As prospective murdering ne'er-do-well, my grounding has not prepared me well. I have no long lost uncle serving time, no cruel parent and no monstrous sibling kept locked in the attic/cellar. i have not been regularly beaten, held hostage or overforced to eat my greens. i have no split personality, there is no chinatown concern and no unhealthy overattachment to my mother. i have not half drowned in the garden pond, not been swarmed by bees, and mad stray dogs that I provoke in the street refuse to bite me. Along my chosen career path I am poorly qualified and badly inexperienced it would seem.
However, I do recall a veiled memory in black when I was very small. I was at the old widow’s funeral. the rain was just coming to an end. As they lowered her into the ground, it was as if I was in an elevator and the steel cables snapped. everything else disappeared and i felt lightheaded as if floating. i was hit by a wave of delight and perfect nausea, so deeply beautiful and powerful, as if something had reached in and taken hold. then the realisation she was gone. A perfect red full stop.
I seldom attended school, thinking of myself as conscientious objector. I found that in other peoples company I was forever being asked to be the person they expected. and for each person i met, this expectation was different. It was then that I decided to break all real bonds, to become no one. And therefore live happily alone, no longer being anyone through someone else’s eyes, but to disappear completely. It was there that I found control. Despicably nefarious control. One life untethered by others estimation. As I fished for tadpoles by the river it occurred to me how alike we were. The fish and me. The fact that we were tied to nothing.
After running away from the family home, I took root in the dilapidated greenhouse of a jaundiced and gout-crippled old man. the general lived on his tod in a sprawling mansion, called upon only by his misshapen handmaiden. My solitary piece of luggage was a foam rubber Mickey Mouse that would contort into any shape it was forced to. Its red and black colours quickly faded with sun damage in the glasshouse and its surface became creased and cracked in the dry heat. At night while lying on the warm dirt I would pick at the painted surface until smiling Mickey was gone completely and in his place there was a humanoid but faceless golem of green foam. The old man ignored me in exchange for plying him with unrationed brandy. I suspected him of being a traditional Russian witch. A suspicion that proved right for when I finally cleaved him with a garden tool the black blood did not fizz out but oozed like sticky resin from a tree. The handmaiden I dispatched without remark. I continued sleeping on the warm dirt above the limed bodies, until I had picked the foam Mickey to a wire skeleton and the stiffs below were picked by worms until the same. Then I moved for 3 weeks into the rest of the residence. False-Lord Junior Ringbaum. Temporarily the Boy of extensive ill-gotten property. Lah dee Dah!
those three weeks i spent mostly running down the corridors and sliding on my knees on thick carpet. soon the skin on my knees became creased and cracked. i picked at them until i was nothing but a giant faceless golem of green foam, lumbering around my maze, roaring and snarling like a colossus in manhattan. using gravy boats as trawlers and butter dishes as taxicabs, the tanks were camouflaged with blue willow pattern and the silver marines had ivory handled trousers. my expensive and eclectic toy collection suffered horribly. at the foot of the stairs there grew a mound of broken crockery sherman tanks and bent cutlery national guard. a massacre only appreciated by myself and shell-shocked antique dealers.