I see forests like patches on her dress by the streams that form great clumps like dermic moles. Towards the spots in the shadow clusters like a patch of 1000 terracotta huts ache as the eye of the storm overhead approaches.
Would it be a system of nerves, taking turns to thread wormy roads roping down urban Tabernacles with spires that to an unreachable end, kiss the Sun.
Such twisted stitches beneath the armpit lift the roofs and each of them have a different view but the survivors who live here will not be able to reach alone, therefore they are left a stones unturned; mysteries:
In the east there are blackbirds and in the south above the den of foxes who are the workers with cleaning jobs, but the air is of retail therapy. Dopamine shops yearn for comfort, regulars to pharmacies and cafés are crowned upon the tips for the staff on minimum wage.
It was also the west and north which I grew up in. I was a witness to a chorus of gardeners arms armed with rakes fighting the war on leaves and the sobering wind which brings tears to the eyes.
My name is Elliot, I have always believed in God, I am a spiritual human being, a Jewish boy who is skilful with stringed instruments, of poetry and of dance particularly the movement of ballet and contemporary dance and I am honoured in Oxford as distinct comedic actor, I like clowning but I was a child when I survived being sexually abused.
Standing on the potholed tarmac, as I change to a high gear uphill, a cobweb on the sign for the village neighbourhood watch scheme rustles. It twinkles in the dew as the early sun scatters upon every surface and the daybreak like a flagship makes flee
all the nightly shadows.
I open my ears to my surroundings and I hear clock that ticks in the classroom in the visceral of villages. I want to feel useful, helpful and understood.
My abuse didn’t happen at school: that was a place I escaped to; where the climbing frame appeared like a mountain. It was where I spoke with the God to whom I believed, where also I had wrestled the wind not letting go until it blessed me.
The gentle breath of my teachers adored me on their laps, so as I pretended it was my birthday for bumps and they knew me more than once a year by the bumps I was looking for. We were supposed to get one for each year of birth and one for luck. I was popular with them and teddy bear - who stayed to keep watch.
Then I peeled my face away in the corridor from the graph of this English city affectionately known as town which is what everyone who are townsman call Oxford here, A very old fashioned place. Oxford. It is like a coat of arms having both sinister and dexter. Such polarised sides are divided yet complimentary.
Though it is a difficult task to obtain a right to hold a British passport, I am still getting used to the English culture and I know more about being Jewish then I do with being Anglicised that is to say more then I desire to be English is to be a citizen of heaven and saved and rooted in the gospel of Jesus Christ.
And we have been brought near; by the shedding of his blood which speaks a better word. A man who knew what it was to be abused. A man who was humiliated according to his righteousness and crowned upon the head with thorns. A man who was betrayed by his own kind, by his closest friends. Learning his way I feel useful helpful and understood.
Therefore I am one who is confident, predominantly a servant who is in the doorway of the house of God.
Riding along in cars
As a passenger during this time of my first and second school, I occasionally smelt menure in the air.
I was a toddler and I lived in the farmland of the eastern boundary of Oxford. My earliest memory is of the inside of various driven vehicles.
Riding along, when I was in the car of my rapist, the window rolled down in enjoyment in the front passenger seat, a winding window device was controlled by my left hand, the car was pulled over anyway and the window was wound up for me. Before pulling over, he chewed a tablet of gum looked at me and charged “Elliot can you wind up the window please?” and I kept a silence.
In my head I imagined that he would not believe that I was punishing him as a five or six-year-old toddler.
In my head I thought that he may overlook the thing and give over control of the window because it moved in a way which was cute but I felt hard pressed that my abuser switched every now and again. One part of the day happy and then the next moment enraged. But I thought it may be reasoned by perhaps he was uncomfortable wearing a certain outfit - but I was proved wrong. There were days when he wouldn’t wear those clothes and I was still subject to these childhood adverse experiences.
That is why a game of wind up became a prank I invented that I sometimes won.
He was a balding builder, a family man who made himself welcome, he had brown eyes and very dark hair.
When he told you what he thought the world laughed.
They laughed the way that boozers laugh when they guzzle down a table filled with vomit.
In the 60s he had eloped from India with his girlfriend my grandmother despite persecution from whom I believe were Zoroastrian or perhaps Jewish believers, these were not accepting my Grandad who was a fan of Elvis Presley and they persecuted him for being a follower of the king. They prevented my grandmother from dating my grandad for religious reasons. Therefore while in London where they lived in Oval they married then moved to Oxford. My grandmother who was ethnically Jewish knew how he would do it, in private, did nothing.
When I was alone naked and wet. Beforehand, he led me into the bathroom we were outside and he always held my left hand across the road and walked me into the toilet inside the bungalow.
Running the bath with warm water he looked down at the water and tested it with his finger he told me to take my clothes off, pressingly, he told me to take my clothes off. I was a television and he was the remote.
My left hand exchange with his hands on my body and I stepped into the water and soaked in it and then he came over and asked me to stand up and he molested me.
The both of them did the best that they could do since it was the same way they had also been treated. A habit or pattern of incest made my grandad a homosexual paedophile so this is how when I approached the police about this crime at the age of 27 years and they quickly initiated the question of standing in court with what I had reported to them as sexual exploitation and abuse. The investigation was treated with dignity but they could not proceed until I’d given consent to them and my response was to say no because I chose to forgive and step away from the police investigation. So to pursue helpful closure by way of seeking the kingdom and his righteousness. I felt brave and peace came as a reward. That day many police cars were parked in the police station carpark because little or no crime had been reported at the hour I was to the station. I walked away from the police station alongside the officer that had interviewed me that day and shook his hand, I looked at him and said that everything is going to be alright.
I never saw justice, by reporting it to the police in the UK.
I don’t understand the appeal of sexual exploitation of children, what about a child is so attractive, is youth worthy to be jealous of? It’s also that he was doing it with boys but when my little sister was contacted by him on her birthday she didn’t at all like the gift and gave him a big kick in the leg! May she be made safe.
The routine touching and talking with me naked in room, was like the booting up of a PC, or the annoying repetitive wheezing of a pigeon on the tip of the chimney that was too far up the brickwork to frighten away.
I didn’t ever think about choosing to ask for help because I believed that what was happening to me was normal. Washing up was not just for plates of food because after dinner and before cartoons and bed from a young age I was lifted into a sink naked to be washed humiliated by him.
The rain reels like a lamented sky which is on my side baptising the earth and broadening the air that stinks of manure.
After I was old enough to attend upper school I experienced still bullying tactics such as intimidation, name-calling, physical assaults from him, then he made me sign in pen a contract of sorts on multiple occasions to document an agreement that I would respect his home and that my behaviour would be monitored and this resulted in me doing something about the situation. I ran away from not home, but a house when I was 18 years of age.
He was inviting himself to every birthday Christmas and of course he also babysat so that his abuse continued.
At the time discipline was the word, but it later became disciple. This is my Dutch heritage which is how I know to get to the point quickly. It was also distinct to be in touch with Hollanders at home, it has remained distinct in my life and it was for my grandad also. We also had in common that the house where we lived was also distinctively working-class in our identity, since when my grandad moved to the UK my grandparents had no money and the only jobs available for him were to work in construction of the London Underground network.
What’s my grandparents gave me was love, kindness, financial security and knowledge when my parents had failed they became my guardians, however it was not enough to justify his sexual predatory behaviour towards me and my little brother.
What he did was wrong for those who are themselves witnesses as I am of childhood adverse experiences, the following of what he shared doesn’t make him more important than Gods righteousness and the law which brings knowledge of sin.
In the spirit of revelation I have received for his life compassion and understanding because my poor grandad was a man who suffered insuring a culture of abuse at school by catholic teachers at an Indian boarding school in Mumbai for it is that hurt people hurt people therefore with such an environment as spiritual physical emotional abuse for many survivors like my grandad during his early developmental years
By older man it comes as no surprise that this pattern of circular pain in his life was left on broken;
A toy car filled with plastic people is pushed along a staircase a train carriage tumbles down the stairs all the carriages contents spilled out our people and they are utterly dismayed.
In Isaiah chapter 29 verse 13 Wherefore the Lord said, Forasmuch as this people draw near me with their mouth, and with their lips do honour me, but have removed their heart far from me, and their fear toward me is taught by the precept of men.
The presence of authority was mistaken to come from men when my Grandad regarded them in his certainty and through a strong drink. This idea becomes in the end the surface for a whip and the dread for many who are running away from being rescued by Jesus is that we returned to being dust in the end.
One afternoon in the neighbourhood the riding along in car journeys helped as God the creator of the universe and all things intervened dramatically, when I was alone waiting for him.
“I’ll be just a minute” explained Dad and he shut the car door electronically looking from the outside.
I was six years old my very best friend J was leaving town and I was desolate, I began to fear that I will die alone and knew so that I would miss him terribly therefore I was quite anguished in my spirit, and he was a boy my age who I felt safe with, one who I wanted to be like and he had had healthy relationships with his parents, he let me tell him stories which I improvised and there was joy and a beautiful blessing of comfort and of trust.
I was lead in a vision provided to me by God when he left our school, there was a man hanging on a cross and he was in glory in the clouds with spiritual beings ascending and descending all around him - However I did not know this was the Lord Jesus, whenever I feared death I saw him on the cross.
My dad was a Jewish boy a good lover with lots of dating partners a hard worker determine dark-haired he had a filthy mouth and talked emptily about most subjects apart from being catholic and being a mother’s son and he was a the son of a Jewish southern Indian Persian lady and perhaps a Dutch American Northern Indian father, he was a terrible driver who used the brakes to choke me in the seatbelt. He was enraged during many times riding along in the car.
There was a spirit of play in the house with our dad. We lived with him after our parents separated and I don’t remember when they were living as a couple.
He coloured in our bedroom walls with our favourite cartoons he papier mâché a beautiful wire mesh structure made with twisted wires which he mask taped to the ceiling and painted it creating the underside of a boat and ducks legs. So that when we looked up at it it was as if we were deep down underneath a river.
Around the time when he made our bedroom light bulb green instead of tungsten he spoke of the Lord as though to put this to sleep mentioning him as father and he talked to us both, my younger brother included, telling the words of Jesus it was greatly interesting to me that even though my dad was simply trying to get us to sleep faster, God provided me a heart ready to receive from him a blessing that I believed in God because of the following words.
Matthew chapter 6 verse 9
In this manner therefore pray:
our Father in heaven
hallowed be your name
your kingdom come
your will be done
on earth as it is in heaven
give us this day our daily bread
and forgive us our trespasses
as we forgive those who trespass against us
and do not lead us into temptation but deliver us from evil one
for yours is the kingdom the power and the glory forever amen.
Don’t try, perform!
In every way my dad was affectionate and a playful one. My father was a hurt man and tried to beat me during times when I was most vulnerable like in the bath or getting ready to go to sleep and loved as a favourite my brother rather than me because I was quiet. He forced me to write lines when he was punishing me for bad behaviour, he didn’t teach me to be real, but, he did however teach me to perform and there was therefore a platform to be genuine within the performing arts craft.
Whether it was martial arts or reading, show in towels, show and tells, a magic trick or acting on the stage my dad gave me everything I needed to be a performer and it was very effective.
My mum was my childhood hero who I saw as an underdog. Someone like a superhero who are a secret identity like a Mexican wrestler masked but ferociously Celtic in her demeanour. I loved her and she didn’t have to reveal her identity because I was her baby.
There was another ‘big lady’ in my life my best grandmother my dad‘s mother who was a Jew by herself she paid no interest in the history of her family and relationships were not valued not encouraged but instead seen as an impromptu hassle.
Therefore the focus was on the quality of life that my dad received and this became a pattern for my dad. Work family and a home was all about essence but along with sickly selfishness that I apprehended even as a young boy. I wasn’t allowed to speak when I wanted to and I enjoyed playing guitar music as a way out if it.
I adore my parents and I love their souls because God loves them and they deserve gods love who made them bustling to be saved like me.
As the air became hot under my breath I noticed that in the car my mothers house was 50 m away in this East Oxford suburb called Blackbird Lee’s yet this day we did not visit my dad drove there to choose not to go but to visit his lover my mum‘s neighbour my parents had parted ways dramatically by this time and there was no fear of the Lord. My family were secular, so that is why the vision that I received was so epic, The presence of his spirit lifted me high and I found rest from my anguish and I forgot the chafing of the seatbelt and saw this crucified man as often as I felt afraid and it got me through the grief of saying goodbye to J whenever I felt fair I found this vision happened had I been born by the spirit? I did not know Jesus was the name I just knew there was more.
Moving to live with grandad
Gods finger omit calamity in the life of my poor dad meant that he would need childcare as he looked for stable work in the early years this was right before upper school.
The easy option in our care was to be left at buggery bungalow forever.
My grandad was eager to do things like childcare but I saw it as a normal persuasion for him, though my grandmother protested initially, there they had worked out that we would stay in his old office.
I am aware that there have been times of serious prolonged abuses in many other children’s lives to namely the human trafficking in India where children are grotesquely blinded, in a brutal effort to make it look more attractive for begging.
Where I was abused in a more covert way in the UK during times of private parts and sharing a bed with my grandmother. I believe my brother also was undoubtedly sexually abuse to but I did not see any of the abuse in the bedroom where he slept with my grandad.
Only I remember I could sometimes hear in the other rooms the laughing and moaning of playing yet the obvious clues were when my brother started to complain about his Butthole itching when he was a little older he had done it in a grandiose manner to let everyone know that his Butthole was not off-limits in sharing about. May the Lord have mercy.
He shared a bed with grandad. So sometimes remember the safety of playing in daycare centres noone was ever open to talk to me about Jesus and shared this vision one long summer day during a break from our school dad moved into his parents house and my brother and I lived there with him.
So it was that one long summer day during a break from our school dad moved into his parents house and my brother and I left there until I was 18 years of age.
On the way to the annual town fair in Oxford the one with lots of loud noise, bright lights and the big rides like a ghost train.
My little brother and myself were singing in rounds in the backseat soulfully in gibberish - a made up language.
“I will turn this car around if you don’t stop you yap both of you”. Grandad told.
In the driver seat he wore a sports coat and a cherry red polo shirt and flashed twinkling eyes above repeated movements of masticated airwaves to crash into party even the smell of candy floss and the brooding essence of occasional manure filled air.
Okay - preservation of the self is not interesting to me but a sense of humour is and to survive you see in Oxford is by a blessing of requisition from the Lord.
He gave me the foundation of love and relationship and that was what I missed out on certainly at this age but the one thing I had an abundance was the command understanding quickly and imperative instruction not only in workmanship and labour but also in preparation to walk the vast hilly Earth of countryside you need firm ankles.
At the bottom of our legs are those Bendy tools he designed to complement the Achilles tendon and the skeleton offering sure physical alignment and balance.
It was the physical intelligence to use these ankles now it seems to me to be the key to why the majority of people in Oxford England speak with a melody which balances the peaks and troughs of life and even so when there are those with lives with more mountains, with more valleys than flock of blackbirds that overwhelm in their multitude. The words of Jesus I never knew; we are more valuable than many blackbirds.
Taking after hero mum
The earliest time I remember with my mum happened this way.
The deflated wheels balanced with bubbly anguish and the souls totter inside the hatchback. A group of friends belted themselves tightly to the seats. An overheard conversation and I was reclined in the boot of the vehicle laid as flat as a pancake, as a young boy shifting his weight to the comfort in the raucous bends of town.
“I want to go in the boot with you!”
A man who gripped the wheel adjusted his mirror and stroked his smoky grey stubble.
“Next time Trev” - he swerved. “Are you alright in the back?”
My family is big my mum was now pregnant with my little half sister, it was this day inside the boot of her new boyfriends dads vehicle - with no seatbelt! I was adventurous, I imagined I was him driving because I thought he was a cool guy to start riding along around East Oxford.
“We’re nearly there! I just - just don’t move into the forward seats - why would you? while I’m driving. Okay? Keep low and still because the police will be looking! Hold onto while I go over these bumps, otherwise, your turn out like one of my pancakes on the kitchen ceiling”.
“I will do” as my voice, crackled.
Then the car pulled up to the grey, grainy curb.
With mum I was always rocking up and it was a completely different world. She told me to enjoy the snow and to not only express but to lament before God so being a male and wanting distinction from her I learnt to go with the flow because she was a little bit more lenient in her role that my dad. She knew it was more fun with her then with my dad.
I believe that my dad was physically abusive to my mum and that she was coping with similar problems to me in this regard. So we became emotionally connected about injustices. But the crisp autumnal colours had also covered that connection and it would only ever be allowed to happen on her terms.
Taking off her beret, her habit to changing at the swimming pool remained in the same room as her new boyfriend and us.
That was the earliest memory I have of her naked and I remember that both of her privates turned and faced her man, like turrets on the Bismarck, it felt like he was a shame to be present with me.
It was such a political lead driven absence of boundaries that caused a lack of growth in healthy relationships with many people that I encountered, for the fences were never mentioned in such a way that I needed to grow but I reasoned as a child does.
Here in Cowley behind a traditional chip shop called Symons with international owners. The road set aside for pedestrians has planted trees at aqua distant from each other and the autumnal shush of crisp sycamore Maple leaves a shoot in a pre-is hailing see it that way when seats are carried and they were tossed onto a plastic pram which had a see-through covering And bluely grey double castor wheels. The little house with a veil for the rain, I felt that it was a great thing to have been rained on. The healing droplets are from God.
As the car and it’s diesel engine to pull out onto the road to another destination, onto the curb stood my mum in her late 20s with blonde and blue eyes partly dyed light reddish brown. A Saxony nose, pink lips and loud broad stocky shoulders.
Appeared behind her hiding a little boy who is my little brother - let us call him Trev for the book. Led by footballers fists, defined features which he unveils to the world, poking backward a childishly flat chest, the rest of his weight sputtering behind him.
In the chair that I helped my mum on fold was the shape of a sitting patient boy and that was me.
You could see our ribs through our skin and many days we were poor and couldn’t buy food.
Inside the pram with two seats one for me and one for my little blonde brother.
The fastest form of communication is non-verbal through the eyes and the cool of your name and in these ways I comforted my beautiful brother Who could only use tone to speak until later on.
The house on the corner of the street like one of the trees set just writes had black trim the edges and the inverted tile roof shelter white roses were growing in the front porch and a wooden gates. Then pushing it as it was hinged inwards like a stiff guard making an honourable salutation and defending the interior. She let us into a brand-new house. I believe that she lived there for a time after my mum separated from dad but I do not know for sure.
Then what happened was dinner
Dinner is served
A dreadful apartment
A second house
House take 3