Tasked

The only reason I’m writing this post today is because of this word: Tasked.

I’ve heard it many times over the last few days so that’s the trigger.

And I hear you ask:

“You’re writing a post because you’ve heard the word tasked several times?”

And I reply:

‘Yep it’s that simple.’

The next question that comes to mind is:

“Who’s setting this task?”

And I reply:

‘The universe is setting the task.’

And the next question:

“How do you know it’s the universe?”

And the reply:

‘I don’t, does it matter?’

The only thing that really matters is that you set yourself a task. Without it, there’s little point to life. Without task life is empty and meaningless.

Tasked
We’ve all been tasked to evolve

So my task, as is everyone else’s, is to further life. It is actually the most fundamental task, we’re all set from birth, we just don’t often see it that way.

“Life’s task is to further life.”

When we take a moment to think about life on earth we see that every single, living organism, be it a virus, parasite, worm, or indeed human being, is driven mainly by the need to reproduce.

“Evolution see’s to it that the most adaptable, healthy and strong, get to spread their genetic coding.”

In time the weak fizzle out and die. How long it takes, for mother nature to weed out the weakest and least adaptable, is often something we’re unable to perceive of. The process of natural selection happens over many, many years. It’s happening to us now, we just don’t see it. When we look at the creatures on earth, and all the weird patterns, shapes and so on, within the species that live here, we get a sense of how ancient the planet really is. This planet is very, very old.

“In real terms, our evolution is happening all the time, yet due to its time frame, we’re unaware.”

As we now understand, we’re all tasked to reproduce. So is that it, or is there more we can do?

I believe if we include evolution into this task we’ll be getting somewhere. In other words, we must continue to make our evolution something we’re conscious of. We’re certainly conscious when we’re reproducing – and what a beautiful consciousness it is – however, as with all other living beings on the planet, evolution isn’t always so pleasurable.

“Evolution and natural selection teaches us to do without certain things as other aspects change and adapt.”

Let’s take consciousness. To assist with our evolution and future survival we must become more aware. That seems simple enough, and yet how we do this, is not quiet so clear cut.

Raising our consciousness involves cutting back on some of the clutter. In other words, we must become more efficient with our thinking.

Mindfulness is the word we can use to describe this efficiency.

“We’re efficient when we’re mindful of our thoughts and actions because mindfulness reduces waste.”

There is actually a kind of paradox here. You might imagine, that to be mindful of our thoughts and actions, the majority of the time, would take a lot of energy. It does. However, through being mindful – in the long term – we become more efficient due to spending less time in the past or future, or indeed nowhere in particular, through daydreaming. We become more efficient, and waste less time, by keeping our thoughts in the present moment. Practise is the key. The more we do it, the better we become.

Also the process of asking ourselves – from moment to moment – what our intentions are, is a very powerful way of raising our awareness. For example, what is your intention through reading this post? To learn something? Find a way to dismiss it? Be entertained for a moment? To find a way to disprove it and discount it? Perhaps, you’re looking to raise your consciousness too? What is your true intention?

Through raising our consciousness we better guarantee the future survival of our species. Be assured, the process of evolution and natural selection is doing many things we’re simply unaware of. It’s the genes, of those who seek greater awareness of this, that will survive. The task that life has set you.

Are you paying attention to what the universe is tasking you?

Learn more.

 

In Response to Emotions

“If we have little control over our emotions we’re vulnerable through allowing others to manipulate us emotionally.”

In response to:

Daily Dose of Inspiration – Deep Feelings

“I’m not sure if this is something normal people think about, or only weird, fucked up people like me.”

It’s very refreshing to see someone write from the heart in the way you have here. Because of your candid approach I particularly enjoyed this piece. It could be said that feeling ‘overly’ emotional – “about a crippled person on the side of the road” – for example, is of no real benefit to the person with the disability. It could also be said that being ‘overly’ emotion is just as disabling to you.

Real benefit comes when we’re able to look objectively at a person’s situation and then help in a pragmatic way: taking them for a square meal, buying them a wheelchair or giving their plight some deeper meaning, for example. If our reaction to pain, suffering, sadness, pity or whatever, is to become overly distressed ourselves, we are of no help, we may even add to their troubles.

In addition to this, to show someone pity in times of their hardship is to be disrespectful and may ultimately disempower them. My revulsion to pity stems from understanding how self-pity is utterly futile.

“On a personal level, if the people in my life – during my times of hardship – had shown me emotions and pity, instead of understanding and purpose, there’s a very strong likelihood I wouldn’t have made it through.”

Sometimes, I think it’s important to take a step back, and consider, that the emotionally charged things we experience outside of ourselves, often trigger something on the inside of our minds, we may be hiding from. In other words, where does our fear originate from when seeing the cripple, or the special child or death? Our fear of these things is very debilitating.

When we lose our fear, only then, are we truly able to offer practical assistance to those in need. If there’d been any level of fear from those around me, during my time of need, this would have manifested into the pity that may well have killed me. We offer people true and effective love when we ‘feel’ yet pull away from feelings that restrict practical action.

In Response to Emotions
In Response to Emotions

During recent times, it seems that our reaction to events, have been very extreme. From the annihilation of the innocent inhabitants of foreign countries to the childish and sentimental weeping at the death of a kitten.

When we lose total control of reason, and our emotions to boot, we’re completely ineffective. As further example, it sickens me to see the guilt ridden, sentimental appeals, charities use to drag money out of people’s pockets. It seems no one ‘gives’ unless guilted or made to ‘feel’ uncontrollably.

The charities in this country (UK), are just businesses using horrible manipulation in order to pay their employees wages, there is something fundamentally wrong here. A charity, and those working within it, must do – the act of giving their time – for nothing. If they don’t give this charitably (for free) it’s not a charity, it’s a business! When did we lose this distinction?

Charities are failing to understand the principle of: ‘you only have what you give.’ Giving of your time for nothing is about gaining the understanding and true value of time itself. Until we give something, we never understand it’s true value.

“No one has sufficient money to pay for my time. I’m not free when being paid I’m ensnared by my need. Make sense?”

So, in a nutshell, you’re most certainly not fucked up, and neither is anyone else who’s empathic and emotional, however, understand the things that trigger our internal fears helps us to help others, with true, empowering love.

Kindest regards AF א

The Locksmith Series #7 (look closely)

Emily and the weight loss Questions
Weight Loss

Emily was aware of the disembodied voice asking her questions, she’d already asked her’s: “Why am I am I over weight?” “Why do I keep eating all the wrong things when I know they’re bad for me?” “Why do I keep thinking I deserve a relationship but keep myself feeling unattractive?” “Why am I crying right now?”

The Locksmith had anticipated Emily’s questions, everyone who’d ever been to see him had questions, and of course he knew all about how important they were to his inquisitors, yet he also knew, it wasn’t so much the questions that mattered, but how you asked them.

He asked Emily to use her minds eye and imagine a leopard running through the jungle. Knowing the next question was potentially deceitful (as the animal itself was often seen) but with good intent, he asked her:

“How is it the leopard isn’t fat?”

“I know all about exercise!” exclaimed Emily, “I work out at the gym, but when I get home I eat a packet of fucking biscuits, sorry about my bad language,” she added.

Lord Harry, the little terrier curled up beside her, had raised his head. The Locksmith’s question had worked.

“Well, it must be that eating the packet of biscuits is doing something for you, satisfying you in some way. What is the feeling you experience just before you open the packet?”

“Just before I open the packet?”

“That’s right.”

“I don’t know, I’ve never thought about it before.”

“And now that you are?”

Emily was feeling exasperated, “Christ! . . . , sorry,” she said.

“So if I’m hearing you right the feeling you have is sorry,” said the Locksmith.

“No, no, I was apologising for using Christ’s name in vain, I keep swearing.”

“Yes, and if you were sorry, what would you be sorry for?” asked the Locksmith

There was a long pause before Emily answered that last question, she was waiting for some rather inexplicable angry feelings to subside. Once calm she repeated the question to herself: if I was sorry what would I be sorry for?

Finding her voice she said, “I’d feel sorry that I was opening a packet of bloody biscuits, that’s for sure! . . . sorry.”

“Um hum, that particular packet, or the packet before that one?” asked the Locksmith.

After a while Emily came to an understanding the Locksmith was looking to help her with; he was helping her understand the looping nature of guilt, and how guilt doesn’t tend to be ‘date stamped.’

“We can feel guilty for something that happened years ago, or hours ago, and the feelings associated with each incident can be no less intense or destructive,” he told her.

“What we must focus our attention on, is the first time we felt guilty, eating. Also we must focus on how something has changed from necessity to guilt.”

That last part didn’t make any sense to Emily but she was listening all the same, especially when he asked her: “Tell me about that first time; feeling guilty; eating to feel better.”

She didn’t want to say, but somehow, Emily found the strength: “It was after the first time he touched me,” she said. Now the tears had become a well.

To be continued…

The Locksmith Series #6

Drugs. Back in the bar, the two girls had migrated over, John and Evo were giving it their best.

It was all going so well until the gorgeous girl John was talking to, leaned in towards him, and with her right hand, cupped his balls over his jeans and whispered in his ear: “It’s a shame, but if you weren’t such a stoner, maybe we’d have got it on.” John was so stunned, it was a moment before he realised they’d left.

“Sexy bitches,” he heard Evo say.

John let out the breath he hadn’t noticed he’d been holding. “Yeah, sexy bitches,” he agreed wistfully.

In his heart of hearts John knew it was time to make some changes in his life, he also knew – with this knowing heart of his – it would involve dropping Evo from his life. That would be the easy part, changing his habits, potentially wouldn’t.

“Evo, I’m off mate,” he said, “Things are quieting down.”

“Oh come on man, the nights just getting started,” Evo leaned in and whispered into the opposite ear the girl had used, “I’ve got some more gear.”

“Nah, thanks all the same, I’ve sort of lost me mojo all of sudden, I’ll see around.” He didn’t even give Evo the opportunity to respond, wouldn’t have heard him if he had, a moment later he was outside the bar, standing in the rain. It was time to go home.

The Locksmith Series #5

Abreaction is the phenomena experienced when we revisit emotionally charged memories from the past. These emotions and buried memories drive our neurosis.
Abreaction is the phenomena experienced when we revisit emotionally charged memories from the past. These emotions and buried memories drive our neurosis.

Abreaction and Meditation. Emily was standing in front of the flame red door. Finding Vidya Alley had been surprisingly easy. A few minutes earlier, as she’d walked toward the door – clearly spotted at the end of the alley – she’d been puzzling over how, in all the years living in the area, she’d never noticed the alleyway before. It’s amazing what you can miss, when you’re not looking for it, she’d thought. As she raised her hand, about to touch the gold coloured knob, neatly centred in the middle of the door, it clicked open. The door continued to gently swing inwards and now, beyond it, she could see a softly lit hallway. There was no one there to greet her, and yet, after seeing the soft light, and now smelling the sweet incense, she decided to step forward.

Tucked into the right hand corner of the L-shaped hallway, sat a grandfather clock, it was gently ticking; the pendulum swinging, right to left, right to left: tick, tock, tick, tock went the hypnotic sound. Just in front of the clock, and somehow slightly out of context, there sat a small terrier type dog: quite scruffy and unkempt looking, and in that way dogs do, when they’re trying to work something out: a sound or something they’ve seen, its head was turned slightly to the right; he sat very still, completely unmoving.

As Emily stared at the dog, it sat so still, she began to wonder if it was a stuffed toy. But then, as if seeming to want to clear up her confusion, the little dog stood up, walked away from her, retreating further into the house. She looked on after it, slightly sad – thinking that might be the end of the encounter – when it suddenly stopped, turned around, and looked back at her.

After a few moments, and a slight wag of its tail, the dog walked off turning into the entrance of an adjoining room. Emily, perhaps foolishly, decided to take that as an invitation to follow, she glanced behind her, noticing that the front door was now closed. It had closed so gently and silently, she hadn’t felt, or heard a thing.

The entrance, through which the little dog had disappeared, was covered by a beaded curtain. Emily couldn’t see what lay beyond the curtain and so allowed her curiosity to pull her into the room.

On entering, the first thing she noticed, was a man sitting on a cushion in the centre of the room. There was absolutely nothing else in the room except a small incense burner and a similar cushion placed opposite him. The man appeared to have his eyes closed. He had very short hair and was wearing loose, saffron coloured, robes. She thought to herself, oh bollocks, it’s a fucking Buddhist.

“Hello Emily,” said the man, “I see you’ve met Lord Harry, and no, I’m certainly not a Buddhist, the reason I wear these robes is because they’re practical and comfortable, and I like the colour.”

Two things popped instantly into her mind: How the fuck did he know my name and who the fuck is Lord Harry?

“Lord Harry is the little fella sitting next to you who showed you in, and no, I’m not reading your mind, I just have excellent timing is all.”

She looked down, and sure enough, there was the curious little dog.

“That doesn’t explain how you know my name though, does it?” said Emily, “That’s a bit creepy by the way, and actually, now I come to think of it, this whole experience so far has been a bit creepy,” – I was warned, she thought – “and why don’t you have a phone, everybody has a phone, and how did you know my name?”

“So many questions girl, come, sit as I am, here, opposite me.”

The Locksmith, she’d assumed this must be who she was now talking to, indicated with his hand that she should sit on the small cushion opposite; she did as he requested; placing her bag on the floor; crossing her legs. Lord Harry, the little terrier dog, came over and curled up next to her; she felt instantly at ease, after everything that had happened to Emily, she was ready to be now.

Taking her attention for a moment, a single, white tendril of smoke, spiralled out of the copper incense burner, in front of her. She began to notice the soft lighting now, and wondered where the source of the light was. There were no lamps, wall or ceiling lights she could easily discern, and yet there was light; a calming, soothing light; it seemed to shift and change like the Northern Lights she’d heard so much of. Emily found herself becoming very relaxed, she dreamily heard the Locksmith telling her to notice her breathing, and how the in-breath felt: cool and relaxing; how the out-breath calmed. Her eyelids became so very, very heavy, she felt so relaxed and calm now, and then the unexpected warmth of that salty tear, as it slowly tracked its way down her cheek.  

What on earth is happening to me, she thought.

To be continued…

The Locksmith Series #4

Loneliness
We all find ways to cope with loneliness

Loneliness. Walking in the opposite direction to Emily, Joanne was pondering on what she needed to pick up from her local convenience store. As it was Friday, she thought it would be especially nice to treat Molly, her cat, to some posh cat food and not the cheap stuff she normally bought. Amongst these thoughts wrestled the indecision of whether tonight’s wine was going to be red or white. To help, she tasted them in her mind, comparing the difference between the two, she also thought about what to prepare for dinner, if prepare was the right word, ready meals didn’t really count on that score.

Earlier, she’d reminded Emily about the Locksmith, because she was beginning to grow a little tired of hearing about her struggles with food; we all had our share of problems, and even though she often enjoyed listening, she felt Emily would be better off talking to a professional. Being slightly overweight was one thing, but Joanne believed Emily’s problems, ran a little deeper.

Now she came to think of it, the friend – less of a friend, more of an acquaintance – who’d first mentioned the Locksmith, had described him in quite vague terms, but said she’d felt deeply affected by what he’d told her. The more she thought of it now, the more she started to doubt if sending Emily on such a quest, had been wise. What did she actually know about the Locksmith? The old acquaintance who’d confided in her hadn’t been seen or heard of for some time, in fact, when was the last time she’d seen Rebecca?

Having climbed the few stairs to the landing she now stood at the door to her flat. The bag containing the cat food, and the red wine she’d decided on, swung from her left arm. Joanne was feeling good about her choices, as her true and only trusted companion, she felt Molly was especially deserving of a gourmet-cat-food-treat. The animal was very important to Joanne.

Whilst fumbling around in her bag for keys, she heard a sound from the other side of the door, a smile touched her lips, it sounded like Molly had anticipated her return.

To be continued…

The Universe Will Test Your Resolve

The universe is testing your resolve, and so, whatever the test, the universe is asking: how strong a human being can you prove to be?
The universe is testing your resolve, and so, whatever the test, the universe is asking: how strong a human being can you prove to be?

Yes, even the universe itself, has willpower, and is designed to test your resolve daily.

That may sound like a very odd assertion. It may sound like so much of the new age wishy-washy-namby-pamby-sentimental nonsense the internet seems so full of these days, however, pause, because you will come to see real, true value in the statement, through gaining deeper understanding.

We could gain this deeper understanding through asking why? Why is the universe so set on testing our resolve? What does it have to gain? And asserting that the universe is testing us, suggests some kind of plan, or even some kind of consciousness. Is the universe conscious?

Well you know what? The only thing that matters is whether or not believing the universe is conscious has any real value. It’s like any belief. When we ask ourselves: is this useful, we’re asking if a believe has any positive input that we can give constructive use.

Allow me to give you an example. Let’s say you’ve very recently really begun to understand the concept of boundaries, and how asserting your needs, is of paramount importance. Let’s say you’ve spent the majority of your life as a bit of a people-pleasing-yes-person, and so full of guilt have you been, that when ever you’ve looked to assert boundaries, you’ve been met by some kind of challenge, that’s caused you to weaken and revert into your old guilt driven ways.

Now, to see these instances as a test, set by the universe, is to acknowledge a kind of universal loving presence, that is working for your benefit. And no I’m NOT going to call this presence God, I’m going to call it a POSITIVE AND BENEFICIAL BELIEF and that’s all. It’s positive, because with this new understanding, it gives the things we found frustrating or overly challenging in the past, a loving purpose. We’re suggesting that everything you experience in life has at it’s root a loving purpose. Is that something that’s useful to believe?

Whatever the test, the universe is asking: how strong a human being can you prove yourself to be?

You might now ask: what’s the benefit to being tested on a daily basis? The benefit is development. You can know that if your resolve is tested every day, and you see it as having loving purpose, you will, in time, develop into a beautiful example of a human being. Think about it. 

The Locksmith Series #3

Any form of rape is unacceptable and is conducted by the weak and cowardly. The use of drugs is a modern phenomena in this crime
Any form of rape is unacceptable and is conducted by the weak and cowardly. The use of drugs is a modern phenomena in this crime

Rape. It took John all of half an hour to find Evo. It was one of the reasons they stayed friends; they never made any kind of firm arrangements to meet, they just knew where each other tended to hang out, and so relied on fate to guide them. Beside’s, Evo knew some shady characters, and if John spotted any of them in his vicinity, he could easily avoid them.

Having found one another, and separately visiting the bogs for a line of the powdered stuff, the both of them now stood, propping up the bar, and were well into their second vodka and coke of the evening. Chat came easily in the crowded bar, flying high as they both were, they’d also noticed the menu, lady-flesh menu that was.

“It’d be alright if they’d kept on putting coke in coke like they used to wouldn’t it, we could kill two birds with one stone,” said John

“Nah, be less fun that, I don’t mind a quick snort of the powdered stuff myself. Have ya seen those two over yonder?”

“Of course I bloody av,” he replied, “they’re way out of our league though.”  

“You speak for yourself mate, I reckon after half an hour of my intelligent conversation, they’d be sneaking Valium into my glass, never mind the ruffies I’ve got in reserve for the red head!”

“The Valium I can believe, you’d bloody well need it with the amount of shit you’ve been snorting up ya honk of late,” said John, quietly adding, “and if you do ever use those ruffies mate, it makes you more of a wanker, than I’d ever imagined you to be,”

“I’d never use bloody ruffies mate, I’ve got the necessary talent to get what I need, so don’t you worry ya little head. I believe in chemicals though, all the chemicals I can get, but some of them are strictly for sale to the wankers.”

And so it went on, all typical patter to mark the beginning of a weekend that may, or may not, build into one to remember, or not remember, as the case may be.

For Emily and Joanne their Friday afternoon had continued on in a much more sedate fashion. Earlier in the cafe, soon after John had left, Joanne had shared what she knew of the Locksmith: his address, but also explained, that strangely, no appointments could be made as he gave out no phone number; it was just a case of turning up on his doorstep, and hoping for the best. A bit vague for Emily’s liking but her curiosity had been piqued by Joanne’s enthusiasm.

According to directions, off the main road, a few miles from where she now stood, there was a narrow alleyway. At the entrance there was a small nameplate raised high up on the corner building. The nameplate read: Vidya. Again according to directions, soon after entering this alley, she would find a beautifully well maintained door. On asking, Emily had noted that Joanne had said she didn’t know what the nameplate meant either, and added, she didn’t think it important. Emily thought otherwise.

As Joanne had relayed the directions, Emily was surprised to realise she’d never actually noticed the alley before. She assumed this to be similar to when people, who travel the same journey many times, tend to not notice much of what’s going on around them. This understanding was enough to dismiss her confusion. Back in the cafe, she’d asked Joanne if she’d ever seen it herself, and was met with a blank stare. “Why would I,” she’d said, “it’s you and John who go that way to work.”

Joanne had told her that apparently the door was a freshly painted red and a very striking flame-red at that. She’d also told her that right in the centre of the door was a large brass doorknob. According to the person who’d payed the locksmith a visit some time ago, there was no knocker, letter plate, bell or anything like that, so they’d simply placed their hand on the brass knob, to find out if the door would open or not.

Pulling her coat tight around her shoulders, she thought, how intriguing it is to visit a man, calling himself The Locksmith, who has no visible lock on his front door. Sounds a bit like number Ten Downing street but painted red instead, she thought. There was of course every possibility that the name Locksmith, wasn’t self-appointed, or whether this person existed at all. It could all be a great big, and very embarrassing, wind-up. If that proved to be the case, Emily had already decided to not let on she’d actually gone through with it, and visited the beautiful red door. She set of in the direction of Vidya Alley.

To be continued…

The Locksmith Series #2

Meditation helps to focus the mind as we seek answers to questions the mind wouldn't ordinarily reveal. There are many benefits to meditation.
Meditation helps to focus the mind as we seek answers to questions the mind wouldn’t ordinarily reveal. There are many benefits to meditation.

Meditation. He was sitting in a darkened room, cross legged, a firm cushion raising him slightly from the floor. His back was straight, he sat perfectly balanced with no perceptible tension in his body at all. As he gently breathed in, through slightly parted lips, tongue gently tucked behind his front teeth, his mind spoke the word: Shamatha, an old Sanskrit word meaning “Dwelling in tranquillity.” And as he breathed out, his mind spoke the Sanskrit word: Shunyata, meaning “Emptiness, void.”

He found that using these old words for a short time, at the start of his meditation, helped to rid his mind of all the chatter and the sounds of the world around him. He could remember a time when it was so, so quiet, and how they told him, he’d hear God’s plan. Beliefs in God, as was prescribed to him then, as a child, had long since faded though. There was a new God in his life now; one of his own making.

To the observer, seeing the Locksmith, sitting as he was now, in a darkened room, incense burning, he would potentially have been instantly labelled as Buddhist, yet looks can be deceiving. He didn’t hold to many of the Buddhist’s beliefs, just those he found useful. And he knew about labels, he knew about the label an observer would place on him, and how that flew directly in the face, of so much of what the Buddhists believed. Hypocrisy and nonsense so much of it. No, he was happy to have an identity all of his own, not Buddhist, yet not quite fully anything you could easily label. Human of course, just as human as the Buddhists, who’d even like to lose that particular tag; a tag all humans carry, right up until they die. No escaping that.

As the chatter of his mind stilled so did the need for the repetition of his Sanskrit words. Only aware of his breathing now: the sound and feel of it, a slow steady inhalation followed by that inevitable, yet no longer fully automatic, exhalation. Becoming more and more relaxed with every out breath, drifting down and down into that comfortable place of calm. It was then that the Locksmith heard and felt the name; the name of his next inquisitor: Emily. His mind felt the sound. He would patiently wait.

To be continued…

The Locksmith Series #1

Friendships
Friendships

Friendships. “I’ve always got my nose in the fridge or the kitchen cupboard,” said Emily, “like a bloody grazing cow I am, I know it’s why I’m fat but I just can’t stop myself, it’s like an automatic thing, trying to get some kind of satisfaction or fill some bloody hole”

“Yeah ya cake-hole!” said John

“Shut the fuck up John,” chastised Joanne, “that kind of comment really isn’t of any help.”

It was Friday afternoon and the three of them: Emily, John and Joanne were in their favourite cafe, well, to be absolutely clear, it was Emily’s favourite (she loved the cake),  for the other two it was something to tolerate, it was on their way home.

A few months of meeting like this meant it had grown into something of a habit, and now that casual familiarity close friends tend to have, meant the boundaries, in respect of the subject matter they discussed – and how they discussed them – were, to say the least, starting to become blurred and stretched.

Emily looked up at John, “Yeah well you might be skinny John but we all know why that is don’t we?”

“And what’s that supposed to mean?”

“Oh come on, if you choose to replace a proper evening meal with a line of coke up ya snozer, followed by a vodka and coke, or should I say several, we’d all be skinny; fucked up wasters, but skinny all the same.”

“Now that’s a bit strong, I may be a piss head with a teeny tiny coke habit, but I’m not fucked up and neither am I a waster.”

“Matter of opinion,” muttered Emily.

Joanne was getting a bit bored with their bickering. “Err, look guys, as much as I love the friendly banter between you two, the atmosphere in here’s getting a bit thick, and thicker each time we meet in fact, perhaps it’s time to call it a day?”

“I think you mean call it an evening, don’t you,” said John, “and yes, I have had enough, I’m off to meet Evo for a vodka and coke, and just for the record, Em, I might even have a packet of crisps as a chaser, so up yours” and with that, a disgruntled John stood up, pulled on his coat, and left.

They both watched him walk out the door, the little bell attached to the frame chimed again, as the door swung shut behind him.

“What is it with you two guys?” asked Joanne, “anyone would think you were old lovers or something.”

“Old lovers! Give me a break Jo, he just gets on my nerves that’s all, I open up about something and he just makes snide remarks, he can’t deal with anything serious or emotional.”

“Um, maybe, anyhow he’s gone now,” said Joanne, “off for a weekend full of casual sex and debauchery no doubt, he reckons it’s what gets him through the week you know.” A little bit of debauchery wouldn’t go amiss with me, she thought to herself. Wanting to change the subject she looked squarely at Emily “So did you go?”

“Go? I do hate it when you ask a question like that. It’s as if you think half of it, and only speak half of it, looking to get me into your head so I can work out what the fuck you’re on about.”

“Bloody hell Em, chill-the-fuck-out, I was just wondering if you’d been to see that guy who calls himself the Locksmith, that’s all. You talk about being overweight, but don’t change your habits. You just said you’re always in the fridge, or whatever, grazing like a bloody cow, was how you put it.”

Joanne took a moment to check herself: a long slow breath, she decided to change her tone. Sounding gentle and slightly conspiratorial she went on, “those I’ve spoken to reckon he’s really good and can help you unravel why you feel a bit powerless to change.”

Emily tutted her exasperation, “Truth is he sounds a bit weird Jo, and weird, is like the last thing I need right now.”

The edge came quickly back to Joanne’s voice, “How can it be weird to have an interest in finding out what makes you tick? If it takes a bit of weirdness to sort stuff out, isn’t it worth coping with? Besides, don’t you think it’s a bit weird always having your face in the fridge and kitchen cupboards?”

“Jo!” exclaimed Emily, “now you’re beginning to sound like that arshole who just left. I tell you what, I’ll go see him, this Locksmith, I’ll listen to what he has to say, will that please you?”

To be continued…