Wanderlust

Twenty four hours of slumber later and I awake to the terror of turbulence
grazing against my back as the aircraft is brought back down to earth by
trusty gravity. My eyes, in a dazed haze of green somehow manage to grasp
the world outside the window. “We’re here!” I yelp with joy. Passengers are
shooting looks which could kill over in my direction. I suspect they are as
relieved as I am to be here, though.

Singularly we leave the aircraft, a Noah’s ark type feel leading us through
customs. I hand my passport over in excitement with a friendly accent
welcoming us to the borders. There’s immediately a busker heard playing a
Radiohead song in the near distance and I know I’m home. But only by a
fraction. “Almost there…” I reassure myself as my partner makes it past
customs. He looks me deeply in the eyes with that unraveling smile that
brings me back to earth. “We’ve made it.” I say with a hint of disbelief.
He chuckles to himself playfully holding my face between his warm, loving
hands.
”We have.” He reassures me.
”This is real.”
”No, you’re totally dreaming. Bye.” He turns away jokingly with luggage.
I laugh, leaping onto his back and embracing the love that brought us to
this heated destination. There are notes of anticipation felt between each
heartbeat. What awaits us is unknowingly pleasurable.

The first breath of air is unworldly fresh. Skies are iridescently blue
and clouds are sparse, lingering about the sky in a feathery way which
stretch for miles into the distance. I did a comical slow-motion
three-sixty turn as my lungs and eyes relished the freshness of everything
around us.
“Whoa.” my eyes widened with ecstasy.
”Look over here,” Lloyd gestured.
I stood on my tip-toes to peer over the rocky fence that stood before us.
It was an open-space, with flowers adorning its surface. A childlike curiosity
swept over me just then. I had to explore.
”Where are you going?” Lloyd asked.
I shrugged before climbing the rocks. “Nowhere.” I said, landing with a slight
thud. Dark violet poppies aligned the ground beneath me and out in the horizon
were wavy cacti. I knelt a little closer to the miniature flowers, catching a glimpse
of a velvety blue butterfly before it fluttered away in fear.
Everything was picturesque. Things were trying to nibble at our sweet blood.
But at least we were here.
”Our train is in fifteen minutes.”
I called out, ”Aw, don’t you want to explore?”
”Yes but I’d also like to get checked in.”
Pouting, I willingly complied before climbing back over the cobbled rocks.
Lloyd was hot and bothered by the unusually high temperature. I smiled,
wiping the beads of sweat from his lovely face. The shuttle bus finally
arrived and we were on our way to the train which would take us
forward to our destiny. One guy behind us was playing a harmonica
and another was using his thigh as a drum. A lady pulled the window down
to let some air in but got an unsurprising hit of stagnant hot air on her
weary face. I wanted one of those Australian hats with the dangly bits
but Lloyd assured me otherwise.

Our shuttle bus had been delayed by traffic, so we reached the station
ostensibly twenty minutes later than expected. Excitement started to
pour into panic suddenly. I had never been abroad and in an emergency
before.
”Two minutes until the train departs!”
Lloyd attempted to calm me down before issuing a dash to the platform.
We both ran as fast we could, dodging people that were walking toward
us as swiftly as possible. Then, a thwack between my head and someone
else’ occurred, leaving me in a brief halt of frenzy as I saw stars circling
heads. “Ouch!” I cried, before regaining sight. Without time for an apology,
I continued to run behind Lloyd, idly leaving my bag behind in the distance.
Eventually we caught up with each other, but the whistle had been signaled
and our hazy eyes watched the vehicle depart from the platform,  leaving us
behind. I could feel the bruise on my head slowly swelling up.
Disaster had shaken us out of our loving daze.
“I knew it.” He started. “We had to get the shuttle bus.”
“Wait– what?”
“You had to suggest the shuttle bus!”
“Me? You were the one being cheap.”
He laughed sarcastically.
“But yes this is somehow my fault.”
“Look — let’s just sit down and think about this. Somehow.”
My blood began to boil. I wanted to push him and make a scene,
but a throbbing bruise held me back as a headache started to ensue.
Or perhaps it was a heart-ache.
“Excuse me–” an unfamiliar voice crept in. “I believe you dropped this.”
We both simultaneously looked at the man standing between us.
He had a similar bruise, handing over a forgotten bag which belonged
to me.
“Oh, thank you.” I replied before apologising.
“Shit happens. No worries.” He assured. “There’s another train to Melbourne
in a half hour. It’ll cost you a bit but you will definitely get there. See ya.”

We looked at each other rather astonishingly. I felt a little guilty for not
apologising sooner. Lloyd looked at me with remorse suddenly setting
on his tired face. Both of us were caught up in a whirlwind of
temporary shock that had us at each others throats instead of a
comforting embrace.
“I’m sorry.” Lloyd whispered. I whispered back before taking his hands
into mine. Love poured in to our eyes before we came closer in a
rectifying kiss. I could feel my lips entangled with his, searching for
warmth in an already heated environment. His tongue swept over mine
and the dozens of eyes which were probably ogling us were no more
than a cast of jealousy. We decided to leave our belongings in a locker
and delay the train ride to the city so we could explore the surrounding
area instead. Being indoors was always a stuffy atmosphere.
The great outdoors welcomed us back with its funky cacti and desert feel.
An embellished sun radiated our skin with warmth and people were
smiling all round. I could feel that same breath of fresh air feeding my lungs
with this planets finest and free offerings. Everything was absolute
and even more, we had each other, here, now.

 

Try gentrify me

Social housing. A chance at living, a somewhat blessing. Few of us are afforded a small but comfortable living space which allows us to sustain our lives. We keep our existence at a small fee, but at an even higher cost. We lose our minds and I have been raised in such a way that predisposes me to believe that this standard of living is all there really is.

My mother says they’re going to knock this place down. Clear out the working class and make a better, wider space for the wealthy ones. Apartments will be built here in face of the palace. When that time will come, we are unsure, but one thing is for certain is that we are going to vacate this space and the prospect of being afforded a new space is not on the cards. She asks, “You’re still with St. Anne’s?” to which a thoughtful pause is followed.
St. Anne’s is a local hospital for the mentally ill. I’m not mentally ill. There was a time when I thought the world was crumbling around me and I was powerless to stop the rubble from taking me in. Four years onwards and the world couldn’t be a more serendipitous place that I am fortunate to be a part of. Just like that.
Offence doesn’t even begin to cut it. My mother enjoys the worry, but this is beyond a matter of worrying about the people you love. This is fear. She is approaching me in fear, hindering at sinister ways to use that fear to afford myself a comfortable space once this place falls to pieces. What she fails to realise is that this place has already fallen to pieces. She is scared to pick up the pieces and build something better out of the rubble. Similarly to when I once thought the world was crumbling around me — well now it really is — but the difference in these times is that now I am excited for the rubble.
It has been a long time coming that, when one is so in tune with their comfort zone, when everything is perfectly predictable and underneath your thumb; life will shake you out of  it. My mother hates these four walls more than anything. Suddenly, she is fighting for the right to keep this lowly standard of existence. “Social cleansing!” she screams at me. The divide between the rich and the poor becomes increasingly apparent, more scarier and more realistic now. Aggression, fear and despair align her weary face. She is tired of  standing up for what she supposedly believes in; though she is not daring to believe in the idea of  possibilities, either.
There was once a time when we needed the space we are living in. The odds were at an all time low and it was difficult to rise above this madness when my brother and myself were new to this world. As adults, all four of us must stand on our own feet and face our own problems in these times. I bravely say, “I’m not mentally ill. I will not claim benefits and I’m going to face this problem when the time comes. I’m hurt that you think this is all I’m capable of — that this is the only way of  life. Stop projecting your fears onto me.”
Her reaction is predictable and fear takes her as its host once more. There is resentment to the word fear, just as the irony of the emotion intends. “What do you mean — this is all there is — you think we are at the bottom of the social ladder?”
On the contrary, I do not think we are at the bottom of the social ladder. I think the mentality that there are ladders and that we place people above and below ourselves is redundant and needs changing. Incidentally, these things exist because we allow them to. Working class mentality implies there is no choice; yet there is always a finger to point the blame at other than ourselves. Whereas, the wealthy mentality implies greed and lack of empathy; similarly finding someone else to blame for personal disturbances.
The socio-economic of  our environment is designed to keep boundaries between us. Why this is, I have no idea. But it exists and people suffer mentally for no reason at all. I am not mentally ill, but it sure as hell feels like all of the adults around us are. So I stand my ground firmly and reassure that this place is going to be knocked down;, and when that time comes, we are either going down with the rubble, or we are going to rebuild something better for ourselves.
She raises her voice in panic, fearful of what might be, but hasn’t yet. There is no way out and no conceivable alternative. It’s all happening in her head. This place is falling down and her thoughts are going along with it.

Clutterjunk

A toast, to all of the things in life that I have wronged myself
on neglecting each day. To another day wasted in the name of survival.
I have long kept these bad habits. Laziness being the epitome of the bunch.
Greed, selfishness – an even closer calling. I harbor these traits as
something I have developed over the course of what seems a lifetime.
Truthfully, what I see as an entire lifetime is sadly nothing in the grand
scheme of things. To a deserving person who has truly lived his life
and achieved great things, solved scientific mysteries and
unraveled humanities step toward finding inner-peace;
apologies for I have wasted away each day.

The person that goes to bed at night is not the same
person who wakes up the following day. Every day
I feel as though I am evolving, despite bad habits. I feel a person being born again each morning, hastening to
get out of bed because a duvet and a well sprung mattress is
the ultimate comfort zone. It’s easy to survive underneath a
duvet, though. Arising to the masses is a whole other matter
that I believe scares most of us as we brush our teeth and
prepare to open the door the next day to the entire universe.

I’m livid with excuses and so great a thespian at improvising
new ones when needs be. There’s always a reason why we
can’t, or won’t do something with ourselves.
Observations are a beautiful thing and sometimes they allow you to see a glimpse of the faults in others but never your own.
There’s always a want. There’s always a desire. And then there’s our ego; a microcosm  that we hold
ourselves so highly to. Intimidation is the brutish threat to our very existence.
But I wonder, how frequently do others hold mirrors
up to ourselves? We are so free to judge those around
us, but what if the very person we judge is a piece of our
own existence. The barrier of the mind is what separates
us as individuals. Or so we are lead to believe. I truly believe we can learn great
insight from solely the existence of others, more so
than the external world that we all inhabit.

Anyhow, back to my neglects. Ah, yes. Every day I fear the blank page on the screen because it has nothing being
written on it. There must be something on that damn page,
I cannot accept that anything could be so blank as the meaning
of my own name. Pages exist to be filled and I want
to fill every page I open up before me on a word processor
or in a notebook with the ideas and wonders that float throughout my mind. It’s the only way I can keep the cranium intact with what is real and what simply isn’t. But what could it be that blocks my writing from frequenting this world?

Days and weeks and months and soon another year
has happened before I even finished a thought.
Perhaps I am not as curious as I once was.
Rejecting liberation at the expense of my own grief.
Why on earth would anybody want to consistently give up
happiness at the expense of their comfort zone?
Once upon a time I used to believe that being comfortable was
the same as being happy. When you give up liberation on a daily basis,
you soon see that the comfort you strive for every day is the very
thing that takes you further away from uncovering a layer of truthfulness.
I don’t think we are here to be comfortable because we are so
very uncomfortable that we create and change things relentlessly
to fit our preferences. My hair was straightened almost every single
day up until recently when I learned how to make it straight.
I wanted it to be how it naturally was not. I was fighting the
curliness – the unpredictable mess that was my hair – to suit an
otherwise predictably common nature. Little did I realise that
the masses wanted what I had. And everybody is doing
this all of the time. We are all, in a weird fucking way,
all of the time straightening our hair. Evening out the cursed
jagged lines that do not fit our conceptual reality of preferences. We are so uncomfortable in our own skin. Unquestionably so
that we must pretend, or else we are weird.  But we build ourselves
every day based on concepts. Somebody else’ preconceptions has set
our ideals. And then it all comes back to that safe space –
are we truly safe, am I really comfortable in the way that I feel? The way that I look?

 

The time it takes for us to cook our meals is more than
the time it takes to pick it and eat it from the plant that it came from.
Similarly, the time it takes to argue against somebody is
the exact same time, perhaps even less, it would take to
forgive them.  Life is not black and white. Things have oppositions
but they do not necessarily come in pairs. Willpower is centered
in this spectrum of understanding why things are. It is the compass
that guides our better judgment that we so often lack. The trouble is,
we are not centered. I find myself displaced so often from the confines
of the ego that being centered is not an option. But it is.

 

So I’m writing these thoughts, these negative analogies
of myself and the world so that you and I can see
in black an white that these things can be changed.
Externalising thoughts is key. You expend energy and you
either lose or gain something; here’s to gaining. The best way
to go through the things you detest is to combat it
with the thing that you love.
And I must admit, I do fucking love writing.

The games we play

I was always skeptical about these types of social media encounters, but this guy caught my attention straight off the bat. Six miles distance between us and he reeled me in with a simple “Sweet or salty?” followed with, “Which film do you want to see the least?”

I hated films so this made for an easy discretion. “Bollywood?” I texted.  Scouring subtitles and missing the actual film just wasn’t for me.

“Bollywood would be good, but we don’t live in India.” To which he then suggested, “There’s a late showing of Shakespeare’s Macbeth at the Angel?”

“Awful.” I replied.

“We could sit in the backseats and boo at the screen when the film is over and maybe even throw popcorn.”

Staring at the hollow screen infront of me, cheshirely smiling,  certainly I was  all over this terrible idea. The deed had been done and the dealer of the tinderverse had delivered. There was an absurdity in the matter which meant a catfish could be waiting for me on the other side, however I was too amused by our awful idea to second guess anything. “Let’s do this.” I disclosed.

While people were pouring alcohol down their necks in pubs and clubs on this cold friday evening, we, two strangers were going to meet and watch a film together. I liked the sound of that.

A roar of bustling Friday night madness ensued as I clocked out of the tube station. Nestling the last of a cider I had purchased after our arrangements, the wait outside in the wintry cold had me somewhat exuberant for the person I was about to meet. Perhaps he was a convict, or a one-eyed war veteran that became a traveling children’s storyteller?

Outside the station beside me sat a homeless person. He smelled of scotch; more so butterscotch angel delight, Fosters and a hint of piss to top it all off. I didn’t offer him anything, he just looked right at me and toothlessly smiled, then continued to look all gruff as he sat slumped over tethered blankets and rags for riches. “Let me know when you arrive.” I texted. Shortly, a follow up reply was received, “I’m here. Somewhere…”

Suddenly I became jittery. Eager to meet yet so helpless to search for this mysterious (ostensibly) attractive man. Was a picture really worth a thousand words or… catfish? An overwhelming ignominy swept over me at the thought that this had all been a lie and I was merely a player in some playa’s game. “Fuckboy.” I muttered.

“Janie?” A voice asked.

There he was. Almost exactly as I had imagined, only a little more sweeter in the face. His azure-green eyes hindered no sign of creepiness under such mysteriously blanket skin. Who was this guy?  I wanted to know so much though I knew that I would only ask so little in terms of gameplay for this evening. Maybe he’ll surprise me with a few tricks of his own? I hope he’s  not just another one of those bearded losers rolling the dice at a poker table in those awful late night casinos.

“We could perhaps skip all of those boring ads and go get us a drink?” He asked.

“We could,” I smiled.

“That is, if you drink.”

He didn’t assume, he knew. “I do indeed.” And indeed we did. Initially he was not so keen on the idea of a public bar, but I really enjoyed the half-emptiness of those places because everybody hates public bars and would rather be somewhere else, with people. “We won’t stay long.” In fact, we grabbed maybe one or two drinks before deciding that the ads would be over and the film could not lack a miss from two customers which could not care any less.

As expected the film was awful. Dead silent with a dramatic show of five customers (including ouselves of course) and it lacked an all important atmosphere in which we decided to create for ourselves. Half an hour in and we decided that pouring an entire bottle of rum into the mega-sized soda we bought would be much more fun. And it was, by far, a lot more fun. He even offered to be the weird guy who excuses himself to the toilets to pour half the cola down the sink.

He returned shortly with the poison which would soon relinquish us from this hellish film. “Two guys washing their hands stared at me doing this. Enjoy.” In such respects, we probably would have done better in Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. At least they died from poison.

“Shall we get out of here?” I gestured.

“We could do that.” He smiled, leaning further in until our lips finely brushed up against each other in an intoxicated embrace. About an hour into the film we decided to leave. He suggested that we ride those city bikes which you rent for like an hour. I didn’t mind too much but I never would have imagined my first time – renting a bike – to be done a total drunken mess. “Your thirst for danger is showing.” I said, hobbling onto the bike.

“Oops.” He jokingly replied, helping me upward in a stationary position . He shot a reassuring smile as he got onto a bike of his own; the kind of smile that implied ‘Hey kid, you will die. But not tonight, not under my watch’. It made my heart melt.

I surprised myself by staying on the bike without tilting once, despite being a drunken hot mess. Trailing along behind him steadily with ease, I relished the feel of the midnight wind against my hot skin and the taste of cola and kisses on my cheeks and lips.

He called out to me, “How are you doing back there?”

“Not as bad as I thought.”

“Eyes on the road and you will go far!” We ventured further into the city,
looping through back alleys and braving pavements too. A portuguese guy started yelling at us in his native tongue. I decided to say “fuck you!” Because it’s the same in every language. I think.

After we had docked our bikes and continued the journey by foot, he helped me up onto the roof of his apartment building. We found a ladder, briskly placed
it up against the wall of the neighbouring building and climbed onto the latter rooftop. I was beginning to think that I was crazy for doing all of this; he must of caught on to the fact that I am completely insane for even considering any of everything we’ve accomplished tonight. He smiled, though, that Clyde smile that said ‘danger is here, but it’s not danger that you should be afraid of.’ It was only then that I realized that fear was the culprit here.

Had I stayed home tonight instead, second guessing this chance encounter out of fear, I would not be where I am right now. Fear ceased its unfavorable hold over me. Clyde and I had rewrote what it meant to feel truly alive. Moreover, what it meant to feel human again, without fear.

We turned toward the night sky, looking  over rooftops of the many
buildings and skyscrapers that lay before our little eyes. We feasted on the bounty and the beauty of our evening before reeling it all back down to earth in our narrow awareness, looking at each other with great desire. I smiled, almost thankfully, as his sweet, cola-tasting lips kissed me once more.

Introduction

And so, it finally appears. The idle writer begins the blog that should have occurred long ago but never did. Let me begin by introducing myself as a twentysomething year old, dwelling in one of the worlds most inner city, extravagantly tragic hotspots otherwise known as London. I write fiction. Sometimes, I dabble with /r/writingprompts. I like to write here and there and when I do I think that you should read it. I serve to enlighten you with works of wonder from a neurotically tasteful perspective; issues such as identity, addiction, philosophy and romance. You will find that I try to make sense of things when really there isn’t anything to make sense of.

Laugh with me, and oh we will surely get there. Somewhere.