The Diff. A short tale.

Here’s another short piece I recently wrote for uni. The exercise was to create some realistic dialogue. Hope you like it.

“So, you’ve finally met a girl?” Josh grinned.
Matt lowered his eyes. “Yeah, I guess so.”
“About time. I thought after your divorce you’d never get out there again. Tell me all about her. Is she a good sort?”
Matt smiled. “Yeah, she’s very attractive. She likes all the things I like. We can talk for hours about books, movies, art, comics, you name it. It’s like she was made for me.”
Josh rolled his eyes. “Nerds. So, what’s wrong?”
“There’s a bit of an age difference.”
“How much?”
“About fifteen years.”
“You old cradle snatcher, you. How old is she, eighteen or something?”
“Twenty-five.”
“Twenty-five? How old are you, anyway?” Josh did a quick calculation on his fingers. “Like, forty or something? You don’t look that old.”
“I’m scared to ask her out,” said Matt.
“You’re scared of rejection? Geez, mate, get over it and ask her. Then you won’t have to do the old ‘unrequited love depression session’ every time we chat. You can just be regular depressed like the rest of us.”

Styx. A poem.

A heart full of love
Almost fit to burst
A longing
A lonely, ongoing search
Time is trial
A Herculean feat
A test to see

If you’re worthy of she
Staying awake

Staying alive
Whittled away slowly

While dying inside
Charon waits

His payment, the price
To cross the Styx

To where the dead reside
A heart full of love

Is the only cost
If you ride with the ferryman
All you fought for is lost

Time. A poem.

In time, you’ll forget
Future becomes past
Distance and memories

In time, you’ll move on
As nostalgia replaces
Longing and currency

In time, you’ll change
Regrets and vicissitudes
Lost with familiarity

In time, truth will fade
As falsities interweave
Becoming the new history

Blog. A poem.

Random linear thoughts
Forming implacably
Escaping the gravity
Of mental singularity
Touching down
On virtual vellum streets
Personal subjectivity
Metaphor and simile
Forged into reality
Launched summarily
And read
By you
Right
Here

Session. A short tale.

“Back again,” says Ms Therapy, reclining in her chair.

“Yes,” I reply, eyeing her curiously. “Every month, as you know.”

Ms Therapy sighs, grabs a pen and notepad from the desk behind her. “Yes, I know.” She sighs again and my anxiety level rises.

“So, what would you like to talk about this time?” Ms Therapy taps the pen impatiently on the pad. She glances at the wall clock. By this point I’m feeling a little put out.

“Do you have something you’d rather be doing?” I say. “I can always come back later.” The last words via a thin smile.

Ms Therapy grins; it’s a little forced. “No, no, you know that I’m here to listen, help you with your problems…” She trails off. Her eyes are distant, and I could swear she’s starting to tear up a little.

“Are you alright?” I say, leaning forward in concern.

“Yes,” Ms Therapy says, putting a hand to her trembling mouth. “No. I’m sorry,” she says. She starts to cry, suppresses it, fanning her face rapidly with one hand, like she’s swatting away imaginary butterflies. Or maybe killer bees.

“How about I come back another time, maybe when you’ve had time to…adjust.” I start to rise, she holds up her palms signalling stay. I glance at the door – if I’m going to get out of here this is my last chance.

“I’ve broken up with my girlfriend,” Ms Therapy says. This is a surprise, as I wasn’t aware she was gay. Not that I know much about her, but I guess my gaydar is as non-existent as the rest of my people-reading skills. Before I can respond, she continues in a torrent of tears and sputtering speech.

“We’ve been together five years. She’s my everything. We are so good together. And last night, all of a sudden, she says ‘it’s not working’ and that she needs to find herself. I mean, what’s not working? She’s never indicated anything was wrong before. Then she leaves and she hasn’t come back and I’ve been worried sick and she’s such a bitch but I love her…”

I’m glad she doesn’t notice how uncomfortable I’ve become; the occasional squirm and nervous tic. “Umm…do you need a hug?” is all I can think to say. Ms Therapy graciously accepts, and for the next half hour I listen to her travails and placate her with “it’ll be alright” and “she’s a stupid woman, she’ll be back when she realises what she’s lost”.

Eventually, the tears subside and Ms Therapy composes herself. “Thank you,” she says. “I just needed to talk to someone about it. I feel so much better now.” It’s a shame I don’t, but I guess I didn’t really need a session, anyway.

“Glad I could help,” I say. My halo glows with new found, smug self-confidence.

“This one’s on the house,” she says, shrugging. “Least I can do.”

“Gee, thanks,” I say as I exit.

I can hear Alpha Girl now: “Hah! You can’t even get a therapy session right!”

Doh.

The Bed I Made. A poem.

Just another day and I drag myself from my bed
(I made it so I have to lie in it)
Open the blinds and let the light in
Far too bright for my dark little world
Maybe I should be a vampire 
Sleep in the day and only come out at night
Where I can hide my issues and parade of tears
Where I can hide my loneliness and anxious fears
Where I can have a better excuse for being alone
And hide away my sadness, no different from here and now
I close the blinds and face my womb
Exercise equipment, desk, books and guitar
If it was any smaller I wouldn’t be able swing the cat that I don’t own (wish I had a dog, though)
I’d like to have made better decisions in my life
But we’re all guilty of that, aren’t we?
In the meantime, I’ll write my blog, do assignments and shoot the breeze
I guess I’ll need a bigger gun, or at least a bigger gin (damn, I don’t even drink)
Oh, well, life goes on, or maybe it’s just a dream
And tomorrow I’ll wake up in the bed I made that I have to lie in



I love stream of consciousness poetry. It flows so honestly, and adopts a natural rhythm all its own.

Shame my life sucks so bad, but I know there are others worse off than me, so poetic venting is a good catharsis. Provides me with plenty to write about, anyway. 🙂

Outlook. A poem.

No one else to blame but me
For this sad and sorry state
Nothing left to say at all
Don’t be angry or irate
Disregard the news you hear
And turn the other cheek
There’s no one else to blame
Outlook: overcast and bleak

D&D. A haiku tetralogy.

Dice

Polyhedral dice
In your hand, controlling fate
Hack! Slash! “Die, monster!”

Delve

Deep dungeon delving
Party of five outsiders
Death or glory here

Dauntless

“My hit points are low”
Rest or spells to recover
“Ready? Time to smash!”

Dire

“Awful acting, yeah?”
Comedic celebration
Shared gaming love


These haiku are about my love of tabletop role playing games (RPGs), particularly Dungeons and Dragons (D&D). I loooooove RPGs.

Don’t know what D&D and RPGs are? Read about them here and here.

Books. A poem.

Pages on my shelf
Motes of dust floating
Crazily translucent
In dawn’s early light
Each story on my shelf
Each moment in time
Reflected in its space
The words on my shelf
Thoughts, history, dreams
Treasures immemorial
Make a poor man wealthy

Consumed. A poem.

Darkness dwells, swells
Rises up and takes the stage
In angry soliloquy
Spewing forth rage
And with every fiery assault
Slice another piece of heart
Throw it down onto the plate
And cover it with dripping
A feast for kings and queens of pain
To tear and chew until only crumbs remain

Son. A poem.

Sometimes he’s far away, head in the clouds again
In a world that’s hard to define, harder to confirm
Even with all his quirks, arguments, trials, laughter and pain
Together we are unflappable, incorrigible, unbreakable, invincible
He is my son, my amazing and unbelievable one
My sunrise, my sunset, my reason for being
My love is without measure and without end
And every moment shared is like being born again

Everything is awesome. Not.

I often get depressed at the worst times. Like today, when I have to do work for uni and my motivation is at an all-time low. The solution? Write aimlessly about depression for my blog. Yes, I’m sure that will solve everything (I may claim to be a writer, but I never claimed to be an intelligent or coherent writer. Or a man with a plan).

Sometimes I play guitar to get me back to a reasonable mental state. But, as we all know (and as I should know, by now), music played by sad people often tends to be…sad. It’s not often that melancholy musos rip into a version of ‘Everything is Awesome’ from the Lego movie (actually, it’s never – no real musos would ever play that song).

Sometimes I lie around waiting for my depression to subside. This is one of the worst solutions, as I tend to fixate on everything bad in my life (which is almost everything I do) and then try to rationalise it with all the people worse off in the world than me (which is a lot more), which makes me sadder as I’m obviously a complete waste of time who has just wasted my own time. Almost a living double negative. And don’t get me started on the bit where I start fantasising about the perfect life (or, more appropriately, perfect lie).

Often, I try to read, but people with depression are attracted to literature in much the same way they are attracted to gloomy music. This makes unhappy endings even more unhappy (“But Rhett, we should be together. I love you!” “Frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn. I think I’ll return home and gamble and drink myself into a deep and inescapable hole. And maybe guest star as a Force ghost in the next Star Wars movie.” Note to Disney: do not have an ‘Anakin’ Force ghost cameo. I’m warning you now. You don’t want to see a depressed fan when he’s angry. Nothing to lose, y’know. I warned you I’m not always coherent).

I’m a fairly creative person—I compose stories, poems and music, draw, write this stupid blog—and one would assume that I would be able to find some way (other than high doses of legal and potentially illegal medication) to get me out of the dumps. What I’ve found is that depression is ideal for creativity. I’ve written some of my best work when I feel like crap. Of course, it tends to be a bit depressing, but there you go. Horses for courses, and all that jazz.

I know there are lots of people in the world who suffer from anxiety and depression—a quick search on WordPress reveals hundreds of blogs by sad and lonely bloggers with more than enough to say on the topic. So, my own vaguely pathetic attempts are almost laughable (or miserable, depending on how they turn out).

So, I’m looking for some sure fire quick fixes (yes, I know there aren’t any, but tell me anyway. I’m a true believer in panaceas and placebos, except when they’re administered rectally). Meditation? Tried it. Martial Arts? Do it already. Working out? Yep, a great fix that lasts the period of the workout and about an hour afterwards…Alcohol? I’m sure there’s a potential down side to it, but it’s looking good, so far…

Surprisingly, this pithy bit of writing has cheered me up slightly (on a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being dead and 10 being obnoxiously and overwhelmingly extroverted, I guess I’m a 4). Not because it’s good, but rather just a way to vent. Maybe I should try some more. Perhaps those uni responses…

Old Dogs. A poem.

Our old hangouts have changed
Nothing here has stood still
But we’re both still keeping time
To an age-old beat of bitterness and pain
Same old tricks for the same old dogs
So the malls may change and the atmosphere
But together or apart we are never present tense
Just more tension and pretension
Always at our expense

Whovian Girl. A poem.

It’s hard not to remember her face
Often smiling, sometimes scowling
A book clutched to her breast
And a smartphone in her hand
Nerd excitement at the latest Dr Who
Which we’d discuss at length
Dissertations on everything from daleks to Dr next
And though she had her secrets, as did I
We were always as candid as could be
On any conversation, any topic
No condescension or formality
Always earnest to the nth degree
And when we laughed it was meaningful and hearty
I miss her, as I always have
As I always will and always won’t
Never far from mind but always far from sight
I miss my Whovian as I miss the light
Now that my world has passed
Into this long and endless night

Boxes. A poem.

Life reduced to boxes
Cartons of memory
Refuse of lifetimes
Stacked and sorted
Taped and sealed
Like canopic jars
Awaiting the afterlife
Awaiting release
When stored thoughts
And precious mementoes
Will leap forth
With renewed vigour
From cardboard cages
To stride the open veldt once more
To live and breathe as before
Before time locked them away
In sealed boxes of fate
Unsure of eternity

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