Antifa Call for Help

I’m in a bus. I drink hot tea from an open mug, and thank the driver for driving carefully. He hits a series of bumps, and hot tea scalds my nads, and splashes across my moobs. I swear at him, and we both laugh. I tell him I look like I’m in a wet t-shirt competition to seduce Elton John. 

Oh how we laughed. 
At a bus stop, through the window, I try to communicate with a woman on a bench. She has the word “written” written on her boot. We try to lip read, but there’s a miscommunication. She thinks I’m saying something about Kiev and flooding, I’m trying to explain that that’s not so. 
I descend the stairs on the bus, then go up stairs that leave through the back of the bus, into an attached building. I grab my jacket and bags. Off the bus, I’m walking along, when a group of youths pushes past, grabbing other young guys in armlocks and marching them down an alleyway. They carry St George’s flags. They are a right wing group. I decide to call the police. My phone is useless, the texture like a bag of frozen peas, slowly defrosting. I can’t find a way to get help. I can’t call 999. 
I see a wise friend, in a robe and cloak, muttering to himself as usual. I walk with him into the pub on the corner of Great Portland Street. Outside, a mixture of fascist and anti fascist groups mingle. Inside, it’s all antifa. This  is their base for the evening. I wander through, greeting those I know. 
My wise friend, now looking more like Darth Vader, strikes me hard on the chest twice, as we disagree about some point of philosophy. I punch him in the balls, and he falls to the floor. I leave him, and ask the nearest person, if I can use their phone to call for help. 

Emotional Fracking

It keeps running out. My reserves are always low. The deep wells never given time to refill, before the demands of the world drill through and empty it again. 
Hellraiser pinpricks, a thousand tiny hurts, taking every resource I have, until only cyclic painful thoughts echo in an empty cavern of numbness that longs for silence, for self destruction. 
Again the tiny needles come, the fracking liquid of things that demand to be done; try to get help, talk to work, understand the fit note bureaucracy that can help, or kill me. There’s nothing left. No shale gas of laughter, just toxic, emotional groundwater, it leaks from my eyes, until the well inside, is empty again. 

Low Level


River Exe at low level

River Exe at low level

I’m down by Exeter Quay. I’ve never seen the river so low. It exposes the crap underneath the normally beautiful, softly flowing surface. Old signs from the Riverside Cafe, bricks and pipes, crisp packets, beer glasses and faded cans of special brew. 
Muddy swans scavenge in the mud, Saddles and Paddles are renting no boats, the Butts Ferry is gone, it’s pull line like a tightrope, or plumb line, marking an older, higher level. 
I think of how the river level reflects my own low mood. Of the rusted, rotten, secrets of the past that I hide when my emotions are higher, and I am better to cope. 
I hear noises. Workmen in the distance. The floodplain is being updated, to keep the river more level, and to do this, the river has, first, had to lower its level and reveal   the secrets of it’s unsightly darkness. 
But later, the river will rise back to its normal height, the city safe from flooding. And when I’m better, back to normal, when the workmen have helped me fix my mind, I will remember the things I saw, beneath my own, cool, calm, surface. 

Lion at the Gate

A festival of the past. Nighttime. I’m  wearing a black suit. I climb up pyramid stairs, to a network of aerial bridges, unsure of the direction to take. A couple from the 40’s are heading to a ‘marvellous’ party. I head in the other direction. I meet people walking dogs. I say hello, protecting a friendly white cat from the dogs. Under a bridge, an old colleague, Gordon, sits under a bridge with his partner in summer clothes. I pass him some sequinned sunglasses and a pug dog that I think he has lost. They aren’t his. 

Summer is here. I walk across lawns, where students wearing paper masks of historical black figures and suits, play frisbee and cricket. The white cat is still with me. Now it has a little cat friend. Theres a lion at the gate. Both cats run up to greet it. The white cat nuzzles against the lions mouth. I want to run. I fear the lion will devour the cats and then me. The cats owner screams, and I rush forward to protect the cats from the hungry lion. The lion ambles away. Deciding not to devour the devout. 

I’m on a road. Outside an empty house, I see a drum machine I’d thought lost. I pick it up. A young guy comes out, accusing me of stealing from his garden. I explain how I’d lost it. A passing friend convinces him this was true. The young guy apologises, and explains how since he moved in, lots of stuff has been dumped in his garden. He shows me baggage, and I search it for other things thought lost. It’s all empty, or full of clear plastic bags of air. I’m sad. 
The young guy is moving on soon, and thinks there may be somethings I can use that his family will want to get rid of. I walk to his families house. Beautiful purple gradient crocuses on a perfect lawn, children running about, shouting, an over stretched mother and father who are happy to meet us. 
I leave, and try to organise the sharing of contact details between three of us. My phone is all wrong. It’s technology is a barrier to communication. I try a new phone. It still doesn’t work. I try my iPad, joking how the huge screen makes me think I’m in an odeon cinema. It doesn’t work. My friend eventually shares our details. His way of communicating works better. 
I’m at work, in a huge college. Cakes are everywhere. Some unfinished, some mostly devoured. I’m supporting a student who doesn’t really need me. I leave, with some cake, to get the bus home. The buses aren’t stopping. People run after them. I worry about having enough change. Crossing the road, I drop my coins. I find it hard to avoid the traffic and get to the safety of the other side. 
A van accelerates into a driveway, flipping over. 

Everyone in Kiev is Being Shat On

A crowded shop. A friend and I discuss purchasing a glow in the dark inflatable boat. It’s £4500. 

Too expensive for us. I dream of a journey down a river in our glowing boat. Stopping to camp in the daytime. Adventuring in the dark water. 
We stop at a town called Iyshtoor, just passed Kiev. Everyone wears black. There are birds everywhere. Everyone is getting shat on. I get shat on. My friend explains the symbolism of an end of purity. I’m just pissed of with being covered in shite. 


The Self Help Institution

I live in a boy’s home. All the guys from work are there, in their uniforms. Jack has a gold Big Issue watch. We sleep and live in bunkbeds that tower up to a high gothic ceiling.

There’s huge meeting, with all the boys and staff. The staff are sending us away, and I predict many will end up in the nuthouse. Outside the meeting, I hear a boy complaining to a member of staff about a lack of support for his complaints of sexual harrassment. He’s been told to sort it out himself. I make a nervous joke that confuses Pele with pâté, and something about him taking a corner.

There’s a fundraising event for the home, and we are put on a coach to get to it. Obama will be there, and some of us will get the chance to ride in his car. We pass through Bristol, different from the one I remember, and I see a drunk man crash a back-end-half car into a shop window. 

I’m older, and in some sort of care home. I sit outside, and watch TV screens that I can’t control, and other residents playing basketball or dancing around a private jet. I never join in. I just sit, and think about the toilets on nearby waste ground, where I could go to safely self harm. They are equipped with sensors, that measure your height, weight, and time how long you have been in the cubicle. If you are in there too long, it calls an ambulance, unlocks the door, and sends you an automated fine.

One day, a young woman passes, laughing and full of life. She reminds me of an old girlfriend. I suddenly feel very sad and alone. A man is cleaning the yard, I say to him,

“Can you help me? I feel very scared and alone.”

He asks if I want to go back onto the zombifying medication. I say no. I just need someone to listen to me. He says its part of his job to listen. He takes me inside,

He does not listen, just shows me self-help videos, on screens that I cannot control.

Until Next Time

A bus journey. There’s a stowaway in the luggage compartment. I know she will cause deaths now, and later, in November. I draw my pistol, and approach the compartment. Others question my use of the weapon. I explain that she could be armed, I don’t know what to expect. My weapon isn’t loaded, but she won’t know that. I’m asked to wait, but I know I have to act. 

I knock the door open. I can see her legs. She’s messing with something. I order her out, at gunpoint, onto a chair. She is small and cute and bespectacled. She doesn’t look like a mass murderer. She asks for a cushion. I send someone to get her one, wary of being distracted. 
She begins to speak to herself, other voices, men’s voices. Other characters. She has multiple personalities. My pistol has changed, it is now a handheld crossbow, with a metal bolt loaded, with a hint of cream cheese. 
She’s gone. I don’t know how or where. We check the cctv. I’m about to give up, when I remember she was messing with something I couldn’t see. I think she escaped on a fast forwarded tape. I suspect that the cushions are Al Qaeda style IEDs. 
I tell everyone to get out. 
We fast forward the tape, looking for her. No luck. 
I am on a pavement. A large row of military books is behind me. I notice one, that my friend has recommended, is called UNT. I wonder where the C is. A corporal throws a rusted chain into the roof of a house, cursing the soul of the long dead prisoner it came from.