Been a while…

Hi all,

Just a wee update for anyone whose radar I’m still on. It’s, well… it’s been a hell of a year and a half, what with the various things that come with homelessness, AND addiction issues, but today I’m in a good (enough) place. It’s been a struggle, I won’t lie, but am through the worst of it, I feel. I finally had that ‘paradigm shift’ I was longing for, and I MAY talk about that another day, but this is just a quick check-in before I get to writing about it all properly.

There’s a lot to write about. My 9 month reliance on the ‘care’ of the religious, which brought with it its own madness, my eventual fall from ‘grace’ with them, and descent into proper homelessness. I met some good people in all those places though, some of whom I call friends still, and, on the flipside, I had to lose certain people from my life. Some things you just gotta walk away from. I also dealt with the death of my mother during this period. Anyway as I say, I’m in a good place now, and also starting to make up with people I’d fallen out with. I WILL write properly about my experiences soon, if they’re of any interest to anyone.

I’ll leave you (for now) with a couple of recent doodles.

moi

Rob

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cap

Plus bonus cartoon:

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What Dreams May Come

In my dreams, I’m never drinking. It doesn’t even be on my mind (whether I’m drunk or sober going to bed). I’m mixing with people. Mostly new people. Making things. Doing things. Hanging out. Though sometimes there’s weed around. It’s usually somewhere I’ve never been before. A random house gathering somewhere in the country. I’m with people I know, even though I’ve never met them in real life. Sometimes it could be a house full of women. And contrary to popular belief, men don’t necessarily dream of scantily glad, high-heeled slutty types (Only occasionally, if we’re lucky. Though something ALWAYS thwarts the act of sex in these dreams). But ‘real’ women. Slightly overweight, in turtle-necks and jeans. Maybe short hair and glasses. True beauty. The kind of women I prefer to mix with.

Or it could be a group of people I’m working with, in a strange yet oddly familiar place. I had a dream once of working with a particular bunch of lads in a place in the country, that months later turned out to be where I ended up in treatment. I even recognised one of the guys from that dream. I’m not totally against the notion of premonition. It is, as The Doctor puts it, just ‘remembering in the wrong direction’.

These dreams are the better ones. The ones that show a possible future where I’m just getting on with life. Or maybe, as I like to think of things, dreams are a window into a parallel universe where things are played out differently.

Then there are the dreams which feature recurring places. Usually my grandparent’s house, or my family home (always much bigger in my dreams because my head remembers it from a child-sized point of view).

Or an old job. That comes up a lot. My first job, which lasted nearly 10 years. I hated every day of it, but I suppose my longing for routine and financial security makes me miss those days. It was also the job where I was pressured into drinking (and smoking), so maybe my subconscious head goes back there in an attempt to retrace my mental steps, and undo the damage. Grud knows, my conscious head does it all the time!

Then of course there are the bad dreams. The dreams where you can nearly feel a presence. A presence that feels evil. That grips you, and won’t let you wake up. Do you ever get that, or is it just me? ‘Cos it worries me sometimes. You need to scream to wake yourself up. And you may have one or two dream levels to go through before you ACTUALLY wake up.

I’d bad dreams recently, a couple of weeks ago. Can’t remember the exact details (pain forgets), but I had to shout to wake myself up. Except I was still dreaming. Again, can’t remember what about. Probably talking to my grandad who, although dead, has ‘gotten better’. Fair enough, head, but it’s still a dream. Wake up. I wake up to a party going on. Oh look, there’s that ex. Although we’re aware of each other, there is no attempt by either of us to communicate, even though we are mixing with the same people. It’s the subconscious again, trying to deal with things that were left unsaid in real life. We may START to talk, but just as you realise you’re dreaming again, because there’s no logical reason we two should be in the same room, and you wake up again.

This time you find yourself on a trolley-bed, in a hospital ward, surrounded by about 20 other trolleys, it’s the middle of the night, and you’ve a drip attached to your arm. You’ve been in the same clothes for days, and they smell. Hang on, you can’t notice smells in dreams, can you?

Aw shit.

I’m awake.

I want to go back.

R.

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The Thomas House Diaries (part 1)

As part of my almost daily routine now, to kill the 3 or 4 hours between dinner on Merchant’s Quay, and my eventual walk back through a bleak landscape to my hostel for the night, and if I have the money, I like to sit in The Thomas House, sipping a couple of pints of splash diet cola, and drawing into a cheap A5 drawing pad I picked up. These are some of the results. I’ll post more whenever someone with a camera comes into my company again 🙂

1 oops

2 them

3 sad

4 time

5 cash

6 blank

R.

Posted in Alcoholism, Biography, cartoons, Dublin, Homelessness, Ireland | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

The Wall

Imagine, if you will, a wall. A huge white wall that They have built. Who They are I don’t know, but in Their infinite wisdom They have constructed a giant wall, as high and as wide as the eye can see. Then They give everyone a Sharpie. And I mean EVERYONE. Anyone who can hold a pen. The well, the unwell, the sane and the insane. And everyone is invited to ‘knock themselves out’. Write what ya like.

So, naturally, by the first hour, there are a few thousands drawings of cocks spurting out little splashes of semen, and a few thousand ‘for a good time, call this number’s. Then there are the people who think ‘oh this could be fun, I can do something creative’. There will be jokes, there will be drawings, there will be ideas, the will be affirmations, there will be opinions. All light enough, disposable creativity, what with the wall being so vast and so public.

Then there will be the opportunists, who think they can use the wall to change opinion. There will be people advertising things. Some of it might be seen, most won’t, because, you see, The Wall is so vast, and everyone else is busy writing their own head stuff at the world. Then someone will hit upon the idea to make money, by writing on The Wall that for a small fee, they can show you how to use The Wall to make money for yourself.

There will be award ceremonies for who’s best at writing on The Wall. Naturally, these ceremonies will take place in the form of writing, on The Wall.

Then there will be the ‘activists’, with a point to make. They are unhappy with something going on in the world, and think if they write on The Wall a LOT, this will change things. They will write, maybe even in CAPS, to make their pens heard. Other will write abuse over what they have written, because, you see, it is a vast public Wall, and not everyone is using it with the same goals. Also, did I mention, The Wall is available to ALL… the well, the unwell, the sane and the insane?

Some will then try to get through to other Wall-writers by telling of a major woe, or injustice. One or two other Wall-writers may notice it. But they could be well, unwell, sane, or insane.

Someone writes of an injustice to them in their past. Another writes ‘fuck off, you whore’ over it. Another writes ‘lol’ over that. Most people see none of it. They are all busy writing on the wall.

Some people tire of trying to get their words seen by the other Wall-writers, and walk away from The Wall, to find some other way to communicate their feelings to the world. Others now rely on The Wall. It is their ONLY outlet to the world.

Eventually, The Wall starts to fill up. Mainly with shite every other writer is too busy writing to read, but filling up. So They must extend The Wall.

This continues over time. Some write more and more, some give up and walk away. The Wall is continuously added onto. It’s now so wide it starts to curve into an arc, to support its own weight. People become more passionate about The Wall, either for their own purposes, or to disagree with the written stuff they’ve started to notice. There are arguments, all backed up by ‘Wall-bravery’, a new form of courage the people have discovered that, though violent, is physically confrontation-free. The Wall-bravery grows.

Some more people decide to walk away.

The Wall is still getting bigger, and has curved so much now, that it forms an almost complete circle around the people.

Some decide to walk away, before the ends of The Wall meet. Mostly the well and the sane.

Eventually they do, and a portion of the people can’t bring themselves to avail of the opportunity to get out before it becomes one big high circle. The Wall is their life now. It’s their only vindication for life. The Wall-bravery is unlike any sort of bravery they could ever hope to have had before the advent of The Wall. So they stay.

Outside the circular wall, a community thrives.

Now free of its gobshites.

Serling Rob

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Change, My Dear…

Nyah! Well THAT what excruciating.

If I may take a moment out of my busy street-wandering schedule, for some narcissistic meandering (hey let’s face it, I’m a ‘creative’. Everything I say or do is narcissistic), I’d like to go into some detail on my most recent regeneration. As regenerations go, this last one was tough. Almost violent, I’d say. And lasted a fucking year.

My new persona would appear to be a trifle… ‘spiky’. I like it.

Also liking the new costume (wine-coloured denim jacket, black hoody, dark blue jeans and green chucks) and even happy with the hairstyle.

Yes.

I’ll keep it, I think.

Anyway, this is a warning to the monsters. I’m coming.

Onward and upward!

Doctor Robert

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Call Me S.A.M. (Sober Angry Man)

“I’m here to look up places on Daft, and kick ass. And I’m all out of places.”

Greetings, Spidey-fans. Homeless Bob here. Or Bobless for short. Another day, another blog. All I can really do at the moment is write. I’m getting a LITTLE drawing done in my notepad when I can find somewhere to do it, and some day when I’m able, I’ll scan ’em and get ’em up. My only other belongings right now are my guitar and a book of songs I need to learn, but as yet I’ve nowhere to do that either, so my only outlet right now is this internet cafe and blogsite. I DO need to write what’s in my head, however destructive. There ARE also things I can’t write about, as they might involve others, or involve health issues I’d rather keep to myself, but they are additional worries that prey on my mind nonetheless.

Contemplating yesterday’s blog, I realise how angry it sounded, and how much of an asshole I’m coming across as right now. And I’m not saying I’m right about everything. I’m very wrong a lot of the time. Just that my outlook is skewed constantly. Personally, I think I’m crazy. I’m intelligent, and talented to a degree, but fucking crazy. I dunno if it’s chemical or environmental, but them’s the facts. Probably why I attract crazy.

I spent much of yesterday walking around with the same anger and upset in my head that I usually only experience when I’ve had to much to drink. But part of me feels I NEED to get this angry. In fact, I needed to for a very long time. I’m a 48 year old man still wearing the head of his 20 year old self. As I type this, they’re doing drilling work next door, and that’s not helping either.

Something that has never sat right with me, for instance, is our almost constant use of texts / social media / the internet to communicate to each other. It seems a very passive aggressive way of interaction. Apologies by text, recriminations by text, big relationship questions by text, it’s all very… one sided? I dunno how to describe it. The internet was great when it was just websites, that had stuff, that we could use or enjoy, but now social media has afforded us all our own website, effectively, and we have each become that website. Avatars of our real selves. When you get into a relationship online, for instance, you’re not getting involved with someone. It’s who you THINK you are, getting involved with who they think THEY are. All I’m saying is, our current state of social interaction feels wrong. We’re lucky if 5% of it is even physical these days. And I’m not just talking about relationships of a romantic nature. It’s the same for friendships, work relationships, everything. It all just feels de-personalised. And lonely. Teenagers can’t even have mini-breakdowns the way we used to, without it going public. Counselors of the future will have their work cut out for them. Anyway… I digress.

This morning I sat in a cafe on Meath St that does free breakfasts for the homeless, while a Traveler woman sat there losing her mind at everyone around her, about the 6 kids she’s buried. A woman in a desperate place. Some smiled at each other, some told her to shut the fuck up, someone tried to speak with her, but eventually they had to get her to leave and I can’t help wonder how the rest of HER day is going to go. There’s always someone in a worse off place, I’m always aware of that. Doesn’t make things easier though. Ho hum :/

Rob

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Nuns Are Cunts and Fuck AA

Hello again, and welcome to the continuing blog of a man losing it. I’ve an hour’s internet time left here, so I’ll have to write this quick. No pressure. I realise the title of this blog is probably a bit much, and not even really the subject of the blog, but I need to start grabbing attention. Though on the AA front, I’m a little tired of their rhetoric after 22 years of it.

Let’s start with 26 year-old Rob. I wasn’t in a great place back then. This was probably around the time my drinking was becoming problematic, and I was living in a situation that wasn’t all that healthy (I won’t go into exact details).
Anyway, I was looking for that ‘thing’, the thing creatives need to pull themselves out of the myre. It was about 1996. I’d started drawing comic strips of people in my life that were not good for me, only to be chided about it by others. I was recording songs using two tape decks, so I could harmonise and play bass along to myself on guitar, and writing poetry (yeah… I know! Poetry!).

It was the year I’d discovered Dylan Moran and Bill Bailey, and we were in between The Bends and Okay Computer. But I never had ‘it’. I’d try stuff and give up. I SHOULD have persevered, but discipline was never in my nature. My other option at the time was AA, an oft-mooted solution by my ma, who was rather militant about her al-anon lifestyle, so mainly to keep her happy I went down that route instead. I wish I’d never heard of the fuckers.

Thankfully the Sisters of Cuan Mhuire recently cured me of any respect for or faith in anything AA has to offer. Even with the shit I’m in now, I know I can’t go back there and retain any sort of honesty with myself. Sponsors and steps and ‘spiritual growth’. Listen, motherfuckers, life IS spiritual growth and steps, you don’t need it in writing. It’s like they’re telling you ‘you can’t control things in life, now here’s some leaflets to help you control things in life.’ I DO realise it’s helped out a lot of people over the years. Usually the type of people who use words like ‘surrender’.

Another option presented to me was to go into another residential program with the Simon Community, which will first involve 10 days of jumping through hoops, with 5 piss-tests, but where will residential care get me? There ARE people in my life who want me there, but that’s not going to keep a man sober, if the sobriety is controlled until the day it’s not.

I’ve managed to stay sober thus far, since the detox, mainly because it’s required for staying in the hostel I’m in. Though apparently you ARE allowed drink during the day once you don’t bring any back, or turn up pissed. At least one resident does so and is quite open about it. But if I could do that, I wouldn’t have a problem, right?

I’m currently pointlessly chasing paperwork to get into a better place, and it turns out the bureaucrats are still getting it wrong. I needed a form which it turns out I didn’t need and was of no use anyway, ‘cos they’re not taking names for another month, etc. I know that sentence doesn’t make sense, but that’s how much sense all this makes. I’m ‘ok’ in the hostel I’m currently in, but I don’t have the freedom to say, stay in a friend’s on any give night, because I HAVE to be there every night to keep the bed. Not smoking. It’s quite a lonely existence.

You’re kicked out at 9am, and left to wander the streets all day. If I’m lucky and still have money, I’ll go sit in Thomas House for an evening sipping splash coke and drawing til it’s time to check in for the night, though that won’t be happening again ’til next dole day. I’ve 30 cent to my name right now, but hey, at least I know where to get free food, and I think I can make my tobacco stretch. So for now it’s walking about with people shouting at me to vote yes. Or no. Or yes. Or …wait….what? Listen, I’m getting mighty sick of these campaigners at this stage. PEOPLE WILL VOTE HOW THEY WILL VOTE! What’s the fucking point in starting a 50,000 euro kickstarter campaign to get ‘Vote Yes’ posters printed? You absolute cunts. Do something REAL with your lives.

Did I mention this would be an angry blog? Maybe I’m out of order. In fact, there’s no ‘maybe’ about it. I should have an ‘Out Of Order’ sign around my neck. I was doing fine for a time. But Jesus the last 7 or 8 years have been getting tougher by the day. It MAY have started with the near fatal beating I got, and the other subsequent attacks. I’m not blaming them per se, but it all certainly affected my decision-making skills. Haven’t been able to live up to or stick with a single decision since. Relapse after relapse, broken relationship after broken relationship, it wears me out. I’m at an all time low, and all I can do is hope the next day is a little better. It always feels like it’s a little worse, though.

At the moment I wonder where I’ll be in life when the new series of Doctor Who starts. Oh God, the fucking feminists are going to try and appropriate that too, aren’t they? Fuck.

This has been Rob, today. Don’t like it? Fuck off.

 

Posted in Alcoholism, Biography, Dublin, Homelessness, Ireland, Mental health, Relationships | Tagged , | 2 Comments