Saturday, 29 May 2021


Daniel continued digging. Each movement caused his lower back irritation but, for once, he was on a mission and would finish no matter the consequence. Again, the shovel struck the exposed earth, moving, digging, ever further into the soil.

Another clump of earth moved from the wet, sodden ground. He’s started digging twenty or so minutes before the rain started, as he cursed his obvious luck and misfortune. He smirked, understanding, realising, that this was typical for his life. He’d give up, throw the spade to the floor and proclaim his dissatisfaction to the heavens above but, for once in his life, he’d accomplish the task come hell or high water. He laughed a little, realising that high water was closer than he’d ideally prefer.

His arms, aching, continued with their given task. Each instruction from his mind, pushing him forward, but in this instance and task his heart was also incredibly invested towards the outcome of his efforts. Daniel’s frustration, as well as mild anxiety, furthered his anguish. He simply wished to find a solution, a path, or a safety net, all the while knowing that he had little choice but to continue.

He’d made decisions in his life, some bad, mostly good, with only the negative aspects remaining to constantly haunt his waking thoughts. Again and again, his misdemeanours continued to taunt him. If he could run, he’d consider such an option, but he knew that he could never, ever, escape himself.

He continued to dig, nearing his objective with each strike and lift of the shovel. He’d explored many options, spoken to a hundred and one people, with this being his last and final option worth considering. He wanted to be cleansed, to escape the person he was, even though he wasn’t a particularly bad person. A shedding of skin. A renewal. An opus of possible regeneration or, even, just a better version of himself.

He’d read self-help books, the power of the moment, understanding the very notion of how a human being should conduct himself within a living society. He was still denied the silence of a quiet mind, a relaxed mind. As his thoughts invaded his attempted calm, another section of dirt vacated the ground and finally, he was ready.

Daniel dropped the spade, as he fell to his knees. He felt ridiculous, but quickly moved away from such notions. He knew that the mind, let alone a person’s body, could often work in mysterious ways and at this point in his life, he’d try anything and everything. He raised his hands, imagining a wooden box, as he opened the imaginary lid. Within, there sat an empty space. Daniel smiled. He was ready, finally ready to move forward.

The rain splattered around him, over him and into the hole in front of Daniel. He lowered the imaginary box. He then closed his eyes, raising from within him such emotion that he immediately started to cry. He couldn’t hold back any further. His eyes opened as his tears joined the hundreds of raindrops around him. Each tear, landed into the invisible box. Each emotion, be they negative, expressive or even destructive, rose within him.

As the overwhelming feelings sat within his heart, his mind and possibly his soul, he raised his hands to the side of his head and then, with as much energy as he could find, he gestured metaphorically by throwing the energy from within him, into the invisible box. The cleansing of a spirit, the freeing of a soul, the demonstrative capacity of a person willing to grow, shown within the seconds of his life.

Each let down, each loss, each crippling word spoken to another, let alone his own demonising moments, released from his very emotive display. He no longer wished to be held captive and captor to his life. He wished for his words to be kind, to hold and to console him. His heart was gentle, his soul but the weak child of innocence, yet the enclosed cage had started to strangle his very life. Gasping for air, tears still falling, he felt the very weight of his world push against his entire body. The vessel of a person could only hold so much sacrifice, so much sacrilege, before a person’s will would break. Daniel knew all of this, he understood and despite having the very world at his hands, it was not enough. The demons, the devils, the mere thought of returning to the young days of being an innocent child scolded him, squandering the chance to just simply be what he could be.

The wounds of his words were, finally, fully exposed. The rain, the moment, the visually encapsulating box in front of him, allowed the expulsion of so very, very much. He could swear that he could feel his actual soul emptying. The conscience of a man, expunged. The heart of a man, sanctified.

The last tear from within appeared from his right eye and, in that moment, he could see it fall as if the very moments of time had neared the slow sacrifice of existence. The imaginary box, now full. The lid, closing as he thanked his very makers for the chance to humble himself in such a way.

With gentle trembling hands, he lifted the invisible vessel. Placing the box into the ground, he gently placed his left and right hands either side of the hole, to slowly drag dirt into the seemingly empty space. Vanquished. Gone. Hidden and taken from him. As his mind cleared, he continued to place the dirt into the hole. Faster and faster, as the smile appeared upon his face. He didn’t care if it worked or not. He wouldn’t even give that fact a second thought as, in the great scheme of things, the pills hadn’t worked, the friends, the thousand conversations as well as the ten affirmations. He would find his own solution, his own sacrifice if needed, as long as he could survive. All he wanted to do was bury his old life, his sacrifices and failures and, hopefully, keep them buried.

Monday, 10 May 2021


Upon the surface I know, we all know, that the outwardly facing world is a picture-perfect reflection of the ideal life. My smiles, my laughter, all reflect the amount of love I feel for that person in my life. We hold hands, we giggle, we wander around the world and the onlookers seem to even be mildly jealous. Picture perfect. We’re matched, meant to be and are far, far more.

When I met you, you said all of the words I wished to hear. The trials and tribulations of your life seemingly overcome, resolved, removed and the wishes and kisses soothing my very soul like no other. I fell so very, very hard for you. I couldn’t wait to hold that hand of yours. To hold you. To have and literally throw myself into the situations we managed to find ourselves. We laughed like no other, buzzing and bouncing around like silly fools.

I remember when the phone would beep and the moments my heart would skip. Each message was but the very smile upon my lips. Your words, your curves, all infecting my soul. I should have known. Perfection can sometimes incur a cost. Many people often wear masks to hide so many, many sides, but that’s often to protect themselves. I understand, I also supposedly understood the thoughts upon such survival techniques.

Then, upon one solitary day, something changed. Ambushed. Unknown. Not quite ready for what happened. You changed or, should I say, you changed when your lips touched your secret addiction. You hadn’t faced your demons at all as, instead, you’d simply hid them within a room of dark secrets and cruel debauchery. The very notion that the sweetest, most innocent person you could ever meet, could change into the cruellest, demonising, destructive person, was something I wasn’t prepared for. Under your very skin, lurked someone that I would never, ever, wish to be anywhere near.

The alcohol turned you, switched you into someone that I simply did not know. You would pick, prod, deflect, blame and patronise. Every opinion thrown from my thoughts would be ridiculed. The coward finally rising from within, intending to destroy the unknowing person sat beside you. Eventually, over time, I realised that the very intention of your hidden side was to break me. Subservience is what you desired. To be better, to tower above me, for some godless reason that I never fathomed until later. I came to understand that love was not worth the anxiety of having every single word scrutinised.

I, eventually, was no longer blameless. My own actions faltered as I tried again and again to change the situation. I was wrong, I failed. I started to change and with each new action, I realised that I was the only person that was managing to do just that, change. I was becoming defensive, argumentative and afraid of each new conversation. Manipulation can be a gradual process. Slow, meandering, clever and most certainly, evil.

Upon a day, you stood in front of me, shouting, asking me, telling me, to hurt you. To hit you. That, upon that very second, explained everything to my simple, silly, mortal soul. If upon that very second, I did as requested, my soul would have been lost and the victory won by your possibly unknowingly twisted mind. I would have been chastised, broken, owned and reviled by every single person that you would have told. That was your intention, the breaking of bones would never be the same as owning another.

Upon almost every single level, hurting the person you love, be that pain physical, emotional or even spiritual, should never, ever, enter a person’s mind. Things happen, people grow apart and eventually have affairs, but that’s just the way of a heart that hasn’t yet found what it truly needs or desires. The pain is often not intentional. Abuse is every single meaning of itself. It’s intentional, avoidable and most certainly not to be accepted within any second of our lives. At least I’m now trained to see the expertly hidden signs of such actions. As mentioned, I’m hardly innocent, but at least I’m honest. I’ll never ‘be’ you, even though you could be anyone. I have no pity or answers, only solutions that would never, ever, have been heard.

I’d like to believe that you simply believed that you were right with all of your words but, seeing as the trends upon your life mimicked themselves with each new partner, I’m afraid that my beliefs would never become truth. A person can be crushed. A person can break and fall, with even the smallest of words eventually provoking fear and dread. The child scorned into remaining silent, awaiting the next episode of revulsion and panic. Two people together can achieve so much, but one person upon their own high-minded chariot, can chastise and corrupt even the strongest of characters.

Abuse is not as clear as I thought it was. Abuse is slow, not always physical and most certainly hidden, hidden behind the sweetest smile and most caring words. I’m one of the lucky individuals that has, thankfully, thoughtfully, witnessed and escaped the verbal abuse of another.