Above all else it was ignorance and arrogance that helped me pack my bags.
The ignorance and arrogance of myself, that was, and everyone else.
I was only interested in people and past-times that furthered humanity. And what was wrong with that?
Still, I would be the first to admit in retrospect that it was wholly arrogant of me to just presume that my friends would be there for me when I needed them the most.
For the past 22 years I had given, given, given. Seemingly, to everyone.
And in return I'd been offered the smallest bedroom in the house, in which my grand aspirations and nightmarish day dreams had no choice but to fester.
I wanted out ASAP and was prepared to go AWOL if need be.
Though indecision was my bestest buddy and stalled any free-flowing thoughts or
plans I ever made to make the break, quit the day job and carpe diem, I did want to die a happy man, when surely nobody has ever been happy as they metaphorically lie there waiting for the inevitable to occur on their so-called death-beds.
The solid, albeit sheltered, upbringing I had had given me a flair for words. Not that my parents, who were both English lecturers in and around various Yorkshire Universities, articulated their feelings for each other or for me with any real sense of sincerity. It was all an act, like a scene in a play, an American Beauty - captured bag in the wind, a speck in the eye, a household of lives with seemingly nothing worthwhile to do other than to fussily and naively time-keep then die.
Work and TV provided the be-all and end-all of my parents' routine-rutted lives, despite them
both being highly educated to the nth degree of zest.
They should have striven to make the most of their lives more than any middle-aged,
working-class husband and wife. Wife and husband.
A couple of ordinary, down-to-earth people who had once been wildly in love and who'd conceived a visual reference to such toiling feelings towards each other in the form of myself. Me .. me, me.
But I still can't believe that they ever loved anyone or anything other than themselves, or their pettiness when it came to being ruthlessly obsessed with disciplining their whiny Uni. students who couldn't honestly have given 2 backward flying fistings half of the time if Shakespeare might, just might have been gay - or that if there was no Latin language. Then they wouldn't have sat there, dozing off through their English lectures today, pretending to be interested in The Taming of The Shrew as they slyly concentrated their sparky imaginations whole-heartedly into their fingers that whacked off their mobile phone keypads.
Text message alerts bleated, under the table, all in the head, round the back of the bikesheds (under-graduates at their age should have grown up) - but nothing was said.
Other than, yeh, sure.. ever-so-casual sex round your place tonight sounds good to me, cya later xxx
But was it good for you? And was it good enough?
I didn't like to say because it had absolutely nothing to do with me.
Still, on that note of chronic isolation and mis-involvement with all those people
I should have held dear and close and blah blah blah - due to the human condition
simply expecting me to love and respect my family and friends based solely on the
fact that we interact - the umbilical cord that tied me irrevocably to the past resisted cutting remarks.
Truth be bold, I had then - and have now - nothing in common with them.
I am, as I said, my own man.
The hell with pomposity, the rat race of an alien face, human nature's sad preoccupation with status and anti-spontaneity routine. I was hell-bent on going all out of my way and their fairways to prove it.
Fiction - Scrawls Of The Unexpected By Mark Pollard
Professor Colin Pillinger, lead scientist on the Beagle II programme, was calm but well pissed off
inside. He had been clinging to the idea that his £35 million Mars Probe was stuck in a crater,
waiting for some narrow rays of sunlight to banish the shade for a few precious hours each day
in order that
Fiction - A Short Story - The Beaver Stalker By The J.E.M. Cult
I stepped out into the cold frosty air.
I pulled my muffler tighter round my hands and crunched across the frozen grass. Today was the first day of the beaver season- and by golly, I was sure gonna get me one.
I love beavers. I can't help it. There's just something about stroking that damp fur that sends me
Fiction - The Art Of Being Alone In A Crowded Bar By Rich Mills
What music are you into, man? The American exchange student who had earlier introduced himself, without any regard for Jean-Paul's need to be alone, suddenly threw a curve-ball of a question in his direction.
Well I listen to... What followed was a definitive list of bands from Jean-Paul's wide ranging rare vinyl
Fiction - Old Tired & Completely Rucked By Martin Dale
Of course, I used to be big league me. Right up there with the bigwigs I was. Every game I'd be out there, working my socks off for the club.
I'd be at the bottom of every ruck, in the thick of every maul, I'd cover more of the pitch than anyone else on the team.
Pretty good really, now that I come to think about it,
Fiction - From a Spirited Beginning By Martin Dale
My earliest memory? Isolation.
Being small, vulnerable, completely alone. I was surrounded by seemingly alien life, one with the life, but at the same time different, distinct. I came from this being, but I was no longer completely a part of it. I had a separate consciousness. No. Not yet. That was to come. At that time it was only an instinct.
Fiction - A Man with Two Horses By Lazyswede
I met a man today that had two horses, but he could not get the horses to go the way he wanted them to. The gray mare wanted to take the footpath to the left and the old chestnut mare wanted to take the footpath to the right, while the man wanted to go back the way he came because he knew he would be late for his dinner if he took either of the other two paths.
Fiction - Halloween - One For The Road
by Nicholas Boldock
Jason Travis tip-tapped the steering wheel in time to the music blaring from the car's speakers. He glanced at the digital clock on the dashboard - 16:53. The sky was darkening, even at this early summer hour, not as a result of the setting sun but brought about by the lumbering grey rain clouds overhead.
Fiction - Telling Lies by Nicholas Boldock
At half past five Harry arranged all the papers on his desk into neat piles, as he always did before going home. He shoved his pens into the blue plastic desk tidy and shut down his PC. He performed this same ritual every evening, did it automatically, even unconsciously. He felt overjoyed to be finally going home - the days seemed to be getting longer and longer and longer - even though home, to Harry, was only marginally more bearable than work.
Articles - Made In Hull - Part One - Arundel Street Days By Maurice Fairfield
My story begins in Arundel Street and wanders away to the shallow end of Holderness Road next door to the tram sheds and opposite the old Astoria Cinema, which was at that time the New Astoria Cinema.
Then to Hedon for a time, then back to Arundel a couple of years before the outbreak of the war.
Articles - Digging Up The Past By Cilla
Months ago we published an series of articles written by a man who was witness to the events in The Cod Wars.
His name is John Boldock and his story is an honest account of what life was like for him as a young man in what were dangerous and terrifying times.
After the story had been published on the site