Tag Archives: Expression

Face Paining

It was a day for singing and sadness, a day for open hearts and censored thoughts, a day to celebrate the life he has not mourn the living he left out. It was not a day for honesty.

The rain sluiced down the windscreen onto the black bonnet, drumming a tattoo on the roof of the Cadillac and muffling the sounds of Sophie’s quiet sobs from the back. Dave shifted awkwardly in his seat as he tried to gather her more fully into his arms but her limp figure just seemed to slide from his grasp at every turn, leaking back onto the black leather seats as if to immerse herself more fully in the noir of her misery.

“Come on, love” he cajoled. “We’re here to celebrate Alan’s life and he wouldn’t have wanted to see you in this state now would he?” The second the words left his mouth, Dave wished he could suck them back in and erase them from existence, but it was too late.

“What?” Sophie’s head whipped around with a muscular power belying her previous slackness. “You hadn’t spoken to Alan in weeks before he died!  How can you dare to presume to know what he would and wouldn’t have wanted?!”  The previously muffled sobs now started to escalate into tearing cries akin to the wrenching apart of rusted metal as Sophie worked herself further and further into her state of hysteria

“How could you?  You know all he wanted was to be friends and if only you’d have talked to him perhaps none of this would have happened! I’m not sure you should even be here today.  If the tables were turned I’d be too horrified to show my face at his funeral. You… you…” This thought was clearly too much for even Sophie’s melodramas to finish and instead she dissolved into loud, hiccupping wails that startled the group of mourners making their way past the end of the car under their umbrellas.

Dave sighed and once again shifted in his seat waiting for Sophie’s display to finish.  His head was starting to ache and in all honesty he was beginning to wonder why he had agreed to attend the funeral. Wiping his hand over his face he heard the rasping stubble of the last three days and felt the sleepless night’s grit in his eyes and thought over the possibility of escaping the confines of the vehicle and Sophie’s amateur dramatics into the cool embrace of the October rainfall.  For just a moment he entertained the thought of leaving all this behind him and making a break for it through the peaceful graveyard to his left.

Suddenly Sophie’s flaccidity seemed to return in full force and she flung herself artistically onto his lap and howled into chest with a ferocity that made the driver, studiously ignoring his passengers until this point, jump in his seat and turn to the back seat with a look half shock, half ill-concealed disgust plastered on his face.

It was too much.  This was really all too much for Dave to take. He took one look at the driver’s exasperated expression and couldn’t help the noise that came out.  Sophie slowly lifted her head and turned to look at him in disbelief, but the view of her makeup strewn, puffy-eyed, slack mouthed, wobbly-lipped indignation was the last straw.  He could feel it creeping up his chest and overpowering his conscience sense and there was nothing he could do to stop its onset.

Dave leant his head back in the seat and roared with laughter.  The kind of laugh that leaves you feeling weak and trembling after it’s arrived.  His body shook with the sudden mirth that overtook him and tears started to course down his cheeks unchecked as he pushed Sophie away and reached for the door handle.  This seemed to shake her from her incredulity and spur her to action

“What the fuck do you think you’re doing you selfish bastard?  Today is about Alan and you think this is acceptable?  You clearly have issues you need to sort out but right now, I’m telling you to get your shit together and think of Alan!  Shut that door, get back in the car, get yourself together and walk me up to that fucking graveside or…”

“Or what Sophie? You’ll do what exactly..?” Dave left the question hanging in the echo of his final chuckle and stared into the face he once thought he loved. “You’ll do what?”

They stayed locked in the stare for a long time before colour gradually started to flood Sophie’s face, barely visible beneath the cake of makeup on her skin but the flicker of her eyes down towards her now twisting uncertain hands was all the confirmation he needed.

“No, I didn’t think so,” Dave said quietly. He turned in his seat and pulled the door open.  The grey sky and greasy rain greeted him as he stepped from the vehicle and straightened up, stretching as he went.  He stood for a moment; face turned to the clouds and listened to the muffled sounds of the world beyond the black Cadillac and all it held. Without a backwards glance, he walked away, through the peace of the gravestones.



Lost for Words

I have spent the last three or four days – I lose track of the time – writing but none of it for here as I am doing what I promised I would do two years ago and starting my writing course in earnest.  However knowing what to write is a challenge I have to work through and one I have definitely never faced before.

I love English and writing and consider myself to be fairly well-read and literate but somehow in the face of a broad and open writing assignment I have to do in my own time, with no restraints on topic or focus, I suddenly find myself without a thing to say.

I consider the use of language on paper to be the greatest expression a person can give and perhaps that’s because it is my forte in this field.  If a picture paints a thousand words then mine would sigh ‘oh dear!’ repeatedly, musically I can produce a squeaky rendition of 3 blind mice on the recorder and as for the stage, I can regularly be found hiding behind the nearest settee should the opportunity of acting come about.  This could suggest that writing is therefore my only option but though this is the case I also hold an affinity with writing that I do with no other source of outpouring.

The sentences you can write, the words you can twist and the tangles you can weave with the power of language – especially the English language – is something that brings me joy every time I hear it or have the opportunity to use it.  I used to write poetry that would twist round in ever decreasing circles, skirting the point and not quite touching on the heart of the matter until the end of the verse when it would become apparent the words had been circling the point like a vulture round a wounded animal; too easy to dive right in for the kill, better to wait and watch to see how events unfold.  They would never have been great works of art but now when I re-read them I can see through the layers of description and flirtation with the subject exactly how I was feeling at the time, which meant the most to me and which I wrote because I thought I should.  The years between an anguished teenage mind – a warped sense of priority and importance – and the adult I’m trying to be today simply melt away within a few lines as the words on the pages describe in infinite detail the very memories I was trying to capture.  That is something a picture or tune could never manage.

I don’t underestimate the power of these things either having felt the power music has to contain a memory.  I am a great lover of music and believe there is a song for every occasion, the control music can have over the subconscious to bring thoughts and feeling roiling to the surface, even those you would have considered buried deep or almost forgotten.  The dip and swell of a powerful song has the power to sweep away a bad temper or reduce you to tears in the course of a chorus and leave you feeling drained and used by the end, this I do not deny and is the very reason I usually have music playing whenever I’m writing [Ed Sheeran today – what an amazingly talented bloke, buy +, it is a rollercoaster of an emotive, softly spoken album].  However this is not something I am capable of creating myself.

The skill is in creating a landscape of information and intrigue no matter the medium used.  When a creation sucks an outsider into the centre of your piece because you’re able to not only plot the course of your own experience but also project the feeling emotions, colours of the moment and taste of the atmosphere, the piece takes on a life of its own.  A self-sustaining energy that grows with every viewing/hearing/telling.  No matter what any artist of any style says, the epitome of a successful piece is one that speaks beyond the ears of its architect.

Why else would the hidden diary, stuffed beneath the mattress of the bed evolve into the publicly viewed, rated and open to comment blog of the 21st Century if not to be accepted by others.  Unfortunately it seems that the idea of art for art’s sake has died out with the ability to socialise without leaving the confines of your computer.  But then perhaps this has always been the case and those proclaiming their art has been created for their own sake and no-one else’s are in fact those that would love to be accepted into the fold by ‘the audience’ but fear of rejection keeps them two paces back.

And so it turns out I am not without subject matter or the words to express just simply without structure and the twisted roads of illustration cannot be mapped, only travelled.  Even if the destination is somewhat alternative to the expected.

Let’s face it; it’s all just asphalt.  It’s how you tread it that matters.