Sunday, 20 April 2014

A tale of two tales

52 weeks ago today, after several weeks of work, I clicked the 'publish' icon, and a story appeared in Nephelokokkygia. All 60-odd thousand words of it. Since then, I've probably only published a few hundred words in that blog, none of them in prose form. I've been reading that story again - yet again - over the past few days. I've also been reading, for only the second time, and in much smaller helpings, another story. And the sense of my inadequacy as a writer has become overwhelming. It's something I want to be able to do, and to do well, but it's clear to me now that I'm simply not good enough. The story whose anniversary falls today is, of course, Alexandrine, and, much as I still love the eponymous hero, if that story is the best I can do, and I'm pretty sure it is, there's no point in my continuing the pretence, the conceit, that I could ever be a writer. And that feeling has been cemented in the past 48 hours by the other story, now I'm seriously getting back into again. Sandel. The divine Tony eclipsing my Xander on every level. Will I ever write anything fictional again? I have my doubts.

Love & best wishes to all
Sammy B

Friday, 18 April 2014

Sad stories

This is almost where I came in - reading online stories that, time and again, made me cry, like the one I read this afternoon. But then I found Twinergy, and realised that some could make me smile, too. (And that there was a whole 'Blogworld' out there, with its own joys and sorrows.) Whether the stories bring tears or happiness, though, it's all fiction, while my reality continues to be as disheartening as ever. My fault, no doubt, for wanting something that's unobtainable, or seemingly so. 'There's got to be something in it for you', my sister-in-law memorably said, over two years ago now. But there still isn't, and that absence of light, of hope, has become very difficult to contend with.

Love & best wishes to all
Sammy B

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

In the garden

I've hesitated to begin this post, because, not for the first time, I'm aware of the assumptions that some would make, but, as ever, all I can do is to tell the truth, and if people choose to disbelieve me, then that's something I've no control over.
One of the slightly strange ambitions I have is to visit every Wetherspoons pub in Greater London, and I've managed to visit four new ones in the past two days. The last of the four, this afternoon, was notable for two reasons. Firstly, it was probably the nicest I've found so far in my odd odyssey, very smart inside, and with a nice, sunny beer garden (I'll forgive them the artificial grass!) where I settled myself to enjoy the very pleasantly warm spring sunshine, and, most conveniently, it's more or less on a bus route that runs within ten minutes walk of the flat. The second thing, though, was specific to today, and the source of my reluctance to blog about what happened. I noticed him not long after I'd arrived, wandering about the garden, seemingly unattached to anyone out there. A little boy, not cute at all, if I'm being honest, meandering between the tables, sitting down a little away from whoever was occupying the various spaces. He came to my table a couple of times, sat down, got up, came back, went away again, then disappeared into the pub. When he came outside again a few minutes later, he fell on the small flight of steps leading down into the garden, and obviously hurt himself. He got up, seemingly trying not to cry. No-one took the slightest interest in him, frankly, so when he walked back in my direction, still looking shaken up and upset, I couldn't help asking him if he was alright. The eagerness he showed in engaging me in conversation was almost disconcerting, and pretty conclusive evidence that his wandering around on his own wasn't coincidental. It turned out that he was 6, nearly 7 - he said his birthday is in three weeks time - and, from other things he said, it sounded like his life is far from ideal. An absent, (physically) abusive father, a mother who doesn't seem to take any interest in him at all - he said that she'd seen him fall, but there was no sign of her appearing to check on his condition. The woman did eventually emerge, to tell the boy that they were leaving, but, even then, she turned her back on him and left him to follow in his own time. I have not the slightest expectation that I'll see him again, but I wish so much that there was anything I could do to make his life better. But that, of course, would be 'grooming'. Because all that boylovers want is self-gratification, never the well-being of the boy.

Love & best wishes to all
Sammy B

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Existential

A day or two, K's around, albeit doing her own thing for a good part of the time, the sun's shining, and life doesn't seem so bad. But now my girl is gone, off to see the love of her life, and having seen her off at the station, it wasn't long before I found myself on a bus, sitting opposite a cutish boy, 14, give or take, who I knew I could never get close to, and all the hopelessness, the despair, of my life and where it's brought me comes flooding back in. I feel like crying, except that it would be utterly pointless, would change nothing. Yeah, I know, another day, another worthless bout of self-pity, but, frankly, my existence is shit.

Love & best wishes to all
Sammy B

Sunday, 13 April 2014

I'd say I don't believe it....

....but it happens so often as to be almost tediously predictable. Namely that when I'm due some time off - I'm working this afternoon, before heading into four days off - my immune system decides it's time for an outage, and I start feeling ill. It's all the worse in this case because I'm feeling very chesty, coughing frequently and uncomfortably, reminiscent of the beginnings of what happened last year, which led to me ending up in hospital. By coincidence, I've got an appointment at my new doctors' tomorrow, which was only supposed to be for a medication review, but I'll certainly mention this latest health hiccup as well. K is here, too, and I neither want to infect her - her asthma has flared up lately, and she's back on regular inhalers for the first time in three or four years - nor miss out on the very limited time I'm going to get to spend with her, given that she's supposedly spending the first half of tomorrow with her friend who's visiting London, then heading off to her boyfriend's on Tuesday. Maybe this bout of less than perfect health won't amount to anything, but, knowing my luck, I'm not counting on that eventuality.

Love & best wishes to all
Sammy B

Thursday, 10 April 2014

Plan Z

It seems that K's school holiday plans are changing almost by the hour. She is still coming to stay at the flat, but the two full days I was hoping that we might have together appear to have shrunk until there's only going to be half a day left, if I'm lucky. The latest version of the itinerary sees her arriving in London on Saturday to go to one of her YouTuber 'gatherings', staying for three nights, and then going off to her boyfriend's on Tuesday morning. The problem with that, from my perspective, is that I'm working lates on Saturday and Sunday, so will be, including my commute, out of circulation from 11:00 to 11:00 on each day, then on Monday, my first day off, K will be spending at least half of the day with another friend, who, coincidentally, is in London that day. So I get Monday late afternoon/evening with my girl. Maybe. The joys of being a teenager's parent, I guess!

Love & best wishes to all
Sammy B

Wednesday, 9 April 2014