Do you remember Gerald readers? He was coming round for dinner to eat venison when Paramount called and I…well, I DID NOT cook the very expensive venison.
Gerald is a writer, only well, he’s not a writer because he’s never written any books. In fact the only things Gerald writes are Bob Dylan song lyrics on his bedroom wall when he’s sad.
Usually I would maintain silence, as with most things it speaks louder than words. It is far more dignified, but as you’ve probably guessed by now dignity and me are like chalk and cheese.*
No reader I am no pervert, but in order to write my recent collection of poems ‘Bloodsoaked Tampon et al’ (I have included some in the blog), I needed to do some serious ‘investigating’. I wanted to trace my sexum-ego back to the roots of my sexuality. That is why I embarked upon an affair with the 17 year old Gerald.
We dated for a few months, went to the cinema, Tate Modern, Pizza Hut that kind of thing. Condoms; you know. It only lasted for a few dates and, to be honest I didn’t care much for him, but I did manage to write some of the most breath taking poetry paper has ever known!
SO you can imagine my surprise when I yesterday discovered that Gerald is in fact 26 and works in brand management!
I KNOW. My work is wasted, all those poems are fake; just like him! So, I am now going to break him down to size, to un-craft the craftiness of his deception. And what a deception it was…
Gerald is an extremely tall teenager. In fact I was seduced by his spotless skin. But the truth of the matter is that Gerald is NOT a teenager. I KNOW; this makes him duplicitous.
Gerald would often cut himself, that’s how we met actually; we would meet up in the Sainsbury’s car park in Islington and stab pins into our bellies. But I soon began to realise that Gerald really was a tortured person (he wasn’t doing in the name of ‘character research’ as I was).
In fact he was almost obsessed with being tortured. This was probably what tricked me into assuming he was a teenager. (Come to think of it I never actually asked Gerald wht he did. I mean I just assumed that with apersonality like THIS he had to be a teenage... Anyway that's not the point!)
Gerald would drink too much, take too may drugs and too many liberties with the people he was closest to. He would worship men who had fallen by the wayside, like Bret Easton Ellis and Jason Donovan, but these men were mavericks who managed to craft beautiful art from their suffering. I have a feeling he too thought he was maverick. But, unfortunately for Gerald, that just wasn’t the case.
This is all easily done. Gerald decided to go and live in a warehouse (not the shop, a real factory warehouse, but it was smart and they paid rent and were all Oxbridge educated, how else could I have coped?)
Come on Gerald! Anyone can take drugs and drink more, live in a shop and say bashful things in an askew attempt to be cutting; I personally use a razor. He thought he could achieve great things. But, unfortunately for Gerald, that just wasn’t the case.
You see the thing with torture readers, is that it infers there is some kind of mystery and within mystery lies great, untapped potential. Someone is only tortured because they prevent themselves from reaching their full potential. BUT it turns out Gerald has no real potential at all!
And do you want to know why reader? He would need incredible sensitivity. For a loser is not tortured, a shop assistant is not tortured, poets and artists are tortured. He seemed to assume he was one of the latter (a dreamer JUST LIKE A TEENAGER). But, unfortunately for Gerald, that just wasn’t the case.
He worked at Nickelodeon and had the sensitivity of dead processed fish.
He was astoundingly arrogant without any of the necessary intelligence to back it up. It was pitiful when he never relented in arguments, nor showed any curiosity in areas he didn’t understand, which were an awful lot of areas.
FYI (And when he did learn something from someone of superior mind, he had to dress it up in the framework of ‘having lessons’ like a little baby, so embarrassed he was by encountering a superior brain)
His obsession with seeming clever also materialised in his writing style, scrambling words so that it made no sense in the hope that people would assume their own stupidity had prevented them from understanding. But Gerald there is no excuse for bad grammar!
He would also shout and lot and talk like a chaffinch on heat. He thought that I, Posie le Rider, might fall for it? But unfortunately for Gerald, that just wasn’t the case.
I AM FAR MORE INTELLIGENT THAN HIM!
He was destructive and raucous, he demanded my constant attention, like baby (once gain, the duplicity comes in here).
All these things are unconscious of course. Gerald has no idea of them, but I have had too many cognitive therapy sessions not to understand all these signs.
Gerald often thought me unaffectionate and bossy, but I would rather be a demon through and through than sport the gloss of concern as he does.
The one small comfort I take with me is the knowledge that Gerald shall never be the great writer he dreams of being. Do you know why readers? One word: empathy.
A great writer breathes empathy; it’s her life-blood. It brings the world not only into her mind, but into her heart. A great writer needs a great heart filled with the complexities of fears unknown, loves unknown, pains unknown. She needs eyes that see more than people, ears that hear more than sounds and instincts that speak louder than thoughts.
Of course I too had to pretend to be 16. I bought glasses, wore leggings. But you cannot blame me for not being more than honest about my great writing ability. I am INDEED a talented author so I tell you this from experience: first and foremost a writer needs empathy. But unfortunately for Gerald, that just wasn’t the case.
*IN FACT it has always been my Aunt’s opinion that men are generally too small. Therefore it is morally unjustified for women to fight the insatiable anger they feel towards them. Just like chocolate.
autumn readings around the UK, magazines & 'transfeminine brokenness, radical transfeminism' - hi all, huge thanks to the folks who came to the I Write, I Rise reading, with Eli Clare (!) on Saturday at the Scottish Poetry Library. If you missed it, ...
6 days ago