4th Dec – ‘Cause I’ve got nothin’ to live for, Looks like nothin’s gonna come my way.

Cleaned myself: MIND YOUR OWN COVING BUSINESS.
Monkey see, monkey do: MIND YOUR OWN COVING BUSINESS.
Tics: MIND YOUR OWN COVING BUSINESS.
Believe in God? MIND YOUR OWN COVING BUSINESS.
YTLH: MIND YOUR OWN COVING BUSINESS.

I went to the pub in the harbour today. We’re dark this evening but Dog’s Bowl beer have decided on one more run through tomorrow before we go live in a couple of days. As usual, it felt like the pub had stayed open throughout the lockdown, it just maintains this constant disconsolate air of nothing ever changes here. I was half way through the first pint when my old stray latched onto me again.

If you enjoy drinking, why not take advantage of our substantial meal-deal?

‘Here he is then, here he is at last,’ he announced to no one in particular, and when I looked up, and realised that he was addressing his remarks to me, I gave him an animated ‘Oh hi,’ sensing somehow that I owed him something, whereupon he shushed me, and made a gesture with his hands to say, ‘Don’t let everyone hear.’

He pulled out the chair opposite and said, ‘You said next week.’ I didn’t know what he was talking about, so he said, ‘I’ve got it, come and have a look,’ and getting up again he made a movement with his head to encourage me to follow him outside.

Once there, he took this grubby little bottle from his deep pockets, like one of those hand sanitiser comes in, looked furtively in all directions for dangers, then said, ‘Watch this,’ and squirted a little bit of its contents onto a rock lying outside the pub. Where it landed the rock fizzed and dissolved, then it resolved into a clean patch, like the others all over its surface. ‘The action of acid on lime-scaley,’ he said, then he went into his pockets again and produced a clean looking bottle of washing up liquid, and said, ‘That’s yours. Don’t spill any it’s lethal.’

I said thanks, to which he replied, ‘Seventeen quid, skin.’

‘Skin?’

‘Yeah, good skin, you’re a bona omi. That’s cheap actually, don’t tell no one.’

I gave him seventeen of my new pounds and left.

He always seemed like a nice bloke to me

This is the thing, I allow everyone I come across to get the better of me: him, Raggerty, whatever he’s called; Roger; Dog’s Bowl Beer; Big Tooth, who refuses to part cleanly; my father; even an idiot like Big Eggo. And worst of all those: my mind. All of them are bullies, and somehow I am unable to see that they’re coming for me until it’s too late.

I am back in my garret at the village hall as these thoughts occur to me, a ceaseless, swirling, circular oppressive flow of failures, constantly anlaysed and pored over, and always leading to the same conclusion, that I am weak, biddable, easily duped, and without a scintilla (father’s vocabulary) of backbone to see off my persecutors and have me come out on top.

THIS CHANGES NOW.

Question: what it the best way to deal with a bully? Answer: find them ridiculous. Laugh at them, undermine them. And so that I am ready for the next high-percentage-neanderthal-humanoid, I start now, with my mind. It, after all is the worst offender. My mind makes me think something, I laugh at it, then make myself think the opposite. Yes, the secret of success and self-improvement, is to undermine your mind. Reveal it to be the idiot that it is. Take back control. That is the sort of slogan that the rest of my body can get behind to throw the despot from his throne.