One Sunday in 1993, I was invited to dinner by my cousin and his then girlfriend. Having a proper Jamaican Sunday dinner was a rare treat for me back then as I had recently moved into my flat, was pregnant and living alone. Slaving away over the cooker for hours on end making chicken and rice and peas for 1.5 people was not only a time consuming effort, it was also expensive. Sheena loved to cook, she was a good cook and getting out of that half decorated, barely furnished flat and in some fun loving company was a bonus.
Being the popular couple that they were, Paul and Sheena’s house always had people flitting in and out at any given moment. On that Sunday, Gavin Harding was one of the visitors who invited himself to dinner. It had been a long time since I’d seen Gavin, but I instantly remembered him. That beanpole frame, the stark features set amongst his jet black skin and that mouth full of big cranky teeth were unforgettable. He didn’t recognise me, I was a young girl when he had seen me last, now I was a pregnant young adult. When Paul told Gavin who my mother was he rolled off a few tales of my antics as a youth (none that connected my memories) and made idle chit-chat.
According to previous adult conversations that I wasn’t supposed to be listening to, the word was Gavin had serious mental health issues and a violent temper that had led him to be taken away (sectioned) from his family for a number of years. He was recently back on the scene in Cov, catching up with familiar faces, one of them being Paul’s. Although his voice was overbearingly loud and his rants about the youth of his day compared to the youths in the 90s seemed a little patronising, Gavin’s presence didn’t really bother me. I’d been around enough people with mental issues not to be judgemental and if Paul and Sheena had him in their home, around their young son, he had to be alright didn’t he?
I can’t remember too much of how that night panned out but I know the food was good, tunes were pumping from the stereo and jokes were running free, especially when Karen, another face I hadn’t seen in a while turned up. Karen was a bubbly girl and had been my one-time smoking buddy, in the years when we were too young to have been smoking. I’d only been back in Cov little over a year so to reminisce on some good times in the past was enlightening. I even invited Karen to come up to my flat some time before I had the baby so we could catch up more.
Two days later, early in the evening as I watching something on the TV, there was a heavy knocking on my front door which slightly startled me because most of my visitors had to use the outside intercom to gain entrance into the block. The shock of seeing Gavin’s face when I opened the door put me on a paranoia. I never gave him my address, nor did I invite him to come and see me but it soon became clear to me that he must’ve been eavesdropping when I gave Karen my address and directions to get there. Inviting himself into my flat he instantly developed an authoritative pace as he strolled through every room checking out the décor, telling me about the similar flat he had years ago in the same area, blah, blah, blah. I was more than uncomfortable but how could I tell this guy who I hardly knew but was a friend of the family, that I wanted him to leave my flat? What would his reaction be? Thankfully he was “just passing by” before checking out a club in town. It might have been just under or over an hour that he was in my flat but it felt much longer as a cyclone of dark thoughts circled in my head. Before leaving he invited himself to come back again soon and offered his hand in helping me complete the decorating. I politely declined insisting I had someone already helping me, locking the door fast behind him, determined he would never enter my home again and thanking God repeatedly for allowing any situation to escalate.
Later that night, in the early hours of Wednesday morning I was awoken by the intercom buzzer. I knew it was Gavin before he somehow made it into the block, pounding at my door and shouting my name through the letterbox. I remember hearing my heart thump into the mattress and the gulp of saliva struggling to ease down my throat. I can now say the fool was out of his mind thinking I’d let him in my home at that hour, but back then I lay silently stiff in that bed shit scared. Mobiles weren’t in the circuit then and I didn’t have a landline phone. In a phrase that my grandmother often uses, it was only ‘me one, and God’ and in that moment, hearing the anger and frustration in his voice, my fear was stronger than my faith. He finally gave up and fucked off, stomping down the corridor, bashing the communal doors. I just lay frozen, thankful yet again, but unable to sleep.
Paul and Sheena found it all hilarious when I relived the nightmare to them… “Gavin nah go do you nuttin…” “He’s just looking a friend innit, and you’re a single girl with a baby on the way. He wants to look after you”. Their jesting did not raise a laugh from me and I let them know that I didn’t want to be his friend nor have him beating down my door at all hours like he was my man. In fact, I never wanted to see his face or hear his name again. I had a bad feeling about Gavin and sensed things weren’t gonna end well if we bucked up into each other. When you get that gut instinct that someone or something isn’t right, it’s always wise to follow it. A friend answered the door on Gavin’s next and final visit. She told him I wasn’t home as I cowered in the bathroom and he rambled some nonsense message to pass on to me. Paul also had words with him to back off which further nerved me. Now Gavin not only knew I was awake when he was beating down my door, he knew I wasn’t interested and scared of him.
To be fair, despite his boldness and over friendliness, Gavin hadn’t made a pass at me or vocally expressed having feelings for me. Suppose he was just being friendly in his own unique way I wondered, and my harsh rejection had stirred up some ‘issues’ in his mind. I was more scared of seeing Gavin now than ever but my guilt at misreading him soon wore off when I popped into my local Caribbean takeaway. I wasn’t a regular customer but I was on friendly enough terms with the owner for him to tell me that my ‘boyfriend’ had took two curried patties from him one Tuesday night stating that I would pay for them. “My boyfriend!”, I exclaimed to the man in disbelief, knowing it had to be Gavin he was referring to.
Gavin had only stopped off at the takeaway after the club and spun some craziness about his pregnant girlfriend being hungry, giving a spot on description of me and which block of flats I lived in. Recognising the brief, the shop owner explained he had no reason not to credit the food as he regarded me as a “…nice and polite girl”. The shame and anger this fruitloop was causing made me deny knowing who the takeaway guy was talking about and I most certainly didn’t pay for the patties. I can laugh now, but back then, even though I’d been deserted by my unborn’s father, having anyone think I was carrying Crazy Gavin’s kid was horrifyingly embarrassing.
I never did see Gavin again. Just a few months later he got into an altercation with some people in the city centre, flipped when the police turned up to arrest him and ended up being sectioned again. I never make light of people’s struggles, but there’s some people that I should never be around, Gavin is one of them. I often think how I could’ve easily been the one he turned on had I opened the door that Tuesday night or if he had confronted me after the brush-off. Others may believe his encounter with me was entirely innocent. I call it a lucky escape, and I’ve had a fair few of them.
A short introduction into 3rd Ear Girls new project ‘Stand Out Memories’. A deconstructed memoir of a colourful life, the struggles, the pain, the influences and a lot of naughtiness.
As a writer (struggling) and someone who has gone through a rollercoaster of experiences and emotions in life, people often tell me that I should write an autobiography… If I could write the whole truth and nothing but, I probably would. However, I’m loyal and discreet to those who I regard as ‘my fam’ in life and telling the whole truth could upset people I don’t want to hurt or expose those who’ve put a past mistake to bed and have moved on.
Sharing some of my Stand Out Memories gives me the chance to tell some unforgettable and cherished stories and pay tribute to the wonderful people who I’ve come across in life. I can also shake off some bad memories of the many villains I’ve had to endure along the way. I’m just changing a few names, settings and dates whilst the core of the story remains the truth.
The theme of my Stand Out Memories is aptly labelled, Chaos And Disorder, because even in the most tranquil and happiest moments in life, there’s always some chaos and disorder in the mix. Chaos and Disorder is also the title of a song written by my favourite musician, the late Prince Rogers Nelson.
“ I’m just a no-name reporter
I wish I had nothin’ to say
Looking through my new camcorder
Tryna find a crime that pays…
I get hit by mortars, everywhere I go I’m loitering
Chaos and disorder ruining my world today ”
Chaos and Disorder – Prince (1996) NPG Records
There’s no chronological structure or rule of narrative, I will just write as I feel, when I feel it. I’ve always struggled when it comes to writing about myself, but I’m enjoying this project so far. I hope you will enjoy reading it.
© 3rd Ear Girl 2016
This self-loathing lyric was written at a bad period in my life. Even though you’re free, have you ever felt trapped, not only in love, but in friendships or by hurtful family members? You can see all the wrongs, but to avoid further drama, you don’t say nothing. You stop standing up for yourself and let the hurt roll whilst you’re hurting badly inside.
Must’ve been born with pussy written on my forehead
My only explanation for believing in all the things you said
Thought you loved me but I’m just a fool
Cuz I’m stupid me
I’ve let you see me cry 2 many a time
Let you play silly games with my mind
Why I let you do this I just don’t know
The doors wide open but I don’t wanna go
Cuz I’m stupid me
CHORUS: You put me down, you mess around
Spread the word all over town
“That girls stupid”
Break my heart and make me cry
Tell me anything cuz I’ll believe your lies
Cuz I’m stupid. Stupid motherfuckin me
Rejections something I’m kind of getting used too
Cuz if i’m waiting 4 affection, I ain’t getting it from you
You say you love me when you run out of honey
My emotions you walk all over. Ha Ha so funny!
Cuz i’m stupid me (CHORUS)
Why do I let you hurt me?
Why do I let you make me cry?
I know it’s wrong but I let you carry on
Why, oh why! Oh why! Cuz i’m stupid me
Copyright Lady Syxess (Lady 6X) 2008
Originally published on the now defunct Triond website
A relationship broken down. The woman has given it her all but isn’t getting much of a response from her man. Does she fight for love or should she walk away from it? What is she supposed to do?
You know how I feel for you
So why d’ya keep trying to make me prove
What’s perfectly clear
Pushing me away, double siding me
Is only gonna make me disappear
There’s only so much I can take
Damn it! I got feelings too
Wanna share my dreams with you
But you’re making it so hard for me
So hard for me
So what am I supposed to do?
It’s fair to say, I’ve gotta share the blame
Trying to steer you from the reality and pain
Tried to paint a perfect picture fantasy
Even though we were suffering in the misery
But please, you must always remember
Right or wrong I’ve always been there for ya
From January through to December
Stood there strong by your side
Trying to guide you through life
Now you’re pushing me, fighting me
Double siding me
After all that we’ve been through
Be honest with yourself
You know I’d never do that to you
So tell me what am I supposed to do?
I don’t wanna see you in misery
I don’t wanna see you in pain
But if it means a replay of all the hell we’ve been through
Then I don’t wanna see you again
You see trust means a lot to me
And you’ve broken mine too many times
Then you say you realise
And tell me you wanna give our relationship another try
But how do I know that you’re not just spinning another lie
I have feelings for you and always will do
But when you’re fighting me, double siding me. Tell me
What am I supposed to do?
*Copyright Lady Syxess 2007
* This lyric was published under Lady Syxess (my other alias) and published on the now defunct Triond website. All rights reserved.
Five years ago, on this date 4th November 2010, I suffered a subachnoid brain haemorrhage that changed my life drastically. Living with the after effects of a head trauma is a constant battle which leaves me struggling with simple tasks, mentally fighting with emotions and my memory on a constant rollercoaster, but I’m a survivor, determined to overcome living with the “monster” in my head.
Five years ago, bar being hearing impaired and carrying the emotional baggage of past hiccups throughout life’s dramas, I was a pretty ‘normal’ thirty something mother of two, attending University in a bid to kickstart my career. My morning at uni had been a normal busy one, when suddenly, out of the blue, an excruciatingly painful headache hit me, causing me to collapse and be rushed to hospital.
To talk about 4th November 2010 is really hard for me as I know how close I was to death and my heart skips many beats whenever I relive that day. Forgive me for not going deep into details about my time in hospital, I will do one day, but today’s a survival day. It’s a tough survival, challenging and often lonesome as I battle daily with my inner turmoil, but I’m thankful to be here.
Any writer who has suffered writers block will know how frustrating it is to have ideas floating in your head, yet be unable to create a sentence. I go through that almost every day (this piece should’ve been posted this morning). My haemorrhage hasn’t stolen my ambition to be a successful writer, but it kills my drive. It’s a fight I may never win but I’ll never give in either, because ever since I was a little girl my passion was creative writing. In my better hearing days, my career path was wide and varied, with the loss, writing was all I had and I’m determined not to lose it.
Someone recently asked me why many writers are struggling to get their work noticed and I came up with this little quip. Writers are still being successful and people are still reading, but in this “electronically digital” age, videos are the in thing. People want fast fixes, they haven’t got time to read and their brains are too engaged to hold the attention of what the writer is trying to tell them.
This quote reflects the saying ‘you get out of life what you put into it’. If you’re surrounding yourself with negative people that do bad things and/or treat you badly, then you’ve got to expect crap things will happen in your life. If you’re willingly leading a life of sin and destruction, if your actions don’t catch up with you, Karma certainly will.
I had some major repairs carried out in my home this week, which meant clearing out rooms so the workmen could carry out their duties. Whist moving boxes and bags of stuff that I’ve accumulated over the years from one room to the next, I concluded that a majority of it is mainly junk, but sentimental junk. A promise to myself to de-clutter and get rid is aimed to be completed before 2015 is over… Seriously!
My eldest daughter is always calling me a hoarder but I never realised how much unusable stuff I kept hold off until last week when I had workmen coming to work in my home. As a sentimental fool, I have greetings cards, special items of clothing, artwork the kids created at school, gifts I’ll never use, books I’ll never read, all stashed away in cupboards. As a writer I have boxes, folders and bags of half finished stories and poems, magazine and newspaper cuttings that I intended to use 10 years ago but are too nostalgic to throw away now and books and scraps of paper noted with a catalogue of brainstorming ideas that I need to fulfil. Diaries that date way back to my school days revealing embarrassing crushes and disturbingly dark intimate thoughts of a hormonal teen, right up to the present, dealing with motherhood, deafness and life’s drama’s. I can’t just throw everything away but I’ve got to cleanse things up a bit, for the sake of my sanity and much needed storage.
So… the de-cluttering project starts, and as it goes on I will be sharing the journey with you. Hopefully I might be able to revive a few written pieces or ideas that will inspire or entertain somebody out there… We’ll see. ~ 3rd Ear Girl
This poem by Jessa’s Will expresses pain and sadness expressively with a figurative yet sharp impact.
The agony I hide
When the pain
I could no longer endure
I try to smile
I have to carve it
Upon my face
With a blade of sanity
Just to put on
A happy face
The sorrow shows
For it’s destined
To live within me
My last breath
Copyright Jessa’s Will 2015
As much as I love reading mainstream published and well known writers work , I also support the lesser known writer’s that like myself, have beautiful work swimming around in a sea of lesser known authors publications on the web. With #wordspot I will be sharing pieces from aspiring writers because “poetry not read, is dead” and we need to keep it alive.