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Monday, 27 August 2012

Twins of... Uncomfortableness

This week, a couple of guys I think I mentioned very fleetingly a fair few posts ago, but never really went into detail on.

Outside of our core group of friends; me and my siblings, Wayne and Lisa, and my cousin Ian when school was off; their were a number of people who kind of came and went from our circle over the few years that we lived in Appleton Crescent. Two of the shorter lived additions to our posse were a pair of twins called M and R.

The twins moved in to a street near to us, which in itself made them kind of outsiders but we tolerated their presence, because that was the kind of tolerant people we were; sort of like a prototype for the Benetton campaign, or the multicultural society in microcosm. Anyway, they were a bit of a novelty, because they were being raised by a single parent; not in itself odd, round my way; but it was their DAD. Much consternation was to be found in our little mindheadscapethings as to how that had come to pass. Parents lived together for a while; maybe married, maybe not; one or the other would cheat and then the Dad would disappear from the kids lives altogether. That was the natural order, this whole set-up smacked of wrongness.

M&R's Dad did his best to fit in with the other single parents on the estate, soon settling into their patterns and routines and he quickly had staples like 'spending all the family allowance on booze and fags' and 'random bouts of frenzied violence' down to an art form. So I suppose you have to give him props for that, eh?

Joking aside, I'm sure the guy had his reasons for being how he was. Certainly, if you spent any amount of time with his kids you would get the definite feeling that some bad shit had happened in their family. I never got to the bottom of whether their mother had left them, or died, or was in prison, or what; I don't think it was a big secret, I just never bothered to ask; but things were obviously not right in their house. Trust me, I know a bit about things not being right in the home.

R was the main reason for this nagging feeling. M, for the most part, was a fairly happy-go-lucky chap, always ready with a quip and a smile, but R... R was a psycho.

Now, I know, I know, it's not generally a good idea to throw around terms likes psycho, or nutter, without knowing the background to the person's behaviour. But I'm not attempting to make a psychiatric diagnosis here; I'm using the term in it's commonly accepted form. i.e. The guy was unpredictable, violent, and scary as hell when he turned.

Also, limber. I remember one occasion when we were all hanging out on the waste ground 'playing football' (dossing around while a ball lay nearby, pointedly ignored like so much sick in the gutter, until a parent passed by and one of us made a desultory stab at maybe coming within a foot of it with a kick; WE ARE GETTING EXERCISE, SHEESH) when from out of nowhere we heard a scream. And it just kept going and going and going. It was R, and I shit you not he screamed, non-stop, as he ran all the way down the street, crossed the road, hurdled the barrier onto the wasteground, crested two mounds of rubble, ran a bit further and then leaped into the air and kicked his brother in the head. It would have been amazing, if it wasn't terrifying. I mean, I'd have been fucking knackered half way down the street.

Here's the thing though; after the kick had been delivered, he just... deflated. The screaming stopped and he just sort of sagged. Then he called M a dickhead and walked off, hands in pockets, looking about as dejected as I've ever seen a human being. The whole situation made me feel very uncomfortable, I'm not going to lie.

I have no great insight to end on here; M&R didn't live in our area very long, and when they left we never heard from them again, so I've no idea how their lives ended up. But they've stuck in my head, that incident (and one other) in particular, for 2 decades, and I often wonder how they got on. Sad fact is, I'd bet money on the police being involved.

That's it for this week. I'd say I hope you enjoyed it, but we all know that's a vain hope. I'm hoping to be back next week, but we'll see. Ta Ra for the noo then.

Monday, 20 August 2012

Happy Birthday To Me

At some point in the near future; and no, I'm not telling you when; I shall have a birthday. A fact which, when realised; I don't celebrate or even acknowledge my birthday, and haven't for a long while; prompted me to have a wander down memory lane and share with you all some memorable birthday moments from my childhood.

Except there doesn't seem to have been any.

I've wracked my brain, I really have, but with the exception of this story , I've got nothing. It seems my ambivalence toward birthdays was present and correct even from a very early age.

A fact which surprised me, if I'm being honest. While I haven't exactly given the subject a lot of thought in recent years, I certainly never had any kind of feeling of having missed out on this stuff as a child; in the long, long, looooong list of festering resentments that I harbour, this one doesn't feature.

The fact remains though, that for whatever reason, I have no memories of childhood birthdays other than the story linked above and a vague idea that the bike used so creatively by my mother in this post   was a birthday gift at some point, I genuinely can't dredge up any birthday memories at all.

It's possible that the events in question were so traumatic that I blacked them out. If that were the case it could even account for my current lack of any kind of excitement about the prospect of my 'big day'. On the other hand, and I'll concede that this may be the more likely scenario, it could just be that I'm getting old and my memory is shit.

Whichever is the case, it seems that all the good intentions I had when I sat down at the keyboard to type this post, of telling a heartwarming tale of familial affection and mercenary gift grabbing, have gone out the window. I have failed you, dear reader; you came here to be entertained and I give you nothing. Nothing! I can only throw myself at your mercy, and hope that you can find it in your heart to forgive a wretch like me.

Sayonara, and keep being awesome.

Saturday, 11 August 2012

How Many Times?

How many times?

How many times, when you were a child, did you get chased from a field by an angry farmer in a pick up truck, brandishing a stick and calling you a 'fucking little bastard?'

How many times when you were a child did you make a rape joke about your neighbours daughter and get beaten bloody for it?*

How many times when you were a child did you get caught stealing a roll of heavy duty visqueen from a building site, backyard camp waterproofing for the use of, and get away with it by... swearing at the man and running away?

How many times when you were a child did you get your friend in trouble by loaning him your copy of the Predator novelisation?

How many times when you were a child did you hit a cricket ball, panic that it was heading toward a bathroom window on your neighbours house, gasp in disbelieving relief when it actually went through the *open* 'tiny little window thing above the main window' (technical term) and then burst out laughing when the neighbour came barrelling out angrily screaming about the mirror you just broke?

How many times when you were a child did you sit on another boys chest for longer than could ever be not awkward because you were in a fight and had overpowered him, were too scared to punch him, but too scared to let him up because you knew he would punch you?

How many times have you clicked on a blog link and realised that the person writing had nothing to say so just cobbled together a random selection of rubbish that were'nt good enough for posts of their own?

*The fact that I did not understand why I was being punished for that says a little something about the environment I was raised in. I'm convinced to this day that the severity of the punishment was down to my Mother overcompensating fro the fact that she didn't react when I made the joke, but rather had to be shamed into it by said neighbour.