Hello there. I’ve just this minute finished Day 66, in which my real name is revealed for the first time on the ‘Foot’ blog. Of course, here on the ‘Head’ blog, my real name was buried somwhere in the 29,000 words of post H7.
Over on ‘Foot’, I used the story of an unsent Valentine card as the hook. This gave me an idea for ‘Head’, which I’ll explain here. Now, post H8 will be Part II of ‘Anatomy of a Breakdown’ and, by definition, pretty heavy. The long introduction covers about 10 years of my life. One of the episodes involves a Valentine card that was actually sent. And it just so happens that the full story of that Valentine’s Day (1995) and its aftermath was published in a literary journal at university.
So here it is, reproduced for the blog. A light-hearted sidetrack between the grim treks through my mental strife. It also acts as a direct link between ‘Foot’ and ‘Head’. This is ‘my other bloody Valentine‘, if you like.
I’ve denoted this ‘H7A’ as it seems more appropriate for the ‘Anatomy’ posts to be consecutive. Also, as you will note, it’s a thematic companion piece to H7.
Note on title, author, names and publication
The piece is conceived as a letter to Hugh Grant, written after his infamous arrest in Los Angeles for ‘lewd behaviour’ (receiving oral sex from a prostitute named Divine Brown) in June 1995. It was not actually written until the autumn of that year.
The author’s name is ‘Clive S. Berkshire’. Like ‘Ben Wainless’ this was a pseudonym, albeit much more arcane. The name was an anagram of “C: ELVIS IS HER BERK*” and was a tribute to Clive James, whose autobiographies were a stylistic influence.
The only real names are used in the story are ‘Andy’, ‘Julie’ and ‘Simon’. ‘Sarah’ is used for Catherine. Kathryn (only mentioned in the dedication at the very end and previously referred to as ‘Sara’) is Kathy, from ‘Anatomy of a Breakdown: Part I‘.
The piece was included in the second edition (1996) of ‘Rubicon’, a literary journal published by the Union of Students Arts Council, University of Sheffield. I was Secretary of the Arts Council in 1994/95 and Director in 1995/96. I hope you appreciate the editors’ mischievous sense of humour as regards the page-numbering…
*C is for Catherine (Cathy) Lord, the recipient of the card. ELVIS is a reference to me: it had come to people’s attention that ‘Arron’ was a variant spelling of Elvis Presley’s middle name. And the rest? I made a berk of myself.