I’m glad I did what I did.
It wasn’t pleasant to witness the suffering, but being party to the sublime justice was intensely satisfying.
I did it because everything was alright one day, and the next, it wasn’t. Suddenly, out of nowhere, the eight-headed beast appeared shrieking and shaking the ground, devouring the past in an instant. Eating yesterday and leaving only the rank stench of happy memories.
I was glad no-one bothered to ask; all assumed the existence of the beast brought about the existence of Dorothy, translating a polar morale. In their minds, it stood to reason that there had to be a diametrically-opposed entity - they had no idea then, that after The Birth, after The First Kiss, after The First Hit, that the line was only punctuated with varying degrees of disappointment. The Thing existed with no opposition, in a spiralling vacuum of its own making, alongside the perpetual spinning void of Family Fortunes and Findus Crispy Pancakes. When Doris Day donned the suede and tassels, whip-crack away, whip-crack away, whip crack away - it was debauchery. Dorothy was as much a head of the beast as Cowell, Clifford or Castro.
The only option was to burn and run, run and burn. I’m glad I did what I did, leaving them ablaze in the valley. No metaphor, Wonka burnt to a crisp in Fortitude Valley, Brisbane, along with the axminster, while I ate Osso Buco and drank snakebite and blackcurrant in Corsica.
Beginnings. That’s an essay. One pure point in time and then a downward spiral until another pure point in time juts out and spikes you in the heel. That pain doesn’t burn, it stabs, quick and clear.
I took my recipe, my new cake-tin and my roll-up of cash back home. The curries had lost flavour, the Sidlaws shrunk and the currency had changed, but Dundee, Scumdee, aaahh… only the locals can understand.
I turned to the nearest drunk in the city square as the grease from my onion bridie dripped onto my jeans.
“Ya think you’re sae much better,” he slurred.
“Give me a drink,” he wouldn’t refuse.
“What happened tae yer accent then? Naebody loses it unless they waant tae. You’ve gone aw posh.”
“Yes sir,” I said, “all posh and superior. I’ve been waiting fifteen years for this.”
“Yev got tae tak a risk.”
“There aren’t any risks. I saw a photo of someone and they looked twenty years older than they did twenty years ago. I used to drink around here, in the bushes and then on the bandstand at Magdalen Green. James McIntosh Patrick painted a picture of me mooning the trains after seven. I was, even for a child, perfectly proportioned and I felt very clean and smelt of a nice neutral soap, until after my sweetheart stout.
"I have to leave now anyway," I said loudly. "I’m respectable and my kids will be wondering where I've got to, and to be frank, they’ll be none too pleased if they find out I was here with you."
“Mr Fancy Breeks now, is it? Too good for us plebs now?”
“No, on the contrary,” I replied, “you make me feel… less alone.”
I clicked my heels together the appropriate number of times but quickly woke up in a cell. It was very unpleasant and confusing and due to this, shortly afterwards, I employed one of those small, invisible, deformed chaps to burn me a little whenever I felt like a change again.
I haven't done what I did, before, again, since, probably because I'm not too keen on that burn, which I employed, again - the way it suddenly seems to come out of nowhere when you least expect it, and burns you. But I’m glad I did what I did because I got some good advice and realised some minor pain.
“Tak a risk,” he said.
I’m putting my mind to it now and wondering who I can attack, wondering who won’t bite back. But then I’m thinking, if they don't have teeth, they’re not worth attacking.
The questions is, how many blows would I be prepared to take and to what organ? I’m a respectable man, sick of the white ankle socks and gingham now.
Respectable? No. But no regrets, I’m glad I did what I did - there was never any other option.
I’m putting my mind to it now… wondering who…