The Slippery Asylum
Slippery is dedicated to my late Dad, Peter ‘Super Dad’ Carroll. After finishing the book, I took a few days to reflect on how I could best encapsulate the wonder that was my Father into a one-line dedication. I settled on this:
who taught me to think clearly and laugh loudly,
I’m happy with what I wrote. Those two lessons are what carry me through every moment of life and sadly, if you’re going to enlist to the frightening path of thinking clearly then you’d better be ready to laugh loudly. What the world has to offer once your eyes are awakened to the true nature of things can be deeply disturbing. If your sense of humour isn’t a healthy shade of jet black and able to see the hilarity in calamity, you won't have a great deal to look forward to.
But what can’t be captured in one line and what was perhaps the greatest quality I loved so much in my Dad, the part that stings the most every day he’s not here, is the refuge his company offered. He was wickedly clever, wonderfully compassionate and always curious. Most importantly to me though, and from a young age, he didn’t insult my intelligence by attempting to sugarcoat the unavoidable facts of the world we’re in. He treated me like a friend more so than a son and I can never thank him enough for trusting me enough to treat me as an equal.
Enjoying a conversation with Peter always involved howling with laughter, learning something new and, more often than not, your perception of life, the universe and your role in it all would become crystal clear. There was an asylum to be found in his presence. For those treasured moments, you didn’t have to skirt the horrifying fundamentals of human existence, you weren’t required to filter your thoughts or hold back your fears. You were absorbed into a glorious, judgement-free vacuum where the frippery of trollop that most conversations are filled with was skirted and the true wonders of the universe, the perversion of the human spirit and the splendour in all things were celebrated fully.
In my writing I am trying to hold alive the asylum of Peter’s company. I want to create a refuge on the page for likeminded individuals to escape the PC fiasco that we’re all otherwise bombarded with. I want you to always be dead certain that if you offer me the precious gift of your attention to read my work, you will be treated as an equal as I attempt to lay bare the exquisite wreck of humanity into a story, trying at all times to balance any clarity of thought with the requisite wit needed to process it all with any hope of maintaining your mental health.
As Peter would say most days, “Wouldn’t be dead for quids hey…not a chance”
PS: perhaps one of the saddest parts of all is that if my Dad were still alive today then maybe I wouldn’t have been forced to reflect on how profoundly he influenced me or how deep a debt of gratitude I owe him. I hope it’s not true, but I’m certain when he was actually alive, kicking and forming in my mind’s eye as the greatest hero I’ve ever known, I probably took him for granted from time to time. So, with that in mind, I think it’s critical you never shy away from letting the people you love the most in this world know it. For a lot of wonderful, poor souls, the only day they will ever learn how much they were loved is when they’re no longer alive to hear it.
To Trish, Richard, Eloise, Mark, Liz and Loren, you are the most incredible people I know. I love you with all my heart and can’t imagine a world without you. From this moment till the one you or I kiss the world goodbye, I want you to know nothing will ever change the way I feel.
PPS: If you don't like reading then just go for a surf. Huey's the best therapist you'll never pay a cent. Paddle, pop, glide, froth. It's pretty simple and never gets old.