On a Carousel

It was like looking at a carousel.
Turning round and round. Empty.
Nothing on the carousel floor. Round and round.
Then, occasionally from the umbrella roof, a rope drops.
You know you need to grab that rope, so you chase after it.
Round and round, hoping to grab hold before it shoots back up and out of sight forever.
You get a good grip, feel your legs lift off the ground as you attempt to hold on with all of your might.
What the rope brings, you don't know. But you hang on because you need a rope.
Other ropes drop, but you hang on to this one. It's your rope.
To try grab a different rope might mean falling back to the ground.
No one wants to go back there.
So, you hold onto the rope.

The Journey

Francis Daly arrived at what he perceived to be the gates of heaven.
In front of him stood, who he perceived to be, Saint Peter - leafing through a large old book.
"Right, let's see. Daly, Francis. Paid all your bills on time, taxes too, mortgage, car insurance,  worked to age 65, obeyed all the rules. Good. You can go in".
Tired yet delighted, Francis walked past the gates.
As he did so, he heard Saint Peter continue:
"Campbell, Paul. Traveled the world, sat on an elephant, ate and laughed and drank for fun. Danced in a waterfall.  No traditional job, no bills and answered to no one but yourself. Good. You can go in".

Your Number's Up

It took six doctors five hours and three minutes, using four scalpels and two clamps to force one double edged sword from his multiple personalities.

True To Form

If you had no way of holding back and could only release the ‘true you’ – what would it look like?

Would it be blue, green, red or orange?

Tall, short, wide or thin?

Heavy or light?

Quiet or loud?

Respectful or rude?

Patronising or understanding.

Critical or supportive?

What form would it take? Would you recognize it as part of you or would it look like someone else?

Philip had not expected these questions on the job application form.


What are you doing here? he said. You're supposed to be over there.
But I didn't like it over there. I tried it and it felt wrong, like a shirt that shrunk in the wash.
What's a shirt got to do with it? he said, not understanding. You need to go back there.
There was genuine fear in his voice. This is not your place.
Well at that point I didn't know what to do. I obviously wasn't wanted here but I didn't feel comfortable there.
So I closed my eyes.
Nowhere can be easier.

It's Conditional

The 'Human Condition' is what he called it.
With his old blue cap, over-used trousers and zip-up rain jacket.
Holding the limp coffee cup towards the windows of the cars stopped at the lights. Faces behind the glass diligently ignoring their human condition.
And his.
But he, noticing all. Especially his own.
The paper cup full of knowledge.
For which no one would pay a monetary price.
They couldn't.


It was all falling.
Her worth, wealth, emotional availability, sense of self, relationships.
It was all falling.
Apart, asunder, to pieces.
It was all falling.
Friendships, hopes, wishes.
She wasn't falling.
For it.

Thierry's Hand.

The ball hit his hand. Or did his hand hit the ball?
It was difficult to tell at first.
Eight year old James, sitting on the couch watching the game with his dad, wasn't worried.
He knew whatever had just happened would be made all right. The grown ups would sort it out.
His dad's face told a different story.
He looked annoyed and upset. He seemed angry but quiet.
"What will they do dad. Will they send him off"?
They didn't.
That's when James first felt the world could be unfair.

On The Wall?

What are you supposed to do when the unnoticed becomes noticeable?
The absence of a mirror in the public toilets never occurred to James as an issue before.
Probably because every toilet he had ever frequented had at least one.
On a wall above the wash basins.
Standard procedure.
Wash your hands, check your hair and teeth, leave.
No mirror.
Carry on as if everything is normal. Didn't need to look anyway.

No Karma

"So, there's no such thing as Karma"?
That's right.
"Huh. Was there ever"?
Nope. Never existed.
"Well, that changes a lot of things".
Does it? Would you have done things differently?
"Well...I don't know".