Recollections from a rehab – part seven

Continued from recollections from a rehab – part six…

I’ll fill you in on what I got up to in between leaving The Cedars and when I flew out to California in a little while if I may, but for now I’d like to waffle for a bit, whilst also nipping back to Glen Ellen to spend a bit more time with this much friendlier group of people than the Sewth Effricuns with their annoying fucking accents, which made me think of that song from the British TV show Spitting Image which was huge in the 1980’s:

‘Noooo…I’ve never met a nice sewth efricun
and that’s not bleddy serprisin’ mem
cos they’re a bunch of ignorant borrsteds
with nuu sense of huumuh!!’

After the initial shock of the detox, I was spending a lot more time out of my room, trying to mingle with the others, even though I was convinced I was going to hate every last man Jack of them, which is never the case, however, I have a head that always forgets this fact, causing me a lot more work when interacting socially than is strictly necessary and, which is frankly, a right fucking pain in the arse.

There was a guy named Rick who I later became good friends with, who wore a black hoodie, with the hood up, for pretty much the entire time he was there. He had a big, brown, bushy beard and kind of looked like a cross between a hipster (the new…cynical…know-it-all…working in I.T…more money than is fair or right…kind) and Mark Everett from the band Eels, when he was going through a phase of looking like Ted Kaczynski – The Unabomber, which I found intriguing.

Mark Everett is someone who has fascinated me for a long time…I love the guy…let me wander off and tell you a bit about him.

Mark’s father, Hugh Everett III, was the person, who first proposed the many worlds theory, which, if you’re not familiar, is the suggestion that there are many (for many…see…infinite number!) parallel universes all in existence at the same time…something which I find unbelievably fascinating.

Here’s his Wikipedia site:

Sadly, at the time, his peers (Einstein, Bohr etc.) tended to think him borderline fucking certifiable, causing him to be widely shunned by the scientific community, which then saw him slide into obscurity and alcoholism until his untimely death aged forty-nine.

It is only in recent years that thinking within science has done a complete ‘one-eighty’ and it seems now that Hugh’s theory was absolutely spot on, meaning he was, in fact, a genius waaaay ahead of his time and the possibility of an infinite number of different universes, all existing simultaneously, is very likely a reality…now tell me you don’t find that little possibility unbelievably fascinating!

Hugh’s son, Mark, has led a pretty tragic life. He was the person who found his father when he died (of a heart attack, fully clothed in suit and tie and with briefcase, lying across the bed) and when asked by the paramedic on the phone to try and locate a pulse, has said since that this was the first time he could remember any actual physical contact between him and his father.

His sister, Liz, suffered with some pretty serious mental health problems, which saw her hospitalised on a number of occasions, until she eventually committed suicide at a very young age, leaving just him and his mother, who then not long later, died of cancer…and no, I am reliably informed, Mark doesn’t respond overly positively to the nickname ‘Lucky’!

Mark is a musical genius, and to me at least, a wholly fascinating individual. He has been able to process all this tragedy through his music, which is quite literally a chronological document of events as they have unfolded, all wrapped up in some of the simplest, most beautiful, music I have ever heard.

He calls his band Eels, although in reality it is he alone who writes everything, using different musicians when it comes to recording and touring. He has a singular ability to find and express the beauty that can be prized from the direst of circumstances; his music falls into that rare category of ‘songs that saved your life’ as Morrissey would have it; I invite you to go and have a little mooch about in Mark’s world for a time…‘t is a magical place; I promise, you won’t regret it.

I want you to like the band Eels.

On the subject of wandering off; I might do a bit more of it as I push on with these here recollections of mine. I won’t ask whether you mind or not, as frankly my dear, I couldn’t give a flying fuck on a Friday!

As I write, you see, what I would like to do more than anything else is to learn how to write. You know the kind of writing I mean right? real writing; the kind I like to read; the real authors and writers whose books I have dragged around the globe, terrified of losing them; needing them to be with me in order to feel a little safety now and again. Those who, when the chips are down and everything is thoroughly fucked, I can open franticly up and scour the pages, searching for that special phrase or sentence that I have read a thousand times, which instantly puts everything back in its rightful place, slowing the breathing; calming the mind, as might a friend or lover late at night after some terrible dream.

So, I guess, the only real way to do that is just to fucking write…right? And what’s the whole point of it all anyway? It is, after all, an action of the upmost vanity, to presume others would wish to read what you have written; to land on your planet for a while and have a scout about, yet pushing all that to one side for a moment, it is one of the few real opportunities we are afforded to attempt solid connection with another and it is this that I would so much like to do.

I want to learn how to say something along the lines of…

Dear Friend,

I find life difficult in the extreme; constantly beaten and battered by forces beyond my control, it terrifies me. I awake afraid more often than not, yet seem to possess no ability to conquer this fear as I seek to hide it from others so as to not become prey. It is the seeming endlessness of the days, that make me ill at heart and my attempts to love seem destined always to failure and I know not why.  There is a certain beauty in all of this searching that keeps me alive and moving forward…but with time and age, this beauty too seems to lessen, whilst my senses of loneliness and isolation only increase, causing my thoughts to darken, as each day clarifies my vision a little more, bringing into sharper and sharper relief the words of a truth I desperately wish to deny: This is all for naught.

…just with far fewer words because that’s what excites me and makes me want to get up in the morning…nothing else. I used to love writing as a kid, and reading too but became involved with other things and lost my way, however, now I’m back, trying not to get too pissed off that there has been a thirty year hole in this process, thirty years in which I guess I have created things to write about, which is I suppose probably half the battle, right?

Anyway, as you’ve noticed, I’m waffling but what do you say huh? Will you stick with me as I learn how to do this properly, maybe you could even join me and get your own stuff written down, I’d love that but will leave it with you.

In the 1920’s Ernest Hemingway’s colleagues bet him that he couldn’t write a complete story in just six words, this is what he came up with:

For Sale: Baby Shoes, Never Worn.

They paid up and Hemingway is said to have considered it his best work, whilst I still have a very, very long way to go.

Sorry i’ve meandered today…i’ll get more focused next time i promise.


…to be continued back in Africa.


2 Responses to “Recollections from a rehab – part seven”

  1. Love your writing.

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