A Star.



Photo Credit : Diego Jimenez on Unsplash

That’s what he was, for sure. At least in his own mind. But was it really true. Did his school mates, like him, or fear him. He had the physical capability to deal with anyone, as he was one of the, lucky ones, to have grown tall and broad. He had those lucky genes.
He was not by any stretch of the imagination, a woman magnet. But he attracted enough girls to keep him busy, and the envy of some of the less successful boys in his year. His position as the captain of the high school football team, only enhanced his self esteem, and his popularity among most of his class mates. His keen mind and bestowed intelligence allowing an easy passage through school . The same lessons, that had many of the less intellectually gifted, struggling, frustrated and depressed. Imagining future lives of minimum wage employment, or no employment. Perhaps a life of crime. Who knows.

Beneath the square jaw, the broad shoulders, easy smile and the piercing grey eyes, was a fearful human. He had not shared with another soul, that he was afraid of leaving high school, and going to university. Afraid to leave the small town, he had come to love. Where he knew so many others, and they knew him. Could he cope with a new city, a competitive university. Boy’s, bigger than him. Stronger than him. Better looking than he was. Perhaps more intelligent than he ever would be. He knew his parents had plans for his future. To follow in his Fathers footsteps. Work his way through medical school, travel and build up extensive medical experience and after a time, return to the small town, and become the local Doctor. As his Father before him had been.
That is what his parents wanted for him. But was that really what he wanted for himself. How could he tell them, especially his Father, to whom appearances and to be seen to be successful were of the utmost importance. How could he turn round and tell them, that he did not want to be a Doctor, nor attend university, not now, nor anytime in the future.

‘ What I want is important, not what you want. It’s my needs and my desires for once. Stop living your lives through me. I don’t want to be a Doctor, and anything like that, I want to write, to draw and paint, to be artistic and creative. That is where my passion lies. That is what I want to do. I want to design. I want to play and compose music. I don’t give a damn if their’s no money in it. Or if I’m no good at it. I just don’t care. I just want to be happy’. That’s what he wanted to say. He really did.

Of course he never said it. After he excelled at his final exams, as expected. With great unhappiness, on that final day, he packed his bags, slowly and morosely. He tried to tell his parents, he really did. He uttered a few words of doubt, and fear. But they cut him short, and assured him, it was to be expected, and would soon pass. Stepping out from his comfort zone. That is what he was doing, they explained to him. They would hear none of his further objections and small protests. He did not say much else. As they were his parents, and had by and large being good to him, and expected the best from him, and he did not want to disappoint. They waved him farewell from the front porch. With his head held low, his body language no longer that of the popular high school, football team captain. More that of a sad, disappointed child, fulling the wishes of others, not his own. Under silent protest, he trundled towards the empty highway pickup point for the city bus.
In the warm sunshine a few of the boys from the football team, meet and accompanied him of his trek towards the bus pick up point.

‘ You know, I never really wanted to leave this town, this place, and you guys. ‘

Would any of them understand. Could anybody ever understand, and give him a way out. They too assured him, it would be a good move. For his carer, financially, for his family. The small group waited by the highway, for the bus. He bid them farewell, and as he sat alone on the bus, surrounded by strangers. The bus traveled into the setting sun, it seemed like nobody would ever understand.


Too Much.


Photo Credit : Jim DiGritz on Unsplash


That’s all he ever did ,ever. Just like the large greedy pig, that others had come to describe him as. Selfish, greedy, self obsessed, could one even say narcissistic, perhaps. As long as his needs, which of course were many, and so very important were fulfilled, then everything was alright, at least for now.
He sat at that kitchen table, three times every day, like a larger and more grotesque version of King Henry V111 when he was at his worst. The speed at which he gobbled everything in sight. The grasping hands, so quick and agile for such a large man. His slobbering eating habits, like some mad rabid, demented dog, left those that witnessed them shocked and sickened. He even sat at the head of that table, like the Royal King. Well he did after all pay for it, as he was fond of reminding the family seated round the table. He liked to remind them at the top of his voice, and at times pounding the dark oak table. How he had paid for the food, the table he ate it off, the house they were sitting in. Everything in fact. They knew the drill by now. Only, when he had the choice of the best of the food layed out on the table, and had done with it. Only then were they allowed to take what ever was left over. Not that their was ever much. They sat quietly watching and listening to him eat, a unpleasant experience. The knifes and forks, patiently waiting beside their clean empty white plates. The only sounds, the cackling of the wood burning int he open fire, and his loud incessant chewing, and gulping down of the finest of wine, he indulged himself in.
She slaved away, cooking what he demanded, and it better be right, she knew that by now. She had the body language of a hounded, and harangued woman, who toiled to keep some semblance of peace and tranquility in the house. If that were even possible. In the darkened room, lit by the fire, and the few large candles, he continued about his daily ritual, as the family did.
Tonight it was the same, he eating quickly, noisily and grabbing everything in sight. They sat round the table, watching and listening. He coughed, they eyed the mountains of juicy succulent mixture of food layed upon the table. The scent, and imagined taste of it so real, the texture most be so soft, and mouth-watering tasty, they too began to salivate at the very thought of tasting it. Were that to be allowed.

It was agony, pure and simple. To watch, to be so near, to hear, to breathe in the luscious aroma of what lay near to them. He must surely have been aware of what it was like for them, to sit, watch and wait. Or perhaps not. Maybe he was so wrapped up in himself, it never crossed his mind.
He coughed again, a bit more loudly, and cleared his throat. Continued to eat, and had some more of the red wine, poured from the expensive decanter, in to the rather finely decorated glass he used. The cackling of the fire, the delightful red hue it produced, the warmth it afforded the darkened dining area. It could have easily been mistaken for an intimate, welcoming setting. He coughed again, more forcefully this time, and slowly lowered his knife and fork. He began to perspire more than normally. His forehead becoming damp, his face flushed red, his large protruding lips, taking on a slight bluish tinge. He stood up rapidly and kicked the chair hard behind him. Put both his hands on either side of his large jowls, and staggered forward. They watched from around the table, as he tried to breath, but there was nothing but quietness, aside from the cackling of the wood burning in the large open fireplace.
His frame fell heavily on top of the open fire, smothering it. The arid smoke filled the darkened, candlelit kitchen. She watched transfixed, from the stove. They watched silently from where they were seated round the large oak table. His overly large unattractive body, didn’t move. No sound, nor movement from it.
Gingerly and tentatively she approached the table, and viewed the mountains of succulent food on it. Picked up an empty plate, and put a few tasty looking morsels on the plate. She placed a few into her mouth. She had always suspected they would taste as good as they looked, and she was right. Her wide smile, and a satisfying ‘aah’ signified that. She had another mouthful, and then another. Her smile growing larger. Her eyes  looming wide with delight. She threw a cursory glance towards the fire place, and his unmoving figure, as they did.
They watched. She smiled, and nodded. One by one they lifted up their empty plates and began to fill them with the luscious, succulent food that lay before them. In the darkened room, they began to feast.



Photo Credit : https://unsplash.com/@cristina_gottardi


As we age, do we become more of a sage, or just the same irritating person, but older
Do we mature, or still try to even scores, from times gone by in millennia
Are we consumed with hate, tales of revenge, when, if ever is all this gonna end
Are we full of regret for the words that we said, or even words we never dare utter

Are you afraid of dying, not sure what lies ahead, wondering have you wasted your life
Do you ask will you get a second chance, to do it all over again
Do you stare in the mirror, then turn away with despair
As you notice yet another grey hair, and the wrinkles that are coming out of nowhere

Are you bitter and mean, act in ways that are at times rude and obscene
Do you regret your life looking back at what you could have being
But have to accept what you actually became
Do you take that anger out on those close to you

Do you like getting old, how come you feel so cold
As your circulation begins to slow down
Is your eyesight not so keen, do you shake at the knees
Is your walk less upright than it once was
Is your bladder now a cause for real concern
As you forever yearn to be close to a toilet

Have you still got your own teeth, to bite into that meat
Or do you have to be so careful what you chomp on
Are you still operational in bed, or will that just have to be in your head
The very idea, leads to a tear, and the very real fear, of perhaps hurting your rear

Are you envious of and angry with the young , they have so much life ahead
Are bored beyond belief, perhaps so lonely, that you secretly weep, every night
Would you have taken more chances, given an other go
Maybe grasped, or at least tried those opportunities, rather than say no

Or have you come to terms with how your life has being
Even if it didnt turn out to be that glourious techniclour dream
Are you pleasent and keen, a joy to be around with, and be seen
Full of good cheer, laughter and all

Do you lift people up, rather than try make them look small
Will people miss you when you go
Say they were one of the best, and we were surely blessed
To be part of their life for a time

Life, old age is coming to us all
There is little we can do to make it stall
No mirror, mirror on the wall
What lies ahead when we’re all dead, God alone knows.



Photo by Alex Jones on Unsplash


One brief look, at the first few line of a letter left open on the old oak table. That’s all it took.
She hurried from the shadowed kitchen upon hearing the footsteps. The words imprinted deeply in her mind. Not knowing what to do with herself, she went out into the garden, in the early evening sunshine. Unhappy and disturbed there, she ran to her bedroom. Unable to rest there, she decided to go for a run.
She had to do something to bring her body and mind back to some sense of equilibrium. Quickly gathering her running gear,the grey tight fitting t-shirt, and slim fitting leggings. She set off at high-speed down the empty roads of the rural area, overlooking the wheat fields in full bloom. She ran as fast as she was able, and as long as she was able, to the point of near exhaustion. Perspiration building on her forehead, her neck and back. Her breathing loud and hard. It always worked when her mind was unsettled. Her mind and feelings of confusion, anger, sadness and mainly betrayal, slowly began to come into some type of balance.
They had lied. They held back the truth for so long. Exhausted after her long hard run. When her breathing eased she sat against the stone wall, that surrounded the green blossoming field. She usually found peace and solace in the stillness of the isolated rural area, broken only by the soft sounds of the birds chirping. But not this evening. What she had believed for so long, what she had based herself, her life on, was no longer true.

That sense of inner strength and sense of belonging she had gotten from her parents now no longer seemed true. If she could not trust them to be true and honest over such a matter, could she ever trust anyone anymore, ever ? As she sat by that wall, in the quiet summers evening, she could physically feel all her inner strenght and self esteem drain from her, there and then .
It was a very different girl who slowly picked herself up off the ground. The slumped posture, the head held low, the dragging of her feet, told anyone watching all they needed to know. If her real Mother did not want her all those years ago, did this mean she was no good. Unwanted, an encumbrance and waste of space. She slowly and unwillingly made her way back to the house of lies, she had for so long believed was her true home.



‘I am very particular about whom I get involved with now. Although perhaps I may enjoy being with you. I don’t need to be with you’.
Never before had he being spoken to like that. The cheek, the very idea. Who the hell did this woman think she was. The blood surged through his veins at speed, like a wild ranging river. He could feel his face redden, his fists clench, his shoulders tense, and the adrenaline run round his abdomen.
Then with the strike, it was released. The very real sense of peace and physical relaxation most welcoming. His jaw he had held so tightly, now eased. His breathing again became more smooth and easy. His clenched fists returned to the gentle creative hands they usually were. His hate filled eyes now replaced by gentleness, regret and sorrow. He rushed to her side where she lay on the floor, the blood seeping from the corner of her mouth. Her smart business suit, now crumpled and sullied with the dirt from the kitchen floor. Her look of shock, and a little fear, but overall her face portrayed a look of righteous anger and indignation.

‘You think you can do that to me’, her scream loud and embarrassing.

What if the neighbours heard, was his only concern. Would they not know, and think so much less of him as a man, as a human. He had to shut her up, to quieten her. She quickly raised herself from the floor. Now she was the one feeling the strong feelings of anger, and indignation. Her emotions propelling her body’s movements. She ran at him, her screams guttural, inhuman, animal like. Her sharpened fingers reaching for his hair, face, his eyes, anywhere she could reach. Kicking and slapping where she could. But her efforts, wasted and ineffectual, on a man of his size. He pushed her away easily, and pleaded with her to calm down. Apologised for what he had done, and promised it was so totally out of character that he could not understand his actions, at all.

‘ It will nevr, ever happen again, I swear. I’m sorry, I’m so sorry. Look let’s sit down and have a drink’.
‘Get the hell away from me, you animal’, her voice so very loud. Don’t you ever, ever come near me again’.

He needed her to quieten down, what of the neighbors, his main concern. His reputation and place in the community, at risk. He thought best than to decide to talk her down, he would just be quiet, so as not to make the situation any worse.
She gathered her belongings, threw the half filled glass of champange at him,

‘ I’m very particular about whom I get involved with, you freak’, she roared.

With that she slammed the apartment door, and made her way into cold, rain sozzzled night.


Is this it ?


Photo by Billy Huynh on Unsplash


She looked out at the vast universe. She was always taken aback by its sense of infinity, of nothingness, of stretching to the never, never.  The silence, the sense of nothing moving. Although she had seen it many, many times before, it always fascinated her. Too mad, to brain disturbing to even think about it. She thought of her daughters, of her husband, and the day they had waved her goodbye, and wished her well on her journey. The trip she had dreamed of ever since she was a child.

Throughout her childhood, space, the ultimate sense, and real freedom, the universe, had always offered her an escape, from a family background that was less than healthy, or good for her soul. Many time throughout her childhood, she had sought solace, and peace in the vastness and emptiness that the very idea of interstellar travel offered. Her imagination soared freely, as she traveled alone , and in peace, away from people, away from others. Relationships  had always being difficult for her. It seemed to her, life would be so fine, if only she didn’t have the encumbrance of actually dealing with other humans. Animals, no problems there, of course. As generally speaking , they love you forever, if you show them, even a shred of kindness. They always remember, and a bonus being, they can never, ever speak. At least she was secure in the knowledge, that her deepest thoughts and ruminations that she shared, of which there were many, with the various  animals she befriended, would never, ever be divulged to another human being. Weather in the animal kingdom, if she was a source of gossip, she neither cared, or was concerned.

But now as her space capsule traveled,in the silence, through space, towards the outer reaches of the universe, and onward towards infinity, the prospect of never seeing her family again hit hard. She knew it was pointless to try the dim flickering switches of the instrument panel before her. The communication system to earth, had long since given up. She was afraid, sad, but also curious. What actually happens when we die. Where do we go, what happens next. Is there actually a God, a second life, a second chance to live life the way we would have done, given the opportunity. The chance to right the wrongs the all are guilty of. Cruel words and actions,  looking back, that perhaps given some thought and reflection, we would not have indulged in. Could we have being more lenient, gentle and forgiving of those whom we perceived did us wrong, of perhaps their crimes were too monstrous to be worthy of forgiveness.

What she would have given for a second chance. The opportunity to hold her husband gently, and softly tell him, how much she loved him. The opportunity to hold her daughters, just one more time, and to lay out some guidelines, some rules for life, for a happy, peaceful life.  To be compassionate towards others, to try to be  understanding of others lives, and what they have been through. To forgive easily, to throw grudges and resentments aside. To laugh  as much as possible, to have fun, to enjoy life while one can.

She glanced once more through the large open screens that sat before her, into the darkness, and the passing dull stars, as the relaxing classical music played softly and gently in the background, easing her mind somewhat. The effect of the over medication of the tranquilizers slowly and gloriously taking their toll on her once  bright, effervescent mind. Questions she once demanded answers too, no longer seemed  important.

She looked once again at the dark vastness before her, as her space capsule ventured forth into the unknown.



She was the most popular girl in high school . Everyone, it seemed loved her. The teachers loved her. She was the star of the sports team. Her classmates loved her, or so it seemed. She had the looks, the bubbly personality, and a way of interacting with others, that made them feel like they were so important. That they mattered. But truth be told, they mattered little to her. She was a very determined young woman, and knew exactly what she wanted from life. In short order that was a well to do lover, who would see to her physical and financial needs. An employer who would pander to her deep-seated desire for glittering carer success, and in the process garner her even more attention, popularity and self importance. As long as life continued along easy street, she’d be happy enough with that.

She knew how to use her good looks, which had already given her pretty much a free ride through life, on easy street. But she never was forced to develop a fully rounded personality. To learn to be kind, sympathetic, empathic with others. To develop a true sense of humour. An ability to laugh at herself and her own failings. People looked at her, and judged her personality and character on how she looked. Assuming, wrongly, if she looked so pretty, that her personality and character most surely match her physical attributes.

But for those that were on the receiving end of her caustic, critical and unpleasant  behaviour, it was quiet another matter. Her sick ailing Mother, whom she had come to despise. Judging her dementia as a weakness, and a self-inflicted illness, through a bad diet, and laziness, and refusal to activate and invigorate her mind. Many screaming matches had ensued between the two in the privacy of the family home , that they shared together. It was she who screamed, and her ailing mother who cowered, fearful and confused by such anger, and her daughters inability to be compassionate and understanding.
Her popularity hide well her nastiness, that was just below the surface. Ready and willing to come to the fore, when required and when out of sight of those who adored and worshipped her. Many were fooled by the expertly contrived show she was very capable of putting on. Her Mother on the other hand was fearful of her, and when not in a confused state of mind, eagerly awaited the day her daughter was to leave the family home.

It was one such day, after yet another one sided war of words between the two, again her Mother cowered. Eventually her daughter exhausted by her own screaming, anger and frustrations, settled back on the comfortable couch in the lounge. She let the images on the tv screen wash over her, and her tired mind and body. Sleep came easily and was very welcoming. The revery of her inner landscape, such a glorious escape from her irritating and increasingly confused Mother. In her dream world images of her glittering and comfortable future unfolded before her. The handsome Italian man she was sure would one day waltz into her life. Her future career filled with limousines, five star hotels, world travel, and of course important business meetings. Then onto her detached home , hidden by the large landscaped gardens.
Thoses very same gardens, in her dream where she rested, layed out under the mid day sun. After some time the heat becoming increasingly uncomfortable, on her forehead, her cheeks, and her jaw, and across her eyes. Discomfort to the extent where her skin felt on fire, as if it was melting. Striving now to wake up from her uncomfortable unpleasant dream, she struggled to open her eyes. The heat of her skin, searing and red raw. She touched her check, the skin unusually soft to her touch.
She watched, and screamed as the Mother,  she had angrily banished upstairs, stood above her, her eyes empty and lost, again tilted the contents of the steaming hot silver teapot over her once pretty face.