Let me start by saying how much I have missed you and I heard that some of you have been worried sick about me and have missed me, too. That put some tears to my eyes, I can tell you that. Tonight I had a very long and interesting talk with a dear friend of mine. A lady whom I hold in high regard. A woman whom I look up to. She inspired me and encouraged me to tell you the truth about me, about Arthur. Though I have no idea if I am allowed to mention her name here. Just take it from me, she’s an inspiration to us all.
You see, it all started December 2013 while sitting home alone for Christmas for the so manieth year in a row. I wasn’t at all satisfied with my life, but I was too busy pretending everything was right the way it was and nothing could be done about it. But, for some reason, at that moment I felt my thoughts were wrong and that something could and had to be done about it for I had been this socially awkward guy for a long, a very long time. It was time for a change. That was what I decided at that very moment: a change. A change like one of those complete makeovers you see on TV, but this time it would be a personality change and I knew I could do it. It was one of those moments of strength …
In that moment of strength I pulled myself together, got up from my couch (you know, the one that you can hardly get out of), and got busy. As you may have read in my work my home was filled with books, bric-a-bracs, collectables and memorabilia. In other words, it was a mess. I was a mess. There was nothing wrong with me; my body was functioning perfectly well (except for the heart attack I had had that one time, I was perfectly healthy). The problems were in my head. All that stuff I had collected over the years, all those knickknacks and ornaments, I could do without them. Tons of books that were just collecting dust, I didn’t need them. Which was why I started to clean up the house. Call it sublimation for cleaning up the mess in my head, if you will. I started sorting out boxes, cupboards, bookshelves, suitcases and crates I had lying about the entire house. That’s when I stumbled upon some of my old diaries. Books I thought had been torn apart, thrown away, or gotten lost while moving house. I had forgotten about them completely. Well, maybe not forgotten, maybe I just hadn’t thought about them for a very long time. Not only were they well hidden away in my house, they were well hidden away in my mind as well.
Reading through my diaries it struck me that the things I wrote down when I was 14 years of age, were actually quite funny, silly, touching and sometimes a bit saddening. Even though the stories were written some 30-odd years ago I could still place the events in modern times. It seemed to me teenagers nowadays were dealing with the same issues I was dealing with when I was a teenager. As if nothing on this planet had really changed in all those years except for technology. Feelings are universal and timeless. Teenagers have always dealt with and will always deal with the same kind of emotions and feelings and changed all of us have been through. Even though they try their very best to make it clear to everybody their problems are one of kind and that nobody understands them, we do. Maybe more than we are willing to admit and that might just be the problem.
With the aid of my Dutch friend that I came into contact with during one of his many trips to England – it was at the end of December – I decided to take my diary notes, fill in some of the blanks and turn it into the stories you may or may not have read here on WordPress. My Dutch friend supported me, read my work, corrected some bits, gave feedback, and helped me get into contact with more people to help me get over my social issues. He also helped me with my blog and my Facebook, because in those 46 years I had only used my computer for me, myself and I; social media had just passed me by.
When the stories in my diary ended – because Mum and I had to go live with my grandmother – I didn’t know what to write anymore. The diary entries stopped and as for my mind it was a total blank. Repressed memories, I guess, and for the life of me I couldn’t reach them, maybe I just didn’t want to. There I was, stuck and slowly falling back into that old socially awkwardness that I loved so much. My Dutch friend visited me last summer to try to get me back on my feet again. I said I needed a little more time to think about it and he said he’d give me as long as I needed. I feel the time is right. I feel the time is now. So, here goes. Thanks my Dutch friend, for your patience, and thank you woman whose name I cannot mention at this moment, for your words of wisdom and inspiration.
The stories that you read were true, yet the dates were different. The boy was really me, but I am no longer a 15-year-old boy and not called Arthur. My dog Cheddar is no more, but is still dearly missed each and every day. Grandma, is still alive, because – and let me quote Rene Artois here – God does not want the aggravation. Mum and Dad are still happily divorced and as for me … Well, I wrote myself into Arthur’s life as his mentor, his guide through life, the father he wished he had and the friend that he needed. Throughout the stories I have always been there and you all know me. I am Mr Bent, Mr Felix Bent.
Kindest of Regards,
Felix Bent – but you can still call me Arthur, if you like.