So I slept


Dare  mE



So, I slept. Uncontrollably.


 Afterwards I strolled into town, devoid of an objective yet surrounded by translucent paraphernalia. It hung around me like a crest fallen halo, suffering and bleak.           “Tap, tap, tap it in” whispered the local drunk whilst I dubiously flung him some of my hard earned yet paradoxically spare change.

“And your Mother son, she touched ‘n it, din’t she?” he scrawled against my retreating wake.

               It took me about half an hour to reach the old part of town, that being the bit that was there before the new shiny angular spiked mess was produced. I noticed the graffiti on the old flower shop was almost incomprehensible. It used to bring comfort to me, but now prolific waves of untitled doubt surged through my arms and toes whenever I happened upon it. Sick puppy.

 I was on my way to meet the local. He’d seen me and gone and come back. Some un-foreseen hassle had arisen from the normally “Hi, Bye” situation    

“…No really, I didn’t mean that”. I’d dug myself a hole. “I’d have bought it earlier, for twenty five, but now you’re going on about traveling expenses”. He answered with a “Frankly my dear…” I waited patiently for the inevitable.


My wide gaping, fully unlocked skeptically grey front door welcomed me suddenly home. I’d been enjoying the walk and acknowledged the fact that I would not forgive the door quickly. Locked it was, at least when I’d left. I entered and finding nothing disturbed apart from the drowning of the goldfish, slept, fitfully and uncontrollably. I dreamt of weeping widows and humid walls and hag’s hats and reeds.

                                  Too soon I woke, in a controlled manner. I lolled my legs onto the carpet. I couldn’t help but yank them back, the carpet felt hot to the touch, spherical and hot. I re-orientated myself and realized that I’d been sleeping on the ceiling again, I had to stop. I had to take stock. I had to. Things were getting beyond control. 

               Breakfast screamed at me from downstairs. I ate and drank. And then made a little space for some more. The bacon was off and the milk had gone with it. They’d left a note saying they’d be back before dark. More than likely they wouldn’t be back till the following morning, fucking cattle remonstrated against any rule I imposed with screams of “Old Joe never treated us like this”. What they didn’t know would never hurt them though I suppose.

Quite quickly and quietly I decided that things were wrong. Click flick de-construct and everything had gone. I’d always thought as a child that darkness was an equal force to light. Only recently had I realized that dark was merely an absence of light. “Sit tight and relax,” I said to no one in particular. That was the problem that was peeking over my event horizon, the inevitable truth that I’d… “ LEFT THE BLOODY COOKER ON”.

I had quickly and quietly [at least after the initial outburst] excused myself from work and out paced the local scally’s to the bus stop. Sitting there all red and damp I met a girl. She was all dressed in pink. Her clothes she commented “Look about as stressed as you!”

               “I’ve left my bloody cooker on” I told her.

“Oh dear” she said.

“Tell me about it.” I said “I mean, all my stuffs in that house”.

“Well if it’s only stuff then why worry?” She retorted back like a sack “ Look my cars just over there…” she said.

           “Why are you here then?” I questioned.“           

“I could ask you the same” Miss Pink replied,

“My house is probably burning down that’s why”

               “Well you’d be better off at home with a hose or a bucket or something. Come on I’ll drive you”. And that was that, we’d met.


“Shit”. I had a series of blisters on my feet. They looked at me with their pussy eyes, intoning death wishes for my stupidity. I slumped into bed only to hear an “Ow”. The bastard things were talking. Blisters couldn’t talk. “Shhh, you can’t talk,” I told them.

“And why not?” they replied back to me.

 “Because you’re blisters, blisters can’t talk, it’s just not right…” I said, and was then belted around the head quite viciously with a pink flip-flop.


Sandcastles in a cupboard on its back, Hay castles in the field. School stopped by snow-blocked road. Ear searing super jets, and comforting picnic benches taught me lessons. 



   everyone was talking about my house burning down, although it hadn’t. My cooker wasn’t on when I got back. The T.V was, but not the cooker. Strawberry and I had drank tea and talked. Terry [the duty supervisor] had asked me in the canteen if my house had burnt down. I told him

  “Yes, terrible isn’t it”

  “Terrible news sonny…” he said “…have you anywhere’s to stay ‘part   from the street?”

  “No Terry. Nowhere.” I sullenly replied.

  “That’s terrible news son,” He said whilst walking off with a purple grin.


Strawberry and I had talked till we were tired and it was dark. The streetlights had stopped working some time ago. “Dark lonely streets outside” I muttered. “I’d better stay here then” she replied. That night I had dreamt of rotten fruit and a polluted countryside.





At work the next day…



“ ‘orning”



“Hey, did you see…”

“ … no she’s ill, her mum said that she’d…”

“... what? I asked for that last…”


               I slumped into my sharp cocoon. Green phosphor tunneled down into my cerebellum and tripped dead synapses. I longed for coffee.

               By noon I realized I had to quit. The coffee hadn’t helped one bit; it had just made me more efficiently depressed.

The Boss, Philpot, who wasn’t really the boss, was a cunt. The real Boss, Philtot was really nice. Philpot and Philtots Father Sandros, had owned the business. He had nurtured the ill sapling his Father had left him into a flourishing meaty tree. He had then gone insane and wrote a bizarre will before he took his own life by impaling himself on a twelve foot rusty whale harpoon. Philtot, (so the will said) was to be managing director and receive 98% of all gross profits, but only if he lived in the janitors office, eating only cheese and milk for twelve years. He was halfway through and going loco fast. Philpot was to be the voice of the company and relay messages to and from Philtot via two plastic cups and a piece of string, for this he would receive two Million pounds at the age of fifty-two, unless this exceeded the gross profits, in the likely case of this happening the company would be liquidized and all the money burnt underwater at high noon.

               At work everything was everyone’s. From the milk to the mind, from the e-mail to the boss’s hail. “Morning Boss?’ you usually said. “Fack orf boy” he chewed out at you.

I’d bought a plant in once, just a spider plant. The Boss had insisted it went into the staff room, which was smokier than a sixty-year-old Laundromat operator; it had died in a matter of days.

    “Y should u ‘ave a plant when no body other don’t?” the Boss had said to me. I found my self lost for words. So, since the death of the spider I’d been looking for something. About a week ago, whilst thinking that this particular office was the most uniform sterile place ever, I had happened on these three blacky brown spots on the bottom of my computer monitor, just next to the contrast control. I was positive no one else had ever seen them. I hadn’t until I’d moved the lamp round, it left a circle of pristine beech effect veneer that hadn’t been seen since the day it arrived and the new angle of the light had revealed these spots. These marks were special; they were my secret.

Religious people used to starve themselves. In this state of deprivation they would hallucinate and talk to bog or god or whatever he was called. So on the last few mornings when breakfast had seemed too much and the food the canteen offered seemed positively rude I had reached some kind of transcendental state, but instead of talking to some mythical personality, I had allowed myself to wander into these spots. I walked in these secret spots of mine.

This morning I felt bad. I’d showered before I left to catch the bus. Coming out of the bathroom I felt dirtier than when I’d gone in. On the bus my wallet revealed to me a single twenty note and no change “I ain’t got no change for that son” the driver had said and pulled away without me. The taxi had come to £15.80 and he didn’t have any change for me either. A bad day, I could feel, was already brewing in wait for me. My head felt dark. The sharp alien florescent lights at work tried there hardest to penetrate my gloom, but only proved to increase my feeling of detachment. Rain fell on me only, and a drunken pianist played dark melodies tuned only to my ears. The three blacky brown spots had slowly grown, on this particularly bad morning, into one cavernous hole. Green moss like… hey …threads grew on the lip of the… hey …hole. They swarmed like dead… heyworms, everywhere, yet perfectlyheystill. There sheen impressed the idea of life into anyone… hey …who saw themheyalthough no oneBOY.


       “What did you do?” she proclaimed in a good manner, not condescending, but not too disturbed, the way I liked my coffee.

“I don’t know. I was just kind of day dreaming and then the Boss was knuckling me in the head and screaming at me” I paused, ate a bit more of my sandwich and said “ I’d been drawing pictures of his wife on my desk… I didn’t even realize I was doing it.”

“Oh I see, well. I don’t, but I can imagine, you know, ooh what did you draw?” Strawberry said.

               The weather was good. We were in the park, the one down by the canal, behind the woods. It contained a few shabby yet rustic benches, an ancient roundabout that must weigh about three tons and a frame where swings once swung. This I thought was cruel. The woods embraced the park from behind. Whether the trees were lovingly holding the park back from the dark canal or trying to push it in I’ll never know. She wore blue and greens. I munched on the sandwich and thought deeply about my dead goldfish. I had flushed it down the toilet when I found it dead.

“So are you going to go and apologize?” she mailed to me across the fragrant weedy grass.

“He hates me, ” I said “he hates everyone” and before I knew it tears had started to well up, surging from the little corners of my eyes and carving down my cheeks onto my sandwich. She hugged me fiercely. “That’s it” she said “Let it out, come on that’s right… that’s it…come on…


Tuesday Morning broke my bank, for which I spared none of.

Gentile touch of weathered thanks, blanks, copies, forgeries and

troubled dunes. Prayers of atheists help me now, for thine is the

Kingdom and the. Toll, tuck and stick wrapped corporal tempest.

Ignored torque, cistern sister owed the quintessential stroller some.

Trespassing ravens dressed in brown paper.

And all sold for a mime. Son.


I treated myself to breakfast in a nice little coffee shop the next day. The tears had scrubbed off some metallic weight from my innards and for the first time in years I felt a little soul bearing energy. A small zephyr of social competence lifted me. Across from me sat two old lady’s, haggard and drawn. They spilled their food at each other but somehow managed to slide out words between the mouthfuls of salad and ham. “Pinkleton filch, har har ha” The greyest of the two slapped into the others half chewed ham and lettuce mega mouth combo. “Dirty man didn’t even clean up after himself!” she finished. The slightly warmer one let slip some green saliva, she looked self consciously around the room and thinking no one had seen her sucked it back into her mouth “faintly reminiscent of death” she mumbled. My zephyr dissipated beneath me and I felt the bigness overwhelm me like an ocean around a single wept tear.


Tempered and brutal she sang me a song, listing her traumas ding ting along. Sold to me slowly soft lilac fresh, the cloth of indictment sultry and red.


Tempestuously uptight thoughts woke me sharply from a sweaty sleep. Dreams of well-lit caves had slipped in and out of my head for what felt like the whole night. In books and stories, when someone has a dream the author usually describes how vivid the dream was at the moment of waking, but as the characters day proceeds it becomes more blurred and distant, forgotten. This dream of mine, of caves, lingered with me for years. The dream started with the feeling of falling; faintly I could make out a rocky surface streaming away in front of me. I would think about the inevitable landing, and look down to see that I was stood on a small patch of turf. A sudden bright light flicked up and into my eyes and when my eyes had re-adjusted to the fierce light I saw that I was stood in a unbelievably huge cave. The walls rough and tough shook up to a lopsided tender arch. Streaks of blue phosphorescent lined the wall like some perverse whores satin robe. A lake sat at one end, not a whisper of disturbance had troubled its surface for years. That I was sure of. That and the immensely bright light, origin unknown.


Mike was an old friend of mine. I hadn’t seen him for quite a while, we’d arranged too, but with work and an ever-increasing pace of life we just hadn’t seemed to align.

He was one of those friends that you knew you liked. You got on with each other, shared interests, a reciprocal relationship of plain duties. Yet when you tried to remember actual conversations with each other, nothing came to mind. You had obviously talked bountiful amounts about most things touched by the sun, yet the substance was doubtful. The script was a shared acknowledgment of a well-earned youth, which should really be flaunted to its limits. We talked of the train but not of the track.


What if I said no? Traumatize et propagate. Fortune waits for no man, for the mange tar yeti hunts along the humid wall, hags teeth and reeds, sitting down Mothers tone and bone and drone and its ripped up into a phantasmagorical blizzard sold to neighbors for a share in your decency. “Not worth the blood it’s written with” she told me. “Lies, all lies” I reply minus the sanction of prediturbed thankless setlist’s I usually induce upon such a futile comment. So then I played and fell into a.


We must have a baby” screamed a rabid Mike.

“No Mike” I said “we can’t. It’s not possible”.

Mike was proving to be a problem.  “You’re fucking crazy Mike” I told him as plainly as I could.

Mike was thinking about Tid. When he was five, his family had lived in Nebraska in the good old U.S of A. He liked to remember it as a dusky old farmhouse in a sea of corn, but in reality an old gypsy wagon parked by the interstate turnpike housed him, his drunken Father, his whoring Mother and six other little cunt bags he had to call his family. Tid was the scruffy little town “daawgwho came and shat and pulled at his crusty genitals by Mikes abode. They had been sexual partners. But most of all, they had been friends.

“You hear me Mike…Your FUCKING INSANE”

…a girl! Yes a Girl…with a tail…”


Some nights after work I felt like walking home instead of getting the bus. This journey took me through a deserted industrial estate, behind huge monolithic warehouses and then along a fenced path that was punctuated by two brightly lit tunnels beneath the motorway that serviced the godforsaken town in which lives were rolled up and smoked. Young lads hung about there smoking weed and dropping pills. On occasion I stopped and asked for a few tokes. I liked the walk home after a bit of a smoke. I kind of drifted along slightly above the grass, tarmac and kurbs. The pedestrian crossings were my friends and the birds sounded like a shrill melody accompanying the rumbling continuo of the traffic.

 One night I walked back and the boys weren’t there. In their place were three rats scuffling and nibbling at a lonely condom, like desperate surrogates in need of cash.       

Three weeks later I once again disregarded the less than punctual public transport services and walked home. A pleasant summer’s evening was with the town and country and I wore a smile like a glove. I startled the drugged up boys and told them all that my friend from Amsterdam had visited me whilst on a business trip in London. I reached into my pocket and produced three slightly pink tablets, each embossed with a tulip “Amsterdam tulips boys. Fresh as a daisy. No speed, no ketamine, just pure 100% MDMA. You’re going to be loved up tonight.” They grinned greenly at me and put there hands out like tartan choirboys. But one dubiously alluded to the fact that it was

    “ …a bit strange mate…”

    “What do you think they are?” I said “ Rat poison and Acid?” They looked concerned then laughed, and swallowed them up greedily. I carried on walking through the tunnel, and when I emerged at the other end I climbed back up the motorway embankment, crossed carefully between the angry cars and quietly slid down the other side between some silver birches and heather bushes until I could see the mouth of the tunnel. I stayed until it was dark, and watched their mouths bleed and listened to them scream in terror at the darkness in their minds.


 Sinking in firmly, matted, woven firmly. Increase in dubious, such like the previous. One that sunk cubenis contramatic septet. Years interned into tale telling, this man he was of old. He sang with the elders ‘fore the days of unforeseen and trepid evil occurred. He knew secrets about the inhabitants that they that did habit knew not their-selves. He dared light a flame to touch and yet held the canister with which to dispel the ensuing furor. He knew secrets about them. He kept them in his lantern. But when he checked they’d all been burnt to a crisp.


Pennys thin figured dastardly grim Irish Wolf Hound sat and stared at me intensely over the brim of my steaming tea mug. I had a teaspoon of honey in it.

Now I knew this time that I couldn’t talk to Peggy in the normal fashion, a sudden appreciation of her intelligence hit me like a shot across the bows.

“Now Penny…” I got no further. The hound still sat still. Penny gazed at me like I had died. The dog thrummed and cooked. I could feel a raw dry heat baking from its trembling skin. Penny started to move her head to look at the dog. Her sad countenance fell into a neutral slack frown. Her eyelids flickered shut and when they opened her eyes where looking to her left. She tipped her head back swinging her hair. She pulled the strap of her bag from her shoulder, and dropped it onto the arm of the chair. She slipped her elbow along her thigh and turned her head and torso toward the dog.


               A fast cup of water and back to the grind stone, something flash and grab enough to warm your deathly cold thumbs and contemplate this ridiculous situation in which my patience and joy have permeated through my eyeballs onto my sad looking lunch wrapped in asbestos and lacking in substance trust me eyes sulking mournfully around the room, trust me sink without haste trust me .







“Hello , how can I help?”








                                   “I  can”




























         “Dimmed and taught”


“Crashed and fraught”






I roll my cigarettes whilst still reading, holding the paper, tobacco and filter above the page. Tobacco drops onto and into the heart of the book which I funnily think will sustain me in my sure to come poorer moments. I lick and roll and spark, I usually close my left eye to stop the smoke getting in. I see none of their habits, because they have eaten them along with their carbo lunches. Machine coffee, dead flavor and talk of Touchwood back-draft and incorrect deionization. They lift and flutter their eyes at each other stare, glance, push pull, eat give and sometimes ride. I cannot understand their language although I hear what they say. I hear them, I hear their words and pauses whether effective…or not and I don’t understand. I don’t see the station the words should be arriving in, I see them pull away, but they never get there and for this I blame God.


Fingering my hair lightly and clasping an almost dead cigarette was how morning found me. The fingers of the dubious white powder I had consumed earlier were pulling away down my glass filled spine. A conscious, controlled mind peeked meekly at me and then skittered away like a nervous child. The phrase ‘All Cod is boneless’ kept smiling at me like an old friend. Had I eaten Fish? I could taste cigarette smoke and the acidic taste of my evenings delight.

I tried incessantly to think. To concentrate on one thing that was important to me, that mattered at this instant. But for the slightly sketchy life of me, I couldn’t. I could only concentrate on the moment, on my breathing, on my situation, on my past. Things that had been important as a child. Trust in my parents. There sentinel’s shroud, covering me from danger and the like. But eventually fading from the division.

Soon I was In bed, down, down, deep down in bed and comfort and blankness and wanting to fall that last foot or so, to become free of reality, the truth of it rising back in a matter of hours seemingly mystical and un-true, lies of an old demon, trying to buy his friends a drink, and them telling him to “Sod Off” quietly drinking the days steam in my pores of redemption, succumbed to the head song of little and latter sisters of mercy falling at my feet for I am the power of the universe rolled into a duvet and calling for his Mother…I found sleep.


And so the nimbus flared on the fifth day. It happened whilst I was smoking from my window, staring at the little green car and peripherally acknowledging the calumny of the street lamp, obstinately glaring its harsh yellow light on everything under and in its feeble grasp. Pretending to shed light, like an eager battery. It slept with the moon and the foxfire.

Cigarette finished, lungs sated for the moment I saw the flare and glare and realized it was my life leaving me. I grabbed blindly at its trailing after-glow, traveling at the speed of dark away from me and leaving no trace of what was, is, will. Stoke and I croaked a final croak. A noise, a sound that had some impact at least. It startled a cat, which fled unnerved by the death vibration. It momentarily lost its night vision and sure feet and hit a fence which rocked a tree, a dead rat lodged and rotting fell into the Indians water butt and then the following morning they drank to wash down the nights hold and tasted poison and foul rot and they died, a family, a tree, a rat a cat, a blade of gas slept, crept to my in-laws who had never been.


And then the dream began. Open-closing doors flooding my senses, negative flashing spears like ultra fast super novas exorcising me from my corporeal being.  Dramatic reverse chronology, taking me with an enormous tidal flow, un-comprehendible, savage. And then, as if it always had been, a completely comforting, deeply satisfying new emotion stole over me. I spy my disappearing point curling in a climactic final gasp. And I feel my identity climbing into my self, to revolve infinitely upon each other.


So I slept. Uncontrollably. Afterwards I strolled into town, devoid of an objective yet surrounded by translucent paraphernalia. It hung around me like a crest fallen halo, suffering and bleak. “Tap, tap, tap it in” whispered the local drunk whilst I dubiously flung him some of my hard earned yet spare change. “And your Mother son, she touched ‘n it, din’t she?” he scrawled against my retreating wake.


25th July 2003 – 23rd August 2004

Daniel Chidgey