Really ? (Part 1)


Photo by Scott Webb on Unsplash


‘ Do you really need it ? Is one not enough. There are so many televisions you can watch. So many cars you can drive at any one time. Only so many clothes and shoes you can actually wear, at any one time ‘.
It was the beginnings of yet another shouting match. She was just about adept at understanding the accent. Another draining, exhausting,  no win all out argument. Just one more reason to hate and detest her. Just one more reason to run as far away as was humanly possible. She knew it was pointless to argue. For no matter what she said, it would as usual be twisted, and turned, into words and meanings that were not true, or even uttered, in the slightest.

‘ You do know of course, your Grand Father will never stand for it. I will certainly tell him. He will ground you for at least two weeks. I’m sure of it. I’ll make damn sure he does ‘.
She marched off at speed, the high heels clattering, throughout the glass and marbled temple, that was masquerading as a shopping mall. Glamorous handbag, gripped tightly under her arm.

She had no choice but to follow. Her head low. Staring at the floor. Wishing by some miracle it would swallow her up. Hoping against hope, that none of her school friends had witnessed yet another of the skirmishes she had with her new step mother. People nearby had noticed. Stopped and stared. Slightly shaken by the loud, overly loud foreign voice. Discretion not one of her traits. Being center of attention. Now that she enjoyed. She was hard to miss. An incredibly elegant walk. Striking blond hair. Clear, yet perfect skin. Light grey, clear, healthy eys. Cat like. A proud posture, made her stand out wherever she went. It’s how they were brought up in the Ukraine. To be a proud people. Whether they were rich or poor. Even if it was very embarrassing for her step daughter. She didn’t care. Didn’t even like her. She was only an impossible encumbrance. Taking her newly found husbands attention, and funds away from her.
She needed those funds. Her overly large family and various relatives back home, in the mainly poverty stricken streets of that small village in the Ukraine, badly needed her assistance. She was glamorous beyond a doubt. As many women from that part of the world are. Tall, slim, and very pretty. High cheekbones. Knowing how to dress to impress the foolish Western men who came looking for Russian brides. They may not have being considered wealthy men by Western European standards. But to the improvised females in the Ukraine, they were, in comparison, millionaires of great stature. The competition to capture one of these men was intense. Bitchiness ruled among the contending women. It did not reached the stage of hair pulling and female wrestling. But came more than close of more than a few occasions. Only for the intervention of the interpreters and tour reps, the assembled group of women would have looked quiet differently, when they meet the coachload of possible husbands, at the nightclub, that early Saturday evening.

He of course was too old, by far. Wrinkled forehead and skin. A tanned and leathery face, and not just because of all those days outside in the Californian sunshine. He dressed way too young for his age. All in black. Large gold cross dangling from his chicken like neck on a chain. Like an older, but more tanned version of Johnny Cash, the country singer, who could not really sing at all. He quiet possibly would have being a cause of much mirth and laughter, back home. But here in the Ukraine, he was out to impress. To capture a striking woman’s heart, and take her back to America, and make her his wife. He had the funds. The big house. The successful business. The only slight barrier, may be his grand daughter, whom he was forced, well coerced to look after. It was written into her will before she died. If he wanted ownership of the vineyard, which he did. He had to agree to look after his grand daughter, until she was twenty one years old, and to set her up financially for life. He knew that had he reneged on that signed agreement. That her Rottweiler of a lawyer would see to it, he would loses the vineyard, and all the wealth associated with it.  The vineyard that had being in her family for generations, since her grandparents arrived from Italy all those years ago, now. It was too healthy a business to let go.
Had any back home known he was here in the Ukraine on a wife hunting mission. How they would have laughed. Well perhaps behind his back. Why Ukraine, why now. He had tired of American, Western women, and there insatiable never ending demands. Outspoken, career driven women. Women with attitudes and strong views, he could well do without. What he wanted was a poverty stricken, desperate, stunning woman, to become his wife. Quiet and submissive. An easy life into his old age. That’s what he came searching for. He stood out from the other misfits, or should I say travelers. Appearing halfway normal. Confident, and well travelled.
By and large the rest of the group were sad and comical in the extreme. Socially inadequate and awkward.  The tour guides and interpreters happy to take their money. Secretly laughing at their desperation. Their failure to meet a woman by normal means. Rather meeting there possible prospective wives at what amounted to cattle calls in the local nightclubs of the towns and villages they visited. As they perused the females paraded in front of them. As if viewing possible purchases at an animal market in the west. It was excruciating, embarrassing, and cringe making for the women. Not so much for the men. For they could not see it for what it was.

It was eight months since she had arrived in America, and settled into her position at the ranch. She attended to her wifely duties, with obvious distaste, with the wretched elderly man she called her husband. A price she was willing to pay, for a short time. She slipped easily into the position of the wealthy wife. Something she believed she was born for. The shopping sprees. The lavish dinners. The constant sunshine. The new found friends. Such a lifetime, a world away from her previous life. America was turning out just as she had always dreamed and wished for, aside that is from, that annoying young grand daughter.
She was not of course in love with him. It was for both a marriage of convenience. Both got what they wanted.

He wasn’t really fond of his grand daughter, Chloe. She was his ticket to a comfortable life. All he had to do was look after her and see she was financially set. When they did speak, which was not that often, he struggled to be civil. She was an unwanted, but necessary milestone around his neck. He encouraged her to study at a University far away. She had expressed an interest in the law, and he encouraged her interest. Anything to get her away from the ranch. He did not need an interfering family member getting any idea of what he was planning.
Chloe had often watched them from afar as they walked together, arm in arm, examining the vine in the comfortable heat. She in that light colored dress she worn to please him. He dressed as usual in the slightly worn cream colored shirt and khaki and light grey sunhat. She never took to her, from the day she arrived. An interloper, an outsider. A damn foreigner, from a country she did not even know.
As they walked around the vineyard. Tatiana  had plans for the future. Which did not include her aging mealticket, well husband. But her husband also had plans. Being fickle. His tastes and desires changed fairly quickly. He had fulfilled his desire for a pretty eastern European wife, but had now began to tire of her. Her lavish spending, which was a price he was willing to pay initially. His inability to hold a intellectual conversation with a woman who could not be bothered to improve her language skills. That was frustrating in the extreme. Tatiana preferring the social company of others, similar to her. Some would call them foreign gold diggers. Out for a better, more abundant life in America. Those who spoke her own language, when they met, and laughed at the foolishness of the American men who believed they had purchased a foreign wife, like one purchases a commodity.
The physical manifestations of her violent anger, that he had seen and come to dread, when he refused one of her many ongoing requests. She was turning into a liability, and an expensive one at that. Her increasing vitriolic demands that he sponsor and pay for some of her aging relatives to America. Of course looking back he should have listened to his lawyer, who cautioned against rushing into marriage. Especially without the benefit of a pre nuptial agreement. But in his fear, lust and excitement, Alex ran headlong into a marriage he believed would last through to the end of his days. Of course he should have invested her background more thoroughly. Learned more about her, and her sleazy relatives. Had he known…..

He had come to resent her withholding sexual affection, well any affection whatsoever. To compound it all, he had employed that quiet, brooding Mexican, as a ranch hand, at Tatina’s request, and cajoling. He was the complete opposite of Alex. Young, muscular, dark skinned. Black slicked back hair. Alex referred to him, as a slime ball in his own mind. He had the aura of un-trustworthiness, and dis-honesty about him. Not to mention, a seething violence surrounding him. Unspoken, but tangible, palatable. He was beginning to be suspicious of a burgeoning affair between the Mexican ranch hand and his Russian wife. His life was slowly becoming a war zone. Aside from the now infrequent times when he and his wife got along. She of course only being nice to him, to gain whatever happened to be her wishes at the time. A brief interlude, from there ongoing increasingly bitter war. She was beginning to turn out as predicted by the few friends he had told, about how they had met. A self seeking, selfish, manipulative woman. Temperamental, and abusive in the extreme, and untrustworthy. Using her beauty to manipulate and use other’s for her own ends.

He was trapped like an animal. A possible looming expensive divorce on the horizon. Possibly the loss of the ranch. He knew she would never file for divorce, but could see her plan. To make their marriage and his life intolerable, so eventually he would file for divorce, and she would reap the financial rewards. With a smart lawyer to portray her as the simple, innocent victim, from a foreign land. Easy,… right.
Sickened by all unpleasantness, he went to the ranch stable, in the early morning sunshine and ordered the young Spanish boy working their to saddle up his horse. It was one of the few pleasures he now enjoyed. Where he could ride in freedom. Clear his mind. The young boy helped the old man onto the horse, and led him out of the stables. The slime ball Mexican smiled as he watched, from the darkness of the stables. The horse carried Alex away. He gently took the horse out among the fields, and from then into the sparely wooded area, by the lake. It was his favorite place. The lake. Quiet, peaceful and reflective. He sat by the lake for approx an hour, listening to the silence. Finding some peace of mind, before he prepared to return to the war zone, as he now referred to his marriage.
He untied his horse from the tree, and led it to some nearby rocks, so as to mount it. Grabbing the saddle with one hand, he put in boot the strippup and pulled himself up. At the same time he fell backwards as the leather saddle came loose from the horse. The crunching sound as his head hit the moss covered rocks, ricocheted around the empty woodland.

( Part 2 ).
At the ranch, Tataina was becoming increasingly impatient. She marched up and down the outside patio, in the late morning sunshine. Her high heals clanking loudly on the Italian tiles. Deeply inhaling on her cigarette. Her face twisted in a demented scowl. No more the pretty woman. She needed him to show up now. She did not have time to waste.

At last. She exhaled strongly.

‘Well, did you do it, is it done ?’
‘No, I did not do, and yes it is done’.
‘What do you mean ?’, the irritation evident in her harsh voice.

She did not have time to play games. This was business. This was freedom.

‘I followed him this morning when he went to the stables, and was looking for an opportunity, any opportunity. Slight perspiration formed on his forehead. He too inhaled deeply on the newly lit cigarette. ‘As I waited, she came in’. He glanced at the framed photo that hung on the wall. Her eye’s followed his to the photo,’ and cut through one of the saddle straps almost completely. Enough to ensure it would soon fail with some heavy riding. She then slipped away’.

She smiled. Now she had a hold over her. A way to blackmail her, or report her. In any case, she now had a method to either get rid of her, or keep her quiet for evermore. To add to her joy, they watched as his horse sauntered through the ranch gates, minus the saddle. The stable boy ran to the perspiring horse and patted its nose and shoulders, glanced at the couple on the patio and smiled. He led the horse back to the stable, and patted the $100 in his pocket, he had been given to look the other way.
Chloe lay on her bed in her room, and waited for news. Any news. Preferably bad. She knew it would not take that long for him to be missed and searched for. Hopefully she had done enough. If not she would certainly try again. He had, and was going to pay. Maybe his wealth and connections had allowed him to escape justice in the past. But she would see to it, he would be made to pay the price.
The loud knock on the door startled her. She quickly opened the door to be met by a surprisingly smiling Tatina.

‘Well, well well, ain’t you full of surprises’. The voice strong, triumphant and victorious.
‘What do you mean’.
‘What I mean is that you were seen this morning in the stables, shall we say ‘adjusting’ your grandfathers saddle. Now he’s nowhere to be seen. Possibly laying injured, or dying out there somewhere’, gesturing towards the thousands of acres of land they owned.
‘I don’t know what you are talking about. I’ve been in here all morning’.
‘You were seen. We know what you did, and I have yet to decide what to do with that knowledge. But whatever I choose to do. You are now mine. I control your future. Whether that be in prison, or elsewhere. It’s whatever I decide to do with you’.

With that she slammed the door, and glided downstairs triumphantly.

Chloe layed back onto her bed. Her initial fantasizing oh him meeting his maker, now perhaps not the best result she could hope for. Her body drained of energy, she lay on the bed, and considered her future. If she now had a future to speak of.  Whatever that would now be.

Tantanina was on the porch, defilty playing the dramatically traumatized wife.

‘ We must send out a search party. We must ‘. Played with enough gusto to persuade the watching ranch hands, and her kitchen staff, that she was indeed, the caring, worried , and loving wife. A search party, consisting of men on horseback and some in pickups, heading out the ranch gate at speed, to the different corners of the vast expanse of land the ranch covered. Those on horseback headed towards the lake, knowing his favoured spot. It did not take long for him to be found. Still unconscious and by now straing to breath. A pick was summoned and he was quickly taken aboard, and back to the ranch.

Tataina tried her best to portray her happiness and joy at her husband been found alive, and called for an ambulance. which duly arrived and transported the still unconscious husband to hospital.
( to be continued..)


The Patrolman.


Photo by DEAN FAULKNER on Unsplash


He lent in through the open window, using the license, the power of his position.

‘ You show me what you got, little lady ‘.

He was reasonably young, strongly tanned, and a well developed but slim body. He looked powerful, and had that walk of authority, that walk of power. Thats what the job gave him. She so wished he would take of his dark sunglasses. To see his eyes, to gauge his intentions. Were his eyes soft and kind, or hard and mean. It was always one of the first indicators she used when interacting with someone new. She glanced at the large cream coloured motorcycle, with the helmet unsteadily perched on handle bars. His black uniform, adding to his seriousness and sense of power. The leather polished boots, and accruments of his position.

She was unsure, but hoped it was just a look at her license he was after and nothing more. The last thing she wanted was another confrontation. There was only so many she could take in a day.
She was going to leave him, that’s what she had decided. No more nonsense, no more being the scapegoat. No more fear, no more violence. It was the wrong relationship from the start, and she knew it. But out of loneliness, and her anxiety about her rapidly passing fertile years, it was a last grasp at Motherhood, and the children she yearned for. But not with him. Not now. The long drive on the open road, an opportunity to clear her head.

The crashing of metal upon metal, grating on her nerves. The Patrolman rolled forward at speed, at the impact. She took a sudden intake of breath and watched as his head hit the hot asphalt, and blood began to drain from his ear. He did not move. She glanced in the rear view to see the cause. The drivers face was sickingly familiar. Red faced and perspiring, He stumbled from the car, and raced towards hers, and quickly jumped in the seat beside her.

‘ You think you can run out on me, bitch’, his voice loud and menacing. Full of anger and violent intent.

The backhanded strike caught her full in the face. His knuckles crunching her nose, which immediately reddened at the impact. Blood flowed for the wound. He reached around the back of her head, grabbed her hair, forcefully and at speed, roughly pushed it forward, and smirked at her head bounced off the hardened steering wheel. Her vision was disappearing, as she fought against unconsciousness. Noting the same red and blue dirty checked shirt, and dirty jeans he had been wearing for the last week. Both badly in need of a wash, as he was. She watched as he took some of them from his shirt pocket, and ingested the white pills. They gave him what he had become accustomed to, welcomed and relished. That sense of instant, intense, physical and mental power and supreme confidence. That feeling of absolute invincibility. That he could take on anything thing, and everyone, with no negative repercussions whatsoever. It did not take long for them to enter his blood stream, and the resultant hyper energy, become evident. He screamed and howled like a demented animal, and hit the interior of the car roof, with his clenched fist, in rapid succession as the rush of the chemicals flooded his brain. His once permanently confirued hair, wild, and damp with perspiration. His once permanently clean shaven face, now rough, and unshaven. This was true living in his mind. Happiness unlimited.

As she fought unconsciousness, her mind reminisced about when they first met. How they were at one time truly, but very briefly in love. They spoke of the children they would raise together. The schools they would send them to. They pondered the future names, of their children to be, both female and male.
She watched through her barely opened eyes, as the Patrolman slowly struggled to force himself from the hot asphalt. His once tidy, neat black uniform, now soiled, torn and shabby. His chin grazed raw. His eyes no longer the powerful, confident eyes of only moments previously. The blazing heat, forcing vapours to raise from the highway, shimmering in the distance.

She sniffled, in an attempt to stem the blood from her nose, as it trickled down her chin. Her head thumping from her interaction with the steering wheel. Through her diminishing vision, she looked at the man she once loved, and tried to remember where it all went so wrong. Was she to blame. Could she have done anything differently. Was she the loving partner, that she always promised herself she would be, when she found ‘the one’.

He had never come to terms with it, and it haunted him forever. He never really spoke about. Perhaps once or twice, in a drunken haze. But then only very briefly. A small reference to the never ending guilt, and self hatred he felt. The remorse, and  regret. The non stop self torture. His mind never affording him much peace. She had listened to his tortured dreams, in his intermittent restless sleep. Where he begged for the opportunity to be given a second chance. To live those moments over. It was at times like that, which were many, he would quickly sit upright in the dishevelled bed, screaming loudly, and his uncovered body perspiring heavily. It was then she held him closely, and soothed and comforted him like a child, until he fell asleep.

He too watched the Patrolman slowly raise himself of the asphalt, and stagger slowly towards the car.

‘How do you like living ‘ his voice soft and gentle, while still watching the approaching Patrolman.

‘ Get out the damn car, bitch’.

The sudden change in his voice from gentleness, reminiscent of how he once was, to the loud, menacing voice that emanated from him now. Like a man possessed by an evil force, was enough to rouse her from near unconsciousness, and she took the opportunity and exited the vehicle. Laying on the hot sticky asphalt, through now barely open eyes, she watched as he revved the car engine, and aimed it at the staggering, approaching Patrol officer. A wild maniacal smile on his once handsome face.

Her consciousness sank into the welcoming darkness.

The Breakfast Bar.

Photo Credit :

‘ Nobody likes you. Nobody has in the past, and nobody will in the future’.
‘ I don’t like you, I never have, never will ‘. The tone, gutteral, nasty and mean.

That was how she greeted her sixteen year old daughter, on that bright summer’s morning. Chloe was not to surprised at the outburst, as she sat at the breakfast bar, finishing the remainder of her light meal. She had become quiet accustomed to her  outbursts, when her Mother was suffering yet another severe hangover, the thumping head, the dry mouth, the feeling of nauseousness, and impending throwing up of the contents of her stomach at any moment.
Chloe had learnt from her past efforts the futility of pointing out, the health and financial, and the increasingly paranoid mental health implications of the excessive partying her Mother had indulged in. Which lead only to regret, guilt, anger, blame, and unnecessary and increasingly scary drama in her Mothers life. Some people listen, while many others are plain blind to the effects their lifestyle can have on themselves and the people close to them.

‘ I wish you were dead ‘, her Mother screamed at Chloe, from the doorway  where she slumped, using the door frame as support to hold herself up. Her blonde hair, wild, dirty and tangled. Her once spotless bedroom robe, now an ugly discoloured, stained off white mess. The self-pitying tears forced her mascara to make its way down her slightly puffed cheeks.
She watched her Mother slumped in the kitchen doorway, who very much was proving to be what her daughter had long since projected would happen. She looked every inch a ‘tramp ‘.
Due to upbringing and circumstances, Chloe had become a strong character. She had little choice. She did gain strength from her boyfriend. He who was willing to listen to her tales of woe on many occasions. Not to offer much advice, just to listen and empathize with her situation. To assure her in time life would come right, that she doing her best and if nothing else, she would become a strong character. Religion and her nightly chat’s with God also offered her solace and comfort.
Was Chloe’s never ending resilience and refusal to be beat down, or undermined yet another reason for her Mother to dislike her so. She suspected she had inherited her inner strength from the way her Father had showered her with much love and affection.
She had long ruminated that had she never had any children, how different her life would have being. How her life could have being, should have being. No children to steal her husbands love and affection. That’s how she saw it in her deranged mind. Refusing to admit that perhaps there were other very legitimate reasons he had chosen to divorce her. The reasons to dislike, shall we say hate her daughter, her own flesh and blood, were increasing the more she thought  about it.

‘ I wish you had never been born ‘, the scream echoing loudly across the large kitchen.

But her Mother’s rage was having little effect on Chloe, who having seen it many times before was unperturbed by it, if only a little wary.
She was a pretty girl. Elfin like, with long auburn hair. A slim petite body. With a friendly attitude and easy smile. But examine her closely and her inner strength was their to see in her eyes and the way she moved. Her graciousness and pleasantness did not help endear her to her Mother, who in comparison to her Mother’s rapidly fading looks and disheveled appearance, she was a vision of youthful beauty and effervescence.

Today was the day she looked forward to most. Today was special and nothing, and nobody was going to ruin it. Today was the once weekly meet up with her Father, which she was very much looking forward to. A visit to the zoo, followed by the cinema and a late night meal. All planned, all set up.
After finishing the remainder of her breakfast. She glanced out the window, and looked forward to exciting day ahead.

‘I ‘m off’ , she said defiantly to her Mother, as she moved away from the breakfast bar. Her Mother, still slumped in the doorway, just looked at her daughter, whom she detested more than ever today.

‘ Is that right ? Well now you just go enjoy yourself….bitch’.

The anger and sarcasm more than evident in her slurred voice. Her eye’s empty. She reached into the pocket of her discoloured robe, and prayed it was still there. She was in luck and wrapped her fingers around it, careful not to crush it. As the two passed each other in the doorway, Chloe wishing to move quickly, to escape the overpowering stench of alcohol and cheap perfume. The movement was quick for an older person. The small bottle dispenser, the puff of spray in the air. The pungent scent.
Instinctively Chloe moved quickly away, to the other side of the breakfast bar. She moved after her.

‘ I’ll ruin your looks, pretty girl ‘. Again she sprayed the noxious substance.

Chloe ducked down behind the breakfast bar, her breathing loud and rapid. The chemical concoction in her stomach racing at maximum speed. Her heartbeat loudly  pushing and straining to leap from her chest. She was sure it was audible in the next street.

After a few moments of quietness she slowly lifted her head above the breakfast bar to survey the scene. The maniacal fierce eye’s, glared back from across the room. The face purple, and perspiring. The heaving chest, but the breathing surprisingly quiet. A killer’s strategy perhaps ? The veins on either side of the head, engorged, bulging and throbbing, as if keeping time to some grotesque musical piece.

‘ I’ll finish you’ , the shrieking scream , loud, non human like.

She searched her Mother’s hands for the small poisonous perfume bottle, but it was not to be seen. She watched her Mother  approach the breakfast bar, and roughly open the curtly drawer, and selected the longest, sharpest knife she could find, of course testing it on her outstretched fingers, and smiling at the pain, and small droplets of blood.

‘ Run , damn you, run’ , she could hear the words she was shouting at herself, but she could not move. She was stuck to the floor, psychologically frozen with shock and fear.
Silently she prayed to God, to her Father, her boyfriend, anyone to come now, and rescue her, someway, somehow.
She grasped the knife tightly, interchanging her grip, from spear like, to the slashing, cutting grip, and launched herself at her daughter. Who screamed and ran to the other side of the breakfast bar. The childlike game of cat and mouse continued for a few seconds, although felt like hours, and then silence. Both participants straining to breathe. The loud crash, followed by silence. A few more moments of quietness. A brief searching look. The warmth of the suns rays, lightening the dark scene of the human condition.

‘ I’ve always loved you, always have, always will’. The voice familiar of course, the tone soft and loving.
‘ Come sit with me child’, I feel afraid’.

Slowly Chloe came out from behind the breakfast bar. Looked at the scene. The bloodstained head. The laboured breathing. The head tilted in an awkward sideways glance. The legs positioned in an unusual, manner, on the floor. The sharp knife in her hand.

‘ I love you’, with that she raised the knife, and it silently and quietly entered her body.

The fragile skin, no match for the sharpness of the blade.

‘ I hate you’, again the knife raised, and with great ease it entered her body. A few tears, as the body reacted to the incision. Her grimacing face, evidence of the inflicted pain.

‘ I love you’, and again, the blade was inserted into the body. The blood beginning to drain from her face. The lips becoming slightly blue. The voice becoming more shallow, and weak. No longer the bellowing, cruel and nasty voice of old.

‘ I hate you ‘. Chloe could watch no more, and looked away. She had long since lost respect and love for her Mother. But her Mother was still a human after all. A sad, wounded, human.

Not True.


Photo Credit : Hannah Wei on Unsplash


‘Did she really do it, I cannot believe it’.

In the dimly lit coffee shop, I strained to tune in to the interesting snippet of conversation, emanating from a nearby table, as I pretended to work hard on the laptop. The thesis I had being working on, had long since bored me. I had long since lost interest in. If I was bored with it, and I the author, it certainly was not going to win any awards, or be much interest to others, especially my stern and easy to  dislike english professor.
What I often wondered had even drawn him into academia, and the world of teaching, as it was more than obivious, he disliked his job with a vengeance. He disliked the students, even more. As for his work colleagues, he never had a good word to say about any of them. To himself, to his overburdened and worn out wife, who was many times, a forced reticent sounding board for all that was wrong with his life.
All his frustrations, irritations and annoyances. He may well have been an esteemed professor, praised and lauded for his outstanding work, and contributions to society. The recipient of many awards from the great and the good. From prestigious universities and organisations. His views and opinions sought by many, from media outlets to illustrious societies. But on a personnel level, he was nothing more than an immature, envious, and petty human being. Unhappy and dis-satisfied to the core. But he managed to hide it well from all but those who were closest to him.
Outwardly the surface level persona he projected was that of a well rounded individual, generous, scintillating conversationalist, gregarious, great fun. The way he interacted with others on the social circuit, those who only met him briefly, was very, very different from those who were forced to endure his less than pleasant personality on a regular basis. How any of the previous student of his managed to gain reasonable grades in their exams, with his continual sneering, critical comments of their work, was a complete mystery to me, and many others in my year. How he continued to actually be employed by University, was also a mystery. Well maybe not so, after all his small amount of fame, and very public pronouncements and media appearances, did bring a lot of good publicity to the University. Which in turn led to more student enrolments, and enquiries from pushy parents, and more money into the universities already full bank account.

The rattle of the cutlery, the noisy clacking of the cups and dishes, and the non stop gurgling and sloshing of the coffee maker, were making it quiet difficult to tune to the interesting conversation, of the nearby table. The background melodic jazz music, not helping my eavesdropping. As the conversation continued, I moved myself towards the edge of my table, along with my laptop, surreptitiously, and un-noticed hopefully, to get within earshot, of the increasingly interesting conversation. In any case it was a mild distraction from the dull and uninteresting thesis I was writing.
I briefly glanced at the two conversationalists. Slighty glamorous women, in their early forties. Bedecked with expensive discreet gold jewellery. Well cut, designer smart, expensive clothing. Make up applied with practised expertise. Healthy, large hair, recently washed, and a certain way of sitting, of moving, of watching others, that indicated a lavish lifestyle. A confidence and self assurance that only financial wealth, weather inherited or provided can produce.

‘Yes’, the blonde voluptuous lady continued, ‘it’s all over the news now, who ever would have believed, she was capable’.

‘That dowdy put upon woman’, the equally glamourous brunette replied. ‘ Ain’t life full of surprises’, and they both laughed. Their cheap hollow, cackling laughter, offering outsiders a brief glimpse into their cheap, empty personalities, that they usually managed to keep hidden from public view.

‘My husband knew him, you know. Said he was one of the nicest men he had ever met. A very interesting man. A scintillating conversationalist. Such a shame,’

‘Yes’, the other nodded in agreement, ‘Such a shame’.



Photo Credit :  Brigitte Tohm on Unsplash


What makes you happy he said, it cause you ain’t dead
I lied and denied and said yes
But that wasn’t true I only said it just it’s just what you do
What makes me happy is women and swimming
From looking and staring to not even caring
Sometimes even daring to approach and engage
Hoping, but not caring that I don’t enrage and drive them insane
Swimming then is about relaxing letting go and being free
Cut loose lay back and enjoy

Laughing and singing as I am bringing the cat in
Giving and receiving with people who aint deceiving
Walking alone without my cell phone
The space to unwind my mind, the ability to see and possibly dream
Of being a man of means and wealth, without letting it go to my head

Excellent health, being able to get out of bed
Peace and tranquility to those that are close to me
Harmony with those I interact with, see
Being in silence and quietness, where I can lay with the light off
Listening to the stillness eases my mind
Where I can contemplate my life, the people who at times cause me strife
Sometimes I will forgive them if i’m feeling kind

A cup of tea, as I watch what I can see, as I study people passing by me
Taking my boots off, putting my feet up, now that to me is pleasure on earth
Reading and writing to broaden my knowledge and unleash my soul
That is a pleasure by some measure, as long as what I read and write
Don’t come across as boring and somewhat trite
Music to listen to, and to play
That can make a fellas day

Treating people kindly, gently and being right friendly
But telling others firmly, don’t take me for a fool
Don’t go breaking that golden rule, or I’ll cut you out of my life for good
Treat me right, as I will do you, then we’ll have a relationship, that’s well out of sight
Being around people who are reasonably sane, cause being around these others
Can be quiet tiresome, I’m just saying
Being in love so much, it’s like all those white doves are flying about
That seems to make you act like a fool
Breaking your own self made rules, about what you will, and will not do

Not all children are mean and unclean, some are quite happy as far as I can see
Now these kind of children are good company, with their single minded attention
There’s no need for an intervention, to take them on a course of meditation or two
As they have all that joy at just living life, wrapped up real tight
And could teach us adults a lesson or two

Being with people I can trust to be honourable to the core
That makes me happy cause then I know the score
No betrayal, no treachery here, these are attributes I hold dear
Feeling secure enough and happy within myself
So I don’t start feeling a bit strange in my head
When it looks like she may be inclined to take that fella to bed
Even though I don’t really know her, and nothing has being said
I never thought I was the envious type, when did all this come to light
Hope it’s just a phase I’m going through, to be like this full time
Now that would never do, I’ll have to work on the self esteem a bit
As I don’t want to come across as someone fragile, insecure and mean
But rest assured, I am not unclean

A nice glass of wine to make me feel fine
A can of cool beer, pleasures such as this I hold very dear
But not too often, cause my thinking goes kinda queer
I mean I could go on and on forever
About what makes me happy, if I search deep within my mind
But we could be here all day, cause I reckon I could have quite a bit to say
But I’ll leave it at that, and keep the rest under my hat
So we can at least get out of here before the evening.





Photo Credit : Christopher Windus on Unsplash


Are you trapped, imprisoned, and cannot get free
Do you feel like you need more room, so that you can breathe
Is this relationship, not at all what it seems
Do you yearn, do you burn, to break all ties, and jump free
Do you want to break through these invisible prison bars
Are you afraid to do so, in case it leaves scars

Are you being blackmailed, manipulated from moving away
Are you gonna waste your time here, day after day
‘ I love you, I want you, I need you, please don’t go ‘
Any of this sound familiar
‘ I’m leaving, I’m going, please say it aint so ‘
Does the pleading turn to anger
A rage, a torrent of abuse, as they vent
Now they don’t seem so much like that angle, heaven sent

Is it love, loneliness, or entrapment to capture your soul
If they can’t have you in the way they desire
Maybe they will aspire to stop you from the contentment and true happiness you seek
Keep you tied to a loveless relationship, and meek
Surely to God, one deserves better than this
Are you too kind and pleasant, cruelty not to your taste
Is it lack of wealth and finances, keeping you in this place
Are you stuck, trapped, and it seems like there’s nothing you can do

Do you strive to tread lightly through this world, and treat others right
Be all gentle and soft, not harm a soul
Are you going to sacrifice your health, and maybe your head
To be their spiritual blanket, and emotional comforter too
What about some real heartbreaking, ass kicking , love making
Or maybe you will forego that too
All in the name of be seen to do what’s right
To be seen as that fine, solid, loyal understanding human, of quiet delight

If they are just a friend, they are not your job to mend
Nor be there surrogate lover too
Are you afraid of losing a long term friend
Will they be lonely, hurt and offended if you find someone new
Is it that perceived guilt that’s holding you back
Come on  now, answer true
Are you gentle, kind with no mind to be cruel
Well then my friend, you can set yourself free
Does it seem like the perfect set up, honesty, generosity
Peace and tranquility, good home cooking too

But there’s no love making, dude
Are they just using you, for their own inner reasons
Wheather it be loneliness, companionship
Or other reasons, too brutal to be true
There is no passionate sex, there is no love
Warmth, friendship, companionship, yes
But surly that won’t do
Passionate love, sizzling sex, I wish to say hello to you
Along with warmth, friendship, laughter, and companionship too
Do you want to look back on your life, when you are dead
Say I lived my life for another, how utterly frustrated, disappointed and angry are you

Is this loyalty gone too far, kindness gone amiss
It’s being such a long time, since you even had a kiss
Sexuality, lovemaking, call it what you will, it’s all part of the human condition
If your missing out on this, you aint really living
If they want more, you know the score
If that’s what they ache for, but you aint opening that door
They just don’t touch you in that way, be clear and definite on that

No moaning, no whingeing, or saying you should do
It seems so ideal, can it be real
But I just aint into you, like that
That bit of madness I’ve seen at first hand
That anger, that temper, and inability to cope
It’s slipped more than once, from underneath your cloak
It’s for reasons like that, I’d rather tip my hat, than get deeply involved
And carry on up that path
Do you want to escape, do you want to break free
Do you want to break through these invisible walls
Stay or escape, what will it be.



Photo Credit : Braydon Anderson on Unsplash


Can’t You Be More Funny, She Said, Not Be So Serious All Of The Time
Can’t You Use Words To Uplift Our Spirits, And Make Our Hearts Shine
Does Everything Have To Be So Tragic, Sad Depressing And Down
As That’s All It Ever Seems To Be With You, Whenever You’re Around

What About Frivolity, Joy Happiness And More
That’s What People Are Searching For, That’s Why We Come Through This Door
Unhappy Scenes, People Of No Means, Tragedy Piled On So Thick And Deep
This Is Not What I’m Looking For, It’s Not What I And Other People Seek

I Can See That Kind Of Rubbish, On Eastender’s Every Week
Lighten Up Bring Some Cheer, If You Can, Please Do So My Dear
Life Is Tough Enough, She Said, But It’s Not What I Wish To Focus On,
I Want To Tilt My Head Towards Scenes Of Love, Lift My Soul Up Above

That Would Make Me Want To Jump Out Of Bed, Perhaps Burst Out Of My Head
With Joy And Happiness
Put Me In Good Form All Day Long. That’s An Event That Would Be Time Well Spent
Can You Be More Happy, She Said. I Want Some Happiness Before I’m Dead

Can You Lift Your Soul Up, From Where It’s Dragging On The Floor
Don’t You Try And Bring Me Down, Lift Me Up Instead Even More
Infuse My Mind And Spirit With Joy, And Peaceful Contentment
Maybe Then We’ll Build A Friendship On That, As Solid And Strong As Tough Cement

I Looked At Her, And Said I’ll Try. I Know I Can Be A Bit Depressing At Times
But Sometimes, That’s How My Mind Functions. It All Seems Out Of My Control
It’s Not That I Try To Be Unkind And Mean, Even Though At Times, That’s What It May Seem
But It’s What I Feel  Inside, At Times, In My Dark And Troubled Mind

But I Ain’t All Tragic, I Like A Good Laugh Myself At Times
Can’t You Be More Funny She Said, As She Headed Up The Stairway, Alone Away To Bed.