A flinchin’ and a wincin’ and one-eyed scraggly auldwans…

A flinchin’ and a wincin’ and one-eyed scraggly auldwans…

I was with my physiotherapist yesterday morning, being interfered with for a frozen shoulder and there was a point where his tortuous hands went too far and I winced. Now I do try not to wince, because as every woman who has ever met me, and every man who is jealous of me knows, I am some fine specimen of manliness.  Wincing is not manly.  I’ve seen the movies,oh yes I have and real men don’t wince.

There are fellas taking bullets to the shoulder, telling other fellas to dig out the bullet with a knife the size of hatchet with no more than a swig of whiskey for pain relief. Them fellas barely break a sweat. I’ve seen it with my own two eyes, lads with broken legs in the snow, fighting off wolves and not complaining one bit when the wolves rip open a tendon or two. So anyway, there I was wincing like a three year old as he tells me, “Just ten more seconds.”

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Now I don’t want to impugn his reputation or anything, but either he can’t count or he’s a fuppin’ liar.  He goes; “One, two, are you going to watch the footy at the weekend mate, three,” long pause, “you guys are looking good for Saturday. I’m hoping to get tickets for the November series, but they’re bloody expensive, especially when you have three kids as well, five…”

Did I forget to mention he’s a Kiwi and that Ireland are expecting to kick their backsides in Rugby when they come to Dublin in November, a fact he wouldn’t later acknowledge in his typical “you Irish won’t beat the All Blacks a second time” delusional Kiwi sort of way. Of course he knows that I like Rugby and as Ireland are currently ranked number 2 in the world after New Zealand we generally have a bit of banter when I pay him to torture me, but seriously FIVE! He was using his insider knowledge of me to try and distract from the ten second gap between each of ‘his’ seconds.  By the time he’d counted to ten about three hours had passed; at least it felt that way. Pain is such a distorter of time I find.

It’s like he thinks he is dealing with a small child and I won’t notice his distraction technique, while he digs his whelk-sized knuckles into the most tender part of my shoulder. “Roll over on your side” he says “this might be a little sore.” I have found that at such times I do a lot of teeth grinding and buttock clenching. “Brace yourself Euphegenia!”

Which reminds me, I was at the dentist the previous day. (It’s not been a good week.) Oh sweet mother of the Devine.  If there is a curse word I haven’t used under my breath in the dentist’s chair, then I don’t know it. I had the misfortune of chipping a front tooth so I needed a cosmetic fix and quick. Quick was the issue.  I didn’t want to spend the week looking like Cletus the slack jawed yokel, so I rang my dentist and  asked for an emergency appointment that morning.

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Apparently cosmetic work doesn’t really fall under ‘emergency’ treatment and for some reason they keep their ‘emergency’ bookings only for people in extreme pain. What sort of system is that – I was in pain – emotional pain – My fabulousness was  lessened and I could barely look in the mirror! (Barely) Luckily I have a gift for plámásing and never was it used more deftly.

I told the very efficient receptionist that this was indeed an emergency, for what I didn’t originally mention was that I was to be a key note speaker at a conference on Friday. There would be a camera three feet from my face, which would plaster my image up on a monster screen for all the world to gasp at when they saw my Cletusesque appearance. I might as well stick a straw in my mouth and chew tobacco I told her. Oh the pain! That was at 09.05 and I was lying back in the Dental chair at 10.00.

Now they say if you are a liar (not that I am one,  I merely embellished the potential for what could, under other circumstances have been a true story, if the facts were different on another day) you need a good memory. As I lay there, the dentist peering into my mouth and holding what looked like some implement formally used by the Spanish Inquisition, she asked me how come I was going to be on the Telly.

It took a few moments for the penny to drop.  I had mentioned cameras to the receptionist and somewhere in translation, I was now going to be on the TV. I hadn’t expected my distortion of the truth to come back to haunt me. Oh dear, that implement had me worried. I won’t tell you what I told her but it must have been convincing because she was gentle with me. I must have spun her a good yarn.  Most of what happened is a blank if the truth be told for I have a terrible fear of the dentist. I’m sure I left nail marks on the arms of that chair. I think it is fear more of my generation that the current one.

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When I was a boy I was treated for free at the local dental clinic by some fella who vaguely resembled Josef Mengele.  I know memory can play tricks on you and it was a long time ago, but somewhere in the back of my mind he wore jack boots under his white coat. Ah yes the glory days of dentistry.

He actually gave me a clip on the ear for flinching when he injected me with a needle the size of an elephant gun. He had to have a go five times as it wasn’t taking, and it turns out he had been injecting the upper jaw instead of the lower jaw, so off he went a needlin’ again.  The next day my face was black and blue and the teacher asked what had happened to me.

Not sure how I got here, I just felt the need to ramble a little today to distract me from the pain.  I’m usually good with pain but I don’t know, this frozen shoulder is a real fecker.  My Antipodean physio certainly left his mark on me yesterday morning.  In fairness, he is making progress but by Jaybus it hurts the next day.  On my first visit he asked me if I had plans for the weekend, and I was almost flattered until he explained that I should expect to be very sore, so I shouldn’t expect to be up for much.

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There was a time when women threw themselves at my feet.  I used to have to carry a big stick to beat them back and avoid wearing aftershave – sure that only encouraged them. I was afraid to put on my good shirt on a Saturday and I’d have to sit in a corner of the pub away from the light. Sure wasn’t I that fabulous!  Nowadays, I’m hoping that innocent remarks from agricultural-looking, male, kiwi physiotherapists are compliments. I don’t care if you are a ninety-seven year old, not too good looking man in a skirt, or a one-eyed, scraggly looking auldwan with bad breath.  If you make a pass at me, or if I can perceive it to be a pass even if it’s not, to boost my faltering ego, hey I’ll take it. I’m just lucky I have found my darling Jo.  She sees through the cracks as it were. I still don’t know what she sees in me.

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Compliments get harder to find as you get older.  I’ll take them where I can get them these days.  My old man used to add five years to his age so when people said “How old are you now” he’d add a few years, and they would have inevitably said  something like “Jesus you look great for your age.”  His reply – “Thanks.”  That man knew how to fish for a compliment. Guess I didn’t lick it off a stone. Now you might understand, why I went to such great lengths to get an emergency dental appointment.  It’s bad enough that I’m losing my shine, but I can sure as hell do without looking like a toothless Jed Clampett. I gotta go now, but y’all come back now hear…

Haven’t read a Max Power book yet?  I think it’s time to pick one up.
Max Power’s books include, Darkly Wood, Darkly Wood II The woman who never wore shoes, Larry Flynn, Bad Blood and Little Big Boy
You can find more details about Max Power’s books here : –
http://www.amazon.com/author/maxpower
https://maxpowerbooks.wordpress.com
fhttp://facebook.com/maxpowerbooks
twitter @maxpowerbooks1

Universal book links
http://getbook.at/Darkly-Wood
http://getbook.at/Darkly-Wood-II
http://getbook.at/Little-Big-Boy
http://getbook.at/Larry-Flynn
http://getbook.at/Bad-Blood

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I could have been most anything…

I could have been most anything…

I want to be a spiritual Guru, or maybe a Dog Psychotherapist. I reckon I’d be good at that. Not in Ireland of course, they’d feck me out the door as soon as look at me. But there are places I’ve heard of in ancient myths. Places like California where coffee has more adjectives than I’ve had hot dinners and where people have more money than sense. Sorry my Californian friends, not you personally of course … but you know your woman down the road? Yes you do. We’ve all seen her on the telly.

It’s the bulls**t you see. I’d be good at that.  All I’d need is a nice pad with a leafy garden, an office that looks homely but with a big oak desk and a fake diploma on the wall from the school of doggy development in Massachusetts. I’d have a comfy waiting room with Oprah on the telly.  Lots of cushions and tea in an expensive tea-set served by a charming British man named Clive.

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“Come in” I’d say like a spider to the fly and my clients, (mostly slightly older women with too much money and very small dogs is the plan – or perhaps  slightly insecure gay men with too much Botox in their face and odd looking hair transplants that clearly cost them thousands) would follow me as I lay the flirtation on thick and I might even adjust my natural Irish accent to add a more Maureen O’ Hara lilt, but with a deeper voice obviously.

“Sure ‘tis yourself, and aren’t you lookin’ like a young Jean Harlow today. What have you done with your hair, it’s to die for?” There’d be small talk a plenty, Clive would discretely throw a sneaky smile in her direction and while she might blush despite her age, I’d pretend not to notice his indiscretion.

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Eventually we’d get to Poochy or whatever the little creature is called and I’d listen attentively as the client would tell me all about it.  Ah yes, a shoulder to cry on, a sympathetic ear, 800 dollars an hour at least.  Eventually Id’ leave her to Clive, who would flirt less openly, but he’d know what he was doing and I’d take Poochy to the inner sanctum. Once there, I’d open my top drawer and produce the finest selection of chicken pieces a doggy could dream about.  Within minutes, I’d be Poochy’s best friend.

We’d spend a half hour together, Poochy attentively sitting by my side being fed sporadic delicacies while I read the newspapers. Perhaps I might teach the little prince or princess a few tricks to perform on cue for the owner, to demonstrate the bond we had formed once back in our luxurious waiting room.

“Ah sure isn’t she a little treasure?” I’d begin. “Such an intelligent creature” I would tell the proud surrogate parent. “Clearly she lives in a house filled with love.”

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Eventually I’d move through stage one of the flannel and put on my serious face and like a fake medium searching for a name in the ether (Someone  whose name begins with J is trying to come through…), I would begin to fish for truths to feed back to the patsy…I mean client. “I sense there has been a change at home” or maybe “ Is there someone or something new in her life.” Eventually I would have to offer an early diagnosis (though not definitive – never definitive for we need the client to return).  Something like – “She is suffering from post-projective non-sequential traumatic, canine stress disorder.”

“Oh my word.” they might say. “Is it serious?”  The disorder may change but the answer is always the same. “It can be my darlin’ (Too-ra- loo- ra-loo-ra) but sure haven’t we caught it in time and together we can work to help her through this.” I’d take her hand to comfort her through the news then step away to my desk to arrange the next appointment. “

Eating out of my hand they’d be, to be sure to be sure to be sure. But wait! I hear you. A fraud you say? Taking advantage of the lonely, needy, less fortunate, rich Californian widows you say? Well let me tell you in plain and simple English, all I’d be doing is synergistically facilitating best of breed quality vectors!  There is no Bulls*it with me.

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Perhaps I’ve missed my calling. The problem is that all the things that would make me super rich, involve taking advantage of others. If I’d have gone into the priesthood, I’d have wangled my way to at least bishop and I guarantee you it wouldn’t be in some third world despot run, tropical hell  hole where I’d have to allow my conscience to dictate that I’d have to actually help people! Oh no.  I’d be in some big posh cathedral, having my ring kissed if you pardon the French, being driven around in a limo, meeting other dignitaries and handing out graces.

But you see that’d be no better than my dog whispering. Some people say I should have been an actor but I’d  only be a good actor not a great one, not the best,  and I am such a competitive fecker that if I wasn’t picking up Oscars every five minutes  then I would be a disappointment to myself.

When I was a kid I wanted to be an astronaut, a pilot, a lawyer or a scuba diver. I wasn’t quite sure how the job of a scuba diver actually worked but I knew it involved killing sharks with a spear gun and finding buried treasure in sunken wrecks so…Cool!

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I flirted with the notion of Law in my teenage years but circumstance prevailed and that never came about, perhaps that’s a good thing, I’m pompous enough as it is. How I ended up where I am today is beyond me. There’s a line in an old Don Mc Clean song (yes Don Mc Clean) that goes,

“I could have been most anything I put my mind to be, but a cowboy’s life’s the only one for me.”

That was really what I wanted to be. Of course being a cowboy when I was seven, was less about any actually work with cattle and more to do with shootin’ injuns on piebald ponies and having gun fights in saloons but to be fair, I might have considered lassoing the odd steer if that counts.

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I guess to some extent I’ve always felt like a fraud. I still feel like I should be riding horses way out west in the 1800’s or deep sea diving off the coast of Tobago looking for Doubloons. Instead I have managed to convince a whole variety of people throughout my life that I know what I’m doing. Maybe I am a just a damn fine actor after all?  At least with my writing I get to tell the truth – even if I do make up…

Haven’t read a Max Power book yet?  I think it’s time to pick one up.
Max Power’s books include, Darkly Wood, Darkly Wood II The woman who never wore shoes, Larry Flynn, Bad Blood and Little Big Boy
You can find more details about Max Power’s books here : –
http://www.amazon.com/author/maxpower
https://maxpowerbooks.wordpress.com
fhttp://facebook.com/maxpowerbooks
twitter @maxpowerbooks1

Universal book links
http://getbook.at/Darkly-Wood
http://getbook.at/Darkly-Wood-II
http://getbook.at/Little-Big-Boy
http://getbook.at/Larry-Flynn
http://getbook.at/Bad-Blood

Scrambling up from the tombstones of Kindness…

Scrambling up from the tombstones of Kindness…

There was a fella in my class when I was about nine years old, who I recall had a talent for breaking wind. He could quite literally crack one off on command. I have never seen anything like it then or since. Let’s call him ‘Mick’ to preserve his dignity. Mick must have had a special storage sack that none of the rest of us has and his supply of gas was quite impressive. He could even; I kid you not, control the sound they made to some extent at least.  What has become of him I often wonder? Most likely a politician I should think.

Looking back at the chidderlings that scuttled about me as a nipper, I recall some gifted young boys and like Mick, I wonder what became of them. That’s not to say I’ve never seen any of them since, but for the most part, we have scattered far and wide , and some… well let’s just say it was an eclectic mix.

There was one lad with an endless stream of snot that he constantly wiped on his crusty sleeve. I remember being saddened and shocked when at the age of twelve, Brother Donard, a vile and loathsome Christian Brother (He wasn’t alone in that one) asked me to sit beside, to help with his writing.  I say saddened and shocked, because we were only a summer break away from going to secondary school, and I discovered that what Brother Donard meant by ‘helping’ my classmate with his writing, was far more dramatic than I could ever have imagined. He produced a copy book that I hadn’t seen since I was five. It had blue and red lines, to help guide the beginner form the correct letter shape and keep them in line. The poor boy could barely complete the alphabet. He was twelve years old.

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He had been already cast aside by what was then an overcrowded education system. We had played together in the yard and while I wouldn’t have considered him the brightest spark, I never knew the extent of his educational deficit. I wanted to object, to complain, to demand that this boy be given proper help, but I couldn’t say anything of course.  I was just another little boy in a world of oppressive authority, keeping my head down for fear of getting it slapped by a teacher, and I realised that this boy had done the same, only better.  While I had raised my head above the parapet to answer questions and compete to be the best in the class, this lad had quietly flown beneath the radar, content not to draw attention to himself, quietly slipping away to oblivion. The crass, disgusting truth was, that teacher after teacher had been complicit in leaving him to sink deeper and deeper into the anonymity of a malfunctioning system. He was abandoned and I was completely powerless to help, other than to show him how to finish off his alphabet. I stared injustice in the face and dipped my toe into futility.

I grew up in this weird world of social injustice. It was still the nineteen-sixties when my skinny little arse first landed on a desk in school.  I loved it and I hated it. I loved the learning and soaked it up like a happy little sponge.  I hated the violence of the schoolyard and the menace of the Christian Brothers. They towered above me like billowing black monsters and the only thing more frightening than the flick of their wood-tipped leather straps, was to see a smile grow at the corner of their lip. As a boy with a great imagination, I imagined that cruelty was ingrained in them when they were forged in great caverns beneath the earth. They grew from trees and would pluck me from the fields as I ran, devouring all the goodness of my soul if I didn’t avoid their dark intentions.

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I flittered about them like a bright, weightless butterfly, never standing still long enough to be caught.  But some of the boys flew straight and true into their traps, and no God could forgive the horrors inflicted on them by those men without mercy. They were men born of decay, hating their own existence, scrambling up from the tombstones of the kindness that must surely have once lived in them as children.

We injected fun into the fear filled days for that is what we do.  I have always enjoyed stories of prisoners of war and I think it is perhaps because that is how we felt.  We were trapped, if only for the school day but trapped nonetheless, imprisoned if you will by our tormentors. We made the most of it and even managed to be educated in the process.  There were good men scattered amongst the ruins of the demons that sought to use their position of power to dark ends, but not enough.

Violence was the norm in that world. Boys fought with boys in the yard in gangs, groups or just singularly and for little reason. Lay teachers beat us with sticks for minor offences or just for getting our six times tables wrong. But the Brothers, they were far far worse and to say they brutalised little boys in their care, is an understatement.

Those who got the worst of it were little boys just like me. Seven years old, eight year old boys twelve year old boys, boys who didn’t have the luck or the guile that I had, to avoid the worst of the suffering. It seems impossible to imagine for many today, just how free they were to abuse the precious little flitterlings in their care.  They broke many a wing I am sure, smashed innocence and crushed spirits and though some were eventually brought to task, most were not.

But we still managed to have fun.  We had boys like Mick to fart on command and break the spell of oppression if only for a moment. He was a hero in many ways, risking the wrath of the Brotherhood to bring a smile to our faces.  The jokers were ever present and the risks were great, but the human spirit, whatever that is, was present in even us little ones, failing to be completely crushed under the terrible weight of that repression.

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I think we knew more than we let on.  I know I always saw the brothers as failed priests who couldn’t quite make the grade.  I don’t know what path they actually followed to get there, but there was a sense of resentment, like when they had to defer to the priest but didn’t like it.  They made a huge fuss whenever a priest came to call and always seemed extra angry when they left.

Near the end of primary school there was a brief period of engagement.  It was like they were trying to be a little bit nicer, forcing smiles across their cruel mouths as if to say, “Look at me I’m happy.” But then of course the penny dropped and stranger priests appeared.  These weren’t men from our parish, oh no.  They were brighter, more smiley, and more kindly of disposition.  They didn’t have cigarette ash on their cassocks or dandruff on their shoulders.  They had full heads of hair and skin that had seen daylight.  They were there to enlist us.  they had smiles that moved beyond their lips. They were recruiting for the priesthood.

Oh yes the penny dropped alright. Come and join the priesthood they said. It’ll be great they said. God has a calling they told us. I only heard the sound of brother Donard’s shoes squeak as he rocked on his irritable little heels in the background, with a smile that only identified itself through a row of white teeth, but was absent from his eyes. There was considerable pressure and some actually gave in and went on to visit the seminary but that was inevitable I suppose. That was their plan. Put enough pressure on and someone would eventually crack.  Some boys had to put their hands up, it was just a matter of holding out longer than those who couldn’t take the pressure and I had no problem on that score.

But then they left us and with them the temporary respite from the cruelty, as the brothers reverted to type, recruits secures, their job done for another year. That same year I left primary school and headed into the daunting world of secondary school. New boys, new teachers, still Christian Brothers but not in teaching positions and a fresh teacher for every single subject. It was terrifying.

But then I walked through those new gates for the first time and discovered a world without terror. The yoke of oppression had been removed and I flourished. What a world we lived in. It seemed the smallest, the most vulnerable were left to the care of the worst of the monsters that we had created in our society. It made no sense and makes none to me still now looking back from the distance of time. But still we had fun in the midst of it. We made friends, we chased each other like lunatics, we ran on concrete yards, fell, bled and got up  to run again without a hint of a lawsuit, so maybe it wasn’t all bad eh?…

Haven’t read a Max Power book yet?  I think it’s time to pick one up.
Max Power’s books include, Darkly Wood, Darkly Wood II The woman who never wore shoes, Larry Flynn, Bad Blood and Little Big Boy
You can find more details about Max Power’s books here : –
http://www.amazon.com/author/maxpower
https://maxpowerbooks.wordpress.com
fhttp://facebook.com/maxpowerbooks
twitter @maxpowerbooks1

Universal book links
http://getbook.at/Darkly-Wood
http://getbook.at/Darkly-Wood-II
http://getbook.at/Little-Big-Boy
http://getbook.at/Larry-Flynn
http://getbook.at/Bad-Blood

Afflicted by condition on the road to my perdition…

Afflicted by condition on the road to my perdition…

We will never be the same again. I wonder if that will be how anyone feels when I’m gone.  Have I touched people that way? Who will miss me and will my life have mattered or made a difference to the world, if only in some small way?  Do I care?  I have always been an introspective invalid, filling the spaces in time between the babble of my thoughts with anything to make the noise go away. Sometimes that presents itself as darkness and if I don’t leave the door to the light in my soul ajar, it could easily swallow me whole. I often wonder would there be a way back for me.

Such introspection, reflection and genuflection to the God of posterity can affect some people, but not I.  For a man like me, occasionally disturbed by the insanity of vanity, one would assume that I might be thus afflicted. I am pleased to report my posterity can be a concern for others, for I am of the now.

Making one’s mark on the world is such a fatuous distraction. I make mine every day in some small way, though whether or not anyone ever notices or cares is another thing.  Perhaps if I do something grand they will build a statue for others to bask in the reflected glory of my memory.  Maybe if I merely do enough to warrant a plaque on a wall that will suffice. Wouldn’t that be nice?  Not really.

I will I know remain in the hearts of those that love me and perhaps in stories to go with photographs, for those who may never have the opportunity to meet me in the flesh.  If I’m lucky I will force lips to slide up at the side, as someone who knew me recounts one of my adventures. But once the tears will have passed, once my carcass is burned, frayed, buried or forgotten, I wonder will there be anyone thinking still, ”I will never be the same again.”

Oh such hubris!  Well it might be if I took myself seriously.  I dwell on the impossible and tinker with disastrous permutations of the mind, afflictions of the human condition on my road to perdition.  I told you already my mind doth move to fast to last the journey.  It is most likely a question of which gives out first, my mind or my body and oh I do hope it’s my body, for I should miss the distraction of my abstraction. For all the trouble this little brain causes me, I wonder what my journey might be without it firing on all cylinders.

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We lose little things. I lose them all the time. A name, a word, a memory.  Some people lose much more and an avalanche of doubt becomes their world, until it is lost forever and I am not sure how that would sit with me. I think it is the thing I fear the most and perhaps it is at the heart of the mystery of my frequent visitor Mr. Squiggles. 

I always have to explain him away for newcomers to my blog. He is of course my dark companion who returned with me when I temporarily stepped off this mortal coil. His portentous if infrequent visits, are always at the same time of night.  He comes with menace and with meaning my shadowy friend, and I had hoped in giving him such a silly name that he might leave well enough alone. Sadly I was mistaken. But maybe I have been mistaken in more ways than one.

It has seemed clear to me since his first appearance, that he was the harbinger of misfortune in some way. I have known him to be in search of something, to lie in wait patiently, knowing that what he had come for, was close to lowering its guard. Without any concrete evidence, I believed not that he had come for my soul, but rather he was perhaps checking on its condition. The first time he visited me was in hospital and I had watched him check window after window, before settling on mine.  He seemed to sense my demise, though fortunately on that occasion he was mistaken. But like I say, perhaps I was  also mistaken.  He could have come for something far more valuable than my soul.

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Now when he visits, he sits there on my window sill, deep, dark-on-dark, a shadow in the shadows, bent knee as though swaying softly on a garden swing, and I have begun to wonder – does my Mr. Squiggles have a whole other agenda.  What if he wants more than the ticking last beat of my unsound heart? What if his pleasure is taken in a more perverse way? Is he bleeding me slowly, taking away the part of me that I value most?

I was born with troubled vision in one eye and even from an early age, I knew writing was important to me.  I developed a teenage anxiety that I might someday lose my vision in the good eye and be stripped of my ability to write effectively.  That was an unnecessary worry, but I do wonder what might become of me, should I lose significant cognitive competence as I move further into the second half of my own very personal century.

Physical health was always something I took for granted until death came knocking on my door. It shook me and left me a little less confident if I’m honest.  I am not a fearful man, never have been. But it can be hard to stay brave.  I write about bravery in all  of my books. It is an important theme.  Bravery presents itself in many forms and seldom looks like the picture we imagine in our heads.

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Overcoming fear is the key. Fear can define us. That is not something I ever want to happen to me. So when I discover a niggle, a wriggle of a nuisance of a thought that threatens my sanity, I cannot allow the seed of it, the need of it, to take root in my mind and grow.

Age it seems is more than a number. I am still young – relatively – or at least to those older than me, and as such I have in theory at least a long life ahead of me. But the horror of introspection, that collection of nonsense in my head sends me off on tangents I would rather avoid. I have learned the hard way that we are vulnerable and bad things can happen to good people.  Life happens regardless of how we chose to ignore it.  My life is good, filled with much happiness, love and people I care for but I am a melancholic by nature and that is  my personal cross to bear, and perhaps the trade off has been to my advantage more often than not.

I look in the mirror each day as I shave and wonder where the boy has gone. He was a handsome boy that lad, full of spirit, carefree, a wildling, flittering on the winds of life. I sometimes stop and stare at the face I see staring back at me.  Don’t get me wrong, it is a fabulous face (at least that’s what my mother told me Lord rest her soul) so I’ve kept that illusion, but the eyes seem sadder sometimes. I can see the pain I hide in the crinkles on my forehead, and the sorrow I have buried in the bags beneath my eyes.

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Usually I give him a smile. I know he’s still in there and that he needs reassurance, so smiles help.  I know how to force them to the surface and despite the forced nature of my efforts at self assurance, it is better than giving in to the shadow that stalks me. But sometimes, I worry if I will look in that mirror one day and wonder who that person is looking back at me.  I wonder if the people who love me will ask the same question.  Will I see only a shell and cry alone in the dark of night as the world overwhelms me?  Such darkness that befalls me! But wait! There is a light that shines to keep the shallow thief of darkness at bay, for I have a secret.

I am more than just a scraggly mess, I am more than a good night and God bless. I am something no one else will ever be. I am strong and kind and loving.  I am loved, rooted and unwaveringly sure of all that I have been is not all that I am, and that there will always be more to add you see. I am that introspective illusionist with a million thoughts a second running through my head, and while I know that from that madness I will never fully escape, I am still that wildling boy, running fresh and wild and free. I am more that the lesser parts that are my make up. I am always just enough to be what I must be… I am always and forevermore…and if nothing else…me…

Haven’t read a Max Power book yet?  I think it’s time to pick one up.
Max Power’s books include, Darkly Wood, Darkly Wood II The woman who never wore shoes, Larry Flynn, Bad Blood and Little Big Boy
You can find more details about Max Power’s books here : –
http://www.amazon.com/author/maxpower
https://maxpowerbooks.wordpress.com
fhttp://facebook.com/maxpowerbooks
twitter @maxpowerbooks1

Universal book links
http://getbook.at/Darkly-Wood
http://getbook.at/Darkly-Wood-II
http://getbook.at/Little-Big-Boy
http://getbook.at/Larry-Flynn
http://getbook.at/Bad-Blood