Wednesday, 21 October 2015

Degrees of sanity

A rare glimpse of my psyche
 For once, I will veer from my usual track and let you truly into the dark side of my world.  I need to warn you that this is not an easy read. 

Lac La Biche, Alberta, Canada
 Almost six years ago, my dear friend Faye passed away. She was an angel who came to me in my hour of need, and our friendship developed into a spiritual love that still exists. 

At the time of her death, I was considering emigrating and had all but got a job lined up at a bookstore in Lac La Biche. When I got the phone call from Faye's daughter, Marge, I didn't need to ask what had happened. 

Over the next week, my mind was in such turmoil that after I had returned from visiting my mother, I locked myself in my room. I went to our local supermarket and bought two bottles of whiskey with the intention of getting drunk enough to dowse the pain of my loss. 

My wife became so worried that she phoned the emergency services in case I had tried to kill myself. In the end, I couldn't drink even three glasses of the whiskey, and threw the rest away. Was Faye watching over me?

The Descent of Mark Johnson 
 Four years ago, I wrote the sequel to my award-winning e-book Chronicles of Mark Johnson. The Descent of Mark Johnson came from a very bleak personal time for me. That is why the story is described by a reviewer as a harrowing account of a man going through a mental collapse - I was that man. 

Initially, I wanted to write a horrific story full of the anger I felt at being so badly treated by a lady I once knew.  I arrived back in my room with the intention of writing a gruesome death for Annette Palmer - her character in the stories. My friends asked me to take a break and write the following day as they were worried about the possibility of me killing their hero, Mark. 

I sat at my desk on that Friday, with a story in mind and how I wanted it to go - and stare as I may - I couldn't write a word. I spent several hours staring at the blank screen trying to write the story I intended, but nothing happened. The next day, I wrote the sequel. In later years, The Descent became Wharfemere Finale; I wonder what would have happened had I written my intended story? Wharfemere Finale has never sold; perhaps the gorier story could have sold.

 I sit in my room and consider a few things from my past. When I lived in Clevedon, there was a man who used to go round the village collecting rubbish. His house was full of other peoples' litter, and we felt sorry for the poor man. When he passed away, it was found he was a recluse and was worth millions of pounds. 

I am quickly becoming like him, over the last few years my life has been whittled down from a traveler to be almost housebound. Shortly, I will be housebound. 

Last June, my late mother was placed in an elderly persons' establishment for her safety - by her doctor. When we visited her, in September, it broke my heart to see her sitting in the room staring out of the window for hours. I may not have liked her, but to see what her life had come to brought me to tears. Fortunately, she didn't stay long as she passed away in October.

I sit in my chair, and think she had only a few months; I may have many years of being trapped in my room. My only solace is I have my family, and books here. But, the bottom line is I'll still be housebound.

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