A Short Essay on Janet, Early 2002

"Started to realise a lot of shit. Late & Sad"

Amongst Janet's final scrawlings ripped from a A4 pad.

The letter, with Janet's usual preamble of how mad she was and how everything was a shambles. Two years earlier, in London Town, she'd realised that my body was shutting down - it wasn't "just a bug" I wouldn't "be alright" Her and Christine rang 999 I walked to the ambulance in body, not mind. My kidneys had stopped and the rest were heaving ho - so Janet rode along and to Hospital we did go.She sat there for what seemed like fucking hours "re-assuring" me of our families amazing recuperative powers...

Two years later, sat together in an almost empty flat.

Shelly wouldn't have her in the house, simple as that. But we had a mattress (clean) and some covers (ditto) plenty of flat cider (the fizzy stuff fucked up her stomach) a pen and a pad and letters to write to lovers mixing fiction and addiction with dreams and ripped seams. I had to lock her in that night,so worryingly I had to leave her squinting and swigging by candlelight.

Shit. Let's hope the (almost) inevitable fire doesn't happen.

She sat, no - squatted, in the corner - Janet to a tee. I was on my haunches also, just behind the door. I'd listened to her stock bullshit for maybe an hour or more.

Shelly (my ex-wife) felt guilty about banishing Janet so I could stay for hours more.

She'd given me the top and tail, the normal shit you got mixing our Janet and ale. The Oratory (for indeed it was, with no input yet required from little Bruv) slowed to a stop as the act was getting tired.Squatting still, she looked at me,and I straight back at her, as if by mutual glances we could somehow psychically confer perhaps we could, because I swear, the facade just dropped, and Our Janet sat there. Left bare. Rabbit in the glare - she'd had a scare. I'd listened to the drivel for well over an hour, and now you could physically sense the transfer of power.

"Why do you do this shit in front of me?"(Full of amphetamines but speeding in no hurry), "You don't need to. I know you're all right, you don't have to do the 'I'M A MAD PISS-HEAD, ME.' You can go through all your characters Jan, but it's still you that I see."

"Looking," I added a bit unnecessarily, "a bit fucking stupid and silly."

If only foresight had let me glimpse what the half year would bring for me, slashed wrists, family ripped, OH how I tripped....

She looked straight back at me. I didn't realise how long thirty seconds could be, given the right climate, a slow clock and a watched pot.

"You Bastard," she Smiled then beamed, "I could never fool you, could I?"

"When I was five," I said, "but I've not been five for a long time."

"I love you, you little bastard" she said, in her weird Yorkshire/Derbyshire hybrid dialect.

"Well, stop taking the piss then," I replied with a quarter of speed coursing through my insides.

"You don't take that shit anymore do you?" she asked "No, Jan, I should be on what you're on, it's doing you a WORLD of good." She just laughed. "Feels like Prisoner Cell Block 'H'" I said, locking the gate after the obligatory kiss and a hug.

Wish I'd held on just a little bit longer.

I returned, early next morning, she was back to being mad, like never acknowledging the epiphany we'd had.

Our Janet.

You couldn't make it up.

(Thanks to karma debt for reformatting help.)