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  • Writer's pictureJack

Black Handkerchief

This is the 12th In my 'Strange and Troubled Past' series.

'Black Handkerchief'

Acrylic On Canvas 40 by 40cm

Between the ages of fifteen and eighteen I was usually off my head in one way or another.

Mainly though it was acid, too much acid.

I got to the stage where even when I wasn't on it, I felt like I was.

At this point I'd had enough really but each day there would be a little paper square placed on my open palm and I'd be thinking 'I really don't want this but then I'd say 'fuck it' and shove it in my mouth just to shut up the guy who wanted someone else to be as fucked up as he was.

For a while it was amazing though.

We did the attic out really trippy and would only play really mind-bending music, I would travel to strange heights of consciousness..

Different people would drop by, pretty much all of them space cadets, but they didn't last long in that room though, they'd say something along the lines of 'It's too much in here, my heads fucked!' and then leave.

Sometimes we'd just take acid during the day which was pretty brutal, trying to hold it together and act normal around normal people when I was tripping my tits off and my pupils were like black plates.

I really started to feel the toll of it after a while though.

I didn't have a girlfriend in that three years, I was surrounded by lunatics and I felt like the lowest, slimiest, creepiest creature on the planet.

I spent a lot of time contemplating suicide or dreaming of escaping the life I was living and the people who surrounded me.

I remember one winter, the attic where I stayed was very cold, I'd wake up and there would be frost on top of my covers, I'm sure it snowed in there once.

I stapled some velvet curtains across a roof beam next to my bed and it made it a bit less cold.

I was sat in bed fully clothed and wrapped in blankets, I was stoned but I hadn't taken anything else in days. I was feeling a bit down and may have been sobbing quietly to myself for a bit.

Then I froze in terror.

A hand wearing a white silk glove slid though the curtains and started to slowly wave a black handkerchief. The strangeness and unexpectedness of it startled me as I knew I was in the house alone but then a strange calmness came over me and I felt a warm fuzzy feeling in my stomach. It slowly withdrew behind the curtains again.

Then the TV caught my attention, there was footage playing of the queen being helped down steps leading from an airplane, I remember thinking 'I can't remember putting the telly on'.

As I thought that, the screen turned to static. In the static I watched for what seemed like hours as images formed and played out, I saw civilisations and cities rising and falling, I'd soar over crowds of people..

Then I felt a rush, like you'd feel going down the first drop of a roller coaster, it got stronger and stronger until I couldn't take it anymore and I closed my eyes and yelled out.

My eyes opened and everything was back to normal, stoned normal anyway, the TV wasn't on.

These little incidents started to be more frequent and I felt like I was losing it.

It was time to stop taking acid.

About fifteen years later I was smoking a spliff as I always did and it instantly affected me like acid and then it started happening all the time, it's like I opened that door too much when I was younger and now it would open up when not wanted.

It was time to stop smoking weed, God likes to take away all my fun.

I'm completely straight nowadays and have been for ten years.

My mental health is better than it's ever been.

I do miss it all sometimes, I wouldn't want that part of my life back but once, just once, I'd like to get off my head again, just to see what it's like.

Probably best that I don't though, I'd only be punished.

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Oct 19, 2022

Love it, as always. Have you thought of digitising these paintings and subtly animating certain aspects of them in some way? I think they would be amazing digital art if you did that.

Oct 21, 2022
Replying to

Thank you! I think there's ways to do that but I'm not really interested in doing digital art at the moment, maybe at some point though.

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