The Other Side



You get these four-year-old prodigies that can play the piano, and I just look at them and think, you little cunts. Here I am grinding through the days trying to become a better writer, and they just sit there acting like Beethoven as if it were no big deal. They’re almost as bad as those kids who get accepted into MENSA before their balls drop. Why couldn’t I have been born blessed? Why do I have to struggle when those little shits just breeze through life like they’ve got all the cheat codes on? You can tell me the struggle is a beautiful one, but not a day goes by when I don’t wish I could’ve been like them, or been born with a silver spoon in my mouth. Meh, there’s no point in moaning, I guess. There’s this old boy who comes into work and always talks to me. His wife is dying. She’s got dementia. Every time I see him, he tells me what’s been happening. She’s been moved into a home, and sometimes she doesn’t recognise him. He has kids, but they live far away. He’s eating well, though. Fillet steaks are his favourite, and although he can’t manage whole ones anymore, his appetite is still going strong considering. The other week, he asked me what my goal was in life. I told him I was a writer, and that last year I’d published my first book. He took a step back, and after looking at me for several seconds, he wrapped his arms around me and said he was proud of my achievement. He reminds me of my grandad, and how I wish he had lived long enough to see me make something of myself with my writing. Afer all, it was him that filled my head with endless ghost stories back when I was little Stephen. And what about all those trips to Luton library during the school holidays? All those books and those stories that reached out and grabbed me. Each one left their mark, and those days made me what I am right now. Y’know, I was abusing myself the other day, just losing myself in the memory of an ex-lover when all of a sudden, the most important thing for me to do was Google if it was true only one person died on-screen in the A-Team. Used to watch it all the time with my dad on Saturday afternoons after we got back from shopping. I wasn’t sure if it was a myth or not, for I’d heard it mentioned several times over the years, but after searching for less than a minute, I got my answer. During the complete five-season run of the A-Team, there was only one on-screen fatality, which occurred as a result of an explosion. After pondering the answer for a few seconds, I felt good about myself and continued to visualise her body until the dreams in my head collided with the energy in my hips, and for the briefest of moments, I tasted the other side.

A Journal for Damned Lovers on

A Journal for Damned Lovers on

19 replies »

  1. I have a false memory attributed to Thunderbirds; that one episode featured a mission where they couldn’t get to the rescue in time and everyone involved died. I even, in my own head, have a scene in which the pilots of the Thunderbird aircraft are flying home shaking their heads in utter sadness. And, from all my research online, this never happened. It never ever happened.

  2. We always want what we can’t have. Those little prodigies will one day envy the beauty of normalcy and struggle. They’ll perhaps even question if they love what they’re amazing at. In the end, they will eventually look for ways to make life harder for themselves. Since, we can’t appreciate happiness without pain.

  3. You may believe, that some people are more blessed than you, because they have outstanding qualities, but the universe evens things out, if someone shows strengths in an area when s/he is younger, then, the individual may not be so outstanding in what you’re good at, so, there’s, no need to envy anybody else in the world…

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