Play It Glissando

December 1, 2016


Diary 1st December

More fragments from a splintered mind –

O the sisters of mercy they are not
Departed or gone,
They were waiting for me when I thought
That I just can’t go on,
And they brought me their comfort
And later they brought me this song.
O I hope you run into them
You who’ve been travelling so long

Leonard Cohen


Have you observed how closely our shadows sit together? Now and again they touch like lovers. They think we can’t see them, but we can, can’t we? Their desire, one for the other, is very apparent to me.


Yesterday, a grey sky lowering the horizon. The leaves have finally fallen, but still gorse bushes are flowering in places on the moor. Surely the frost must finish them off?

This morning, cold. Minus five on the thermometer in the garage.

Steam rising from my cup of coffee causes my thoughts to stray. Schooldays. Boredom and melancholy and endless bouts of wanking. Everyday a fresh opportunity to fail. Teachers with dead eyes. The walking dead. “Jessie” James with his nicotine yellow fingers, and his spiteful attempts at humour. Mrs Laite with her following of invisible but strange spirits, still in mourning for a long dead husband, and teetering on the brink of dementia.

Oh, what tough little roughs we were.

But even then, despite everything, I was easy prey for the seductive darkness. And the darkness in winter is so absolute, isn’t it?


Memory of an evening in Thame years ago. Dead and alive sort of place. What on earth was I doing there? Don’t know now, but I was with H – her of the long neck and smouldering glances – and we’d both had a drink or two, for sure. There was one of those prefabricated, aluminium-framed, bus-stops, in part windowless where once there had been windows. A rank and urine-smelling place, where tramps congregated late at night.

To my utter amazement, H said to me: ‘Have me here…here on the floor.’


And before I knew what was happening, she was on all fours, skirt up, wriggling lace panties down.

Just the smell in that place put me off. It was dark and there was no one else about. But I couldn’t comply with her demands. It was impossible. I tried to explain but she was furious with me.


And then a Saturday night at The Bell, Apsley. Much later, this. The “Tree-Fellow” was there, with his squint and his evil-smelling cheroots. H, more than a little intoxicated, told him she’d like to screw him. ‘A good night out for me,’ she said, ‘would involve a variety of sexual partners.’

I could tell he was deeply shocked.

I intervened, and she turned on me like a rabid dog. Eventually, I suggested we call it a day. Go home.

‘Fuck you both,’ she said, getting up from the table. ‘I’m outta here…’

All good things, inevitably, come to an end.


And then another time, with the woman I love most in the world. Our first ever date. In the King’s Head, Harrow-on-the-hill. The two of us sitting together, earnestly talking about life, the universe and everything. I with one leg awkwardly folded under me, excuse myself to go to the toilet.

But disaster always awaits the unwary.

On standing, I realise my leg has gone numb. I should sit back down, let feeling return to it. But no. I try to walk through that crowded bar towards the Gents. I make it, yeah – after hobbling and flailing about like one who’d just received a hefty kick to the balls. So very embarrassing. At one point, glancing back over my shoulder, I see the look of total shock on that poor girl’s face…

How to make a good first impression, eh?

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