Tuesday, 22 November 2011

The Chains of Being

I pondered the daisy chain of cause and effect in the rain. Not exactly a downpour, but enough to soak the pores, by osmosis. Everything in theory can be traced back to the first spark, the prime mover, that is both cause and effect … gave me pause to reflect … on how what never ends, couldn't be … gin and tonic for me. A bitter segment of the time lime. On the rocks. Stirred and, almost, shaken. Wet and drunk and sunk.

Saturday, 8 October 2011

Black liquid duvet foaming yellow fire and turning back upon. Criss-crossing. Lapping. Self-folding. Then slivered cluster sparkle rain from moon on unbroken surface undulating. Washing not waving. Watching black bubbles. Purple blue. Black, orange, yellow gradation shore. Approaching gentle crashing. And now leaving landing. Watching, not waving.

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

At the interrogation clinic

When did your heart stop Professor?

Professor is merely a courtesy title.

You have not answered question.

Is it really a question, or an accusation by implication?

How so?

If my heart had stopped, I would be unable to satisfy it. Take that literally and metaphorically.


One only answers a question, by definition, with a certain care, no matter how feeble.

You have curious notion of satisfy. So you are one of those cognitive therapy types, rearrange thoughts to what is acceptable to fashion?

Oh, no. No. But such an attempt to realign a person's reasoning can be instructive, though sometimes that revelatory process could tell more against the attempt at realigning.

So there can be no definite answer.

No more than to speculate as to how far the - a - light can reveal the depth of darkness independent of who's holding it.

I decided to like you Professor.

But, of course, you knew that was my intention almost immediately. And it's just a courtesy title, as I mentioned.

And I suspect you are willing to extend me same courtesy.

Indeed, I am.

So who is prisoner?

Or who is freer?

Perhaps now I take to dislike.

Perhaps, but I don't suppose you have just yet, though I grant you are perfectly capable.

You are ungenerous in magnanimity. It does not suit you.

Yes, I deserved that.

Nor does false modesty.

It is not a look that takes well with you either. Let us now get down to business.


The oldest profession.

Client and prostitute not always easy to distinguish Professor.

You are right, they are not.


My mother used to say that sarcasm is the lowest form of wit.

I would rejoined with the counter observation that it is verily the most sublime form of comedic discursive interplay, for which I was summarily granted a thick and chastened ear.

Monday, 26 September 2011

The new standard

We don't just manage expectations, we lower them. Everything is for sale. Everything must go. Rock bottoms.

Saturday, 24 September 2011

The unknown soldier

The force of the hit, as if from an invisible sledgehammer and without pause for resistance, knocking him sideways flat to the dirt. The next available sensation was of grit particulates adhered to the moisture of his lips as his jaw worked pressed in abrasion against the soil. With careful placed attention and methodical application he lifted himself clear of the ground, raising his head slowly against the swell of lethargy that buffeted at his core, howling at the lantern of his will. Then the veil drew black and the clock hand tick froze. Taste of salt and bitter minerals against his tongue tip, the earth pulling at his face. Had he fallen again or had he never moved except for his imagining? And then burning. Pulses of fire in running rivulets till the fire consumed and then it was just. Burning. Ringing. Raging. And back. Liquid sensations, warm wet, the pleasant suspension of swimming, the tug of viscosity against his limbs as they extended in passing rhythm clearing the way in satisfying drafts. The gulp as surface broken and the eye lids faltering, momentarily flattering the welcome glare of the sun. And then he was the sun. Burning. Power. Cleansing. Killing. Feeding. Energy transforming.

Friday, 23 September 2011

Winter's hangover

His fingers trembled on the window sill under the tension placed upon them by way of his levering himself from the floor as the weight of burden transmitted from their tips to his wrists, to his forearms, shoulders, and then were joined in venture by the initially unwilling cranking of leg, thigh and back muscles until finally he escaped the gravitational pull of floor and drunken oblivion. There was some delay before the warmth of touched sill registered as unexpected among the rehearsal hall din and clashing cacophony of beating brain vessels, which receded, momentarily, to establish a bearable rhythm, revealing a further clearing ahead in his consciousness. He groped towards it. Vision vacillating between the interruption static of pain and then shards of clarity, which themselves were a kind of pain, triggering the cycle yet again. In a longer break, the crystallised condensation in the corners of the window pane sparkling in imperceptible deliquesce from low hung breaking-sun lasered rays over the powdered, crunch-deep frosting of snow outside. Uncanny how the self-enforced condition of wretchedness can sometimes render the slightest things, usually passed over in the casualness of familiarity, beautiful.

Wednesday, 21 September 2011


Magnolia walls dapple-tinted with nicotine, time and the quiet tapping betraying the slow unravelling of nerves at the edge of a crumpled, cork-affect butt-filled ash tray lying on edge of the desk near one of those varnish absent wear patinas, sat opposite the pealing paint windows in the mute surrounds of officialdom and the telephone that rings that's never answered.

Friday, 16 September 2011

Spies like us

I want to talk to you about your retirement from the service.

Retirement is certainly a favourable way of describing what amounted to a forced ejection, rather in manner one might downplay the explosive emission of a cannonball as being “dropped” .

I'm not here to apologise, but appeal to your sense of duty.

I hadn't imagined otherwise, you know me as well as any transcribed account. Taping. Third party conjecture. Stories. Legend. Chinese whispers. And what as to the motivations of those who decant the white noise of static into your eager - and I mean no offence - "green" lobes? The great game. Slight of hand. Pick a number. Choose a card. Motivations hidden behind mirrors and the cigar smoke of poker table tactics?

They said you were the best.

Flattery is the doyley beneath my coffee cup. I don't drink from it. In any case, “best" is an epithet most safely placed after the hindsight of “was the” ... not forgetting charm and false flattery is often a prelude to the strong arm of compulsion by blackmail or brutality.

We want you back in the fold. There are events, according to the wise, best viewed from the outside. By outsiders. Outsiders that once looked in.

So what token of temptation do you bring to my table?

The opportunity to make a difference.

To one who tried and faced indifference?

Indifference was a rock you once didn't mind pushing up the hill to spite the conventions of gravity.

And as for yourself?

That is not at issue.

But it is. You always.

I knew this wasn't going to be easy.

Really? I doubt you would come to me without focus group trialled bait. Don't confuse statistically based confidence for competence.

I'm only interested in what gets the job done.

Well, you shouldn't, unless you are willing to rely on the occasional accident. The complacency cook of results fostered in the broth of utilitarian kitchen-spoiled conceit.

There will be kills.

Not all information is heart-stopping.


As you no doubt know, I quit a while ago.

Delusions of eternal life?

No. My habit is to occasionally break habit. Trade craft.

Mind if I spark up?

Go ahead, if not now, compulsion will tell later.

They say more addictive than heroin. Then at least a refresh?

Since you offer, gin and tonic; ice, lime not lemon.


Tolerance, tried and tested.

But you are still open to persuasion?

It is a truth universally acknowledged that a spy in possession of a credible source is in want of an assignment.

So I simply supply my credentials?

It's a start. You can begin by lying about your real name; a slight pause is more convincing than the immediacy of a trained reflex. Unguarded spontaneity.

Don't make it easy.

Or too hard.

Let's drop all pretence.

If I was thus inclined, you wouldn't be talking, but carrying me on your shoulders.

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Coping with change in the work place

Don’t allow the change initiators to cast you as negative: Explain to them that change is a metaphysical concept which can only be explicated with reference to the continuity of identity, otherwise it becomes meaningless and, that by your dowsing them with accelerant and setting them aflame, you are symbolically acknowledging the primordial signifier of change throughout the ages.

As the process of combustion begins to really heat up, remind them of Heraclitus, Fragment 16:

This universe, which is the same for all, has not been made by any god or man, but it always has been, is, and will be an ever-living fire, kindling itself by regular measures and going out by regular measures.

Friday, 22 July 2011

Lost aphorisms

Like an old-time hobo, I move on by staying in the home I take with me.

What you throw away in plastic bags is often more revealing than that which you keep hold of in plastic bags.

The road is hard, unless freshly laid, in which case, it is at first sticky underfoot, or wheel, and your passage is generally frowned upon by the authorities until officially opened.

That which lays before and behind you often depends on which way you are facing and, sometimes, it is the sky or the earth, depending on the time of day or your level of sobriety.

Jack Kerouac from Adam Leideker on Vimeo.

Friday, 8 July 2011


He had one thought: "I need filth". Rupert had been slapped awake with the unpleasant start of a man who'd been forcefully resuscitated against his will. No one, nothing, was there but the brutal light of day, penetrating every crack that wasn't held at bay by the curtains, impaling his head to the pillow with violent determination. He felt rough. Head spinning. Face baked in heat and light. Body sticky and aching beneath the covers. An ocean of vacant need. "I must service my need".

Propelled by base desire, he dragged himself from bed, and soon found himself outside, staggering in the tenacious heat of a boiling Sunday morning. The breathless air, swaying hopelessly to ward off the piercing orb, squinting eyes barely open, baseball cap pulled tight over scrunched hair, the last lines of defence.

An interminable walk - "dear god, walking" - the 100 yards to the newsagents - the headline news sandwich board planted outside the shop - a lousy speck invisible in this beating glare.

Ding, ding, the bell goes, as he steps heavily through the door and makes his way to the paper rack. Eyes grazing the shelves. But what's this? His favourite rag not in stock. Everything else but not this weekly number. How could this be? I'm not late. Where is it? He looks to the shop-keep. "Sorry mate, it’s not out, they've stopped it, not going to do it anymore."

Rupert felt faint; the bile was quick to surface: "What the bloody 'ell mate? What the bloody 'ell are you talking about? I want my bloody news!"

The shop-keep was unmoved: "Sorry mate, like I say, no news." There was an awkward pause. "No news is good news," He smiled jovially.

Rupert exploded: "Don't tell me no news is bloody good news, get on the phone, get your bloody delivery boy here with my copy of the NEWS OF THE WORLD NOW!"

The shop-keep didn't blink, "I'm sorry mate, I'm not joking, there's no NEWS OF THE WORLD. It's over. Didn't you hear? They put it out to pasture. Sent it packing..... all those allegations."

Another tense silence as Rupert eyed the man and went to begin ranting and raving again, before the shop-keep directed his gaze towards a paper whose title he hadn't seen before. Sunday Sunday. Rupert looked down. "What the fuck is that mate?!"

"It's the replacement. Take a look." Rupert went to start balling again, but the shop-keep interrupted gently. "Please...... have a look."

Incredulous, Rupert grabbed the red-top - he wasn't convinced by the front page: football. bums. pregnant. peado. murder - and thrust it open. P2 and 3. Breasts. Smiles. War. His temper calmed. He flicked to the editorial. Outrage. Hate. War. Pride. Paedos. But no breasts. Tasteful. He sighed gently.

Rupert's breathing slowed, easing to a gentle tempo. He held the paper and allowed himself to enjoy its weight, its feel; it sent a pleasant tingle through his hands, all the way to his spine, up and down and all over. As he fished out the shiny £1 coin to pay for his booty, he looked to the shop-keep, whose tiny, square, face mooned back at his and said softly, wistfully: "it tastes .... like the Sun."

Wednesday, 6 July 2011

Intermission: The Loser

Yes, loser, I'd say I'm comfortable - caveats at the ready - with that categorisation; obviously there's a broad spectrum of circumstance under which one could classify the condition of being a loser, for which the majority, or a substantial subset thereof, I do not under buckle - fall - easily and, of those which I do, I do not so do in general by de facto or default - can't - in the sense of someone totally incapable, paralysed by a certain absence, or lacking - be it of a mental or physical capacity - in the so-called application of natural aptitude, or for lack or wont of educational opportunity, or blight of gestation within a hostile environment or caste, class and creed, or, if one were so superstitious, by being cursed through circumstance of birth below an infelicitous alignment of constellations; indeed, I do not even necessarily fall below the banner of loser with equal measure to my fellow, fulfil all of the loosely associated set of criteria or descriptions said to define this particular example and/or that particular example of loser, rather, instead, I chose to actively identity myself with - though not in the existential sense of choice as the complete, comprehensive sum and total characterisation of my existence - as a someone who won't; not for the lack of trying in the face of, or exception by mere refusal to participate in the collective path trod by the Nietzschean herd, or even that narrower furrow ploughed by certain exclusive groups or elites propagated either by their own action or decree through their various organs of mass communication, or those more inner, select, closed groupings, limited either by strict circulation or mere accessibility to those adept at a professional or peer-reviewed idiom - but by resistance in a refusal to endorse, implicitly or explicitly, by participation or abstinence, in absence or presence, the role of loser-dressed-as-winner, when I am willing to win on my own as the loser.

Thursday, 30 June 2011

Chapter One

There's a theory - inspired by quantum mechanics - that states that every possibility is realised as an actuality in some alternate world; save for the providence of chance, it might have worked out better or worse elsewhere and that, across those multiple worlds, or at least a subset recognisably close to ours, our doppelgängers sometimes hesitate to think upon their other's each others' as if it were their own.

Chapter One

Jonny watched his own face fade in-and-out, in-and-out of the passenger window with the steady beat of passing umbrella flares from overhanging pole lamps.

Penny for your thoughts? Mr. Fixit already knew the answer, though expected none, already having observed this tendency in Jonny many-a-time over the past months; now closing in on a year.

What you call that effect when the light flashes on and off - like when you're blinking fast in the sun's glare or when it's peaking through the slats in a tall fence as you're running by and the images in the back of your eyeball are all chopped-up in slow motion?

You're sometimes surprisingly eloquent for a hired henchman. Strobe is the word you’re looking for. You know, a similar effect was to be found in olden olden times gone by: they had these magic lanterns, a primitive device whereby a light source, such as a candle, was placed before a concave mirror in such a way as to concentrate it upon a transparency - a single pictorial frame - the illuminated likeness of which then passed on through an aperture terminating in a magnification lens and, finally, projected onto a blank wall or screen ... Discovered later that they could take a series of these static frames, say of someone running - separated by marginal shifts in space and time - and run them together through the lantern to create the illusion of motion - got the same the same kind of blinking-flickering effect as your strobe ... A Plato's cave within a Plato's cave. Now, prior to the lantern makers and the philosophers’ cave, long before long before, were the Sophists, foremost amongst which, Zeno, who was the first to point out that the entire notion of motion was an illusion, as an object's trajectory, tracked through space and time, could be indefinitely sliced into smaller and smaller units ... Break anything down far enough and you end up burning the reason out of it. Of course it's all digital these days, but, whatever, you still get the picture.

Strobe. Yeah, strobe. And the magic of movies. You always were with the book smarts, no doubt about, though I don't care to wonder why you bother wasting your breath on it over me: Plato; Zeno; what-the-fuck? - Jonny dramatised with a hand rushed over his head, expelling a whistled breath in imitation of the ignorance gushing slipstream - Self-amusement, I guess. Careful it don't blind.

Were with the smarts? Past tense. While I appreciate the compliment and your disinclination towards subjects of an intellectual derivation, you might want to think about getting your head back in the game.

Jonny's head had never actually left the game; indeed, it ran several plays ahead. He had already pictured - flashing - life-blood and brain-matter-splatter draining through a nearside-shot cranial crater in Mr. Fixit's head and the frozen mask of surprise before the facial muscles could contort themselves away from the fuddle to feel their way back to comprehension: what had been done.

Back to the road. It was dawn break when they reached the long, sloping approach to the Energy to Waste plant, turning off the down the slipway on bleached-by-day asphalt, selecting lanes segregated by smile-white confident correctional dashes and, on ahead, the near-distance, double punctuated by the coal-raked ruby of break-lights from slow-moving freight wagons. The cloud occluded sky, soft creamed pinks, marshmallowed above and the residual chill of night air not yet dispelled.

Viewed through the perimeter wire fence, as yet still toy-town dimensions at this distance, the plant, where the recalcitrant human-accumulated detritus - waste that couldn't otherwise be conveniently recycled and sold back for reprocessing or mulched for composting, was broken down and incinerated to steam-power giant electricity generating turbines - was housed safe within its own architectural oyster-shell-styled curves, concealing the mystery of its inner workings and shielded from passing sight of highway traffic by a verdant veil of “soft landscaping” - a curiously artificial arrangement of undulating hillocks and veils of vertiginous vegetation and, further out yet, surrounded by outlying GM rape fields of day-glow gold-yellow.

Mr. Fixit pulled the pickup truck over to the road-side. Eyes fixed forward. Still, without deviation.


Not for me Jonny.

You want me to double check on the Sat Nav?

When did I start needing an eye in the sky Jonny?

It was the blink between Jonny's attention withdrawing inward from the road outside the close environs of the cab, to feeling for the gun's handle jammed under the seat gutter nearside the passenger's door … when the moment split ... though he couldn't pinpoint the initial impact, he felt the tearing compression of tissue pressed up against the neck vertebrae as the back of his head slammed hard against the headrest. The ferric froth of blood tinctured spittle shot-up sinuses, followed by a slow, bitter gush from throat and mouth. The last flashing trails he saw searing his retinas were of the retracting onyx inlaid cuff-links embedded in eldritch-white cotton cuffs, together with the balled fist and the blanched peak-tension of skin stretched over metacarpophalangeal joints and, haltingly, the jagged stub blade and magical curtain-fall and fade to nothing no more.

Working quickly to stem the still throbbing throat wound by winding wadding and fixing with a gaffer tape tourniquet tight around the neck, Mr. Fixit paused to wipe the red-stained drool dripping from Jonny's gaping mouth, thumbing it shut by pushing up the lower mandible with a singular clack, and then moved on to arranging the trunk and limbs - now almost extenuating in their semblance of slumber - and, lastly, slid down the lids over Jonny's checked-out stare. There was no accidental oversight involved in leaving on the protective plastic sheet hire seat covers. Foresight precludes the unplanned regrets of hindsight: nine tenths preparation; one tenth execution. He paused again to self-acknowledged, whilst cajoling a single matt-black body bag Jonny had concealed earlier for this very purpose - though with a different resolution in mind - from the elongated crevice beneath the passenger seat.

Taking his time, dabbing down the side window, door and dash panelling, in careful, tight circles, methodically soaking up liquid traces of trauma; he flicked on the cab light and, when satisfied at the absence of any remaining residues, stepped out of the cab briefly, reposing for a while in mild, ankle skirting buffets of the cool breeze. Reaching back inside for the used wipe-cleans, dowsing them in solvent and knotting them in a thick wick, he set fire to dangling end from which he lit a cheroot, drawing in chuffs and then longer, slow casual lung breaths, before tossing the torched evidence to the earth and grinding out the embers under the ball of his foot.

Were one to happenstance the scene from a distance, one would have beheld the towering figure - 6' 7" or 6' 8" or may be more, indefinitely placed on the horizon, silhouetted in black; if one drew closer, one would have registered the silvering hair, seamlessly smooth skin - absent the tell-tail wrinkling of habitual expression - tanned like a pool-side sultan, sultana, and eyes stone set in the implacable reflection of the ringed visage; as for the rest: the overall impression of the consummate; the immaculately-suited conception; the kind of guy who, on entering scrapes whereby one would normally expect, at the very least, to encourage a severe case of mussed hair, ripped-to-shreds garments and a battery of bruising, together with a judicious catalogue of cuts and scars, somehow - at that crucial moment in the movies were the camera cuts away from the action and swings back to find a perfectly groomed protagonist - he, likewise, would always spring back unblemished, as if a gentle pat-down of speckled dust on jacket lapels and sleeves were the only due acknowledgement of a situation best relegated to the side-draw of inconvenience.

He slid back into the cab, adjusted the rear-view mirror and zipped Jonny shut in his shiny new black cocoon.

Stopping for a second time, this time just within the shadowy penumbra beyond the lumination of the guard's booth, he killed the engine and stepped out to present his formal credentials.

ID?Okay Mr. Bolero …

Jon. Just call me Jonny. Everyone else does.

fine, but I need you to be good Jonny; the kind of good where no alarm bells are a-ringing.

A nice, but unoriginal allusion.

I like the think the oldies, such as myself, are the best ... take it you are familiar with the health and safety regs and emergency protocols? Yeah? So point me at the area designate for congregation in case of fire and other such calamities. Fine. You need to sign here and this waver here - in full, in block capital, here and, again, here.

Passing through the whirling, sliding mechanics of broad steel-barbed security gate. Stop-start. Stop-start. Stopping for a third time, Mr. Fixit pulled up by the entrance of a preselected service bay secluded form sight of the main entrance and stepped out around back to loosen the tightly lashed tether ropes, cross-hatched secured, holding the tarp taught over the trailer, then drew back the now sunken grey canopy revealing the indefinite forms of the sheathed cargo hid beneath. He eyed the plant worker loitering just inside the bay: head slouched so his chin rested on pigeon chest, sweat beaded forehead irrigated by swales marking the tides of concentration, tapping nervously at his wrist-watch face, other hand tucked into his belt, while short pacing. All out of the way of the glare of the halogen security beams fixed either side above the entrance frame, which was marked out with black and yellow, broad hatched, hazard strips. It was mostly quite, save for the subdued crackling static of intermittent activity muffled by the cloistered maze of corridors, linking quarantine-like antechambers to cathedral-sized clunking machine rooms, within. No ponging drift of unpleasant waste smells too, due to the air pressure differentials maintained between the inside and outside, which ensued any stray stinks stayed sealed indoors.

You the man?

So some sayeth, cometh the hour and so on and on. Here's Jonny!

Eh? Oh, Jonny right, right on time.

And here's my ID. Any questions? No? Now make yourself useful and give me a hand unloading the trailer.

They hauled off five body-sized bags from the rear, piling in a criss-cross heap over each other on to a hydraulic trolley forking a broad wooden pallet base.

As I understood it right - the deal - there were to be seven items for processing? … I counted five …will this affect remuneration? … you have some splash on your cuff?

He motioned the plant worker, with slight tremulous flexing of his closed fingers from the knuckle above the palm heel, to follow; skirted again around back of the pickup and flipped the release on the passenger door when another, occupied black bag, bent in half below the dash and windscreen, slumped sideways to the ground with a heavy organic slap.

There. Makes six in my estimation. An apprenticeship that didn't work out. Trust issues. We'll chalk, give-or-take one, to margin of error in my figuring of circumstance - counterfactuals - seen and unforeseen.

Was that supposed to be funny?

Nope. This is.


Not really. That was. Your discretion, I trust.

The plant worker responded reflexively with a combination forefinger-thumb, pincered, mouth-zipping-shut motion, terminating in a flick of the wrist and an over-the-should-let-go, together with a nod-and-wink and a tug on the visor rim of his baseball cap for good measure.

Always a pleasure …

doing untaxed business.



Reaching forward, unbuttoning the plant worker's breast shirt pen pocket, Mr. Fixit - Jonny - slipped in an unmarked wedged envelope, while, with the other hand, sealing the deal in a single palm-pat to the upper arm, just below the left shoulder, and suddenly, fluidly, with feigned half-twist heal-about-turn-to-go - just as the worker was about to mouth “wait” - swung his still elevated arm around the worker's neck - sliding bodily behind - securing it in the acute vice of a crooked elbow and, using his free hand as a gag, dragged the worker kicking - chest hammering like a jammed squeeze box working against the stemmed flow of air - until the will to resist subsided: the towel-thrown-into-the-ring equivalent of physiological submission. Mr. Fixit then removed the hidden syringe tucked inside the anomalous bulge in the worker's belt, flipped the cap sheath and thumb-plunged the needled juice into an exposed trunk of elevated throat vein and the waited for the muscles to unknot themselves and slacken loose from the last remnants of struggle.


Plat schemata: floor plans, utility lines, ducts and grated air vents, systems access terminals, instructional and procedural manuals, together with personnel deployment and shift timings, were photographically stored - strobing - in his head. The mental map, a living tapestry, allowing for the fact that, every thread, has its dead ends.

Gone half-an-hour, another lit cheroot, the driver's door latch clunks shut, engine sparks and growls torching transmission torque - gear teeth crunching - tyre spin kicks-up grit spit and then the whiplash lurch forward and rapid turn-about heading out the gate, back onto the slipway and back-glance to the cork-screwed ethereal trail spiralling from the carbon-capped plant stack diminishing in his rear-view mirror.

And, some time later, the pause for a window roll-down on the highway lay-by and Jonny's gun flung hinter into a litter-strewn siding.

Friday, 3 June 2011

Lovin' Spoonful

In lieu of posting my first chapter, which - by-the-way - I expect to be ready for posting sometime next week, a musical interlude. Tune reminds me of the long car journeys during 70's summers, radio cranked up, when my family would travel out to the coast to camp and mum would knit, while dad was out surfing and me and my sister would explore the rock pools for strange, tide stranded sea-life and shells. Definitely not in the city.

Friday, 13 May 2011

HTTP 404

There's a theory - inspired by quantum mechanics - that states that every possibility is realised as an actuality in a world not too dissimilar to ours, save for the providence of chance and that, across those multiple worlds, our doppelgängers sometimes hesitate to think upon their other's each others' as if it were their own.

Sunday, 8 May 2011

Not too late

Late evening sun of chance breaks radiating bright finger shafts of saffron stigmata staining walls through blinds and, looking beyond, the bruised purple clouds of recent wet pours on sated earth and taste of salt in mouth and muted call of bird song before rest.

Saturday, 7 May 2011

One born every minute

Protean. An entity yet unformed by the wholeness of self-actualisation though action; through purpose. Caught in the spooling reel of fractured dreamscapes; of portent and signifier without context; without the great overarching narrative; without the fixed point yet to arise over the horizon, breaking the flattening darkness of foreground and heralded by the winged chorus.

Sunday, 1 May 2011


Night dark as slate, no chalk-white of moolnight and spangled span of stars upon which to draw cartographies and cold permeating bone with slow-creep of necromancing vines. Desensitising sent of forest pine disinfecting senses. Distance notional and afraid of circles. Turning in yet resit falling inwards towards centripetal swirl of inner concerns.

Saturday, 30 April 2011

Natural disasters

It appears that nature has gone wild, but that would be a tautology.

The Judge

Who deigns it fit to intrude upon the private bathings of a man of decent standing in the civil environs of this here town of simple God-fearing folk?

I came to lay mine own eyes upon a once kindred and marvel in contempt at the wretched works of accident or design of eye that led him so far from our common crucible.

It was by mine own hands by which the straps were hoisted upon the boots whose imprint marked the passage of mine own deeds.

As he said and spoke so, the Judge palmed the bare beacon of his hairless dome, splashing upon it the solution of his own dissolved filth - together with red stain of fallen slain - as if to defile the sacred baptismal ceremony itself; then, by dint of star-shooting sparks from a quick-struck flint, relit perched cigar on tin bath rim. Lungs billowed. Smoke rhythmically ascending. Ceiling.

Deal with it and move on, he said; beat.

Friday, 29 April 2011

A game of numbers

Upon watching a documentary investigating the origins of the universe, it was stated that the universe, “appeared nearly 14 billion years ago out of nothing”, a number vastly smaller than the monetary sums laid claim to on one small, mostly blue, planet.

A Right Royal Event

Motes of dust glittered in Brownian motion as if heaven-sent confetti caught in the broad shaft of light that beamed its presence from above the alter and fanned-out among the chattering hum of the excited congregation and co-mingled with the gently churning organ as it piped out psalmic hymns. And then their notionally appointed spiritual leader of ceremonies sprang forth from a hydraulic plinth within a candy-rock swirl of white and purple vestments, jogging up the semi-spiral of steps to attain his singular elevation above the sea of upturned faces. Pausing only for composure, he tugged on the silvery bramble of his beard, raised the thatched arches of his brows; eyes searching out a higher power as if to re-invest himself with the pre-ordained righteousness of entitlement. Silence fell with axe drop of his outstretch arm thwacking the rim of the pulpit; the sound ricocheting between the walls of surrounding public amplifiers. He cleared his throat manfully, but was suddenly caught off-guard with the wailing of orgasmic frenzy emanating from a barrel-shaped woman, housed in a marquee of a Sunday-best dress, clutching at her air pipe between gulps, as waves of ecstasy ravaged her body and soul. Her husband, or at least an individual standing next to her willing to do what was necessary to maintain the sacred probity of the occasion, cupped her mouth and nose with one hand; then reached-round to clamp the other atop, till her eyes bulged like billiard balls and face turned from red to purple to royal blue and her flaccid body slumped down, smacking pews and proximal congregants along the way. The front-row celebrities wrenched their necks to fire stabbing glares.

Now that I have your full attention, I would like to say some prefatory words regarding the role of faith in these increasingly secular and, no doubt consequentially related, hostile times. I say unto those nay-sayers - the heathen party-poopers - those that turn their cheek to the institutions of God - Satan is waiting to score their flesh with his talons, rub salt upon the racks of their ribs, and crisp their flesh to crackling, whereupon his minions shall feast in the sans-implement gobbling of their God-less table manners.

Moving on.

Lest we forget, we are joined here today to celebrate before God's witness the holy union of this smiling harpy of a social climber and this very definition of male mediocrity - if it weren't for the archaic coincidence of genetics and tired traditions.

Let the world-wide television rights bring bounty upon this great nation and fill the Lord's coffers so His work may continue through His officially appointed channels.

Wednesday, 27 April 2011

A funny thing happened on the way ...

I boarded the bus and took the isle seat next to a man who appeared to be sweating like a cold can straight from the fridge on a humid summer's day, except this was the middle of winter, and he was repeatedly muttering some mantra to himself under short breaths while rocking back-and-forth in a jerking motion.

Are you okay? Look: I know it's not the done thing to strike-up social conversation on public transport and/or associated infrastructure such as queues at road-side shelters and/or end-of-line terminals, but dude, you are seriously unnerving me. Are you about to have a turn? I mean, are you epileptic or something? Out of politeness you should really inform me about these things so I can like prepare myself, or move seat, or whatever.

His fear dilated eyes met momentarily with mine before lowering towards the trembling movement of his hands unzipping down the front of his puffer jacket to reveal of a series cuboidal blocks of incendiaries fitted laterally, at regular intervals, all about his waist and interconnect with a mesh of wires seemingly randomly knotted as if a kitten had been at it.

You are not worried?

Say, you're not from around these parts are you?

What was it that tipped you? He stammered. The foreign accent, the dark skin, the beard, or all of the above?

Relax, this isn't Hicksville buddy – look!

I opened my own jacket to reveal a near identical explosive configuration straddling my midriff, I then tapped the shoulder of the old lady sat in the seat in front; explained the situation; she hoisted herself up by holding onto the support rails and slowly turned round, opening the front of her floor-length coat with the one free hand, revealing her own belt. Clearly these events hadn't gone unnoticed by the rest of the passengers and, following, they, one-by-one, displayed each of their own similarly fashioned belts in turn.

There was an unfamiliar yet welcome sense of camaraderie as each passenger, including the old lady, sat back in their seats and resumed the rest of their journeys, each in a consensual bubble of silence.

See? Nothing to worry about. You did the right thing. Sensible precaution. It's your civic duty; would be impolite to demonstrate less. Can we relax now, finally?

Friday, 22 April 2011

First sight

I stole a glance. Theft? I don't quite know. Only it felt wrong to feel right that way. Like we might have and shared. Like she could have cared. And may be the balance of contact, when our eyes met, favoured me. But she didn't give me and I didn't ask permission. I dropped the stock cubes into the bachelor basket and switched isles.

Thursday, 21 April 2011


It was hard to place Vincent on the optimist-pessimist scale, let's just say he was more a glass half-smashed into your face kind of guy. Steroid abuse, bullied as a youth at school and on street, a knuckle-dragging IQ score and an aversion to being looked at or spoken to the wrong way – “wrong” here not to be confused with a consistent, standard bearing, signifier – tends to do that to some men. The clumsy approximation of tribal war tattoos across his face and shaven scalp, no doubt, were intended to add to the singular furrow of menace he tried his best to cultivate. He was unaware of just how ridiculous he looked, largely because no one thought to mentioned it, at least on the basis that anyone so stupid as to have such ludicrous markings permanently etched into their visage, was bound to be dangerous; so, after a fashion, he'd achieved the desired effect. But for all Vinny's faults, he stuck by his friends through thick and thin, for better and worse, can't even say that about most marriages these days; he was oddly old-fashioned in that way.

Wednesday, 20 April 2011

Grey gardens limited

The unforgiving freight-train pounding pistons and levers working weight to wheels on burnished sheen of steel rails bullets past the deserted station platform. I stand back in the wake of its irresistible come-hither suck of the siren's song. Breathless. I shake some in the cellular vibrations fear-soaked with fright hormones as they give way to a strange euphoria and the humming silence that falls somewhere just below sound. And the pristine snow compressed beneath my feet. Is cold a feeling, or merely an absence? In any case, I'd invalidated my ticket by getting off at the wrong stop and found myself stuck between nowheres without an immediate plan, except for keep moving. Zero bars, yet the obligatory screen alert of "emergency calls only" belied the prefixed promise of "mobile" to "phone". Even amidst the all-pervasive network of social infrastructure it's surprisingly easily to fall off the grid. I scoured the frost-framed schedules for pick-up stops amongst the off-season services. Luck, but not within the next five hours. Light fading fast on visible distance between steps.

Monday, 18 April 2011


Perspiration beads and cascades from the silvery crown roots down His neck, soaking side-burns burn and beard and pooling in cup of ears, running rivulets off sloped forehead and dripping from sponge brows, splashing lashes and searing sensitive pink lid-ends exposed where they meet denatured white-albumen of eyeballs.

Blinking blind.

The finger-tips tingle from engine vibrations transmitted through handles shaking flesh to gelatin numbness.

Jelly nerves.

The unconscious leaned-into postural slope and aching arch of muscles thick and heavy set against lift.

He kills the mower motor.


Stalled. The sonic hum still resonates round His skull like swarming swamp gnats. And now the uncomfortable adhesive cling of clothes to skin and viscous slick between sole and sandal squeaks in semi-frictionless slips.

Sun falling down.

Close to eve, He realises He can't keep this up; He needs to add “Ams” to continue the work.

Tender is the night.


Friday, 15 April 2011

There must be some kind of way out of here?

It helps the therapeutic process if you don't treat your psychiatrist as a hostile.

Even if he is?

Some would call that paranoia.

Some of those callers could be right or, on the other hand, paranoid.

I see I'm going to have to take a different tact.

Like you just figured you brought a knife to a gun fight?

I don't catch your drift.

Not so fast. I saw that sideways look when I mentioned the gun. Notice I said “the gun” this time; not “a gun”? There, in your desk draw. From across the desk no one could see, even standing, what you were reaching for unless they were leaning right over but, before that happened, your finger would've already been tugging at the trigger.

You seem confident of yourself. Perhaps we should take a look?

No need, we won't find it there. You taped it to the underside of the chair instead. You then deliberately continued to exhibited the non-verbal tell-take ticks that would lead me to believe it was still in the draw from our previous sessions.

So sure?

Yes, because I broke into your office while you were out to lunch and found your draw empty.

This is extreme paranoia.

Why don't you check under your chair, or are you afraid?



The psychiatrist will see you now.


Please, there is only one of you. And don't pretend to stick your gum underneath the seat. Don't deny. I saw you earlier. What you don't know is that I already knew you were double bluffing at playing the multiple personality schizoid when you really were a multiple personality schizoid who invented me as distraction for the fact that the gum was really in the draw; when both of us knew you and I were I all along.

This is worse than the plot to Shutter Island.

I think you've made your breakthrough.

Who said that?

You did.

Bait and switch. Switch and bait.

Thursday, 14 April 2011

Roam free

Nation states are just the front for the new breed of "international" business men, the kind elected "representatives" like to accept invitations from to stay on their yachts.

It's the Roman Empire all over again, except with flip-flops instead of sandals.

Wednesday, 13 April 2011

Aboard the straight-talking train

Blowing curlicues of smoke after the fashion of an old time train, and pausing only occasionally to tap away dead finger-ends of ash, the sheriff once again struck up conversation, which he always prefigured with a contrived facial spasm loosening his reading glass so as to initiate unmediated ball-to-ball contact.

You're about the best deputy I ever had.

I appreciate that Sir, I surely do, especially since how's it coming from someone I much admire such as yourself.

But you're too much the butt licker. Save your candy and flowers for the whores.

The sheriff lent forward into the light to reveal purple thread veins vine weaving under pocked pores and punctuated the ensuing silence by stubbing the smouldering cigar stump into the tray with slow, deliberate twists of the wrist.

Sunday, 10 April 2011


The atonal cacophony somehow melded into a rhythmic mesh of the familiar big-city street-side scape song. The vertiginous walls of skyscrapers and sun slabs punctuating through blue sky gaps. The dervish whorl. The syncopated beat of computer-controlled traffic lights, the co-ordinated flows of traffic by foot and by wheel. Preoccupation, occupation and on the up and on the down-and-out. The second hand pushes to compete with the beat of many watches and time is essential but without essence.

Saturday, 9 April 2011


You couldn't kill me, come, come.


You're not the type.

I'm the type that belong to all the rest, including you.

Yes, but think ahead – could you really imagine living a world after pulling that trigger? The implications; the full meaning of it all?

I can't that imagine world, not fully; at least not in every detail. The "not fully" clause implies that I can at least make some approximations, say, like the world won't end, but it would for you; you can't imagine that world because you wouldn't be there to do it. It's not that can't do this from lack of imagination, it's impossible; it's unintelligible. Your efforts to do otherwise are futile and meaningless though, I guess, not entirely meaningless in that we can try to make sense of things we can't explain while we can. Think: if we were to rationalised everything, explain it and place it securely with the grand scheme, what joy would there be in it? There's no mystery; there's no hope because there's no “don't know?”. So, now you tell me: do you know with any certainty I won't pull the trigger? Is that a risk you're willing to take? If so, I respect that.

Okay you win, you win. Well played. Lucky for you I'm your smarter-than-average law-breaker. I'm putting it down, slowly, on the table – see my hands? Slow movements. Very slow movements.

I forgot to mention the flip-side. The less you know – including what you think you know but, in fact, don't – the more dangerous it gets. Roll on dark ages.

Would you really have shot me?

I still might.


You're dangerous. You think you know more than you do and I don't.

You talk too much; I'd kill you already.

Yeah, so do you but for different reasons.

Friday, 8 April 2011

Thursday, 7 April 2011

Where's Wally?

Where are you?

In this room.

Which is where?

In such and such a building on such and such campus.

Which is where?

In such and such a city.

Which is where?

In such and such a country.

Which is where?

On Earth.

Which is where?

In the solar system.

Which is where?

On a spiral arm of the Milky Way.

Which is where?

In the universe.

Which is where?

Well, the universe is everything?

Which is where?


So you are telling me you are everywhere?

I suppose so, if you put it like that.

You put it that way, but I couldn't possibly comment from where I'm standing. Now what time is it?



Which now?

Wednesday, 6 April 2011

Don't get into strange cars occupied by heavy-set strangers

There's that phrase “to hit the ground running” which invokes – at least to my mind - the immediate biomechanical jolt transmitted from terra firma in equal but oppositional reaction to the slam of the leading foot; indeed my thoughts turned to the re-coining of such a notion in order to account for some of the more chaotic forces encountered in life, especially in the context of my just having been jettisoned out of a fast moving car, which I just had. The sensible thing, perhaps, would have been not to get into the car in the first place; however, four heavies tooled-up with devices specifically designed to inflict pain – hold on, does a baseball bat with the nails embedded the wrong way round count as multi-purpose? - anyway, can be pretty persuasive, even in retrospect. The resultant enforced exfoliation by asphalt had proved much rougher than your average beauty treatment, though certainly the after-effects went beyond the merely skin-deep; let's just say my fat-slack ab-slabs would be the least of my presentational worries conspicuous when housed in my beach suit briefs.

Saturday, 2 April 2011

Femme fatale

Pretty. Ash blonde. Too much eye-shadow though. Summer sky cyan. And the floral dress swishing at the tanned ankles, crimped in all the right places.

I've come about your husband.

I know, it's not my custom to welcome the unexpected.

So his missing is an accident?

Not as a matter of carelessness, if that what your implying.

I'll save implications for when I'm in full possession of the facts.


Always, save for when dispute calls for immediate action.


When the situation calls for hands-on.

Good, my husband was a man's man.


I hired you with the “is” in mind.

Good to know.

Will you take coffee?

With pleasure.

Let me guess: black; no sugar.

Called it. Mind if I smoke?

Not unless you mind my bearing witness to slow suicide.

Can handle that.

The long goodbye

Day break when we reached the border. Tijuana. Sun bleached asphalt segregated by smile-white confident correctional dashes and double punctuated by the odd coal-raked ruby of break-lights ahead. And the sky soft marshmallowed above. My friend had – and I use that epitaph sparingly – visited unannounced towards the single digit end of the night; I'd passed out after losing the thread in some detective novel when the empty bottles reached double digits; when I saw the familiar face wedged between the cautious gap of door and frame, I let him in. The grog still hung low over my senses; I wasn't taking in his words framing circumstances – something terrible; something needing distance, etc., etc. If the price of friendship is, on occasion, not having to ask the questions, it's the admission I'm willing to wave for reciprocal consideration – they say, “never having to say sorry”. So I'm the facilitator in an escape from what, I don't know, and the path of friendship has taken me to forced severance. I dropped him off at the guard booth and turned round for home. I didn't look back in rear mirror, perhaps out of misbegotten faith, though I have a tendency to not let things go. He killed his wife. It seems impolite to ask about the money.

Friday, 1 April 2011

Genetic inheritance

They were not your typical hands, the pinky ring alone sat tight as a gold tourniquet on a corn-beef complexion sausage finger and would probably have run hula-hoop round the the ankle of your typically atrophied catwalk model. They were definitely working hands, or had been, evidenced from the whitened scar pits where flesh gouges appeared to have been extracted by the bite of determined predators.

You've noticed my hands. Never bite the feeder they say, but when the feeder is as old as I am, the whipper-snappers tend to look past the distributor to eye the stash more directly. They don't bother me no more like they once did; no, they just go sidle round the back-door with their promises of protection, knowing full well that the only folks I need protecting from are them themselves.

So you have enemies?

Hell, everyone's an enemy as far as I'm concerned. You yourself are an enemy, you may not perceive that fact yourself as yet, but I do and, in time, you will too – after I have sanitised you that is.

Am I to take that as a threat?

No, no, my dear boy, just as a precaution – I have no reason as yet to wish you in the way of harm.

That's not exactly reassuring.

As I understand, that's par for the course in your line of work.

It is, but I like to get a play of the field before I commit.

Oh you will commit; I can see you already have.

You're very sure of yourself.

Do you think I got here by doubt? Look around you: this house; these grounds; the pools; the stables and so on and so on. Could a doubter have accumulated so much worldly evidence of his insecurity?

True to an extent; however, you've got the place rigged like a fortress; isn't the reason I'm sat here talking to you a matter of security?

That it is, that it is, laddie.

So what can I do for you?

I need you to eliminate my daughter, call it a precaution against patricide.

I think you misunderstand the nature of my profession.

Ha! Ha! Ha! You must forgive my penchant for the dramatic turn of phrase; I merely want you to neutralise her as a threat; not kill her.

And why would I help you do that?

The money, for one thing, but also so that you can help an old man retain his dignity before twilight sets shadows over his final resting place. I've earned my wealth, perhaps not always with a level of desert that I would have hoped for, nonetheless, it was my toil that claimed it. When you merely inherit such wealth, well, it can strike some, such as my daughter, as a slap of familial humiliation. And boy, is she sore. She wants to stake her own claim now and not wait for the succession of the inevitable. In short, she wants to take back all that she has and, in time will be given, for her own self-worth.

Sunday, 27 March 2011

Weird is weird

The world is a weird place, but then it's hard to say in what way, for it's not obvious what we're supposed to compare it with.

Tuesday, 22 March 2011


After the sun had sweated off the morning dew and shadows began to draw back their claws, Sheriff Clay stopped to release the canteen from its hold on the saddle and took a spill of mountain water to ease the parch. He'd been chasing the fugitive bankers across state lines a score and single; now closing in on the thin end of a month. Since the trickle of defaults had turned to deluge, they found the money changers had been undercutting prime rates on ranch land, selling to any old hand, and then passing the deeds onto each other at premium. The house of cards on this particular poker game eventually collapsed and they were caught with their Johns down, well, not exact caught, in the intervening shock of exposure, they had made good their escape plans.

Sunday, 20 March 2011


Now just a couple of more questions before I close this interview. We're looking for someone with moral character and, so if you don't mind, I'd like to ask you about some hypotheticals.

Sure, go on.

You said you were married.

Right, I said that.

And child.

Said that too: daughter, almost three years of age.

So what if your house is on fire; wife and daughter are in different rooms; you only have time to rescue one, which one do you save?

Strange and, if you don't mind my saying so, a question of dubious taste.

We all, in our time, come across difficult circumstances and, while we can't always predict ahead of time what we'll do when confronted with them, your dealing with them don't come out of nothing; the ways we live our lives shape us and, out of those forms, comes the raw substance that is the measure of a man.

I suppose.

So back to my original question: who do you save?

Hypothetically speaking?

Hypothetically speaking.

That would have to be my daughter.

Because she is a child? Innocent? Has not even had much of a life yet worth reflecting on?

All of the above, I guess; and that's what my wife would have wanted me to do.

How do you know that?

That's what I'd have wanted her to do, given the roles were switched.

I see.

It's not just about what I want; it's what I can and can not do.

That's very commendable. Now lets just change the variable a little here and see if we can look at the same circumstance from a slightly different angle: now suppose it was your daughter in one of those rooms and, let's say, the managing director of this corporation - a man whose work ethic, ingenuity and plain sweat puts food on the family tables of thousands of ordinary workers across the country - in the other … wait, now hear me out …

I'm going to leave now; as far as I'm concerned this interview is over … but before I go; just to let you know, if there was only one room with you burning in it … guess what? … I ain't taking the piss.

Thursday, 17 March 2011

Early retirement

It got worse. The handshakes are no longer subtle. Shot to shreds. Thread-end tethers. Uncertain contacts. Random sparks. Interference crossing over the ambient edge. Failure to communicate. Actions lost down the lines. “Sell before” precedes “use by”. There's a in-built lifespan anyway.

Where's the remote gone?

Claustrophobia isn't just about physical confinement – intense situations, complex circumstances and contexts with more angles than answers, can just as well squeeze you in the middle so your gut squirms sending bidirectional pressure outwards from the abdominal core till your head weighs a bowling ball and legs too weak to lift against iron drag-chains of gravity. Everything closes in cos you know you're not – can't – go anywhere but here. And then the shaking takes possession with a will of its own. Fright, with no chance of flight. Heart and lungs beat away at the rib cage. The throat cuts off. And all one can hope is that the black, bottomless relief comes soon.


... are you too happy with your own existence? Feel like you need a dead end job to dull the sharp edges off your five-point-star self-worth? Then join the rest us in reality.

Tuesday, 15 March 2011


Hubby, you know the semantic root for “wife” is said to derive from ”veiled person”; some say, further back, “shame”?

Sure I do, wifey; you know my fondness for etymology, as surely as you know I know the derivation of “husband” comes from “master of the house” and, digging further back, to “manage thriftily”; be a “steward”.

Does that bother you?

Things only matter when they do.

And you matter me.

And I hear your substance and I'm not ashamed to say I'm not the boss of you; this ain't no arrangement of biblical or commercial convenience.

Good, 'cos you owe me for groceries.

While standing on their heads

Bullshit always rolls down the hill, never up.

Saturday, 12 March 2011

Blind justice

There's a spectrum: at one end there's white; the other black - you know that only one of those extremes is actually a colour?

Your point?

Black is not a colour.


So don't give me no jive about me arresting you on account of you being coloured.

Are you serious?

I don't like being called racist.

So how you explain yourself picking me up on account of nothing?

You looked suspicious.

How come you see me if I ain't got no colour?

Fair point, I'll note it my report.

You are serious, seriously crazy.

Sunday, 6 March 2011

And you wonder why?

You're about the loveliest thing I ever set eyes upon.


As a compliment; though granted, unsolicited. And by “thing” I invoke the most general and unspecific categorisation of existence available to our conceptual repertoire. In a way, I'm saying I find you the most pleasing thing upon which my gaze has fallen among the spectrum of all possible forms, at least thus far.

You're creepy.

That's what my therapist tells me.

And how's that working out for you?

Apparently, not so good.

And why did you qualify your opening gambit with “about”?

Aesthetic hierarchies are notoriously difficult to justify – in the eye of the beholder? Wait, don't go!

@ reception

Can I help you sir? Perhaps that's too difficult a question to answer right off the the bat. I mean, there's a multiplicity of variables to consider. You just wandered into reception. You're not in my appointment book and then there's the problem of how we both estimate each other's capacities and needs. I don't know what you want and you don't know in what way I can help, given we have never met before. However, there are certain assumptions we can both make, for example, presuming you want to find a specific person, I may be able to help, but how do I know you've got the correct building? May be you have the correct building, but the wrong name. It happens. Or may be you've just been in an accident, which resulted in acute trauma to the head and, with the ensuing concussion, your memory is temporarily off-line and you recall nothing of the events leading up to this moment, in which case, I may be able to help in a very general sense - direct you medical facilities - but not the specifics, such as how did you get here or what your name is or what you had for breakfast. In short, what I'm trying to say is, when I ask if I can help you, I need you to think really hard about your reply, because the considered response could be of the utmost importance. It could mean life or death. Or may be not. I'm in no position to judge these things. I just work reception. I'm new by-the-way. My name is Richard. Others call me Dick.

Saturday, 5 March 2011

Banking on it

You're just being paranoid.

Jeremy, Jeremy Jeremy. How long have we worked together in investment banking?

Three months. Give or take a lost weekend to cocaine and strip bars.

God really? Seems much longer. The point is - the point I'm trying to make is - well, it's all gone a bit tits up.

Really? Because I know you're prone to exaggeration.

That kind of goes with the job, but look Jeremy, I want you to do something for me; I want you to open the blinds and look down out of the window at the street below and tell me what you see.

This one?

Yes, that one will do. What do you see?

I see people running about with improvised clubs battering each other; some of those on the wrong end of the battering look like they might be already be dead. Oh, and I see overturned vehicles, smashed shop windows, looting and fires. It's all a bit chaotic.

You see my point? This could severely limit future investment opportunities.

Why do you always have to look at the Molotov cocktail half full? They'll run out and somebody will bail us out. They always do. We're indispensable.

Never underestimate the power to adapt

The power outages increased in frequency and duration; however, if anything, these unscheduled interruptions to daily life rekindled the human spirit to arise to the cold realities of a mightily inconvenient challenge. Indeed, if humanity had a motto, it would be something like: “If you don't like your environment, then change it.” - though, admittedly, that environmental challenge was often met by concreting over landmasses and then poisoning its water bodies. But back to the blackouts: as ever, technology had found a way and, thanks to increasingly efficient solar panels and energy cell storage, people could still watch their televisions and miss not one second of their favourite game shows, soap operas and adverts. This probably explains why there hadn't been large-scale scenes of social unrest, though there was one curious phenomenon to emerge: when the lights first began switch off en masse, groups of people were to be seen leaving their homes to stand in the streets and stare at the night sky only to obverse in wonder with their own, naked, eyes - many for the first time outside of technicolour facsimiles - the Milk Way, upon whose spiral arm their collective galactic home was cosseted against the infinite void (at least the one outside). The novelty soon wore off.

Divorced and sharing

Do you want anything from the shops? I'm just going to get one of those ready meals for when we watch the match later.

Okay. No. I'm just going watch this programme about about cars. I say cars, but that's only the superficial premise for its existence, it's actually about watching middled-aged reactionary men with beer paunches hanging over their too-tightly-belted blue jeans with iron creases running down the fronts pontificating about girls and immigrants and political correctness gone mad, while the audience - in this case, ostensibly more middle-aged men like us - sit in semi-darkness on the couch superimposing our hollow fantasies on their blank, empty faces; all the while thinking: where did our lives go wrong such that it's not them watching us on the television?

So you don't want anything?

We could do with more toilet rolls – running low, oh, and get me an eight-pack. Something cheap. You know: stuff that tastes like engine cleaner. We could do with a new kitchen sponge too – the green scourer bit is beginning to fall off.

Friday, 4 March 2011

No flavour

So you going to shoot me; get your piece of revenge pie?

No, I ain't going to shoot you. It's not like that. What good would it do anyway?

May be you like to roll in the justified glory of revenge.

If I thought that … look, you don't even get your lifestyle is its own punishment.

So what's it going to be?

I guess I'll just have to settle for the fact that you can't taste your own dessert.

You happy with that?

No, but neither are you.

Customer service line

Sir, if may be so bold as to step-right-past your disparaging remarks regarding my visage and get right to the matter at hand, once the egg-timer has been surgically removed from the lower bowel, the manufacture’s guarantee is null and void as it constitutes a clear and present breach of the package-stated safe operating parameters. However, we thank you for your patronage and urge you to consider some of our other home and kitchen products.

Thursday, 3 March 2011

Wednesday, 2 March 2011

Poetic injustice

TAKE NOTE: The Dictator - "the decider" - don't take too kindly to dictation, at least insofar as others' dictates are concerned. Better there was no written record anyway. No trace of transactions. No names attached to numbers. No serial branded shells to match to successive multiple murders. No receipts to deceit. Only dig silent graves, so-to-speak.


Monday, 28 February 2011

Running out of time

Jonny watched his face fade in and out of the passenger window with the steady beat of passing street lamps.

“What you doing Jonny?” Rico already knew the answer, though expected none; he'd already observed this behaviour many-a-time over the past few months.

“What you call that effect when the light flashes on and off – like when you're blinking fast or the sun's peaking through the slats in a tall fence as you're running by and the images in your eye are all chopped up in slow motion?”


“Strobing, yeah strobing: you always were book smart Rico.”

“Were? Past tense? While I appreciate the compliment, you want to get your head back in the game.”

Jonny's head had never actually left the game; indeed, it was several plays ahead. He had already pictured - flashing - Rico's body draining life-blood through near-shot holes to the chest and abdomen and the frozen look of surprise before the facial muscles could contort themselves to the semblance of betrayal and then, finally, regret.

Saturday, 26 February 2011


Today there's a doggy following me about; his name is Frankie; of that, there is no doubt.


At the grocery store checkout, I wonder at the young till girl: why she bothers with the hair highlights; the obviously time-consuming make-up routine: foundation; blusher; lip gloss; mascara lashes; painted nails; and, shader lids. The weekend job, school exams, university fees, interviews, below inflation wage settlements, kids, index-linked mortgage, marriage, divorce and rising bills. In time - glancing round at the other blue-rinse checkouts - she'll be back at the till. And that's the optimistic prognosis in this town.

Loyalty Card?



You like porn my friend?

Wow, that preference hardly pulls me out the crowd. What you got?

Uh-huh, only the latest defence pre-emptive strike policy strategy paper from the premier Washington think tank.

How much?

Aw shucks now, you have to talk about money? Don't worry, this one's on the pork barrel.

The day the music died

The rain bounced off the brim of my hat forming fast flowing rivulets that drained off the rim, into the gutter below by my feet and onto the nearby bare head of the lifeless corpse. Encrusted remnants of emetic discharged still clung to its straggly beard and clotted hair extensions. The substance of discharge, presumable washed away already. After a spell of serial sunny days, the smell of earthy relief was palpable off the parched side-walks. The rest of the body was heaped, ungainly, against the alley wall. Can't tell if the victim was black or white - possibly skin bleaching or the fade of age, definitely old though, probably only a matter of time, save the head severance incident, before the clock ran out on this one - presuming that the victim wasn't already dead beforehand, in which case we were looking at corpse mutation. Back in the alley, I took a closer look at the sliver skull-ringed fingered hands, the nicotine brown-tipped stains and unkempt nails encrusted with a dark, neglect accumulated, residue. Rolling the frayed sleeves back, constellations of punctures marks covered paper thin skin - where there weren't blisters and sores - as if an army of dog-sized vampire bedbugs had gang-banged their way through the victim at a syringe-only party.

The deputy finally arrived in an unnecessary fanfare of sirens and giant flashing Christmas lights, followed by the ambulance. I think I made it clear - yeah, pretty sure - when I called it in earlier, that this wasn't one of those resuscitation deals.

So what do we have here detective?

Well, if I were to make an educated guess, I'd say it was the death of Rock and Roll.

It was a long time coming. Coffee? Got a flask back in the car. Hey, if it's any consolation, best that we weren't about to see it.

Thanks, but I've got another case to be getting on with, someone reported Hip-Hop's gone missing.

Really? Last time I heard that racket, it was operating all over town in the nineties.

Thursday, 24 February 2011

Light fantastic

Near sundown the filaments spark up and emit their coloured flowers which deliquesce as brilliant, yet lurid, smudges against the encroaching dark.

It's funny how, as computer generated graphics advance with richly infinitesimal detail, the less real, real seems.

Wednesday, 23 February 2011

Grip of death

Canteen had run drop-dry some while back, still, the point of no return had been past way before that. In the meantime, I sucked on a smooth, crystalline pebble. Purpose packed. I heard it helped saliva before the sun's stroke wrung every last bit of wet out the body. I would need the power of speech up-until then. And now I was traversing the salt plains, mountain ranges had all but merged and morphed into the periphery. Hadn't notice the crossroads until I was upon them. Ground heat caused the air to flicker and swirl in a conduction fire vortex mirage.

And there he stood, rust bruised bronze skin knotted with wire junctions of thick black veins threading the swollen surfaces of a muscular exoskeleton. What hellish ferment coursed through them, God knows. It looked like he worked out though. On steroids. And too much. His eyes, non-refractive black holes that sucked in everything drawn into their path. His horns, antenna to the unspeakable broadcast. Congealed white powder clinging to the dual dilated rings of flared nostrils. Arrowed tail thrashing dirt in the manner of an untamed predator.

I played my all-or-nothing opening gambit: “I'm here about a sub-prime mortgage.”

“In return for your soul?”

“Soul. It's a bit of an old fashioned notion. Anachronism. I guess a more current terminology would have it as “person-hood”, that which makes us a person, deriving from the Greek persona, “mask”; so you could say personality is the mask through which we speak, the medium of our manifestation – the word made solid in the world.”

“Semantics aside, have you any collateral?”

“Well, I've got my unemployment cheque?”

“Sign here, here and here.”

“I don't have a pen.”

“Blood will do.”

“Ah, you're one for tradition, I respect that. Okay. There, there and there. Done.”

“Remember, if you do not keep up repayments, your home is at risk. Rates can go up as well as down.”

“Keep that in mind. Can I have the deeds now?”

“Not until you've finished paying.”

“When's that?”

“Muahahahahaha. Heard of indebted servitude?”

"Hold on a minute Beelzebozo, I've just got a call to make ... "

" ... and?"

"If you look carefully at the triplicate signature on the contract, you'll see I'm applying for the mortgage on behalf of a public sector pension consortium - real-estate investment - which I have just sold back to them, plus commission, as part of a triple-A rated, junk bond, collateralised debt obligation. CDO for short. Hey, I'm just the middle-man."

Tuesday, 22 February 2011


Travel by night, they say, to avoid detection. Fair enough, I see the logic in that, only the dark, unlike the daylight, has a habit of turning your eye inward toward those things less easy to escape from.

Saturday, 19 February 2011

So-long saloon


Hello boys, you won't mind telling me why I can't seem to keep tripping-up over you whenever there's trouble in town?


Coincidence is not a scientifically sound explanation for the simultaneous occurrence of two or more seemingly spontaneous and yet apparently unconnected repeated events.

No need to show us your piece. We're men of peace, as you'll know by lack of evidence to contrary. Is it getting too hot in here Dwayne?

Sure is Rufus, and I find the atmosphere in here a little too stifling too.

May be I just shoot some holes for aeration?

Considerate as they may be, and we thank you for your consideration, that won't be necessary Marshall. We'll prop open the door on our way out.

It seemed controversial at the time

Now I don't know how you all feel about rock n roll – gets some people's backs up: the raucous, musical ruckus, threatening to cleave us in two on its knife edge and spill us down into the chasm of social chaos; so I want you to keep an open mind and listen to the unique stylings of Buddy Holly and the Crickets. If you have any young'uns coming of age, you might want to ask them politely to leave the room. I expect it's past their bed time anyway.

Friday, 18 February 2011

Your call

I was walking back late past the market as the traders dismantled their temporary tent stalls, while my train of thought was distracted - interrupted - derailed - by the unnecessarily loud half of a conversation being shouted down a mobile phone. Such was the unvarying nature of his (for it was he) volume, it was hard to determine whether he was angry or this was his standard mode of communication. Then I thought about turning up the volume of my inner dialogue, when I realised you don't really hear your own thoughts, at least not as physics would understand it; it's not even like a neurosurgeon could tap into one of the brain's many junctions to eavesdrop on the conversational monologue - “listen in on the wire” so-to-speak. Though they might fantasise about it. And play it back in the private viewing room of their minds.

Thursday, 17 February 2011

To my financial advisor

I haven't been in touch for a while. Nothing both of us didn't know already. I guess I out lived your future investment advice, or else I wouldn't be here. Past being tense. Naturally. Started reading the news. Between the lines. I know this doesn't end well. There's not going to be a ticker-tape parade. You probably even suspect that the bull you've been feeding, has been feeding you too; has a case of bovine spongiform encephalopathy. BSE. If you're lucky, and you'll probably be beyond knowing it at the time, you'll be fortunate to reincarnate as hamburgers and be eaten by bears. Such is the way of the "free market" and the taste of being sandwiched between karma's baps.


There's never any easy way to broach the subject; however, after much soul searching and emotional anguish, I thought it best to write you this note. Now don't get me wrong, the early years were special; you were always so attentive, sensitive, warm and kind of touch. I will always hold the sunshine of those memories dear to my heart, no matter what the future brings. But it's clear, the future holds for us different things and, dare I say, in time you'll see also, new beginnings. It's the way of the world to keep turning. I don't blame you, entirely, I blame myself some too. I let things go too far, may be back then, it felt easier that way; now I realise I was wrong, it's only made things harder, for both of us. It's nature's way to mourn for things gone, I know I did and that, after reading this, you will. Nothing to be ashamed of. It's all part of coming to terms with life and moving on. "C'est la vie", as the French say. Speaking of which, as you may have already gathered now, I've moved on, to your neighbour: you see, he doesn't hold down a full time job, worry about promotion, securing the next big client, leave me alone with myself all day long; he's always there for me. And not just at meal times. Perhaps my first clue should have been your - now in the rear mirror of retrospect - eerily creepy androgynous pet name for me. I don't know. May be I'll - we'll - never know exactly. And at that I'll leave it. And, formally, you.


(Your former cat.)

Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Typos and grammatical errors

Like piping the icing on your best friend's birthday cake. And then spelling - there, they're - their name wrong. Blow the candles and hope darkness takes care of the rest.


At the landing strip, at the ancient aerodrome, among the rusty-winged weeds of neglect sewn, I made preparation for my trip to destinations unknown.

Not generally a fan, but love this particular song. Hate the guitar bridge though.

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Running on fumes

Sometimes, when I close my eyes, and I see the steering wheel; the lights refracted off rain drops; wipers metronomes to the impatience; the urgency to get somewhere; the rush; the jams; the delays; the late nights at the office; the broken promises – may be I think I had something to look forward to, and may be the frustration made it all that more sweeter. I don't know. But now the gas has gone; the sparks don't ignite; I wonder if the journey is finally over, and the daydreams become nightmares. Their horsepower fear.

Sunday, 13 February 2011

The bill

Down town Florida. Café. Some fucker's playing maracas on the stereo. Sustained percussion. Ear concussion. I opt for the lobster dish. No point scrimping. Appetites aside, I'm keen to see who draws first. Fork, and then knife. You see I'm here on official business. Clean up safe after the state line was crossed. Jurisdiction. Nice spicy dip sauce. Beer's good too. Furtive fugitive. Mind turns to weight of holster. Waiting for a break in the conversation and the door of admission. I know it's coming soon. There's only one way this ends. But at what cost? Try not to make a meal of it. Wait waiter.


Now you are just beyond the physics.

I refer you to the law.


You know? you know?

I do, I do, let's end this argument here. Just calling how I see it.

Bar fly

Yeah, leave the lady alone, before I put a hole in your head bigger than my fist and the medics can shovel.

Did I hear you right. Is that a threat?

Deaf as well as retarded, I can see how diptera school was an extra special struggle for you. Stop rubbing your legs and draw back that loose, long corkscrew tongue of yours. Now swat.

Jesus, do you talk to all insects this way?

Only ones that bother.




I was rolling a cigarette, two fingers, supported by thumbs, at either end, and one nicotine ochre stained, when my hung-over squint saw an unmatched - unattached - third finger tip in the middle. Mix. Not sure of the lesson here. But real bad. Don't smoke. Lungs. Off-white angel white wings. Cancer. Breathing. Coughing. Unpleasant sputum. Avoid temptation. And addiction addiction. There, I said it.

Face it

So last night I went out, bought a bottle of vodka, had myself some Chinese spicy fried chicken wings and beef ribs, dry. I had to take out money at the cash point and now - morning after - I'm looking at the Queen's face on the crinkled, desk bound, ten pound note, which represents a portion of my change. (I took out more than I needed.) She's looking about fortyish, to be generous, in that particular depiction, though, in reality she's of the age when circling the grave. What the hell is that about?

Wednesday, 9 February 2011

Poster family

On the preamble to work this morning, past the many advertising hoardings made largely subliminal by contempt of familiarity, I caught sight of a new poster campaign; it was for an ever-popular brand of bland breakfast cereal, depicting a youngish dad with designer facial fungus and his two young children sat at the table, and this tableaux was framed and infused with the golden glow of the morning sun – solar flares glinting off silvery spoons as they tucked into their GM flakes before they turned to a milky pulp. But where's mom? Perhaps she's strung-out on the bathroom floor, injecting junk into one of the few remaining uncollapsed inner-thigh veins? Or out back, arms stretching to reach-around the trigger as she bites hard on the shotgun barrel? Or may be she's held up at some anonymous airport lounge, awaiting her flight home from the international business conference where she had unprotected sex in multiples? Who knows? The point is, nothing could distract from this freeze-frame moment of perfection.

The sudden slap of the unfamiliar

Like the unexpected back of stranger's hand.

Monday, 7 February 2011

Democracy Incorporated

Judge not

My neighbour, a woman whose seemingly innocuous visage belies a voice that could scrub pans from adjoining rooms. Her sewer-mouthed children, tangled to her, together with squeaking kittens, in a modern day retelling of Rat King folklore. The absent father. The overnight male companions, among whom, one in particular, announces his arrival at the front gate with the ridiculous ice-cream-van tooting of his moped horn. My neighbour. What joy. And what hope for the future.

Friday, 4 February 2011

Hill of beans

We sat huddled in semi-circular proximity to Alpha-Alpha as he casually decanted himself from the big chair and easily repositioned himself on top of his big old desk. No, it wasn't a big desk. It was huge. A compacted, condensed and hand-polished forest of the finest oak. And his legs all a-dangling above the big carpet. He began: "Now I'm guessing you're all wondering why I gathered you here in the - my - big office, and I don't mind saying, I appreciate that you all might have curious minds. I give that much credit, at least. Where to begin? Where to begin? Well, it's no secret that times are tough, tough all round, and we've all had to shed a few pounds - pull that belt buckle in a notch - but there's nothing wrong in a little hunger. Keeps one sharp. Alert. One eye always on the next meal. And you know the company policy: we don't pay overtime: it's a principle, a measure of commitment if you will, but I think you also know such loyalty doesn't go unrewarded, if not in this life, or the next, or thereafter that, but soon, and for the rest of your life. I hope someday you'll understand."

Thursday, 3 February 2011

The unwelcome Samaritan

Back in the day, when I was a student, resident in a room in some former old people's home – and fire-trap to boot (exits were all via wooden stairs) – I was on my way home one night from the philosophy debating club, when I passed one of those then popular restyled, re-furb, Irish bars. I'd dropped in on occasion. Fond of stout. Anyway, I saw a couple arguing outside. It must have been a pretty vociferous affair, because I stopped to observe closer. Turns out the man was hitting the woman and, apparently, he wasn't pulling his punches, at least not on account of, for whatever reason, the fact that he was striking a lady. It wasn't my sense of offence at the breaking of chivalric code, it just didn't look like a fair fight. It looked, for want of a better description, plain ugly. But I approached them – angry and a little frightened – crossed the road - and, in the steadiest voice I could muster at the time, suggested that, whatever their difficulties, surely there was a better way to sort out their troubles. She told me to, “fuck off” and, “mind my own business” and, at that, I did. Perhaps it was a combination of fear and self-preservation. The man dipped his oar in too, with a mix of half-articulate and grammatically ill-formed threats. So I turned and left. The cheek.

True story.

Wednesday, 2 February 2011

At the assassins' table

You ever think bout those boys the government asked us kill?

Except for practicalities, I find reflection gets in way of reflex.

How come you ain't taken your shot at me already?

Got no beef with you, as yet.

But may be the Man has, huh? Nothin personal n'all that.

You expect me to tell you what the Man wants? I don't presume. And I don't tell. Leads to inefficiencies. Course you understand. I know you do.

You always were one cool customer.

And you hide your ice behind table talk.

Well, I guess that's how am gonna make you my bitch.

Really, is that all you got?

I see am gonna have to don the trousers in this here flirtatious situation and make me the order. What'll you be havin?

Stake. Side-order of fries. Root beer.

Waitress darlin: two orders of stake, two side-orders of fries and two roots. Ice and slice I presume?

You assume correctly.

Ice and slice twice. Now we both got beefs. And chips, thus sayest the Brits.

Let's not us forget our roots.

Going Dutch?


Tuning into the Crime Waves

"I think people are going to welcome the fact they can really see what's happening with crime in their area, not just on their street but in their neighbourhood. This is giving people a real tool, real power to see that something is being done about crime in their area. This doesn't make them frightened, it actually makes them feel a part of what is happening."

The first thing I do every morning is catch the latest from MyCrime - an app I've got which provides up to the minute crime footage from my area. I get it on the big screen; have it scrolling in the bottom left corner. It used to just be dots and colours (red, organge, green) but these days its all live feeds. I can get in there and see live footage of the crimes going off on my road, or I can get "best of" highlights.

When we moved, MyCrimes 3.0 (tm) had just kicked off. It's when Google Street Maps went LIVE! A great moment. Along with info about whether Samsung or CocaCola schools were performing best in the area (Samsung had a great deal which covered healthcare as well) we accessed this great 2 min vid showing the "bestof" for the previous 5 years. The best thing was a child from no.43 getting run over in slow motion from various angles, confirming that this was a good area and here we are.

I get the highlight reel in the morning so I can see the best of what's happened through the night - I like to see what's big now; what's good on my street; what's trending in the rest of the city. (today it's sex - sex is trending). As I pour myself a bowl of Retrios(tm), I peak through the blinds: all is quiet: like an old fashioned late winter morning: a piercing sun masking the icey chill. If June catches me looking she scolds me."Get away from there," she says.

It's all peace and quiet when the reel boots, the music kicks in. Last night number 59 got burgled, 64, someone smoked inside, and next door homicide: my neighbour got strangled to death. I never heard a thing. There's a stream of accomanying text, tweets and updates from locals who think they heard or saw something.

I get an overview of my street and there's dots of crime everywhere. "Dog fowling", "youth loitering", "man stabbing". Nothing unusual. I look up, towards the window, masked by the beige screen, and switch it on so it's now projecting a mosaic of film screens - news, sport, email, etc. I bring up Streetlive (tm) and scan the street. Nothing to see, no one around, nothing to report. Someone's just tweeted an update on the MyCrimes feed that they saw something move up my road. I can't see anything. I wait, in anticipation. You wouldn't believe me if I told you I used to walk 20 mins home from the "rail station". I continue to watch, my fingertips starting to tingle with anticipation. I waste hours like this.

On the big screen, a commentary plays on the strangling. There's a trail of events leading directly from the victim's facebook profile, some illicit tweets and an inappropriate Tumblr. The perpetrator lost it. Wow! There's my house. Footage from StreetLive(tm). His car drives up, then we get footage from inside. It seems she never turns the cameras off (you're not supposed to afterall). An autotweet went out at 2.34am from the house's profile. "broken entry into rear quarters!" Friends tweet to say "you go for it girl!" and "WOOF!" She had recently taken a new lover.

It's pretty lo res but he goes through the gate, round the back into the kitchen door. Through and up the stairs. Cameras everywhere - but not the bedroom. Camera from the garden shows a man is thrown from the window. Then the culprit emerges from the bedroom - we hear the struggle - with soiled hands. He walks to the shed. We hear a certain but gently muffled gun shot that punctuates the end of the film.

I finish my Retrios and notice the time: time for work.

Tuesday, 1 February 2011

At what price?

I was listening, as is my wont, to one of the podcasts from The UFO Paranormal Radio Network Website – a mixed bag of speculation, wild conjecture and the downright weird if ever there was one; however, there is the occasional interesting discussion (which usually requires the suspension of disbelief). This particular podcast was a compilation of interviews with so-called “alien abductees”; in which one contributor offered an insight – if not into some intergalactic conspiracy – how certain socio-technological developments might change the human race. The “abductee” in question iterated some of the aliens' concerns about certain cyclically destructive habits that manifest due, they claimed, to our limited life span. In slightly more prosaic terms: by the time we've got our “shit together”, no sooner is it time to unwind the mortal coil; hence much of that hard-won sagacity is squandered, save for the occasional nugget passed on to the next generation. There's some mileage in that contention; I'm not going to offer any conclusions, rather some observations regarding the possible consequences of extending human life. (NB. I have parallel comments on this blog elsewhere with respect to the idea of an eternal afterlife).

In no particular order and certainly overlapping:
  • Even if one could maintain the structural integrity and function of the body, does it follow that, over vastly extended periods of life, one would keep one's sanity?
  • Just as mathematicians are said to “burn out” in their thirties or their best work is produced while they are still relatively young, would we suffer a similar intellectual fatigue from sustained longevity?
  • Would apathy set in - seen it; done it all before (over and over again) – can't be bothered?
  • Isn't part of what makes life valuable its fragility? And that fragility informs our moral outlook?
  • Would we be in danger of an emotional flattening – from repeat exposure to the tide of experience; for example, “till death do us part” might take on a whole realm of commitment hitherto unimaginable?
  • Like the drug addict, would we build up a tolerance of life to the point were more actually becomes less?
  • Can one get tired of learning and adapting to the new: can we get tired of the new?
  • Instead of broadening our horizons, could it not lead to an entrenchment of ideals and views – a continuous of supplication to “old guard” at the expense of innovation?
The answers to these questions, and others, may depend on just how far it is technically possible to extended life, together with our ability to live – cope – with it over any given length. May be the dream of living “forever” - at least over vastly extended periods, could turn out to be a nightmare.

One further conjecture that is implicit in the abductee's story is that an extended lifespan would lead to rapid and sustained technological advancement and the mastering of space-time, i.e. not just the power to affect the the future, but the past as well. At what price would these God-like powers come? May be the aliens are not just nicknamed "the greys" for their appearance alone (of course other brands of ET are available). Hypothetically speaking.