HEAVEN PLAYLIST

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HEAVEN PLAYLIST

  1. HEAVEN & SEAS – XMAL DEUTSCHLAND
  2. HEAVENLY CREATURES – WOLF ALICE
  3. HEAVENS IN HERE – TIN MACHINE
  4. HEAVEN – TALKING HEADS
  5. HEAVEN AND ALCHEMY – SIOUXSIE
  6. MONKEY GONE TO HEAVEN – PIXIES
  7. HEAVENLY NOBODIES – LUSH
  8. STAIRWAY TO HEAVEN – LED ZEPPELIN
  9. ANYWHERE LIKE HEAVEN – JAMES TAYLOR
  10. HEAVENLY – ILYA
  11. LET’S MAKE A BOMB – HEAVEN 17
  12. MY BLUE HEAVEN – GLENN MILLER
  13. BREATH AWAY FROM HEAVEN – GEORGE HARRISON
  14. HEAVEN KNOWS – FIRST AID KIT
  15. HEAVEN ON EARTH – FAT WHITE FAMILY
  16. TEARS IN HEAVEN – ERIC CLAPTON
  17. HEAVEN IS WAITING – DANSE SOCIETY
  18. JUST LIKE HEAVEN – THE CURE
  19. THE MAKER OF HEAVENLY TROUSERS – THE CRANES
  20. HEAVEN OR LAS VEGAS – COCTEAU TWINS

on this day of all days there is a  message of hope, please hold that hope in your heart, for fear is the worst emotion to give in to …

DALE ‘M’ we with j

DERBY ART MUSEUM

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WENT ALL THE WAY TO DERBY ART MUSEUM TO SEE SOME OF THE CELEBRATED JOSEPH WRIGHT OF DERBY, SAID TO BE THE REMBRANDT OF THE BRITISH ART HISTORY, ONLY TO DISCOVER THAT HIS EXHIBITION WAS CLOSED FOR REFURBISHMENT. THIS WAS THE ONLY WRIGHT PAINTING I CAUGHT A GLIMPSE OF THROUGH THE WINDOW OF THE RESTORATION ROOM.

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VERY DISAPPOINTING TRIP TO THE MUSEUM WAS ONLY RESCUED BY A TRIP THROUGH TO DOVEDALE, AND A DELICIOUS BESPOKE PIE MEAL ON THE WAY BACK AT THE SWAN INN IN DRAYCOTT ON THE CLAY.

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THE PIES HAVE IT! THE PIES HAVE IT!

DALE ‘M’ WE WITH J

WHEN LOVE WAS RED!

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WHEN LOVE WAS RED!

When love was red,

just as your lips

which you parted,

as you bent to kiss me…

you were taller then!

 

You walked in the kerb,

wore flat shoes…

so as not to highlight

the difference…

but that was you!

 

That was always you –

elevating my status,

even though I knew you,

as Goddess,

even then!

 

You stretched me to Godhead,

Turned the callow sallow youth,

to a man and I

knew there was only you…

Ever true!

 

DALE ‘M’  WE WITH J

WHY?

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WHY?

WHY IN LIFE DID WE HAVE A TELEPATHIC UNITY?

AND YET IN DEATH YOU CANNOT REACH ME…

IT’S BEWILDERING,

I FEEL SOUL-STRIPPED…

AN EMPTY SPACE,

LIKE A STROKE VICTIM.

I CANNOT ACCESS THE YOU SPACE IN MY MIND.

HALF LOST,

FLOUNDERING IN MY OWN QUANTUM SPACE,

YET YOU ARE ALL AROUND ME,

YOU TOUCH THOSE STILL WITH ME,

YOU CAN BREAK THROUGH THEIR HEADS…

BUT NOT MINE.

LIKE THESEUS IN THE LABYRINTH…

BUT WITHOUT THE TWINE,

IN LIFE WE EXISTED AS A DOUBLE HELIX…

IN DEATH I AM LEFT ALONE.

 

DALE ‘M’  WE WITH J

THE ANVIL ON MY CHEST

ANVIL

 

THE ANVIL ON MY CHEST

Watching the world go by…

dreaming of an excursion

A way to escape this dark room,

But for this big black anvil,

Crushing the wanderlust in my chest.

Each day that dawns

Taunts me with iridescent skies,

Come play with me,

But this stone of Scone…

Bids me to stay,

Tarry awhile, let the world go…

There is nothing there for you.

 

Nothing will come of nothing,

I say to nobody in particular,

and know the answer lies within,

but I can choke off that reality,

Because without you…

nothing matters more

Than the empty vacuum of my soul.

 

A RESPONSE TO THE BIG BLACK DOG.

DALE ‘M’  WE WITH ‘J’

LIKE A SORE THUMB COMPLETE

SORE THUMB

INTRODUCTION

This is a story of life in the 1970’s, and my reason for writing it, is that although it remains real to people of my age, to many of the younger age groups, it is as remote to them as the the first world war was to me as a child. The only reason I have some understanding of the early 20th century is that I had elder relatives to tell me stories of their youth. Even though I struggle to write long stories these days, I feel it is important to share them as much as I can…

LIKE A SORE THUMB

 

FRIDAY 16th June 1978

I had to catch the train into work that Friday. I normally got a lift into work with my Dad, but the rest of my nuclear family had gone away the night before on their family holiday. At 18, I was considered too old to want to go away to Italy with my parents. I didn’t really consider myself too old, but as I wasn’t asked, I accepted the situation. So I had gone to work in Birmingham, with my weekend bag, ready to go straight to Banbury after work. Banbury was where my fiancee lived with her maternal Grandmother. We had a long distance relationship, she would come to my house one weekend, I would go to her’s on the other weekend. It was not ideal, but such was infatuation.

Friday was a good day in the Jewellery Quarter in 1978, We all got paid weekly, with real cash in a wage packet. The calculations were obvious, all details on the outside of the packet. Wages would arrive at 12.45, and then we would go to lunch in the pub. Friday was an early finish, we were allowed to leave at three, after doing resets and specials.

Friday, we would go to the pub from 12.45 until 2.00 pm. Then we would pop back to work for an hour and then the weekend was our own! I planned to go straight down to Banbury, to Kate’s, get changed then get back out on the beer.

At 10.00 am I got a phone call. There was a shared phone in the workshop. You didn’t really want to receive personal calls on this phone, as the rest of the workshop would listen in and basically take the piss out of you.

Kate called.

” Can you not come down this weekend?”

” Er, okay, Why?”

” My Nan’s ill.”

“Oh. What’s wrong with her?”

” Oh just the flu or something.”

“Do you want to come up to me? I’ve got the house to myself…”

“No. She needs me here.”

“Oh, okay. I’ll give you a call back later.”

“Okay.”

“Speak later.”

“Yeah.”

Odd. She didn’t sound like her normal self. She usually insisted on long protracted “no you hang up ” rigmarole, and protestations of undying love, which usually led to ribald piss taking from my workmates.

The Friday lunch time session came and went, and after four or five pints, the summer sun outside hit you like a physical blow when you came out of the pub. I went back to do the least amount of work possible for an hour, then left to catch the bus into Birmingham and then the train to Lichfield. By the time I was on the train, the beer had taken it’s toll, and I fell asleep before we even got to Vauxhall… The first station on the route to Lichfield. I awoke as the train left Shenstone, the last station before arriving at Lichfield…

Did I awake with my head and drool on someone’s shoulder? I can’t remember, but it wouldn’t have been the first time if I had.

I got off the train at Lichfield City train station, and immediately went to the Telephone box out side the station, to find out what was wrong with Kate.

The phone was answered by her Nan. She didn’t sound ill. She said that Kate was out and wouldn’t be back until late. Where had she gone, I asked. Her Nan had answered cryptically that she thought Kate should tell me that.

That did not sound good. I thought of getting back on the train and going down to have it out with Kate. However, The drink I’d had at lunch time, was still swilling through my veins… So I thought Fuck That!

The only problem with the family home was that it was a good mile and a half from the train station. I could, of course just go over the road and get on a bus… BUT… Between the family home and the train station were approximately 52 pubs. I had money in my pocket, beer in my belly, which was fast wearing off. I decided, Chips first, to line my stomach and then a crawl home visiting as many pubs as humanly possible. By 5 p.m. I had 6 more pints in my belly, and I was literally crawling down the back lanes, known as the windings, back home. The journey had taken on the epic nature of the Odyssey… I had been thrown out of two pubs; had an argument with an old school friend about football, been threatened by a couple of drunks, who to be fair were in a worse state than I was… I do not know how I got home but the next thing I knew, it was Saturday and my bedroom floor was covered in sick.


SATURDAY  17TH 1978

There is a false dawn when you wake up on a sunny morning after a skinful of beer the night before… It comes just before you move a muscle. You eyes open on to the bright sunlight which is streaming through your window, and you feel great, how good it is to be alive! This feeling lasts a nano second, because you then make the mistake of moving your head. Big mistake! The room, you discover, is still defying the laws of physics, and spinning around in a crazy Alice in wonderland way. So you shut your eyes again… Another rookie mistake! It is not the room doing somersaults, it is your brain! Your cerebral cortex is completing a spin cycle you didn’t even know you’d started.

Then your stomach joins in. You start those hiccuping movements… like a dog with a bit of bone stuck in the back of the throat… And you know you are going to be sick. The next question is: can you reach the bathroom in time. You jump out of bed…(big mistake – you left your brain in idle mode), step in the sick on the floor from the previous night, slip and fall. And as you fall, you spray the wall with an arc of vomit, reminiscent of Jackson Pollack. Then you just lie there. Sick everywhere, dry retching on your back like a perch that has just been pulled from the river… One hand on your head, the other on your stomach. Under normal circumstances your mum would usually be beneficial at this point. she would hear your plight, would bring a cup of coffee, alka seltzer, a towel… an argument or admonishment… But not on this day, on this day she is 3000 miles away in Italy with the rest of your family and  you are quite alone. Alone and safe to wallow in the detritus of your stomach and your life.

I’d like to say that having been sick, this early version of me, immediately got up, cleaned up and generally took care of business… Like to, but can’t.  This version of me, poor sad young fool, promptly fell back to sleep, right there on the floor, in a fetal position, only occasionally grunting as a movement brought more pressure on his solar plexus to emit more contents from his stomach.

So, two hours later, when the urgent sun had slipped over the roof and away from my window, I awoke again, on the floor, this time with the pressing need to evacuate my bladder. This time, I made it to the bathroom. Having Peed, I made the mistake of looking in the shaving mirror over the sink. I looked like  I felt. I dipped my head under the cold tap and swallowed a gallon of good cold water. I gingerly lapped some of the water over my face. I was alive, in a fashion, and had an endless lonely weekend stretching before me. No Kate, no family, no work, no sport, it being summer, and no thoughts on how I would spend the next 48 hours. Obviously, I was never going to drink again, that was a given.

It is amazing how big the house suddenly feels when you are alone in it. With the sudden crush of parents and brother are removed, it feels like a big aching chasm with nothing to fill it. It doesn’t matter where you place yourself, you just don’t seem to fill the void.

The obvious place to occupy would be my bedroom, I could listen to music, play my albums, on my space age music centre, bought in a moment of inebriation, from a work colleague, renowned as the local Shylock, who happened to catch me at a moment of weakness, and offered exorbitant h.p. rates on a 2nd hand radiogram at shop prices.Money management was never a strong point! I ate some food. Hastily scrambled egg on toast, which of course made me feel sick again. I drank coffee. I drank some more coffee. I went upstairs with a cloth and a bowl and tried to clear up the sick. I don’t really do sick. In effect cleaning up sick makes me sick. I cleaned, I gagged, I cleaned, I retched. I ran to the bathroom and deposited my breakfast back into the toilet. I took a towel. I wiped up the remainder with the towel. Then I shoved the towel in the washing machine. I drank more coffee. I noticed a letter on the door mat. It wouldn’t be for me, I guessed. I didn’t get mail. I hadn’t had mail since 1969, when I had a penpal from Leeds. I went to see who it was for anyway. My heart sunk. The letter was in a hand I recognised.

KATE.

Gist?

Dear John, blah blah blah.

Upshot. Don’t want you any more.

I was angry. Upset? No angry… mostly.

I went upstairs to my old Imperial typewriter. I had wanted to be a writer since I was 11, and my dad on had bought me the typewriter for Christmas in 1974.

I tried to compose a pithy letter back to Kate. The anger and the tears, ok, yes there were tears, made typing difficult. I was smashing down the keys with heavy thuds until the inevitable happened, the keys got jammed. I tried to disentangle the keys which had jammed in my ham-fisted angry way and promptly sliced the top of my right thumb off. Joy of joys.

Blood now gushed forth. What to do, what to do? The A&E dept was a mile away on the other side of town. There were no Doctors open, it was the weekend… Band-aids. I found gauze and band-aids ( plasters). I wrapped up the injured digit as tightly as I could, and looked for another towel to clean up the blood. It found it’s way into the washer. One day on my own, and two towels down already! As the family had taken most of the towels away on holiday with them, I would have to be careful with the thread-bare towels now left in the airing cupboard. Use them Judiciously, or face the wrath of the washing machine. This was a taboo implement which no man had,at that time, ever encountered. No, I would use the rest more sparingly.

(to be Continued)

Dale ‘m’

 


SATURDAY 17TH JUNE 1978 4 PM

Many a slip tween cut and lint. Given that the cutting of the thumb occurred at 10 a.m., and the temporary remedial lint and band aid assembly took around an hour to come up with, after dancing around as if attacked by a wasp nest and showering blood across a large area of my bedroom… so recently sullied by voluminous amounts of vomit, and then hastily cleaned by two moth-eaten towels… Now languishing in the darkest depths of the taboo washing machine, which no man should ever use.

With this state of play, the letter in response to Kate’s Dear John missive, was put largely on a back burner… As by this time it had ceased to be of paramount importance. Of paramount importance at this time, was to anaesthetise the throbbing pain of my thumb. Given that the primary anaesthetic I had access to was paracetamol, whisky and coke, the cola variety not the nose candy, I took 4 tablets and half a pint of whisky and coke.

I sat in front of the tedious  Test match between Pakistan and England on the T.V. In the late 1970’s television consisted of three channels. BBC1 BBC2 and ITV were the full smorgasbord of our in house entertainment. BBC2 had a wide selection of talking beards on open university, and ITV offered the british version of WWF wrestling, which involved fat man rubbing bellies together, the cricket was the only game in town.

I lay on the couch, drunk my medicinal whisky, and fell asleep.

At four, there was a knock on the door. I woke and jumped up. I grabbed the lounge door, with my right hand and screamed. The knock at the door became more insistent.

I opened the door with my left hand. There stood my soul mate. Mary.

“Are you ok?”

I tried to smile.

“Given that I yelping like a beaten dog, and my thumb is the size of a belisha beacon, (in the UK) an orange ball containing a flashing light, mounted on a striped post on the pavement at each end of a zebra crossing. ) I think we can safely say, I’m not at my best”.

“Can I come in?”

“Of course.”

She came in. I shut the door. She hugged me. I hugged her as best I could. I smelt her hair. Is that weird?

“Did you just smell my hair?”

“Maybe”

“Why?”

“Because it smells nice?”

“Still weird then?”

“So it would appear… You still beautiful then?”

“What do you think?”

“You know I think your beautiful.”

“Ok, getting way too earnest already…”

” Would you like a cup of tea? Is that more formal?”

“Yes. I would love a cup of tea.”

“Please do come in sit down, I will make you a cup of tea.”

She sat down. I went into the kitchen and put on the kettle. I got cups out, then realised there was no tea. We, as a family, drank coffee.

“I’m sorry we don’t appear to have any tea. Do you want a coffee”

“Not particularly.”

“Oh…Whisky?”

“No, a bit early for whisky.”

” I’m sorry I’m all out of small talk. What do I owe this pleasure?”

“Just an off chance really.”

” An off chance?”

” Yes, on the off-chance that you still have the acoustic guitar I bought you for christmas.”

Tricky. I did still have the acoustic guitar, but it only had three strings. I cannot begin to tell you what happened to the other strings, suffice to say, they were stretched across a wicker work clothes basket, in a vain attempt to create a bass sound for my musical creations. I was in the process of becoming a rock star. With two tape decks, an electric guitar and amp, a bass made as above mentioned and a drum made from an oil can and spoons… The acoustic guitar with three remaining strings, I bowed with a metal coat hanger. In my defence, I was a fucking idiot and 18, not necessarily in that order.

Did I tell Mary that? No. This is what I told Mary.

” I’ve got the acoustic guitar, but three of the strings were broke by my little brother when he was using it as a bow for his arrows. Little bastard!”

“Oh, that’s disappointing.”

“Why?”

“I wanted to teach my flatmate how to play acoustic guitar, so we could go out busking together…”

“Who is he?”

“Not a he, a she, she is called Deborah.”

“So not a man then?”

“No. Not a man. I’m Married.”

“You’re fucking what now?”

“I got married!”

“You are married? You can’t be married.”

ok. The back story. I knew Mary was my soul mate. Mary knew I was her soul mate… The reason we were not still together… Fucking hormones! I was besotted with her, but I was a teenage boy… And I couldn’t resist temptation… Ever! Not even when my life depended on it. And boy did I have time to repent at leisure!

“It’s no big deal. I got married so that I couldn’t be asked to give evidence against him in court.”

“Seems a pretty big deal to me… So where is your husband now?”

“In jail. They had enough evidence to convict him without my evidence being required.”

“Seems an awful big commitment to me. So what happens now?”

“I wait til he gets out of jail then get an annulment.”

“Is that even a thing?”

“Yeah my solicitors says should be fine, he got sent down the day after we married, so now chance of consummation. So, providing he agrees we should be able to get the marriage annulled.”

“You don’t love him then?”

“God no, he’s my fucking dealer!”

“Your Dealer? What you on smack now?”

“Sometimes, maybe.”

“injecting? You fucking hate needles!”

“Don’t be daft, I’d never inject, just chasing the dragon, a few times.”

“And this is what?”

“Just inhaling the smoke.”

“Oh right, nothing serious then.”

“No, nothing serious.”

” But worth getting hitched  to a junkie dealer for?”

“He’s not a junkie.”

“Well that’s a relief. And you accuse me of making bad choices…”

“You, my love, are led by your dick, you have a good mind but you never use it because your cock is in control… I am led by the desire to experience everything… This is why we are not together. We are bad for each other. You know that, I know that. But you are still my best friend. I love you.”

” And I dream of a day when you have experienced all you need and I have fucked all I need to fuck, and finally, we can settle down together.”

“Chances are fairly remote.”

“Mary, I know the day will come.”

“Ok. I wanted the guitar to sell. How nice am I now?”

“What did you hope to get for it?”

“£20. I hoped too get £20, just enough to get some food for the next week.”

” I can give you a fiver.”

“You can… Why? Why would you give me a fiver?”

“I feel bad I ruined the guitar. I wouldn’t want you to starve.”

“Bless you. You are such a sweetie.”

“What you doing tonight?”

“Oh um… I’ve got a date, But Debs is at a lose end, would you like to take her out for me?”

“Really? You want me to go out with your flatmate?”

” As a favour? She has massive tits…”

” Oh please, that’s your thing not mine!”

” I know. I’ve already seen them!”

“So your fucking your flatmate too?”

“Don’t you find that exciting?”

“Ok. Maybe. Are we normal?”

“Who the fuck wants to be normal?”

“Good point. What chance did we ever have of being normal?”

“We are what we are. So if you come to the flat, sixth floor of Bosworth House, about six, then you can meet Debs, and take her out for a while.”

“Ok. I’ve got nothing better to do.”

“Just one thing…”

“What?”

“Don’t mention that we’ve been together to her, she doesn’t want any one to think she’s a dyke.”

“Oh, ok.”

“And Dale…”

“Yes”

“About that fiver”

” Yes”

“Could you make it a tenner?”


So I had a date. My only interest,the fact that she may or may not have slept with Mary.

Interesting times.

Dale ‘M’


6 P.M.

So I had a date. A date with someone I’d never met. Someone called Deborah. Deborah. Ok, so I walked the half mile between my house and the flat where Mary and Deborah lived, with the earworm of Debora by T.rex ripping through my mind.

It didn’t auger well, oh Debora you look like a zebra… It wasn’t a look I could get behind.

I knocked on the door. Mary opened it.

” Oh you came.”She walked away from the door as if my following her in was a given.

Two bedrooms, a bathroom, and a toilet, were passed down a dark corridor, at the end of which was a door. Through the door was a large living room and a kitchenette. The view through the french window was exciting. It was six floors up. There was a small balcony. The prospect of standing on the balcony terrified me. The urge to jump from the said balcony would be great. I did not have a fear of heights, I had a fear that the urge to jump would overwhelm me. In the middle of this living area, Mary had stuck a double bed. Handy. I looked around and saw no evidence of a Deborah.

“Handy place to keep your bed.” Mary looked as if she might bridle at my comment. Then she thought better of it.

“It wouldn’t fit in the bedroom. Plus I like to lie here and look at the sky.”

A plausible explanation.

“Where is Deborah?” Mary looked a bit vague.

“She went out. She will be back soon…”

Mary started looking for something.

“What are you looking for?”

“My pussy.”

“So true… it’s what we are all looking for isn’t it?”

“Don’t be a prick, my cat, Loki, I’m terrified he will get himself out on to the balcony…”

“That would not be Lucknow would it.”

“Loki not Lucky, you knob.”

So humour was not making this any easier… The cat, Loki not Lucky, was sat on the kitchenette worktop, licking his arse. Nice.

“He’s there.” I pointed. Mary picked him up. She snuggled him up to her neck.

The front door opened, and a shout rang out.

“Only got some weed, nobody’s got anything else.”

I looked at Mary. She’d spent the money I’d given her on Dope. Perfect.

“We’re in here Debs.”

Debs said no more. Both cats were out of the bag.

“This is Dale.I told you about him.”

“Hi.” She said and then crashed into the one chair next to the double bed.

She had acne on her face, and mousy shoulder length hair. She was not a beauty, but had the advantage of not looking like a zebra. She also had a very prominent pair of breasts. In this age before implants, breasts that big were only dreamt of. I tried to talk to her, but she seemed not to be interested in me.

“Shall I skin up?” She spoke to Mary. Mary looked at me.

“You want a joint?”

I shrugged. Alcohol was my poison. Drugs had weird effects on me. Cannabis fucked my head up and not in a good way. I became a spastic in time. Literally. Time ceased to have any linear projection. A second would last for hours and hours would pass in a nano second. A lucky accident. The most prevalent drug of the seventies did not chill me out, but thanks to a freakish chemical imbalance in my brain, it freaked me out instead. I don’t know if this a common effect on other people, I’ve only ever been inside my own head, but being lost in time and space is not much fun, in certain circumstances it becomes a nightmare which you feel is never going to end.

So after the communal toking on the joint, of which I willingly partook, because why the fuck not when it was my money that paid for it, the narrative became somewhat blurred and dream-like.

We talked and laughed, we smoked and talked and laughed some more. At some point in the proceedings Mary got up and went into the bathroom. She was in there for an indeterminable length of time… It could have been  hours, it could have been minutes, but when she came out she was made up, unruly hair calmed and straightened, and she was dressed to the nines.

“He’ll be here in a minute, best you two kids disappear to the pub.” She shooed us out.

I looked at Deborah as we ran down the stairs,or walked, or flew, as I say I wasn’t really in the moment, and I thought… Nothing. She was not of any interest to me. Not very bright, not very pretty… Not my type. I’m sure she grew up to be a perfectly respectable person, but at that time and on that night, she was just a fucked-up kid, led by others. If I try to picture her now all I get is a benign Susan Atkins aka sexy Sadie (Charlie Manson acolyte)… A follower.

We went into town. We drank at the pub which had the vaguest concept of under-age drinking. I was of age, she was not, she was sixteen. She had very little conversation. I drank a lot. She couldn’t keep up. We left after an hour and a half. Walking her back to the flat, a distance of about a mile, was not a merry stroll. She was sick twice. Time began to  return to me, and it turned out I wasn’t having a good one. I thought, as I walked the unsteady Debs back, typical fucking Mary! Playing fucked-up games with me.

We entered the flat. The door to the lounge at the top of the hall was open. A naked Mary, bouncing energetically up and down on a blissful crew-cut soldier. She looked at me and winked. Winked. I grabbed Debs by the arm and led her into her bedroom. I stripped her off.

“Oh right.” She mumbled and lay on her bed. Her large breasts collapsed back into her chest and under her arms, like an under-cooked souffle. I felt repulsed. This is not what I want I thought. I would like to say that I pulled the covers over the poor girl, and left the building. I’d like to say that, but it wouldn’t be true. I had sex with her. Out of anger. Not violently, because violence is not n my nature, but in a perfunctory way. She moaned and held me tight, like a lover… and when I stopped, she was snoring. I dressed. I walked out of the room, out of the flat, without looking around to Mary. I went home.


this is the first episode of this story which is not accurate to fact. A lot of different experiences have been conflated, just to give the atmosphere of the time. In reality nobody was drunk, stoned or fucked without given consent.

 

To be continued.

DALE ‘M’


11 P.M. 17TH NOVEMBER 1978

STAKE-OUT

You know when you get morose drunk? When you have left your friends on the route home, and suddenly thought, I don’t want to go home? That’s the sort of feeling that gets you into trouble. So it’s 11 p.m., and I’m sitting on the stairs one floor above Mary’s flat. It’s been a while since I’ve seen her. In fact the last time I saw her was the wink. As a consequence of that little dalliance, I had caught scabies, and had suffered agonies because the doctor had not told me that I only had to paint the ointment on my skin once. I had put it on every day for a week, with the unforeseen occurrence, that I looked as if I’d been flayed. When I presented my skin for the doctor’s perusal a week later, he thought I was a complete idiot. You only use it once, no wonder you look like a lobster.

Luckily, the skin settled down relatively quickly once a curative balm had been administered. However, since that fateful night, I had decided to stay clear of my Mary, as she wasn’t particularly good for my health. Well, when I say I stayed  away… this wasn’t the first time I’d been sat sitting on the stairs above her floor, waiting to see if she came home alone. I had sat there maybe three of four times before, but as she had a guy, probably the army guy with her, I’d hid above and listened to see if he went in. He did, and I went home.

So this stalking behaviour had become a habit. What did I want? I wanted to make everything and everybody else just disappear. I wanted her to be with me forever. I think I wanted to make one last effort. I had a dream that if she knew how I felt, she would see what I could see, we were made to be together. I know a facile thought, but I was 18 and I loved her. I knew she loved me too. So why not?

I heard steps coming from below. No voices. A good sign. It was a long wait. 12 series of stairs take a while, even when you are young and fit. I looked over the parapet and saw her mop of crazy black hair below. She was alone. As she pulled on the fire door to her floor, I stood up. She stopped stark still, as if frozen in time.

“Hello” I said.

She looked down the stairs to see if anyone was there.

“Come in quick”. She looked afraid.

She shepherded me into her flat.

“You shouldn’t come here.”

“Why?”

“He’s out on Monday.”

“Who’s out on Monday?”

“My husband. He gets out of prison on Monday. You need not to be here.Seriously.”

“It’s Friday, I think it’s safe.”

” He has people watching me. He wrote me a letter, saying if I didn’t ditch the squaddie (english slang for soldier), then he would.”

“He would what?”

“Put him in a ditch. He would do it too, you don’t know the people he goes around with.”

“How did he find out about soldier boy?”

“I told you he has people watching me.”

“For fuck’s sake Mary, why don’t you just leave? You don’t need to be around this creep.”

“I can’t. He’d find me. You don’t know what he’s like.”

I hugged her. She didn’t push me away. She was shaking inside. I pressed my head to hers and felt the tumult inside her mind. We had that kind of connection, we could feel each others emotions. She hugged me so tight, we felt like siamese twins. I stroked her hair. We sat on the side of her bed… still in the living room.

“I’m here, I will always be here.” I said.

She sobbed heavily.

“That’s just it you can’t be here, I can’t bear you being here, don’t you understand?” I held her tighter and kissed her eyes.

“I love you, Mary, you know that, why not just come with me, I will look after you.” She looked into my eyes. I knew she felt the same, how could she not? We had been through so many other lifetimes together… (but that’s for another story)

“He will, kill you. You are still a boy.”

“I know people…”

“You don’t even know how to tie your shoes, my beautiful boy. You are my dream, my hope of happiness. I got myself into this shit, I will get myself out of it. You will go and have a happy life without me.”

An air of finality. She hugged me. I hugged her. I cried. I cried a lot. We undressed. We held each other into the night. We never let go of each other. It was a pure moment, a pure moment in a lifetime of madness. We relished it until finally we fell asleep.

I awoke about eight. My leg across her legs, my arms around her waist, my nose engulfed in the mass of her hair. I wanted to sneeze. I didn’t want to sneeze, I needed to sneeze. I wanted not to sneeze. I wanted the moment to last forever. The watery sun burst through the window, casting her long legs in light and shade… Always with Mary, the light and the shade! She was the most beautiful intelligent woman I had ever met, she was love personified, yet always she brought in the shade… The dark moods, the drugs, the ridiculous lack of faith in me… warranted I grant you, to some extent. She at that age had taken me to heaven and hell. And the men and women she paraded in front of me.

But as always, I wanted to scoop her into my arms and take her away. To look after her all my life. I wanted to protect her. Yet, she insisted on protecting me. I stroked her perfect skin, I held her perfect breast. I tried to slip my hand inside her knickers.

She grabbed my hand.

“No. None of that. Time for you to go now.”

I got up.  I got dressed. I had tears again, I tried to hide them.

I waved to her prostrate form as I made for the door.

“Dale. Don’t I get a kiss.” She leaned on a elbow. I lent over and kissed her on the lips.

“I love you with all my heart, Mary, won’t you come with me?”

“I love you with all my heart, Dale, I can’t come with you. I have to sort my life out, and you do too. Please don’t come around again, he will seriously fuck you up.”

I walked out of her life.

For 33 years.

It’s a funny way to live don’t you think.

DALE ‘M’

AWAKE

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AWAKE

I took a year off. I didn’t want to be beholden. I had so much stuff to sort out in my inner space, I couldn’t or wouldn’t allow these decisions to be influenced by external bodies. I couldn’t work… How could I go back to driving up and down Cheshire every day, when my beloved had been killed by one of the accursed tractor which had long been the bane of my driving days? Each one I met would be a sword in my side. So for three months I took sick pay, went and got a sick note from my friendly doctor, and worked out what next. After months of wrangling, I got access to our bank accounts, to car insurance and life insurance… I had a wad. A back stop. I worked out that I could not afford the rent on our home, the cash would not last long enough. So I gave up my home, my job, my whole life in the old town. I came home. I moved in with my parents and eked out my capital, and lasted a year. I didn’t not claim Universal Credit. I knew that would expect me to attend job search interviews and all the other hoops that you have to jump through and I thought no… I’m not going to have my grief controlled by an external body that does not care a jot about me. Same with Doctors. Once I gave up my job, I didn’t need to see a doctor, although I did need to in reality, I just didn’t want the labels they would give me. Clinically depressed… To add to my bad blood, (too much iron), my chronic back and neck pain, caused by spondalitis and stenosis, and by a crushed vertebrae in my neck, my chronic stomach condition… no doubt made worse by alcohol consumption… It was easier to self-medicate, I had pain killers on script. So tonight I’m awake. I have to go to a doctor tomorrow. Explain everything. It’s daunting. Just like going to the bank last week…

I’m having anxiety attacks. I will explain everything to him/her and they will agree with my prognosis, and hopefully agree I’m not fit to work. Then Friday I will take his sick note to Universal Credit and I will be back in the society, beholden to rules.

I have a plan, or rather we have a plan… because I cannot talk of an I when I am now a we. We will make art together and make whatever we can from that. And we will take trips. Do things as a WE. I have Marie’s blessing, she has orchestrated it… Such is her way.

When she finished with me back in 1977, she arranged for my old girlfriend to come up and look after me. That is/was her way. Bloody control freak! You know what I said to her then?

” I want you! Nobody else!”

Alas and alack… this no longer an option. Janet is my new other. She has played her hand so well, smacked my arse and called me Susan ( private joke). I have been an absolute arsehole the last twelve months, head up my arse, vacillating between tragedy and farce, stuff I can’t say, but she knows anyway… So close.

I’m going back to my painting, but not as a means to shut the noise out of my head, but because it’s what I love, and I will write and even listen to my beloved music collection, which is still so fucking hard, every other song makes me cry.

So I will get out of bed tomorrow, I will go to the doctors, I will face the depression which everyone but me has already accepted. I will go cap in hand to the state, in the hope I can keep my head above water, and I will make my paintings pay. I will go back to Amsterdam, even though it’s Marie’s city, and I will tie it up with a bow and connect it with Bruges and Ypres and wherever else I want to see.

Death is not an option.

Dale beloved of ‘M’ …we to J

2020 REVELATION AWAKES HA PLAYLIST

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2020 REVELATION AWAKES HA PLAYLIST

  1. 2000 SHOES – BIG AUDIO DYNAMITE
  2. 20/20 – GAZ COOMBES
  3. REVERBERATION – 13TH FLOOR ELEVATORS
  4. EVE WHITE /EVE BLACK – SIOUXSIE & THE BANSHEES
  5. VALLEY OF THE DOLLS – GENERATION X
  6. EYES ON FIRE – BLUE FOUNDATION
  7. LAND OF HOPE & GLORY – MADNESS
  8. A CASE FOR SHAME – MOBY
  9. TAKE MY HEAD – ARCHIVE
  10. I AM STRETCHED ON YOUR GRAVE – SINEAD O’CONNOR
  11. OBLIVIOUS – AZTEC CAMERA
  12. NO LONGER MAKING TIME – SLOWDIVE
  13. A DAY IN THE LIFE – THE BEATLES
  14. WAILING WALL – CLAN OF XYMOX
  15. A SONG FOR EUROPE = ROXY MUSIC
  16. K HOLE – BRITISH SEA POWER
  17. ECHOLALIA – DEAD CAN DANCE
  18. SAFESURFER – JULIAN COPE
  19. HA HA WALL – LIBERTINES
  20. A BETTER FUTURE – DAVID BOWIE

I CANNOT TELL YOU WHAT YOU WILL FIND BUT THIS IS THE YEAR WHEN ALL BECOMES CLEAR… WE’LL TALK THEN.

DALE ‘M’

MY BEAUTIFUL MARIE (ONE YEAR ON)

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TONIGHT  MY BEAUTIFUL MARIE (TANYA)  WAS KILLED IN A CAR ACCIDENT. I DON’T KNOW HOW I CAN CONTINUE WITHOUT HER.

SHE IS MY SOULMATE AND MADE THE WORLD BEARABLE.

the stars look very different tonight

DALE

ONE YEAR ON

This may seem incredible, but I didn’t anticipate that the anniversary would cause me any kind of emotional turmoil. After all, I’d got through Christmas and New Year relatively unscathed, thanks for the most part to my special girl, Janet, and I stupidly thought I can handle this now. So it came as some surprise that on awakening this morning I could NOT stop crying.  If you would have asked me a year ago how I thought I’d be handling it now, I would have said I wouldn’t still be here!  So that’s progress of sorts. The truth is losing your one and only soul mate, feels like having limbs removed. It doesn’t matter how well you get on with other people or how close they become… They still feel like a prosthetic. This is doubly harsh to both parties… You feel a cad for not being able to accept the difference, and they feel that they can never live up to your expectations. In reality, you do not expect them to be the one you  loved with all your heart, they are not a replacement, but they are a godsend! My Janet has been an absolute Godsend. I do not deserve to have such a wonderful person in my life. She is patient, supportive, strong and resilient, even when I mess her about with the mercurial nature of my Affections. One day, I am totally there with her, then the next I feeling guilty because I feel I’m betraying Marie. She has stuck with me through all my moods and melancholia, and remained steadfast. God bless you Janet, please stay in my life. I’m a shell without you.

Grief is what you make it. It can overwhelm you or it can push you forward, So far it has mostly overwhelmed me, for months I painted for eight hours a day, then in spring I fished for eight hours a day… All to stop me reliving the moment over and over again.

I still don’t have normal emotions, still don’t feel like a normal person, mostly I feel numb but try to portray normality. I know it’s not working. Now that my money has almost gone, I have to face up to my toughest challenge. Do I sign on for dole (govt payments) and hand my life over to the vagaries of the state; do I claim sickness, I have major problems with my back and depression, but again that allows the govt to get involved in my life; or do I get a job? Not easy these days, sixty year old’s are not in high demand in the job market.

I hate the idea of the govt. stipulating what hoops I have to jump through to get money to live on, I’d rather work, but the manual work I’ve done since leaving University is no longer an option, and who is going to employ me to do the things I want  to do : Painting, writing or acting?

This is the life I have left, I have to do something, but after a year of naval gazing I’m still no closer to solution.

Roll the dice, make a choice and move on.

love and best wishes to you all.

DALE BELOVED PARTNER OF MARIE

 

JUST ONE MORE FIRST

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Having spent my first xmas on this planet without Marie on it, there is only one more first left traverse, the first anniversary of her Death. This time last year I was in the middle of a series of events where one problem led to another, each becoming more and more serious.

It began with the dog. We, Marie and I were going to go to a gig in Glasgow. It was a weird one, Marie had it in her mind that we should go and see a viking band, Heilung,

we had booked a hotel for the weekend, and planned to revisit Kelvingrove Art Musuem, then go to the gig, move up to Edinburgh on the Sunday to visit musuems etc. It was all bought and paid for. Then Freya cut her paw whilst out walking. She had stitches at the  vets, but the stitches came out, and Marie wouldn’t leave her baby with my daughter for the weekend. So we lost two hundred pounds worth of holiday, to stay at home with out ailing Border Collie. She split her stitches three times, and the vet bills were nearly £600 .

That was the first event. Then my laptop blew up. The motherboard was broken. My laptop was out of commission for over a month as they couldn’t get a replacement over the holiday period. Then my glasses broke in half. Luckily, the glasses were still under warranty, so I was able to get them replaced without cost. Then I knocked our clock off the table and broke it. The clock had been with us from the beginning. On the 27th December, the car blew up whilst Marie was out shopping. It was kaput. We had to get a new car. On January 1st, we spent our Bank Holiday travelling to Bolton to buy a new car. £3000 lighter, the new year seemed to be following the trajectory of December.

On the 3rd of January, I came home from work and woke Marie, who worked nights, with a cup of tea. An hour later I got a phone call from my daughter Amy. Her Mum, my ex-wife was ill, the symptoms suggesting she’d had a stroke. I offered to have the Baby, Phoenix, whilst she went to the hospital with her Mother. I took Marie her 2nd cup of tea. I told her what was occurring, that Phoenix would be arriving shortly and that Gail had had a stroke.

“My God, could your luck get any worse?” Marie said.

When the baby came down, she was quite whiny. She cried for about an hour. Marie got dressed ready to go to work. She came down and offered to hold the baby, whilst I went out and had a cigarette.

Whilst Marie was upstairs, I put Phoenix down in her cot, which at that time, was in the living room, as we looked after the baby every Saturday whilst Amy went to work. Marie came down to see me sitting in the dark, writing on my little replacement laptop, Marie came over kissed my head, then went back upstairs to fetch my bedside lamp. She put it down beside me, she then gave me a proper kiss and said I love you. I smiled and said,

“I love you too.” She left to go to work.  The baby screamed. She would not be going to sleep. At eleven O’clock, I had a knock on the door. I opened it with the baby in my arms, to find a male and female police officer stood there. My immediate reaction was,

Oh shit, Gail’s died.  The police came in. Told me to sit down. They brought out Marie’s handbag. Then I knew. I thought they wanted me to go identify her. They wouldn’t let me. The rest is horrible and I’m not going to elucidate further.

In the space of a few weeks, my whole life unravelled. This doesn’t seem statistically viable. It is a series of events which defies logic. Yet it happened. There were more things which broke but I can’t remember it all, I’ve been blocking it all out for a year. My conclusion is that there must have been some sort of cosmic karma going on, that we had some very dark past lives which required balancing.

I miss my beloved every day. Every second of every day. It helps that I know we travel through this world existence together. We have many lives together. So I know she will be there for me next time. In our next re-incarnation, I will make damn sure that we stay together forever, I will never let her go. Life without her is shit.

Getting beyond the third is my next goal. After that, I have to rejoin the human race.

Just remember, live in love.

Love is always the answer.

DALE ‘M’