I remember being held dangling over one of those huge gas storage tanks one hundred meters in the air by my obnoxious cockney uncle. Then I remember I dreamt it but it kept recurring so much that it seemed to slip over into a memory.
I remember the fact that I have let fantasies and dreams seep into my memory banks as if true events. This short circuit is very worrying. I genuinely believed my uncle had dangled me that high in the air. Thank God I’ve never accused him of it at drunken family parties years later. This memory malfunction evokes another far more disturbing one…
For many months…possibly years I had the despairing and stomach chewing thought that I had committed murder. I didn’t know who or why I had done it but the feeling kept coming.
Where did this come from? How did my dreams or nightmares infect my conscious memory so vividly? I began an investigation, of myself.
I looked for clues. Anyone gone missing lately? Statistics show that most murder occurs between people in relationships. No one had died recently. It’s fine. I’m sure it’s fine.
I felt visible relief when my closest friends kept turning up at the pub…or answered my texts innocently without accusing me of sadistic attempted murder. I felt slightly peeved when Gemma’s friend Stuart turned up.
Maybe it was a stranger. I’ve had some nights out where my memory has only served up a maximum of three snapshots (presented in my mind as tatty Polaroid pictures). What if it had happened in the many hours between these scant memories. I have often been known to stay on at places when friends had gone home, chatting to Lord knows who. Maybe I got into an argument or had been set upon. But to actually kill? I didn’t feel capable of doing that.
Dear reader the author is lying to you. He has fantasised about violence many times. He doesn’t want to mention this because he is ashamed. Only violence in a brawling street fight type way. Wronging injustice. Impressing girls. Being a God damn hero.
Lying again. He has thought about tearing human bodies apart like the head of a Chimpanzee War Party (band name there). Although those thoughts have come from the desperate love of his new child. Imagining (sometimes deliberately) the aggressor harming his child or picking her up and running. He catches them up. Always torn (excuse the term) on how to settle his crying or injured daughter or grabbing the guy (always a man). Settles on passing his daughter carefully to a friend or his wife. Then setting upon him. Toying with him first. Throwing him around. Then pulling him by the throat. Gripping harder until he is pulling him by the jugular. Battering him back and forth like a one of those ball-rubber band-paddle games.
Attenborough is guilty here. Both these scenes have entered my thoughts from his programmes — Killer Whales Seal Throwing (less successful band name) and CWP as mentioned earlier.
He holds his pulped face close and screams into it with pure unhinged rage showing every single glistening tooth. His canines are sharp and they tear easily through his victims cheeks. My dad didn’t sensor my reading or viewing that much…but he did warn me not to read American Psycho until I was 18 years old. I adhered to this but maybe that censorship should have been, ‘NR’- Never Read.
He/I/IT also thinks about sudden acts of violence in the most inappropriate scenes. These ones are not in a dream. These are tourette like thoughts of dark extreme acts that cause me to blink my eyes to snap out of it or to leave the room.
My sister had a terrible pregnancy with her second child. Lost lots of blood. Many complications. I went to see her and the new baby. I had very little experience of holding new borns. I was very nervous picking him up. I hope this is where these horrible thoughts come from — anxiety.
I knew I shouldn’t tell her what went through my mind as I held him. Although who else could I share such intimate thoughts with. I am very close to my sister. She shares my dark sense of humour. But would she find this one amusing?
I told her, “Right now all I can think about is crushing his fragile egg like skull, throwing him against the wall, punching you in your newly sowed up stomach, running away, throwing up, crying, never to be seen again. Shall I pass him back now?”.
Thank God the only pain it caused was her laughing so much it pulled at her stitches. Not everyone is so aligned to my plain of thought. I am certain it has put a divide between me and two close friends when I told them about my desire to throw their new born into a fire. As they politely grappled with me to get their baby back I repeated, “I would never do it! I just keep thinking it! Honestly!”.
Decided to not share these thoughts again. Apart from with my sister. Until now! This is for my bloody creative writing course. How can I read this shit out to the group tomorrow?!
Anyway back to the investigation. If I was capable of these insane, psychotic thoughts was I not capable of carrying it out? Who the fuck have I murdered. Will unpicking it be my downfall? Will I get myself caught by becoming my own worse Columbo?
Excuse me sir? Yes I am right here. In the same head. You don’t have to say excuse me sir to yourself.
OK just one more thing…(chewing cigar, squinty eye…it’s fuckin Columbo you millennial fuck).
I decide to talk to some friends. I am definitely not going to share my intentions. I am strictly undercover. I just want to find out about some of the messy nights I have had recently. Maybe there are some clues there.
I meet with Deborolla. My Italian friend who loves drugs. I think of a recent time in Peckham. She was going through a break up. I was listening intently. She mentioned that her now ex-boyfriend was becoming a problem because he clearly had a coke habit and it was dragging her down. It had gotten so bad that she had recently hid one of his bags. Pretending it was lost so they could just have one slightly less fucked up night.
I was booking a cab with one hand and consoling her with the other. Right so we head to yours do the bag and then I guess we just go out in Balham after that. Not as good as round here but fuck it.
Maybe it was that night. I ask her what we did after snorting all the coke round hers. Did we get into any arguments? I had lived round there a few years previously. Angrily moving because of the people I kept meeting…or not meeting. I have always struck up conversation with strangers (or should we say my fellow brothers and sisters on this Earth..yeah man), especially when out and drunk or high. I had lots of knock backs in this area of London. None of them were ‘proper’, they were all from the Home Counties. If I ever bumped into a born and bred Londoner they were more than happy to get into one. Were they more confident with new people? Being shoved up against 12 million of the fuckers might do that to a person. I am half/half. Born in London but moved to the home counties at the age of 10. Definitely not ‘proper’ and sadly aspiring to be. Dropping clanging ‘ts’ and ‘hs’ when in the right company, especially when getting a dirty bacon roll. My mum’s side are all proper so I have grown up with it too. Showing off about being poor. Bit odd. Poor but tough. And friendly to strangers!
The home counties people I have come across are often clicky and very afraid of being impolite or different in any way. Miserable bastards. I am completely like them too. So scathing of individuals expressing themselves. So embarrassed to write stuff down and then say it out loud to people that really don’t care that much about what you say. You are not that important! “No one’s looking at you!” I hear my mum shouting as she nonchalantly holds the towel in place as my eight year old self conscious self gets changed on the beach.
So maybe that’s it! I bumped off a toff for not indulging my slurring, gurning rant. I just need to look for upturned twatty polo shirt collars with specs of blood chucked in the local bins. Yes I will search all the Bins of Balham. Fuck me I need help.