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In progress

My name is Jack Ellison and I am an addict.  One week ago I was sent a file with what seems to be the autobiography of a long lost friend who committed suicide back in 2006; now I can't stop reading it.

I am voyeur.  I am working my way through Dan's childhood and I'm trying to figure out where it's all going.  It's like he's come back to life.  This book is in his voice.  I can hear every word and I thought I'd forgotten what he sounded like ages ago. 

If it wasn't for my diabolical job, the three gigs I've played (to a sum total of twenty-seven people), and getting the chance to be on my own, I would have finished the whole thing off. Thing is, I decided not to tell Imogen about this.

Dan is a bit of a dirty word between us.  He's a part of both our histories, but we'd both gone some way to forgetting about him.  She was his ex.  I'm scared what this might do to her.  She loved him once.  What if this makes him love him again?  I'm not suggesting there's anything I've read so far that should make her love him, but I can't put it past her.

I'm judging her by my standards, I guess.  I'm not falling in love with Dan or anything, but I'm learning about him.  I'm putting everything I read into the context of the person I knew at uni, and I'm building him up as a different person.  I like him again.  I'm sad about his death.  Properly, this time. 

So I'm reading this whole thing on my laptop at times when Imogen isn't around.  I've started taking it to work to read on my lunch break.  It gives me an excuse not to speak to any of my colleagues, who are just itching to chat inanely on our breaks about dickhead customers they've dealt with that day.  It's usually how we all get through the day, bound by the knowledge that the


general public are idiots who are pre-destined to ring us up and make our days more difficult.  They're worse now, post financial crisis.  They think all of us are evil - even those of us working in chicken pens delivering scripted messages for a basic hourly rate.  We're all fat cats to them, enjoying lavish Christmas parties whilst the nation flaps around in financial hell.

I'm telling people I have a project to work on, so it gives me an hour of reading each day.  To be fair, it's made my working week far more enjoyable.  It makes a change from just thinking about my music to get me through the day.  I want more.  I want to have done the lot by now, but I see now I really don't get much time on my own. 

Imogen will have to know at some point. I'm not really the keeper of secrets.  Dan cannot come between us; not now.  I've done my times of insecurities, telling her that I'll always be second best to a dead guy, but she did more than enough to reassure me over the years.  I guess I'm just scared of the explanation that will change everything, make her rethink what's gone on. 

I shouldn't be making that decision for her, but this is all new and a bit weird.  I don't even know if this is for real.  Alex Proctor has turned up in the book already.  It's possible that he wrote this whole thing, that he's just some psycho who has written himself into a ghoulish book.  I have no reason to trust that this is an accurate account of anything.  Saying that, it's by far the most important thing in my life right now. 

So this Sunday will be spent in the flat with Imogen, me on my laptop pretending to be working on some lyrics.  I tell myself that once it's read I can leave it at that, but I already know that's an outright lie.  If I can lie so readily to my girlfriend, I may as well treat myself the same.  Cheers, Dan.