No Commentary

"It's like watching a football match on TV. Have you ever watched a football match on TV?"
Yes. Yes I have.
"Well, it's a bit like that except the commentary is missing".
How do you mean?
"How do I mean? Well, you can still see the players running around the pitch and the ball moving and the crowd cheering and all that. You can hear them all too. But the explanation is missing. The...context. That's it - there's no context. No frame of reference".
I think I understand.
"You can shout at the TV and yell at the players but no one answers. They don't hear you. They can't. There's no way for you to argue a point or express a thought because they don't know you're there. There's no way to take part".

And that's how he explained what it was like for him to be homeless.


Larry the pigeon flew into a hole.
Typical really.

Do Your Best

He could feel the anticipation beyond the curtain. Over two thousand people seated comfortably and elegantly in the Old State House great room. The good and the great of Boston society, gathered together to listen to the words written transformed into the words spoken.
The applause appropriate as he strode onto stage to polite delight and restrained anticipation. The genuine pleasure he felt at that moment suffocating all but the most stubborn deep-seated anxieties.
Emboldened, coughing theatrically and peeking at his public surreptitiously, he began.
The words as he wrote them, sitting expectantly on the pedestal, chest height. Awaiting their glory.
"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times..."
"Oh get on with it"!!
Oh shit.
Charles Dickens hated hecklers.

Millligan's Phase One

Mister Ambrose didn't know what to do.
"Why don't you just pretend" suggested his friend Mister Milligan.
Pretend? Pretend what?
"That everything is good" Mister Milligan added.
That everything is good. He supposed he could give that a try.
Did it work?
"For a while. Then you need to go to the next phase".
What's the next phase?
"That's where you ignore".
Ignore what?
"Whatever it is you're pretending doesn't exist".
Oh. So you pretend something isn't happening and after a while you then ignore it completely?
"Something like that".
OK. Is that it?
"No, then you deny that you are doing either of those".
I'll give it a go, thought Mister Ambrose.
Is that what you do, Mister Milligan?
"Me? Good Lord no. There's nothing wrong with me".

Widdle Waddle

Walter liked to waddle
He waddled day and night
It kept his senses calm
For he needed things 'just right'.
To waddle was essential
To not would be a crime
He likened it to lifeblood
The lemon to his lime.
Walter liked to waddle
He waddled everywhere
If a waddle was forbidden
He stayed away from there.
A day without a waddle
Would be a mystery
A waddle represented
His desire to be free.
One day instead of waddle
He discovered widdling too
This shocked poor Walter hugely
He didn't know what to do.
It brought forth some hidden questions
From his past and present being
The waddle took his mind off
From ever again seeing.
Thoughts and feelings waddled
Inside his heart and head
Words not to be spoken
Now audibly said.
To widdle was confusing
To waddle was ideal.
The widdle was intangible
The waddle - it was real.
To him.

Bit Hostile

Three hours after war was declared, it ended.
Both sides agreeing that the whole episode had the potential to end rather nastily. Neither wanted that.
Yes, they had their differences but who doesn't?
Best bet for everyone was to just sit down and talk about it.
Then, the location of these 'talks' became important - they needed to be on neutral territory.
Neither side could agree.
At first, one side offered a site on their side of the border. Perfectly fine looking site it was too.
This was refuted by the other side who instead suggested their own. With predictable consequences.
Due to no peace agreement having ever been signed, the upcoming conflict remained officially active.
So, troops reluctantly mobilised.
Each side massed at their own border, interpreting the others' movements as an act provocation.
The same shared trait that prevented agreement on talks locations would now result in hostilities.

Sunny Outlook

The sunglasses protect my eyes from the blinding sun.
Relieving them.
Allowing lines of protection to relax.
So I say.

Angry Horace

Horace had become an angry man - a very angry little man indeed.
He'd only noticed it recently.
He was angry with the government for screwing up the economy. Angry at his low level of job satisfaction. At the driver who hit his car when he was shopping and drove off.
At the supermarket queue for being too long, the weather for being too cold and his WiFi for being too slow.
He was angry at Mars Bars for getting smaller, phone bills for getting bigger and his savings for staying the same.
For not having one real friend, for never getting married and for Man United losing.
He was angry at his neighbours' parties. Angry that he stopped playing the clarinet. Angry that the boiler was on the blink.
But to all of these, Horace threw his eyes to heaven, smiled and said "Oh well".
And that made him angriest of all.

Lydia. Going Out

Lydia. Going out.
Make up. Two hours. It's not easy looking this amazing you know.
Lipstick, foundation, eye shadow, blusher, mascara, oils, creams, teeth whitener, eye drops, clothes, accessories, shoes.
It all has to look the part.
Into the city.
God. What's everybody looking at??

Old Jane

It was pleasant, strolling through the park. Ambling between the huge old oak trees, watching as they danced in slow motion to the rhythms of the late afternoon breeze. Down the freshly mown grassy slope towards the sparkling stream, promising adventure and thrills.
For eighteen month old Jane, being here with her older brother and father reminded her of Orleans and Jean Claude.
She flinched slightly as her father called out to "be careful".
His voice reverberating through the ages.
She knew this was just part of being the oldest person in their group.


Sometimes there is an confusing difference in what you expect to feel and what you actually feel.
Shannon airport Ireland, October 5th 1982.
The crew of the Ilyushin 62 climbed up the steps and entered gingerly, leaving the drizzle and low cloud to someone else.
Captain Koftinoff, First officer Menchev and Flight Engineer Lemkov. Each dressed sprucely in full blue blazered correctness with military style hats positioned on their heads - extra starch.
Body language reserved and purposeful, eyes darting about in hesitant anticipation as they placed their polished shoes upon the carpet.
"This is our view" exclaimed Captain Rogers, sweeping his arm as if to reveal the cockpit consoles of the Pan Am Boeing 747 - the aircraft they would command to New York JFK in ninety minutes time.
The Soviet flight remained tired and weary after it's arrival from Havana thirty minutes previous.
The American crew happy to extend the hand of friendship to their aeronautical counterparts. Not exactly kicking a football in no man's land on Christmas Day but some sort of small gesture between people instead of principles.
Welcome to our world, it's not too different from yours, is it?
No words and small gestures - the Soviet crew nodded and smiled.
Thoughts censored even to themselves. Unable to reciprocate.
Was it cold in there?


Jose and Jesus met Joseph and James for the first time.
It was going well until someone offered them juice.

Joe Down

What depressed Joe the most, and he never shied away from using the term 'depressed', was the fact that he knew he was right.
His honesty with himself brought him to tears, the knowledge that his sense of who he truly was weighed heavily on his mind, his ability to realistically see the world without bias or opinion struck him dully across the cheek.
Optimism was useless because the truth would always win the day. Pessimism pointless for the same reason.
Pulling the curtain back and seeing the pulleys and cables and trap doors in the light of day highlighted the mystery as false and the magic as fake.
He knew this.
He knew he was the sane one.
He knew more than he wanted to know.


The "Have a great day" guy in the coffee shop will be disappointed in me.
My day was just 'alright'.
It definitely wasn't great.
He seemed so happy at the thought of my "great" day - smiling broadly as he handed me my medium black in a 'to go' cup.
I hope he's not there tomorrow.
He'll know.

Where I Am

I looked for you, but I wasn't there.
In your room, but I wasn't there.
Around the house and in your chair.
I finally arrived when I learned to care
For me.

Lights Out

It's OK to keep my living room curtains open so I can sit on my armchair and look out onto the street to watch the people pass by.
But  I'm afraid someone might glance in, see me watching them and think I'm a bit crazy and come over to bang on the glass and ask me what my problem is.
So I close the curtains.
And keep the light turned off too.
Just in case.
It's OK.