Dungeon (III)

I’ve got a metre length of loo roll wrapped around my wrist, and the near end is soaked in snot. The hissing of my neighbours’ nasal breath is chaotic, and I periodically have to pause and snort into the tissue. My arms flap and head jerks from side to side. I try to vary the rhythm – some times deep and from the belly, others chesty and quick. I love the rapid, loud drumming underpinning it all on the chunky sound system in the carpeted studio’s corner.

The second gong sounds, reverberates. Keep moving! Sounds, not sure what yet, but keep moving! Gibberish. Annoyance.

Yah! La! Yah! Ga!

People are thrashing around, and a cushion or two thumping, though my eyes are closed. Someone’s shouting:

Fuck off! Fuck off! Bastard!

Wait, that’s me, actually. I’m rolling on the ground, flailing at the carpet, clenching fists, almost spitting with rage. I stuff the crumpled tissue in my pocket, tear off my T-shirt and sling it to the side of the room.

I don’t know what this is, or who it is, or what I’m caring about, but I know it’s annoyance, tension, frustration, and I can taste it bitter in my snarling mouth.


Amethyst – a cold, sharp surface of pyramid peaks, smokey purple, with a flint-like base. Fragments sold in incense-smelling, dreamcatcher-dangling, eclectically mystical shops.

The rose quartz and clear crystal stones Enya keeps in the water filter to “purify” our water. The clear, non-chlorine taste of filtered water.

The rose quartz I gave her as a Valentine gift, that she balanced on her auburn-haired head in the low sunlight, on bracken-covered hillside. Mucking about, smiling, among the smells of heather and bracken and damp ground. The distant hills merge into cloud.

The intense and tiny crystals incorporated into my mala, that so fascinated and inspired me – a careful arrangement of gold, garnet, rosewood and crystal – and the locket of the bearded man himself. I tucked it inside my clothes, warm against my heart. The beads imprinted dimples on my skin, and rattled as I undressed. Dancing or thrashing wildly in meditation, slotting an arm through the necklace to constrain its exuberance.

The fabulous weight of a lead crystal whisky glass in hand – amber liquid startling my throat, vapour rising through nostrils and smarting the eyes. The Highlands distilled.

Walking falteringly down into the dark underworld where crystals sleep undisturbed, unplundered. The uncertain pleasure of seeing them above ground, feeling another secret can never be remade, except over geological time.

The crystal pendulum suspended on chain, lurching unexpectedly in drunken gyration, perhaps indicating something unconsciously known or decided. Circle right for Yes, left for No. Sunwise or Moonwise. I let it fall, and the chain collapses on itself like a recoiling snake. Back into its basket.

Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh

In my teens, I begin reading one of your Darshan diaries: intimate conversations with sincere, seeking hippy types in the seventies. You coax and love and provoke, and they respond anywhere within the spectrum from woodenness to liquid gold. Life stories emerge fragmentarily and tenderly.

Then, listening to the beat-up old audio tapes that Nick lent, I heard some of the reality of your speaking. As if caressing, and yet so spacious, centred, listening, waiting, unhurried. A group of admittedly besotted seekers made their listening a meditation in itself, a heart practice, allowing the words to arrive and be felt, suspending judgement and assuming love, goodness. Likewise, your words were in no rush.

In the long pauses, the sounds of the city – rickshaws passing with buzzing engines and bip-bip horns, that beautiful bird with the ascending series of boo-oop, boo-oop, boo-oop, boo-oop to its call. And the wind or rain arriving. As I listened myself, at home in my seventeen year old, barely-formed body and soul, I was entranced.

Astral body

I had the book Discover Astral Projection, and also Osho’s Book of the Secrets where he talks of tantric practices involving the “third eye”. In the yellow painted basement room at W-burn, alone in my single bed. The moss-green satin curtains, hand-made by Zelda before the split, masked out the orange of street lamps and some of the cold.

Lying on my back, attention between eyebrows, breathing, waiting for that golden shower of energy descending from the crown to the heart at the point of sleep. From there, would be conscious control of dreams, and astral exploration.

Of course, in one sense it was all about sex. What lonely guy wouldn’t want a second chance in the non-material world? I’m not judging it, but just note the ulterior motive was often there in these spiritual trips of one kind or another.

Once, drifting off in the relaxed, aware, unusual sleep quality it induced, I heard sudden knocking at the window. Adrenalin shocked my whole system into alert readiness.


I opened the curtains, then stumbled round to the door. Nobody there.

Pulling on clothes, I dragged my midnight way down the dark streets to Vanessa’s house, and knocked. Her husband came to the door, clearly roused from bed.

“Is Vanessa OK? Is everything all right with the baby? I thought she might have gone to hospital, or need help.”