Crazy Horse

Crazy horse

A young man stood in front of me. Slightly overweight with a bad crew cut. His left arm was heavily bandaged. He held it out to me like an offering – a kind gesture.

“What happened to you?” I asked. He dipped his head shyly and poked a toe at the grubby, coffee-stained carpet.

“It’s a long story.” He mumbled, “I was in love with a girl. I loved her for a really long time.”

His eyes flashed up briefly to catch mine. Glancing up to the right and back to the floor he continued.

“We always walked to school together – I was, I guess, obsessed with her.” I could see another flicker in his eyes, but of hesitation or clutching at a memory. “I bought her flowers and chocolates, wrote her cards and love letters. For a long time…” he trailed off.

“How long?”

“I dunno…” He scrunched his face up as if he was in pain, then breathed out, “Six years, three months, one week and four days.” And obviously still counting, alarmingly!

“That’s a long time to love someone.” I said.

It’s a long time to love someone if they don’t love you back.” He said, looking directly at me – scrutinizing my reaction.

“So why did you keep writing and giving to her?”

I thought she would love me if I could show her how much I loved her. I thought I could have her. She would be mine – but she left. She came up here, to the big smoke. She got a job, and apartment, new friends – a whole life of her own. What she didn’t realise was that she was my life. So I came to live here too. Then I followed her from her work one day. Just pretended I was in the area and had bumped into her, random like. That was not a very good thing to do – she got really mad and told me to leave…to leave her alone.” He stopped, rubbed his good arm across his eyes and sighed.

“That’s when I got this really cool idea!” His face lit up with his remembered ingenuity. “See, I read in a book somewhere that Van Gough had cut his ear off and sent it to the love of his life. So I thought to myself that I would prove how much I loved her – I would send her my arm. That’s bigger than an ear – it must mean more! So the next day I go to work and do my job. When I thought everyone had gone home, I turned my skill-saw back on and tried to cut my arm off.” He swallows a gulp of air and grins at me crazily.

“Geez, didn’t that hurt?” I ask.

“That’s why I stopped!” he laughs. “I pushed my arm onto the saw and it sliced quickly -which was my intention. Blood pissed everywhere – it quickly got through the bones before I had a chance to pull back and well….it was just kind of hanging off and that’s when I thought to myself; Shit, what the hell am I doing – this hurts! What a mess too. I would’ve died too , I suppose, if the other guy hadn’t heard me screaming before I passed out.”

© Kait King, 2015

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The Real Zombies

the real zombies

I live on an island and we are very much an outdoors crowd, particularly water sports – besides swimming; I loved horse riding, kick-boxing and wrestling. But now I find I’m pretty much a forced recluse due to the inoperable and permanent nerve damage from 2 failed surgeries, which affects my left side in a chronic-acute-neuralgic-pain-syndrome kind of way :\

I call myself a cave bear as I really am just hibernating…. or am I in a cocoon ready to show the newly morphed me? Instead I am left with what feels like a bad experiment. So I don’t go out much – you don’t when you deal with chronic pain – it’s exhausting. It’s just too painful, hard, embarrassing and awkward to go out.

Anyhoo, back to the story. I went to talk to my shrink for an hour today – she is lovely; spiritual, intuitive, and…. hold onto your hats, she does not believe in CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy). Instead she believes in the meta-conscience, an intriguing concept and much more of a fit for me.

So I understand it’s all about identifying myself now – not who I was, but who I am now. I am not sure of what defines me now – in all entirety. I was absolutely convinced I had found my calling when I joined the police with the goal to help our kids. So my faith in me is shaken and I’m finding out who I am as this other me. I know I will get through this because this is my journey – somehow there will be some sense in all of this pain. I was on enormous amounts of methadone in 1998 along with gabapentin, fentanyl and a dozen other medications. I couldn’t even shower myself or brush my teeth. For years I was a zombie until something inside me said “Kait, this is not you – this is not who you are and this is not what should define you.” So I took a long time weaning myself off the medication and I survived when I was supposed to die, I managed to have a life when I was told my life was over. It’s a horror story and not one I want to write but I got through that – dealt with pain on a daily basis through no help of anyone else and carved a life for myself and my son, who had lost me for nearly 5 years already.

Then I give up everything to go to get my degree in Criminology. My son is grown up and doing his own thing. I graduate in 2011 – start my job and slip on my front step. Need a discectomy – it goes badly wrong and triggers old pain syndrome from lung nerve damage of 1998 into its rabid self. I’m in the high dependency unit again – major drugs. I begged everyone around me that if anything should happen they are not to put me on that poisonous methadone. They put me on morphine instead and so the hell has rolled on for the past two years with no positive outcomes. There has been a barrage of medications again and I don’t want to have to take them. Sometimes I feel like a failure when I have to succumb because I am in so much pain but I don’t know what else to do. And the knives I put in my own back become innumerable in this too.

So yeah – I use self-hypnosis and breathing techniques – I do my best not to take medication. It dumbs me down and kills any motivation toward anything. It kills you on the inside too so you don’t have any spirit to feel human any more or to fight for a life – it consumes you in a rolled up carpet, a dark cupboard and deaf/mute existence. I see so many people who are left dependent on heavy medication and with no existence – these are the true zombies of the world. These are the walking dead, the emotionally unfeeling, uncaring and unknowing. It’s almost a way of keeping things quiet….Don’t let them get you 😉

Rock Bottom

Rock bottom

I hit rock bottom

I sat on that bottom rock

weeds and roots tethered me close

and not in a Lovers’ Lock

Catatonic in my despair

broken like a car crash victim

I clutched at straws and sucked in air

feeling like I needed Lithium

Overwhelmed by what I’m not

broken by what I was

fighting what it has to be

a fallen star, a lost cause, tell it as it is

that old me will never leave

it’s a part of what makes me

my body may have let me down

but when I write – I’m free

© Kait King, 2015

She is nothing like me

Nothing like me

Gingerly I type the words, wondering if I may be the only person who thinks like this. god’s daughter is turning out to be more appalling than horrific, more repulsive than disgusting. I can feel her like black tar in my mind. She calls me to write her out – to layer her like a black wedding cake, all the details – the spiders, the webs, the cockroaches, the mould and dusty aura of her mind. The corners of her life are all in shadow, a shadow I have to be brave enough to step into and feel the darkness that is god’s daughter. She wants to be created but she doesn’t want me – I am nothing to her, just like everyone else.

And she is nothing like me…

The doyley of pain

Doyley of pain

So I’m asked to describe how I concentrate to write or focus on anything when pain is such a major contributor in my life and a permanent. I thought about it for a second. The doctor had used the whiteboard and drawn “my brain” with pain in the background and words like focus, concentration, motivation scribbled at the front with arrows looking like they were trying to get into my brain. Understandably these things all present a challenge but the way I see it, is that the pain is like an intricate piece of lace that is draped across my brain. In between the detailed lacy gaps things like concentration, motivation and focus do filter through. And depending on how tight the stitching is sometimes it is easier for those things to flow through and other times not so much. This might make sense to some of you – I’m not sure.

Also I’m not big on the word hope. I don’t want hope – I want it sorted now or I will just live with it until some such miracle cure arrives – but I’m not spending my life or any time at all with the hope that I will be fine again. It is what it is. They say hope is a word used for people who don’t want to accept. That is not who I want to be – I know a part of me longs for my body to be pain free but that is just not how it is.

I believe that determination comes from my soul and I will carve my way through whatever it is the universe chooses to share with me and be grateful at the same time – because even though I can’t walk very far, I can write – just a different double u (w)…. 🙂

© Kait King, 2015

The Velvet Darkness

velvet darkness

A velvet darkness

swallows me whole

squashing my air out

taking it’s toll

and all I want

is to breathe again

to run and laugh

with no restraints

The lost and forgotten

never truly gone

hanging on to your spirit

in some shape or form

But the velvet sleep

has a warming charm

as the comfort of death

it means you no harm

Succumb as you must

to it’s deathly grip

For you are the captain

and must go down with your ship

© Kait King, 2015

A new darkness stirs within…

a new darkness

As a writer I sometimes struggle to write and other times it just falls out of me. Sometimes I wonder where what I write about comes from. I know I make a calculated plan – the skeleton or bones – of an idea but then the flesh just layers upon it, creating the monster. The words used, the feelings created and the imagery perceived is what the end goal is.

A new character with a new idea of the world and what it owes them or what they must pay to live in my book, emerges. I know the title, I know her, I know her story. I would like to share this journey with you too. The beginning of gods’ daughter…..

© Kait King, 2015

Go towards the light….

go towards the light

When I was a kid I grew up in a place called Somerset West in South Africa. It was beautiful and I have amazing memories living there with all of the beautifully changing landscapes and incredible wildlife. I used to go to school with a chameleon or a tobacco roller snake curled up in my pocket. I lived, breathed and ate horses (I always hated that saying – I would die before I ate a horse)…maybe…anyway, I was a happy-go-lucky kid. My parents were wonderfully social butterflies, having many dinners and do’s that were amazing. I would sneak downstairs and take a look at all the beautiful people and listen to their laughter and tinkling cutlery. My mother would let me have dessert upstairs while I watched TV way later than what I was supposed to. I had the dogs and cat crowded up in the den and kept hoping that I would be forgotten and could stay here, just like this, always.

Well that didn’t happen and life trundled on – I must have been about 14 or 15 years old and had my first boyfriend. My parents were out one night and so my boyfriend Mike, and I were over at my friends’ house across the road. Before we left we made sure the dogs were not able to get into the lounge, a light on the front porch was left on for when we came back and everything was locked up.

So we had a fun night with our friends’ and decided it was time to head back – my parents would be home soon and Mike had to go home too. We walked hand in hand down the long dark driveway and headed across the road. My house was lit up like a birthday cake. Every light in the house was on. Mike and I stopped dead in our tracks with our mouths open. I went to hurry forward and Mike held me back. We approached with more caution. The front door was also open…and all of the windows. We were terrified but for some reason instead of going back to my friends’ house we kept going towards mine. Mike pushed the front door open and we slowly went in – I was hanging on to Mike for dear life! Everything was super bright with every single light turned on, the guest toilet lights, the reading lamps beside the beds and the main lights…what the hell was going on? What was really weird is that the dogs were bailed into a corner in the kitchen. Not even where their beds were but squashed under the breakfast table. Now we had a Great Dane (Cleo), a Labrador (Lottie) and a Bouvier des Flanders crossed with an English Sheepdog, (Charlie). These were not little dogs or scaredy-cat dogs for that matter, yet they were cowering and terrified of coming out when Mike and I went in. Usually they were delighted to see us and went crazy even if we had only been gone for twenty minutes. The cat, Fluffy-bum, was nowhere to be seen either.

Mike and I scoured the house and turned off the lights and closed the windows – man, we were creeped out. Mike had to go so I reluctantly saw him off and kept the dogs close. I made sure I locked the front door behind me and checked the downstairs windows with a trail of pets behind me. While I wandered around the house trying to feel safe, yet believing I may be locking something in with me rather than keeping something out.

Suddenly I could smell something burning. I poked my nose outside to find out if there was a bush fire somewhere but I could only smell the delicately cloying Wisteria and Jasmine that threaded the hedge. I hurriedly retraced my steps, the dogs got in the way of course and I stumbled over them several times in my hurry. I couldn’t find anything that was turned on now – I had turned it all off! I checked the power outlets all around and unplugged anything that wasn’t being used but nothing was melted or smelt as if it was burning. I checked the oven, the laundry where the iron was – nothing, not a heated thing. I went into the den and turned on the TV. Lottie, Cleo and Charlie followed me in and clambered onto the sofa with me. Fluffy-bum had turned up and wiggled her way in amongst all of the dogginess. I wondered when Mum and Dad would be home, I hoped soon…

Next to the sofa was an old cane rocking chair and foot stool that would now and again crack due to the change in temperature so that was nothing new. But y’know how cats suddenly stop doing what they are doing and just stare at something you know is not human and may be a ghost or something like that. But you don’t want to believe it when it’s in your own lounge. So Fluffy-bum is washing herself, and the dogs’ faces in between their fluttering lip snores and does this petrified statue thing, looking at the old cane rocking chair. It cracks and I think nothing of it. Something has changed, the snoring has stopped and all three dogs are awake, lying there with their eyes open but they had not picked up their heads. That was really strange – they leapt up at anything in a race to meet it, greet it or eat it.

The cane chair cracked some more and then became regular as the chair started tipping back and forth, rocking… I shot straight off the sofa – cat and dogs flying. Something had changed in me – I was fed up with this torturous unknowing. I stormed over to the lounge door – ripped it open and yelled over my shoulder, “GET OUT! YOU ARE NOT WELCOME HERE – GET OUT!” and carried on like a tornado to the front door – ripped that one open, after I fumbled around unlocking it and yelled the same thing behind me. I stopped in my tracks as I felt something move and shift in the atmosphere.

“I’m sorry…” I whispered, “I’m scared of you, I don’t know who you are but I don’t want you here. You need to go to the light, just go…” and I closed the front door. I walked back into the lounge, I felt shattered but hugely relieved. I looked towards the welcoming sofa where Lottie, Charlie, Cleo and Fluffy-bum sat waiting. They looked relaxed and content. I plonked myself down and Fluffy-bum came over, she looked up at me and closed her beautiful green eyes in a smile of thanks and curled up on my lap after a couple of raspy kisses on my hand. Somebody released some of their dogginess and we were almost back to normal. I heard Mum and Dad’s purring car and saw the headlights sweep over the windows in a comforting light – wondering if whomever I had chased out of our house felt as comforted as I did right now, I really hoped so.