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SION PYSGOD

Explore Our Changing World

 

"Ond, rhag ofn y bydd fy hun yn euog i hunan yn anghywir, byddaf yn stopio fy nghlustiau yn erbyn cân y môr-forwyn"
"But, lest myself be guilty to self-wrong, I'll stop mine ears against the mermaid's song"
Shakespeare, The Comedy of Errors

 

When a blood red sun sets in the west on your old world

Over the horizon of the eastern shore of the Atlantic Ocean

Then the Star of Pembrokeshire rises up into your night sky

And tomorrow at dawn your life's voyage to a new world begins

 

His life seemed to be totally meaningless, going nowhere. It hadn't always been like that but somehow it seemed to reflect the times he lived in.

 

I know what you're going through

And I know how you feel when redundancy strikes

The company is being rationalised, you see

To maximise shareholders' profits, you see

And you're in the way, you see

To a rich man's dreams of holiday in Barbados

Whilst your dreams are put on ice

 

Once I was a rich man of possessions a-plenty

Now my health is taxed by my poor eyes and teeth

My water and excreta is being sold off too

Why anyone should put such a value on me ...

But not just on me, on all of us too

The world has been turned upside down

And my senses don't cognate like they used to

 

If I was a rich man would I be free

If I was naked would you see my knobbly knees

If I was a blue bird would I whistle and sing

If I was a piece of rubbish would I be put in a bin

But it wouldn't solve nothing

We're in hell of a fix

 

What say you

Is there a way out of this mess

Well I don't know what's really best

Okay it's crazy

That I'm going to be taxed on the air I breathe

But when the ship is sinking it's all hands to the pumps

Either that or buy a generator for when the electricity stops

It's like my head's tied up in a Gordian knot

I know what Alexander would do

He'd chop it in half

 

So now I got two heads

One left and one right

But how to march with two best feet forward

Is a problem of a magnitude I can't solve

So I stands still in my oblivion

For with two heads I don't know what to say

And I don't even know how to think no more

But still I can hear through each ear

 

Year in year out each ear hears the same

There's a wisdom there to free this slave

Because it's not their hearing that's changed

It's just the things they hear sayed

So I'll listen to H.G. Wells and build me a time machine

And see if the future will say what the past used to

Or find out if my schizophrenia

Is of an evolutionary destiny

 

And while I'm building it I'm not going to listen

In through one ear and out through the other say I

Because what comes in through one

Is the same as the other

Then it all swirls round inside my head

So if it could all come out and leave me alone

Would I really miss it all?

 

Everything all went wrong at once. It was like he'd been caught in a pincer movement. Practically simultaneously his marriage broke-up and he lost his job. Still, no children were involved and things hadn't looked too good on the job-front for quite awhile. Whether one led to the other, or even vice-versa, he just didn't know. But his little world collapsed like the proverbial pack of cards and he found that the foundations of his life were built on sand. It all seemed so crazy now, for it was all glued together by a job. A job which allowed him a mortgage and car. So he could provide for his wife and, hopefully, one day a family. But without that job he was as good as dead. He thought she realised that quite awhile before he did. In hindsight certain things became crystal clear, not that he attached all blame to her. Perhaps the middle-class dream was just him being naïve.

But it wasn't just his life that was changing, society was too. In hindsight the midwife of change was the Falkland's War, though at the time it just seemed to be a continuation of the past.

 

We fought for them and did not know why

Yet for them we were prepared to die

A long way away in southern ocean's depths

Yet lusted by one whose strength was immense

 

So Britannia's ships once more ruled the waves

Fuelled by memories of Drake, Nelson and sea-waves

A last gasp of strength from our epic past

We cast fear to the winds and fought with our last gasp

 

The clarion call sounded clear over our land

We emptied our treasures and threw money to sand

The air-waves screamed with our bolts of death

And all who stood in our way we entombed in death

 

We built a fortress to protect our heart

But nearly forgot that money means nought

But we pulled through by forgetting about greed

And putting our faith in our democratic dream

 

So Britannia's victorious in a new Elizabethan age

Strengthened, ennobled, no longer in chains

Breathing free air with each beat of our hearts

Standing so firmly no longer apart

 

But when victory was celebrated it brought with it a change in the course of history. As the victorious forces were paraded before their monarch there was a massive explosion, and so Britain became a republic for the rightful heir to the throne was a girl-child barely out of infancy. And with the republic they had a president: The Maggie. Not that the change was universally approved of, but such was the former prime minister's majority in parliament that the necessary Acts of Parliament were rushed through with little or no public debate.

 

You're a member of parliament

A democratically elected public servant

You can't be head of state, Her Majesty is

You're not God, you can't make up our game

You're a human being who happens to be a woman

You're a wife, a mother, a home, a heart

Play to the rules and forget about being the Iron Lady

 

One day, in the merry month of May, he was out driving his car, with no particular place to go, when he saw a sign-post for Stonehenge. The last time he'd been there was when he was a child so, as his fancy took him, he went there. Stonehenge too had changed. Instead of being in the middle of nowhere it had been commercialised. As he drove into the visitor-centre's car-park the new national anthem was playing on the car's radio.

 

Oh Britannia, Oh Britannia

Oh Britannia, Oh Britannia

Oh Britannia I love you

Oh Britannia we love you

 

Oh Britannia how we love you

Oh Britannia how we adore you

Oh Britannia how we need you

Oh Britannia we love you

 

Oh Britannia she's so gentle

Oh Britannia she's so loving

Oh Britannia you're our heart

Oh Britannia we love you

 

With your shield you protect us

With your spear you defend us

And lead us to victory with our battle-cry

Oh Britannia we love you

 

To your bosom Oh you suckle us

To your heart Oh you nurture us

With your love Oh you soothe us

Oh Britannia we love you

 

With red for heart

For you love us all

With white you're so pure

Oh Britannia we love you

 

With blue for sea and sky

With green for nature

Oh Britannia you're our home

Oh Britannia we love you

 

Oh Britannia, Oh Britannia

We sing your praises all day long

And sing them all night too

Oh Britannia we love you

 

Oh Britannia, Oh Britannia

Oh Britannia, Oh Britannia

Oh Britannia I love you

Oh Britannia we all love you

 

Though since, to the popular imagination, The Maggie was equated with Britannia it was often sung with a slight change: Oh Britannia we hate you. He got out of his car and strolled over to the pay-booth where, under the watchful eye of two black-uniformed custodians, he prepared to buy a ticket. There was a small queue and on the wall, behind the young lady who was servicing the queue, he could see a portrait of The Maggie. But as he was about to exchange cash for ticket he heard a woman's voice, she sounded distressed: "Don't serve her, serve me, serve Britannia."

He stood there, open-mouthed. The young lady and those in the queue behind him grew agitated. The custodians moved in and one of them tapped him on the shoulder. He stepped back and they faced each other. His hands reached for his hips and theirs did too. Then with pointed forefinger guns they drew. He could hear the bullets leave his lips: "Pshoo ... Pshoo."

One gasped at his stomach and fell to the ground groaning, the other grasped at his arm and his face disfigured into an agonised grimace. He blew on his finger-tips, winked at the now open-mouthed young lady and the now silent crowd respectfully parted as he returned to his car.

As he pulled out of the car-park and out onto the open road a bright-pink car was approaching with flashing blue lights and a siren which sounded like a woman wailing. It was a detachment of Iron Maidens ... and so he came to be interviewed by Inspector X. The Inspector was a well-built handsome woman of middle-aged years. Not beautiful in the conventional sense but pleasing to the eye. He was struck by her appearance, wearing the uniform of an Inspector of the Iron Maidens she looked the part. For she was dressed as a Britannia look-alike: long flowing white robe and on her head a helmet with four plumes: red, white, blue and green. Green having been added to Britannia's colours to show that she, and by association The Maggie, were environmentally friendly.

He'd been marched into the Inspector's office by two Iron Maidens who now stood one each side of him. They all faced the Inspector who sat behind her desk eyeing him as she glanced at a file. She made an indication with her hand and the Iron Maidens marched out.

The Inspector cleared her throat and spoke in a surprisingly deep voice: "Well, Mister O, what do you have to say for yourself?"

He was completely bemused so shrugged: "What would you like me to say?"

She smiled: "Come now Mister O things are not like they used to be ..."

He quickly interposed: "You can say that again!"

"I believe we can safely agree on that but there's no turning back and I need answers ... and one way or the other I'll get them."

Behind her liquid green eyes lurked a deadly determination or something equally sinister; he joked: "Well ask me some questions then!"

"I can see that this is going to be quite tedious."

He told the truth: "No, I'm quite enjoying it."

"But will you say that when I have finished with you?"

"I don't see why not, after all I've done nothing wrong so why should I have anything to be afraid of?"

She smiled sadly: "If only life were that simple."

 

Oh I know what oblivion is

It is where I live my life

No future, no past, no present, no nothing

Just an ageing body-shell

And no friend with whom to pass the night

 

Somehow I just can't work it out

Can't find the key to unravel destiny

Can't make a meaningful future for me

Somehow I always seem to get stabbed in the back

Even if the knife is held by me

 

So I know what oblivion is

It's the inability to tell left from right

While all around you know the score

But you're like a beginner who can't even start

So you lose and lose but never win

 

So I know the way out of oblivion

And that is to win

For life isn't for real it's just a game

Even though I know I can bleed

Better your blood than mine be the moral of the tale

 

She continued: "When I was younger I was very naïve and idealistic. I really believed in what I was doing. Oh, many people, especially those of my own generation, despised me and made fun of me, but generally I think people respected me and the uniform I wore. There was a sense of trust which does not exist no more. I believed that I was serving the community of which I was a part. Nowadays I do not serve society I serve a regime. Do you understand my meaning?"

"Oh yes, I think so. There's no sense of belonging no more. Something's missing, gone out of life ... there's no sense of purpose no more."

She lowered her voice: "You and I have much in common then."

He continued: "Not just you and me, everybody. Everybody says the same if you talk to them."

"Would you say that people are unhappy?"

"Yes, I think they are unhappier than they used to be."

"So you blame her?" She nodded towards the obligatory Maggie portrait.

He thought he'd better answer carefully so said: "Some people do."

She was definitely fishing: "But you don't?"

"Well I think that if you're in power then you have to take some responsibility. I don't think it's really on to say that it's nothing to do with you."

"Do you blame me then?"

"I think you're in the middle."

"Of what?"

"Well, look at the uniforms you all wear. They're not so much like uniforms they're more like fancy dress."

She smiled as she reminisced: "When I first joined the force I thought I looked pretty sexy in my uniform and I knew I did from the admiring glances and comments I frequently received from my male colleagues and members of the public. They say men like to see women in uniforms, do you?"

He joked: "Especially in nature's uniform!"

"Hmmm ... that is not the correct answer."

"What is?"

"Either yes or no."

"Just goes to show that sometimes there's more that two sides to a coin. Let me ask you a question?"

"Go ahead."

"What am I doing here?"

"As you know you were arrested for creating a disturbance at Stonehenge and I am the officer who has been instructed to question you."

"I don't think you can call it a disturbance ... we were just mucking about."

"That is not what this report says ... if you would care to read it."

She passed the folder to him: apparently he'd had a fight with the two custodians after they'd stopped him when he'd attempted to rob the ticket-booth.

He was incredulous: "This is ridiculous, it's a complete story!"

"What really happened then, tell me in your own words."

He told her and she burst out laughing then said: "My experience in this police force tells me that this," she held up the folder, "is much more probably the truth than your fairytale."

 

Imagine a country where there lived three different peoples. Not really different peoples but slightly different: the Northerners, South-Easterners and Westerners. They'd long since settled their differences and lived peacefully in a parliamentary democracy. They elected representatives to their parliament not on the basis of class, race or religion but according to policies of political parties.

That country had three main parties: the blues, the reds and the yellows. And they all pertained to represent all the people of that country whether they were Northerners, South-Easterners or Westerners.

In the blues a faction came to the fore, and had a plan. See, the thing was that there were a lot more South-Easterners than the Northerners and Westerners combined. What the faction reasoned was this: by securing the support of the South-Easterners and 'forgetting' about the interests of the Northerners and Westerners an everlasting majority could be secured in parliament ... The incredible plan worked but had a surprising result: for out of it the three became two: the 'haves' and the 'have-nots'.

 

"But it's the truth!"

She pondered for a moment biting on the end of her pen, then said: "So you will plead not guilty?"

"You mean I'll have to go to court?"

"Yes."

"But I've done nothing!"

She held up the folder: "According to this you have. What is high spirits to you, is a serious crime to us. You will undoubtedly face a prison sentence."

He held his head in his hands: "This is crazy!" Then looked at her: "And all because I wouldn't pay to go in Stonehenge."

"All because you broke a rule Mister O. You broke a rule, so you broke a law. Is there any difference?"

"Perhaps not, but I didn't commit a crime."

"Is it possible that they misinterpreted your behaviour?"

He grasped at the life-line she was throwing him: "Yes, that must be it."

"So they assumed that since you weren't going to give, you were going to take? Another of your coins with more than two sides?"

"But who'd believe me?"

"I might."

 

All that glitters is not gold

For Stonehenge is getting old

Is page one a substitute for page three

Is a fourth term a woman's dream

What satisfaction to be dined by all high and mighty

When what they're after is your mind

 

She continued: "You see, I'm committing a crime right now."

He sounded incredulous: "You are?"

She nodded: "Due to there being behavioural problems of a sexual nature amongst the inner clique of the regime, all Iron Maidens including those of superior rank such as myself are required, by presidential regulations, to wear a chastity belt at all times when on duty. And I, Mister O, am not wearing my chastity belt."

"You're joking!"

"I'm not, really ... here, look." As he involuntarily leaned forward she coyly opened a draw from her desk and briefly held up a contraption of metal and leather which she then lay on her desk. She leaned backwards: "Of my own free-will I have removed it and therefore of my own free-will I am guilty."

"Yes, but nobody would condemn you for not wearing that thing."

"They would, I'm on duty so I'm breaking the law by not wearing it."

"What would happen to you?"

"To the letter of the law dismissal from the service unless, of course, compassion was shown."

"There's not much of that about these days."

"Compassion?"

"Yes."

"And that is why you must appreciate and understand the full gravity of the predicament you are in. I chose not to wear that since I find it uncomfortable and being uncomfortable around my genitals it makes me think of that which I am not supposed to think during duty hours. What does it make you think of?"

He was silent for a moment then said: ""My divorce really, I didn't want it to happen."

"But she did?"

He nodded, felt a tear come into his eyes.

"Well then we have grounds for you to plead diminished responsibility. Grounds for compassion to be shown. There is your divorce and from what I have been told about you from your initial interview, you are unemployed. Correct?"

"Yes."

 

No regrets have I

But a few thousand

When I did what I did for you

I believed in what I was doing

With an absolute exactitude

 

But now with the passing of years

With my face older and nothing to show for it

I realise that I was mistaken

And with fool's gold of hindsight

Know that I was mistaken

 

So no regrets have I

Even if I am regretful

Just a feeling of emptiness and sense of loss

For it was my own life I was forsaking

My own dreams which came to nought

 

So what is there left but nothing

What is there to do but nought

For I have no sense of where I am going

No light to guide me on my way

No target to set my sights on

 

She asked: "Do you suffer from depression?"

"If I said no I think I'd be lying but I tend to be optimistic if you know what I mean."

"Mmmm ... maybe. So you're not receiving any medication?"

"No, none."

"None whatsoever?"

"No ... I haven't been to the doctor for years."

She seemed to stare past him: "I'd like to ask you a question which you needn't answer if you don't want to ... have you had sex since your divorce?"

"No."

"My sex life isn't what it was either." She glanced at the chastity belt and grinned: "It's ridiculous, isn't it, a single woman of forty-three who since adolescence has had a perfectly normal, no healthy, attitude to sex has to wear that ridiculous thing. Anyone would think I was irresistibly attracted to anyone who is a member of the regime. Though according to rumour their behavioural problems aren't necessarily of a heterosexual nature! It really is so so ridiculous that I have to wear this ridiculous thing ... anyone would think I was virgin!"

 

So now I've cracked the secret of the universe

And that is that life is but a game

Some win, some lose, but never a draw

For this game isn't for fun but for real

 

So what are the rules of this game

Which nature commands us all must play

To win, oh but that's too easy

For to win you must know how to play

 

Show no mercy seems a good start point

For that is how it is played on me

Show no compassion, mercy or trust

A knife in the back is worth two in the front

For everyone must think good of me

 

So rule two is to be the friend of all

Yet friend of none so 'tis a confusing game

But all mine enemies must think of me as friend

And mine enemies are all and sundry

For if I am not, another will be over me

 

"Perhaps it's an attitude they are trying to instil in your mind?"

"In my mind ... who are they?"

 

Life isn't just a game

It's for real and so a dangerous game

For losing you lose your life

And so must develop a camouflage

So in losing merely lose a shield

 

My stupidity must lie somewhere

In the belief of God as man

That somehow we can alter our destiny

But which is ordained by nature

Isn't alterable by man

 

So bend with the wind and worship trees

Take shelter from the human breeze

Regard the words of man to be

What they are and always will be

The words of man as God and so empty

 

"They who must be obeyed."

"You mean she, don't you?"

 

I can see where I lost out to you

You fooled me into being a God

To rule destiny and change nature's will

I played the role but was only a man

So without understanding turned against nature

And being against nature nature destroyed me

For a man is simply part of nature

 

'tis a jolly hand you played

Set me up on a pedestal

Gave me rope enough to hang myself

Then kicked away the pedestal

And taunted at me in my struggle with death

For I broke a cardinal rule, I asked nothing of you

 

So do nothing for nothing

On all put a price

 

"Well if you're in power and conducting what she calls a revolution then you're bound to want to change the way people think."

"So I who am not a virgin must think of myself as a virgin."

"I don't know ... You'll have to ask her!"

"But why else would they want me to wear that?"

"You might as well ask why they want me to pay to visit Stonehenge."

"And you are here because you wouldn't pay."

"I suppose so."

"There is no supposing about it, if you had paid you would not be here in my clutches. You would be free."

"Are you free?"

"Do you think they are? Do you think she is? When they talk of this special relationship we have with America is there more to it than meets the eye. I mean, you and I are alone in this room. Just like The Maggie and Rambo are alone in a room. There's nothing to stop us making hot passionate love across my deck. Nothing to stop them doing likewise."

"You've certainly got a good imagination."

"But why not? They're a man and a woman who obviously like each other. And you find me attractive, don't you?"

 

If you're not careful you will grow

A nose like Pinnochio

But perhaps that is already true

Too clever by far you confuse yourself

 

"But you're an Iron Maiden."

"What difference does that make, I'm also a woman."

 

The killer of love is to trust

For then there is no mystery

You cease to be a fabled image

And simply become a human being

 

For love is an illness

A disease of the mind

For no matter who you in image may be

Your heart beats as does mine

 

The saviour of love is to lie

For then there is fantasy

You cease to be simply a human being

And become a fabled image

 

For love is an illness

A disease of the mind

And to induce said illness in another

Is the path to paradise divine

 

So the truth in the game of life is to lie

To steer clear of humanity like sackcloth and ashes

To be a figment of imagination

To be a refuge from oblivion

 

"It means I don't find you attractive."

"So I am both attractive and unattractive to you at the same time?"

"Yeah, that's right."

She smiled broadly: "You have made a wise decision Mister O. For indeed if we had made wild passionate love across this desk and had been discovered then you would have, to the letter of the law, been guilty of rape since I am an Iron Maiden. For anything you do or say would be construed as your seduction of me and so you would be found guilty of the rape of an Iron Maiden. The penalty for which is castration. And since I am a senior officer the prosecution could well have demanded total castration in which case, for the days of your natural life, you would have had to pee sitting down!"

 

A truth of life is that if you do

Anything at all someone else will try to stop you

And there will be no reason other than

That they will try to stop you

 

But why should you doing something offend them so

What seed of doubt lay you in their mind

That you should be seen as enemy

Or have you become a convenient ladder

 

So keep your head down and say nothing

For if you do you'll be a-hunted

The prey for all and sundry

Your head a convenient trophy

 

"Great."

"So where do we go from here Mister O?"

"You tell me."

"I think it would be best if you made a statement in the presence of your solicitor. If I were you I wouldn't mention that I heard Britannia speaking to me, since it is possible that that could be construed as your being a Royalist counter-revolutionary. Life is complicated enough, don't you agree?"

"If you say so."

"Not what I say but what you say. Ask your solicitor to meet me in private and I don't think it would be too difficult for sentence to be delayed until after a psychiatric report is obtained."

"Of me?"

"Yes, of you Mister O."

"The charges can't then be simply dropped?"

"I'm afraid that that is not a decision I am able to make. But if we follow this path then, hopefully, I believe it possible that they will be. After all, the prisons are full enough already so we're not exactly looking for people to incarcerate." She smiled broadly.

And so he ended up in a mental hospital for assessment. He really enjoyed his stay there, the only comparison he could give was that the atmosphere on the ward was like that of a university common room. As he would say in explanation: if you know what I mean. But the changes in society caught up with him there too. For the hospital was closing. Until then those who were classed as insane were cared for by the hospital staff who were, of course, classed as sane. Yet by presidential decree it seemed to them almost as if the insane were now to be classed as sane and sane as insane! Nobody really knew what lay in the future: the insane were to be returned from whence they'd come, what was now called The Community; the sane to be redeployed ... somewhere. Not that anybody really seemed to care except for those whose lives were affected. But nobody else seemed to care so it was like nobody cared since it didn't seem to matter what any of them, both the sane and the insane, felt. Though, at the end of the day, he was able to sum up their mood in one word: betrayal. Or were they just Moaning Minnies?

 

We cared for them and did not know why

Yet for them we were prepared to try

Not far away on edge of city limits

Our forefathers built what we now destroy

 

Our forefathers cared and did know why

But that was oh so long ago

And in times gone by people sometimes cried

We now live in an age of communal caring

 

So hospital proudly stood on side of hill

A tribute to foresight planning and skill

A relic of the age of reason

A Sacrifice to an age of verbalisation

 

For no one knows reason for sacrifice

For no one thought to ask someone a question

For those who mattered to our forefathers

Are to us an accountancy nightmare

 

So in truth world keeps a-changing

Without rhyme and reason unlike its spinning

For there is reason impossible to understand

It's simply that somebody knows better than you and I

 

Knows better than you and I yet can't explain

For to explain would be the use of reason

And that would have led to ask a certain question

For hospital wasn't just a hospital it was their home

 

They talked about it a lot amongst themselves. What was this new-world known as The Community? It wasn't the old-world, known as society, since to presidential decree society no longer existed. And what was to happen to the hospital itself? Some said it was going to be a training school for Iron Maidens, some a prison, some an AIDS isolation hospital. Others pointed the finger at corruption since the hospital and its spacious gardens and grounds were considering its location, obviously, worth a lot of money in real estate terms.

 

A man cannot serve Britannia and a harlot too

Those who serve a harlot commit treason to Britannia

In the time of Elizabeth I

Treason meant you had your head chopped off

In the time of Elizabeth II

Treason means you make a lot of dosh

 

So he was eventually released and placed on probation. The conclusion they came too was that he was mildly insane, prone to retreating into little worlds of the imagination or day-dreams. Back in The Community one of the first things that happened was his interview with his probation officer: a coloured woman called Mrs. T. For some reason he felt very nervous and seeing that she kindly suggested they talked in a pub. She insisted on buying him a pint, whilst she bought an orange juice for herself, and they sat by themselves in an alcove.

She said: "These new licensing hours are very convenient."

He sighed: "Something else that's changed, everything always seems to be changing."

"So you've noticed it too?"

"The changes?"

"Yes. Do you find it confusing?"

"I think I must do. Not consciously but perhaps, I know it sounds a funny thing to say, subconsciously."

"Well don't worry about it. I can assure you that you're by no means alone in finding change disturbing."

"Do you?"

She nodded: "But through it I find my real identity, who I really am."

"And who are you?"

She smiled: "Britannia."

"I always thought Britannia was white."

"So did I until my conversion."

"What happened?"

"It was at the time of the Falkland's War. Believe it or not but I was a prostitute. One of my regular clients was important in the regime. He was a pervert, he'd like to indulge his fantasies with me: the white master and the black slave. Then the war came and it was the night of the Argentinean invasion of the Falklands. He said that he was Argentina and that I was Britannia. He said he was going to fuck me from being Britannia into Malvinas. Not unusually I was tied spread-eagled to the bed and as he humped away I thought on his words.

"What I could not understand was how someone who I identified with Britannia was pretending not to be British. And afterwards I asked him. He told me that politics is about power, that power is about money, that money is about owning people. I asked him if he meant owning in the sense of him owning me for an hour. He said he didn't just want to own me but everybody. That he wanted to own Britannia, he wanted to own the British people. I asked him: Why? He said that there didn't have to be a reason but no matter what, if he didn't own us then someone else would. I asked him why we couldn't own ourselves. He said because we weren't capable of looking after ourselves, that we needed to be controlled.

"But he'd been controlling me, so I asked him if what he really meant was that the British people needed to be fucked. He laughed and said that lesson number one of life is to fuck or be fucked. I expressed that I'd thought him to be a patriot. He said he was, that what was good for him was good for Britain. I asked him if I was British. He said of course I was since, after all, didn't he own me.

"He left then and I finished work early. I didn't sleep but for most of the night seemed to lay half awake in a trance reliving a nightmare."

 

Love our love Britannia

And our love will never die

Love our love Britannia

Take away all pain of past

For you are love Britannia

Let Love-light to your eyes

 

We re-found you oh our Britannia

Chained to the Falkland Isles, naked and defenceless

Your thighs spread oh so cruelly wide

Violated, ravished, tortured, oh you nearly died

We fought a battle for you

Let love-light to your eyes

 

Love our love Britannia

Be true to those who were loyal

For if you don't love our love Britannia

That love will surely die

For you are love Britannia

Let love-light to your eyes

 

Be proud of your faithful Falkland Islanders

Who cherished you to the last

For if they had forsaken you

The future would be past

So love our love Britannia

Let love-light to your eyes

 

Love our love Britannia

Let love-light to your eyes

What's past cannot be altered

But now the future's opened wide

For you are love Britannia

Let love-light to your eyes

 

There's a world of love ahead of us

Away from the sordid nightmare past

A world of love for little children

Where their little hearts aren't broken and outcast

For you are love Britannia

Let love-light to your eyes

 

So love our love Britannia

Let love-light to your eyes

Let love-light to your eyes

Let love-light to your eyes ...

 

Her eyes were moist, gleamed with inspiration, as she continued her revelation: "I knew then what was wrong with this country: it wasn't me, it was him. Yet I had thought him to be British and myself as some sort of outcast. Someone who didn't belong, a none-person. British simply because I qualified for a British passport.

"I didn't even want to be British, I hated Britain and what it stood for. But I began thinking: What did Britain stand for? For I equated Britain with him and yet he'd told me I was British. But not like him, different. Then I understood the class system. He as upper-class and so the master. Myself as lower-class and so the slave.

"So I began to think of myself as lower-class British and him as upper-class British. Of him as the master and me as the slave. But then I saw that my hatred of Britannia and all things British was securing his position. That my hatred of Britannia was a hatred of myself for I had begun to think of myself as British. To think not just of the evil of the past but of its good."

 

A flash of light splits the horizon

A helmet gleams into view

Hey it's Britannia, hey it's Britannia

 

She shades us with her shield

And protects us with her spear

Hey it's Britannia, hey it's Britannia

 

And all our foes are vanquished

And run away from the anger of her stare

Hey it's Britannia, hey it's Britannia

 

She takes us to her bosom

And then she suckles us, and then she suckles us

Hey it's Britannia, hey it's Britannia

 

Then she takes us to her heart

And then she nurtures us, and then she nurtures us

Hey it's Britannia, hey it's Britannia

 

And then we're happy

Because we know that Britannia loves us

Hey it's Britannia, hey it's Britannia

 

"And what I knew then was that I'd been fighting on the wrong side. And instead of fighting for myself I was fighting against myself. Instead of fighting him I was on his side. Which is why I say that I find the changes illuminating since now I know what side I'm really on. And I know I'm on my side and I know I'm fighting for us all."

"Including him?"

"To fight you need an enemy."

"Britannia spoke to me. Just before I was arrested. She told me the same as she told you. Not to serve them but to serve her."

"Do you think of me as British?"

 

We cared for each other but did not know why

Yet for each other we were prepared to try

Scattered like myriad stars across our planet's surface

From the depths of jungles to ocean's outpost loneliest

 

United by bonds of history and common causes

To the depths of antiquity our pasts are recorded

And inter-kindling and seeding of minds' ideas

A rationalisation in an irrational world

 

Boxing the compass nature's winds have blown us

Into each other's arms in all continents

Whether ye be paled or darken of complexion

A bond of blood is something we've inherited

 

Have you a grievance of our mutual past

Does destiny stare into your eyes or are you crucified

But remember all else our history tells us

That we are interlinked and of nothing else certain

 

What see you in the future of our past unfolding

A reconciliation, a conflict, united or split asunder forever

With your intellect will you write a future

Will you erase a past like pencil on paper with rubber

 

We have but a future for the past is over and buried

We can build monuments to it and memories cherish

We can crucify our hearts, pretend it all never happened

Or we can listen to our hearts and live without malice

 

He joked: "As British as the English are!"

She laughed: "What about you then, you're Welsh aren't you?"

"Yes. I come from Pembrokeshire in West Wales, which is where the Preseli Bluestones come from which were used five thousand years ago to build Stonehenge. Us Welsh, we're the real British! We're Celts, we arrived here long before the English did. We were all crazy: before the Romans civilised us we worshipped trees. We had a green religion which was environmentally friendly."

"But are you British or Welsh?"

"Well it's not that simple. You see the modern English word, Welsh, comes from the Old English word wealh which means foreigner. So really, since we were here before the English it might be better if Wales was called Britain, England was called Wales and the whole thing was called England!"

She laughed: "What about Scotland and Ireland!"

He retorted: "What about the British Empire!"

She smiled: "What about Britannia?"

He shrugged: "I wouldn't worry about it. I've never met anyone who claimed to be one-hundred per cent one thing or another. It's all a bit of a joke really. Haven't you heard the one about the Englishman, the Irishman, the Scotsman and the Welshman?"

Then she glanced at her watch and left to go home and make tea for her children when they returned from school and her husband when he came home from work.

 

When Argentina raped Britannia

Was a child spawned

A child of hate for Britannia

For do not all now hate Britannia

 

Yet why hate Britannia, our heart, our home

For in hating Britannia

Do we not simply hate ourselves

Or perhaps we guilt

For leaving Britannia defenceless

And so at mercy of Argentina to ravish

 

For why was Britannia chained to the Falkland Isles

Naked, defenceless, her thighs spread so cruelly wide

Who forged her chains

Who broke her will

Who broke her heart

So that she could accept who is so strong

 

What made Britannia acquiesce to don those chains

To put down her spear

And throw away her shield

To cast away her helmet of burnished gold

Remove her robe of white

And lay naked, spread-eagle

 

Then who chained her so

So that she could not move

Could not resist

Could not even surrender

Just simply be a sacrifice

 

So to who was Britannia sacrificed

And why a sacrifice she accepted to be

Who once was a very vision

Of woman, pure and free

And now is violated, ravished, tortured

And living in a fantasy limbo

For Britannia sees yet cannot feel

 

Britannia's heart so surely broken

At hers and ours acquiescence

Can such a past ever be truly forgotten

Will future be irreversibly scarred by past

 

Yet Britannia breathes, her heart beats too

So perhaps all is not lost, not me, not you

But Britannia is not Britannia of olden days

When in youth Rome took her freedom away

And donned her to a yoke of slavery

 

True that yoke was cast aside

During our imperial foray

Or was it simply replaced by a shackle

For was not she still a slave

 

A slave to lust, a slave to greed

To one man's ambition, to a woman's need

Yet now she has her freedom

Yet still she is not free

For past has taken its toll of Britannia

No longer virginal, pure and clean

 

So what future Britannia

Or is a future a-none

For without your love

Of future there is none

 

Or does that child of hate

Fester in your womb

So a new future to dawn

To a-guess impossible to assume

 

So what are you telling us Britannia

That your future isn't ours

That there is no place for us

In a world of you and your child

 

That in your freedom you're enslaved to a sibling

That all your love is commanded to dolt upon

And so leave us none

For to love your child us do not trust

For Argentina has raped Britannia

And so Argentina must die

But in killing father, kill not we child

 

So Britannia truly you are lost to us

For in love of your child, you are Argentina's bride

 

And so our Britannia we understand you so well

You gave yourself to Argentina and we were best-man

As we fastened your chains

We were both saying goodbye

A-parting of ways, two new futures to claim

A new future for you as Argentina's bride

A new future for us, alone yet alive

 

So you accuse us Britannia

Of not loving you true

And quite rightly so

For were we not ever false to you

 

And so you threw yourself

Into another's embrace

And took his spear in total fate

Said goodbye to heart

And seeked a future a-new

A future with a spear in it for you

 

So was it not our impotence which drove you away

Is Argentina a man, and us eunuchs of slaves

So where is our manhood, who took it away

Who castrated Britannia's spear

So Britannia of child starved

To her woman's needs gave way

 

Who was it Britannia, tell me it wasn't you

Oh why in truth did we stop loving you

Or was it simply

A dumb slave's obedience to a master's will

That daughters, sisters, mothers, wives

Should be the master's for the taking

And opposition none allowed

For to refuse would mean a death sentence

 

So did Argentina become our master

Without us realising or caring why

And so to Argentina did we sacrifice

Our Britannia to be raped and filled with child

 

There's scarcely credence to our minds

For for it to happen Britannia acquiesced

In her woman's need for a child

A child we were unable to give

For in our love we feared for her life

If we did trough our master's soil

 

So Britannia owned, and not by us

For only a master can own a heart

And we and Britannia shared a love affair

But a love doomed to a woman's satisfaction

For we needed a permission

That the past wouldn't be granted

So like docile domesticated animals

We assumed slave's yoke

For he who would be master

 

So we sacrificed each other's hearts

And Britannia's virgin's truthfulness

Was ruptured and torn apart

Britannia born out of ages of dark despair

When future should have been hers

We became slaves again

 

Yet slaves no need, for we are our own masters

So terribly multiplied is our disaster

For Britannia with child, sacrificed to her rapist

Who now is linked with a bond of nature

So of there future is there any

Of us broken-hearted for our Britannia

And why should she love us

Who gave her no succour

 

So Britannia alone, we watch her future

Yet not alone, with a swollen belly

So we wait to see

What future when child is born and suckled

If Britannia will have place in her heart for us

Or simply hatred of us who allowed her violation

 

But Britannia why did you allow it

Why did you not nurture us true

For a legacy of hate is all that ensued

Did you tire of us, did you sicken of us

Did you see in us simply impotence

No way out for your woman's satisfaction

Were we born to part in such a sordid drama

 

Or we will it, or did you Britannia

So that it would seem to happen like in nature

Or did Argentina court you

And win you with his lust

Did you see in him manly virtue and in us limp impotence

 

So you let it all happen

For in us you saw no future

And let us clasp your chains shut

So that we sealed our parting future

So that until your rape the decision was ours

For those thighs spread could have impaled our spear

 

But no, we turned our back on you

And left you defenceless and were not true

So now lost to us are you Britannia

Yet still not lost, for though unchained

With child in belly go not you to Argentina

 

So of a future is there hope

That you choose with your child of rape

To remain with us instead of being Argentina's

 

And when your child is born and suckled and weaned

Will truly be the time of choosing

For then your woman's needs will need satisfaction

And spread your thighs to the lust of rape

Or spread your thighs to lover's embrace

 

Or is your lover now Argentina

And of us you want no future

Yet stay with us for you fear Argentina

So wait you for Argentina a-courting you

To give back all respect he took from you

So are we like father to a daughter

Loved yet doomed to part with

 

So future is horribly uncertain

For, Britannia, we desire you not as daughter

But as wife, mother, soul-mate, lover

As true you desire Argentina

So we are second to another

 

Yet wait, all is not lost

For you are yet still of indecision

So can we yet win your heart's thighs to part

But how? Know not even you Britannia

So we must stay true and seek your succour

 

He eventually got a job. Not that he had to get on his bike, rather Mrs T managed to pull a few strings.

 

As I walk my way to work

My feet follow a trail

Of left-right then back home again in reverse

Be it sunny, cloudy, rainy or blue

I walk to work like nobody's fool

 

Nobody's fool am I for I am in work

From my labours will I never shirk

Like superman with red knickers over blue body-stocking

So I don a collar and tie

As symbol of my servitude

 

The days go by: some fast, some slow

And the heels of my shoes are wearing low

But I still walk on my life-long mission

To fuel my body with nutrition

For reason is the reason why as I walk to work

 

So I walk to work like nobody's fool

And people don't stand and stare and cheer me on

No, nobody takes the blindest bit of notice

For they have seen it all before

Nobody's fool walking to work like nobody's fool

 

Mrs T's husband, Dennis, had a friend in the local Karate club who ran a recruitment agency. By this mechanism Mister O obtained a job with a research and development electronics company which was manufacturing gas-chromatography-mass-spectrometry computer systems used for analysing human urine. This was state of the art technology and they needed someone to write a user manual about it but couldn't find anybody for the money they were prepared to pay. Not that they thought that Mister O would be capable of completing the job to the agreed time-scale and price but, through some quirk of fate in the form of imaginative manipulations of his abilities by Dennis' friend, he just happened to be in the right place at the right time.

Mind you, when he started to work he could have soon come to the conclusion that he was in the wrong place at the wrong time! For something else had changed too: computer operating systems. The old familiar disc-operating-system with its sequential sequence of prompts requiring the manual entry of a command via a keyboard, had now been replaced with a windows-operating-system and the entry of commands via a mouse.

True, Mister O, was familiar with this change but the complexity of describing to a third-party, or user, what was going on was really rather beyond him. On the one hand, before the change it was rather like describing how to ride a bicycle then, on the other hand, after the change it was rather like describing how to drive a car.

But the computer system, in common with computer systems in general after the change, was extremely easy to use and once Mister O appreciated that the difficulty of his dilemma lay in its complexity, rather than any hidden intelligence which was beyond him, he began to make progress.

To use a corollary, the job became a bit like a jig-saw puzzle. A big jig-saw puzzle which would take a few months to solve in its entirety. Once more, to a degree, in command of life Mister O could once again appreciate its finer points.

 

Been there for nearly three weeks now

But it was two before I met Miss J

She'd been on holiday

I didn't even know she existed

 

The world revolves around Miss J

For she is always on the phone

Ever so polite and helpful is she

Whether to America, China or somewhere

 

Miss J sits at her desk

A-crossing her long legs and smiles

As her voice bounces off a satellite

Or journeys along an undersea cable

 

A performer of miracles is Miss J

For she is always so enthusiastic

But then I reckon she is realistic

Certainly knows how to be fantastic

 

His feet hit the ground with a bump when ... well, it turned out there was a handsome young man with a white Porsche in her life. But in terms of personal realism the experience proved beneficial to Mister O, for there is no fool like an old fool, and their friendship proved to be of a platonic nature. One Friday lunch-time everyone went to the pub to celebrate the announcement of Miss J's engagement. It turned out that her and her fiancé were planning to emigrate, and leave behind Britain with its dismal drizzle-like urban decline and neglect, for pastures a-new.

 

The weather has been warm and damp

But today it's colder and dry

The sun's been around but hiding

Today it's shining bright in the sky

 

In the day you don't often see a rat

But at night I'm told that they come out

From around down by the old canal

Not that I really know that

 

See a barge on the canal occasionally

Said there were plenty in its heyday

Not that I really know that

Haven't been around as long as that

 

Moon's been rising early these last few days

When I was a child it was virginal

But now it too has its scrap-heaps

Like down as the old canal

 

Miss J and her fiancé had begun their relationship with a holiday romance in Spain, they'd met in the early hours of a morning at a disco in Torremolinos and danced away the night 'till dawn. She'd been on holiday with a few of her friends, all girls, and he'd been on holiday with a few of his friends, all boys. Since then they'd been inseparable. They were full of hope for the future and saw no storm clouds on the horizon, only the deepset reds of a fine sunset offering a future of an infinity of fine days. There was a dream-like quality to their relationship which was inspirational. Inspiring to the extent that they seemed a bit like Adam and Eve embarking together on a life-long pre-planned journey which was beginning at the dawn of a new age.

At this time Venus was bright in the evening sky and to Mister O seemed to almost symbolise their future, almost be their guiding star. Whereas life to Mister O, personally, had become a very dull and listless experience: like he'd lost his way and didn't know which way to go.

 

Didn't dream last night

Haven't dreamt for a time

Or did my dreams drown in sleep

Like dreams that died in reality

 

Were they dreams, what thought was behind them

A chance encounter, a thought of another

Were they borrowed ideas, I somehow made my own

Did I have a life that belonged to another

 

Was my creation my own demise

Was I caught in an ocean without a star

Did I cast myself adrift on stormy seas

When I had a safe-haven to moor my ship

 

By chance, one day, he bumped into his ex-wife. It was a Saturday morning: she was out shopping and he was wandering. They had a coffee together and chatted for awhile. She'd married again and had discovered a few weeks previous that she was pregnant. She made no secret of the fact that she obviously felt that she'd made all the right decisions and, on their parting, he felt very depressed.

 

Wish I had a dream to call my own

Wish I didn't merely survive

Wish I could see some direction to my course

Wish I could see land to make a fall

 

Wish there was some certainty I could aim for

Wish there was some reason for being

Wish there was some meaning to living

Wish there was a dream a-begging

 

Wishes and dreams there seems to be a shortage

Wishes and dreams they've all been vanquished

Wishes and dreams they've all been banished

Wishes and dreams why have they all vanished

 

He seemed to be surplus to requirements. That there wasn't really a reason for his living. Like he was a minority of one. Like he was walking down a long corridor that led nowhere. A long corridor with plenty of doorways, opportunities, along it but all of them closed to him.

What could he do? Nothing. What could he remember? Nothing. What could he see? Nothing.

He'd become a stranger in his own land. He could see a parallel then between his own life and that of Britannia. They'd both become redundant in the world they lived in. It was like they were human beings but the world had been taken over by aliens. Sort of like must have happened following the Norman Invasion of Britain in 1066, or Christopher Columbus discovering America in 1492.

 

The rider on his steed

The sound of thundering hooves

The sounds of a new beginning

A future to replace a past

 

A future not wanted by you and me

Yet a future without a choice

A future where you and I cease to be

The lords and masters of our lives

 

No longer ours to live and breathe

But ours to sweat and bleed

No longer ours to call our own

For we are no longer men but sheep

 

He began to have strange thoughts: Was The Maggie an alien? And were all the changes brainwashing everybody else into being aliens?

But why had he been left behind? It wasn't his decision. He'd always gone along with things. He'd been open-minded, he'd always accepted that if things weren't one way they'd be another: that the world didn't revolve around him.

And then he understood something: that although he'd always tried to somehow adapt to the changes that occurred around him ... but they didn't just happen by accident, as it were, other people made them happen.

 

It was like I was a Trojan of ancient times

And you were Helen and Ulysses rolled into one

With your Trojan horse you forged a victory

Like Aeneas I left vanquished Troy

My life in ruins like that ruined city

 

I sailed a voyage to I knew not where

Made a landing at Carthage and found my Dido

I tarried there for a few seasons' changes

Safe in my lover's arms but love wilted

And so I set sail again to forget my shame

 

I landed in Rome and staked my claim

And once more grew strong again

I laid the seeds of my revenge

It was sweet in coming but I was long dead

For centuries had passed and I never saw you again

 

To him it was like his old life had died and he was now living a new start in a new life. Not that he'd wanted a new start in life. He wouldn't have claimed that his old life couldn't have been better, but at least it was his own. Now he seemed to be living a life made for another.

 

My Vietnam was not to serve

Instead I was institutionalised to learn

To learn what I am told is the question of a fool

But it's many years ago now

And I still don't know what I was supposed to learn

 

If we'd known why perhaps we'd done better

Was it for democracy, freedom and human rights

But sitting behind the desk of a commercial company

The wage slave of a world economy

Was all my effort really for that

 

Yes my effort and that is so easily forgotten

For I am told I was privileged to go

That a meal ticket for life would be my reward

Instead my degree is a badge for discrimination

A yellow star which says I did not go to Vietnam

 

So it was like everyone had a head-start on him and he was always trying to catch up. But couldn't. So it was like he was being dragged along against his will. Since it was like he couldn't run fast enough to keep up with the changes. All he could realistically do was to work at his job and see where that led him.

One day he and Mrs T had lunch together; she explained: "Dennis' friend says that he's heard the company you are working for are in financial difficulties and planning to make some across-the-board redundancies."

"Oh."

"Does it surprise you?"

"Yes and no really, that sort of thing seems to be par for the course these days, really. But from my point of view, are you really saying that I won't be kept on?"

"Dennis' friend says that they are pleased with your work but, you're right, once you've finished your current task then that's it I'm afraid."

"Well, it wasn't a permanent job, was it. That's the trouble with these new temporary employment contracts, you never really know where you are. I preferred it better before the changes were introduced."

"What will you do when you're laid off?"

"Sign on, I suppose."

"Dennis' friend says he'll still keep you on his books but, at the moment, he can't promise anything."

"That's kind of him. If it was possible I'd be prepared to try and retrain but at my age I don't think that's really an option."

"There are plenty of courses available locally. If you like, I could help you find something?"

"I don't see the point of training for jobs that don't exist. I think that I'm resigned to the fact that ... well, there doesn't seem to be much of a future from an employment point of view."

"What about hobbies? What do you do in your spare time?"

"Go out most nights to the pub for a few pints and a game of darts. Otherwise I mostly watch TV. I've been taking quite a bit of work home with me in order to get the job finished on time."

"You can write so why not write a book?"

 

Stories, poems, plays do they really matter

Just a jumble of words scribbled on paper

When is a fascination merely trivial

When it's scribbled on paper

 

Scribbles on paper that once was trees

That once was home to birds and bees

Now flattened in the wisdom of man's genius

To be the home of nonsense trivia

 

Scribbles on paper of a mind's wandering

From darkest Africa to Polar ice

From innuendo to perverted fantasies

From how the world would be better with more trees

 

"Why?"

"It might help you come to terms with things. After all, you've got the rest of your life to look forward to."

"God help me! But what would I use for inspiration."

"Your life!"

 

Saw a cloud fly over a mountain peak

For a moment I thought it would run aground

But then I knew it was only a cloud

And would envelope a mountain in suffocation

 

Once sailed a boat into a blood-red sunset

But the quality of that blood was tainted

It's the pollution, you see, which makes sky so glorious

As it belts out of a chimney all the way from Arabia

 

The snow was crisp on ground

The hills a pastiche of whites and pastel greens

Ptarmigan fled in hasty flight

As we traversed across grouse moor

 

The night before we drove up a trail

Deer danced in our headlights in thought to be fed

Hunter sights stag of antlered glory

Stag cocks head and runs, in thought of lead

 

There's a weariness creeping over as dusk falls

Even from space our orb has lost its gleam

Like a light going out, getting dimmer

Like the glass eye in a trophy case, life extinguished

 

Anyway he took Mrs T's suggestion and wrote a book. It was something he did as a hobby in his spare time ... and here it is now, Lost Child by Mister O, in an expurgated version.

Bob came to see me for the reason many people do: he believed his marriage was at breaking point.  It wasn’t the first time he’d been to an Analyst, but more about that later.  Bob wasn’t his real name, as are not the names which I’ll use for other characters—including his wife Maria.

At first I thought that I was dealing with quite a straight-forward case: older man married to a younger woman: his sexual prowess failing, hers very much at a peak that only maturity can bring.  But it was much, much more complicated than that.  I suppose Bob’s appearance led me astray, he seemed—without being condescending—a very ordinary person.

In fact it was only, as a matter of routine at our first meeting, when I asked him if he’d seen an Analyst before and he had told me whom he had seen, twenty years previous, that I became intrigued: Bob didn’t appear to be the sort of individual who would have been a patient of the pre-eminent Psychoanalyst of that period.

When he told me that fact I remember experiencing a feeling, something like I’d been submerged by a tidal wave.  If there’s no conveyance of meaning in that phraseology then I apologise, but for some reason Bob appeared to me to be a harbinger of doom.

You see, he’d been to see my—now deceased—predecessor in this practice.  And I knew something—something which nobody else knew—something which I knew had affected my predecessor deeply yet had made little impact on me when he told me about it.  Something which will make little impact on you as our story unfolds.  And will make no impact on you until something happens in your life to act as a trigger ... as had happened now to me.

We sat there in silence as it sank into my consciousness: two desperate men, though each for a different reason yet with a common cause.  What did I know?  The nature of the evil which had afflicted both our lives.  Anything more than that?  No.

It had been a conversation of a minute or two, as we left the office one evening over ten years previous.  He’d said something like this: “Ten years ago I had a very interesting case-study.  It concerned a man called Robert and had neo-Nazi connotations.  The man was obviously living in great fear and it had, not unnaturally, affected his psychological balance.  Have you ever come across anything similar?”

I was a lot more arrogant then, I knew it all as we often do before reaching middle-age.  Besides, I was a war-orphan and he a German: my origins indeterminate, unknowable, my features bearing traits of them being Jewish.  I remember now ... I’d told him that the relatives of five million people had similar traumas.  End of story, he’d never mentioned it again.

So we sat there, Bob looking increasingly uneasy.  He started to speak:  “I have a fear ...”  I nodded slowly, helping him to ease out his words—his fears.  But his fear was different to what I thought he’d say: it turned out Bob had, quite simply, a castration complex.

Quite simply a castration complex?  Well nothing is ever that simple but to Bob it was all so incredibly real.  For Bob’s castration complex was directed at one person.  Which is why he believed his marriage was at breaking point: for that person was his wife.

It soon became apparent that Bob, obviously deep-set in terrible anguish and torment, often reduced to uncontrollable tears, believed he was losing his sanity.  For in his moments of uncontrollable fear, induced by the presence of his wife, he had an absolute fear of her: a belief that she would kill him; total castration being her chosen way of death.

A belief which, I initially diagnosed, mistook her sexual appetite for a blood lust.  The moment of death being during love-making, when her vagina would engulf his genitals and digest them, after which he would bleed to death.

But Bob had forced himself to face his fear out of another fear.  The fear I had originally diagnosed: of him being unable to satisfy his wife’s sexual appetite.  The result being that his relationship with his wife was now platonic, in that Bob now found himself physically incapable of fulfilling his love for his wife with the sexual act.  To be blunt: he was impotent.  Therefore the task Bob had given me was this: to make him once more potent but without fear.

Bob had not confided his fear of castration to his wife: she believed that Bob’s gradual loss of potency to complete impotence was Bob going into, what is termed, the male menopause.

In fact, Bob had found his impotency reassuring: unable to engage in the sexual act he no longer feared castration.  He had come to see me out of love for his wife whose sexual frustration, he believed, could lead to a break-up of their marriage.  His belief was stronger than could, it was absolute: would.

To play for time, and attempt to remove stress from a stressful situation, to give nature time to perhaps heal in her own way, I asked Bob why he was so definite in his belief.  He told me his wife was becoming irrational, had accused him of having an affair.  His wife was even becoming jealous of their eldest daughter, who was in her late teens and lived at home with them.

With that last piece of information I thought I had detected a clue, for the child’s age was inconsistent with her having been conceived in wedlock.  The truth was completely bewildering:  the child was not Maria’s but her sister’s, who had been Bob’s first wife and who’d died shortly after the child was born, and who had been given the same name as her:  Katrina.

Did Bob have any incestuous thoughts towards Katrina?  Bravely, Bob admitted he did.  Did he have any inclination that they were returned?  He could not be certain but the child did, from her behaviour, appear to be coming between him and his wife as another woman might.  He continually referred to Katrina as a child, as opposed to a young woman, which suggested he treated her and thought of her as somehow juvenile.  Perhaps there was an avenue of inquiry towards a solution in this direction.

To my questioning he responded with the information that Katrina was mentally retarded.  Physically she was very much a resemblance to his first wife, and to Maria for that matter, yet mentally she hadn’t developed beyond the age of a child of five.

Here we found a link: Bob’s impotence and fear of castration had commenced after the birth of their youngest child, when Katrina who up until then had depended totally on her aunt and adopted mother and thought of Bob as her protective daddy, had shown signs of a sexual awakening which seemed to be directed at Bob.

 

 

To be continued ...

 

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