A letter to my inner narcissist

Words are words.
And sometimes, words hurt.
Like a simple thing said in a simple way can cut deeper than a curse word.
So if you think I can kill you with a turn of phrase.
Just know that I’m holding back a worse verse.
From beginning to middle to end, it’ll get tougher and tougher.
Till you’re wishing for that comfort of my first third.
Like a drunk the morning after.
Wondering how it all kicked off.
What was it you first slurred?
You sly spy, thinking you’re James Bond but your game’s gone.
And now you’re proper shaken and not stirred.
God’s gift giving women short shrift.
Telling mates, ‘Let’s go chat up these hot birds.’
But they see through you.
Cos you’re vain, narcissistic and self-obsessed.
Maybe you should give your old self a rest?
And form a new body.
One that’s nicer to people.
Instead you seem to have decided you’re evil.
Thinking you’re above the masses.
That your lies are so regal.
The slick venom you spit so thick.
It’s like you’re hiding in treacle.
Employing fantastic dirty tactics.
Cos it’s abundantly clear that you just can’t fight legal.

So now, Mr Narcissist, the gloves are off.
And I won’t be hitting a wall soon.
Cos it’s a full moon.
And I’m coming at you with the Hounds of God.
Hunting you down round the clock.
So just when you start to get complacent and think I’m about to stop.
I’ll bring insane pain.
Like Jet Li on a jet-ski.
And go for your throat with a resounding chop.
Have you choke on your words till your tongue burns.
Like you couldn’t taste chilli but now it’s hot.
Cos I’m iron born and fire formed.
I’ll pray as I throw you to the waves and drown this God.
You’ll be pissed, screaming at mist.
Seeing ghosts all around you in this howling fog.
Cos I’m building walls in my psyche.
Watch me mount these blocks.
So with each brick in place I’ll put you in a sicker state.
Square peg in a round hole.
I know you won’t fit this shape.
Balling up your emotions in a fist of hate.
But I kinda know you want to change.
So my help in this matter is probably a gift you’ll take.
Cos when you’re nice to people, they’re nice back.
This is no twist of fate.
So go ahead, look at me blank.
Like what I’m saying just won’t translate.
But if you don’t evolve you’ll just stay cold.
And from this, Mr Narcissist, there’s no escape.

Rebel rebel (time for a punk revival)

Oh to be weird.
Hold on, wait. I am weird.
Weirder than most.
I love to be different and David Bowie’s Rebel Rebel was made for me.
When everyone ticks I tack.
It makes me feel slightly smug (and I’m smug about being smug – how meta).
But the funny thing these days is that, yes, everyone wants to be different but, CRUCIALLY, they want to be the same.
To carve their own path, but belong.
To each be a unique little snowflake, but part of the storm.

Maybe it’s always been this way?
(Not that I’m that different really. What a hypocrite.)
And Android cottoned onto this with their ads.
Apple too.
And the biggest joke about Apple is they like to persuade us all that we’re individuals owning their products, yet EVERYONE has a sodding iphone.
Anyway, I digress.

So where does that leave us?
I mean, are there any true mavericks left these days? Those auteurs and visionaries.
Because we should face up to the fact that David Bowie’s death, if we’re frank, left us with an almighty void to fill.
And with the world going somewhat down the crapper and Britain splitting from Europe and Trump building walls around America… the need for mavericks and rebels in 2017 could not be greater.

We need a punk revival.

(For society I mean. Globally. Or at least in the UK and USA).
I mean, going punk is exactly what craft beer brand Brewdog did.
They looked at the stuffy real ale market and shook it until all the crusty old guys fell out.
Trouble is… they became a victim of their own success.
How do you stay a punk when you’re now the mainstream?
That’s the rub. 
And as we know, many rebels eventually hang up their six shooters and put down their guitars and assorted weapons and call it a day.
Resigned to sit in a comfy chair by the fire with a sherry ready for an early night.
It’s inevitable.

But there’s always new blood coming through, right? Right?!
I’m talking about the young firebrands, the future deviants, the intensely passionate leaders and charismatic and cocky outsiders who like to look at the world differently.
And, honestly, I am drawn to these people like a moth to a flame.
Anyone that likes to disrupt and cause chaos.

Simply put: they’re cool. 
It’s basically where life starts to get interesting, right?

So that’s what’s on my mind.
It’s time to tear down barriers and scrap rules and let’s all just stop squabbling over stupid things like borders and religion and race and class and creed and all that stuff.
Otherwise we’ll never get off this planet.
Because, let’s face it, there have GOT to be more enlightened civilisations out there in the universe right?
It can’t just be us.
So maybe rebels can be our salvation.
I just hope they get the message, wherever they may be.
And remember folks, David Bowie ain’t dead. He just went home.

The cinephile

Stepping into the foyer yours is a world of forlorn popcorn, fizzy drinks and ice cream swirls.
Sticky carpet underfoot with staff straight out of Shaun of the Dead you’re probably asking yourself, ‘Should I examine my head, where’s the magic?’ As far as movie experiences go this one is tragic.
Ticket stub in hand you advance, agitated and nervous, and when the lights go down you’re in a trance, but what do you get served first?
Nothing but a steady stream of adverts and insipid trailers, ‘Jesus, I came for this?’, you think. ‘Will it get better? Am I on the brink of something special?’
Time will tell. You have to stick it out.
For what starts hellish soon becomes bright and clean as you submit to the lure of silver screen. Less Charlie and more Martin Sheen in Apocalyse Now, your heroes come to life when the chips are down. They’ll face impossible odds but overcome them somehow. In short, they’ll do you proud.
Even in a drama where our protagonist is filled with inner torment you gradually relent and give your consent, as far as time in a dark room goes this is money well spent.
Yet here’s the rub, it’s like a snub, you resent the fact that you’re made to suffer first, cinemas are making it harder on you they should be cursed.
And as others leave the screen and disperse you’re left conflicted. If only you could put time in reverse and immerse yourself in the magic again, that would be a sick trick.
But before your thoughts go all cinematic and ecstatic know this, they’re just stories to help us make sense of the world. Armed with that knowledge your happiness will unfurl.
If all else fails there are always rom-coms. Before you know it you’re lost in the magic once again weeping into a tissue, you’re long gone.

Spring chicken

Reach down, tie that trainer, no time to sleep now this exercise lark is a no-brainer.
Ear buds in, one, two, when it’s workout time there’s no room for curfew.
Feeling the burn like Schwarzenegger, but with no one egging me on it’s just me and my thoughts. Like an unstoppable object against an immovable force, one foot follows the other in a vendetta against sports.
Starting slow, step by step, blow by blow, I pick up the pace. But this ain’t no race against anyone except myself. And my health faces a neverending battle against office work and fatty foods. But I’m on a quest, and so I must choose. If this is a rat race am I destined to lose?
Thinking about it, sugar and bread are the blight of our lives, lurking on the shelves they fill me with dread, to fight back I must smite them or die. On my quest I’m constantly asking myself why, do I go healthy or do I fold and choose pie?
But I digress.
Why should I be forced to eat less and less?
And it’s not just me, we’re an obese nation according to the media. Have you ever asked yourself, what lies are they feeding ya?
Eight glasses of water a day, till we’re so full of liquid that we sway and sway from side to side, like the Titanic with an iceberg in her sights. Or maybe we’re an apex predator, keeping a flex on as we get cleverer and cleverer.
Destroying, consuming and hoovering up resources, we’re on a calorific mission to reach critical mass, destined to become a bloated fortress.
Yet there’s hope, there always is. In our quest to become lean and lithe and reach fitness bliss we must get a regular sweat on and bear witness to this.
Spinning, boot camp, lifting weights, on this fit-fat loop are we doomed to make the same mistakes? God I hope not or this is all for nothing.
As those gym bunnies say, no pain no gain.
Time to put the pen down. Time to train.

The dating game

Swipe left, swipe right with no end in sight.
A meeting, a chance encounter, we flounder and fight, adrift in a sea of brief connections, ‘yeah, but what do you expect son?’ your mates cry. Looking slick, smug and sly, safe and content in their marriages, while we erect barrages.
For in this game you gotta protect yourself and look after your health, to be fighting fit, physically ripped and mentally nimble, prepared for a hottie to gatecrash your world.
The kind of person that makes your toes curl and mind swirl.
That girl.
But maybe that’s a pipe dream?
For in the sea of single faces out there we remain unseen, like a leper girls look at us unclean, the lines we feed them they see as obscene.
There’s always that divide. They shout we scream, or maybe it’s the other way round?
Whatever, I’m twisted now.
I want to be realistic and authentic, but how?
Like Batman I want to be fending off honeys with a stick, KAPOW!
But with a furrowed brow I sit back and take stock. My time is now. Or has it come and gone? Do I need to stop the rot?
Killing time it won’t be long until I write my own song, one where I’m the hero that does no wrong.
But who wants to hear a story where the conclusion is foregone?
The dating game is a game because we don’t know the outcome. But back to what my mates say again, ‘what do you expect son?’


Death. What is death anyway?
If life is a journey from the cradle to the grave, where does it all end? How are we supposed to behave?
Religion has us all believing that we’re part of the plan, that if we stand up and help our fellow man we’ll be welcomed in, absolved of sin and born again.
There’s comfort in that I suppose. And for those of us that chose a different path, what then? Are we out on our arse? Straight to hell in a handcart?
Death frightens me I’ll admit it.
Whether heaven or hell await me I can’t say. For all I know my path is pre-ordained, like a stain on the carpet of life no matter the strife I endure I am constant until the end.
Do I have an arc? Am I supposed to learn something along the way?
Am I supposed to love, hate, work and pray?
Let’s say religion is for suckers but praying has a place, like meditation it takes us to a space where our minds can be free. Free to sing and dance and soar beyond ourselves, to transcend.
But this is only momentary, fleeting, short-lived. Like a damp squib our lives can be extinguished in the blink of an eye.
There’s nothing sadder than the moment after a party popper is released.
The climax has come and gone, all too sudden.
We cease.

Ps. Some of you may notice the feature image for this piece is Death, one of the endless, taken from Neil Gaiman’s Sandman series. Neil worked with Terry Pratchett from time to time and they were friends. Terry died last month and this is my tribute to him. ‘Why not use Death from the Discworld series then?’, some of you may ask. Whilst he’s a great character he felt too masculine. I felt this piece needed a female Death, hence one of the endless.