Friday, 20 May 2011

Extract of the Moment: Frank Burton

This is taken from Frank Burton's novel, The Prodigals, which can be read online or downloaded for free from

Rupert taught me how to link and connect.

I went to hypnotherapy as a way of making sense of the mess in my head. A friend recommended Rupert because he helped him quit drinking. I didn’t want to quit drinking. I just wanted to sort myself out up to a point where I didn’t feel the need to booze twenty four seven.

Rupert asked me what I was hoping to achieve.

I didn’t know.

He said, “Would you say that you’re depressed, Travis?”

I said, “I’d say I’m confused.”

I was working in a low paid job at the time, delivering leaflets door to door, and I just about managed to scrape together the twenty quid an hour he charged. Sometimes when I was a bit short, he’d knock the price down to fifteen. He used to joke that he’d never make a living out of it, but he preferred things that way. He was the one person who wasn’t trying to rip me off, or force some fucked up ideology on me. Rupert was a fucking saint.

To save me from paying him the money every week, Rupert taught me some self-hypnosis techniques. Anyone can do them. All you need is a quiet room and a place to rest your head. The resting my head part was fine, but the quiet part was difficult in the block I was living in. That’s why I wore headphones. I’d usually listen to Aphex Twin’s Selected Ambient Works Volume 2, or Pomme Fritz by The Orb. Both of these albums have the power to simultaneously chill you out and fuck you up. It’s kill or cure.

Once you’re in a state of hypnosis, you can step outside yourself and finally be objective. When I was under, Rupert asked me to visualise myself at one of those times when I feel like lashing out at the world, and link and connect to a previous experience. The concept behind it is simple but mind-blowing: there are certain experiences in life that don’t just happen once. They happen a thousand times over, and determine the way that we think and feel. If you want to drag yourself out of that process, you have to understand it first.

So, here goes nothing.

Sit back, relax.

Quiet room. Aphex Twin. Glass of JD.

Link. Connect.

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