Bob Dylan Knocking on Heaven’s Door
Everything. Every tiny miniscule little thing. The whole nine yards denotes all of that, with nothing spared. To put it in context I shall use it in a sentence. Justin Bieber is an arrogant little twat, a real cock slave, the whole nine yards. Considering when recently incarcerated, the turd we love to hate thought it fitting to smile smugly for his police mug shot and incense just about the whole free world in the process, I’d say that he’s the perfect example of this idiom in action. Evidently he hasn’t considered the whole nine inches which will be rammed into his bony white ass come shower time but, should he be made an example of, then I’d say he should gain a more intimate understanding.
Since Rivers of Grue commenced flowing a year ago today, I’ve been all in. After a brief discussion with myself I decided that I would not be sanitized. Moreover, self-censorship would never be an option. If this was worth doing, and I vehemently believed that to be the case, then it was worth doing properly. I had spent my entire adult existence falling a good few yards short and this was to be my all or nothing. I chose all and have not looked back once since. This has led me to sharing some rather intimate details of my personal life with my readership. Many people tuck away their indiscretions out of fear of non-acceptance but I rolled the dice and put it all out there like a mass buffet for all to feast upon. Regret doesn’t interest me and, this time, I had the courage of my convictions. My gargantuan displays of faith have been repaid in kind as folk have related to what I state, even if not prepared to tell their own story quite yet.
Whilst my addressees have responded overwhelmingly to my somewhat frank admissions, that hasn’t been replicated in my hometown, where I discovered recently that the congregation of my nearest church are praying for my soul. Is there something going on that I have not been made aware of? Has the deacon received visitation from none other than Beelzebub himself? I can envisage the scene.
“Keep your eye on that Keeper of The Crimson Quill, he’s a wrong ‘un”
“Already on it Lucifer, God follows him on Twitter”
Judgement day will be some showdown, I’m heading straight for the nearest cauldron and ladling on the lava as it appears I’m a shoe-in for eternal suffering. Or possibly one of their croons has walked past the local cemetery behind parish grounds when I have been in full-on Beast Mode, sitting perched against a dank outhouse wall in temperatures below comforting, without a stitch of clothing on, tapping away on a laptop and blazing a trail as I go. I’m guessing that constitutes for a degree of concern, whereas I just see it as cashing in my ticket to ride, and being at one with the elements. Sure, my testicles should never have been exposed to such a cruel chill, but I made my bed, laid in it, and would do the same again in a heartbeat. I say that but, we’re in February now, and I’d have to don a significant sack mitten to stave off the cryogenic.
I’ve walked away from scenarios, some of which have been excruciating, purely because I had to give Rivers of Grue the whole nine. Anything less would be yards short as I believe that a true artist is prepared to lay down and die for their art. When I undertook this pilgrimage I set my sights stubbornly on what I would achieve and how it would be achieved. For 39 years straight I have been treading water and it was beginning to irk somewhat. I still do tread water but now it consists of the blood of puritans. It is tepid to the touch, metallic in tang and has the darkest deepest red is at its hub. I guzzle it down, bathe in its sanguinity, and fuck with its fury. The whole nine.
Early on, RoG enjoyed its first official photo shoot and this was captured by a nationally recognized local journalist and friend. We had a bucket of cruor at our disposal, a couple of rusted weapons, and two bad motherfuckers prepared to get a little blood in their gums. My compadre in carnage could crack a skull-cap with the faintest knuckle glance and is modeled on the template of a Sasquatch. Gunnar Hansen springs to mind although he needs no leather to make his face look gnarled should you choose to piss him off. I was present at one such instance and the recipient was presented with a knuckle croissant which sent him flailing through a nearby shrubbery and out the other side, where he continued to travel. This juggernaut even managed to impale himself on, ironically, the gates of the very cemetery I scribe in now and gained himself lengthy entrance and exit wound scars from ankle thru upper thigh. It is safe to say that the word badass describes him rather well.
When it came to applying the deep red, however, I was practically drinking that crimson swill from the container. As we stood facing one another with weapons drawn and bloody, this man-mountain was taken aback by the authenticity in my tainted eyes. He searched for the whites and could only discern rouge. I was so far in character that it became clear to him that I simply wasn’t in character. For a guy who fleeces with spinal columns, he ain’t nothing special. Indeed, he has since decided that a lifelong brotherhood is something you simply discard at the first sign of strife. He was once something of a personal hero to me but I now realize, that he just hasn’t got the yards.
I’m in the whole nine Grueheads. Not seven or eight, and certainly not six. Nine. I took a hefty thwack to the cranium yesterday, leaving a little of my scalp dangling from my garage door and, the very moment I felt the warm trickle through my brow, it was nothing more than a photo opportunity. I think I’m going to stop searching for the answer to the poser “is Keeper sane?” as, whilst swearing blind to my family that all the chicks are in the nest, I know every last one of them has dropped to its death over the past year. I’m insane, clinically so, but also very much measured. My mind had a good run of it, nearly forty years it ran its merry dance. But I understand it now that I’m as mad as a hatter and, moreover, I’m good with that.
It is always foremost in my thoughts that I hold a position not to be taken lightly. I put myself out there and can just as easily be snuffed out for my transparency. My work can be dark, it can appear crass and undignified to some, and I’m fine with that also. The overarching belief in all that I scribe is positivity. We could saunter through each day prepared to throw in five yards at a push and where would we end up? Working in the public sector probably. What about the other four yards? What happens to them? They are likely frittered as we succumb to our quaint little existences, behind our white picket fences. Dimples hide our self-loathing as we watch our dreams burst like aged bladders.
Having grown up on a staple diet of Sesame Street, I learned much. Throughout my time there I got high with Snuffleupagus, low with Oscar, and consumed over half of Cookie Monster’s stash of Macadamia nut macaroons, all the while staying one step ahead of local paparazzi, Guy Smilie. He was convinced I was having some sort of illicit affair with Big Bird. Whilst I did find those leg hoops mildly enticing, Gladys The Cow wins it hands down for Keeper. It’s that sexy operatic tone. Her child-bearing hips, and creamy-tipped teats just drive me ga-ga. The most significant schooling I received from street life came from the wonderfully batty Count Von Count. Niiine…aah…aah…aahhh! It just had such a ring to it, I just had to convert it into yards and shuffle towards my destiny. All in at the flop, that’s me. Should I lose my stack of chips then at least I went out with a twinge in my bag balls. Nobody wants to be Joe Cunt, the man without a spine, dumbass woulda’ shoulda’ coulda’ motherfucker. As the old proverb goes “if a job’s worth doing…” Right?
Rivers of Grue has been proven on numerous occasions to empower others to dreaming wilder and reaching that little bit wider. Not a damn thing will change going forward, we shall persist until our doggedness pays of and the industry truly sits up and takes notice. There will be haters of course but there ain’t such a thing as bad publicity in my books so have at you I say. We all signed up with blood, we are conjoined by blood and, with each droplet spilt, we grew more resilient. It’s time to go the whole nine Grueheads. All the way to the bloody citadel.
Truly, Really, Clearly, Sincerely,
Keeper of the Crimson Quill
First Knight of TOK
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Copyright: Crimson Quill: Savage Vault Enterprises 2013 (Revised Edition 2015)