For today’s post, I’m giving you guys a little treat. Below you can read the first chapter from my new novella, The Caseworker’s Memoirs. Let me know what you guys think … I’ll be spending the next few weeks promoting the book by appearing on guest blogs, doing interviews and i really need to get on with sending out a press release. When the paperback is ready on Amazon, i will also be promoting the book in my local area and in some local libraries.
1. The Notebook, the Desk and the Gloomy Procrastination
I feel old. Terribly old. I no longer recognise the man, whose face is filled with such sadness and unfulfilled ambitions, glaring back at me. It’s the shadow of me; a darker, duller shade that shells inside a lonely old man. I can’t bear to look in the mirror anymore, but as daily life permits me to, I suppose I don’t really have a choice. I must endure that shadow for another day longer.
Despite trying relatively hard to stay away from that blasted mirror, I find myself catching my own sagging reflection in the bedroom window. I’d never noticed it before, but there it is – staring right back at me. A constant reminder that, like the photographs on the wall, there used to be two reflections and now there remains only me. The brightest one forever lost.
I feel confused. I probably should have plenty to write about, yet the more I try to think, the more I become confused, or blank, empty as it seems to feel. A sign of getting old I suppose. It feels rather strange indeed, it’s not something I can put into words as such, but this writing nonsense is alluding me; I admit. I’m no natural.
Do old men keep diaries?
My lack of attention and enthusiasm for life had prompted my daughter to buy me this leather notebook to write my memories down. To record the past for future family members to read, aeons after I’m gone. What a gloomy prospect! And besides I should hope that my descendants would not be so nosey.
Fifi (good lord, she’d hate me calling her that for everyone to read) had said to record down loving memories of my dear Mary, and special times we had experienced together. I know what she is doing – she must think that her poor old dad is a naïve sort of chap! I know she is concerned about me; I’ve probably worried her sick with my quiet behaviour of late. Losing Mary has been so terrible! The loss of a spouse always happened to everybody else. And now it’s happened to me, I feel lost; an empty space fills a void inside of me and I couldn’t have prepared myself for it. My only consolation is that Mary now rests in peace. Unless, there’s a lavish party going on underground. Now that would be a shocker!
I had always confessed that I would be the first to go. Mary was made of stronger stuff than I am; she would have been able to cope. I find myself sat, looking out of the bedroom window, watching the world move on without me, with no clue as to how long I’d been sat there, or what I was doing before.
I’m sat now at my writing desk that looks out of our bedroom window. The artificial light that plumes from the ceiling feels rather false, so I’ve started to use candlelight. The single flame flickers ever so softly and the slow melting of the wax helps me concentrate. I think I shall move one of the photographs of Mary and me up here; a sombre touch to help remind me that she is with me.
I often reflect about my past and my life when I was a younger man. I was someone who had so many ideas and enterprising goals – yet somehow they all got put on to that mental to-do list that never really materialises into anything. I have, or should I say I had, a psychology degree from YorkUniversity, followed by a course in psychiatry; I was going to take over the world. Now look at me – although I would say it’s fair to admit I’ve had a long and varied career.
I never looked forward to my retirement, yet neither resented it also. I happily took it after dwindling down my client list and contacts until there was simply no one left on my books. I suppose I must have thought once or twice about the times I had helped people, real people mind you, overcome a difficult period in their over-scheduled lives, but I can’t recall a specific example. It’s funny – only now do I find myself, full of grief over Mary and grief for my own mind, procrastinating over how wishy-washy my career really was.
I started off working for secondary schools at a time when the PTA’s and the Governing Bodies thought it fashionable to have their own school counsellor – an American trend I had presumed. Working my way through schools to clinics, prisons to rehab centres in the early nineties to finally being self-employed. At the time I thought I was working my way up the ladder, but now in hindsight, I must admit, I didn’t really climb that damned ladder – I just fluttered from one location to another. What a waste I really was …
And there we go! That’s the first chapter … it’s an introduction really to the rest of the book. Get in touch and let me know what you thought. If you did like it, add it to your to-read shelf on goodreads. You can buy the ebook from Amazon / Amazon UK or the paperback from Lulu. And remember, I’m running a Competition on my Author Facebook page – head on over and click on the giveaway tab or find out more below:
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