Suggested Audio Jukebox ♫
 Joe Satriani “If I Could Fly”
 Henry Mancini “The Pink Panther Theme”
 Hoobastank “Crawling In The Dark”
 Queens of the Stone Age “The Lost Art of Keeping a Secret”
 The Daniel Caine Orchestra “The A-Team Theme”
 Glenn Frey “The Heat Is On”
There are few frustrations quite as intense as feeling like you’re missing out on something. Have you ever boarded a long-haul flight and passed through the first class cabin on the way to your economy seating? Sucks don’t it? For a split second excitement strikes as we ponder whether this particular plane is just a little more spacious and luxurious than most but the elation doesn’t last long as the realization soon sinks in that this is simply how the other half live. In a few seconds we will arrive at our designated spot and spend the next ten hours shuffling uncomfortably in our poky aisle seats while our flight attendant takes the skin off our elbows with her duty-free trolley. Said hostess will no doubt be in her late fifties, suffer from a lazy eye, gingivitis, and excess fluid on her knees, and be called something profoundly unsexy like Gertha. She won’t once break out a smile and, instead, will make a vested effort to make us feel all unspecial. Should we decide to pass the time with a spot of low-key masturbation, then Gertha will remind us that she’s all out of travel blankets, alert us to the No Wanking sign above the cabin, and warn us of the on-the-spot charge for being caught in the act at an altitude of 10,000 ft.
Now let’s see how the other half live shall we? You see, beyond the curtain in first class, it’s a whole different ballgame entirely. The flight attendant alloted to preferential seating will invariably be called something far more seductive like April and be twenty-five, a former Miss Cincinnati, and have three defective buttons on her blouse. To be fair, April likely won’t break a smile much either, but this is on account of having her sexy pout so much down to pat. Legroom won’t be an issue here thanks to fully reclining seats which come built in with a feature that gently massages your buttocks while you stretch out to capacity and sip on your stem of Dom Pérignon. Should your glass be running on empty, then April will wiggle her tight tush over immediately for a refill, and tuck you into your moleskin blanket if required. Hell, she’ll even slide her perfectly manicured nails beneath the veneer and relinquish you of any in-flight anxiety and do so while licking her bottom lip suggestively to boot. Indeed, the only disadvantage is the fact that this privilege will cost around $1000 more but that won’t matter a jot as the tab will no doubt be on company expenses anyhoots. Talk about a flight of fancy.
So as I was saying, none of us like to feel like we’re missing out. It’s being considered the black sheep of the family while your first-born sibling smugly milks the adulation of your parents. It’s that first girlfriend who insists that she’s not ready to go to second base, before dumping our asses and going all the way with the next buck in line. It’s peeking through the silk curtain to the V.I.P. lounge at a swanky Soho wine bar only to realize that happy hour lasts all evening long there. And it tends to leave us feeling thoroughly hard done-by. Whatever happened to one size fits all? Were we not all created equally? Why should we be passed over habitually when some other self-important son of a bitch is getting dibs on all the good stuff? Alas, it’s just how the story goes, and society has a canny knack for putting us firmly in our place should we mere mortals foolishly get ideas above our station. Gripe and moan as we may, things are unlikely to ever change, as it’s just the natural order of things. I’m telling you, those dinosaurs didn’t know how good they had it. That said, when was the last time you saw a lowly microraptor invited to a T-Rex’s tea party? I’m sure the same rules applied in Jurassic times also and that’s probably why they became extinct in the first place.
What I’m attempting to relay in my usual roundabout way is that I much prefer the notion of access being granted to all areas. This is why I chose not to hold back when assuming my pseudonym back in 2013. It was all about the reveal, often quite literally, as I laid myself bare for the first time in my life and encouraged anyone with the vaguest interest in my art to quench themselves freely from my mental font. Holding back seemed counter-productive to me and, when you consider that my life was in utter turmoil at the time and I’d spent the last twenty stretch a mime artist, I was more than willing to shake it all loose at every given opportunity for the sake of my readership. This way people could get to know the real me, warts and all, and not some half-assed version of myself that I presented just to keep up with the Joneses. Of all my lifetime pursuits, precious few have been quite so liberating, and adopting this approach served me well as folk began to flock from far and wide to learn more of what this mad dog Englishman was going to blather on about next. Forty years it took me to find myself home and I was all about those carpet slippers as I popped up frequently with fresh harebrained prose.
Unfortunately, my trajectory has altered considerably over time, and I’m no longer quite the social butterfly I once was. This, in turn, leads others to become frustrated or, worse still, feel overlooked when it’s actually never intentional on my part. Know me well enough and you’ll be aware of just how much of a sensitive soul I am and also that I have a tendency of being my own fiercest critic and therefore worst enemy. Should life be punting my peaches, then I have a habit of fading to grey, and the most basic interaction with others then becomes a stretch too far. For as much as I like to think myself perceptive when it comes to others, taking a look in the mirror is a far more troublesome pursuit, and this is something that has recently been uppermost on my priority list. My personal battle is with ongoing depression and I’ve long since accepted this to be the curse associated with my particular blessing. But the penny is steadily dropping and I’m starting to suss out where I’ve been going wrong all this time. You see, when I’m feeling anything less than chipper, I revert to hoarding my nuts like a possessive squirrel, and the blog becomes inactive, often for weeks at a time. Meanwhile, my premier works remain on indefinite lockdown, meaning that I impart no footprint whatsoever to donate my whereabouts.
Okay so here’s the thing. I currently have 75 drafts sitting in my vaults and can offer no clear-cut reasoning for why public access hasn’t yet been granted. It’s not the first time this has happened, indeed, it has become something of a running theme where the Keeper of The Crimson Quill is concerned. Thus it is required for me to formulate something of a plan and stop the rot before it goes any further and this glorious gift we’ve shared stagnates and ultimately dies. The first thing on my agenda is to take full responsibility for my actions and, directly behind it, is learning how to better lubricate the joints so to speak and put shit right. It’s one thing being candid with others through prose, but another entirely extending that honesty to yourself, and accepting that you’re one helluva flawed individual, then embracing that as opposed to sulking over it. While I’m as riddled with imperfection as the next person, I’m also aware of the distinct privileges that come with accepting this fact and keen to work on home improvement whenever the opportunity presents itself. After a fair share of soul-searching, I have realized how much of a closed book I can appear. And this from the man who swore blind he would lay it all out there, even if that meant becoming a martyr for the cause.
Just the other week I posted a piece called Know. Show. Grow. and it was suggested quite rightly that I was holding something back. The word “vague” was used and I took this intelligence straight on board as I knew full well that was the case and was aware of such while I was scribing it, at least on a subconscious level. Somehow I was restricting access and that is precisely what I pledged never to do when I started out. Likewise, I recently posted a piece by the name of Comfortable Strangers and explained how I required ambiguity to heal. However, what I failed to mention was that the foreigners in question were Narcotics Anonymous, and I was in the process of embarking on a critical stage of my recovery. As a result after reading my words back, I can see how it could be construed as a snub to those I hold dear, and also how it may reek of self-censorship. Granted, I’m all about reading between the lines, and don’t wish to spell out every last detail as it ends up wasting precious column space and removing any sense of audience participation. But I can’t expect folk to read my mind either and appreciate that there’s a balance to be struck there somewhere.
In order to write the way I do, there has to be a sense of conviction on my part and, considering that I find honesty the only policy through prose, that seldom poses an issue. However I only ever share what I’m at ease with through such one-sided interaction and, as a result, it becomes harder for others to want to invest in me as they wind up feeling like outsiders looking in through frosted glass. The longer I allow this to go on, the more distant I become, and it’s a darned sight further to come back from each time I happen across a bright idea. My output suffers in these moments and I find myself painting largely by numbers as opposed to testing boundaries and challenging myself to the hilt as per my original mandate. There are billions of other voices out there, many of which speak with eloquence and purpose, and here’s me forgetting my USP for chrissakes. That shit has gone on for way too long on my shift and, while mindful that you may well have heard this all before, I’m dead set on making sure you don’t have to hear it again dagnabbit. So what do I do now? Where do I go from here?
Well I do believe we’re on the topic of Access All Areas here and have come up with a doozy of a plan, the kind that would have Hannibal Smith chomping his Cuban and Murdoch jizzing in his denims like a fool. Not sure I can coax B.A. Baracus into getting on this damn plane without a cattle sedative but April is prepared to flash her stocking tops as an additional sweetener so we’ll have him in the Mile High Club in no time. Huddle close Grueheads as this is my master plan and it’s just crazy enough that it might work you know. If it doesn’t then at least I can say I gave it the old college try and console myself with having offered up my very best shot, in stark contrast to firing any more wasteful blanks and struggling to release the safety on my firearm. Here’s a clue to get those juices flowing. Have you ever heard the term “splurge”? According to our good friend the online dictionary, this denotes spending freely or extravagantly and I happen to be rather fond of the way that this playful noun rolls from the tongue. It also benefits from sounding more than vaguely naughty and sits proudly alongside other gems like “spunk” and “spelunk” in my list of most endearing terms imaginable. Turns out that I’m primed for the splurge right now and here’s how that’s going to play out my featherless friends.
Remember those 75 unreleased posts I spoke of earlier? Well it just so happens that I’m feeling one such splurge coming on as we speak and damn well intend on making this one decidedly messy. Thus I’m setting myself the achievable target of allowing a minimum of four of my pretties to fly for each of the next seven days and, if my estimations are correct, that equates to 28 nuts being released from my cluster by this time next week. My penance for not meeting this quota will need be to severe and, after much deliberating, I have plumped for the following. Should I fall so much as a solitary offering short over this seven-day period, then I shall spend an entire day in my seventy-three-year-old mother’s clothing, stockings inclusive, and even post a selfie for good measure. Now it may have come to light that I have no objection with dressing up as a dame for shits and giggles but there ain’t nothing sexy about a peppermint cardigan and I don’t exactly relish explaining to mommie dearest where her favorite pale blue tummy hugging bloomers have gotten to either. Please allow me to assure you that failure here is simply not an option unless I fancy looking like this.
Good lord, what madness have I agreed to now? If I ever catch up with that Julie Neymar chick, I’m gonna throttle the slag with her own head scarf. That said, I’ve never been one to welch on a bet and have no intention of starting now, especially with these kind of stakes. There is just the one stipulation, you may be aware that I like to mass mail my work for that personal touch and this may or may not be taking on a little too much responsibility for the next seven days. Ergo feel free to keep checking my homepage and I will ensure that fresh treats are unveiled on a daily basis. Should I not have produced 28 individual pieces of literature between 00:00 GMT on 29th October 2016 and 168 hours later, then I’m going full-blown geriatric. Fuck it, why not go the whole hog? I’ll even change my Twitter handle to Doris of The Quill for good measure and take a gander at my proposed bio picture if you’re in any doubt that I’m going all in and I just pray it doesn’t come to that.
I do believe it’s time to shit or depart one’s throne you know. Of course, I’m fully aware that I have a habit of fading out faster than peroxide highlights on a Danish albino, thus I shall conjure up another similarly perilous challenge once this one is done and dusted. I blame nobody else for losing faith in me recently as passing the buck isn’t going to assist my growth in any shape or form and I have no intention whatsoever of amounting to little more than shrinking violets and a mass of tepid air, or else, what have the past three years been in aid of anyhoots? Nothing has changed with regards to my goals and aspirations, but I’m committed to making any alterations necessary to not prove a gigantic disappointment to those who truly matter. Ladies and gentlemen, wordsworths and skim readers, one and all – step right up and grab yourself an all access pass while the circus is back in town. With a little luck and commitment on my part, this big top isn’t going anywhere and, if that means knocking up a balloon animal for every single last one of you, then please remember that I have currently only mastered the blowfish. Any llama requests will therefore be thinking of the most wishful variety although, give it seven days, and Doris may just knit you a matching scarf and mittens if you ask her nicely enough. Isn’t that right mother? Mother?
“Yes dear, that’s quite correct”
And don’t you go mentioning her mysteriously depleting frock collection or she’ll refuse to iron my corduroys and make me massage her gout. Let me just assure you that certain areas were never meant to be accessed.