Two weeks ago, my wife produced a box containing the very few possessions I still retain from the first 21 years of my life.
Mrs Head is the organiser. I am the dreamer. I will tell you it is the basis of a good partnership. Mrs Head will tell you it is hell.
Sifting through the box brought semi-forgotten and long-neglected childhood memories into the spotlight.
Of special interest to me were three, battered and faded ring-binders. They contained about a thousand pieces of prose and rough poetry I had written in my teen-age years. Like most adolescent poetry, the writing has a default setting of awkward, angst-ridden and twee.
But it is a chance to take the piss, so why not?
Back in the day, I collectively called the assemblage ‘Letters to Peter Gwendolyn.’
Peter Gwendolyn was an allegory for my future self. In the thousand pages I was writing to an audience of one; me. I intended the works to be a letter to my future self. They were to be a time capsule of my life to be re-opened and re-examined far in the future: A voice of my past in the ear of my future.
In 9 months time I will turn half a century old. Fifty years old is a good time for Peter Gwendolyn to open his post and read letters sent more than 30 years ago. Dear readers, it feels as though that my teen-age project has come to fruition.
And it is a chance to take the piss.
Over the summer, I will be blogging some samples from those tattered and dusty ring binders along with the stories behind them (as much as I can remember them).
Be pre-warned. They are not literary masterpieces. However, in reading them I have been able to spot the germination of ethics, morals and attitudes that are deeply embedded in me now.
And I can take the piss out of myself.
The first offering is, I guess, the title-track.
“Peter Gwendolyn” -November 21, 1982
Someday, I’ll take a pen name
My own name just can’t reflect on
The places I’m being born.
Keep the Faith,