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In the blink of an eye

Autobiographical

It started with a cardiac arrest and then just got worse

Nice Girls

Neither prose nor poetry

Ruminations on one’s own insignificance

Ullet Road

Fiction – a novel

Liverpool is where the world begins and ends

Available from Amazon UK

Sometimes, in my more macabre moments, I feel that I am a dead man walking.

Hi, my name is Mike. Most people would describe me as ordinary. However, the most extraordinary of things can happen to even the most unremarkable. This is the story of one man and the rather obscure acronym SADS, otherwise known as Sudden Adult Death Syndrome. I first encountered this affliction on 30th November 1991 when my everyday existence was turned upside down on what appeared little more than a whim. Like some giant pancake, my life was flipped, sailing through the air and landing, splat, not back in the pan but spread across the kitchen floor. Nothing was ever the same again.

I was 32 years old.


It was approximately four-thirty and I was alone in a crowd of thousands at Sandown Park racecourse. I mention this sense of isolation as the only backdrop against which my decisions of the next thirty minutes make any sense. Can you relate to that sense of being alone in a crowd? If you can, then like me, you understand that the loneliest of places exists between the ears.

A Catholic education

puberty
acne
bum-fluff
a South American frog
stick up its arse
eyes bulging
crying tears
years
of guilt
beating the bishop
adolescence
throbbing
with the canker of it all

habits toss
and turn
boys heads
so that they spin
on a wheel of fortune
look to the front
you are told
but blinded
you cannot tell
from whence
this instruction arises

you can but nod
bare buttocks
beaten
is the least
teeth clamped
on a stick
figurative
if you’re luck’
sin

a good old fashioned
well fashioned
Catholic education

The roar of a number forty-four drowned out the slamming of the door as Tom yanked it shut. As always it never fully closed first time and Tom had to pull it twice in rapid succession. He stepped out of the house and turned right towards the city centre. The February wind bit through his jacket and he shivered, his breath shortening. Ullet Road was, well, Ullet Road, a classic example of late seventies Liverpudlian dilapidation. What was once a proud avenue was now laid low, soaked in the sickly smell of prostitution and violence. Tom sniffed. He could almost taste it. It was the sweet perfume of decay.

Bins populated what once passed for front gardens and the combined smell of rotting food, soiled nappies and other defecations accompanied all those who took to the street. The foulness caressed Tom’s olfactory sensibilities, (he smiled sourly to himself, pompous as ever, he thought). One bin had strayed out onto the pavement and he kicked it as he passed but true to form it resolutely refused to move. Two weeks of shit required more than a perfunctory swinging leg to shift it.

There were other similar sorry figures in the ether but few as young as he and perhaps it was this that gave rise to his despondency. For Tom there was no connection with those he passed. There were other things on his mind. Six months was a long time in both love and war, he thought, never mind politics.

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