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Sunday, 22 August 2010

Living the life backwards.Part one.

I'm in the bubble, old enough to know better, young enough not to care, damaged just enough to feel guilt.
By this time in our lives, we are supposed to have achieved certain things. The career, the house, the car, the family and the ability to give back.
I would like to think I am the only one who gave up these traditional things, in favour of an "interesting life", but the reality is, those off us with an artistic bent need to be fairly untraditional at times.
This entry is not so much for me, but for the people who strive to understand why they are not "the same" and struggle to pigeon hole themselves into normality. Here's a breakdown off my attempts to be normal and why they went awry, in short: My life backwards.

1st september 19(cough, splutter)
I am born dead, the doctor takes one look at my mother and slaps me on the backside to start my breathing. A trend is already developing. My father is not present, he had something to do at the office. I am placed in an incubator and turn a deep shade of brown to compliment the jaundice. I am a colorful character already.

20th September 19**.
My mother has numerous encounters with an Indian women in the infant ward, because she could not tell the difference between me and the small Indian child she kept picking up. My father buys me a stuffed monkey called Charlie before finding something to do at the office.

Years 0-4.
My father's job involves moving house every six months. My first home was in Fife. I am an accidental fifer, please don't hold that against me. I entertain at house warming parties by defecating in a toy truck and presenting it to him. He soon finds things to do at the office.
My parents divorce and I am returned to Stirling, home of my mother. My father finds his office is very cold at night.

Years 7-11.
 At University, my mother meets and marries a former soldier. I find my bootstraps were pulled so far up, I could pleat my hair with them. I changed primary schools from one which classed me as "backward" to one that classed me as "genius". Its a fine line.

Years 11-13.
I am taken to an Abbey in Inverness, presented with a red blazer and a tie and left there with 200 boys and 30 monks. I became a choirboy, because I figured I looked good in lace. I was not quite the prototype Harry Potter, I tried to keep my wand out of sight. 
 In my second year I sneaked out to meet an older girl at a graveyard and discovered that gravestones are scratchy and cold on your backsides. I also discovered that it is best to find out the girl's name and ask why she had to sneak out of chapel, in order to avoid expulsion.

Years 13-15.
Changed Schools, returned to Stirling, got good marks that spring boarded me to Higher Education, had money thrown at me by Student services. Made plans for world domination, by becoming.... an actor.

Years 16-19

I got my first Job at a chip shop, I lasted a week. Created a massive family upset by declaring my intention to go to Drama School. I auditioned for RSMDA, (failled) Mountview (failled) Oxford (Passed), Birmingham (Passed) and finally, went nowhere as I had no money and couldn't afford fees. To AnyWhere. Mass panic, hysteria, semi-nervous breakdown. Dreams in tatters, I'll never be a success!! The solution was obvious, get a Job and save up money. Far too easy, I cried, better I enter clearing and use my vast intellect on a Theatre Studies(Acting) course, which will surely lead to the same result.

 Years 19-21.(Not really recognisable as me, so third person, but it was me)
 A Shy inarticulate Scotsman decides to Attend University in South Wales, as tribute to his father. Due to good grades he goes straight into second year of the B.A and misses out on the early bonding that first year students go through. He is lonely, socially awkward, and living with 3 girls, who as trainee teachers, feel the need to treat him like a child. He has his first encounter with a hardcore feminist and is soon ostracised when he compares her to the female version of a "Male Chauvinist Pig".
 The course involves essay writing and analysis. There is very little acting and the beginning of a deep depression and feelings of failure via mistake take hold. He is on the wrong course, wrong path and wrong country. Still, he wont leave, as he has never failed, never given up and will not be seen as a failure back home. He adopts the name "Samanual" and becomes a very poor "Goth"
 Soon, he loses his virginity and despite the hairline fracture of the pelvic bone and the realisation, that he'd done this before in a graveyard, things were looking up.
 A sequence of events that could never be imagined took place, which still haunts to this day. In the crucial final year, the Scotsman lost his grandfather and was not allowed to attend the funeral, got engaged to a psychopath, De-engaged, re-engaged. Knocked up Psychopath. Psychopath performed home abortion at 4 months and had to be admitted to hospital for full emergency procedure. Scotsman suffered nervous collapse, but discharged himself as he had an exam in the morning. The Scotsman completely fucked up exam and failed final year.
Upon recovering from the first failure of his life, he re-sits his final year at Scarborough.


Thats Part one folks, tune in next week, for part two of a"Life backwards" and I promise i'll get to the point. Leave comments, ask questions.

Yours in Scares and Dares.

J.D

Sunday, 15 August 2010

Thoughts for the Unrequited.

Dear Cupid.
I hate to inform, kind sir, that your aim of late has been slightly astray.
I was perfectly happy in my solitude, planning my future with nary a thought for romance. I may have been located just east of nowhere on the outskirts of bewilderment, but contented in my climb up the mountain of logical sense.
I can only hazard a guess, that at some point in your day to day duties, while aiming your bow to unite lovers, that you tripped over a random cloud and unleashed an poorly aimed, uncoordinated, unplanned barrage in my general direction.  I remember feeling the prick of the arrow quite distinctly.
It hit my foot, for I found I could  not walk away from the sight before me.
A tall vision in red, with kind features, burning brown eyes and a smile that hinted at a myriad of mysterious. Someone I had been around all day, but never noticed, until your mistimed shot rooted me to the floor, unable to escape, the feelings that suddenly consumed my heart.
  The heart as you know, is one of the many organs that keeps us fragile humans alive. We help our hearts to keep beating by avoiding unnecessary strain.
 Surely, then you understand my concern, as since that day, my previously healthy, untroubled heart has felt a little empty and strained ever since. Now, had your arrow hit, not just myself, but the aforementioned vision, then I'm sure I would have had the happiest, bounciest, heart in all off mankind.
 Instead, you overshot the mark and missed her, leaving me with the joyless of the unrequited.
 I have since discovered, it is not the first time, your clumsiness has caused pain and suffering to those who adoration is not returned.
The evidence is overwhelming as some of your targets have suffered several arrows at once or a broken one, causing splinters. The irony that my unrequited suitor, also has an unrequited suitor is not lost on me, and I find myself wondering if perhaps you are spending too much time at the heavenly arms public house.
 As I investigate further, I have discovered the existence of unsuitable arrows!
Those launched from your quiver that find previously untroubled folk, who have enjoyed the benefits of your occasional crack-shot, now find themselves with two objects of affection, unwilling to give up either, have no qualms over an age gap or gender.
Is it too much to ask, that you regulate your arrows to suitable pairings.
 The human heart is a fragile thing, it can only deal with so much.
I would also ask that you find some way to take responsibility for your actions and reverse these unintentional errors.
At the very least, enable the arrow to self destruct, if the companion arrow is not in the vicinity, this would allow me and others like me, not to feel that empty, dull pain of longing when we randomly see a photograph of our unrequited.
Many of us are too embarrassed to set up a support group for fear of ridicule and the fact, that as men, we should be able to bury our romantic feeling so deep, that it may contribute to the molten lava at the earth's core. Indeed, I suspect the lava may actually be the combined heartache of millions of men, fomenting and becoming powerful enough to trap you forever.
It is a plain and simple fact, that in recent years, you have lost your touch, perhaps you are due to retire. Another reason may be that you are no longer able to keep up with the changing romantic landscape and are doubting yourself, or bowing down to the political love correctness lobby. Perhaps, you have a quality control quota to maintain and need to balance it out with a few duds.
 This is all conjecture my dear ineffective cherub, and I write to you, not as a young sapling in the first throes of love, but as a young-ish man who thought he had got over those awkward feelings when his first fiancĂ©e slept with an entire welsh town. She may have been working her way through the whole country for Guinness, but, thats not for me to know. I have loved, felt your arrow more than once and more often than not, it has served me well.
 Love is a sport for two. We were meant to walk around in pairs, like our favorite, comfortable shoes that don't cause blisters, don't judge.
 I ask you Cupid, you outdated notion of a entity, has it been a while since you've been loved?
Are you lonely on your cloud?
Is the reason your aim is off, because you can't fire an arrow at yourself.? Are tender loving arms something you miss.?
I do.
 I didn't realize what I was missing until you showed me possibilities and then gave me more obstacles than Hercules.
Was there any reason to remind me? What possible motivation, other than spite, did you have for waking my black heart and painting it red?
 I am not going to pretend  that I know the reasons, or why such a wonderful thing as love can be twisted into such ache, but I will say this to you.

 You're not going to get the best of me, I know that if you love somebody enough, you let them walk away. No judgement, no public tears, just a smile and hope they will be happy as they work into the arms of another. I trust that it is enough to be a good man and that somebody will take note. How often do we smile as our heart is breaking.? How often do we listen as our tear ducts threaten?

I doubt whether i'll get an answer but I have written to your HR rep in the hopes you will be retrained or reassigned. Its doubtful, you may be one of those lucky people who have a job for life and in this depression, you should count yourself lucky.
 If I were to give you a verbal or written warning, it would simply say..

 "Be More Careful"

On behalf of the Unrequited and future lovers everywhere.

J.D.

Now if you'll excuse me, I have to report The Mighty Thor for raping and pillaging without due care.

Thursday, 12 August 2010

Because I am being badgered....

Well, Darquelings, with that last post up, I have been asked to (shudder) share some bad poetry. I keep the good stuff locked away, so only I know what I am really thinking. Anyway, the following are some of the more.... palatable ones. Distinct lack of blood, gore or dismemberment. Plenty of Twilight style angst though. Please ask if you want to use any of it. They have all been copyrighted. No charge, just ask and credit.


A prayer from me to you. A prayer from you to me.





Heres what I want you to do.

Grant me the Strength.

Make Me laugh, Make Me cry, Tell me my place in the world.

To accept the things I cannot change

Lift me out of my skin and place me in another.

Grant me the wisdom, to deall with all and any circumsatances.

Show me places I have never visited and carry me to the ends of time and space.

Grant me the peace and serenity to move forward through adversity.

Give my demons Names and help me confront them.

Demonstate the possibilities i’ve never thought off.

Hear my prayers and that of my kin.

Present me with heroes who will give me courage and hope..

I believe the world still needs heroes.

Ease my sorrows and increase my Joy.

Teach me compassion.

Entertain, Enchant and enlighten me.

Tell me a story.

Fly. (Lyrics by David Graham, originally performed by The Abyss)


This one’s from the heart
Because I can’t speak any other way.
it struck me like a dart today,

I can’t keep you forever
I won’t hold you down
I’ve seen your soul, it burns me.
It thrills me.
Letting you go, gonna kill me.
But I’ll be glad to see you where you belong.

Burning up a storm on the stage
Rage in the the cage For me
Break away from me

This one’s from the heart

Get away from me.
I won’t bring you down
Shake your cage
Burn the stage by stage
Break the cage, its all the rage.

Well I know you’re Supergirl.
But I’m just a man
And you’ve been a never-ending thrill.
Your Secret’s safe with me, so….

Get away from me.
I won’t bring you down
Shake your cage
Burn the stage by stage
Break the cage, its all the rage.

Look up in the sky. It’s not a bird, its not a plane..
That’s my girl
She’s so high I can’t touch her anymore
And I know I’ll never fly, so…..

Get away from me.
I won’t bring you down
Shake your cage
Burn the stage by stage
Break the cage, its all the rage

All the world’s her cage
And when I saw her rage
In the snow of the stage
I know, I’ll never bring her down, for she’s gone. So….

Get away from me.
I won’t bring you down
Shake your cage
Burn the stage by stage
Break the cage, its all the rage.

For the one that got away and was pushed further.



Sparkling Brown eyes.

When I look back on simpler times and realise that pride cost me a prize, I think off the girl with sparking brown eyes.
She had a laugh as gentle as a single snowflake on grass and a kindness to me that, alas, didn't last.
I had plans and dreams with no end in sight, and was she who encouraged my flight, but held her wings fast to her brood.
With my adventure done and four years hence, I try not to think about her with all my strength.
Our romance should be at rest, if not dead, but when I lie in my empty bed, it is thoughts of her that will not fade.
She would not care for these words, stripped bare as they are. She is far beyond rage for me and moved on to brighter and better things.

There is nothing worse than indifference from one you loved and hurt, but I bear the brunt and lessons learned. Love can be killed swiftly or slowly, but the linger is enough to make you contemplate pulling the trigger on the future you don't yet know.

I have loved a lot of people, but only one has stayed to remind that pride cost me a brown eyed prize and a future I denied.

I know she's happier without me, just as I know there's a green eyed Gem I'm happier without.

Raise your glasses please to being the one who got away and to the one who got away.
Drink, be free, be happy, understand that the memory is a lesson and you might yet pass the exam.

Here's to your bright, sparkling future, Brown eyed girl. I'm glad we choose each other for a little while.




For Those in Transition



The End.


Here I lay down to rest, the part of my past, I have no regret for.
Here I place the hearts of those who gave their bodies and soul to me, to which I am quietly grateful.
Upon this earth I commit my name of times past to a misty haze of change.
In this isle of green I have travelled and fed upon the living, seeking to ignite my self, to share my passion.
The flesh I have torn has been both bitter and sweet.
The flesh that has been torn from me has been given willingly and with love.
The Blood that poured from me a river so sweet, depleting and enhancing the acts I have committed.
Here I lay down those acts that have defined me for so long, here I try to bury the past and look forward.
The Sun at my back, the moon in my heart.
I hear the howls of the night so keenly, and how I wish to join them, to run with my kin.
Here I lay to rest my howls, here I lay to rest my kin.
One day I shall return to confront my fear, allow my lovers to feed again.
But I am spent and I long for the norm.
Yet I feel the need to pass on my bite, lay it upon a slender form, and ravish until the dawn.
Here I lay down my bite.
The scars have healed, the marks of love gone, and yet I still feel them. The gentle pangs of an out of control animal, the knowing of a tempest upon my body, a torrent which will never be stopped.
Here I lay down the Tempest.
Peel back the skin, piece by piece, leading to bliss.
Skin me, until I feel no more.
Here I lay down my skin.
The Face takes time to apply, the lips are red, and the eyes are black, the flesh is white and weak, the hair is hidden under a long black facsimile.
Here I lay down to rest my other face, the one that feeds, the one I no longer need.
Here I lay down to rest, strip naked the clothes of a predator, the hands of a lover, the body of a gleeful sinner.
As I lay myself down to rest, shuddering at the touch of marble to naked skin, I read the inscription I have carved.


Here lies
Sammanual
1997 -1999
The road was long and he was no angel.

And with that I left him behind.

On the Merry go round again.

Well, Darquelings, I'm going to give this blog malarkey a go again. Previously, I found that when I tried to post, some random Japanese website would appear. What interest I have to the Japanese, I have no idea. As of this post, I have never dated one of their number or attempted an invasion based on my astonishing wit and repartee, so I assume I was just lucky.
  I have made the decision to actually blog about my life, as opposed to anything else. In many ways, it helps me, just as much as it, hopefully entertains. The last 7 months have been difficult and well, not at all entertaining. I have forced myself to reevaluate, re-plan and try and pull my head out of my ever shrinking backside. If I am to  be frank dear reader,  I thought more than once about ways to end the pain that has crept into my mind and soul. It all sounds very dramatic and there will be some of you out there who will immediately dismiss me as "weak" or attention seeking.
Trust me, attention is the last thing I want.
 Last year, I was a 31 year old single man, recently graduated and full of hope and confidence. I was going to "make it", whatever "making it" is.
 I had many good friends and opportunities, and was quite astonishingly, financial stable. I had my own flat and played by my own rules. Newcastle was my haven, my godsend, my one night stand, my no-strings relationship with the finest city I have ever called home. The people, the passion, the warmth and the love. The crooked gypsy at Biggs market, the drunken students sitting at monument, the random fights. The Theatre Royal, the northern pride, the safety of the pink triangle, the majesty of St James Park are all scorched on my retina as reminders of the last place I truly felt content.
 Now, I will soon be a 32 year old man who was asked by his parents to come home, and did the right, responsible thing and accepted. I live with my folks, I am no longer financially stable, because I gave up a few offers to concentrate on a show, which never came to be, under some very sordid circumstances.  The best thing to come out of that wasted few months was the amazing friends I made, each one a gem and I am very proud to know them and hope to high heaven, they get all the success Karma brings them. Karma has a lot of good fortune to return to those talented and kind people.
 I am reaping the whirlwind of an extraordinary life by literally having nothing to show for it.
 My greatest achievement this year, was the news that my first graphic novel will be released by TimeBomb comics with art by the great Katja Lindblom. I don't have a publication date yet, but still, I can lay claim to being a published author in the worlds greatest medium. My first short strip was published in Bomb Scares, a chilling anthology, once again from TimeBomb comics. http://www.timebombcomics.com/bombscares.html
So, these are achievements, a comfort and I certainly want to write more and yes, like every other aspiring comic book writer, I would love to have a go on the Merry go-round of the big boys at Marvel and D.C. Mind you, I think Timebomb will soon be the big boy of the U.K Comic book scene.
 I am one of those people, who, sadly, and it is a destructive warped flaw, defines happiness by success and ongoing achievement. Which is irrational, and who defines achievement anyway.?
 I guess, thats up to the individual, in this case, me. I don't believe in resting on laurels, failure is just motivation to fight and try harder. I look great on paper, don't get me wrong, apparently, i'm impressive.
 Two B.A's with Hons.
An impressive Acting C.V
A varied and even accomplished work C.V
Published Author.
And by all accounts, a bit off a hunk.
 All, past success, apart from the hunk part, that seems to be recent.
 What I have just done is an example of "warped thinking". I minimized my achievements and disqualified them, because, in my mind, only present achievements count, and that way of thinking leads to mental pain and depression.
Why am i sharing that with you? Because I really don't want anyone going through what I am going through.
My name is Jonathan, and I am a warped thinker.
My happiness is defined by perceived success.
My romantic relationships are defined by the quality of the person I am with. I always punch above my weight and won't settle for second best.
I am unhappy, and until i can correct my flaws, I never will be. I could be the most amazing person, you have ever met, and i'll never know it because I can do better. You could be the most amazing person I'll ever meet, but I won't know it, because I can do better.

So, Dear reader, I have perhaps unwisely, posted all my crazy on display. The psychologists will have a field day, but thats part of the point. We live in a depression where jobs are vanishing and even Teachers struggle to find permanent employment. The arts are suffering, because whether we like to admit it or not, sometimes our business is a luxury. I am not the only one, having a bad year, or feeling mentally disturbed. I count myself lucky, I have worked in theatre and film and while I have given up touring, because of the situation at home, I don't really miss it. I am concentrating on Film and television and recently started to represent myself. Its been an eyeopener. I have far more opportunities and information coming to me directly and while I am not suitable for all of them, I know whats out there, and thats priceless.
 "Whats next?" I hear you mumble as you hope to finish reading. Well. after fighting tooth and claw to get in, I will be taking an Mlit at the University of Glasgow in Film Journalism. I do this because, I am the best actor I can be right now, (although I am thinking of taking an evening class) and I believe in my eternally arrogant way, that I can bring the prospective of somebody who has worked in front and behind the camera to the field. After all, if you're going to report on something, surely it makes sense to know the subject intimately.?
Also, I want to be working towards success again. You see, part of the flaw, I need to achieve, I need a challenge, I need to master and keep on mastering, my blasted insecurities have driven me on to become a dreaded student once again.
 I am terrified.
Its different this time. I am older, starting afresh on a new career path, while keeping the other two going at the same time. I am living at home, I am technically unemployed, I will be paying my own fees. I am not 21 any more and prefer Coffee to Alcohol.
Will I fit in?
Am I Still relevant?
What do I really have to offer?
Will this Actually lead to something.?
 Could this be the best or worst decision of my life.?
Will I get laid in my chelsea boots and would I really turn down any girls that hits on me, or will I be responsible, sober her up and kick myself for being the "nice guy".
Am i just treading water, because I refuse to admit, I may be over the hill.?

I guess I will find out.

I am not going to promise that my future blogs will be in a lighthearted tone, like my mood, they will vary. Experience, good or ill, changes you. This year has taught me hard lessons, and its not over yet. At the end of the day, we suffer. We also experience great joy and its part of being human. Its all relevant to your situation, and the definition of pain changes with your environment.  The people I really respect are soldiers, nurses, teachers and survivors, who would look at this blog and declare I have no problems in comparison, and they would be right.
 My father was a soldier for 22 years. He has C.O.P.D and stays up until 3 or 4 in the morning, coughing and wheezing and trying to kill himself faster with Cigarettes. I stay up with him, listening, on standby, in case he can't breathe. I do this by choice. I don't know if he has days, weeks, months or years.
 Its all relative.
I have an unrequited love interest, who also has an unrequited love interest. I try to find the whole situation funny,  sometimes i do, sometimes the laughter mixes with tears.
 Its all relative.

Well Folks, thats me, as off now. I mentioned before, that I have had thoughts of just bringing everything to an end.
Do you know why I don't?
Because its all relative, and I really want to know what happens next. That light at the end of the tunnel, that I can not see.? I can not see it, because I am going to light it myself.
New adventures, New challenges, longer tunnel and my own light.

Yours in Scares and Dares.

J.D