The Demon & The Angel

The following is a short poem inspired by and dedicated to the woman who delivered me from the brink of self-destruction.


She was an angel seeking chaos;

He was a demon seeking peace.

All he’d known was conflagration;

‘Til feathered wings bore sweet release.


For he had a blackened soul of flame;

She had the heart to douse it.

Their union fated, smiled upon;

By forces neither doubted.


So opposite, yet so alike;

One born of darkness; one of light.

One gripped by sadness; one by fear.

Two halves brought whole; a way comes clear.


For when two beings meet like this;

Two entities that intertwist.

A soul of fire; a heart of gold;

The tale: archaic, but never old.

Transcendent yearning manifests!

As she takes his head into her breast.

He gains her peace, forever sewn;

Into his chaos, now her own.

Finding the Rose

I guess I’m feeling a little sentimental tonight so prepare yourself for a potentially sickening post; alternatively, keep scrollin’ bub.

Here goes:

Christmas 2015 was easily the worst Christmas of my life. Suddenly single, after the breakdown of a very long term relationship, I was about to go into the new year – and into my thirties – alone, and suddenly residing back in my Parents’ house; in a tiny box bedroom not even really fit for a child. And here I was, my entire life fitting inside it. I don’t think I’ve ever felt so truly low. I felt pathetic. I felt like an abject failure.

All around me, friends and family were getting into the Christmas spirit, but all I wanted to do was retreat and hide away; or drink myself into a state of comfortable apathy. “Happy fucking Christmas”, I thought to myself. “What a crock of shit”. I hadn’t grown as a person in many years. If anything, I’d devolved. And as December bled into January, I descended into a form of madness; gripped by anxiety and depression, I struggled to get out of bed most days.

I don’t blame anyone for how that year began, least of all the ex that left. Far from it. Everything occurred as it should have. She made the right decision for both of us. But even still, my existence had become an endless shade of grey, and the days and months merged together in a flurry of self-destruction and a growing addiction to Tinder.

Lower and lower I fell, to the point that I thought I’d never see light above me again. But then something amazing happened. Swiping away one casual Sunday after a heavy night out, I saw Laura Tomkińsberglovskivich… My breath caught in my throat. “There’s something about this girl” I thought to myself. I couldn’t put my finger on it exactly, but in an endless blur of faces, hers immediately snapped into sharp focus. I didn’t swipe right; I swiped up. Superlike.

My breath caught again. For instantly, it was a match.

The conversation evolved quickly. This girl was on another level. She engaged me straight away, and I’m ADHD as hell, meaning extremely difficult to engage for anything over fifteen seconds. But Laura…I talked to her for hours on end, neglecting all else. I found her impossible to tear myself away from. And I still do.

I didn’t expect to find what I found on something as shallow and crass as an online dating app. But sometimes, in a field of dead flowers, it’s possible to find a rose. Yesterday, Laura and I had our first Christmas together, and I can’t even believe the contrast from last year.

Laura brought the colour back into my life, brighter than I ever remember it being before, and although there’s been conflict, we’ve come through it. I can feel myself growing again, changing, quite possibly into the man I always thought I should be.

Full disclosure, some of these changes have emerged through the treatment I’ve been receiving for a Generalised Anxiety Disorder I was recently diagnosed with, but I don’t think I’d have even pursued that diagnosis if she hadn’t imbued me with the strength to. The fear that’s gripped me throughout my adult life is falling away from me, and suddenly, with her, I feel like I can face anything.

Things can change in the blink of an eye. Life is good. No, life is fucking great. “Happy Christmas,” I’m thinking. “You’re god damn right it is.”

Love you Princess. From the bottom of my black heart.

Stuart

Strong Women

I can’t say enough about strong women in films. It really does it for me. Let’s look at Marge from the Coen Bros. snow laden crime thriller Fargo. She’s not a feminist by any stretch of the imagination. But she is strong. Like iron. Like decades old ice. She’s tenacious; every bit the bulldog you might expect a hard boiled New York detective to be, albeit muted behind small town pleasantries. She’s a character that could have been played – almost line for line – by a man, which I think in this case, would actually have been much less effective.

That’s the true mark of a great lady character. Her conflict doesn’t arise from the fact that she’s a woman. She doesn’t have arguments about makeup. She doesn’t bitch-slap a single person. She’s not even forced against forces of sexism. Her character is not a woman. Her character is a human being, victim to all the same flaws and gifted with all the same strengths as any single one of us, regardless of what’s in our pants. This is why I love a great movie. It denies all boundaries between us. It brings us together in the exact same temporal space, regardless of petty factors like sex, belief or geography, and celebrates our oneness. A great character – regardless of sex – reflects every single one of us simultaneously.

And in the end, look at the world around you. Look at the women around you. The women I see around me are strong, in exactly the same ways that Margie is in Fargo. The dialogue that comes out of their mouths is filled with the same stuff as that which comes out of mine. Hopes, dreams, desire for love, fear – all that juicy stuff. These women aren’t the women I see in an overwhelming majority of Hollywood’s output (lookin’ at you Michael Bay). These women don’t need me as a man in order to be able to complete their own arcs. Their journey is their own.

I guess I have a couple of people to reference in terms of this outlook on lady characters. Both of my sisters and my long term girlfriend are symbols of feminism to me. Strong, beautiful people with big hearts and just reserves of willpower and tenacity that I really fucking envy. I don’t understand why Hollywood fears such women. I look at them and they’re magnificent to me. They’re camera ready. They kick ass without a fictional spin, imagine what might happen if you put the fate of humanity in their hands.

That’s why in anything I write, you’ll see an emphasis on strong female characters. If for nothing else, they’re simply too cinematic to resist. ‘Nuff said.