The Game

I wrote the following verse a while ago, about ten years ago. This is how I felt at one time, but I don’t feel like this now. A wise friend said to me lately that our writing from the past is still valid, still important, simply because we felt like that at one time in our lives, so it’s still a part of us, and we shouldn’t dismiss it. (Thanks Mike. You inspired this post).

His advice got me into thinking that our past writings are like part of our photo albums. Would we cut photos out of our albums because they are no longer relevant? I’m sure some people do and have, but they are denying themselves their life story. It’s certainly a part of us we shouldn’t deny, as we need to know where we’ve been, in order to know where we’re going. We can learn from our writing from the past. What I’ve learned, is that hope is real and it does manifest. It’s very easy to feel that the future is bleak, and we may feel suicidal at times, I’ve had their number on my phone before today. 116 123 UK or Suicide Hotline.

The problem with suicide is, it’s short sighted. We can’t predict the future. However bleak things feel and how almost supernaturally impossible it is, to see past the darkness at times, the future, unbeknown to us, can hold untold wonders. Moments of this darkness will come back and try to prove us wrong I’m sure, but all in all, there’s nothing quite like looking back at bad times with a detached eye and thinking, things did get better, after all. Regardless of what unfolded, a time line of your happiness levels can be very useful.

Keep your old writings as a measure of how far you’ve come, and dip into them after several years have passed. It may trigger you to make important changes in your life. That snapshot, just like the snapshot in a family album, might finally allow you to see where you were in the past, where you are now and how far you need to go to achieve your hearts desires.


Life’s a lonely game

you shake the dice and your number comes up.

And in the aftermath of carnage

hope hides, a dream stirs, clinging to the dust

The devastation of the explosion

will only make you miss a turn

and you’ll have to go back –

five paces.

Well, you know, I don’t want to play on this board no more

Cos no one plays fair

I’m going to bed, turning in

Throwing in my hand

Too many snakes

Not enough ladders.






Can I leave? Can I leave, really?

You should write your own version of the chameleon that is in all of us. Don’t be ashamed or embarrassed at all, at how we change like chameleons, how we like certain people and then, not like them so much. It’s not our fault. It’s not their fault. Everything is transient, including our moods. Our values and principles should stay the same of course, but our everyday feelings and emotions are allowed to change. For a long time, I thought this wasn’t allowed ! I thought there was some kind of law that said I wasn’t allowed to change my mind, or change my opinion of someone or something, with good reason of course. I thought appropriate responsiveness to a situation was illegal, that I shouldn’t/couldn’t open a can of worms, or tell that person to remove his hand from my knee, or walk away from an aggressive or unreasonable person, or walk out of a restaurant that didn’t get to you within their accepted in-house time limit.

I don’t go to pubs much now, hardly ever, and I haven’t dined out for a good while, but now that summer’s here and eateries and pubs seem to be doing a bit more business than usual, it just made me think. Have you ever walked into a pub and not been served, even though you’ve felt the bar person’s eyes go over you every five seconds and he served people who got to the bar after you?  Of course you have. Have you ever walked into an empty pub and not been served within ten minutes because the barmaids are chatting in the corner and looking over occasionally giving you smug, self-satisfied smiles?

There’s nothing wrong in walking out of a cafe, pub, bar, restaurant that doesn’t serve you in a prompt and timely manner. I’ve sat in a restaurant for a good while with friends and we haven’t even been acknowledged, granted it was busy, but just a nod to say, I’ll be with you soon, is common courtesy and should be in-house policy. There’s nothing more beautiful than walking out of a pub, or a restaurant, when you’ve been ignored for a good while. I was afraid to do it for a very long time. I think a lot of people just put up and shut up, especially if you happen to be British. Lie back and think of England. It’s almost like there’s an invisible boundary stopping us from walking away. I must not go over that line ! I have to stay imprisoned!  Imprisoned by what?

Working in such establishments, is not an easy job, it’s hard work, but if a service isn’t provided within a reasonable amount of time, the customer has the right to call time. If a restaurant is being overwhelmed by too many customers and they can’t cope, then we are doing them a favour by walking away. They are a victim of their own success, and hopefully, at some point the business owner(s) will sit down in a board room somewhere and ruminate over this issue and provide more tables or staff, or whatever it is that’s needed, to accommodate more customers at their busier times.

When you’ve been ignored for longer than is acceptable, then just walk out, don’t stay with it and think things will get better. It very rarely does. I’m sure you’ll have plenty opportunity to try this soon and the best part, is this, to be aware of all the other people watching you walk out. ‘Oh, they’re walking out!’ they will say, looking at you with shocked faces. How shocking ! How anarchic! So Sex Pistols. So un-British, wait, God damn you, wait, I don’t care how long you have to wait, but wait!

You haven’t committed yourself in any way, shape or form, but it seems you were born to wait and be ignored at the same time, and suffer. Oh yes, suffer, while I torture you by not acknowledging you even exist. But this is simply not true. What will happen is, you will think ‘I’ve waited this long, I may as well wait a bit longer.’ Try not to fall into this trap. This will never help you, or work to your advantage. The more you think this, the longer you will wait. Once a precedent or a certain mood has been set, you’re on to a loser. It’s just a bad time at that establishment. Bad Time Establishment Blues. It’s not going to get better. So, do the sensible thing, move on and don’t think ‘but this is where it’s all happening!’ That’s just the desperation bell going off. Ignore the desperation bell. You are above that.

No, but seriously, don’t be afraid to walk out of anywhere, at any time. I’ve been learning appropriate responsiveness lately. If you are an assertive person, this will be old news for you. If not, then hold tight, you will discover true freedom this way.

Soon, you won’t just be doing it to faceless public establishments, you’ll be doing it to individuals who invade your personal boundaries or who cross the line with you. Practice makes perfect and the more you do it, the more comfortable it will feel.



Where Does Loneliness Go?

Where does loneliness go

When it’s not in your heart?

Does it creep into your wardrobe

Does it stay under your floorboards

Until your heart starts to break again?

Where does loneliness go?

When it’s not wanted?

Does it sit and plan its comeback

A No.1 hit that will throw you off your feet

Punch you in the stomach and make you bleed all over the floor.

You don’t do that to people and get away with it.

So no wonder loneliness hides

With stealth and cunning

When you’re happy go lucky.

Where does loneliness go

When you’re not feeling alone?

Does it slither out of sight

Creeping in shame

A criminal that no-one wants to catch.

When it’s not grabbing hold of you

Does loneliness get lonely too?


© Sue Young


The Continuing Saga Of Strange Things Happening To Me In Blackpool Library

Today, I was in Blackpool Central Library, at 3 p.m. I was returning some books and already knew which ones I was getting out next. A little bit O.C.D maybe, but then we can afford to be now and again can’t we, as long as it doesn’t interfere with our lives, which it can do and often does… but moving swiftly on.

Here are the books I got out. Delton Welch – I Left My Grandfather’s House and The Complete Fairy Tales by Charles Perrault. 

Anyway, I’ve already experienced strange, disturbing or usual things happening to me in Blackpool Central library and it’s extremely consistent. I just want to make it clear that it doesn’t happen anywhere else in Blackpool, or anywhere else in my life, or in any other libraries in the Wyre or Blackpool area, and these things ALWAYS happen to me when I ‘appear’ to be on my own.

The bare bones of it is, I got into the library with my husband, then my husband and I separated at that point (not in real life, just in the library) so that he could look at his books in his aisles and I could look at mine. I picked the books I wanted, within seconds, and then got that strange feeling that you get, when eyes start burning into your back and instinct tells you to look round.

I saw a woman about twenty five feet away from me and she appeared to have a camera and appeared to be taking photos and/or filming me. Now I wasn’t big headed enough or paranoid enough at that stage, to think she was ‘taking pictures’ of me, so I thought. ‘Oh, she must be taking pictures of the beautiful stained glass windows.’ Now Blackpool central library have some beautiful stained glass windows, at its rear, so it wasn’t unlikely that she might be grabbing images of them.

Still, I decided, instinctively, that I wanted to move on at that point, so I did. I walked down the main aisle and turned right, twice at the lights, into another section.

Well, lo and behold, said woman followed me. Not only did she follow me but she stood right in front of me, about five feet from me. She was aged 50- 60. 5 foot 5 inches and her and Kathy Bates were separated at birth. She had the same confident, focused ‘I-have-a right-to-do-this-aura’, that she had in Misery. She held up a brown jiffy bag, as one would a camera, or mobile phone, while taking a photo or some footage. The envelope was about A4 size. It was bulging, full of notes, papers, and had writing all over it, in blue biro, like someone might scribble notes and memos over something. She held it up, at face level, just as if it was a camera. She took a photo of my face or footage with this thing, for about the time it takes to take a photo, about five seconds. By now of course, I was looking at her and thinking, Covert Operation Or Crazy Person.

She was calm and serious. She had that journalist mentality, and she couldn’t have been that crazy because she scampered away as if her arse was on fire when she saw my ‘What the f***’ face. So quickly in fact, that when I caught up with my husband seconds later and began searching her out, she was gone. To make matters worse, my husband had to be somewhere for an hour. Now he always pecks me on the lips and says ‘Goodbye’ whenever we have to part. Well, he didn’t this time. He just disappeared. So, there I was, really freaked out, almost in panic attack mode and saying out loud, but not too loud for anyone to hear ‘Where the f*** is he?’

It’s strange, but, while I feel I’m a bit odd at times, there is nothing quite so frightening as that unpredictability of a stranger, approaching you in that way and having absolutely no idea what they are going to do next. It makes me feel sane in comparison. I was  actually physically shaking from this encounter, for about half an hour afterwards. Who takes photos of you with a jiffy bag, without your consent, and so brazenly. I mean, who does that?

Well anyway, it was really creepy and I was disturbed and I have to off load and that’s why you are here.

Think of it this way, this is a kind of catharsis for me but think of yourself as a benevolent person who has done a charitable act. I had a weird experience and had to off load and you were there for me. Thank you. I am FREAKED OUT and you are lending a sympathetic listening ear and saying  you can never get those five minutes back, but you know, you are helping someone. Be proud. You are a good person.

I am going to surrender. I will not fight the vortex that is Blackpool Central Library any more. There are so many books I want to read there. I will not be put off. I will not shake and tremble at the strange things that happen to me there any more. I will embrace it and be armed this time and  therefore conquer it. I’m going to be ready for you next time, strange happenings. Bring it on… and watch this space.









Quote Of The Week

‘In order to be able to write, I’ve always felt that I had to somehow convince myself that I never had parents. I needed to erase their images and presence, otherwise I wouldn’t have been able to write a single word.’

The Fetish Room – The Education Of A Naturalist by Redmond O’Hanlon and Rudi Rotthier

How To Kick Your Incubus Out Of Bed

Nat texted me one night with a wink smiley. “Joe is keeping me awake. He won’t let me sleep.”
I winked back. I didn’t know who Joe was but I guessed he wouldn’t last long with Natalie. She reeled them in, then let them go. Sometimes they didn’t want to go, and sometimes she didn’t want them to go, but I had my own nocturnal problems to worry about.
I was woken at 3 a.m, by a bald headed creature on top of me. It was naked with pasty skin that looked as if it had never seen the light of day. It had a untamed mono eyebrow, but on the upside, its little pot belly hid any trace of the genitals…if it had any. Thankfully, and for reasons unknown, the main man of this hideous creature was blessedly absent.
This thing had been in my nightmares for several years now. I had never caught it in the act, until now, when I’d woken up and there it was, sitting high up on my stomach, its little legs and feet splayed out, like the way a toddler might sit on the floor, as he played with his toys.
Now that I was awake, I could see that it was clawing at my chest, yes there. It was exactly as a cat kneads away at a human lap, with yellow claws at the end of huge hairy paddle like paws, way out of proportion to the rest of its body. It’s lips bled out of the lines slightly, like the red lipstick daubed senior citizen on Bingo Night. That mouth sucked the very life energy from mine leaving me feeling breathless, drained, weak and assaulted every time. While I’d been unconscious and helpless, I’d never known what that feeling of suffocation was, until now. I always thought the duvet was wrapped around my throat, choking me somehow, but every time I woke up, I was never caught up in anything.
Now I was looking into its eyes and I couldn’t look away. It looked like the creature had been deprived of sleep for years, judging by the dark blue shadows under its eyes. All the while, it was doing the kneading thing that cats do, it absolutely transfixed me with its feral yet intelligent stare. I realised I couldn’t move. I was paralysed under its primitive but powerful gaze.Then, I began to fight, I fought with my mind and my body and with every fibre in my being, I fought against that creature but I was pinned to the pillow by a great weight.
Then all of a sudden it was gone. I wasn’t out of the woods yet. I lay there, for what seemed like hours, in the darkness, trying to get my breath back. Even though I was no longer under its disgusting little frame, I couldn’t move a muscle. I tried. It was as if I’d been injected with a immobilising poison that took its time to wear off.
Eventually, it did wear off and the next day, I walked into a church. To my embarrassment, my hand was clammy as the deacon shook it. “I need help.” I whispered. We went somewhere quiet to talk. Afterwards, he scribbled a prayer on some paper and gave it to me. “You’re being visited by a type of demonic entity called an incubus.” he said. “They appear for all sorts of reasons. They can also be sent by your enemies as a form of attack. The only way to get rid of it is to pray it away in the Name of Jesus Christ.”
Will it work?” I asked.
He smiled as if I’d said something funny. “If you do it in His Name, yes.”
Before I went to bed, I read the prayer out loud.
I woke up at 3 a.m, as usual but this time I wasn’t suffocating, or paralysed. Instead there was a knocking from inside my wardrobe. I switched on the light and looked inside. Cowering in the corner was my incubus. He didn’t look quite so frightening any more, more like a little old man and without the paralysis and the terror that went with it, I was emboldened. “What are you doing here?” I was surprised to find that for once, I was angry rather than afraid, and I could talk. I was normally unable to when under attack. “I prayed you away today. I was told it would definitely work.” I began to say the prayer again out loud.
The creature flinched. “No, don’t. Don’t!” It put its large paddled paws to its head as if it had a headache and closed its eyes. “The prayer did work.” rasped the demon. “I was returned to the one who sent me, but I got lost on the way back. It happens sometimes when I have to learn a new route. I’ve never been very good at directions and I’m not going to ask the others.”
I didn’t ask who the others were.
It’s embarrassing.” continued the incubus. “I have my pride to think about.”
I bet you do. Did someone send you?”
Humans are so petty.” said the demon.
I asked again but it just stared at me with those half ferocious, half thoughtful piercing eyes and before I could fall into the hypnotic blue, I recited the prayer again. The incubus winced as if in pain and disappeared.
A few weeks later, I was at Nat’s house. Until then, I’d never really paid much attention to her black candles and voodoo doll all stuck with pins. I picked the doll up. It looked a bit like me. “I hope you’re not cursing me.” I said half jokingly. She reddened, snatched the doll out of my hand and changed the subject quickly. “Hey guess what, I finally dumped Joe.”
Joe.” I said, vaguely remembering the text. “Oh yes, that new guy who won’t let you sleep. ”
He serviced my car and don’t you remember him smiling at you?”
I shook my head. “You smiled back.” she said. “I thought you were both having a moment there in the garage…but…well, it’s official, it was me he fancied after all.” she said smugly. “I think I only went out with him because…well…I’m competitive, as you know.”
The man who serviced your car?” I couldn’t even remember what he looked like under all that motor oil, but Nat did and had thought I liked him. I remembered the demons words. ‘Humans can be so petty.’
Yes and jealous too and complete bitches to boot. Who needs friends when…
Well, it’s over now.” she said with a sigh. “We’re not as compatible as I thought we were. He spent far too much time under those cars of his.” It was then I noticed that Natalie was looking very tired and drawn lately, absolutely exhausted, a shadow of the girl she used to be. It’s as though, I thought, she’s been up all night, as if she hasn’t had a decent kip for weeks, as if someone, or something, just won’t let her sleep….

© Sue Young