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!


“Drown drown drown drown”

To be continued…

Part 4.

Derek part 2. The Loft

The Loft
The loft above my flat

My flat was on the top floor so above it there was a loft. Strictly speaking I wasn’t supposed to enter the loft, but I had a lot of junk and nowhere for it to go. It wasn’t as if I had to break in, the loft entrance was in my hallway, all I had to do was get a stepladder climb up and open the loft hatch. It wasn’t locked. I felt I’d be a fool not to use all that empty space, criminal almost given the shortage of space in London. So I started putting boxes up there, I had to be careful because not all the loft floor was  boarded. Going through the middle was a rather odd brick wall, it only went halfway to the roof and didn’t meet the walls on either side, but it was very neatly built and kept half of the loft hidden from me, I dared not look behind it.

I must admit the whole loft made me feel uncomfortable, like an uninvited guest, a trespasser. It was very warm up there, the air was close and had a sickly sweet smell like the smell of  sweat on someone who is standing far too close. Though in this case it definitly felt like I was the intruder on personal space.

After my initial desire to unpack and put things away  I forgot about the things in the loft. It became a bit of a black spot, I would rather buy a new item than venture back up there. The banging began about a month or so after I’d moved into the flat. It came from the loft and it wasn’t just banging, there was scratching, whining, mumbling, squealling, and talking. It would happen a lot at night. I lay in my bed looking up at the ceiling, considering the situation of my soul, and I noticed there was a tiny hole just above my bed, big enough for someone to put an eye up close against it and look down.

To be continued…

Part 3

Derek – the true story

My luxury one bedroom apartment

The heroin addict smashed the rooms up in a rage and disappeared. Police men came. Impressive karate kicks were flung at the doors, just in case, then they had a cup of tea. The one with the gentle face  told me “get out of here love, get yerself down to the town hall and tell ’em they’re to give you a place to live”. I did. And after the necessary form filling I was allocated a top floor one bedroom flat on a small council estate. To me it was a luxury apartment! So much so that I felt guilty and worried endlessly about what I’d done to deserve it. How had I gone from a squat in White City with the bath under the kitchen table and the toilet outside, to this nice clean warm flat all to myself?  At night I lay in bed worrying, had I without realizing made a deal with the devil?  Then the banging started.

To be continued…

Part 2

Memories of A Foam Breast and Fish Bones

Egyptian Dancers
Nan had an Egyptian style plastic vase with dancers like these on it.

Last week I was nearly overwhelmed with an irrational need to cry and cuddle a man with a large single fake breast under a pink satiny nightdress. To place my head where the other breast would be and where I’d be safe. I managed to resist luckily but it was disconcerting and took me a few moments to work out why. The man was of course Stanley Bad (my arch nemesis) but that is somewhat irrelevant. The reason I wanted to cuddle him was because the dress with that single breast reminded me, at some deep non-conscious level, of my Nanny Queen.

It always surprises me when I remember Nanny Queen (Queenie Fisher was her real name). She died when I was about six and I don’t really remember her as a person, I remember her as moments. She had one breast removed due to breast cancer and a foam breast to replace it. Sometimes when she was indoors the foam breast would become uncomfortable and she’d take it off. I have a picture of it in my head now, biege coloured, a bit like someone had torn off a lump of sofa foam and stuck a nylon flesh coloured pop sock around it. I don’t remember her being there but I remember me and my brother playing with this foam breast.

I remember she used to make delicious moose deserts in fancy wine-like glasses but only when we deserved something special. I remember her slapping my brother, he was climbing the shelves where she kept all her china and glasses. She must have been terrified he’d hurt himself, but I was just shocked that she was angry.

Her and mum used to go to the fresh fish market together and come back with lots of stinking fish that they’d behead and bone in the kitchen. This fascinated me. I’d sit at the large pine kitchen table and Nan would give me a plate with bits of fish on it for me pick out the bones, so I felt just like a grown up.

These memories are very vivid but picturing her face is difficult. In my head I can see a picture from a photograph of her in which she has a big smile and looks well, and then I remember her face in the hospital under the breathing apparatus when she was nolonger my Nan and I realized the poem I’d drawn for her about sunflowers, which I was so proud of, was never going to be seen.

And I remember the plastic egyptian style vase she used to have in the bathroom with dancing figures painted around the middle. If I turned the vase in my hand the picture of the figures would go on and on and on forever. It was magic.