There were moments in his life when he had felt really safe. But in retrospect, he realised they had made him immoderately unhappy.
Being with a lover who really did harp on about how his own flesh and blood had been as bloody as could be … well … it was something he ignored quite gladly at the time, but in retrospect, didn’t any more.
And then so many years later than that moment of truth, being with the daughter of the lover in question, and thinking dumb things like affection untold, and then sold and remoulded to bend out of shape, and it was his shape that got unbent, and then lent and relent.
And then relented he did, and then foolishly unmade, like lovers’ bed soaked in sweat.
And so now he has fallen, and fallen again, for the love of sheer thought: detached from the beauty.
And instead of the physical and instead of the mystical, the material of real wisdom and learning is now his game.
“Wanna be with me?” he says. “Make me feel safe. And then I will follow you to the end of this rock …”
And those who had worked with their money to turn his head – and who had used knowing youngster to confuse his mind, and who had planned it all out to make him lose his time and place, and his sense of space, and the race to the end of the rhymes that mimed his reality – have lost his respect forever and a day: and that day which comes after the forever he mentions is that day whose time has now come.
And that time has now run.
And it pains him so much to have lost so many friends – but good friends they can’t have awfully been, for when knowing him sad they’d have communicated good or bad, but communicated something at least! And the fact that they didn’t, and the fact that they concurred, and the fact that their silences did drop like drawbridges together, makes it all pretty clear and all pretty damned: when the siege is perpetuated by sundry and some more, don’t look for a friend in the friend that comes round. Look, instead, for a friend in the men and women of intellect, who understand your diamond, and are prepared to tough out your rough.
And so he feels safe in Liverpool.
And so he feels safe in academia.
And so he feels safe in anything proposed, when the proposers are people who make him feel safe.
But when there is an urgency, and an emergency, and an emerging – of weirdly conceived secrets told and of strangely delivered notices nailed – and everything’s on hold, and everyone seems bold, what can you do if not dampen down the embers? What can you do if not quieten all the senders of electronic communications – meant in truth to confuse?
If you want more than his engagement, make him feel safe.
If you want more than his brain, make him feel safe.
If you want more than his sanity, where this is sheer consistency, just do your very best to make him feel safe.
And where you say he needs to take risks, make them not the kind of risks we call safe at all (for that would be a ball of an idiocy to suggest), but do create safe environments please, in which they can be carried out.
For the risks he now takes will surely be entirely academic: couched in real and proper research; validated with the tools and specialisms to hand; but always mixed in with just a whiff of gunpowder’s intellect.
Always mixed in with the danger of craving those waves …
… the waves which surf the sites that tell us just where the truth is twisted and burned.