I’m afraid of the 80’s, and even though the decade doesn’t exist anymore, somehow it does. I’m a relic of a grotesque time- a product of a damned generation spat out from its mother’s womb into a world undeserving of anything other than oblivion. As a grown man, I know that flowers and women are beautiful, and they make me feel warm inside, but what I am just won’t shift. These footsteps of mine- they should be glorious. They should be an elegant testament to the journey I’ve been on since the year of Big Brother, but instead, they reek of illness. They’re sour- like one of those gobstoppers with enough sugar in them to make your balls shrink to the size of marbles and your eyes snap shut like a trapdoor. To think of all those sweets I’ve consumed- all those energy drinks and bottles of wine, too- oh, the shame. In a greasy spoon situated by the side of the motorway, the day is dull and gray, and I sit in silence eating a traditional English breakfast while drinking a cup of tea. When done, I head over to a newsagents and flick through endless women’s magazines. Temptation getting the better of me, I look at the top shelf and at some brunette teen who seems ready and willing to do anything to please. She won’t be pleasing me, however, because all I want is to go play on the fruties, and then sit outside in the sun smoking my cigarette without a single thought running through my stupid brain. No art. No writing. Just a trip to Bristol Zoo. No pretension- just someone wanting to catch a glimpse of animals doing their animal things. Nature is the only escape, and although they’re caged and chained to our whims, within their hearts is an energy that speaks to me more than books and music combined.

19 replies »

  1. I know this feeling. I have it for the same era despite being older than you because I don’t remember the seventies at all since I was a baby. The eighties are a mixed bag. On the one side, there’s some things that were good (that crazy Netflix series about the eighties got everyone remembering what they liked about them) but there was a lot of darkness. Being ‘triggered’ by memories is one of the worst feelings ever, you really do a good job of exploring and expressing this (you always do, you’re a voice for darkness among many other things and this is good). For example I lived when I was in the UK for a time in Elephant & Castle (Borough actually) and I CANNOT return to that place. The smell of rodedentrums alone, will flay me. If I see corregated iron, if I smell a certain anticeptic from hospitals, I lose my shit. So I get it. I get that feeling of horror you have from going back. I think that is one reason I really wanted to keep moving until I was far away from those memories. They say wherever you go there you are, and it’s true, but you can literally leave some parts of you that are being triggered. For example I can’t go to parts of France and I can’t go to parts of England and I can’t go to parts of the US and that’s okay – some would say ‘get over it / suck it up’ but if it works then it works. It does work. I know what triggers me and I avoid it like hell. If I do have to do it, I tell myself ‘at least you escaped’ – for example the hopelessness feeling, that comes with certain streets, certain indelible stains. Yeah I totally know what you mean here, and you did it justice my friend.

    • I’ve yet to watch that show (Stranger Things, right?) but it looks good. Most of my life is spent wanting to go back- even to the bad times. I think it’s because I don’t appreciate the here and now enough, so I spend my time writing in order to explore the past in order to reclaim it- or to at least understand it. Wallpaper always triggers me, and the scent of perfume. In fact most smells, but not really texture. Self abuse most definitely, and sometimes music. It seems we spend most of our lives running from or dancing with ghosts, and then we become them ourselves, even before we’re dead x

      • Oh how true my friend. I definitely agree, especially about running away or dancing with ghosts, well said. I do think this is why many people write it out. In your case, I can relate to the wallpaper thing A LOT I think you’re so right, but then again why would we want to reclaim pain? Not sure how that fits in but somehow it must. Stranger Things is good.

  2. By far my favorite blog, and I have been spending a great deal of time reading different people’s work. Your work is far and above anything I have seen. Coming of age in the eighties, I have a tendency to romanticize it, maybe in a weird Bret Easton Ellis kind of way. I love the piece.

    • Wow, that’s a great honour you’ve bestowed upon me there. Thank you! I’m privileged to have you read my words, I really am. I was only 6 by the time the eighties was over, so I remember very little, and yet it still shapes me. The strange sights and sounds that linger; the vague memories of childhood fears; of monsters under the bed and movies I would think of as recorded reality (ever seen the film Batteries Not Included? When I was told that it wasn’t real, I cried all day) x

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