Maps of Your Face and Links to My Past



As I’m writing and drinking my wine, I remember the way my grandad used to help me do my tie whenever the occasion arose for me to wear one. I remember the scent of his hands and his gentle but clumsy manner as he looped and uncrossed the thing until I looked like a good and proper boy. He was the one that encouraged me to read, and with his tales of ghost stories and ghouls, he fed my young mind and stirred that side of me that had a first for the unknown. It makes me sad that he died before I really begun to find myself as a writer, as I’m sure it would’ve made him chuffed to see how I turned out. I was supposed to see him a few years ago at Christmas, but he wasn’t feeling up to it, and then he had his heart attack, and they found him one morning on the floor by his bed. If there’s an afterlife like he suspected, I hope he’s demanding those answers that eluded him in life. The more I look back, the more it bums me out to think about the people I’ve loved that have died or drifted away. But, y’know, it happens to everyone, and not many were fortunate enough to have been blessed like me to have been raised by such sharp and magical souls. So, I write for him and I write for them and I write for you and I write to tap into the shit I can’t explain. This wine tastes funky, and the more I drink the more it reminds me of those slices of existence long regarded as lost. Y’know, like the times I would sit with Monty dog and Polo the cat in front of the electric fire before school. Or how about the hour-long bus journies that would take me back and forth between High Wycombe and Reading when I was studying at University. All those towns and villages, those buildings and people I haven’t been a part of for so long. And then there’s you and your absent embrace and how my mind reinvents my memories of you so I get confused between what’s real and what’s not. But hey, what’s new?

A Journal for Damned Lovers on

A Journal for Damned Lovers on

17 replies »

  1. I come here…..and I just never find the words. I’m running out of ways to tell you how deeply your writing touches me. So, if you just see those cheesy little hearts sometimes…forgive the derivative nature of things, please. There’s much more thought, much more gut-reaction, much more visceral emotion than I could ever find the right words for after I’ve read you. ♥︎

    • I’m glad you think so 🙂
      I shall hunt out a decent photo of him to put on Instagram. There’s one of us walking together on a beach when I was a teenager. I’d love to show you that one x

      • You are very welcome and you should believe. You’re one of the best on WP. Your writing has essence to captivate your readers. Not everyone is able to do that 🙂

      • I’m so touched by your kindness.
        Having spent so many years struggling to write, your praise lifts me up in ways I can’t even begin to describe. It truly does make me believe.
        And having read your own, passionate words, I know you feel the same way too x

      • I am pleased my words have touched you to believe more in your writing. As a writer sometimes it is hard to believe in ourselves. I think because writing takes so much of our emotions it sometimes makes it hard to see what our talent is because all we see are our devouring emotions written down.

        But, I do believe you are a wonderful writer, and I wish you all the best sweetie. Blessings to you

      • I agree with you. It can be hard to step back and see what we have done as we are so used to being in the thick of it. But if we are able to, the sense of catharsis we achieve is exhilarating. Thank you again for your kind words. They really do mean a great deal to me. I hope you have yourself a wonderful day 🙂 x

    • Thank you so very much, Holly. Your words are pure joy to me.

      I will catch up with your writings after work today. They haven’t been showing up in my feed recently but hopefully it will sort itself out. Hope you’re staying strong and upbeat! 🙂 x

      • Thanks so much Stephen. I’m doing well. You will need to refollow my new blog for it to appear in your mail and reader. Sorry for the trouble but I had no choice but to move my blog. Have a beautiful day Stephen 🙂 x

  2. I love this! How wonderful that your Grandfather gave you his love of reading! What a priceless gift! 🙂 My mother gave me hers & I’ve read ever since I was old enough to hold a book. Such a beautiful write, my friend. ❤

    • A priceless gift indeed! I’m so happy your mother blessed you with that. To be shown that type of magic at such a young age is quite a thing. I’m so pleased you enjoyed this piece. Thank you 🙂 x

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