back and laugh. I’ll still help people but not those who didn’t help me. Fuck you, very, very much.

The relationships I’m in now are the long game, including the future wife and what we have between us: the long firm thing.

The Drums

25.09.14 (Day 277)

09.42

The Drums

The drums of the jungle beat loud.
The jungle out there: the crowd.
They talk; we know. What only we do.
Me and my love; me and you.
But we ignore the music; the noise.
Those stupid girls and boys.
We carry on. We survive.
Because together, we are alive.
One and one: a simple sum.
Together, two hearts beating as just one drum.

The Prettiest Lies / This is the Captain of Your Shit

23.09.14 (Day 275)

07.42

It’s been over a week since I last wrote here. Not much to tell really. There’s the usual progress on the homing front (none), the usual co-operation and assistance from various organisations and agencies (little) and my frustration and tiredness levels are as normal (very). This is prescribed therapy though and I do have thoughts to commit. So this will be those.

I’ve not written for so long as I’ve had lots of other things to occupy me; mainly interruptions and interference. Not writing wasn’t troubling me as much as it has in the past but I was prompted to write again by the person who cares about me the most and I was reminded of a short story which is one of my many works in progress. The story concerns patients, inmates, call them what you will: people, perhaps; in some sort of facility: hospital, prison; what’s the difference? Somewhere they’re not in charge; not in control; not the free spirits they wish to be; caged; smothered; forbidden; abandoned; misunderstood; forgotten; in some sort of comatose state: cut off, disabled, asleep. It’s about loved ones who are out of touch and when they contact these people, they are awakened. It’s provisionally entitled The Prettiest Lies. The prettiest things only lie when they’re asleep. Often people are only truly awoken and brought back to life by the one they truly love.

The prettiest smiles
hide the deepest secrets
The prettiest eyes
have cried the most tears
And the kindest hearts
have felt the most pain

So the wife – one of my closest friends but also the assumed and forbidden love – asked why I’d not written for a while and suggested that perhaps I should. This one goes out to the one I love the most.

Despite ours being a relationship which the thought police might consider inappropriate, we are inseparable. We’re soul mates. We’re symbiotic. I need her as much as she needs me. Knowledge based on years of experience which benefits one without and vice versa. No-one can stop us. No-one will. We’re in this for keeps. It’s about helping people to grow and move on.

The planet Somnia still eludes myself and my chosen passengers in Ghost Bird. I’ve been awake since 6am (a lie in for me), after five hours sleep (a luxury). Over the last month, I’ve averaged around four hours sleep per night: not good and neither am I. Apart from my one constant, my assumed and forbidden relationship, affectionately referred to as “The Wife”. Constant because she’s an insomniac like me.

The wife and I often sit up late at night, watching food Network and we talk. As always, she put a smile on my face before bed. With the quote of my day:

“The fucking stupid cunt street cooking shits on and omfg they scary fucking mother fuckers r on there if they stare again boi I’m ganna flip xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Street Kitchen and they ain’t even on the fucking street cunts need to sort that out and not stay in a fucking field twats where’s the fucking point in that cunts stared kill them kill them now xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Love u xxxxxxx”

Great (and filthy) minds think alike (and so do ours) and she’s referring to Street Kitchen, which Food Network use as filler in lieu of adverts and which annoys us both. Always the same recipes; they’re not on the street; the recipes take an absolute age and are not the kind of food which one would acquire on the street, even if the kitchen was on a street and not in a field. And then there’s the camera pan shot at the end, where the cooks give the camera evil looks. That really gets the wife.

And she gets me. Most of the others just want to fuck me apparently. Well, I’m taken.

Back to reality though on planet Me and today will no doubt be spent chasing up people who are supposed to be sorting out my life whilst I sort out the lives of others. Solving and causing problems.

This is the captain of your shit, calling. For someone to wipe arses.

For help.

11.42

I’ve just returned from CRI, where I received the usual amount of help (little) but wherein I happened to see my writing mentor, who is affiliated with The RSA (Royal Society of Arts). I shall dispense her advice, now:

“It’s impossible to stop someone like you thinking but equally difficult for you to contain those thoughts (and yourself) and dispensing your unique form of wisdom. You are extremely clever but you’re dangerous. Focus more on yourself rather than other people. I know you like to help and you can’t be stopped from doing whatever it is that you want to do: that is the nature of the beast which is you. Read even more than you do already; write more: you’ve not written anything for ages. But try to talk less. If people around you need you, then fine but use your quiet moments as they should be used: quiet moments. You are naturally an extrovert but be more introverted. You are loved and hated in equal measure: people love you for being you but hate you because of you and what you are, stand for and have. They envy your intelligence. If people are looking at you, use CBT (Cognitive Behavior Therapy). They may not be looking at you and relying on you to start their stunted conversations; they probably want to fuck you. Smile in those moments. Think more: there’s no stopping whatever goes on under that hat of yours but you lifted the lid. Find somewhere as far away from distractions as possible. Set up a writing desk in a corner somewhere. Write more. Talk less. You have so much to tell so many people and the best way to do that is to do what I miss you doing: write your blog. That’s what it’s for…And I need a short story from you. You’re short and you are certainly a story – a bit of a legend in fact – but if you can knock one out for me, we’re publishing an anthology of short fiction for Christmas…”

So with one of my mentors and the prettiest eyes watching over me, here’s the story so far (first draft):

 

The Prettiest Lies
_____________

My name is Frank. I think.

Maybe I used to be Frank. I’m not sure anymore. I’m not sure I can be. I seem to have changed.

You see, I met someone out there. It was poetic: her name rhymed with mine. She took me; they took my life. They didn’t approve.

I don’t remember much but I remember how they got me: they kicked me, punched me, bottled me and throttled me. They cut me and burned me. Then when I was down, they did it again. But it doesn’t hurt when you’re dead already. It’s just something fun for them to do. I provided entertainment: always glad to serve a purpose.

Out there, where I long to be. With the one I love.

For now I sleep here, wherever here may be.

Sometimes I wake up. Occasionally when I’m awake, others around me are awake too. I ask them what rouses them. They say it’s when someone thinks of you; a bit like your ears burning: right for mother; left for lover. I lost my right ear in that final fight.

I’m new here and I ask lots of questions: why does my remaining ear (the left one) burn so much? Why can’t I rest? Why am I awake so much? The others close to me say that it’s because someone is thinking of me. Or talking about me. I wish I could tell her how much i think of her. I look over her and I guard her.

But how can I be with her?

Those who are close say I have to fall from here; to break my wings. My arms, legs and heart were broken a long time ago and many times, so this won’t hurt: I’ll jump…

…And now I’m beside her.

I’m broken but I’m awake. She was my awakening. She came into my life that was. I’m alive again.

She’s asleep. I shall watch over her for the rest of my days down here.

The prettiest lies. Asleep.

Waiting. Dreaming?

Am I dreaming?

____________________________

Two alternative endings; the first:

_______

A figure approaches. I squint into this strange new world. All I can make out is actually a figure: 873. It’s on a name badge.

My vision clears. I see a light. The wearer of the badge looks down on me. Behind him, people in white coats are gathered.

“Frank? Are you Frank?”

“Yes, I think so.”

“This is your future wife, Frank.”

I look at her and consider this sleeping thing who apparently thought so much of me; the one who woke me up. I’ve been asleep for an eternity it seems.

“Frank. Life can start again. Do you want to try again?”

“I do”.

_______

Or this one:

_______

 

A figure approaches. All I can make out as I squint is indeed a figure; a number on his badge: 873.

It’s a man; possibly a doctor. He’s wearing a white coat: Am I mad? He speaks to me: “Frank? You’re alive again. You came back. You came down. Someone was thinking of you enough for you to take that leap of faith. You jumped Frank. You’re broken, so you’ll need to stay with us for a while but this sleeping girl is the one who’s dreaming of you.”

I croak: “Really?”

“Really.” The man in the white coat smiles. I realise there are others around him, all looking at me; some smiling too. “Frank, this is your future wife. Do you want to try again?”

“I do”.

In Somnia

15.09.14 (Day 267)

23.48

Somnia is a place I go when I sleep. It’s a planet, far, far away. To get there, I travel in a space ship: it’s called Ghost Bird. There’s only room for a few on board, so I only take the people I want with me to Somnia.

Given the almost infinite size of the universe and the number of stars therein, there could well be a planet like Somnia out there somewhere. I just wish I could find it. For my journey in Ghost Bird to Somnia is how I get to sleep; to escape; to be somewhere else, with the ones I love.

Before boarding Ghost Bird for Somnia (and hoping we make it), the Captain’s log from the last few days:

14.09.14 (Day 266)

14.42

My brain doesn’t work. I knew that it was malfunctioning (through illness) but it really doesn’t work today, due to lack of sleep. I can’t complete The Guardian cryptic crossword; I can’t solve a “Diabolical” Sudoku puzzle; I can’t complete a  level of “Flow” on the iPhone when it’s given to me to complete. If I was asked about current affairs, the only one I could pull to the forefront of mind is the one I’m involved in. I couldn’t say what’s in the news at the moment as I can’t remember what I’ve read in yesterday’s Guardian nor today’s Observer. I can’t think straight. I’m losing the plot. I’m melting down.

Insomnia is a tricky devil to deal with and even more difficult for the outside observer to understand. A simple “Are you okay?” enquiry will invariably be greeted with “I’m just tired”. So, get some sleep? I can’t sleep during the day as it messes up my already fucked up sleep patterns. What may seem logical to some is illogical to me. But maybe that’s the tiredness. And besides, apparently I’m “cute” when I’m asleep. I don’t like being called cute (apart from by one person, to whom it’s a term of endearment; a pet term) no more than I like to be looked at, when I’m sleeping, eating or just trying to get on with something. It’s paranoia and the tiredness makes it worse. I’m self-medicating with the help of my dealer but any break from routine simply invalidates that medication, rendering it useless and making me suffer more. I await a proper diagnosis and some form of unchanging routine but both seem a long way off. I’m breaking up; I’m on the point of collapse through physical and mental exhaustion.

I wish I could take a break by watching endless lowest-common-denominator TV, rather than the challenging stuff I tend to favour and which makes me think. I wish I could constantly play mind-numbing games on a mobile device and not try to work out how they can be beaten. But then I’d find myself amusing. I can’t. This thing in my head won’t stop working. I wish it wouldn’t, in a different way to that in which it currently isn’t.

I wish I could stop thinking. I wish I could stop being challenged. I want to switch it off. I wish I could be brain dead.

There’s a piece in today’s Observer by Barbara Ellen, effectively addressing voyeurism. This is why people watch car crash TV:

GazzaRR

Read it. Read it again. Think about it. Look inwards. Question: Is it just me that’s sick? Those in the know, know who I spend as much time as possible with and they know why. Those that don’t bother to ask just judge from their kangaroo court and will pass a sentence of execution if they destroy my special relationship. If it’s quasi-snuff entertainment which they seek, they’ll keep watching. Watching my destruction. Who’s guilty then?
Now read this:

To try to stay awake and having given up on reading news which I won’t recall, I’m trying to write but I can’t even concentrate on my prescribed therapy. So many plans thrown into disarray by lack of sleep: short stories which I have on the story board, recipes which I’m planning to post in a blog, a business to build, other people’s lives to sort out as well as my own. I’m just tired. I need to shut down and be left alone, eventually to sleep, perchance to dream or maybe die. For insomnia can kill by proxy. It’s making me even more unwell than I was.

So I really don’t have the energy to structure this one but I need to get some thoughts down from the last few days, in no particular order of chronology, importance or merit. It’s all a bit mixed up, like my head. I need to record this stuff so that I can remember it:

12.09.14 (Day 264)

05.42

I can’t sleep as there are a few people on my mind. So many people with so many problems who, for various reasons I either can’t see or will find seeing them very difficult. I could do with a reverse firing squad, where the condemned is forced to shoot a line-up of innocents.

08.42

Still people on my mind. I’ve kept myself busy by reading, writing and planning meals for the host family, using what’s available: there are potatoes still in their original plastic wrapping and therefore growing roots and sweating. Those need to come out. There are eggs with broken shells, so they can be used as well. I see a Spanish omelette coming on. There’s plenty to fill an omelette in the fridge, which will go off if it’s not used (If you don’t open the fridge every now and then, it shouts its opinions on various things; politics mainly).

I’ve been playing poker too (not for real money, alas) and winning. Perhaps a family game of poker later. Family games I used to play: Monopoly, Cluedo, Hungry Hippos… Of the host family, one’s gone out and the other one is still sleeping, so I’ve fed the dog as well. And been bitten for my trouble. An old dog will teach itself new tricks apparently: to bite the hand which feeds it. The dog is white (I’m not racist but I do like my sandwiches cut into triangles and that’s not racist).

Talking of white things (I needed a lead-in but a shoe horn will do), my assumed other half and I continue to help one another out in remote locations where we feel we have to hide ourselves away for fear that the thought police might judge in their kangaroo court and sentence us to execution. Then there’s the dark one (my sister, The Courts) and for both of them, I penned (typed) this:

Pearls of Wisdom

To my two girls
My black and white pearls:
We’re partners in crime
Like Bonnie and Clyde
But together we’re one
Like Jekyll and Hyde

(You know who you are)

My little sister is a girl of wisdom, as exhibited by this sample quote from her:

“We laugh in each others faces

We call each other names.

But I can surely say that ur one of my best friends U fucking cunty panda cunt fuck face!!!!”

(Sic)

She means well and she means the world to me. The Courts is one third of my age, yet three times as wise. She has helped me in the past and continues to do so. I shall be eternally grateful for one piece of advice which The Courts gave me and which changed my life for the better when I heeded it: go with your heart and not your head, even if your head tells you that it’s wrong. If you go with your head, you’re making the worst mistake of your life. So for once, I ignored what my head said and paid attention to my little sister. Her and many of her ilk are intelligent, wise beyond their years and misunderstood. That’s why I count so many of them among my closest friends.

Funnily enough, I was with the black pearl when the white one first spotted me; in McDonald’s where so many of my closest relationships started. The rest is the future. I’ve not been to McDonald’s for a while but credit is always due to those who helped me in my times of need: the friends I made who were customers and staff. Too many to mention but worthy of singling out right now are Kristy and Meg, simply because they are of special relevance now.

Kristy works in McDonald’s. As has been documented before, she and others there have helped me in my times of need: free coffee and food, stationery paid for out of their own pockets, company and friendship. They’re a family down there. Kristy’s latest – very generous – random act of kindness was to pay my library fines. I’d lent books which I’d taken out to her and The Courts, sat on some myself when I was feeling particularly ill and couldn’t venture beyond the “safe” confines of the squat and accumulated fines for the books’ non return. The fines totaled over thirty quid: a sum beyond my means but without my asking, Kristy and one of my other best friends, Nettie (Meg’s mum and one of those few parents who actually understand me, along with Meg’s dad, Matt; a man after my own heart (and head)) paid them. I am of limited means to repay the gratuity (although I will, along with everything else I owe to so many people) but for now at least, I can thank these people in a way which is indelible and in the public domain: on the blog.

So there’s Meg. Just like her parents: understanding, tolerant, patient, always there; around me, behind me and by my side. Part sister, part daughter and one of my besties. I affectionately refer to her as “Cuz” because she’s so many things in the fucked-up family and we like to keep it in the family, that the best way to think of her is as a cousin.

A potential rival family to The Pink Hearts has emerged in the form of “The Vipers”. I use the word “potential” as there is none: no threat, nor rivalry. The Pink Hearts were never a gang; just a group of friends who formed a family. They still are. The Dog is running this new gang and they’re running around, as kids do and should. The boss (The Snake) has spoken to the boss of the snakes to ensure that there are no divisions. Anyone can be a snake with a Pink Heart: co-existence. The Pink Hearts will always remain as an ethos and the most loyal would never leave but there are no sides to be taken. The boss snake misses the Pink Hearts but most of the little snakes are running around out there (with no legs) while I remain at base and the key ones come to me and I’m still in contact with others: my brother and business partner, the wife’s other wife, the fold-away one, The Ninja; so many nicknames…

News on the grapevine is that the old place (the squat), where it all started and many of us met and grew close, will indeed be called Pink Heart House if permission is granted for its planned redevelopment into an old people’s home: a lasting monument and an impression upon the landscape, as we made when we were there.

On the biological family front, I spoke to the mother ship. She was a little surprised to hear from me as apparently the last time we spoke, I told her that I never wanted to speak to her again. What I actually said was that I would understand if she didn’t want to speak to me again and that I would understand if it made her life easier to simply disown me. Funny how memories fade quickly and things get twisted in people’s minds.

I phoned the mother ship to ask if she knew that my biological kids’ mum had taken the kids to Rugby. RUGBY FFS! She may as well have taken them to another planet. At least Louis’ happy, as he’s told me in an email. So he’s not forgotten me as I feared he may and like the mother ship may wish to.

16.09.14

00.42

Captain’s log, supplemental

Farewell as we depart for Somnia: a search for a place which I really hope I’ll find one day…

 

Malpractice Makes Imperfect

10.09.14 (Day 262)

07.42

Birds of a feather flock together. Some girls – of all ages, near to and far from my own – flock to me for some reason; blokes too: I’ve never understood why but apparently it’s because I’m me.

I have experience; I’ve had lots of practice. I’m far from perfect.

Part of the attraction is apparently safety: they feel secure with me. I’ve found it hard to understand why some of the ladies I’ve had relationships with found me attractive but apparently I am. I’m also modest.

I’m sage; I give advice. Kids come to me because they trust me and I pose no threat. I’ve worked with kids in schools; been CRB checked. I have a criminal record but nothing which has prevented me from doing what I love, which has been working with young people, imparting knowledge in a way that no-one else apparently can (because I treat them as equals) and being their friend.

The kids get close to me because they want to and because I let them. That’s when the thought police out there start to make their false assumptions. Sometimes those assumptions are made by the kind of people who consider breast-feeding to be somehow sexual. There is physical contact (gasp!) but not inappropriate. The problem is in their heads. It’s conditioning.

I have letters of support from parents and carers; I have letters of thanks from some of the kids. I have letters after my name. Unfortunately, some of these people can’t read; nor think before they speak or act; the same qualities exhibited by their colleagues in the plastic police and defective detectives. How many fucking times to have to say this? Many more, I’m sure. The problem with talking to people with no brains is that whatever you say to them actually does go in one ear and out of the other, because there’s nothing in between.

Sometimes I help these people grow up, if they’ll let me. Some do; others regress.

There are a few particularly defective detectives out there in the thought police, doing a very good job of being stupid and generally shit. They have it in their small brains that I am conducting an inappropriate relationship with one of the young people closest to me. Yes, we’re in a relationship: we’re very close friends. On that basis, I’m in lots of relationships. The difference with this one and the reason she’s referred to as The Wife is because she might as well be: I don’t get on with the in-laws and we argue a lot, with other people. We’re soul mates; we have a lot in common (intelligence, anger management issues, humor…) and we understand one another like few others can. She happens to be very pretty and if I were a certain way inclined, I’d say she’s well put together. Neither of us want to be in a relationship with anyone else but we have one another and we’re happy when we’re together. Who knows what the future might hold for the pair of us?

The only grooming I’m ever likely to do is grooming a horse or maybe being a bride groom one day. In the interim, sometimes what I’m trying to do is curtailed, to the detriment of those I’m trying to help. I won’t stop. Those who know, know it’s right. Those who think otherwise are wrong.

And whilst I’m in the spotlight of the plastic police, I don’t do drugs. I have in the past. I’ve done a lot of things: experience and malpractice to make me what I am today: imperfect, damaged goods. The real police have a record on me: mainly petty theft, violence and one incident of carrying a blade. We all have baggage; I advocate leaving it at the door. If only others would.

So worriers, stop worrying; stop worrying us and get on with your sad, empty boring lives while those of us with more to do lead our fulfilling ones. Mine isn’t much but I have what I need.

__________

 

A better night’s sleep over the last three nights, mainly drug-induced (Zopiclone, from my dealer).

Whereas previously I was getting an average of three hours sleep per night, over the last three nights, that’s increased to almost six (party on!) The six hours have tended to be made up of five hours solid sleep, including REM (I know, because I’ve been having trip-out dreams), then an hour or so of dozing. I’m waking up with morning glory again (should I put this is in?) I’m due to speak to a doctor today and hopefully be prescribed sleeping tablets of my own.

My phone, which I used in lieu of a tablet, is sleeping: it’s dead. Little Blue couldn’t swim. They were kind enough to send me autopsy photos and I can confirm that he succumbed. Little Blue took so much with him: so much we used to do together. He ran my life and was everything I needed in one place. Now everything is spread over different devices and not joined up. I will replace my little friend eventually, once money is sorted. By then though, Little Blue’s type will probably be long gone and I’ll have to settle for a newer model (#firstworldproblem). I just loved my Little Blue. There may be an upstart usurper but my little friend was mine and totally unique in what he carried around for me (thank fuck some of those photos went with him). The passing of Little Blue makes me a little blue.

Not as much as I miss my little Milky Bar though: the one who understands me; the one who can calm me down when I’m angry. And I am angry and frustrated. I’m angry at yet more obstacles placed in my way and preventing me from moving on. It’s all been documented here. I really can’t be bothered to explain the details over and over again. Read back and try not to fall asleep. Or just try it. Try being in my situation and doing your best to change things.  While you’re at it, jump over a few barbed wire hurdles, jump through some flaming hoops and smash your head against a wall repeatedly. I have plenty of practice and it’s just damaged me further; made me more imperfect. I wish I could sleep.

As you read, are you witnessing self-destruction? Some of the plastic police think so. No. You’re seeing the wearing down of someone who just wants to do right. Someone who tried; someone who’s still trying. The pulling apart of someone by a system that gave up on someone who won’t. As with so much else, I’ll keep going. I’ll keep fighting.

As could be confirmed by several people in authority at several organisations, I have done everything I can to try to “sort myself out”. Many balls are in lots of courts and I await a return service. It’s not me that needs sorting: it’s the system that has been driving me down, round the bend and around in circles for the last nine months.

With boxes ticked and little else which I’m able to do, I continue to pay my way to some extent in kind, by cooking for the people I stay with. Last night’s dinner was one of my signature dishes: pasta with roasted mushrooms and peppers with a home-made cheese sauce and served with home-made garlic and herb toast. Simple in concept and principle but complicated and time-consuming when cooked by me, striving for perfection with just the ingredients which are available and need using up. Resourceful, imaginative and well-seasoned: that’s me and my cooking; missed by most when I move on to the next place, where someone else will wear the trousers and I’ll don the apron. I just love to work with food and people. The credit for last night’s offering went to the soux chef.

Tonight I have tortilla wraps which need using as a basis, so I’ll literally use them as a base; for a pizza; Calzone in fact. We have meat balls and other things which need using, so I’ll do something different: pizza, using tortillas as a base. You didn’t see that one coming.

It’s not one I’ve tried before but there’s a first time for everything and I’ll try anything once: there’s quite a few things which I have. If I like what I try, I do it again. Practice makes perfect.

It’s all about numbers.

According to Wikipedia, it is unknown whether there are any odd perfect numbers. Well I have one, the relevance of which is known only to me and one other: 873.

 

Left at Your Door

07.09.14 (Day 259)

05.42

The main headlines

I can’t sleep (no change there then). My favourite little person has gone away for a week. Miss You Like Crazy For You #combinedsongtitles #howifeel

It’s early but these stupid hours are often the best ones within which to get things done. So I thought I’d get up and record some thoughts which have been occurring to me.

After a brief hiatus (of a week), I’m back. Seven days. To live your life and seven days to die. That’s almost what it took.

I had to leave another family home temporarily. It was always temporary but sometimes things happen for the best. I’m back now. Another storm in a teacup in my life. It’s happened before and it will happen again. There will be trouble ahead with my future trouble and strife. It’ll be a long and difficult haul but she’s worth waiting for, when the time is right. Sometimes things look wrong to those who don’t know but feel right to those that do. Sometimes things feel like the right thing to do, to me and to others.

I spent four days out on the road in strife and now I’m facing a further six without my troublesome little thing. The first one was a living hell; the second still is and will be for another five sleeps.

To answer some questions which few seem to have the courage to ask me, yes I am, no I haven’t, yes I will, yes we are, yes we are and yes we are. All clear? It’s all about how you ask the question. Talk to me. Just come out with it.

In other news

Whilst on the outside, I kept notes. As is the sometimes ethos of this blog, I shall dispense them as they were written. Some of it may not make sense; be incoherent; such was my frame of mind. This is what I was thinking and therefore wrote:

__________

Back in the Rain, Gang

03.09.14 (Day 255)

17.42

Kicked out again, through no fault of my own (that I can ascertain). Two conflicting personalities trying to co-exist and at least one of them (me) not doing a very good job apparently. It’s happened before and it may well happen again in a future life with my trouble and strife. But we’re going to do it.

I’m going to see very little of my cute little thing over the coming days and weeks but we’re resourceful and finding ways. My partner in life and crime have lots in common, including tenacity, not giving a shit and being willful. Where there are wills…

My little friend is one of the main things keeping me going through this latest chapter: Volume Seven in fact, as Volume Six of the story didn’t really work out: yet another part that had to be left where it was being written, like so much else. Another home of someone else’s which I had to leave. They’ll miss my cooking and I’ll miss cooking. They may not miss me but I’ll miss them.

My time was up and although I’d been given leave to stay for a while longer, patience ran out and what had become a patient had to run out.

No hard feelings. I’d have liked to have offered a handshake of gratitude for the help which I received but there simply wasn’t time. I apologise.

A bit of a setback then: for me, for my special relationships and for a business partnership which was in the offing.

So I’m back on the road. I don’t know where it might lead but it’s taken me to some good places so far. Others weren’t so good. But if it wasn’t for this road, I’d never have met my special friends, nor my trouble and strife. If it wasn’t for this part of my life, I wouldn’t have found the rest of it.

I tried; I was trying. But the last month has been like the preceding eight: no help for people like me. A fact confirmed at CRI today during my last of three assessment meetings. I’d been led to believe during the meetings that they were a stepping stone onto a next stage. I was led to believe that I was perfectly capable of becoming merely a social drinker. Apparently not. Apparently nothing and then apparently. The only course remaining is detox towards total abstinence. I’ll do that then.

I’ve been getting better but in doing so, I’m not bad enough to qualify for help or recognition. And in being rendered homeless again – because there are no other apparent options – I will probably get worse.

But I will not succumb. I’ve got some very good friends and my trouble to keep me going. Others have and so would I, were it not for those people. I have many terms of endearment for many people but a few are reserved for the few: “You”, “Trouble” and “You’re alright” (the latter being a reference to one of my favourite films: Ghost.) You; my trouble (and strife): you’re alright.

Life on the outside is tough. So am I, I think. Therefore I am. Life out here does things to you: try it. Last night was my first back out on the road proper (excluding the squat) and it’s still dangerous but I’m classed as low risk, so I’ll be fine apparently.

I walked, trying to find somewhere to sleep. Eventually I simply collapsed from exhaustion and slept where I fell for a short while: in the middle of a field. That happens when you’ve had five hours sleep in the preceding 72. And yet out here – to an extent – you dare not sleep. Sometimes you just have to.

I don’t know what tonight might bring. I’ll try to find somewhere warm and dry. The middle of a field is neither. Then back to a few of a number of old ways.

I’m missing a lot of things and a lot of people. I’m cold, tired and lonely. I’m sad.

But I don’t show my emotions if I can help it. I do my crying in the rain.

I hope it rains tonight.

04.09.14 (Day 256)

16.42

Last night went predictably: cold, damp and with very little sleep (again). Tonight I have a tent and permission to pitch it outside a church. It’ll be just like camping.

The churches accommodate us because they recognise that no authority – not even the right side of the law – can help. We’re abandoned; forgotten; the screwed up piece of paper you find in your pocket and throw to the ground. There it gets trodden on and kicked around. If you picked it up and read it, you might see that it’s a sick note. We’re unwell.

Don’t pass us by. We’re right outside your door.