I can feel my hands wind into tight yarn balls as they try to wring recollection out of my consciousness. But bright images of dark memories flood my shattered mind and the apprehensive stain of another restless night begins its stealthy spread.

There is a place that hovers between the deepest pleasure and the most excruciating irritation. Breath – funnelled over wet skin. Reaction to dilation from sensation then frustration – as glacial waves roll their pebbles across each of my vertebrae and I curl from foetal to funerial.

Six-thirty assaults me and fries my brain with luxurious caffeine, dries my lungs with a hand-rolled nicotine and tar cocktail that leaves me as shaky and light-headed as a teenager; giddy and disoriented after their first joint. This grisly breakfast over, I head for my office – unwashed, crumpled and feeling somewhat nauseous. Thus, another normal day begins.

Lurching from one excruciating experience to another, I have blundered through this life of mine, more harmed than charmed – striving to be seen as someone and then slipping back into the shadows as soon as any light began to shine. Instead, I let it shine on others. Like the perennial Carnival Queen; oven-ready red velvet, greased with a slash of pink clash. The rustle of her taffeta dust choked the enraged sobs of half a dozen would-be royals who really didn’t stand a chance – again.

She contorted everything.

Despising her chubby ringlets and damning her cats-eye diamante, I went home and burned a Barbie effigy of her in the back garden. DIY Voodoo kept me insane as I was growing up; I burned them all.

© Mel Lampro

This is my first blog post since I was diagnosed with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) on 28th January 2015.  I am determined it will not be terminal. Fuck you, cancer.



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