Branwen’s mobile phone shivered in her hand. It was Harry, her hyperactive younger brother. He was always a distraction. He could be a bit too much sometimes, but she was in a generous, and bored, mood.
“Are you in?” Harry said excitedly. “I’m outside – buzz me up.”
Branwen obliged. One minute later Harry stumbled into the flat clutching his new laptop. Branwen was surprised. Harry’s computer set-up in his own flat was usually untouchable, immovable, sacrosanct, with leads and dongles stuffed into every orifice. She only had to sit down heavily and he was on the ceiling.
“What’s up bro?” Branwen asked.
Harry sat on the settee and put the laptop carefully on the coffee table. He flipped the lid open.
“Look,” he said. “Come and see.”
Branwen sat beside her brother and stared at the screen. There was a display of six coloured balls bouncing slowly at random. On each ball was a number.
“What is it?” she asked.
“Can’t you see?” he said.
“It looks like a load of balls to me.”
“Ha ha. Very funny – but honestly, can’t you see what they are?”
It’s kinda tucked away at the side of the Café-Bar near the entrance to the Art Gallery
A place to look
There’s a woman with her daughter slurping on soup and munching on salad and drinking diet cola
A family with two parental figures
one presents as a man
the other a woman
They are at a long canteen-style table with 5 kids
Aged from two to ten
by the look of them
(later you realise that there are three people who are presenting as parents and just 4 kids and you realise that whatever narrative you are imposing is full of your own perspective and is not a universal fact)
Their table is laden with drinks, some alcoholic, and café-style plates of food
They have screens with games
“It’s not cheap cheese”
says a young man
delivering a plate
to a solitary middle-aged woman who must have complained about the price
I’m eating dirty vegan fries – a special order they said – and a pint of some German beer, that cost me thirteen pounds
And thinking about the fish and chips I bought in 1964 for one shilling and three old pennies
before decimalisation and before, long before, I became a vegan 30 years later
but now it’s 2022
and things have changed
as they do
And my friend, who works here and greeted me on my arrival 30 minutes ago told me about how he came to consciousness earlier today in the void and thought for a second that there had been a nuclear war
These vegan dirty fries are difficult to eat because the melted vegan cheese sticks them together in clumps
And when you spear one with your fork it brings half a dozen of its closest friends with it to your mouth
So you have to separate them with your fingers and stuff them in or eat too many at once
so you look around the café-bar to make sure no-one is watching you being a messy dick and then you realise, it doesn’t matter it’s not real because there probably has been a nuclear war and you probably are in the void dreaming of what might have been
And your friend, the one who woke up in the original void has disappeared and you realise that you are a dot the size of a neutrino in a universe the size of . . . . . . the universe
and it really doesn’t matter – even though it really does
Message to mes
This is a message to all the mes in all the parallel universes
You are the light
You are the love
The Younger Generation
I am a member of the younger generation and I always will be
you are too
I’ll never be old
that’s what the 60’s did
and for you
Beware of people
who sit alone
in the café-bars of arts centres drinking something like a pint, or a cup of tea and they’re writing in a notebook or a paper pad or on the touchscreen of an ipad (type thing), and they look up now and again and scan the room
Beware of them
They are writing about you
(Interjection on Wednesday November 18th 2015 – as I’m typing this into a Word document ready to be copied into the book that this will end up in. The interjection is this – is it possible that an intelligent person could practise a skill – say, like writing, for decades, and write countless words until they have accumulated at least 6 medium cardboard boxes full of their scribbles plus gigabytes of hard drive space, is it possible for that person to be a crap writer – I mean if you practised all the those years and still didn’t get even the tiniest bit of appreciation and recognition for your work – is that the time to just say “Fuck it – I’m a crap writer – give it up, find something you’re good at.” And what if I won’t accept that, because I have to write – I have to write – there is no choice for me – appreciated or not – so then my voice, however much it doesn’t fit with what is regarded as a good voice is, as good as, as important as, as interesting as, as honest as any other voice of any other human being, whether expressed in words or visual art or, god forbid – dance. End of interjection.)
There seems to be nothing there, but there are the uncountable billions of past experiences in this or other lives. Then there are the uncountable possibilities of future experiences plus of course the endless experiences occurring now.
And out of this nothing something new has to emerge . . .
Here’s an audio recording of this piece – text below:
Yesterday, after a breakfast of tea and toast with tahini and yeast extract we went to the Farmers’ Market to buy organic vegetables. We’ve been going to the market for years and once ran a stall there selling our own handmade soap and body products, so we know a lot of the regulars and stallholders.
I know that last paragraph makes me sound like an over-privileged hippie but I’m not, we actually spend a lot less on food and suchlike than most people do and cook everything from scratch in our pokey little kitchen. We just like to eat healthily.
I got chatting to a friend next to the fair-trade beverage and snacks stall, and, as it does when you engage in a bit of small talk at the Farmers’ Market on a Sunday, the subject got around to the nature of reality, involving life, death, and the hallucinogenic drug DMT.
The theme of the conversation was that we, i.e. human beings, or possibly all beings, project our own realities. We are all from the same source and each of us is an expression of that source but essentially we are one.
While we were pondering the imponderables, my wife carried on walking alongside the stalls. When I caught up with her she was talking to one of the other stallholders. He was nattering about aliens and about how there is incontrovertible evidence that they walk amongst us. He described a species of very short (compared to humans) hairless aliens. He also said that there are many proven examples of UFOs visiting our planet but that it’s all been covered up.
When I got home I did a bit of googling about DMT and discovered that those who take the drug sometimes ‘see’ small alien-like creatures, similar to the ones described by the UFO man. On my Twitter feed was a quote from the work of the Irish poet Medbh McGuckian: “There is only One universe at a time”
So, that’s the point – yes, life is so random there’s no way of working out what it’s all about. Maybe aliens do zip around our skies; maybe the universe is a personal projection, and this is only one of an infinite number of possible universes. Certainly, in the context of all time and all space then whatever our world is it’s less than microscopic.
But, you can only deal with what’s in front of you now – one universe at a time, no matter how insignificant it seems. If you need to have a purpose then your job is to contribute to the coherence of it all, because without your contribution then none of it would matter, or even happen.
This blog / website / whatever it is called now, wants me to add a new post every time I come here. If I do make the effort to add a new post it normally means I’ve got something specific to write about. Whether it’s one of my feeble attempts to market my books and/or art or whether it’s one of those rare occasions when I get wound up enough about some topic, usually political, or vegan-related, to feel a need to make some comment about it.
There is a third reason I add new posts, and that is the most important reason – it’s when I share some of my creative work, like a short story, or a poem, or some rant about parallel universes and/or the nature of reality.
But sometimes there are gaps when I have nothing specific to say, and I don’t feel particularly inclined to share some creative work, yet I still feel the urge to add a new post.
This post is a result of one of those gaps, there is no reason for this post other than to fill it (the gap).
Yet . . .
I do have something to say, I’m sure I do . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
And now it’s the morning of March 15th 2016. One of the things that’s prompted this bit of live writing is my desire to reach 100,000 words. As I type I can see the word-count at the bottom of the screen and it says, hang on, I’ve got to catch it unaware because of course it will increase as soon as I type in the number: The number of words that are in this book so far is 98,951 (including the number 98,951), but of course it’s more already – it’s relentless, nothing really stops, everything changes.
It’s a bit like that with life – as soon as you think you’ve got a handle on it, the second you think you’ve got it sussed – it changes, it becomes something else, that’s one of the consequences of getting older, you lose the certainty of youth, and when I say youth I don’t mean childhood, I mean adulthood, from your early twenties or whenever it is you feel as if you’ve grown up at last, all the way through to old age in your sixties or whenever it is you feel as if you’re old.
NOTE: This blog post is meant primarily as a personal record of something I did and the context in which I did it. It’s no more than that.
In the late sixties, when I was a teenager I used to sit in cafés and watch people. I don’t mean in a creepy way, I was just a casual observer. At seventeen I spent some time based in Paddington and worked as a Lugger – a Roadie’s assistant, carrying speakers and amps in through the back entrances,up the steep stairs, and along the narrow passages of nightclubs all over the UK. I grafted for several bands including Jon Hiseman’s Coliseum and Jimmy James and the Vagabonds. I shared a flat with other roadies who between them worked for some of the biggest names of that period.
I’m told I ate the dog’s biscuits and drank a lot of water. I dunked my blond locks in a bucket of lime and nearly died of pneumonia at a few weeks old. The pneumonia and the bucket of lime are unconnected, at least in the normal linear way we deal with time.
The truth is that after nearly sixty years of being me, (and being me involves a lot of thinking about these things) I still know nothing about myself. I am here – that’s all I know. I accept that here may not be ‘real’. I accept that reality is the biggest myth.
REALITY IS THE BIGGEST MYTH
“We are all in touch with everything at all times. There is no separation in reality. This life is an illusion created by a random collection of sub-atomic particles and no doubt sub-sub atomic particles. Because we are conscious we have to make sense of it so we make up stories.”
I’m sure the story of me will all come out in some way or other at some time or other. Here on the road this is a signpost or a post or just a sign. So the point is that if I was to represent the sun with a full stop . like that, then there are stars out there that are the size of this page – this room even, and we all know that the earth is tiny compared to the sun and we are tiny compared to the earth and if I could look into my fingernail or any other material thing I would see that it is composed of sub-atomic particles which really don’t exist and I can write my own story but even then you could say it is already written because there once was nothing then there was some sort of bang or expansion that emanated from some point in the middle of that nothing, nowhere, and the force that propelled that and created those stars the size of a hundred million Earths also created me and I am just a consciousness on some sort of trajectory through time and space and all I’m really doing is observing as I zoom past and I don’t have any choices except perhaps which dot to focus on.