I’ve thought long and hard about putting this one up. It was for my Experimental Literature subject at Uni, and it was . . .well, experimental.
Fair warning, it deals with some sensitive issues – drugs, suicide, violence etc.
It also gets kind of dark at times, and to be perfectly honest, it scared me away from my own writing for a bit.
The experimental component was three-fold; timeline, medium, and charachter. Not sure if ‘enjoy’ is the right term for this, but see what you think anyway. It comes in several parts, al of which had visual components as well. For the parts in which the written words aren’t so obvious, the text will follow the visual. This is what it looked like as a whole project, and as a caveat – I’m not an artist please don’t judge me too harshly for the paintings!
Dear Dr Perlman,
I’ve thought about what you said, and I tried a couple of your suggestions. Back when she first died I never would have thought I’d be here saying this, but thanks, they’ve actually helped a bit. I even tried poetry, and you know, the ‘other’ one. It still feels like shit, and there will always be the ups and downs as you put it. But I can see the ups now, and I can weather the downs. I’m heading away to catch up with some of the others from the system. It’s been years since we all saw each other, and even without her there, I think it should be a good experience. They had a better time of it than we did, so maybe that might help.
In any case, the guilt remains, but it is what it is. Can’t help what happened. Can’t do anything about it at all.
Thanks, and I’ll see you when I get back.
PS Can you say sorry to Gina for me? Thanks.
Alternative therapy apparently. Trialled and fine. . . very fine from my limited experience . . . but can’t get approval. Too easy for dodgy fuckers like me to get to it. Drug addicts and degenerates. Never taken a drug in my life before this, had enough prescribed, no need for any more. But fuck it, right? If it helps? Can’t be any worse. Surprising, harsh, but. . .yeah. Is god. Is good, I mean. Or is it god too? Who knows? There is a peace to, is like a slowdown and. . and a floaty thing and isn’t that what heaven is like? But then again, who would know? Can’t know what heaven is like unless you die, and once you die it’s a bit late to tell anyone about it, unless you can find one of them spych syki psychic peoples and then you need to arrange the right people to be there to hear, an’ alert her to your presence, but to do that you’d need to leave heaven, and if heaven is anything like this, why would anyone want to leave? I guess it’s why there’s so much of the bad stuff associated with it. The only ghosts haunting us must be the ones trying to get out.
I wonder what heaven would look like? It would have to have this shit in it, this is. . .well, heavenly. . haha. . .hahaha. . . HAHAHAHAHAHA!! Punny, right? Hahaha!
But I guess that there’s no shit flying off the walls is a good thing then because it means she’s gone to heaven, it means she doesn’t want to stay here or get back here, right? So much for being a ‘tormented soul’.
She’s finally achieved what the head doctor wants of me! That’s it! She’s accepted and moved on with her life. . .or afterlife. . .or is that still a kind of life? Ah, fuck it. She’s in a better place now.
HAHA! DID I JUST SAY SHE WAS IN A BETTER PLACE? HAHAHA!
Wait, the doctor wanted me in a better place too. My head anyway, she says.
‘We need to get your thought processes to a better place,’ she said! I remember! Oh shit, my doctor wants my thoughts dead? Is that what she’s saying? Shit, that’s why she wants me on this shit, quick, put it out, put it out! Probably already called the cops on me, they’re at the door, I can hear them scratching, yowling, they want me scared, they want me to run, so they can shoot me like that guy on TV, they want me to . . .shit it stopped. Why did it stop? Why scratch and yowl? Was even Jules part of this? Fuck it, I gotta get out of . . .
The door is opening. Slowly creaking, the ominous. . . funny word, ominous. . . who’s been sent?
A cloud walks in, tail in the air, haughty look degrading me. What do you think you are doing here, human? I stare in relief at Mina, strolling and meowing through the room. Cats. They think they own the place. Even she looks at me like I am trash.
Unless she is a part of it too. Trying to send me to my ‘better place’. Death by a thousand scratches. Maybe it would be better if I just let them take me there.
‘Take me! Do it!’ I scream at her. She looks at me raising a paw as if ready to strike, pauses, turns away. Of course I’m not worth effort. I’m a fucking disgrace. I don’t deserve a better place. But that doesn’t mean I don’t want to go there.
A connoisseur of funerals and remembrances. I’m thinking of becoming something of a professional attendee, been to that many.
The eulogies are the strangest parts though. For all its apathy and weirdness, this one gave me the most comfort. A disgusting, selfish kind of comfort, but nonetheless. . .
They usually don’t hit me, but I guess with Jules, she was special. Even if she didn’t know why.
It wasn’t much of a home where we came from, a torturous security I guess. The outside world was terrifying, but then our ‘home’ had other things. Him. Meant to be a father figure. Clothing, feeding, schooling us. But also the source of the terror. Our family, for the short time it was one, was as fractured as the building. Barely remaining in places, but remaining nonetheless. A burnt out husk that would collapse at the smallest encouragement. It started small, things were added here and there, not quite within what was familiar, but not enough to change the core of it.
‘A heart of warmth,’ the eulogist had told us, ‘that inevitably was both the reason for love, and the reason for ultimate demise.’
But the heart of it, that soft glowing fireplace that kept the family huddled together, warm and thankful, that didn’t last. Bricked up and denied the ability to follow’s it’s nature by the very ones it provided for.
That was another analogy the eulogist used, though I don’t think he meant it the way I took it. All I could this was that when that warmth is taken away, what is left but a husk?
And who is to blame for it? Is it the workman who finally put the bricks in place? Or the person who paid them to do it? Or is it the one who first put the fire guard in place to stop logs rolling out, starting the whole process?
To be honest, it’s probably all and none. After all, isn’t it coming down anyway, at some point?
Depressing, nihilistic. That was how some of the others described it.
But maybe, just maybe, that was what I needed. I can’t hold myself to blame for a husk that was going to fail anyway. It’s not my fault she burned out. It’s not my fault she was hurting so bad she couldn’t get past it. It’s not my fault she didn’t have an outlet.
Please Jules, just tell me it’s not my fault.
Oh god, she did it. Everything she told me. I thought she was drunk, I never even considered she would actually go through with it. I’m so sorry Jules, I could have stopped you, I could have saved you. Ha! Saved, makes me sound like I could’ve been some kind of hero. All it would’ve taken was some human decency.
Oh god, it’s still. . .I can’t believe it, no, they’re has to be a mistake, you wouldn’t have, a coincidence. Please don’t go like this.
I can’t believe it. You gone and me here crying like a bitch. You know they keep trying to tell me you’re in a better place now? That you were a troubled girl, a tormented soul, and you never meant to kill him too?
But you did, didn’t you. We both know it. I know he probably deserved it, that no-one would believe us. Hell, I tried to tell people and they just moved me on and you got him. But still, you killed him, Jules! What the fuck?!
But even if you did, why’d you have to go and take yourself out too? I miss you. There, I said it. I got all emotional for you. Yeah, it probably sounds all self-centred, but you were the only person who got it, the only person who understood, even if we never spoke if it.
I just realised.
We never spoke of what he did. After I spoke up, I never brought it up again. We never spoke of it. How the hell were you meant to know?
I’m so sorry, Jules, please forgive me, where ever you are better place or otherwise, I’m sorryimsorryimsorryimsorry.
‘Don’t stress buddy, nothing you can do about it now.’
Her voice. Perfectly her. And all in my head. Add hearing voices of the dead to the list of things they can tell me are wrong.
I want your forgiveness, Jules, but you’re to here to give it. And even that’s my fault. Every time you used to ask why the hell I keep putting up with you. It makes sense now, fuck I am so bloody thick! You were reaching out and asking, but all I could ever muster was some smart arse response about ‘you know, it’s ‘cos you’re such a great wingman. . .woman, whatever’, or ‘too much effort to replace ya’.
I’m so sorry. Knowing you’d been through it too was pretty much the only thing that kept me alive all these years. You didn’t even have that.
I want your forgiveness. I want you to come back, even for just a moment to tell me it’s okay.
But you won’t, because it’s not.
You’re dead and it’s my fault. I’m so sorry.
You killed him and it’s my fault.
And I don’t think I can live with that.
KAVANAUGH, Jacob Cole. 18/09/1994 – 12/09/2018. Aged 23 years. Died in tragic circumstances. Greatly missed by all the residents of Ferdinand Foster house. He will always be remembered for his kind heart, quick wit, and his tenacity through tough circumstances. Personally missed by all staff.
KERIMORE, Julie-Anne Stacy. 06/15/1996 – 12/03/2018. Aged 21 years. Died in tragic circumstances. Greatly missed by all the residents of Ferdinand Foster house. She will always be remembered for her kind heart, quick wit, and most of all, her tenacity through tough circumstances. Personally missed by all staff.