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Tuesday, February 14, 2006

This Man's Life: Disclaimer

Dear bloggers,

All stories in the This Man's Life are fictional. Any resemblance to real persons living or deceased is purely coincidental. All images are based on photographs found using google image search. I do not claim to have taken the pictures myself, but to have based my drawings upon them, and if any infringement has been made i will remove artwork without hesitation.

I would like to thank all of you for your comments and for following the series.

Until next time,


Friday, February 03, 2006

This Man's Life: Part 10 of 10

This is Ray Sessile Murray. The Ray is short for Murray. His parents had a sense of humor. Ray was born in England. His mother was a homeless immigrant who traveled from China to seek a new life in the west. Unfortunately she was only ever good at one thing and Ray’s true father was a 2am client, with his own life and his own story. Ray’s biological mother died not long after his birth, and for the first few years of his life he was nameless. He was cared for under the watchful eye of the Sisters of Mercy Orphanage until the age of four. Ray was one of the fortunate children to be chosen. One week after his adoption, the orphanage burned to the ground, snatching the life from everybody who lay sleeping that night. As Ray grew up he was teased for looking different to his parents, but his family always reassured him that on the inside he was no different and that no matter what a person looks like, you should respect him for who he is. Ray has many lines on his face. ‘Happy lines’ he calls them. I’ve laughed a lot over my lifetime. Had plenty of good times. I still laugh when people first meet me expecting me to talk like an old Chinese man. The English accent throws them every time.’ Ray has worked hard in his life. He paid his way through university by working three different jobs. Now he works as a lecturer of communication at a university near his home. He has a wife and three daughters. ‘It’s lucky for them’ he says ‘If I’d had a son he would have been called Murray S. Murray Junior.’ Ray might just be the happiest communication lecturer that I have ever sat in a room with.

This Man's Life: Part 9 of 10

Everybody, this is Terrance. He probably prefers Terry, but we’ll just call him Terrance anyway. This is the kind of attitude that Terrance has received all his life. Everybody always telling him what’s best, what’s what, what to do, what to say and what to be. Growing up on a farm where everybody would say that he was simply ‘touched in the head’, where in actual fact he was mentally ill. Of course once that news came out it was far too late to rebuild any bridges that had been burned along the way. He moved to the city for treatment, which in those days was little more than over confident fools tinkering around with forces they didn’t quite – and still don’t – understand. Terry has been in and out of hospitals and institutions his whole life. Some would say that its not his fault, while others would blame it on his apparent ‘fault’. His malfunction. His little piece of uniqueness. As the years have gone by they’ve changed its name. Mania. Schizophrenia. Manic Depressive Syndrome. Bi-Polar Syndrome. Mental Illness. They’ll probably call it ‘Mental Unrest’ next, he says. Today is one of his ‘good’ days. ‘The medication levels me out. Makes me ‘normal’. So’s that nobody can tell there’s anything wrong. Sometimes I think that the docs are just trying to fool me into thinking that I’m fine, but when you’ve spent your whole life being told that you don’t work right in the head you just start to believe it.’ Terrance says that the medication makes him feel all numb. ‘If this is how normal people live let me live in the wild. Anything’s gotta be better than this.' Terrance might just be the most mentally fit person in his hospital ward.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

This Man's Life: Part 8 of 10

This is Edgar. Edgar has just held his first born grandchild in his arms. It’s a boy, and his parents have named him James Edgar. Pride doesn’t quite cover the way that Edgar is feeling right at this point, but it comes close. ‘James Eddie’ he says to himself. Great name. He wishes that his wife were here to hold the child, but she’s been gone for such a long time. The nurses all smile at Edgar. He broadcasts a sense of good will and those closest to him are thrilled to see him smile again. They say that it feels like forever since they’ve seen him happy, but somehow new life can make old life fresh again. Edgar thinks about taking his new grandchild for walks in the park near his unit. There’s a swing there and when little James is old enough he’ll try it out. Edgar has made room on his mantle for new pictures of his grandson. Pretty soon his fridge will be smothered in photos and finger paintings. His favorite will be the one of two strange shapes entitled ‘Me and Grandpa’. He considered being called ‘Pop’ for a while but thought that the other kids might tease James for having a grandparent with a different title. Edgar has started collecting children’s books to read to James when he get a little bit older. He looks forward to teaching James how to draw, and how to make the perfect pumpkin soup. Edgar might just be the most excited grandparent sitting on the bench at the park near his house.

This Man's Life: Part 7 of 10

This is Clancy. Clancy has just lost his best friend – a Golden Retriever named Toby. You see, Toby, although very fit and healthy, was getting on a bit. A routine trip to the vet ended with an empty back seat. Clancy’s wife never liked Toby. Maybe it was jealously for Clancy’s attention. Maybe it was the daily feeding ritual of an excited dog and an even more excited Clancy. While Clancy was at work today, his wife took Toby to the vet and had him put down. Put to sleep. The green dream. She tells Clancy that Toby was just getting too old, and that Clancy himself has a bad heart and shouldn’t get so excited all of the time. Clancy won’t even look at his wife tonight. She tells him that he’s just being ridiculous and that he needs to grow up. ‘Get over it’, she says. ‘It was just a stupid dog – it took up all of your time too. Now you’ve got time to do other things that have needed doing for years.’ Clancy writes a poem for Toby. In it he says his good byes, and hopes that Toby is happy wherever he is now. He knows that he’ll never get another dog again, and spends the evening in his study looking over old photo albums of Toby. Every now and then he looks to the floor just next to his chair expecting to see Toby looking back up at him with whimsical eyes, but Toby is not there, and he’ll never be there again. Clancy might just be the sadest man on his street tonight.