Sin… nothing…

Nothing comes from nothing.

Apparently.

If you don’t work hard you don’t get anything back. If you don’t pay the Reaper you wander in Limbo. If you don’t run for the bus, you walk into Cleethorpes for your night on the lash. Or ring a taxi, which is more expensive.

Hold on… Cleethorpes… Limbo… Damn…

In fact… Cleethorpes… Limbo… the asylum…

Would you recognise the Reaper if he came tapping on your shoulder, swinging his scythe, beckoning his long gnarly finger? Well, the long, black hooded cloak might give it away. As might the skeletal face with the hollow sockets where eyes should be. But what if he didn’t look like that? What if Grim had dropped his deathly duds in favour of a pair of combats, a nice fitted shirt, some hiking boots and a pocket knife? What if a touch of foundation and some shades disguised the fleshless face and eyeless eyes? What then?

If he tapped you on the shoulder and beckoned you then, you’d probably tell him where to go. And you probably wouldn’t be polite about it, especially as he’d likely be persistent.

I wonder if the Grim Reaper has ever been given an injunction to never set foot within a mile of someone. If that were the case, then I think MY Final Destination would be a nice beach somewhere. Maybe Bali. Or Skegness.

Anywhere other than here.

Anyway. “Nothing comes from Nothing.” That’s what Dad used to say. His sole inspirational. educational, motivational comment. His entry into the Dad of the Year award. What a guy. It was good to see him following his own advice. Not. It was good to see that he wasn’t a complete waste of space.

Well, no-one can be a COMPLETE waste of space… can they?

Of all the things Dad used to say (“Sin-Sin-siree, there’s no place for thee,” was my own personal favourite) that was about the only one that made any sense. I don’t know if it was because of that snippet of sense that I tried to be a decent guy, that I tried to work hard. It may have been because I wanted to be better than him. To be something instead of nothing.

But… Did he mean that he was Nothing? Did he mean that, coming from him, I was Nothing too?

What I’d taken as motivational could have been degradational. That’d suit him. Put himself down to have a go at me. Whatever the cost, don’t give his own son ANYTHING to feel good about or aspire to.

Well, Dad.

Shove it. OK? I may be in an asylum. I may be kept company by the cries of those that have died because of me. I may, at times, hate myself. But if someone comes to me, as they often do in here, I’ll offer a word, or a shoulder, or an arm. I’ll offer solace or humour, whichever befits the situation. Whether Benny is Bending or Mickey is swimming in his steady stream of mucous, I can’t help but be… whatever I need to be. And I DO need to be… whatever that is.

Friend? Yes. I need to be their friend. I need to bring smiles to placate the cries that nobody can hear but me. I need to raise a spirit for those I’ve laid waste. I need to be more than my father.

Nothing comes from nothing. Maybe that’s true. I’m no philosopher. There’s those in here that believe they are – one, in fact, who thinks he is Socrates himself. But not me. Nothing may well come from nothing, but I’m Something. I am.

I have to believe that.

Otherwise, what’s the point?

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