It’s been a while since I last posted to this blog. It’s been a long while indeed, since I last held you enraptured with my characteristic blend of powerful insight and intrigue.
If a lighthouse-keeper leaves his post, the ships that depend upon his guiding lamp are betrayed to a violent end amongst rocky outcrops and the ruthless scavenging of coastal folk. When a shepherd forsakes his flock, his woolly charges are rendered easy pickings for ravening wolves and Welchmen.
For the Johnny Fisher to abandon his ethereal craft for two years and leave his loyal crew to the capricious whims of the Seas of Intrigue is perhaps the most serious crime of all. I wholeheartedly apologise for this uncharacteristic lapse in my characteristically prodigious levels of output.
There has never been a more urgent need for Fisherian societal commentary, and as the formerly-foremost libertarian-magicikian at large on the internet, I once more pick up the sceptre and wade into the marsh of dreck before me, batting aside false pretenders.
So where have I been?
Despite recently posting a short synopsis on a horror story idea (The Human Matryoshka), I have been absent from the Darksome Schooner for two years. Why? What happened?
Well, one noteworthy event that occurred during that period was the departure of my able lieutenant, I_PWN_YER_MA_84. Pwney is no longer a member of that ancient fraternity known as the Fisherians, and although he now holds a similar status to one Dermot Davies (i.e. the status of “former Fisherian”), we should not look on Pwney with anywhere near as much derision as we do upon Dermy the Mistruther, one of Carrickfergus’ most considerable twats.
Pwney’s profound contributions to this blog and to the Fisherian cause in general will never be forgotten, and hosting the second most ablest mind in the world of Intrigue is something he should be proud of. I look forward to reading his own blog entries over on Pwn Alwn.
Pwney’s own take on the reasons for the schism may be found in an eloquent piece on his blog; for my own part I wish to remain silent on the matter, maintaining a position of quiet dignity.
(All I will say is that he knows fuck all about Balrogs).
But no, shipmates, Pwney’s messy ejection from the Fisherians is not the sole cause of my recent self-imposed exile from the Darksome Schooner.
In truth, Johnny Fisher met a girl.
‘Twas a whirlwind romance, and ‘tis a tumultuous tale. Our eyes first met through a pungent haze of Malt Vinegar, down Andy’s chip shop. That inestimable peddler of artery-destroying victuals was liberally dousing an amorphous mess of deep fried matter with said condiment when the door of the greasy establishment opened. Turning my head in a casual manner to see who had initiated the tinny tinkling of the door chimes, I beheld her. Long dark hair and a fulsome figure, like the goddess Nyx personified, she floated through the joint and ordered up a sausage supper in a tantalisingly exotic accent.
At first I couldn’t place it. She expanded upon her order, securing a liberal dousing of the old Salt and V and a side portion of curry sauce, while I listened carefully to her pronunciation. From the way she handled her sibilants I could tell she was not from Larne; in fact I could rule out the whole of the Whitehead region. Was she from the west, then?! Her accent was polished enough that Belfast’s earthier suburbs were excluded from my considerations, and my palms began to sweat as the realisation hit me that I was dealing with someone from even further afield, perhaps from the fabled lands south of Belfast Lough; fair Holywood where the golf course crests the emerald hills; or Cultra where the yacht-wrights labour; or mayhap even Bangor where be-hatted sailors lounge in harbour-side cafes lunching on sturgeon. I secretly hoped she was not from the dark peninsula known as Ards, where, if rumours are true, inbreeding is practised on a momentous scale.
I am not a gregarious man outside my inner circle of companions, and therefore my next act still amazes me when I think of it. Perhaps through a process of osmosis my hands absorbed some of the vinegar from the soggy ball of newspaper-wrapped mulch I clasped, lending me an acid-fuelled confidence boost; perhaps I was mesmerised by her lovely black Evanescence t-shirt; whatever the reason, I blurted out a greeting to this fair maiden.
“Hi, where are you from?”
She cast her eye over me, and I could tell she liked what she saw. This is not surprising, as I was wearing my best Rush t-shirt (Caress of Steel) and a fruity pair of greed cords recently ordered from a trendy catalogue belonging to my mother.
“Bangor” she replied. “You?”
I knew it! Bangor, that picturesque seaside village nestling comfortably on the shingly shores of the Irish Sea. I’d never been there, but I had heard magical things about it.
“Round the corner”, I replied, with an air of nonchalance. “If you need someone to show you round this area, I’m your guy”.
“Well I’ve seen the castle. Is there anything else?”
This was my chance, and I leapt upon’t.
“’Is there anything else?!’” I exclaimed. “Have you seriously never heard of Kilroot? Stick with me and I’ll show you the best damn salt mine you’ve ever seen in your life!”
And so began an intense relationship between two people from markedly different parts of the world, Johnny Fisher and Tracy Jackson. I showed her the awesome sights of Carrick and the surrounding environs that day, and within a month I set off on a journey to sunny Bangor-by-the-sea, like Amundsen, or Michael Palin (though I was self-funding a bus ride, not buggering off on another world tour at the expense of the license fee payer). She showed me all Bangor had to offer and together we explored its satellite villages, such as Donaghadee (made famous in song) and Ballywalter (first time I’ve seen people queuing for the pub to open at 11am on a Tuesday). Bangor was an exotic and taxing place, and though not nearly as extreme an experience as London, I have to say I was always glad when I made it back to fair Carrick.
8 months later it was all over. The reasons for this are complex, and perhaps too difficult to go into on a public blog. But I’ll give it a try.
I am – and always have been – a proud citizen of Carrickfergus, perhaps the most storied city in Ireland. I love the place, and as a result, my mind teems with local knowledge and e’er hungers after more. I know Carrick’s history, I know Carrick’s people, and I know Carrick’s environment (for instance I’ve catalogued a majority of the birdlife in the surrounding countryside). Besides this, I am, as my blog entries will testify, a polymath – being an accomplished poet, rope-maker, ornithological cataloguer, blade-smith, musician, composer, writer, playwright, and, lately, chef – constantly engaged on numerous projects aimed at raising the human experience by elevating art and culture to sublime new heights.
Tracy was none of these things.
At first she pulled me in with her sirenic ways, and I was no more able to restrain myself than Jimmy Saville would be, finding himself in an isolated morgue. Who could resist her treacly hair and those mesmerising curves? To say nothing of that exotic accent. Then my interest was further piqued through a professed love of military history and the music of Rush. For a few months the sheer pace of a relationship involving continual intra-Irish travel and – I’ll come right out and say it – the excitement of pretty bestial sexual exertions, prevented me from stepping back and making an objective analysis of our suitability for each other.
But the veneer of contentment began to peel away after a while. It turned out her love for military history went no further than an annual celebration of a fairly unremarkable battle hundreds of years ago, when a mincing Dutchman with a claim to the throne beat an incompetent English claimant in the vicinity of the Boyne river, near Dublin. I prodded her for information on this engagement, but her knowledge was extremely lacking and her analysis of the event, expressed in curiously emotive terms, was as far from impartial as I’ve ever encountered in a so-called history buff.
Yet an even more unforgivable falsehood was her alleged appreciation of my beloved Rush. Pressing her for details, it turned out she knew only one Rush album –Moving Pictures (quelle surprise). She expressed nothing but complete ignorance of the rest of Rush’s albums, an extremely powerful and culturally important body of work, and when I played some of these to her, her comments became increasingly derisive in direct correlation to the year of release. She “didn’t mind” 2112, but she said some unprintable things about my cherished Power Windows. When she said that Hold Your Fire was “a bag of wank”, I chucked her out of my house, there and then (thank god we didn’t get to Roll the Bones).
Nine months after it began it was all over, and ever since then I’ve struggled to come to terms with it, lying in my room grappling with despair and rising only to sit up in bed when my mother brings in a bowl of steaming sugary Ready Brek. Of course I kept up to date with the counter-Zeitgeist, watching decent pedestrian fayre such as Game of Thrones and The Walking Dead, but also many, many arty films that most people would not be able to appreciate properly. But beyond that my pioneering cultural pursuits came to an end, including the Ambience Engineer experiments, the re-writing of Sunder’d Axe, and adding the final touches to The Seven Sons of Fëanor (I still haven’t nailed the oboe parts).
But now I’m back! My restoration came about in part due to a slow acceptance of the human condition, in part due to my father’s threats to kick me out of the house if I didn’t “pull my finger out of my arsehole and get out of that bloody bed”. I realise I have neglected my flock of dedicated Schooner fans, and I will endeavour to resume and maintain my vigil as Carrickfergus’s foremost intriguer-mystic, providing insightful comment and analysis to a desperate and degenerate society devoid of conviction or purpose.