Tim Walker’s Dateless IV

Occupying one of those ‘ergonomic’ chairs that make a user feel about as stable as they might if they were sitting on a tightrope, I glanced leftward at the expectant face of the woman for whom I was quickly developing a fondness.

“I was seventeen when they released me from hospital then for the next five or so years, I was so deep in rehabilitation that I had no desire to, I guess, indulge in life’s carnal pleasures, and you could be damn sure no girl wanted to hit me up about it anyway … It wasn’t, I guess, until I was, say, twenty-four that I felt able to re-enter that scene, but I always seemed to screw it up.”

“Screw it up, how?”

“Oh, my nerves’d get the better of me and I’d either pussy out and just not do anything, or if I did muster the gumption to capitalise, I’d end up making a big ugly hash of things – I’m talkin’ heads bumpin’, teeth clashin’, all the shit.”

“Nice – painting quite the picture over here.”

“I know, it’s shit but like I was saying, all the years of my own screw-ups coupled with the constant stream of rejection I’ve faced in latter years, basically, has left some pretty massive scars.”

“You say ‘constant rejection’ but that can’t be right – sounds like you did alright..?”

“That was in the early years, before I had been raped of my self-belief.”

“Nice – what happened there?”

“See,” I laughed out loud for some reason; perhaps it was the returning feeling of hopelessness, “in the years immediately following my honourable discharge from hospital, it was brilliant, everything was brilliant – I thought I was great … Looking at life through the eyes of a recently head-injured patient, in the beginning, is tantamount to deluding yourself – you are great, everyone loves you and nothing could be better…”

“But I thought brain trauma went hand in hand with depression..?”

“Yeah, that comes later, once you realise just how shitty your life has become, and how there’s a huge part of your old life that, try as you might, simply, you will never be able to recapture…”


“Yeah, and then you start to realise that people lie, too – start to realise that all the shit you’ve been fed you about how amazing you are and about how everyone loves you so much because you’re such an awesome person and all the respect that people claim to have for you on account of the shit that you’ve endured, is all largely crap – that’s when the depression sets in.”

“O-K … So, did this happen to you, like, did you actually realise this, or is this you talking about how other people feel?”

“Yeah, far as I can tell, Jenny, I think it’s more of a, a third person kind of insight, you know.”




Article by Tim Walker

Edited by Rip Upshelf-Steam

Photography by P Paul-Lye

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