If the road had been less bumpy
– I would have been a journalist.

He is younger than me. Homeless, moving from couch to couch, enthusiastic, optimistic. He says
– You are a journalist. Your experiences tell a story of these times.


A handful of small haloes from dirty stumps of wax. The horses out in the darkness, quiet, too tired to protest. Weathered face in three quarter shadow.
– A smoother road and I would have little to tell.
He beckons his fellow trav-

-The present asserts itself instantaneously. Perhaps it spouted backwards from the drain hole but you wouldn’t catch it.

I have Eureka Syndrome. Being right is more important than appropriate attire.

7.30am. She is tidying the kitchen. Her mum is coming back early this morning. I am getting ready to leave. I will not be in the house when her mother is there.

– I have to do the food for the party tonight.

Her sister’s party, but the guests won’t be fed
– unless I take control.

I have no idea whether she then describes herself as a control freak or whether the words pop up in my head.

Out in the living room, getting the last of my things together, the blood rushes to my head. Revelations are not always joyful. Pressure has to be released.

– Oh man!
– What is it?

I didn’t name them ejaculations. Whatever, I emit them frequently, even sometimes on the bus, alone.

– People have different ways of reacting to their childhood. For example, I had a hypercritical parent and I don’t respond well to being told what to do.

It’s not the right time but I think fuck it, I’m leaving and the dust will settle. Eureka Syndrome.

She wants to focus on explaining why she has to take control, how someone has to step up if others won’t do what they should. I’m not especially bothered about whether she makes food for her sister’s party or not. I’m not telling her what is right or wrong.

– I’m not saying anything about morality. I’m thinking about history. Perhaps think about the reality, and about history, rather than what should be.

Obviously I’m being insensitive. I’m talking as if she could switch off from her immediate concerns, but her mother is coming back any minute and will look  for everything that is wrong. She doesn’t have the luxury of leaving. Eureka Syndrome. She has to do the food for the party. This is not a time for reflection, for her.  I’m being a dick.

But I am right. People respond differently to hypercritical parents. Some of us don’t respond well to being told what to do. We can at times be annoyingly unconcerned about what people ask of us. For others it’s all about control. Although, there are perhaps in both of us individualised combinations of extremes of this behaviour.

Naturally her anger rises. She is telling me that she has to step up to the plate when others won’t. She starts talking about adults being children.

Beyond the drain hole it is completely dark. Last night in bed, no bulbs in the ceiling light or lamp. I take bulbs round there when I remember. If I don’t, there will be bulbs missing for weeks at a time. I’m not angry but I could let it go for now rather than make my point. I’m being a dick. As I leave I say

– Remember to get some light bulbs.
– Child!
– That doesn’t make any sense. I’m reminding you to get light bulbs.
– Child!

The swells of revelation will not suddenly abate. The urge to blurt, to say it NOW is not some mystical selection between alternatives written in esoteric dimensions beyond clouds and earth. Insight alone will not halt the physicality of these tides. Nor will mere entreaties. I can try to own my behaviour and use simple tools to minimize my blurting, but the effectiveness of determined resolutions on those with bipolar has limits.

Realistic best case scenario, the long road ahead isn’t going to get a whole lot smoother.

On the bus home I pick up a sordid newspaper left on the seat.


That’s wrong on so many levels.