One hand hovering over the emergency stop chain and the other hand holding a gun


Yesterday, as i walked across the lawn on my way to the shop to buy cigarettes, something hopped in front of me and drew my attention.  Upon closer inspection it turned out to be a chick that seemed to be attempting to fly away from me, clearly terrified by my approaching frame.

It attempted take off several times but its wings were clearly too small and it was all out of proportion with a large plump body (in relation to the wings at least), which was going to need more than those stubby little things to raise it off the ground.

It had fallen out of a nest somewhere and i had a good look around in the trees close by but couldn’t see where it may have come from.

I was feeling very bad, for various reasons, and this little fellow offered a welcome diversion so i lay flat down on the grass on my front, with my hands linked together palms down, and my chin on the backs of my hands.

We then were able to get a better look at each other.

He was very small and like i said, was all out of proportion.  He had a very proud posture with a puffed-out chest and a mouth like a frog, admittedly a frog with a small beak, but a frog nonetheless.

He sat there motionless and eyed me suspiciously, as i did him, but with rather less suspicion due to him being all small and stupid and non-threatening.

We were both right in the shit, that little chick and me, and each wanted answers from the other.

My life is very dis-jointed and i am treading water, as i watch the boat move away in the distance; i cry out for it to come back, pick me up, offer stability but my cries go unheard and i just rise and fall in its wake, waiting and getting tired.

I’m not good in these situations; fear and anxiety clawing away in my stomach, constantly and without respite, causing my Tourette’s to kick up several notches, which saps energy, leaving me feeling vulnerable and defenceless at a time when i most feel under attack.

But i’m not under attack, any more than anyone else is, i am merely alive and i need to remember this as i feel myself beginning to slide in the mud, on the hill, slowly downwards towards the lake at the bottom, beyond the trees.

I don’t like living alone.

I move into a new place, on my own, in nine days.

I dislike my own company and can’t stand the fear that arises out of nothing, for nothing and no one.

I am tired today of living with this fear, which is constant and rarely distracted.

At this time i need peace, but have no peace.

As the chick and i looked at each other, attempting to find some workable way forward, an odd thing happened,

i fell asleep.

I needed to fall asleep, that much was clear, but viewed from the outside, the situation must have appeared odd; me lying full-length and face down, with a tiny bird only a few inches from my face.

If i had any dreams i don’t remember what they were, but when i awoke, he was gone…this bird had flown, as the man said.

I had only fallen asleep for a few minutes but was beaten, groggy and the feeling of isolation, which had eased when he was there, had returned and once again;

i felt alone.

I let out a sigh, rolled onto my back and looked at the darkening sky.

My father has been in hospital for the last month.  I only became aware of this when i contacted him to see if he fancied going to get something to eat at some point.

“It will be a bit tricky” he said “i’m not walking all that well at the minute mate”.

“Why, what’s up? i texted back.

It seems that due to a lack of self-care, his legs had developed a severe fungal infection and he had checked himself into hospital two and a half weeks ago and had not let anyone know.

Not that there was anyone to tell, except me that is, and for whatever reason he chose not to and probably wouldn’t have, had i not contacted him first.

Since being admitted things have gone from very bad to much worse, with various complications arising, not least of which is a severe chest infection and fluid on the lungs, which is seeing him struggle for breath and there is talk of him being moved to the high dependency unit.

When i ask him how he is, he replies that he’s fine and improving all the time.

We don ‘t have much to say to each other and he becomes very tired when he talks so mostly i just sit there, he lies there, and occasionally we catch each others eye, at which point he looks towards the ceiling and i look down at the floor.

The man opposite looks  to his right with unfocused eyes, holds out his arms, and cries out for his son.

His son doesn’t come.

All of us in that room are travelling in the same direction, with the same destination; one hand hovering over the emergency stop chain and the other hand holding a gun.

So, is this how it happens then, both parents gone within a year?

It seems so and i don’t know what to do.

I was thinking all this as a lay on the grass after my little friend had gone to wherever it was he was going, and as the self-pity (never an attractive state of being) began to descend i thought of what was to become of him.

He had to climb the Empire Estate building, on the outside, if he was going to eat ever again;

without arms.

I just have to keep moving, push on,

look on the bright side, keep my chin up,

accentuate the positives, pull my socks up,

write a gratitude list and

feel grateful to be alive…

I eventually stood up and had another look around for the chick, along with my recently departed sense of humour.

I found neither

“Oh well” i said to myself “at least you’ve got your health”

as i walked out of the gate

and continued towards the shop

to get my cigarettes.

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4 Responses to “One hand hovering over the emergency stop chain and the other hand holding a gun”

  1. Jerilyn Buchanan… You are very talented Drummerboy and i for one am very proud of you. Looking forward to my next unexpected visit, there is a huge hug waiting for you. x

  2. Love you Jeri xxx

  3. Tiddles Says:

    You just made me do that thing again…

    You don’t know how good you are do you? Well, you are. You’re a lot better at a lot of things than you think you are. OK, maybe not the Stuff With Spanners, you are probably as bad as you think you are at that, but you can always find someone that’s Good With Spanners. It’s the other stufff that’s really really hard to find, and the people that have it, even harder. And that’s the stuff that you have. In bucketloads. This, you should know…

    Tiddles xx

  4. bless you Drummer Boy….. i feel sad and also released by your perceptive honesty. the familiar platitudes, for i guess that is all they really amount to, play in the soundtrack to my own head noise and, like all platitudes, have no meaning or relevance of worth…unlike your musings, which are powerful and wise. thank you.

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