Tuesday, 2 June 2015


Me and my brother used to make my other brother think that he didn't exist.

From roughly 1989 until 1993, the three of us shared a room. We lived in a two bedroomed house in Newcastle and my parents (selfishly I think) decided that they wanted one of those bedrooms entirely to themselves. A much fairer arrangement would have been for us to alternate who slept in a three person room and who in a two person one on a nightly basis. That way we'd each get the chance for a little more space and we'd get to know each member of the family a bit better. But no, we lived under a kind of adults versus children apartheid. Come to think of it, it may having been Mandela's impending election in 1994 that brought our own tyranny to an end. Either that or us moving to a three bedroomed semi in Essex.

In our three child bedroom (or township) spirits were kept up by fucking about. The three Craig boys were born in '80, '84 and '88 respectively. At the opening ceremony of each Summer Olympics my mother would pop out a brand new baby boy. Those relatively large age differences gave me, the eldest, a rather healthy upper hand. While the other two slept on a bunk bed, my dad constructed a sort of shelf/tree house type thing high on the opposite end of the room for me. From there I was able to hold court. I scared the shit out of them with improvised ghost stories. The best of those revolved around a man who climbed through windows, took children, killed them and then put them into a machine which extracted the salt from their bodies. He went on to sell that salt to chip shops.

In 1991 I turned eleven and Alec, the youngest, turned three. The mental advantage I had over him was unfair. Mason (seven years old, born at the Los Angeles Olympics) and I playfully wound Alec up. The most memorable occasions were when we pretended that we were the only two people in the room.

ME: Mason?
MASON: Yeah.
ME: What do you think it would be like if we had another brother? Do you think it would be good?
MASON: Yeah.
ME: But we don't have a another brother do we?
MASON: Yeah, it's just you and me.
ALEC: Hey! What about me?
ME: Don't you think it's weird that mum and dad bought a bunk bed when there's just you.
MASON: Yeah. It's weird.
ME: Yeah. The bottom bed's just empty isn't it?
ALEC: Hey!
MASON: Yeah, it's empty. There's no one in it.
ALEC: Hey! Can't you hear me?!
ME: Just you and me, eh, Mason.
ALEC: Hey! Mason!
MASON: Yeah.
ALEC: Fergus! Mason! Can't you hear me?!
ME: Can you hear a little fly buzzing or something?
MASON: Yeah, I think so.
ME: Oh, it's gone now.

I made another human being question their own existence. Fucking hell. I am a monster.

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