Friday, March 16, 2018

At Gambollers Anonymous

My name is Stephen and I am a gamboller.
God grant me the frivolity to leave what can be changed alone,
To incessantly belabour what cannot,
And the folly to bedamn the difference.

Saturday, March 10, 2018


I went on a big demo with Dad. He's one of the leaders. On the way back there was a bit of argy-bargy and an obstreperous kid got hauled away. Back to our home in B-. It's crowded, with so many of the activists here. I think they've taken the interloper outside, and I'm worried they may have killed him. It's night already. I go out front to see what's happening and they are just in the process of launching a nuclear missile from the field outside our house into the city. The flames of its rocket engines fire in the dark. This, it goes without saying, is astonishing and beyond terrible.

I'm inside now, beside the wall in the crowded living room. I go out the back with my acquaintances, with my overcoat on. It's a sort of cul-de-sac with the back gardens around it, and it is crowded here too. Police are arriving to look for the missing kid, a youth really. I say I'm worried I will be mistaken for my father and blamed by the crowd. "I'll be lynched." In the distance the city is a conflagration, with fires everywhere, but the police arriving have not seen it, as they're coming from that direction and facing this way. People try to tell them about the nuclear explosion, but they are officious and insist they must follow-up their search for the kid, one thing at a time.

But they soon realise they must investigate the source of the nuclear missile, as people are telling them it came from in front of my house. We go inside, and I feel I must tell them about the murdered kid, as I think it's only right, and anyway, it would be worse for my Dad to be blamed for the nuclear missile. Nobody knows where the kid is. They've got Dad in handcuffs now. I don't feel I have done anything wrong, but I'm not feeling righteous, it's just something I had to tell them. He's brought it on himself.

But now the floor of the room is flooded about a foot deep. Everyone else has gone. Somehow they drain it. I don't know what's happening. The floorboards are lifted. It's not the kid. There are what looks like two sacks there, possibly the size of a big person and a smaller one but they're shapeless, so it's not certain, it might be something else. I am seized with terror and guilt.

Monday, March 05, 2018

Lost, run, jump, chat

Getting to the place is alright, it's finding the way back afterwards that's difficult. I see a station down that way and set out. But I've gone down the wrong side somehow and now I've lost sight of it. And I've forgotten my phone, so I can't check maps. The further I walk, the bigger the streets. This is a big city, I know. Office blocks, etc, vast expanses everywhere I look, but no sign of a station. I am totally lost.

It's later. Running, we leap into a sort of silo, as big as a huge barn, half filled with whatever. We go out onto a little outside balcony on the opposite wall above the huge pit. It's barred above with giant beer pump handles. Dad doesn't have a care, chatting away. I can jump and pull one of the giant handles down a bit but that's not going to get us out of here. Dad is in a good mood, talking and, in that way of his, making himself laugh, while I realise we're never going to get out of here.