Today has been a bad head day, and my brain is now all over the place making connexions where their are no connexions. The temptation on these days is to talk about it. I try to avoid having much to do with people on these days, try to stay in and out of trouble, but sometimes the connexions seem so important its difficult. I just must make contact with…
Today I did some gardening and the plants knew me. Their electric greens and blues crawled inside me. They had a beat to them like a heart. They knew I couldn’t separate myself. I was weak and they were everything. My head clings on to hundreds of half remembered stories, something very very important, but what?
So maybe now is a good time to end the Derek Story, for Derek is very real in many ways and he knows me as the plants did today. I dream of sharing that with another human, but so far, although I have imagined friends have understood, Derek is the only one who I can be sure really knows.
Have you ever been convinced of something even though you know it will sound like madness to others? Have you ever tried to cling on to your sanity whilst doing some serious tango with the alternative? Knowing for certain that there is something there that is vital to you? People ask me about Derek when they hear the song or the poem, they ask me what he symbolizes. He symbolises nothing. He is Derek. And I have a cunning plan for if he should ever venture down from the loft.
I’ll sit him in front of the TV and feed him on oranges and custard creams, on semilena pudding and rice crispies, on cucumbers and baked beans and mashed potatoes and monster munch and ice cream and apple pie and yogurt and more yogurt and more custard and cheese. I’ll feed him up till he is big and fat and huge. I’ll feed him until he is enormous! Then I’ll squeeze him into the tiny gap underneath my bed, so I can hear him SQUEAL whenever I go to bed at night.
I imagine you who have followed this Derek story think it to be just a story, a made up piece of slightly odd fiction. It’s not though. It is all true. Or at least was at the time to me. To the left is a photo of the Derek heads I made, out of old bed sheets, pillow foam and strands of my own hair. They were made to protect me from the real Derek in the loft. Fifteen of them in all.
I am a coward. I pretend to be brave. I do all sorts of stupid and humiliating things to pretend to myself and others that I’m brave, but I’m not.
I don’t have my brain operated on, not because I’m brave and can live with the alien, but because I’m absolutely terrified of some bloke rummaging around inside my head with a glue gun.
I deal with things by turning them into stories, jokes, games, things not to be taken seriously. I couldn’t tell anyone I was really afraid there was a man living in my loft, they’d think I was mad. So I turned Derek into an odd poem, which I performed on stage whilst wearing a large blonde wig. I then turned it into a silly song I recorded on an old children’s Fisher Price tape recorder. The guitarist from the Rude Mechanicals created a riff for it and it became the song that the band now play. All to deal with Derek.
No one knew how really scared I was of him.
So the Derek story had to have an ending where I somehow dominated Derek, turned him from the large dark presence watching me from the loft, to a silly lovable character I could deal with.
Derek is a big man, he must be he’d been making such a lot of noise up there in my loft. I could picture him as I lay naked and shivering under my duvet, still drying off from the bath. I could picture him naked like me, and vulnerable, a big man crouched painfully in the tiny corners of my loft.
What did he eat? How could he survive up in my loft with nothing to eat? Well he eats the dust and bugs to survive of course, and drinks the water from the hot water tank. I breath in deeply remembering the smell of sweat in the loft, that was the smell of Derek. I imagine his pink bulky body filling that dark space above my head.
But then I think to myself, what if Derek were to come down from my loft to live with me in my flat? What then?