Flies on the Windscreen

Well, what can I say?

We thought about 50 people might turn up, but the pews for 150 were almost full. Dunkan had been a navy field medic, chef, artist, puppeteer, circus performer, peace activist and street sweeper in his life - or lives - and friends from all these periods and aspects came to see him off.

Three members of Donna's family were there, sitting in middle class bemusement as a man swigging beer from a can told stories of the Wessex Dust Trust Catering Division - Dust House Forte. Slogan: "Catering with attitude". Motto: "A burger, a bun, and abuse". I don't think any of Dunkan's family were there.

I realised halfway through the service, sitting in the preacher's box with my finger on the CD player, that in that painted box three feet away...he was in there. Not that either of us ever believed in a soul or an afterlife, but the thing that used to be Dunkan was in that box, wearing his always-polished army boots, baggy tartan shorts and jacket held together with safety pins.

In one of those odd coincidences, Thursday was the 9th anniversary of my father's mother dying. Her husband had died several years before, but in the same week, so to speak.

I remember both their funerals vaguely - rows of people discharging an inconvenient duty. There's no comparison. Dunkan's service is the only funeral I've been to that was what funerals are supposed to be - cathartic and providing a real sense of closure.

Life goes on, and in it's way returns to normal. This week was the Fresher's Fair at the university, and 80 students signed up to SWSS (pronounced Swizz - the Socialist Worker Student Society). Four years ago I felt jolly proud to have signed up 22 students at the stall, and pleased that 3 of them came to the second meeting.

In front of me is a plastic bottle containing "concentrated" "pure" hoodia, the latest fashionable appetite suppressant for people who think reducing hunger will reduce comfort eating. There is also a sandwich of blue cheese, ham and mayonaise. Which will make me feel better?

I need a new PS2 mouse, and possibly a new hard disk. Actually I need a computer that isn't cobbled together from bits of other computers 5 - 10 years old.

There's the Strict Machines recording studio to set up. They came second in the second round of "Battle of the Bands", which entitles them to join half a dozen other bands, playing three songs at the Kings Theatre, in front of local dignitaries and Tory bigwigs. They have therefore chosen three of their most anti-establishment songs.

C is worse. Aching muscles, freezing and boiling flushes, plus the usual colitis symptoms.

He is absolutely determined to spend his planned two weeks in Peru, exploring, paragliding and cramming in every experience the country has to offer. It starts next Wednesday, and I think he's utterly mad to go in his condition, but if it's physically possible, he will go, nevermind the risks and suffering.

Two weeks of him out of contact and experiencing things I can only read about, while I sit and fiddle with computers, trying not to worry myself sick that he's coping.

Why can't I be in love with someone who doesn't go to a life threatening country while suffering a life threatening medical condition? Why can't he be like all those vacuous but safe students who're around the town now? Why can't he just be sensible and stay at home, cuddling with me in front of the television? Why? Because safe, sensible people don't like me, and I could never love one of them. Even though I'm very much afraid I am one of them.


  1. «Someone said to me recently about me and C, "You've got it bad".»
    This you wrote. This I meant when I wrote about prophets of disgrace... They just cannot see anything but evil around them. Sorry for not being clear enough.
    We never love ourselves enough, whether belonging to the safe, sensible group or to the other.

  2. Wow, you've got a lot of stress right now. You seem remarkably calm considering all the storms about you.