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Showing posts from July, 2010

The Origin of My First Name & Ronald Coleman

I'm sitting in a chair thinking of my name, how it came about, and why well-manicured fingertips usually belong to people who wear velvet knee breeches while taking a bath. I'm studying a photograph of my mother laughing. She is sitting in an armchair in the back garden; I am resting on her lap. She is shading her eyes from the sun with her right hand, and looking straight into the camera.

My mother is cheerful and so am I. The armchair? Impossible to tell. I remember asking my mother the origin of my first name. She told me I was named after the English actor,Ronald Coleman. Naturally, he was indecently handsome (my mother preferred him with a mustache), well-mannered, impeccably groomed and statuesque. He took care to preserve his looks, of course, and it worked its charm on my mother. He often played an autumnal, amused romantic.

My distress was compounded by my mother's insistence that he possessed a beautiful speaking voice. By contrast, my own voice had yet to take…

'The Godfather - The Musical' & Polpette Alla Casalinga

The sound of rain beating down on my car roof used to drive me nuts. In a moment of frenzy I removed the roof with a metal cutter and replaced it with thatch. On the upside it makes the car interior cool, rainproof, and muffles the sound of rain. On the downside when the thatch is dry, it is flammable. On a few occasions I've driven to work with the car roof on fire. Once, on arrival at the office, I went straight to a meeting with my hat on fire. In a moment of panic I threw the burning hat at a colleague and his nose hair caught fire.

The episode wouldn't have been so catastrophic if the fire hadn't spread quickly to his beard and virgin wool underwear (Who knows what people wear to work underneath their clothes? For a while I wore a black PVC gothic corset with black satin trimming, purely for medical reasons, of course - an out-growing toenail.) My colleague worked part-time as a Forest Fire Lookout at the local national park. It didn't help matters that he ran s…

The Beginning of Survival

Last night, while driving home from work, I spoke on the phone to my girlfriend. 'Tell J.M. and Eavan we can make it over to their house on Friday night. It will be good to see them again. I should be home in about half an hour.' Following the short call I signaled before changing lanes then turned off the signal.

A green station wagon had been tailgating me for the last few minutes. I yielded to the right to let the vehicle past. The driver continued to tailgate and started to honk their horn. The antagonistic behaviour began to irritate. I was conscious how straightforward confrontations can lead to violent behaviour. I stayed calm and rational. I didn't want hassle.

A violent and loud thud suddenly projected my existence into illusory slow motion. For a split second I stared into the enraged gaze of my aggressor who pulled level with my car.  Haunting… crazed… the hothead tryed to force me off the road. Both vehicles became intertwined in a power struggle.

I began sc…

A Thousand Pitfalls a Day

Today I received an 'old-fashioned' letter which I read several times at the Café Rousseau. The village is immaterial: the letter isn't. The message is beautiful and haunting. A letter accords a sense of the individual which an email, a text, a phone call, or a face to face meeting can ever hope to express. Tonight I shall sleep with the letter beneath my pillow as the moon lights up the rooftops in the village, and lazily watch my chest gently rise and fall as tranquility fills the room. 

I feel stronger than I did yesterday, and, indeed, the day before. Sometimes, thinking is worst than physical pain. I'm thankful, however, that bleak thoughts can be sweetened by satin words from a fresh-faced, beautiful - not necessarily, attractive - young woman. What do I fear? Perhaps drowning in my own thoughts, when frightening memories wash back and forth, and overwhelm my strength and spirit.

I recall watching a cow giving birth. And how the mother tenderly licked her calf.…

Everything's Coming Up Roses

Today my wife is infused with imagination, inspiration and a deep commitment to uncover why we've drifted apart. She gazes at me like a large-eyed, watchful donkey. After spiting on our wedding picture album she points a thick streaky sausage at me. Aided by her toothless mouth and undersized black patent pro-wrestling boots, she groans, 'You once seemed young. Now you're a bloody withered tree. You no longer live in or by time … Just books, and more bloody books!'

Differences divide her reality from mine. What's my wife looking at? The ghost of a man once celebrated for searching for "one great love" - the ideal woman? Maybe she observes an old beggar-man; half-crazed with a maze of half-healed scars on his swollen nose. Why do I bother staring back, it only makes a fuss?

Words only invoke memories of jealousy, hurt, a wrong turn in the road taken, innumerable ghosts. What she likes I detest, and vice-versa. Silly little things that grow into stupid b…