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Chapter 2

She was carrying her husband’s ashes, she could not let go for he has died 14 years back and she carrying the ashes every day with her as if he were in her handbag for all time. The youths thought this hilarity had gone too long they had to have the ashes because it might upset her. Time is no healer because something’s one does not forget choose to remember forever as if time is a standby standing still going for a walk with all the hell loose in the world one has to hold on to something.

I read her story in the paper there she was carrying her husband in her handbag and she walking down the road, walking to the chip shop as if her life depended on her carrying him. Carefully as anything, careless of appearances and unaware of the joke that prank that kids do play. She walks towards the chip shop unaware of herself in danger unaware that she an ex in the making. Her children would or should have warned her but she unaware of herself as an oddity. The witch woman the odd one out the oddity in the joke as some kid grabs her handbag she will defend it to her last breathe for that is how life is doing things for the last time when one seems to have time that is where danger is when there is too much time. Like running water we waste it.

The kid grabbed the handbag, the kid so filled with curiosity to see what she would do. Grabs her by the hair and tells her to let go. She is surprised for a moment as surprised astonished to see such anger in that drug television educated person who does not know the meaning of love does not know anything but sex. Does not know the meaning of what will happen what is about to happen what could not be imagine.

She glares into her future without his ashes, her dearly beloved must be defended his body the only thing left depends on this in her hand she held him as she had when he was alive.

Could not let go. The kid couldn’t either he was hostile taught to be so by gangs outside left out in the cold in the wasted journeys which they call their pleasures these gangs what do they do? They steal what one does not want to give up. They steal and having grabbed the handbag she would never let go they are there watching each other as if playing with life and death issues. The old values against the new, the old against the new. Their fight would have been over if it did not mean life and honour, honour amongst thieves we’ve been taught. No one thief has honour that is why they steal. Honour and destitution honour and extinction honour and living without decency. What is decency just a prostitute without reason. There she is holding the ashes and would not let go not because he is alive but because he is dead and in her handbag resting.

Where is he resting? In her handbag the portal that is left the sacred place the destiny interweaved with her in her handbag without a place to go for this was the stance it is the last thing that was holy. The last remaining thing this was why she had to keep it. She has to keep it. Retakes the handbag, he laughs the old bag has strength. He grabs she retakes they do that a couple of times this is where society stands aside and allows these things to happen. The honour of the man is that he stands aside and not helps. That is how honourable we as society have become if gangs then let them be. Gangs pillage as long as it is not us let them be. As long as it does not happen to mine.

“I hang in the handbag not I!” Her frenzy is such that she does not realise he has a knife she is beside herself with the new grief that takes hold of her.

“No sir this is mine to keep this is mine this mine and mine.”

“ Then take it you old bag take this knife and take it again and hear it one more time because you are not going to keep this because it is against the gang culture to have that sort of passion.”

“You are not going to keep this.”

Those are the last words she hears as she drops in her blood onto the ground as if her tragedy is her triumph. This is her last stand her eyes are left without light. She can’t see anymore it is her last stand and she stood up to them she has indeed stood up to them.

She done her wifely duty she a Shaman she a woman she has done her last duty. Her will now is satisfied her life was the cause of her death. Her death is the cause of her being a hero to many maybe a joke to a few but something has survived her. Forever something has been done she has been and done something important for the little persons who crowd now with their flowers she is the hope for the fidelity and courage she has shown. This she has done for the youth as he will stand in the dock. Showed him up as he is now he will be ostracised condemned out in the cold where all the youths are.

The black singer made it good, made a hit. Such a lot of adoration and married well. A business man he kept her in the kitchen she could not write anymore. He did not want to see her, he said, “Your black face disgusts me.”

Kept her in the house to look after their son. She was eating in the kitchen she could not get away because he kept tabs on her. The things she has done also against her. This black singer trapped she could not get away her son trapped her. She herself was trapped she trapped in the animosity of this fiend that had had her when she a flirty thing.

At first she thought she had made it big time but she was no more than a slave. She trapped inside the skin she was. She young no more no longer a person she a slave. She trapped inside this great big cage of a world she trapped she trapped she trapped. She would tell the Sun she would tell the world.

She told.

Next day retracted. World thought made a mistake. She took back what she had said she could not do anymore they too big for her. They out to get her they out to strangle her births. She no longer productive and trapped in the kitchen with her son. The excuse she has the many excuses she has made the things she turned a blind eye to the things they make her do. The dope she consumes the things she does eat not food.

This is the person she is this is the danger they might take her child from her if she does not do as she is told. Trapper trapped her into this beastly rich opulent house and she can’t even go to the toilet without his say so.

It is a fact of life my dears that a novel has to mean something then it is important.

Look the other singer did not allow her husband into the kitchen to eat with her. She thought he was disgusting with his manly intake of food.

But what about the black woman in the kitchen trying to survive on the one hit song she had made? It is a fact of life that many women are trapped one way or the other. Inequalities of power is the danger to many women surviving themselves. Power and money is being equal one can’t fight gangsters can one? Not single handed.

Some black women make it some singers are well thought of. Well there is the death of a great singer.



“What happened to her was a case in point. The world and her parted.”

“Not a slave?”

“Drugged and finished.”

“But why the animosity against creative women?”

“Someone’s trying to prove something.”

“Who is?”

“Maybe it is show biz I mean they are all outsiders then they become important and crowned prince and princess and there are the barons out to milk the system.”

“But that is a scandal and there is no one to help these people?”

“No one at all.”

“But I am not on fire for nothing no one will get me?”

“You are too sensible to the situation no one can.”

“I don’t think that anyone can be that secure there is the firing squad the shot and then there are the people of my people the enemy is without and within.”

“But how? How does it happen what changes creation into a demon?”

“When the writer or the singer can’t do it anymore they turn to the stimulant then they are hooked.”

“I understand.”

“Only too well.”

“They kill people don’t they?”

“Yes damn it they kill those people that are the most creative.”

“The things people do for money and kicks.”

“Yeah both a demon both of them the fornication of today.”

“Stay in the kitchen with Amy Winehouse.”

“Yes she too.”

“What a waste of talent.”

“Remember talent too.”

“And Michael Jackson.”

“Poor Jacko.”

“Elvis Presley too.”

“Poor Elvis.”

“Remember Sellers too?”

“What Sellers?”

“Peter Sellers, drugged and sexed too much.”

“So he was.”

“It is a theory of mine.”

“What theory?”

“That there are people killing people with talent out of envy.”

“That is washed out?”

“It is only a theory.”

“Stop theorising it is too dangerous as we speak there are many people who are talentless who get killed too.”

“Like who?”

“People with money.”

“That is not true who got killed recently that was rich?”

“Read the tabloids you haven’t read the recent deaths in the Sun. In the Guardian in the Times.”

“Useless those are. They don’t tell facts like the Sun.”

“Why are you telling me this?”

“To create more words in the book I am writing.”

“You are not a novelist you are a buffoon.”

“I object to that remark it is against my intestine I burst out into a song.”

“What song?”

“The hills are alive with the sound of Music.”

“Look she was not killed?”


“Julie Andrews.”

“Too sweet she be. And married a talented director and stayed put.”

“Sandy Shew?”

“She went waitressing to escape the attentions of someone.”

“Sensible woman.”

“I don’t think so.”

“Me thinks you have no idea of what you are saying.”

“We all have to escape with our bags intact otherwise we lose the passport.”

“I don’t like to travel anyway.”

It is all lies.

How one begets trouble and hatred animosity and dislike and greed is not the answer to mankind’s problems.

However greed is the answer to our problem because without greed there can’t be achievement. The flux of life without end striving for perfection being perfect no longer forever becoming imperfect. Gangs and the terrible animosity that ex wives have on men. What right to cast an ex off to belittle and humble her to see her in the ditch without a throat? I have nothing on you do you have something on me? When the bell tolls the toil is immense we go through life without end striving for something like what?

Dodge the tax become artful dodging the queues becoming expert at this and that becoming lax becoming less honest become a dodge became mean and tight fisted. I became a bore became a slut, slovenly and unclean what now to make ends meet what now? When the tough set on me I get going. For I a woman am as tough as anyone else. I will make it we will even save the pound and the euro we will be perfect because women are expected to be perfect.

Can humans be perfect yet we expect ourselves to be perfect. We will die rather than admit we are not. This ass of mine I will rock it till kingdom come but what does it mean? This vessel this portal this container this thing I have this is me this is me talking this me that I am in the middle of this dance floor. Making love with you without you realising this making eyes at no one because there is no one else what else can it be but love? But man is unkind he is honest he is unkind for man do not believe that a woman should have eyes. I stare at the wall unable to move unable to think as if my eyesight is dimming as if life is ebbing into the ocean as with everything life goes on. Without all this what is life worth? It is as if the chaos in my mind is clearing as I write these words are mine I must mind the shop no longer I WILL not be bullied into anything I don’t agree with the perfect tense situation.

I glare oblivious to the dreams that are no longer there as if the ashes of my mind have become the ashes in my thoughts. Dusting myself I get up put the kettle on and make a coffee as if that will protect me from all harm. The brew is done I make a perfect argument as mum has the soup on bubbling with insanity as if her mind is made up to destroy all I have. I make believe that her not answering the phone is a problem I say why does she have to make the coffee in the morning when we haven’t had breakfast? Why the chaos in the kitchen why this meanness and shouldn’t sister be doing the rounds like the prostitute she is? If she is harming the children that is where she belongs.

Last night mum had a panic attack her eyes looking evil she sat in her chair glaring to destroy all I have. I read her mind as she looked at me as if she will destroy me. I have nothing to do today but write these words they will scatter like my mind into the orbit of insanity as if the candle I burnt is the candle I will light to see me through this as if the litter I have is the litter I had kept. What of my litter what of my life what of me? Where do I come into it? Is it all about me or is it about someone else is it the child or the woman or the adult or the human? What of this? This life this world of what the world why do I sense that something is about to change? Is it going to change for the worse? Is life going to make a mockery of me as it casts away all that I have dreamt? What is the living that I make or the lives I have saved?

Can a persons’ life be made of no account in just five seconds? What of all that? Why this? These abnormal lusts of mine as if the lust in my brain is in my body eating away all thought as if potatoes. I stand accused of self murder. I stand accused of dooming my youth of not calling for help of being a fool. What of that? We are all fools in the end, as if we go round and round the maypole in the dance of life as if the dance is nearly over for some then someone more beautiful and youthful comes and they take over.

I will dance with the devils in my head a terrible agony of remorse I have I have wasted me. Look there I am in the mirror looking sadly at myself as if the self is asleep as if the mirror has taken a life as if my ebbing is a dream that I can’t realise as if the dream is about to take flight without me. My wings are clipped and I am led by the nose where is my noose? Where in hell did I go wrong? What rights do I have as an individual? I have clipped the wings of some but now it is my turn to be clipped. Brushed aside cast away as if the world has gone insane.

Boiling cauldrons of despair as if the soup is the insanity as if my spate with mum is in the soup. The burning phone is in the soup as we glare at each other unable to say anything but what we think. We feel nothing but fear that one will attack the other. As if the knife on the work top will be handled without mercy. We start to bait the bait that will attack the other first who will be committed into hospital who will win this round.

“The drinks are all on me.”

“This round is mine,” says mum, “this is my round I am giving all my money to your sister.”


“Because she is about to destroy things and I like that.”

“What right do you have to do that to me and her and everyone else?”

“The right of my leg. The right of mum’s to destroy wver they like.”

“Surely it is not so? Even you don’t think that?”

“You see this leg?”

“Yes I see your leg?”

“I will amputate it rather than let it be of use to this house and those bitches on heat the children.”

“Well let us drink our coffee and curd the bacon and chew the fat.”

“That is what women do don’t they?”

“What else can we all do?”

“We agree on that women chew the fat.”

“WHERE are you going without eating breakfast?”

“I won’t be long. I have something to do.”

“Like what?”

“I have to write this book because if I don’t I will lose and you will win.”

“We mustn’t have you lose must we?”

Everything is unresolved problems are not solved I sit in my seat writing this trash as if my brain inactive as if my having a difficult life is my undoing. I wish that something could be done about Bottom. Whose bottom my bottom? It is callous to think of me doing the rounds in desperation I sit in the seat and start to write because if I don’t I’ll lose. What become loose like a stone? I will not become a stone there are too many stones for that I will become sand twisting in the feet and warming feet in the summer as if the sand will be in the egg timer and then time will become trapped in the timer then in my feet as I walk the beach.

“What a bitch you are!”

“I am what I am but not a bitch.”

“You’ve taken this house this house without a penny to your name. You came after you ran off we housed you gave you your good name back. Now you want all this what is it to do with you if I give this house to the army?”


“Don’t call me mum. You are no daughter of mine. You went on the streets and became common and ugly.”

“That is true I am ugly but not common.”

“I wish to give my money to whoever I please.” Said mum as the subject was closed forever for there is no reasonable explanation of the argument.

“What you thought to have all my money and take my youth then to give all that I begot to the army?”


“That is reason gone mad.” I said amused by the illogicality of the scene I thought of the locality for some reason. Then stopped myself it is no use feeling amused by the elderly.

“When life tires you just go and sing in the choir of life and it makes it all worthwhile go to a funeral and the mass is said for the dead the dead don’t rise. The chief mourner nearly did not appear. We all wondered what would have happened if he did not come for his wife’s funeral the ex husband was there but he was not related anymore. He came to gawk at the mischief he had done. The two sons did not appear to acknowledge the death of their mother. The nephews weren’t there they had school work. It was as if all the mafia had come and gone in that situation comedy the comedy of life. I was writing my short story. He the penultimate one was dodging me and pretending to be there when he had done an act. He looked as shifty as possible he implied he had something to do with the funeral and it turned out to be him the current bun. You know it is improbable looking at a gift horse in the mouth if I had the means I would have done the same thing. And I am going bankrupt. My imminent demise from the world of job is near and the end is neigh. I fell to singing the carol and joining forces with the good. We all hang in there amused by the sermon which seemed to be burying a fat woman which could have been any of us.

Anyway we all cuddled round the seat as if our bums would be cold without that support we did not feel the fragility of life. Feeling we were exempt from death. The housebound and the proud looked on at the sermon saying we should prepare for the everlasting but I did not think it was a parson and it turned round it was not a parson. I fell to wondering why there was a lot of pie words and if words and no words of hope why the husband had been the first to speak when he could not be heard. It was as if all the words he has did not come in order. I said to help him words but it only annoyed. He looked dignified and said he’ll deal with it. The penultimate boy friend in his disguise which suited him looked with nauseating at my friends as if he were jokingly referring to the fact we could not bury our dead. In the end we proved him wrong. We the disabled can bury our dead just like the rest of mankind we can survive this we all will. We as disabled will be strong to beat the stronger. For we have dealt with worse blows than to be made a spectacle of.

I looked on as the parson did not sing the right words and felt I should take over the next song and I did and it went better than hoped we all felt cheered as if our singing the last hymn together was the right thing and so we buried her the fat woman with me singing to her and to her husband as if we were burying ourselves but not our hopes.

The procession was no more strange than a normal funeral. The cruel blows which dealt us as we came together did not interfere with the last rites. Susan’s ring was given to Norman as he looked stunned by this blow. I tried to stem the blow too but it was dealt as if their being a ring on the body was a blow to decency. The rose on the coffin significant for all lovers, even those whose lovers are not numerous. How many lovers do one need to be able to love for thing one loves the best? Our words in bitterness gush from our mouths as if the last of her life was the beginning for us. We circled round no one cried, not even Susan’s sister. She a plump woman seemed to have expressed something called indifference and was now off stage looking on as if Susan was no longer a part of her. She was a huge indifferent relative not rich seemed to be Susan’s fault not being a part of the system to buckle into. Attending the funeral has taken her away from her life she came and done it and been a part of someone else’s suffering these feelings she dared not acknowledge. They were blasphemies which dared not be named. Their childhood together the only bond between them. That link could now be remembered, their blood now united as in life never had been.

There-there she seemed to be saying I have done something good in coming to her funeral let my life continue as I want it without this gushing of emotion for someone nothing to do with me now but in the past. The past acting like a beacon to me as if warming me with Sue’s friends. She seemed to have a great deal of friends what of that they all look mean or even tolerable compared to what she had. Even the husband seems to have spruced up. What of it she was disabled. Sue did not matter to me as much as me. What of that I am more important than her. The boys did not turn up what is it with me and Sue she was too bossy I can’t stand bossy people. But she has the many come to her funeral she has the many at her funeral I wonder if they will come to mine? Maybe they won’t. She is always in my path forever going in front even in death she has the last word.

These friends, these friends this is my world now. I am part of this group this is the group which I belong to. I am her and she is no longer there to take her place to oust me from being her. I a sister no longer but the grown up. I am the person that is the head of the previous house and now we are all here to celebrate my life through her being out. She and I had not said a word and now we can’t talk we have tried to talk but death is the great silencer.

Her friends these hers even with two husbands whereas I have only one. The drudgery of these people but now they have come to their own. Their dignity intact because there must be dignity even in death. There has to be dignity somehow there has to be life for all the rest after a death even if it seems to have stopped. Like a smashed clock without any hands. These are the hands that rocked the grave the straps have got to be used again says the men as he nimbly takes it away. The coffin under the earth chucked by the family the friends standing there as if their cross is to bear this silently. They have no excuse to look anything but stony, reserved it is not their relative but closer than relatives it is themselves. It is where they belong it is their suffering it is their spirit it is the persona they have elected to have or life has for them.

Friends with Sue a factor in her disappointment that Sue has had friends whereas she has to grovel for a kind word from the world out there unable to contact each other. No one is friends with anyone not in the real world of money. Everyone at each other’s throat enjoying wines and tasting the good life even in these bankrupt times. We are all bankrupt emotionally and physically we have done this to society to ourselves unable to communicate because we do not understand anymore. We have ceased sharing news and all we can share are needles. We don’t listen as we gibber we don’t listen.

I passed round to see everyone but there was Saul parading the husband of Susan as if he were a trophy. Look I am making him ridiculous do you see? I saw it made no difference to us this Saul person without anything but his fat dick and his stewed conscience and his business sense. This indecent haste of his as he smiled and without any feeling acknowledgement forced me to realise the cruelty of man. The animosity that my ex has for me because he has to discredit me with all my friends he needs to make me the scapegoat and the person with nothing. One day I will lie in state like Susan but maybe without anyone weeping over me as her husband was weeping over her.

I did not want anyone crying over me as I too made the way to my maker with all my deeds and sins. To be naked so without any ammunition without weapons to go in my night gown to this great journey with the penultimate one as the spiritual guide. It would be hell. I would be in hell. Is Susan the journeying soul without the guide too? Why the pie and mash humour and her former husband said he had not been able to locate her. He could not find her like my penultimate one had not been able to seduce me. It is as if my journal has come to me telling of these deeds what of that? What makes life interesting is the discoveries one makes about self and society. Families can too be interesting but sometimes I think feelings about family are that we are so secluded by life.

Life is worth all the pain one has to bear it is only unbearable when there is complete lack of love. Even a spark of love is bearable. As I looked on at Norman and Sue as they forever linked in that death scene their last waltz their last time together. Then the funeral man gave Sue’s ring to Norman and I fell in a rage why did not he wait a few more second? It is unjust to drive Norman out of his mind just because he is disabled.

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