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Archive for February, 2017

….is the door code for all the wards in the hospital. Easy to remember-my age and my aspiration. Just don’t let me be fifty and still here and trying to remember what age i was when i started this damned job, the door code a constant reminder of how long i’ve been doing this damn job.

So here we go. Another a day of wiping poo off of disfigured fannies. Shit and sores and bed washes galore.

There’s this one patient i have to wash. She’s eighty seven but she looks good. Pale and a little jaundiced, after all she is very ill or she wouldn’t be here. But shes doesn’t look so bad for eighty-seven. I ask if shes okay with me washing her and she says yes. “Not often i get a young man washing me” she says. Rueful smile.

I get all the stuff together, blankets sheets pillow cases counterpane papier mache bowl hot water soap towel patient wipes dissolvable pink plastic laundry bag. As she’s taking off her top, she says sort of sourly: “i bet you’ve seen hundreds of female bodies.”

I’m a bit thrown but i smile and i start soaping her tits. They’re not so bad, droopy but fleshy. I say “i don’t have to wash you  anywhere you’re not comfortable…you can do as much as you like, yourself.” I’m trying to be respectful but to my sadness she says “not your cup of tea?” and looks a shade more desolate. Bless her.  I want to say, honestly, your not so bad, grandma.”

She says “its not a young body.” Again her voice is suffused with ache, immeasurably lonely, immeasurably lonely.

i want to say, really, you seem a nice lady. I feel such a chewing pity for her that i almost think i should to offer to touch her, show her her body is really not so repulsive. In a an insane moment i find myself wondering if she will get aroused, proposition me. Now I  WANT to see what she looks like from the waist down.Her legs, her arse, her cunt.  Haggard but soft. That have seen so much, birthed babies and taken cocks like any other woman. What would i do, if she said “lick me?” So close to death, but still yearning.. I’d have no moral complaint. Id do it for her.

Of course, id lose my job if we were discovered.You cant lock these doors. What if someone walked in?. How would i explain when they  found me  with my face between her legs?  Maybe if i just brought her off with my hand? Clamp the other over her mouth to muffle her cries…

It would be a strange joy. Perhaps to be the author of the last orgasm of an ancient lady! I’d do it. Yes, id do it. Just say the word, grandma. Say the word, and i’ll suck that haggard cunt for all I’m worth. Even if it tastes bitter, it would e such a sweet experience. And get hard and get off myself while I’m doing it. Just for you, sweet ancient lady who’s lived through so much. Child of the war and the world. Who knows? Maybe I’ll even get carried away and fuck you. Shove it up between those spaniels ear buttocks, plunge it into that saggy anus. Hld oyou gently, do you deep. Make you drool. Why not? Aren’t you a woman, like others? Say the word, granny I’m yours.

” i don’t think i want to wash any more of me.” she says quietly.

“you sure?”

“yes.”

okay then.”

I hand her the towel i, she dries her body, slips sadly under the nightgown. I pause at the door. “can i do anything else for you?” “no, thank- you.” “okay….” I leave her, staring blandly at the TV, some daytime soap wittering away…

……………………….

Outside the hospital. Getting on my bike. The ward sister said sky news are about, filming smokers outside the hospital, so look out. No sign of the guttersnipes now though.

There’s a white guy with his family, watching three guys in head scarves get into their cars. Those white turban ones with the extra length of cloth hanging down the back. “Look at that ” says the white guy. “They look like three members of the Taliban! Why would you dress like that?”

I’m not having this bullshit. “That is the most offensive thing you could come out with!” I shout. Incredulous. Why do people need the basics explaining to them, over and over?

“Yeah?” he says, a little surprised.

“Yeah! its just three blokes i  their traditional head gear is what it is.Visiting a hospital And you’re calling them terrorists. Do I say you look like a Nazi, cos you’re dressed in black pants and a shirt t and a buzzcut? You cant SAY stuff like that!”

“i can” he counters, logically enough.

“Well you shouldn’t!”.

He’s bullish. “i didn’t say it to their faces.”

“No, behind their backs like a coward! And in a public place, and i have to come out of work and listen to your racist shit!”

“You shouldn’t swear in front of kids” says his wife. Children are playing around her feet. “Yeah!” says her man. The moral high ground is his- i swore!”

I’ll not be derailed. “YOU shouldn’t shoot your mouth off saying stuff like that about people!” storms i. “In front of a HOSPITAL!”

“shouldn’t be listening to our conversation” says she “You’re saying it LOUD outside a HOSPITAL!” I cry, parrying the blow. And now, the coupe de grace: DISGUSTING!”

And off i zoom on my bicycle of righteousness, that razorblade saddle slicing my arse in half with every pedal.

Fuck it. I’m not standing by while this creeping fascism gets normalised. Prick needs to know he’s out of line. Who knows, maybe he’ll think again. Maybe he’ll  respect another crop-haired, gobby bloke calling him out on his shit.

L’esprit de l’escalier: what i should have said was, those guys probably take better care of their sick relative than you or I could dream of dare.  Face the rigours of tending the dying up to the last like you wouldn’t have the guts for, and maybe neither would i. Because I’ve seen it many times. Where the white english families shed tears and suffer and then need to rush off to the pub to drown the horror of a dying mother,( im sorry, i have work in the morning, i’ll be too tired…I’ll try and visit, me or another family member…)

 

These guys will work a twelve hour day and still turn up to sit by grandmas bedside all night. The  whole extended family gathered round for days. Do personal care when the staff let them down. Mop up shit and wipe away tears and mutter prayers and dress the body at the end. Because that weird, turban wearing culture you find so baffling and laughable, has instilled them with a sense of duty that us spoiled, selfish Anglo-saxons have never known.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not into Islam or any other religious mindwash. Its all fucking fairy stories as far as I’m concerned, and church decreed identical hats are my idea of hell. But I’m not having the paki-bashing.  Because i know this guy. We’ve just met, but i know him. This is the same nobhead would have teased me for my long hair when i was a kid. Called me for being a hippy or a a faggot. Takes the piss out of Indian waiters or effeminate kids at school. Starts fights in pubs with people he knows dont stand a chance. In short, a bully. A nobhead. And that’s what I’m taking a stand against here. Nobheadism.

Because bullies are getting way too fashionable, way too ‘out’. And between silent bitter acceptance of the rebranded xenophobia of post brexit britain and trumpamerikkka, and blazing at strangers like an avenging psycho Victor Meldrew:  I’ll take the later.

***************

Mum is snoring in my bed and i’m breaking my back on the sofa, writing this from a duvet cocoon. Time to log out and shut down. 3.48 in the morning and we’re up with rose at six. school run, then back to that hellhole for the evening shift. Tending the crumbling fannies of the clapped out super-sluts and chaste married ladies of a bygone age. Like watering a garden of failing flowers. Or something.

I wake up at four thirty and go to snuggle up next to Daisy. Ellison the toy elephant coming between us and the glo-stars on the ceiling fading as their phosphorous runs down.  To be finally lulled to sleep by the strange symphony of the rain, nanna’s snoring, and the tweeting of one of those funnily little  birds that stays up and sings at night.

 

 

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Dad’s been in touch. He says he’s not long for this world, probably, and he wants to make  peace, and the twin towers were blown up from below, the planes were merely holograms.

He say’s I’ll probably always regret it, if we aren’t reconciled. After all he’ still mad at himself for hating grandad, who after all did bust his ass to send his son to the posh school so he wouldn’t have to be a sheet metal worker like him. Dad say’s those public school perverts just beat with birch rods and worse, he didn’t get a single qualification, and by the way the Nazi death camps are a lie of the Zionist conspiracy, just like all those stage managed atrocities we keep seeing on the TV, where no-one really dies.

He says he wants to meet his granddaughter, at last, five years is long enough. And by the way, Hiroshima was never bombed and nuclear weapons are a myth.

Its as though no-one told him the internet is not necessarily full of truth. I think this kind of uber credulity should be in the DSM, that mighty tome of every known psychiatric disorder, which in the bad old days included homosexuality and now is hemming and hawing about whether to put in internet or porn addiction. I’m so repulsed by the illogical wiring of my poppas brain that i can barely bring myself to reply, let alone introduce him to my daughter.He means well but then again don’t everyone, according to their own version of the universe. We all think we’re doing right, right? Even if that means, say,  keeping your kid of school and plying with week from the age of ten, say. After all the real world is an illusion, and its all part of the conspiracy to stop us feeding our kids dope until they’re too scared to leave the house, and it takes them five years ten years and counting, just to claw their way back to some semblance of normalcy.

The road to hell is paved with good intentions.

I’m on the ward, convinced I’ve drawn the short straw in my little bay full of wild men. Roy is confused by a mysterious infection, a very reasonable man brought low by this mystery illness. He’s obsessed with class, and keeps shouting: “what do you think of people from working class estates, then?” and “this place seems very middle class..for a prison.” in a powerful Middlesborough accent. A security guard has been called, as he’s prone to leaping out of bad and trying to fight with the nurses. His wife is charming and assures me hes normally a completely sane man, an artist and a poet and a teacher.

The others are incurable: a once great lawyer who looks like Peter Cushing (as most people do in here) now reduced to a gibbering fool by dementia. Two more demented men, one whose super-neat bed making marks him out as ex-military, and the other a retired Jamaican postman whose heavy patois accent cant disguise the fact he is talking absolute gibberish. One keep shouting, another wandering off, and its all we can do to keep them from falling or clambering into each others beds or pissing themselves…

But when i step out of the bay and go looking for a nurse, i realise we’ve got it easy. I walk into a bay where a crazy man immediately seizes my hand, crushing my fingers and screaming “CAN YOU GET ME OUT OF HERE?!”;  an old black guy with hair just like don king is flailing around like a fish; and a third man, who i know of old, immediately begins screaming: “Albert! Unhook me from this machine! YOU USELESS CUNT!”

My name isn’t Albert.

Its a vision of hell. I duck out of there to where an ancient Russian man in a strange hat is rifling through the linen cupboard. Neen appears to tell me that he is in fact a famous gangster and she quite likes him. (Neen loves anyone eastern European- they all remind her of her grandad. Violent and mad and polish, being the best combination of all.) She steals me away to wheel an enormous fat man on a bariatric bed into a side room. And all the time there’s people with disintegrating brains wandering the corridors, asking if you’ve seen their Mum, or gibbering with fear, or screaming NURSE!!! as loud as they can, sometimes for no reason at all. Leonard, the lawyer, is hurling objects from his bedside tray across the room. “why are doing this, Leonard?”

Leonard looks at me, placid as a cucumber. “Does there have to be a reason?” he says blithely.

**********************

Dad’s constructed a version of reality which makes sense to him. The great events of history and the news are just too absurd, the world is one big hoax. This strange fantasy perversely comforts him- after all, a conspiracy that brings back the jews from the ovens and Nagasaki from the fire storm; where mad shootists all use blanks and their victims wear fake blood-bags; that’s gotta be a pretty benign conspiracy, right? Else what do they have planned, that is WORSE than all of that?

Me, i see the world differently. It makes perfect sense to me. Chaos is the flood, battering at our door, and oblivion is always nigh. The world exists only the minds of the people who perceive it, and those minds live in fleshy brains. Prey to forces of destruction which can begin nibbling at any time, chewing away one version or reality. When one mind dies, a version of the universe dies with it. And here we are, at the place of endings, the last gasp saloon, where old brains come to die, firing out sparks and smouldering to a stop, their work done but their bodies refusing to die. Not just yet, anyway.

Of course there were death camps, of course there are atom bombs, and of course madmen roam the world with their guns and their hatred. You only need to come here, for your proof.

Sanity is cobweb-fine construction, blowing away like a dandelion clock at the faintest mouthings of the breeze. Madness is what’s left. And it’s infinite.

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OK so i changed the name of this blog. I should emphasise to all 2.5 of my regular readers that this title comes with a hefty dose of irony. Its all fun and games until you find yourself swabbing butts for MRSA infection with an extra long Q tip, while the husband looks on approvingly…the groans and moans from the other people around you,mingling with the buzz of the machines….Nicholas Roeg is editing your life, ‘man who fell to earth’ style, and hes cross cutting between the sexy times and the other kind; hes messing with the soundtrack so that sex sounds like work and work sounds like sex. And pretty soon you’re forgetting where one starts and the other ends, and its all just flesh, of one kind or another, smelly rotting squelching flesh,  tearing itself up and kneading itself in endless cycles of birth and fuck and die and rot, like a fucking Francis Bacon picture or something. Yeah, that’s it. You’re in Frances Bacon land now, boyo, and there’s no going back.

It wasn’t always like this.

Flashback ten months or so. Following the twister party (which i still havent told you about) i meet up again with Scarlet and Treacle, the two crazy woman from that very night. Two nice nympho girls and their new friend, we’ll call him Onyx, because he’s a black man, and he probably calls himself something similar, these are sex people after all, so its okay to objectify. That’s all we’re here for- treating each other like objects. What could be more inclusive than that?

We’ve arranged to meet at the hotel on thingy street, where the two slutbags have a room, then go from there to the gloriously seedy environs of ‘Amours’, a nightclub which from the outside resembles Hitler’s bunker, but inside is all moody lighting and tacky-classy decor, pole-dancing tarts and dirty dog men. And, on a good night, wonderful, grunting perverts piling up one top of another in a series of intimate, wipe-down rooms. We’re out for a night of sleeze and excitement, having finally found our dream fuck buddies in one another. This is what its all about, right? This makes all of the horror worthwhile. R&R. Debauchery. Fuck the pain away.

There must be something in the air though. First off the hotel is so fucking shitty it kills my mood from the get go. When Treacle swans down to meet me in the bar, i find myself idly thinking that the woman i’m planning to have brilliantly mindless sex with seems less like a dreamboat than she did when i last saw her, and more like a shark in a wig.  There’s something in her eyes i don’t like…cant put my finger on it…

On the other hand this is the woman who gives the best head i’ve ever had, and is so similar to me in terms of her sleezy, faithless promiscuity that although i know its only lust, its a lust that feels close enough to love for my current purposes, and certainly has none of the usual attendant horrors.

Up in the room, I say hi to Scarlet, and  i meet their new friend. He’s an african man, more educated than them (i don’t think working class Africans tend to escape their own countries very regularly) and friendly enough. Immaculately groomed of course. And no doubt he has an enormous penis which we will all find jolly entertaining a few short hours from now.

Scarlet looks, as usual, like some kind of fairy tale giants favourite whore, all bright red basque and overflowing boobs, laughing at everything in her usual wicked way. God i  love these kind of women, and where have been all my life? So many years wasted with all those clever talented monogamous bore bags….

Conversation turns to strangeways prison, which we can see from the window, the great redbrick cock of its original panopticon towering over the modern escape-proof walls. “Jeez” i say. “Not much of a view for them, is it? Youd think they’d give them windows at least.”

“They shouldn’t have them” says Onyx. “if you are commit are crime, you are in prison to be punish. You shouldn’t have any rights, at all.”

The girls concur. Already my hardons shrinking. “Okay” i say. “what about this. In the united stated, slavery is abolished except for convicted criminals. Some people say, its a continuation of slavery, by other means. After all, the prison population is disproportionately black. There’s very limited options for a lot of people over there- there are reasons, people get involved in crime”.

I know, super sexy conversation, right?! So we agree to disagree, and head out into the night, marching across the no-mans land of rundown car parks and disused industrial land that backs onto the club. Where the three of them are almost immediately rude to a homeless girl who tries to get a cigarette from them, laughing gayly at what an idiot this woman is for bothering them and how little of a toss they give for her predicament, very much in the style of thick school bullies. Now i’m wondering if these women deserve my dick, never mind mister draconian here. I’m so flabbergasted by what cunts they’re being i can barely frame an argument, but i do my best, pointing out that this poor girl may not be homeless from choice and that compassion is a good thing. But my sexy friends stare dumbly while i tirade on, say that they work why shouldn’t she, and i’m so full of useless rage that i bite my tongue and hold my anger and find myself telling myself, in a weird little inner monologue, that these women may not be my soul mates after all, alas, but surely i can still bring myself to shag them both?

But alas the killer blow comes as we cross the vacant lot the club entrance. “Passionate about your politics, aren’t you?” says Treacle. “yes” I say. “me, i don’t know anything.2 she continues, pleasantly. “I mean, this Europe thing, whats it about? I don’t even know. When they had the election, i just went on a website what asked me questions and told me who id probably agree with. So  i voted for them. Cant even remember their names. It were just some letters.”

My heart sinks. “U.K Independence party” i say. “no” she says. “that weren’t it. Say some others. “U.K.I.P?” “No….” “UKIP?” “Yes! them! that were the one! I voted for them.I cant really remember what they stood for actually.”

“i can. I can tell you exactly. I can tell you, what you believe: “Immigration needs to be controlled.”

“Yes! And it should!” she says, excitedly.

So like a good liberal i’m outraged. Actually im sick of this word liberal. I’m outraged like a good revolutionary. My world view is pieced together from the sixities radicals i read about in my parents hippy comics, and my own time growing up in the eighties nineties. Heroes Black panthers, zap comix. No borders, stop the war. Isn’t that why we’re all DEhere? To do something different to the squares and the straights and stiffs? My world is whirling: I always thought, a swinger was the opposite to a xenophobe. But we live, it seems,  in the era, of strange new hybrids. Sexually radical, politically… border-line fascist?

“Oh fuck this. i cant do this. you might as well have voted for the nazi party. You’re about to go and FUCK an immigrant! If your so thick you let a robot tell you how to vote…im sorry, no. I just cant do this anymore.”

And away i go, chuntering righteously into the night. None of them try to stop me, and in  a few minutes i;m on the phone to neena, saying ok, well done sherlock, you were right, she’s A dickhead, i shoulda stayed with your bitter frigid non shagging non loving left wing ass….”

Post brexit, post trump, post truth, post bullshit…i look back and i see i’ve lived through a zeitgeist defining moment par excellence. Right there in my own sex life, the dilemma of 0ur times, played 0ut. Me, Mister radical, so sure of the self evidence of the things i believe, that when the true face of the disconnected people i hang out with is revealed, its like a slap in the face with a giant right wing fish.  Bisexual, sexually liberated (Or at least adventurous); and profoundly politically conservative. Uneducated people who could care less about being right on, or being called a racist, or any other label i wanna throw at them. Traditional small town idiots, with about as much idea about my ideas of working class socialist values, as i have of the values of the planet mars.

Just jolly, shallow, dirty people. Who couldn’t care less about racism, are happy to mingle with black men because they have big cocks, and are more concerned about what they can shove up their cunts than whether the world is being taken over by a terrible new kind of creeping fascism, gaining pace and taking ground.

At this point, it looks like the future may belong to them.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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“How the hell did it get here so soon?” (Tom Waits, ‘i don’t wanna grow up’).

(To my regular readers: apologies to you both. No sexy talk again. More hospital shit today. Regular service will be resumed next week…just enjoy the build up, huh?)

Today I’m specialing Joanne. She’s thirty but could pass for forty or fifty. Wheelchair bound by some kind of ulcers, otherwise able bodied. But she’s on a DOLS (‘deprivation of liberty’. Dunno what the s stands for.) Basically they slap a dols on you as fast as possible if they decided you dont have capacity and you’re a threat to yourself or others and they want to have the power to stop you leaving the hospital. You just need a negative capacity assessment is all.

Ultimately she will need to be sectioned. She’s awaiting transfer to a mental health unit. Quite how she has come to be on a ward which specializes in old ladies feeling the strain of winter i don’t know. In case you hadn’t heard, the NHS in crisis. My Mum got up today on her sixty-seventh birthday to a phone call telling her her hip operation is going to be bumped by six weeks, minimum. This was only the first consultation so god know when she will get a date for theatre now. So in her case its the difference between stumbling about for a few weeks awaiting surgery; and now, probably ending up bedbound for months, in pain, unable to work…so all im saying is, yeah. It tough all over.

I am but a humble ‘special’ but its clear to me that when this ward is short staffed, everyone sends the nurses they value least. The one who hands over to me is woman with a full beard. No correlation between beard and not being very good at your job. But in this case….both qualities are present.

So its just me and Joanne. Joanne is another manifestation of a person i have met many times, in  many bodies. She could be the reincarnation of Tracy, she of the arms sliced up like garlic breads, the fake suicide woman of upper chorlton road, who tumbled down the strata of the system, failed and failing at every stage, from bad parents to useless care home to evil foster parents to terrible mental health care, and finally killed herself after years of trying. The girl who cried wolf turned out have a real wolf inside of her. They always do. Aesop didn’t know the half of it.

So. Joanne, like many severer alcoholics who find themselves in a ‘dry’ clinical setting, has a classic method of staying drunk: she drinks the alcoholic anti-septic hand gels, which are liberally dotted around the hospital: a dispenser on the end of every bed, by every sink, and ranged along the walls and corridors. They’ve all been removed from her bay, but shes already been caught with one under her mattress, mixing herself little cocktails with blackcurrant cordial. But shes not fussy: turn away for even an instant and she’s pressing the button on the nearest dispenser, oozing a little oyster of gel into her hand, then necking it, quick as an aspirin or a  salt lick for a tequila.

We get acquainted. she asks repeatedly why we are keeping her a prisoner when all she wants is her freedom to kill herself. Shes slurring her words like a motherfucker, and keeps needing the toilet. Now and then she threatens to punch her head through the window, and now and then we go outside for a smoke. “gotta laugh or i’ll cry” she keeps saying. She never laughs though. A nephew of hers is there, transparently a scrote. Says all the right things about the need for her to get well and back on her feet, but with the polished patter of a compulsive liar. A user of some kind himself, an addict. There’s no doubt. When he fucks off its just me, her, and Doreen in the bed opposite, who has dementia and talks the most surreal nonsense from the minute i arrive to the minute i leave. Bless her.

The punchline of the story is that baffled by Joannes apparently increasing drunkenness, I act on a hunch and go into the bathroom, where i go through the bin and find a secret bottle of gel. My pleasure at my street smarts is undermined by the fact i didnt think to do this until eight thirty, and hour before the end of my shift. She’s drunk a half pint of the stuff in the meantime. To catch a junkie, think like a junkie…when you get round to it.

So the glorious achievement of my eight hour shift is to leave my patient even drunker than i found her.But i have prevented any possible suicide attempts, so im not entirely useful. No head through the glass, and no zipping off out the ward in her wheelchair.

I take her for one last fag. The sky is starry and i can see Betelgeuse,  flashing purple and red. Somewhere out there, there is either another planet with life- in which case, there must be millions of them…or none at all.

The jury is still out. This may well be the only place in the universe, with any life. The only place with love and poetry. The only place with animals and plants. The only place with spoons and paperclips and arse fucking and anteaters. The only place with dysfunctional creatures, staggering around with sparks spitting out of their over complicated brains, drinking alco-gel to drown out the roar of the memories of the man who beat you and the father who fucked you and the pounding, screaming voice saying over and over:

kill yourself kill yourself kill yourself kill yourself kill yourself kill yourself……

My shifts over. I jump on my clanky little bicycle and away into the night i whizz, through the shifting city beneath the cold sky full of inscrutable stars.

Who knows, maybe we’re not alone. Maybe somewhere out there, there are planets crammed with intelligent beings, strange and different and just like us. The residents of Betelgeuse, as busy as us- waging their wars, fucking their kids. Drinking alco-gel and planning the apocalypse.

Saying corny-arsed hackneyed things like ‘gotta laugh, or i’ll cry’.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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