Jack liked his coffee strong and sweet. Just as much as he had a fondness for scratch cards , whisky , rock music and roll ups. It was late at night and the cafe was ghostly empty. He fidgeted with the small cup it was greasy and the coffee had too much milk in it leaving a sour aftertaste in his mouth. He thought by the age of thirty nine he would know life. Like he knew death. Death was like a shadow always there but something we choose to ignore lurking away at the corner of your eye , getting under your skin. And life was cruel and full of despair. He had a hamster once and his father had chucked it in the bin so the cats wouldn’t dig it up. He supposed that’s what happens to us in the end , a whole life dumped in the ground or cremated. Then forgotten forever.
He turned the page of the newspaper he was reading , the black ink sticking to his fingers. It was the same old crap , politics ,murder victims , football scores , advertisements for window cleaners.
“Excuse me sir” someone said over his shoulder. He turned round to face a thin looking waitress with bags under her eyes and acne covered skin looked at him. She was probably in her late teens or early twenties. “Your going to have to leave we’re closing up” she instructed him “Aw right” he grumbled getting up from the chair, putting his crumpled newspaper under his arm.
Jack walked out the warmly lit café Into the dark bitter January night. The damp pavements glittered under the moonlight , and the street was deadly silent. He pulled his coat further around him the cold nipping at his skin. Suddenly someone struck him hard behind his head he fell to the floor in agony. The man was on top of him now their grimy hands around his neck strangling him. The face of the man was chubby his teeth rotten. He was so close Jack could smell his stinking breath “Where’s the money” The man spat. “I haven’t got it” Jack chocked struggling in vain against the man. Jacks legs and arms moving frantically desperate for the man to release him.
The man hit his head against the concrete but Jack barely felt it he was so desperate for air his vision turning black. Suddenly the mans hands were off him , he coughed and gasped filling his lungs savoring the oxygen the way you would savor a steak or a bar of chocolate. The man loomed over him. “Where is it “ he hissed “you spent it all on woman a guy like you always has dirty pleasures you give the faced of an educated man when deep down”… he paused and leaned forward and whispered into Jacks ear “Your dirt” He gave jack a hard blow in the ribs with his leather shoe. “He wants the money by the end of the week or else “ , the man gave Jack a sickly smug smile before getting into his jeep and skidding off.
Jack sat up feeling the back of his head his fingers coated with sticky blood. He felt woozy like he’d had too much the pain was everywhere his head his chest he rolled over in agony. “urg” he spat some blood out of his mouth it tasted metallic.
(Before I start.I would really like it if you commented and put forward your opinions on this topic)
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. No one owns art. I feel like the only accessible art form in 2020 is music and film. To most the books are left to collect dust on a high shelf’s out of reach to many and great paintings are ruined by the coffee stains of the class divide. Literature like classical music and fox hunting seems to be a possession of the higher classes. Believe it or not I don’t hate the church. The elite built me aside from school and my parents I was raised by the church. The psalms of the bible and the verses of the hymns helped me create poetry and write prose. The summer clubs helped tutor and nurture me. However I wasn’t on the same level as them. My mother dusted the pews and scrubbed the toilets whist the conservative Christians preached the pure word of God towering above us on their high podium.
At school I was always degraded siting in a third set English class I was bitter , but I made friends I will never forget despite walking along the narrow tightrope that was the poverty line. Clutching a pen for balance , one slip and I would of tumbled to my doom. Perhaps I already have. in fact I know I have. What I write is in vain , they will spit on my grave.
Survival of the fittest is interwoven into our society despite anyone taking into account the middle classes head start at the game. Yet to say this puts a black mark against your name. Artwork is too expensive to buy for many , words to extravagant to understand. , and if your a woman who tires to challenge this you may as well thump your fists against a brick wall until they are bloody and bruised , but perhaps I’m biased. No one owns art. That’s all their is to say.
There are children jumping in front of trains , and grown men throwing bricks through window panes.
An old woman drowning out her sorrow by voting for the devils of tomorrow.
There are qualified girls lining up for food , and young boys disguising their face with a hood.
Polite ladies burning up my book , whilst their dearest darlings get up to no good. Kicking the life out of a man until his lips turn to blue.
For I have seen your likes before , I have already chapped this door and ran away I never stay. In the dark I stiffly lay.
For they are you and they are me. Scotland’s shame to the highest degree.
Sentence me with immortality.
You are people in textbooks no more , which teenagers think are just a bore.
She said It was depressing, but then life always was a bitter lesson.
Why is happiness so hard to find in art? Was a question that plagued my mind today. Maybe its because we’re all miserable cows or perhaps its because most adults don’t relate to tales about happy, content little bunny rabbits.
As a child, I was as joyful as most but as I grew I became more withdrawn and well. Depressed. Neurosis plagued me from a young age. Whenever we played piggy in the middle I was always the piggy who could never catch any of my friends. In team sports, I was always last to be picked. At playtime, my peers always had better biscuits and would never share with me. Bitter resentment grew in me towards life. I wanted an answer. I wanted the truth. Books were a source of escapism for me. As cliche as it sounds, I was the book worm of the class. Yet I wouldn’t say this made me the smartest. I still struggled with figures and somehow my reports never got a place on that wall, nor did I get into the final of the scots verse team despite having a passion for burns from a young age. I can still recite Epistle To Hugh parker word for word a poem that was forgotten and pushed into the shadows by most.
In high school, it seemed my anxiety came to a peak. Out of the hundreds of young adults, I struggled to find friends. Yet this wasn’t a place you wanted to be associated with books at lunchtimes, or at least not in my school. At break times I would line up in the dinner card que only for the single reason not to look like a loner. I cared too much about what people thought, but don’t we all?
However back to the question at hand. Why is art so depressing. Or why are artists so depressing. Why did Plath put her head in an oven, why did Van Gough paint beautiful flowers and then chop off his ear and then later blow out his brains? Why are we all so mental? Is it because life is mental, do we deep down need a reason as to why we exist? Why did Stalin and Hitler kill millions? Why did Andrew Carnegie exploit his workers despite growing up poor, why did burns preach about freedom then desire to be a slave driver? Why? Why? Why? We Ask. I wish I could give you an answer. Pain, money, hate, emptiness, mental illness. Death.
I think my opinion is that we need art to give us a reason to live. We see ourselves through others. It gives us meaning. Perhaps it’s not that art is depressing, maybe it’s just too close to the truth.
A couple of days ago I was kindly nominated to do the ten feelings tag. However Im lazy a shit and couldn’t think of ten so heres five of my favourite feelings!!
1. My first favourite feeling is walking on the beach. In the scorching heat were getting in scotland theres nothing better than walking beside the calming water or chilling on the sand.
2. My second Fave feeling is spending time with loved ones. Wither its playing a game of cards with your mum or having a BBQ with your boyfriend. Nothing makes me more happier !!
3. For my third favourite feeling it has to be online shopping (or normal shopping which we’re sadly not aloud to do at the moment. ) There’s no better feeling than getting a Pretty Little Thing Package arrive at your door with lots of goodies inside. As vain as it might be Im a shopaholic.
4. Music. This has to be my forth choice I love to boogy!
5. My fifth choice has to be indulgences. Tucking into punnet of ice cream , smoking a wee bit weed while the sun goes down , having a cider on the beach. We all love a pit of pleasure in moderation.
I never used to watch films that much , but now I relish the storylines. It’s all I can do most days is sit and watch films or tv or YouTube. I like the escapism of it, perhaps even more than I like books. Watching films is easier for me to digest. So here is a list of the films that made me :
1. Mary Poppins. For some reason this film stands out to me. I remember watching it as a child I must of been around six or seven and just being taken away into a different world with the most haunting music and setting.
2.Titanic. I was obsessed with this film when I was about twelve. I remember making the event one of my personal projects in school. I loved the characters of this heart felt love story. The tragedy of Titanic resonated with me somehow.
3. Les miserables. I discovered this film as a teen and I’ve always believed in revolution and what happens in it. The storyline is also very good and complex and gets your mind working. I also love a good musical.
4. Jane Eyre. I love the film almost as much as I love the book. As you can tell I love a captivating love story. And Janes passionate affair with rochester has your eyes stuck to the television.
If I am being brutally honest with myself I would call myself a failure. I dropped out of school aged 16 which in some peoples eyes makes you only useful for collecting bins or scrubbing toilets. My grammar isn’t up to scratch my writing misspelt and disorganised. Would I preach to the gods that this is the best way to live your life. No I wouldn’t. Poverty is brutal and takes its tole on you. If you want to spend your life on the couch watching Come Dine With Me and Primark hauls and hanging around the bus station all day filling your lungs with god knows what to numb your reality out then by all means follow in my foot steps.
If you want to drive around in a BMW and go shopping for fruit in Waitrose. Then maybe stay in school. However I suppose our experiences make us who we are. I for example am probably a chav who roams the streets in a hoodie and leggings. I am the definition of slipping through the net. Although I’ve made good friends and art from the depths of hell which would never have happend if I didn’t make the choices I did…. I suppose.
Perhaps In some ways failure is good for us It makes us more humble. It gives us a different perspective. You look at a homeless person on the street and instead of judging them your like Jesus Christ Im one away from being them !! And hastily hand them your months benefits (Jks)
Just go easy on yourself If you find yourself at the job centre your among thousands of people in the same boat. Dont live alone with your fear of failure.