the last few weeks and days of my life have transformed me, like very few periods in my life ever have. maybe when my son died, or maybe when he was born, but little else in my life has caused me to define and redefine myself as much as the last few days and weeks have. i have lost friends and gained friends. i have had a punch up on the street with one of my best mates, and i have not had a punch up in decades. i have learned a lot about myself and a lot of it i wish i hadn’t. i have had to look at myself hard and admit things i don’t like. i am shallow and fickle and very selfish. i am proud and arrogant and stupid. i have had to look at myself very hard, in a way that made me realise that i am deep and serious and not what i just said. i am as stupid as i am clever. i am a walking contradiction. i can feel real and deep hurt, but i have a capacity to hurt others that exceeds that, and i do not like that about me. i’ve made new friends but lost old ones. i have had to redefine some friendships and redefine how i see myself. i have reconnected with some and disconnected with others. i have seen people change and i have changed. ‘life is like a great wave,’ a one legged surfer’s ex once said to me, ‘try to control the wave and it will crush you, all you can do is read it and ride it’. i have grown and i have shrunk, and growing is the more painful and difficult. i have lost and i have found, and sadly i have learned more from what i have lost, although i am learning right now that if my neighbour does not turn his music down, i am going to find my cricket bat and he is going to lose some teeth.
She is totally feral, a child of the forest. Abandoned at birth and brought up by wolves and wild creatures, nurtured by the trees themselves, nursed by raw nature. She knows nothing of civilisation, and her language is her own, her nouns are bird calls, her verbs are chatters and howls. She eats berries and roots and sometimes, raw flesh.
She sits on a high branch looking down at the boy, fascinated. He has no idea she is there. He is clearly lost, and frightened, with no knowledge of the forest or her lore. He sits beneath her sobbing and calling out in his strange tongue, scared and lonely.
She has had dealings with the humans before. Once, their men captured her and caged her and prodded and poked at her with strange, ugly tools. Escaping from them was a cinch and she remembers how she scampered up one of their silly, closed in, little dwellings and how she threw her shit at them before leaping back to her forest home where her walls breathed with life and her ceiling glittered with starlight. She sniffs deeply, there is a storm brewing and she makes a little chirping sound in her throat, calling the rain, it is her magic and she believes the rain calls back to her – and maybe it does.
The boy is not like those men, he seems fragile and sad. He starts, violently when she drops from the tree, gracefully, almost silently, in front of him, his eyes wide and terrified at the sight of her. She is naked and filthy, her hair matted and locked, her body caked in the earth she grew from. She stinks. The storm grows closer and she calls to it again and stares, enthralled, at him, tilting her head from side to side, curious and aroused. The first drops of rain bounce at their feet and thunder makes a distant rumble and she responds with a guttoral chatter, telling the thunder where she is, how to find her. The boy looks scared at this, to him she sounds like a crazed monkey, but there is a greed in his eyes that is stronger than the fear. He is young and never known a woman or even seen one naked.
The feel of his hungry gaze on her breasts and belly excites her. The wild orphan takes a step closer to him and reaches out. Clothes are a mystery to her and she tugs clumsily at his shirt and trousers wanting to free him, driven by instinct and passion. By the time she has him naked, the rain is beating, in hard, heavy, drops onto them and around them. Animals scream loudly in awe at the growing tempest and the forest quakes at its power. The girl knows nothing of social mores or decorum and she licks at the boy and sniffs him, takes him in her hand and makes him take her in his.
Furious raindrops burst around them and lightning flashes across the sky and through their eyes and hearts and loins. She beckons him to enter her and he does so, hurridly with the virgin impatience of youth. She claws at him, her nails digging carelessly into his flesh and she howls at the black sky as the rain turns dust to mud and they drench themselves in it and each other.
When they are done, it is not for long as giant raindrops now batter their shaking bodies, not allowing their desires to rest, awakening every little nerve, every sinew, the thunder shaking the ground beneath them. Their eyes meet and lock and, for the first time, she smiles at him. She wants more and mounts him and they begin afresh, this time the rain beats so heavily on them that it is hard for them to breath and they spit and fire, dripping with animal fury. She likes this thing she will call ‘men’ she will seek out more of them and the idea of several of them at once fills her imagination, she wants to be smothered with these hands, full of their lust, covered in their disgusting pleasure. Lightning strikes so close that the ground beneath them jumps and she throws her head back and howls so primally that for that moment the entire jungle is quiet for her, even the storm itself hushes as she yells.
Sudenlly she senses movement nearby, there are others and they smell human and not like her boy, there is something ugly and violent to their stench and she forces herself away from her desire and glances in their direction. She cannot know that it is the boy’s father and mother and the ranger.
“There he is!” shouts the boys father.
“Christ!” screams his mother, “He’s being attacked by something! Do something!” she pleads to the ranger, “Do something!”
The ranger’s bullet passes through her feral heart and lodges in a nearby tree. She collapses, lifeless, onto her lover’s chest.
I don’t normally do book reviews but ‘In Her Own Words’ (part of the ‘Soul Destruction’ series) by Ruth Jacobs is such a moving and honest account of the sex industry that I simply had to give it a shout out.
Ruth studied prostitution in the late 1990s, which sparked her interest in the subject. Her novels dispel the ‘happy hooker’ myth and expose the dark world and the harsh reality of life as a call girl. She draws on her research and the women she interviewed for inspiration. She also has first-hand experience of some of the topics she writes about, such as post traumatic stress disorder and drug and alcohol addiction.)
Ruth explains what her work is about far better than I could:
In Her Own Words… Interview with a London Call Girl is the unedited transcript from an interview I undertook with a London call girl in the late 1990s. It is an enlightening and moving, first-hand account of a woman’s life affected by prostitution, exposing the emotional, psychological and social effects of living that existence. All royalties from this publication are being donated to Beyond the Streets, a charity helping women exit prostitution.
This charity publication and the cause is very close to my heart, partly because the woman I
interviewed was a very dear friend, a wonderful person, and who had a terribly sad life, with
childhood sexual abuse and then being pimped on the streets from the age of fifteen. As
she is no longer alive, this is the reason I wanted the royalties to be donated to Beyond the
The stigma a significant section of society has against prostitutes and prostitution is mainly
due to lack of knowledge. 75% of prostitutes have been sexually and physically abused as
children, 70% have experienced multiple rapes, and 67% meet the criteria for posttraumatic
stress disorder, which is a major cause of suicide.
With this publication, I hope to show the reality of life for women working in prostitution,
the effects it has on them psychologically, emotionally, in relationships with men, how they
are viewed and how they feel they are viewed by society as outsiders and outcasts, often
judged and looked down on. Seeing them as real people, with real feelings, and acquiring
an insight into their tormented childhoods and painful present lives, allows people who are
not in that life to gain an informed perception of who these women really are, and with that
knowledge, are less likely to judge but instead develop compassion.
Extract from “In Her Own Words… Interview with a London Call Girl”
From a young age, from like being fifteen, I’ve been hardened to it. The first…when I first
started doing it, I cried my eyes out every day and just scrubbed myself in bleach and…I felt
like I’d been raped. It was just…it really screwed my mind up. And there’s this feeling when
you get…when you’re with a client and it’s like sometimes when you feel like…you grab your
fists and it’s like, “Get off me! Get off me!” And it’s like…you know you can’t push them off
you, right? Because you know you’re getting paid for it. So it’s basically allowing yourself to.
be raped, right? But you can’t even fight them back or say, “Get off me.” It’s like…and you
cry while it’s happening and all this shit, and you go home and you cry yourself to sleep after
all that shit, and it happens to you a lot of times until eventually that feeling goes away,
and that feeling…you don’t get that feeling anymore. It gets less and less and less. And you
become hardened in your like…your heart and your soul to it, and this is when you get the
hatred for the men.
To find out more about Ruth Jacobs and her Soul Destruction series of novels visit
The first thing I remember was being born. I looked around and thought “Well, fuck me! This ain’t quite what I was hoping for.” They say that we don’t remember the first year or so of our lives because our brains are still not fully developed, but that’s complete bullshit. We don’t remember because infancy is so fucking traumatic that our minds block it out, to protect us. If we could recall a single moment of it, it would drive us batshit crazy.
The next thing I remember, I was twelve and trying to force my hand down a girl called Victoria’s panties, against a dumpster behind Tescos that smelt of stale pies and fresh tramp piss.
From then on its all been kinda downhill.
I don’t do the blogger award thing as a rule, I worry about the exponential growth inherent in such systems. Do the math; if every blogger given an award nominates seven other bloggers, and they each nominate seven more and so on, then within two weeks, every WordPress blogger on the planet will have received that award (there are over 72 million WordPress blogs). Within a month, we will have all been nominated over a 100 times.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I love being nominated, I love having my ego stroked, (although I prefer to have it sucked,) and I get so flattered that I have to jack off every time I get a nomination, and that’s the problem, too many awards and my ego would just collapse under the weight of all that love and I would most likely be discovered dead by my cleaning lady, having drowned in my own semen. Not a pleasant clean up job for anybody, as I’m sure you can imagine.
However, today I am making an exception and not because I think I am worthy of the award but because of who has nominated me: the wonderful Gypsy, author of the outstanding Through my eyes: Adventures in Borderline land. Her blog truly is outstanding, unlike my trivial and masturbatory attempts at entertaining you, her blog is a powerful, poignant, heartfelt and heart-warming journal of her struggles and victories over Borderline Personality Disorder.
Gypsy nominated me for the “Outstanding Blogger Award”, the rules are as follows:
- Thank the nominee.
- Share something important about yourself.
- Nominate other bloggers.
Thank you Gypsy: your blog is just awesome. It is straightforward and honest and bursting with emotion and you have helped far more people than you realise by documenting your life so bravely. Thank you.
Thank you also for encouraging me to write this next bit. Its about something I’ve never written about before (well not publicly) and if it weren’t for you, I may never have.
Something important: I was an addict. For years, I threw a large chunk of my adult life down a big dark hole. I have never written about it before because I still carry a lot of shame for having wasted so much of a life who’s every second should be savoured and not squandered.
Addiction nearly killed me, it turned me into a liar and a thief and a cheat and a rascal. I lied and stole mostly to and from the people that loved me the most, well, who tried to love me anyway, its not easy to love someone when they hate themselves. In the end I drove everyone away with my snivelling self-pity and misdirected anger.
Every day I would wake and promise myself, ‘no more’ and every day, before noon, I would have failed. The failure sapped me dry Every day, month after month, year after year, failure after failure. I lost all faith in myself. My soul nearly disappeared, I nearly extinguished my own humanity. In the end there was just this tiny, flickering spark of it left, cowering deep inside me.
One day, I decided to face my demons head on. It was that or die. seriously. I tossed a coin: heads, I go seek help (again), tails, I end it all. You can guess how it landed, and I re-entered that mill of detox and rehab and therapy and those fucking rooms. Somehow it clicked, and is still clicking five years down the road. Maybe it was because I had driven everyone away and had to do it on my own. Maybe it was because I knew the alternative was to die, but actually I think it was because I discovered the true nature of my demons. They were not the fearsome devils of my nightmares. They were not powerful angry, ugly monsters. They were me, me when I was young, and hurt and sad, the neglected me and the scared me. They were little me and they hurt. They didn’t need battling, they needed loving and accepting.
I didn’t really change, and I’m still a complete shit-bag – just ask any woman I’ve ever dated – I just learned to accept me and enjoy being me, love me even. Life hasn’t really changed that much either, there is still as much sadness and pain as there ever was, but there is laughter and love too.
Nominate other bloggers: I’m not going to nominate anyone else for this award, and its not because I don’t want to, its just that I don’t know who to nominate, because I never actually bother to read any of the shit you all write.
Thanks again to Gypsy for the honour. Everyone please visit, like, comment and follow her wonderful blog, or I will have you brutally killed and your corpse fed to your pets in front of your children.
Grief: all the things i wish i’d said
Love: all the things i hope i’ll say
Grief: even after all these years, you are the first thing i think about when i wake
Love: even after all these years, you are the last thing i think about before i sleep
Grief: i miss you more every day
Love: i love you more every day
Grief: i wish this feeling would go away – i know it won’t
Love: i hope this feeling never goes away – i know it won’t
Grief: losing you changed me forever
Love: finding you changed me forever
Grief: you’re all i ever think about
Love: you’re all i ever think about