The dirty dreams of
Gauge Wombwell.
Part 1: Death and how to live it

I had an extremely odd thought today. What with all the people that have left my life of late, I began to wonder, what if I’m dead and I simply don’t realise it?

My severe Tinnitus abated recently, sure I have a very minor hissing in my ears, but compared to my usual noise of gale force proportions, it’s almost silence. I stood outside this morning, around 8 a.m., watching the kats eat and keeping an eye out for the other pussies I call the “urchins”. They sometimes intimidate my kats so as to steal their food, little buggers!

This morning was incredibly still and quiet, nothing was moving. It was almost like time had stopped. I commented to myself what a quiet neighbourhood I live in, and how it was almost silent. Then I went back to bed to dream horny dreams of Miss X.

I’d played at X’s 18th birthday party, a notorious bash at Hazelieigh/Cock Clarks. The Tryp were probably at their peak: I’d recently met the Bitch Goddess and Miami, unbeknown to me, was looming large on the horizon. After Bowie’s death X and I connected via Facebook, some 30 years after the party, and we began a cyber adventure. My karmic concerns drew it to a hasty and rather sad conclusion when I found out she was engaged. Unfortunately an old email resurfaced a couple of weeks ago, our paths actually crossed and the flames of our passion/love/delusion/whatever started to burn very bright again. We met and talked for almost 9 hours straight, a beautiful day……

But of course, last year’s bullshit became this year’s bullshit. Our “love” was strong, but not strong enough for X. We passed each other by again: me heading towards the future, and her going back to the past…..

Out on my booze run last Saturday I bumped into someone who was a very close friend, up to just prior to my last trip to Spain in March. Mr W works at the mortuary in one of the bigger hospitals in Essex. Our last conversation in February did disturb me somewhat. He mentioned again something he’d mentioned before, but this time in much greater detail. He said the cleaning of the mortuary was made difficult by “dwarfes who keep teasing me”! “Dwarfes?” I said, “and that’s a euphemism for?” “Dwarfes” he replied, “you know, the little guys, there’s usually 3 of them”. Well there would be 3 wouldn’t there? Folklore dictates. And of course what came into my head then was a song by Tomorrow, called “Three jolly little dwarfes”.

It’s odd that Mr W should mention dwarfes in a mortuary: in Norse mythology they’re sometimes described as dead or corpse like. But I digress, let’s get this straight: Mr W is an intelligent, and very well read man. He’s very much a loner, has no friends save for me, and his only companion is a beautiful grey feral cat. He actively shuns people, and spends the majority of his life reading……and drinking. When we visited my sister in the Highlands a couple of years back, she was shocked about how large his drams were, over a third of a pint usually. For someone in the Scottish Highlands to be shocked by the amount someone drinks is a major event and something of an achievement! Everyone drinks there, breakfast, dinner, tea and supper. I’ve drank whisky with Jed and his estate manager at 8.30 a.m.

Let’s get back to the dwarfes: I’ve seen some fucked up things in my time, things that I couldn’t explain. But I ain’t ever seen any dwarfes ( thankfully! ) no matter how fucked up I’ve been. And whilst I believe strongly in super nature, I’m not sure I can get my head around the concept of “the little people”. I’ll risk their wrath and say I don’t believe they exist, except in fairy tales or mythology.

After Mr W and I had our last conversation, I admit to being somewhat troubled by it. Indeed I spoke to MP ( more on her later ) about it, and we both agreed it was sadly some sort of mental health issue, greatly exacerbated by industrial amounts of whisky, an illness not uncommon in males of my age who drink constantly to excess.

In the morning, the day after I’d had the “dwarfes” laid on me again, another odd thing happened: as I walked out of my front door, I noticed a large Tesco carrier bag on the pavement outside. It was full almost to the top with all the cds I’d ever burned or given to Mr W, literally several hundred. I was shocked, and a little hurt too. Why did he return the cds, something that I’d given freely to him, something that took a great deal of time to put together? Again, I felt very sad that I’d taken all that effort and trouble to gift Mr W, and he’d essentially thrown them back at me, tho’ tellingly he didn’t return any of the paper and plastic porn or the 70 plus books on philosophy and spirituality I’d given him…….hmmmm.

I told the lovely Roshi about it: he said Mr W was undoubtedly a seriously troubled soul, and whilst I shouldn’t close the door on him, I should let Mr W sort it out for himself, as it was unlikely I could help him. I guess his total unwillingness to speak last Saturday gave me the status of our friendship. And more than likely he’d probably driven to Asda drunk, in search of more booze……

Re MP aka the Mad Princess: we met at a New Year’s eve solo gig of mine in 2008. I’d been single for almost a year, and had read the dreadful twaddle that is The Game by Neil Strauss, and really wasn’t at all needy or looking for trouble. But she was positively radiant, so I just had to speak to her. Of course I’d known her for many years as the mother to a friend’s 3 kids: she’d always struck me as being incredibly pretty, but with little to say. Anyway, at the gig we had some great rapport and laughed a good deal. I gave her my card and told her to text me if she ever felt like meeting up for vino and chat. Probably a week later she texted me, much to my great delight, and I guess that kicked off an 8 year relationship, sort of. I say sort of, because there were gaps in our friendship, sometimes for a few months. She’d get the hump about something I’d say about her kids and avoid me for a while. But worse still, she’d endure periods of such stress, that she simply couldn’t leave the house, and sometimes took to her bed for a few days. I think the worst bout led her to stay in the house for almost 2 weeks. She became seriously nervous and felt physically sick at the thought of leaving her home. I begged her to call the Doctor but she simply wouldn’t have it. She told me she had regular “breakdowns” and usually her Mother would take her away for a few days, and try and sort out her head.

I guess it’s a familiar story to me: the influence of a Mother over her daughter, so strong it could kill. MP had the attitude that doctors were for soft people, for quitters, and anyway the experience of going to the doctors was so terrifying for her, it made her feel a good deal worse! Her Mother had a tough time with her Pa: he was a drinker and a gambler, a “naughty boy” no doubt, exactly the type that a lot of young women go for, only to realise several months/years into a relationship or marriage that their naughty boy is just a philandering arsehole. And of course MP did the same, with the Father of her first child.

MP’s Mother left her and her siblings when they were only a few years old, as a result of meeting another man who no doubt gave her a good deal more kindness and love than MP’s Father ever could. And I guess the majority of MP’s mental health issues stem from that. Oddly, to listen to MP’s Mother, you’d guess she was virtuous beyond reproach, and when the Father of MP’s kids bailed on their relationship after 18 years ( similar to her ) scorn, hatred and disdain spewed forth from MP’s Mother, even tho’ she’d done the self same thing! Nothing like the pot calling the kettle black.

MP’s Mother is all “I’ve had a tough life and I’ve worked bloody hard” etc etc. MP’s motto is “the meek shall inherit shit” and she’s certainly meek, but in a very innocent and gentle way. Every new year’s day she turns round to her kids and says “same shit, different year”, like it was something inevitable. I sincerely love MP, she’s almost my perfect woman: incredibly pretty, very feminine ( in a natural way ), intelligent, very funny, and she doesn’t use the internet or watch tv, something I see as major virtues. But emotionally she’s very cold: I guess she feels she has to be. Her Mother left her when she was around 8 or 9 ( tho she did return, some months later. Sadly, it was obviously too late ) and then the Father of her kids did similar after 18 years. What chance did I stand to gain her trust? And when she texted me a few months ago, telling me she had no time to see me any more and that I needed to find a new “friend”, I guess I had to accept the inevitable……

Well life is a gamble, like it or not, and I’m not a gambling man. But sometimes you have to throw caution to the wind and roll with it. It’s a shame MP didn’t have the strength or the love to do that where her and I were concerned……

So what of my joining the legions of the Walking Dead? Well there are some benefits to death; no bills, no ills, and no heartache. But receiving a newer, more expensive council tax bill snapped me out of my zombie mind set. If they figure I’m alive I suppose I must be, the bastards…..

But really, what this whole piece is about is mental health. I said to a friend of mine a while back, we’re all Bipolar, one way or another, some less so than others, tho’ I’m not sure I’ve met many in the latter category. And aside from the usual “chemical imbalance” issues, I think fear is a massive part of the problem. The media fills a lot of us with dread: about the future and the past. The internet has wiped out any sense of community which was once very strong and essential to our society, a place where people helped each other. We are the legion of the “wanking dead”: we sit in front our devices waiting to be entertained, and when that doesn’t happen we watch other people having fun. Which usually involves sex. I’m sad to say, people simply don’t give a shit any more. We are desensitised and demoralised, scared for ourselves, hanging onto whatever we’ve been told is precious, not realising that interacting with one another is food for the soul.

And as for me, well I ain’t got no excuse, except my OCD, which again is back to chemical and emotional imbalance. We live in a fucked up world, where few have any respect for many. I don’t know what the answer is, but I know it involves a good deal of compassion, understanding and love……

“The only thing that burns in Hell is the part of you that won’t let go of life: your memories, your attachments. They burn them all away, but they’re not punishing you, they’re freeing your soul. If you’re frightened of dying and … you’re holding on, you’ll see devils tearing your life away. If you’ve made your peace, then the devils are really angels, freeing you from the earth.” – 14th century Christian mystic Meister Eckhart


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