Wednesday, 22 December 2010

A letter to the friendless and unloved. I propose it is better to be alone forever in a padded cell than isolated in your own home. Loneliness leads ultimately to untimely loss of wits, and no amount of comfort can save you from prolonged exposure to it. Far from it in fact! I believe it may well speed up the degradation of the mind. Things once comforting, familiar possessions, may take on a sinister new sheen come the hundredth double take. Like a word spoken over and over again becomes guttural, unintelligible noise, possessions viewed on an endless pacing carousel shed their purpose. The most simple item can become a frightful artifact without the silent confirmation, which a human can emanate whilst a lamp cannot, that an ashtray is an ashtray.

As a matter of fact, your belongings posses many maddening techniques should you have them as your only guest for any length of time. Furnishings are cunning, tricky and work in packs. Upon attempting to relax on your sofa, you may survey the contents of the living room: soft cushions, cat ornaments and beige picture frames. These seemingly inoffensive pastel fittings can easily lull you into a thoughtful stupor, which only serves to amplify your terror as the wind embeds a door into its frame, or a pipe lets out a anthropomorphic belch.

Being surrounded by all too familiar possessions poses other more subtle threats to the sanity of the lonely individual. Depending on how long you have lived before becoming isolated, many of your possessions may echo with the voices, smells and textures of those you knew and loved prior to your current situation. You would think that the most powerful of these items would be pictures or letters, but this is wrong. Beware of the small and inconsequential things, beads and fridge magnets and the like. Such seemingly innocent items may well be loaded with emotional tripwires. Where a letter can be avoided and shut in the dark of a drawer, something small and forgotten can lie dormant for years, waiting  to catch your eye or snare your heart. The effect may be instant stabbing sadness, as you remember interaction, trivial at the time, yet desperately unobtainable now you are alone. Or worse, it could capture your gaze for hours, a key that unlocks a whole host of images from your past, an unstoppable deluge, as you sit there mute, inert and full of pathos forced to view the soul rending slide-show in its entirety.

There may be those who argue that there are allies in the comfortable house, conducive to a  healthy active mind. This is true in the short term, but only for those with a robust social life! Writing can be therapeutic, but the lengthy absence of interaction may lead to creation of long rambling passages to fictional audiences, or worse, yourself! Reading and watching television are also fine distractions, indeed at the beginning of your hermitage these activities will most likley hold your attention making you smile, frown and ponder. However as time progresses and with nobody to discuss your love of literature or your dislike of a particular candidate on The Apprentice, you will find yourself turning to your own mind for conversation. Thoughts on a subject recently read or viewed, if not shared in good time, can pollute the brain. Your thoughts on a matter become your thoughts on your thoughts on a matter and so on. After a period you will no doubt have the book open, or the T.V on, pointlessly though. You will be focusing intently at the wall, transfixed by your own introspection.

The trouble with loneliness is that it is a silent, creeping feeling. Not like love or hate, which seize and shake you on their arrival, nor longing or hunger, which slowly prod and pester until they reach an unbearable crescendo. You will not know you are truly lonely until you are desperately alone and as such it is difficult to guard against. So what do I propose to those stuck in this rut, solitary, blue and reaching a state of mania. Get out of the house more.

Monday, 20 December 2010

Pills. Never again.
A love, once perfect, has fled.
Left with no substance.

Thursday, 16 December 2010

Dear friend, I have something important to share before I leave.
You have the personality of a house brick.
As our romance and my holiday ends, do not grieve,
I'm certain this parting leaves us equally sick.

Old pal, don't hold back the raging torrents of emotion!
Allow bitter pints to spill all, clumsily.
As the coral red sides of lager lout eyes follow each motion.
Bumble through, if you can, tristeful, fistful and lovingly.

My keeper! Though your house grows frosty and your face harder,
Your shallow heart must not follow suit.
For now, my lover, I am full from your larder!
But one cold day I'll be on your step, then through the door,
To wear your socks and rustle your drawers,
Drink all your beer and just like before,
I'll gorge from your kitchen and piss on your floor.
My awful, soulless, spark-less, spineless brute!


Friday, 10 December 2010

Dawn or dusk, it matters not.
Descending down the snow framed street.
Future fiery cold, yet hot!
The sunsets onset warm and bleak.

The road away, the road behind.
A bright orb rises, peaks then dies.
The sun kissed clouds, both noon and night,
Console, question and chastise.

Wednesday, 8 December 2010

Winter in Newcastle seems to me far more like glorious spring than any of the shivering complainers, busy news anchors or weather worn workmen seem to realise. If only they could muster the courage to face the driving wind head on and square shouldered, they would appreciate the reinvigorating qualities inherent in the North East's particular brand of prolonged chill. When the snow is heavy and driving, they must learn to revel in it! It is as criminal to maintain eye contact with the pavement during this winter spectacle as it is to walk with eyes closed through a spring forest, thick with boundless, budding new growth. Just as the joyous, youthful forest thins towards its edges to allow the pale sun's rays to dapple and dance across the neck and back, so the blizzard eases and snowflakes die tenderly on eyelashes and cheek tops. To some, the allure of springtime is rebirth and renewal, a time to start over. I say look around you! Every house is transformed from a red bricked, mundane doppelgänger sitting cosily amongst identical neighbours to a majestic white beast, with curves of snow and spines of ice. For a month or so each house is covered in billions of unique crystals which collectively announce it's singular shimmering, transitory individuality. The fields of spring are no doubt charming. It is easy to lose yourself in the gentle hum of new life, the drowsy smell of grass very close to the nose. Newcastle's parks and fields hold an all together more captivating charm whilst under winters grip. The stark tundra, when glimpsed with the aid of the low white morning sun provide the most brilliant blank canvass. The mind which could easily grow lazy when presented the scene early on a balmy spring day is, in winter, alert and racing. No insects drone or frivolous birdsong congests the ears and the eyes have even less to occupy them. The result being that every sound is magnified and crisp and each image is clear and sharp focused. So to everyone tucked away, remove yourselves from hibernation early! Spring is pleasant yes, but presently it is winter and it is beautiful. Get outside! Leave your scarves at home, unbutton your coats and soak up every detail. There will be plenty of time for lounging around come the next season.