Raymond Walker


Another  Excerpt from feathers, dinnae worry it will get there. It is getting to long and so we have to be violent in the cutting process

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The black hole in my head seemed to be growing larger, engulfing more and more. I could feel it pulsing more with each passing moment and often wondered if this feeling masked a worse decay than even I imagined. A brain lesion or tumour perhaps, something much more malign and insidious than simply losing my balance. There was no pain other than from my wounded eye and of course I expected that despite the many and various pain killers that I had been given. Pain killers rarely do enough to stop the pain but simply lessen it and these were the same. Despite that this dark seeming space where things would have been disturbed me, sometimes to the point of distraction. I seemed to still have all my memories and faculties. Even my sense of depth perception seemed unaffected and I am told that is the first thing to go when you lose an eye.

My father lost the sight in one of his eyes many years ago; long before he died, a slip we think when he had one whisky too many, but he was too drunk to remember and so how exactly he lost his sight has always been in question. All we knew is that one day he awoke with a black eye and it transpired that whatever he hit (or indeed if someone had hit him-perhaps a mugging for as I said we never knew) his eye had turned in the socket before righting itself somehow but in the process severing the optic nerve.

Or something like that. I had long been married at that time and had long ago left my parents house for my first marriage and a life of my own or that of a family.

All I remember is a phone call from my mother telling me that my father had fallen and was in hospital. We feared the worse for a while as there was the possibility of a blood clot and they of course can be fatal but though it turned out that he had a blood clot behind the damaged eye it was operated on and fixed relatively easily and he was to survive for many years after that despite many anxious moments at the time. He never regained the sight in his eye and I remember that particularly when driving he bemoaned the lack of depth perception that he now had. He often got very close to the car in front at that time and with our urging as back seat drivers he learned to leave a bigger space between him and the car in front than his eyes (or should I say eye) told him was necessary. In fact he seemed to go the opposite way and left to large a space and drove much more slowly to compensate for his impaired vision, much to the consternation of other drivers who would snort and fume with disapproval at his care.

I should say here that he never lost the eye and though blind in it, it looked completely normal and behaved in exactly the way a sighted eye should even unto his death. I found this strange and unusual for being disconnected from his brain and sightless, I wondered if it would rot in some way and have to be removed leaving him with the possibility of a glass eye which always look strange to me the few times I have seen someone with one or having it removed and having to wear an eye patch like some dashing pirate (for he was always a good looking man my father even in his later years.

I must admit that I was also guilty of such things; rushing, scolding him much as the other drivers did; being an impetuous boy and always in a hurry to get wherever we were going.

But then in our younger ages we all find ourselves to be immortal, only realising in later years that your immortality is finite; and all to finite you realise more and more as the years speed by at a seemingly faster and faster pace. Do we then sense our doom growing closer and closer? Do we feel the weight of the years and our impending demise? Do the years speed up alarmingly or do we simply grow used to their passing and so take less from them till they seem but moths flitting by without a sound in the candlelight till the final buzz of their extinction makes them more real for a moment. Perhaps we humans are the same, our tiny little lives passing in moments until our extinction where time becomes everlasting to us but not to those that see us pass or lament our destruction. No perhaps it only seems so to ourselves.

I have lamented the passing of many over the years, friends, relations, family but apart from my father who somehow still stays with me, the others have faded quickly in the way of things; old friends and acquaintances, aunts and uncles. Most there would say grandparents but I have only a faint memory of them and though I was no doubt sorry for their passing at the time they are but hazy memories to me now and memories that I cannot even say are true memories for now I feel different; there is a black hole in my head and my memories become confused and disjointed. Today lying in my hospital bed I smelled something, I cannot say what it was but it felt like home. I am sure however that I have never smelled this before, yet it seemed to me to smell of all that I desired, as I said, of home. It has no basis that I know of in my life yet perhaps it is some deeply remembered thing from childhood perhaps even from the cradle or the womb for they say such things are possible.

 

 

 

Aroma apparently is the most evocative or nostalgic of things and we remember or equate more with it than any other sense. I have always been sceptical of this. Though I do have a good sense of smell it is rare that is has conjured up places afar or different times in my life that I am aware of, but as I say this smell, and in an antiseptically cleaned hospital, smells other than disinfectant and shit are rare. Well those and bad food. But there was a strange smell, almost metallic and it brought the taste of metal to my throat, yet somehow not as clean as metal.

Almost with a scent of almonds or bitter Greek wine but not quite. It still haunts my waking thoughts though I can no longer smell it, I just wish to know what it has revealed to me. I have been in hospital only twice for more than a few hours and though those operations were not pleasant they did not seem to affect me this deeply, for I feel deeply affected. The smell haunts me and the black hole in my mind torments me, is there more damage than they are telling me?

Mae could not even look at me earlier, I was never very good looking in the first place but I saw something in her eyes that I was not expecting; revulsion. I have seen her looking at me even when worse the wear for wine and then there is distaste for as i said earlier she is not a drinker and despises losing control and seeing that in others, it discomfits her and she does not like it, but even at my worst I could never see revulsion in her eyes. Perhaps she masked it well but I do not think so for she is neither a good actress nor a good liar.

Yet I did see it there though there was also worry in her eyes . For she is a good woman and you could find little to fault her other than loving the wrong men. I include myself in that. I am lucky that I am simply a little less “wrong” than the others she has married or dated. But flawed I am and perfectly aware of it. I doubt many women would put up with my occasional drunkenness and quick temper and irritability the same way Mae has. I should just be grateful for having her, I know it, perhaps she even knows it to. I do not know for sure as I do not delve to deeply for fear of discovering that she does not love me and I am just pretending to my self.

But I think that she does and I have never seen that look of revulsion before despite the fact as I said at my worst I must be pretty repulsive. Yet I had never seen that and I am pretty perceptive mostly except when I am too involved with my own problems which can be pretty much all the time now that I really think about it. And thinking about it is all I can really do lying here in a hospital bed trying to see inside my own head. Thinking of the black hole that seems to be growing bigger, thinking of the memories that I am missing and remembering the smell thinking of the memories that I seem to have that don’t seem to be mine.

I see a red rose as I lay dozing perfect in its asymmetry, crimson petals, obviously newly grown for the stem and leaves are so dark purple as to seem black to my bruised minds eye. I see the petals decaying and wilting; turning umber at the corners yet the redness of it deepening as it does so, crimson darkens to burgundy and burgundy unto maroon and the petals begin to fall individually separating from the stem and tumbling into some unseen beyond. I see them tear away one by one in its death, yet the beauty of the rose remains for a dead rose is yet a rose. As the first few tumble away it is almost as though the rose regains the life it once held, the browned petals fluttering down upon an unseen wind, leaving the less tainted burgundy ones to the surface and looking whole again. Yet still the decay continues and those also fall away And you realise that it is a spring rose for the as the petals fall away you see other life, earwigs in abundance that have made the crevasses of the petals their home, perhaps to feed upon the small bronze and black beetles that are revealed as each petal drops away; that scurry to find a new home further into the decaying flower. And do until each passing petal drops away chasing them into the rose hip itself there to become entombed and die until it again seeds and their offspring will again live till this all repeats itself over and over again.

Am I simply doing the same?

Repeating an earlier life?

I have never believed in reincarnation. Nor reanimation, resurrection nor rebirth but somehow I seem to remember things that have not yet happened or perhaps have but in an earlier life. This reinforces my worry of a brain lesion for although not a doctor I have read of such things. Rational people seeing ghosts for the first time or recalling things that have never happened to them. Memories created for things that have never existed and I know I cannot have a memory of sitting round an open fire in a deep cave surrounded by others stinking of shit and body odour dressed in half cured fur and ragged woollen cloth for this I have never done. Nor would I, I have always prided myself on my cleanliness, I shower every day shave and brush my teeth. I always wear aftershave and deodorant and have often been told that I smell lovely. Yet that stink, the stink of body odour and faeces and piss and rotten meat seemed to be coming from me as well as the others. I could feel the heat from the long beard on my face and the fire and the others breath and damn it; it seemed so real, so normal, something I was used to.

Originaly destined to be a story for a river of tears, "bad day at the lussa" (incomplete) ((and badly needing edited)) is now available to read below

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I have decided to include here (in no particular order) scenes that were either edited from Cornelius or simply removed for ease of production.

As most of my stories do the tale changed somewhat in the telling. Truth be told the finished article owes little to the original idea and these offshoots had to be snipped. You may see some of them appearing again in other stories. Especially if i decide to another book about  the enigmatic Cornelius Fuscus.

Enjoy.

Raymond Walker October 2009

 

She feels so soft. The skin of her neck is light and smooth before my fingertips; the pale skin lightly freckled and adorned with brown melanoma diamonds. I taste her lightly with my tongue the smell of sweat and her sex mingling into a musk that sets my love afire.

Deep and heady, rank and consuming I smell her and feel her resplendent hair on my cheek. It was what had drawn me to her; the pale skin and ruby lips surrounded by the mass of auburn hair.

It smelled of the forest of nut and acorn, light and rotting wood; the cheap rose petal perfume she used to try and disguise the stink vanished beneath those earthy odours. I could taste those odours on her skin and they were more magnificent to me, more noble, more consuming. Consuming in that her feel and scent eat at my soul, consuming because I would eat her, love her and bathe in her beauty eternally.

My tongue ran down her shoulder and to the small of her back and though she flinched it did not lose its path. It followed the rivulets of sweat that coursed from her body, it followed the curve of her back unto her waist and I lapped greedily at it, my nose and lips nuzzling her flesh, nipping her sparse back and the flesh that thickened where her waist met her buttocks.

I listened to her whimpers and they delighted my ears and my fingers as well as many other parts of me.

Despite myself I ran my hands round and over her convex belly ripe with meat and baby and over her beautifully engorged breasts, my now oiled fingers playing over her hard nipples before restraining myself. She panted beautifully both light and breathless and harsh and wanton.

Ah she was the one for me, and forever would she be mine.

I have smiled at her, laughed with her and tasted her blood.

Her fate was mine as I was hers, in love in hunger and in blood.

I tasted her sweat again then followed the runnels back over her hip and waist following them up over her waist my tongue never leaving her skin.

I was behind her now and could not reach her breasts and so my tongue ran beneath her arms her recently shaved hair smooth against my cheek, her neck taught and hard.

I pulled back and stood noting how much her neck stood out, the veins clear of the shape and the hair now plastered to her skull.

I could see her Adam’s apple. Yes women have them as well just you cannot see them until their neck reaches the right angle.

Hers now was at the perfect angle. The perfect woman in her prime and with child no less and stretched to her ultimate perfection.

I admired her and knew her grace, smelled her love and desired her beyond all living things. I knelt and knew I would have her, I would taste all of her before she was finished.

I should not have strung her so high for I could barely make contact with her body when kneeling before her. I shall punish Dorotta for this failure, this slight, does she not know I worship this woman, this epitome of humanity.

I taste of her, she smells of the musk of sweat and of blood and I know heaven as I knew I would for this had been promised to me.

My tongue enters her

And I wake.

But I still smell her in my nostrils and taste her on my tongue, bits of her flesh it feels are stuck between my teeth.

And so I wake once more myself.

Knowing gladly that these things are nothing but dreams though they haunt my waking days. I dreamt once that I had actually killed my lover.

Though I laughed at once but the stupidity of the dream had faded.

Why would I ever kill a friend, a confidant, and a lover? But the answer I already knew the answer was beauty.

 

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 Bad Day At the Lussa

He felt the soft breeze on his face and turned his head upwards letting out a soft breath. Ah it felt so wonderful, it was as cooling as the sun was warm. The smells of the river were deep in him and the breeze that blew them towards him delightful, the sun warm it was a blessing to shut his eyes against the glare. He felt the sudden cool wind on the skin of his chest even through the Levi’s T-shirt he wore, it stirred the hairs on his chest and cooled the thin film of sweat that had formed there in the warm sunshine. Ah it was a wondrous day.

The jingling gurgle of the river in his ears the smell of it in his nostrils mingled with the warm grasses and wildflowers of the riverbank, the sand beneath his barefeet and her soft hand clasped in his. A day of days. A wonderous delightful and marvelous day. The king or queen of days. He sighed and opened his eyes knowing that for them to remain closed much longer he was likely to slip or fall and that was something he really didn’t want to do especially with the fast flowing river with its peaty water flowing so close to him. His eyes stung in the sunshine as he opened them and tears began to well in the corners. Purples and blues hid most of the scenery around him as he accustomed himserlf to the brightness of the day again.

Never stare into the sun, son he had been told as a boy and thought I bet all parents tell their children that at sometime and a small laugh escapes him as he thinks of bruce springsteen singing, oh but mama that’s where the fun is.

He spots her looking round at the sound of snorting laughter a quizzical look on her face even through his still dazzled eyes but does not aknowlege her simply keep wandering on his head now slightly downcast to avoid the glare. He quickly realises that there is no way to avoid such sunlight as the reflection from the river is a strong as the sunlight itself. It dances across the fast flowing brown water sparkling and glinting with every twist and eddy on the waters surface. The beauty dazzles him and he nearly trips over a grapefruit sized boulder on the bank, instead mearly grazing his foot against it and grunting at the pain it causes the sand quickly finding the moisture that wells to the surface.

Can we sit? He asks.

 

The warmth of the sun on her skin was pleasing and it was the one thing she enjoyed about the walk. In the mirror that morning she had noted that her skin had that pink, peely wally look that no amount of make up could fix though she had tried hard and for sometime.

So a bit of a tan would not go astray.

The river had that smell to it, you know the one of slightly rotted fruit and shit mixed together. He had said when they parked the car up on the small bridge that straddled it that it was the smell of clay and peat washing down with the summer rain from the high hills that surrounded it and whose tributaries fed it. She didn’t know if this was true for sometimes he talked so much shit but assumed it was as she had nothing to argue against it. He had said also that it was a good smell, fresh and wholesome but it just smelled like rotting fruit and shit to her.

At his bidding and to try and seem to get into the spirit of the walk she had removed her white strappy sandles but the sand just seemed to chaffe the insides of her toes and was too warm against her bare feet. Why had she agreed to do this anyway?

Building bridges? Yes that was it. Really she was just sticking her finger in the dam about to break but unlike the little dutch boy, break it would no matter how long she stemmed the tide. She had only come to that realisation earlier in the week but when realised she knew it to be true and no amount of patching and filling would stop the dam from bursting. He had taken her hand orginally to help her down the steep banking beside the old stone humpbacked bridge but once taken he had not let go of it once they had reached level ground. She knew that it had pained him to take hold of her and was surprised he had held on no doubt at some cost to himself. She knew because he couldn’t bear to touch her anymore, she knew that the space between them in their large double bed had grown larger, never did his hand reach out for her in the night as it once had never did his body mirror hers anymore his arm clasped tightly around her waist as it once had when they slept. At first he said the reason had been the warm summer nights but as summer turned to autumn and a chill wind blew in their nightly open window and he still stayed away the she realised he knew.

It had been months that she knew that he knew and always had expected him to say something, yet he never did. Not a word, not a hint, not a missplaced joke, not even when he was drunk and it was then she knew that he came out with most things.

They would sit at their small dining room table and he would break open a bottle of wine and she would pour herself a small baileys and they would just sit and talk and talk. Once upon a time she had loved that about him, that they could sit and talk from teatime to the early hours of the next morning without break and whatever the subject. They had disscussed life and politics, music and art, litersature and anthropology, gardening and sex. She still looked back on those days with wonder, he had really been the most attentive man she had ever been with, the most interested in her, the most caring.

But with time and as these things will she became to dread those nights at the dining room table; what had once been a bottle of good red wine, became two bottles of cheap plonk and then a box of wine and then what once had been one night a week became two and then three.

He still wasn’t an alcoholic but it was close she thought. And she drew away from him too in the chill of the night to her own little place where she felt comfortable on her own side of the bed.

He didn’t try to pull her back or move with her.

 

 

The sand is warm on him as he sits his hands clasped between his legs gazing out at the sparkling river. He let go of her hand to sit and cannot force himself to reach out for it again. Just the warm sun on his face and the tinkling of the river are in his thoughts for a second, it is a second that he is grateful for but as things do after a while life intrudes and his world of sunshine and sand and music are dimmed again first with the pain of his foot which he notices now has been encrusted with sand and is aching and worse with the thoughts in his head.

He just stares at the river as it moves on and on the waters flowing endlessly but his mind is far from there.

It wonders if they have a chance, if they ever really did have, whose fault is it.

He blames her but is fully aware that she blames him and is probably right but does it really matter who is right and who is wrong or if both are right or wrong.

It is what it is. In his head he sees robert di niro saying this in the whiney voice that he sometimes uses, a look of hatred on his face but cannot recall what movie it came from nor does he really care.

It is what it is.

He has asked himself for a solution many times now; while at work or in the evening even upon waking in the stillness of the night in what once was their bed (our bed he thinks) but is now just a space where two separate people sleep. Two people alone together.

He tries for a time to think of something to say to her, something that would make it all better, something that would make it all go away but there is nothing to say not only nothing to say that would make it all better or make it go away but nothing at all.

He could say what a lovely day it is and she would respond with something like, yes its lovely or its very warm or isnt that a nice breeze but it would get them nowhere just make them feel more alone together so he says nothing. He just watches the sun sparkling on the river  the movement of the trees in the breeze, a dragonfly bottle green and black hooped, the riverbank grasses swaying, the beautiful eternal river.

 

She has sat beside him tucking her floral print skirt underneath her , her vest top billowing in the cold wind. Its not nearly as warm as he seems to think it is. She folds her arms tightly under her breasts and hugs herself against the cold. The river is lovely though she thinks despite what she considers a quite unwholesome smell. She loves the way the light dances across it with each turn and twist much as the summer sun breaks between the curtains and shines on the tanned skin of her lovers moving torso. She becomes lost in thoughts of him for a while, the small hairs on his forearms as he careeses her skin, the touch of his lips on her own, the feel of his legs parting hers. Involuntarily she shivers.

 

Youre not cold are you he asks? His face shows concern but also disbelief She shakes her head slightly and he also does before resuming his stare into the waters of the river.

 

I need to stop that she thinks, she does not want to be needlessly cruel, after all she once loved him with the same passion that she now feels for another. The same tenderness, the same need and yes the same love.  

 

 

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Again Originaly destined to be in "A River of Tears" and even considered as an option for the second volume which will hopefully be available later this year but then decided against. Again incomplete and very much in need of editing.

 

La Luna

 

Last night was the full moon and it glowed in the sky like a sun as the sky cleared and temperatures plummeted but was so beautiful. I stood shivering at the door watching it, too lazy to go back in and put a coat on but too mesmerised to leave it there in the heavens with no one watching.

So i kept it company until my teeth chattered and my breath billowed in clouds before me.  It was still in my head as I returned to the living room, which had been warm but now was cooler from the night air entering through the open door. It was no lighter inside than it had been out. Only a small dimmed lamp and a couple of candles burned. The room smelled faintly of cinnamon from the scented candle and I took this in as I again sat in my armchair near the unlit fire. The room was definitely cooler now but I did not mind at all. I wondered wither to turn the television or the computer on or even some music or wither I should lighten the room and read instead I decided to do none of these things but walked to the window and opened the blinds to again look out at the night sky.

I sometimes sat in the garden bundled up in coat, jumpers and boots to ward off the night’s chill and watched the sky on a clear night. Tonight I had neither the energy to go and get dressed nor the inclination to freeze outside and so I opened the blinds.

I turned the chair around and pushed it towards the window so it faced out on the night.

It was not perfect, even with the candles blown out and the light switched off, the windows were not as clean as they should be, for I had not washed them in a while and the frames broke up the vision.

Still I was warm and comfortable and could look and dream for hours now if I wished.

Although I always could do this I rarely wished to as some passerby may take me for nosey and would certainly take me for strange but tonight I really did not mind if they did. Tonight I would just sit and look at the stars and remember all that I could and wonder if she was doing the same.

 

I was once in love with a girl from a far off land. I suspect I still am but it has been so long now that mostly it comes to me as a memory of a dream. Something that never really happened but has left a warm and sad place in me, one which I enter on nights like tonight.

Once when we were unable to be together on new years eve I suggested that at midnight, on the dawning of a new year that she raise her glass to the moon and toast me with it as would her. There was a bit of calculation in it as she was five hours behind me and so I resolved to do it at both her midnight and mine, both times staring at the moon.

On that particular night it was difficult to do for at my midnight the sky was full of cloud but I dutifully left the pub where I was celebrating the turn of the year and taking my glass with me toasted a slight brightening in the sky behind the cloud cover.

Despite the clouds it was a nice night, warmer than usual for the time of year and I stood there and toasted her, wishing her a happy new year and every best wish I could give.

After a moments contemplation I returned to the bar and joined in the singing of auld lang syne.

Greeting those there though my good humor had vanished thinking of her and wishing she were with me.

I left soon afterwards returning home and pouring myself another drink went to sit in the garden staring at the moon and thinking of her. When five came I again did the same hoping she was doing as I did and thinking of me.

 

 

The black hole in my head seemed to be growing larger, engulfing more and more. I could feel it pulsing more with each passing moment and often wondered if this feeling masked a worse decay than even I imagined. A brain lesion or tumour perhaps, something much more malign and insidious than simply losing my balance. There was no pain other than from my wounded eye and of course I expected that despite the many and various pain killers that I had been given. Pain killers rarely do enough to stop the pain but simply lessen it and these were the same. Despite that this dark seeming space where things would have been disturbed me, sometimes to the point of distraction. I seemed to still have all my memories and faculties. Even my sense of depth perception seemed unaffected and I am told that is the first thing to go when you lose an eye.

My father lost the sight in one of his eyes many years ago; long before he died, a slip we think when he had one whisky too many, but he was too drunk to remember and so how exactly he lost his sight has always been in question. All we knew is that one day he awoke with a black eye and it transpired that whatever he hit (or indeed if someone had hit him-perhaps a mugging for as I said we never knew) his eye had turned in the socket before righting itself somehow but in the process severing the optic nerve.

Or something like that. I had long been married at that time and had long ago left my parents house for my first marriage and a life of my own or that of a family.

All I remember is a phone call from my mother telling me that my father had fallen and was in hospital. We feared the worse for a while as there was the possibility of a blood clot and they of course can be fatal but though it turned out that he had a blood clot behind the damaged eye it was operated on and fixed relatively easily and he was to survive for many years after that despite many anxious moments at the time. He never regained the sight in his eye and I remember that particularly when driving he bemoaned the lack of depth perception that he now had. He often got very close to the car in front at that time and with our urging as back seat drivers he learned to leave a bigger space between him and the car in front than his eyes (or should I say eye) told him was necessary. In fact he seemed to go the opposite way and left to large a space and drove much more slowly to compensate for his impaired vision, much to the consternation of other drivers who would snort and fume with disapproval at his care.

I should say here that he never lost the eye and though blind in it, it looked completely normal and behaved in exactly the way a sighted eye should even unto his death. I found this strange and unusual for being disconnected from his brain and sightless, I wondered if it would rot in some way and have to be removed leaving him with the possibility of a glass eye which always look strange to me the few times I have seen someone with one or having it removed and having to wear an eye patch like some dashing pirate (for he was always a good looking man my father even in his later years.

I must admit that I was also guilty of such things; rushing, scolding him much as the other drivers did; being an impetuous boy and always in a hurry to get wherever we were going.

But then in our younger ages we all find ourselves to be immortal, only realising in later years that your immortality is finite; and all to finite you realise more and more as the years speed by at a seemingly faster and faster pace. Do we then sense our doom growing closer and closer? Do we feel the weight of the years and our impending demise? Do the years speed up alarmingly or do we simply grow used to their passing and so take less from them till they seem but moths flitting by without a sound in the candlelight till the final buzz of their extinction makes them more real for a moment. Perhaps we humans are the same, our tiny little lives passing in moments until our extinction where time becomes everlasting to us but not to those that see us pass or lament our destruction. No perhaps it only seems so to ourselves.

I have lamented the passing of many over the years, friends, relations, family but apart from my father who somehow still stays with me, the others have faded quickly in the way of things; old friends and acquaintances, aunts and uncles. Most there would say grandparents but I have only a faint memory of them and though I was no doubt sorry for their passing at the time they are but hazy memories to me now and memories that I cannot even say are true memories for now I feel different; there is a black hole in my head and my memories become confused and disjointed. Today lying in my hospital bed I smelled something, I cannot say what it was but it felt like home. I am sure however that I have never smelled this before, yet it seemed to me to smell of all that I desired, as I said, of home. It has no basis that I know of in my life yet perhaps it is some deeply remembered thing from childhood perhaps even from the cradle or the womb for they say such things are possible.

 

 

 

Aroma apparently is the most evocative or nostalgic of things and we remember or equate more with it than any other sense. I have always been sceptical of this. Though I do have a good sense of smell it is rare that is has conjured up places afar or different times in my life that I am aware of, but as I say this smell, and in an antiseptically cleaned hospital, smells other than disinfectant and shit are rare. Well those and bad food. But there was a strange smell, almost metallic and it brought the taste of metal to my throat, yet somehow not as clean as metal.

Almost with a scent of almonds or bitter Greek wine but not quite. It still haunts my waking thoughts though I can no longer smell it, I just wish to know what it has revealed to me. I have been in hospital only twice for more than a few hours and though those operations were not pleasant they did not seem to affect me this deeply, for I feel deeply affected. The smell haunts me and the black hole in my mind torments me, is there more damage than they are telling me?

Mae could not even look at me earlier, I was never very good looking in the first place but I saw something in her eyes that I was not expecting; revulsion. I have seen her looking at me even when worse the wear for wine and then there is distaste for as i said earlier she is not a drinker and despises losing control and seeing that in others, it discomfits her and she does not like it, but even at my worst I could never see revulsion in her eyes. Perhaps she masked it well but I do not think so for she is neither a good actress nor a good liar.

Yet I did see it there though there was also worry in her eyes . For she is a good woman and you could find little to fault her other than loving the wrong men. I include myself in that. I am lucky that I am simply a little less “wrong” than the others she has married or dated. But flawed I am and perfectly aware of it. I doubt many women would put up with my occasional drunkenness and quick temper and irritability the same way Mae has. I should just be grateful for having her, I know it, perhaps she even knows it to. I do not know for sure as I do not delve to deeply for fear of discovering that she does not love me and I am just pretending to my self.

But I think that she does and I have never seen that look of revulsion before despite the fact as I said at my worst I must be pretty repulsive. Yet I had never seen that and I am pretty perceptive mostly except when I am too involved with my own problems which can be pretty much all the time now that I really think about it. And thinking about it is all I can really do lying here in a hospital bed trying to see inside my own head. Thinking of the black hole that seems to be growing bigger, thinking of the memories that I am missing and remembering the smell thinking of the memories that I seem to have that don’t seem to be mine.

I see a red rose as I lay dozing perfect in its asymmetry, crimson petals, obviously newly grown for the stem and leaves are so dark purple as to seem black to my bruised minds eye. I see the petals decaying and wilting; turning umber at the corners yet the redness of it deepening as it does so, crimson darkens to burgundy and burgundy unto maroon and the petals begin to fall individually separating from the stem and tumbling into some unseen beyond. I see them tear away one by one in its death, yet the beauty of the rose remains for a dead rose is yet a rose. As the first few tumble away it is almost as though the rose regains the life it once held, the browned petals fluttering down upon an unseen wind, leaving the less tainted burgundy ones to the surface and looking whole again. Yet still the decay continues and those also fall away And you realise that it is a spring rose for the as the petals fall away you see other life, earwigs in abundance that have made the crevasses of the petals their home, perhaps to feed upon the small bronze and black beetles that are revealed as each petal drops away; that scurry to find a new home further into the decaying flower. And do until each passing petal drops away chasing them into the rose hip itself there to become entombed and die until it again seeds and their offspring will again live till this all repeats itself over and over again.

Am I simply doing the same?

Repeating an earlier life?

I have never believed in reincarnation. Nor reanimation, resurrection nor rebirth but somehow I seem to remember things that have not yet happened or perhaps have but in an earlier life. This reinforces my worry of a brain lesion for although not a doctor I have read of such things. Rational people seeing ghosts for the first time or recalling things that have never happened to them. Memories created for things that have never existed and I know I cannot have a memory of sitting round an open fire in a deep cave surrounded by others stinking of shit and body odour dressed in half cured fur and ragged woollen cloth for this I have never done. Nor would I, I have always prided myself on my cleanliness, I shower every day shave and brush my teeth. I always wear aftershave and deodorant and have often been told that I smell lovely. Yet that stink, the stink of body odour and faeces and piss and rotten meat seemed to be coming from me as well as the others. I could feel the heat from the long beard on my face and the fire and the others breath and damn it; it seemed so real, so normal, something I was used to.

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