Solpadol: My Brand New, Free eBook!

Solpadol: My Brand New, Free eBook!

Solpadol is a semi-fictional, semi-confessional eBook based around the twin sins of drug abuse and unrequited love. This is the latest novella I’ve managed to drink my way through. It’s the most recent entry into the Broken Polemic series, which has so far included Adjective Narcissism and God Metaphor. If you’re unfamiliar with my Broken Polemics, you can click on the links to learn more about them.

Taking place over a single day, and revolving around a simple conversation between the unnamed protagonist and the woman he used to love, this piece of writing explores dependency on love, nostalgia and a range of other pleasant-sounding emotions in a similar vein to drug dependency and addiction.

Before, I’ve focused on art and religion, but I have to say that love – or the dry thirst for impossible love – has had such a major effect on my life that if I had felt confident enough I would have liked to tackle a year or so ago. I’ve done my best to avoid a lot of the deliberately garbled, complex sentences that put so many people off of my previous attempts, but I think it’s fairly obvious that I’ve been reading (and writing) a lot of poetry around the same time.

What Is Solpadol?Solpadol covering image for free J.W. Carey eBook

Solpadol, itself, is an industrial-strength painkiller that is regularly subscribed to deal with agonising back pain and a load of other really debilitating issues. For the last year or more, I’ve been using it to numb myself to the horrors of work on a daily basis, as well as a few aches and pains of my own. A couple of these things will send me to sleep, but I’d recommend avoiding them if you plan on drinking. Believe me, it really fucks you up. Not in a good way.

Still, being half out of it all day does make it go a lot quicker.

I’m off it now, but it really impacted me whilst I was taking it (and all it will take is one bad day before I’m knocking them back again). It kind of let me run my daily life on autopilot, and spend a lot of the day thinking instead.

Why Did I Write Solpadol?

Simply, I wrote Solpadol because I wanted to draw a comparison between the effect of unrequited love and drug abuse. Love is the strongest and headiest drug I’ve ever known, but I know that if I was me, now, I wouldn’t fall in love as hard as I have done in the past.

Above all else, I wrote Solpadol because I have known love in smokeless bars, and felt the disappointment when it fails, even if it never really gained any momentum. I have fallen in love with women I’ve spoken to for a few hours and those whom I’ve only seen perform once, in an alleyway in Edinburgh.

I wrote Solpadol because I once heard a Tom Waits lyric that said ‘falling in love is such a breeze, but standing up is so hard for me’, and I think that line fucked me up a lot more than I’d ever care to admit.

Get This Free eBook From Smashwords Today!

This eBook is completely free, so download your free copy today. To download the eBook from Smashwords today, all you need to do is follow the link, or click on the Solpadol image to your left, or at the bottom of the page on mobile devices.

 

In Which, I Died

In Which, I Died

The moment has never been enough to sustain me, to hold my attention for even the amount of time that the moment needs to become the past; this crippling disability has forced me to grow into a permanent state of dissatisfaction, only occasionally broken by the slightest sensation. I can recall, perhaps, three occasions over the past year when I have been truly happy.

One, whilst I was growing increasingly sober in a nightclub in Liverpool, saw sitting against the wall, with my feet angled out and up, and my heels digging uncomfortably into the metallic edge of the box the place used as a table. I couldn’t hear anything besides sound – I couldn’t see anything but light, but light which came in flickering diodes and blinding still-shots which twisted through the filtration of my eyelids – I could feel nothing but sensation, from the harsh surface against my buttocks and my back, to the aforementioned heels, to the vague coiling of something in my stomach which warned me, in no uncertain terms, that I had ingested the same old poison into myself; I wasn’t quite immune.

But I was thinking how fine it would have been if I had died then; if I had lived in that moment from a literal perspective, and if I was dead the rest of the time. What if my life, a mean, scrabbling, laboriously dull affair, would have been greatly improved if I learned, at the end, what it meant to be alive?

I flickered my eyes open, to draw in one last sight; I took a deep breath, to feel my lungs burst with oxygen; I curled my fingernail into the palms of my hands, that I might experience the pleasure of agony in one final moment; I pulled my lips apart, to feel the smokeless atmosphere upon my tongue and between my broken teeth; I tried to listen to the song, and heard the words displace my last thoughts.

There were three women dancing some feet ahead of me, on a ledge which led to a few steps which, in their turn, trailed down onto the main dancefloor. There were stop-motion, the lights illuminated their solitary positions for a long moment, before darkness descended and they were free to move. I saw arms raised in unheard pleas, strands of hair whipping the atmosphere in reproof, feet propelling slim, young bodies from the cruel floor and gravity and constraint. I sensed arousal skirting on the edges of myself, and I rejected it. For a moment, I longed for it to consume me.

I felt my nostrils complain as they stole every scrap of air they could, felt each follicle of hair tremble beneath the sudden onslaught, felt the air punish the back of my throat as it passed and my lungs expand within my chest; it was an eternal death rattle, a scentless inhalation.

I thought I felt dead protein burst through my skin’s veneer, felt it pierce through the flesh and into the muscle beyond. I felt the warmth of blood pulsating around them, a warmth which spread through my fingers and arms as though some dam had suddenly burst beneath my pressure; I felt knives in the dark and rejoiced in the fact that I was so feared that my own body could such a thing to me.

I tasted the air, tasted the sweat and the manufactured smoke and the sickly sweetness of foreign vomit like I never had before. I found beauty in that taste, in those ugly components, boasting their hideous countenances. I could taste the three women, knowing nothing but themselves and their audience; I could taste the barmaid, pouring out shots and nodding along with the music; I could taste the DJ himself, like a pontiff on a pedestal, bringing his people closer to their gods.

The words were alien, beyond my perception, and I was bacteria in the undergrowth of existence, studying two monkeys as they rubbed sticks together and drawing closer to the warmth. I followed the song down strange, illicit pathway, I felt it permeate my being and force my heart to beat along with it. I felt my lips move along with words I didn’t know, words I had never known and would never know, and would reject as a folly if I did, if I had, if I could.

 Had the world been kind, I would have died – I would not have bastardised my moments with trying to capture it; to live it, that I might repeat it, in my dissatisfied memory. Like a picture, like anything which has ever been recorded, the moment was a falsehood beneath the weight of the moment – the Art was meaningless beneath the paintbrush of Art – the picture was broken, out of focus, through the lens – I was dead, as I longed for death and struggled to stay alive.

But he, my friend, sat beside me with a heavy exhalation; made some crude comment about the girl on the right-hand side of the trio, and shoved a plastic glass of whiskey and coke into my hand. I felt him knock our glasses together, as though a toast over recently acquired farming tracts in Africa, and his speech vanished into the sound and the liquid as my thoughts wove themselves a noose from his company.

I was happy then.


Just a quick reminder, every eBook you see on the left of the page is completely free. The Caitiff is my first full-length eBook, in terms of a novel; Mychandra is a novella and my Broken Polemics are the more experimental forms of writing I began in university.

Reading Kerouac

Just a random bit of prose I conjured up on the bus. Conjured looks weird, doesn’t it? Conjured, conjured, conjured; con-jured. Never mind. Enjoy


He isn’t a particular interesting figure. His hair is unkempt and overgrown and bedraggled, like vines, like that of a homeless man recently caught by the rain. His jaw is obscured by a slim beard, shaved at the cheeks and the throat, but still the hairs that cluster there loop over each other and create a wild aesthetic. He doesn’t have much in the way of a chin, and the tips of his beard are in-line with his upper lip, so pronounced is his overbite.

He laughs with the bookseller, says something about his sister and they talk briefly about Kerouac – they don’t know each other, that much is obvious, but instead share the laugh of men who might have been friends. He pays on his card, calls the bookseller ‘mate’ in a voice unsuited for it and stuffs the four books into his bag before leaving the store. I had seen him pick the books up; I knew what three of them were. The Tropic Of Cancer, by Henry Miller. The Fountainhead, by Ayn Rand. On The Road, by Jack Kerouac. An eclectic collection and, despite myself, I find myself dropping the book I had in my hand and following him out into the main hall of the shopping centre.

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I tell you, I’ve walked through Wigan on some miserable goddamn days, but this morning was a pretty bad one.

He is already clipping away across the faux-marble. He walks with a strange gait, one that looks almost lopsided. Whilst his right foot does not make a sound, whilst he moves like a ghost and his impact on the earth could have been a whisper, his left lands heavily with every step. It isn’t a limp, but the suggestion of a limp.

His entire body is rigid, firmly held in its position as he moves – his is not a choreographed rigidity, but an innate thing, like he has arthritis in his entire body, like it has permeated his personality and left him stiff – inhuman. He has to wait for a moment at the glass doors to let a fat couple through; they don’t even look at him, but I have to slow down so I don’t walk so close to him. I don’t know why, but it seems wrong to let him see me – there is something about this, a voyeurism, perhaps, to know that I am viewing him and that he cannot see me or, if he did, his eyes would flicker onto someone, something, else.

The wind is hot, like that of a hand dryer in a public bathroom, and the smell of the main street is much the same. It is raining, weakly, and the man buttons his blazer and pulls the hood over his head. He is a tall figure, and easy to follow as he moves through the meagre crowds. I can hear his left foot, every second step it hits the floor like all his weight comes crashing down on it, as though he couldn’t lift it for any length of time.

He turns into a sandwich shop and I take up position on the opposite side of the road. I can see him through the window as he queues, and taps his phone with his thumbs whilst he waits. He is the tallest person in there, towering over those on either side of him by some inches. Oh, that I could know what he ordered – that I could know this figure in such a way! I see him chatting to the young woman behind the counter – they both laugh, but even from this distance I can see a certain wariness in her posture. She doesn’t like him, it is obvious, but he still smiles – he still turns his head to say something as he walks out of the door.

By the time we have walked on some more, his leg has developed a defined limp. I catch up to him easily, though I try not to. I catch a flash of his expression in an empty store’s window as we pass, the darkness and dust creating a mirror like surface. His mouth his a grim line, his skin is pale and his eyes are bright, feverish, and his pupils are distended. He is certainly in pain, that much is obvious, and I pretend to take a phone call, and slow my pace to allow him to gain a few more feet on me once more.

I hold half a conversation, and he vanishes into a small, ugly-looking building opposite a mechanics. It is an office of some kind, I read the name above the doorway as I move past. It kills me not to know what he does, what he is doing; is he a digital marketer, a technical analyst or a copywriter? An advertising consultant, a first-line support employee or a cold-calling salesman?

I wonder, briefly, if I should wait for him to exit the building and exist once more, but no; he has let me down. No man who reads Kerouac should work in an office – I wonder how he hasn’t killed himself, and I consider murder.

Small-Town England

Small-Town England

It is a conscious decision. I allow my feet to carry me across uneven oceans of stone, broken by islands of dirty rain-water like a British, land-locked archipelago. I let them trace broken circuits throughout the town and follow the ghosts of themselves. I try to consider how often these same angular cobblestone have eaten away at the soles of my boots; how often these same walls have loomed over me and rejoiced in their dominance.

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Just a quick picture I took on my phone, and experimented with nostalgia filters – because I’m unimaginative and pretentious and I think some deep, dark part of me thinks that this is ‘artistic’.

I can still taste coal-dust in the air, or I can dream that I can. It is a romance that hangs over this town like a shroud; a romance that moved through the thoughts in silent, subtle ways; a romance that curled about the larynx and then, without a moment’s hesitation, tightened. This place would render a man mute, if you let it.

The road stretches upwards and I walk along it. Some feet behind me, it is cut off by a series of black iron bollards and so I make the most of the uncommon freedom to move in a twisted, snaking pattern along the tiled stone itself. There is a distinct pleasure to be found in walking in any direction you please and, if I had been the last man alive, I could have spent my last days moving in pointless shapes across any terrain I pleased.

I catch reflections of myself in those few shop windows which have raised their shutters at this early hour. I refuse to look as blatantly as I might desire, and I resort to fleeting glances at the state of my hair, at the shape of my shoulders and the angle of my arms as my hands seek the warmth of my pockets. I would look better as a silhouette, as a blackened image in a burned retina.

I am following someone, unconsciously. My feet have taken advantage of their liberty, and they pursue a tall, broad-faced woman as she descends a set of stairs into the shadows beneath a bridge. The bridge is an internal one, closed off from the world, and it is part of the dead shopping centre which clings to the centre of this place, like an old God refusing to believe in science.

It is not an ominous pursuit and, in fact, she is moving a little faster than me. She vanished into an arcade several seconds before I arrive at its entrance and, though I see her moving through the narrow causeway of commerce, I ignore that turning and move on. I pass beneath another bridge, and try to count the pieces of chewing gum stuck the floor. I lose count at twelve, and the rocking of my body’s motion jars my brain until I cannot count past ten.

I dream, then, that I am following in a ghost’s footsteps. I follow the spectre left, and then right, and through a small, dimly-lit arcade within which the very first stores were opening. I saw a jeweller’s, and the young woman with neon-red hair and a lip ring offered me a fleeting smile as she typed in the code to an electric lock. I smile at her, and can almost feel her shudder in revulsion. I do not have a nice smile – it twitches dishonestly across my face and makes a mockery of my emotion.

The shadows give way to light again, and the wind picks up. A little way up the road, I can see a family stabbing at the air with their hands and their voices. The mother is rounded, and she is leaning heavily against the handle of a pram as though it were a crutch. The child itself lolls in its seat, rocking its head left and right as though trying to ward off unwanted nightmares. The elder child is walking beside them both, in a school uniform with a navy blue blazer and grey trousers. He has a flat face, still grazing at the edges of masculinity, but it will grow harsher in a few years and turn into the expressive front of a pugilist.

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This is imaginatively known as the ‘Big Face’. Say whatever you want about us ‘Wiganers’ we’re nothing if not creatively honest.

We pass each other, and I cannot help but feel the divide between us. It breaks the air around us into sharpened wounds, and I cannot move through those sharpened edges to this family. I avoid looking at them when we are close together, but I may as well be staring at them. I think I hate them; I think they hate me. We would all be fools not to.

I pass through another arcade; this time an internal one which stretches over the outside marketplace, now nothing more than narrow iron girders where stalls once stood, and an elderly woman selling cheap, but hardwearing, handbags and travel accessories. Makinson Arcade, it is called. I walk past a shop called Love Forever – it has closed down and the dust wages a gentle, deathless war against our health.


Thank You. This little piece of prose has been cannibalised from a short poem I’m working on – it’s more of an exercise in description than a genuine narrative. I think I’d like to ‘prose-ify’ (that needs to be a word; I’m going to start using prose-ify (prosify?) in everyday conversation) the rest of the poem at some point, but I don’t know how well the imagery might translate towards the last few verses.

The Burden: First Draft – Extract #1

Remember, The Caitiff is free on Amazon til’ Friday the 27th! You can pick it up here in the UK and here in the US.

So, as you might remember, I’m working on a short story/novella type thing at the minute, and I’ve already shown off the first draft of the prologue, so here’s the first draft extract of the Burden proper!


He watched the cigarette smoulder in the ash tray. The sunlight came through the slats across the window in neat horizontal mockery. One of them, the third from the top, if he was any judge, lit the glass with sparkles and made the last remnants of the curling smoke blatant in the air. Robert Amuigh found little pleasure in this position. The sunlight was an irritant to his blurred vision, the cigarette was his last and Rosemary, sprawled as she was across half his body, the remainder of her clinging to the single bed with some dream-like ferocity, was numbing. The air possessed a particular haze, one which suggested it could be convinced to surrender to the light at any time, but Amuigh preferred the dark. He found that it encouraged his thoughts where illumination contributed only further distraction.

Amuigh was thinking, idly, about death. Not with the fascination of some Genevan Doctor or a zealot pronouncing that true life existed after one’s expiration, but in much lazier terms. His elder brother, a man he had – unsurprisingly – known since birth, had died mere days before. A funeral was being held the next day after next and, simply put, Amuigh didn’t want to go. He wondered at the narcissism involved in mourning. His brother was dead and, strangely, he had been the one receiving sympathy. Even Rosemary had looked upon him with guarded eyes since the news broke, as though he was likely to burst into tears at any moment. Her speech, too, was delivered with a slow reveal, one which constituted careful examination of every word, lest some idle comment slip from those thin lips.

Amuigh tried to picture her from memory. He tried to trace the outlines of her face; the curvature of her nose, the soft definitions in her hair, the cheeks which leant towards the gaunt; her eyes glimmering at him like glass in the sun, widening as they passed into shadow. He saw the hair first, the tangled mess it habitually turned into, the carefully trimmed eyebrows and the short eyelashes floating on his mind’s canvas. Her skin appeared next, an unblemished flesh possessing an olive tone; perhaps a result of some distant Italian origin? There was little hint of it in her personality; she was wholly proud of her nationality for some reason, one alien to him. Her features were impossible, he couldn’t seem to make them fit on the blank face he had created without imagining some hideously proportioned monster, something man-made and all the more horrific for it. He tried to shuffle them, as one would shuffle a pack of cards, with no avail.

He felt her stir against him and turned his head from the cigarette. His own body repulsed him; it was an ugly thing. He wore a pair of loose briefs but, besides that, he was naked; his body on display. He had lost weight recently, weight his already slim figure could ill afford to forfeit. His ribcage was like that of a long-dead sea creature, washed up on land, with white bone nudging the flesh as though a threat of escape. His stomach is little more than a shadow, a darker patch in the room’s half-light, a sunken plain upon which he often imagined Mongolian riders warring with their enemy.

His legs were thicker than the rest of him; long and covered in curled, intertwining hair which repulsed him, reminded him of a dog’s fur after an encounter with a muddy puddle. His knee, the one which was visible, was drawn towards him, leaving a sharp incline of flesh to block half of the room from his gaze.

Rosemary was naked, though Amuigh tried to stop himself from looking at her – from drawing her in with his greedy sight. He felt an undeniable shame every time they lay thus, as they both drew in deep breaths for a few moments, until their muscles quietened their demands for oxygen. It wasn’t like the movies. They never fell asleep in each other’s arms, they never held each other close as soon as the act was done – they were too busy cleaning themselves off, wiping away his expulsions and her sweat and, when they did return to bed, the softness between them was replaced with a guilty distance.

Eventually, he could bear it no more, and allowed his eyes to shift from his own sparse musculature to her tanned flesh. Rosemary glowed with health in comparison to him, like a sun goddess come to earth. Her trailed up her legs, admiring the way they crossed one another as she lay on her side. Her groin was a shadow between her thighs and her hips and, Amuigh thought he felt arousal stir again, but the impulse passed just as soon as it arrived. The slightest hint of muscle could be seen in her stomach, and Amuigh felt the familiar need to place his hand against, to feel her health against him – he hated that impulse, as though she were a racehorse he needed to doctor.

Her breasts sagged pleasingly, just large enough to move with gravity, and the pink flesh of her areolas was the palest part of her. Her shoulders curved beside them, leading up to a slim neck, a strong chin, a pair of tightly-closed lips, a small, slightly-upturned nose and her eyes.

She stared at him, her eyes wide. In the shadow of his profile, distended and disjointed across her features, her pupils were little more than glittering ovals. In the shadows, he knew, those black circles would have enlarged, would have bullied the iris away from the centre; nothing but a slice of brown around the black.

Rosemary say him turn away from her; no smile, no sound. It hurt her for a moment, but she remembered that he was hurting. Robert was in agony but he hadn’t the personality to express it as she might. There had been no tears, there had been no vicious outbursts. Those she could have accepted, but it was the lack of reaction that scared her the most. A man given to a gentle mediocrity of emotion at the best of times, he had retreated from her, in his grief, to some deep, dark place and she had no method of following. She had to coax him out again, to toss a rope into the darkness and wait for the distant weight of his mind on the other end.

Amuigh knew he was evil. He had argued that evil was relative; that there was no such thing as an unequivocal darkness, no Heaven and no Hell and no judgement; but there was certainly an absence of light and that was certainly how he characterised himself.

He looked towards the cigarette again; the last dregs of smoke vanished into the air but he did not see them. Amuigh closed his eyes, tightening the muscles until the glimmer of her gaze was replaced with flashing lights and shots of pain.

Toilet Cubicles: A Love Story

Remember, The Caitiff is free on Amazon until the 27th!
You can get it here in the UK and here in the US!


Seeing as the Caitiff is free this week, 23rd of February to the 27th, I figured I’d take this opportunity to idly talk about the covering image. Now, as you might have noticed on previous works of mine, including the experimental novella I wrote as a student – Adjective Narcissism – and the poem I wrote about Liverpool over a couple of days – Albert Docks – I have a certain unhealthy fascination with toilet cubicles in pubs I visit; I think I’ll try and explain it here or, at least, make it seem a little less unhealthy than I have been told it is previously.

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Toilet cubicles in Wigan tend to hover somewhere between disgusting and so rancid that they have their own kind of momentary beauty.

You see I have always enjoyed a kind of willingly indecent lifestyle – the kind of bohemia that Bukowski or John Fante or Knut Hamson might have enjoyed, if they had grown up as I had. I think that it runs deeper than, perhaps, a mere desire to emulate their indecencies, as I had read none of these three when I first started going to bars and pubs and the like and I always found cubicles fascinating.

I love the graffiti one finds in them, even if the graffiti is meaningless – I love the fact that one can find the phone numbers of drug dealers and prostitutes and crazy guys who want to emulate Andrew W.K’s philosophies – I love the sense of seclusion one can feel within them, particularly when drunk – I love the safety of locking a door against the world and the night upon which you embarked – I love the peace and the madness and the brief moments of near-silence – I love it when I suddenly feel incredibly sober, or incredibly drunk; when I use the toilet and feel the poison filter out of my body or dry-heave and, instantly, it is as though I haven’t drunk a thing – I love leaning against the cubicle wall and breathing deeply, playing a roulette with myself on the scent which assaults my nostrils, a fresh Pine or artificial luxury or a natural stench – I love closing my eyes and repeating the lines of half-forgotten songs or never-finished poems, of feeling my lips form the words – I love such indecent places as a vehicle for my arguable normality, or justifiable eccentricity.

One idea I had some time ago was to go on a series of nights out, one day after another, and write a line or two of prose, or a short poem, to accompany every bathroom stall I enter – in this way I might experiment with atmosphere and location and creativity and indecency, even as I worship in my own way, with a Guinness in one hand and a notepad in the other.

It is something I find hard to describe and even harder to justify – in fact, some months ago, I was taking a picture in an empty bathroom and a friend of mine walked in; thankfully, we were both quite incredibly drunk, so he couldn’t remember it the next day, but I remember the panic of his entry, my self-loathing and disgust, like I had been caught masturbating in public. Anyway, can I be sure that it isn’t a kind of creative masturbation, a personal self-indulgence disguised as indecency?

I like well-used toilet cubicles far more than clean ones; not necessarily with urine all over the walls or a broken lock or anything like that, but graffiti-covered ones – toilet cubicles are the new canvas for the truly disaffected and even the slightest word seems to garner entirely new and alien meanings when scratched or inked onto the inside of such a private space – Tolstoy once said that ‘art is one of the means of intercourse between man and man’ and it is this that so attracts me to cubicles. They are the housing for moments of private communication, between two people who have never met, and I’m sure that somewhere out there, there is a poet scratching lines from his Magnus Opus on a toilet wall – a new Divine Comedy, trailing downwards into debauchery and indecency and bohemia in place of Hell.

Or maybe I’m just weird; or maybe the two aren’t mutually exclusive.

The Caitiff Came Out Today.

The Caitiff came out today. I took a long walk in Mesnes Park, in Wigan, and sat there for a time, despite the cold and the eventual rain which forced me to seek out the shelter of a nearby podium. I hadn’t intended to sit at all, simply to enjoy the act of motion; to entertain my body whilst my mind focused on other things, but my ill-health turned those steps after my three thousandth into agonising, lung-bursting things, which sent pain coiling around my ankles and I could barely breathe through the onset of a cold and the aggressive movements of the wind’s jaws upon my bare face.

The fingers of my right hand were numb, as they had to hold on to the strap of my bag rather than ape my left hand, which was buried deep within the pocket of my jeans. I wore fingerless gloves, as I always do, to combat my insufficient circulatory system whilst allowing my appendages to remain functional. I found it difficult to hold my pen, and I had to spend some minutes simply flexing my fingers, straightening them and curling them until they dug into my palms, before straightening them again. Eventually, I felt sensation return, in waves of icy-fire which crackled like electrical impulse.

It is a chill morning, in mid-February, and I am sat here watching a water fountain. It is a two-tiered thing, of red and gold and composed of bulbous components which protrude into the air. In recent weeks, the water which should have dripped and flowed and spat from the fountain’s rim has been frozen, locked solid by the whims of nature but today is one of the few days when it runs clear. The wind still batters at it, and there is a long streak of wet ground behind it, where the wind’s ire has left a daring imprint upon the fountain’s efficiency.

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The fountain in Mesnes Park – See, Wigan does have some not completely revolting sites!

It seems, to me, that nature mocks the fountain’s role, that it repeats humanity’s desires in a falsetto and laughs as it ignores them. It seems, to me, that man and nature are engaged in an eternal war – Man claims how things ‘should’ be, and nature decides upon how things ‘will’ be. And, in my narcissism, I cannot help but feel that my role should be to decide upon how things could be. For a long, long time, I have argued that I am not a writer; that I am a poverty-stricken drunk with an internet connection and an inarguable obliviousness to my own pretension.

Today, I think, I want to be a writer. I don’t care that no one else might offer me that title; I want to look in the mirror and say that ‘Here; here is a man whom has said something which needed to be said, here is a man who has said that which he wanted to say, honestly, without selfless motivations.’

I don’t think I’m a writer yet. The Caitiff came out today and, though I should feel pride, or hope, or worry, I can feel nothing but the vague unease and apathy against which I write. Forever, I believe, Friday the 13th of February, 2015, will be the day that the ‘Meh’ reverberated around my body and spewed from my fingers, through the filter of plastic and ink, and onto paper.

I am not a writer; I am not a drunk; I am a modern man. I am a healthy, if currently physically frail, modern man, and The Caitiff came out today.