Showing posts with label books. Show all posts
Showing posts with label books. Show all posts

Friday, 9 November 2012

Astonishing Experiences

Hard Labour for 3 months
It wasn't me - but the choice was an inevitable one. I resigned myself to the fact that I deserved my fate and if this was it, then so be it.
It made me a tougher and more resilient individual and by God I needed to be. The first few weeks were an utter nightmare - in all truth, I started to question why I was there and why I decided to do this. I expect many do question their motives for joining this insane institution.
I really wanted to go back to the peaceful life and my books but I knew deep down that I would stagnate back home, and nothing much would happen. People and friends had moved on so why go back home?
I accepted where I was and decided to remain there. I did for more than 3 years.
But to my surprise, once I got through the initial months of training and was posted to my regiment 8 months later, life became good and full of surprises.
The first 3 months were atrocious - whatever hard labour must have been like in Victorian times, I was in it. 3 months hard labour. My offence? Ignorance. After that, I left the prison and got, amazingly, weekends off for the first time in what felt like years.
I found myself on nights out in Soho, Bracknell, Camberley, places I thought I'd never visit. I then ended up driving across the Yorkshire Moors for 2 months. At the time I hated it and loathed myself but in hindsight the first 8 months were an utter peak and trough of astonishing experiences. Had I known then what I know now 20 years later I would have savoured every moment...

Monday, 15 October 2012

Friends Come and Go

Falling in love can be like droplets of rain falling to the earth, especially when you are young. At least it was for me; I never knew what I wanted exactly but loved the feeling of immersion in another person's life, enveloping your own inside theirs so the two became interchangeable.

It's 1994 still and I'm surrounded by uncertainty across the globe. A lot happened in Europe in this period and I often felt I was outside of it when I should have been inside it. As usual finding consolation in wine and books.

Falling in love made the boredam of life and being on the outside go away, it gave reading books a sort of meaningless equation - books were not the means to an end. Literature simply delayed the inevitable destruction of oneself.

We were all growing distant, each of us trying to struggle in our way through the vagaries of experience, and some were better than it than others. Finding a lover, someone to share more depth and intimacy with sort of produced an intense feeling of calmness.

The only problem was when that calmness came crashing down to be replaced with its oposite on the spectrum - deep anger and loss - life felt pointless. That's the wonderful feeling of being young, one can pick oneself up so easily.

When relationships end you understand just how much you love a person, and whether or not it's worth fighting for. On this ocassion it was not, despite my feeling of loss and isolation.

It spurned me ever onwards to find that escape route away from the boredam and stagnation.