Derek – The End

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.

THE END.

Cheshire Cat from Alice in WonderlandPostscript…

Derek part 3. Above the Bath

Eye looking through a peek hole
An eye looking through the hole above the bath

After that I noticed lots of tiny little holes in my ceiling. Whoever or whatever was up there was obviously spying on me. Watching me eat, watching me sleep , watching me get dressed, watching me…

One evening I was lying in the bath and noticed a hole in the ceiling directly above me. I was sure I could see an eye staring down. I tried to get out of the bath but couldn’t move. I was paralyzed, naked, lying there in the bath.

For just a moment it was fascinating, everything suddenly made sense. The bath water and I had a deep, intense love for each other as we swapped atoms, and everything was going to be wonderful.

Then snap – the sound of the radio playing in the next room. I didn’t have the radio on. No it wasn’t the radio, it was people in my flat talking about me, I couldn’t quite make out what they were saying. Suddenly the walls came alive and were walking towards me. The ceiling started collapsing,  crumbling into the bath. Then the part with the eye came to float just above my head. I was staring directly into the eye. It was reading my mind. It knew my  guilt.

The walls were laughing at me now, almost deafening laughs, the people’s voices had turned into a huge black raven, swirling around in the sky above.

“Remember me remember me remember me” came the voices

White white white bathroom walls, holes and cracks and yellow stains, breathing, everything breathing, all seeing, all knowing, remembering everything ever.

Not me, I’m , I am,  I, I, i, i. NO!

Nothing.

“Drown drown drown drown”

To be continued…

Part 4.

“And the ones that mother gives you don’t do anything at all”

12ft x 8ft Oil Painting 1999
12ft x 8ft oil painting - I was going through a very weird phase! 1999

The other day there was someone banging at my door and ringing the door bell all night long, but the battery in the door bell is dead and when I peered through the blinds there was no one there.

I’ve increased the amount of Lamotrigine I’m taking – the number of hallucinations and seizures was getting ridiculous.

Now my heart keeps having moments of awkwardness where it forgets what its supposed to be doing and then remembers and starts again in a hurry. Are heart jolts a side effect of Lamotrigine? I dare not look at the information leaflet as I’m likely to pass out just from reading it. I feel faint in supermarkets if I read the effects of vitamin tablets!

As well as being an anti-convulsive, Lamotrigine is used as a mood stabiliser. Yet when I was last on a heavy dose I got really aggressive, even started a fight in the street for no reason!

Its curious how ones mood can be controlled by drugs. Even more curious when you require drugs to stay sane. Reality is such an awkward thing, can slip through the fingers. The senses take in so much stuff, so much information, its a constant struggle trying to work it all out, what is relevant and how this should be interpreted. A tablet that makes that easier, slows it all down to a reasonable pace, can only be a good thing, right? So why do I feel uncomfortable when I take lots of them?

Have I seemed different? More aggressive to anyone over the last couple of weeks? Have my blogs been extra violent?

I’ve  felt a compulsive need to watch the comedy Green Wing, and am now seriously worried that I may bare a striking character resemblance to Sue White, the lunatic staff liaison officer.

I’ve failed to panic over the imminent deadline for the Library sculpture, which is worrying.

Didn’t mention the ghost dog to the lady from Battersea Dogs Home. She disapproved of my garden (too overgrown) but warmed to me once she saw the Icon pictures on my wall. She thought this meant I was a Christian, which I imagine she is. I didn’t correct her. Like the ghost dog I don’t think the visions would have gone down well, and everybody feels the need to convert an Agnostic. My dad saw the Icon pictures and was very worried that I might have joined the Church. The very best way to rebel against my parents would be to become a practicing Christian, or even better a Born Again.

Well just so its clear, I’m not a Christian, though fascinated by the subject of faith, and I’m not a lunatic. My brain just has wayward tendencies. It has visions (and since they are more real than anything else I experience they cannot be ignored!) and it likes to make connections that aren’t there. So if there is a fan going it will hear it as voices, if there is a repetitive noise for a while it will keep hearing it even once the noise is silenced, if there are dog bones and doggy people about it will create a dog ghost. So I’m probably saner than the rest of you put together, but reality is an awkward thing.

Funny how blogs lend themselves to mentioning nonsense, “bollocks” as my sisters would say. Most of the time I do everything I can to hide it. I’ve taught classes in colour theory whilst thumb sized beetles roamed across my body. Despite my need to drink endless cups of tea no one noticed anything unusual.

“Eccentric awake-at-dawn artist foils break-in attempt”

Tuesday 4th May 2010

I was woken at 5 this morning by a man in tears at my front door. He claimed that his aunt had fallen seriously ill and he needed me to give him the money to fly to Barbados to see her. I didn’t have the money and didn’t  trust him so shut the door in his face. I felt horrible, scared in case he was still there and was going to try breaking in, guilty because he may have been telling the truth. When I got back to bed I couldn’t sleep, I just lay there worrying, mainly about this book sculpture I’ve been commissioned to do for Pollard Library. In the half-dream state I was in I kept picturing myself building the sculpture and it collapsing every time I turned my back, over and over again. So I got up, had the essential cup of tea and made the paper I should have made yesterday. Then I carried on with the Bone Box, it is now covered on the outside with cream handmade paper and has black fake leather dolls house paper on the inside.

To get the fake leather paper, along with some extra strong recycled card to stop the book sculpture from falling down, I visited Paperchase on Tottenham Court road. There are many different papers here for me to contemplate, slowly, longingly – rag, handmade, japanese – but not today, today I had one of my visions. A vision feels like God visiting. First there’s a strong smell of rubber, maybe the odd visual hallucination – insects mainly – and then wham! Everything is strange and I can’t remember who I am or what, and everything is too much. Too much sound, too much colour, too many sensations, too many memories, whose are they?  They aren’t mine, for a minute it feels like past lifes, and then there’s a something big, a something incredible, larger, more substantial, all containing, more true than anything else ever… then blackness, sometimes, but not today. Luckily it was a mild one today, and the smell of rubber came on early enough for me to reach the toilet before melt down. I keep a good record in my head of hiding places and escape routes. My dislike of shopping is partly because of the difficulty in hiding, but this shop I know well, it has a toilet on the first floor. I have no idea how long I’m in the toilet, this crack in the space time continuum is confusing. When I leave the toilet I notice the security guard starts following me around the store. I must be looking odd.

At home I write a status update on Facebook about the 5am visitor. I get a few responses from people checking I’m alright, telling me I should get a chain on the door and trust no one. There was an attempted break in next door I remember, no it is foolish of me to answer the door to strangers in the early hours of the morning. What he said might have been true, perhaps I should have listened to him, but then again that might have been God visiting me in Paperchase, it’s just safest to assume that it wasn’t. I’m an agnostic mind. “Eccentric awake-at-dawn artist foils break-in attempt” types Lilith, my Boston Dominatrix friend, as a comment on Facebook, and I  like that statement as a summary of my day.