“Do you mind if I sit here?
Is it dirty?
I can’t sit down, you see, I got these jeans on, I don’t want to get them dirty, see?
I was just over there, talking to those two girls over there, but they said they wanted to just talk to each other, didn’t want to talk to me. I think they wanted to talk about one of their mates. I hate that, some people just come out to bitch about their mates, don’t they? I hate that.
Some people are just rude, aint they? Always trying to get a rise out of you... Some people are always pushing you, like, ha ha ha. Like my neighbour. You know? She’s always banging on the walls. Whenever I’m in, I can hear her walking about, always banging on the walls. I just come out to get away from it, you know? I think she’s an agro-phobic. Emphasis on the ‘agro’! You know what I mean?
But this generation, they don’t know, do they? They don’t understand. The all speak that Jafaican. That’s what they call it.
Shadows. We used to call it shadows. The face you wear on top of your face. Yeah, that’s right. Persona, like you say"
*Burnt out, between worlds, I just about know what country this is.
My head, and the slow implode dance,
impacted against the air.
Once again caught holding on as the scant light fuzzes and objects and shadows drift and stutter like an SSRI, becoming faces and moving objects that crawl into each other and death is but a missed thought away.
Sweet, silent promises are made to the universe on the agreement to belay my death for just one more evening, that I may be delivered into the morning and everything that I hold dear
A slow ten. Levels of reality stripped with each count .
The air melts and I see faces of people I have never met.
I am giant. Horrifically giant. My hands stretch across miles of a cold desert, which dwarfs my distended frame.
I travel at the speed of light and every atom disappears. Every woman I have ever loved decays in front of me.
An attempt, the worst horror I can imagine.
*I do this, like many others, for the sobriety. Not the false sobriety of jobs and careers and functioning well and good and upstanding within society, the dishonest addiction to promotions, raises and the climbing of an invisible ladder. Houses and children. The willing servitude of faceless gods.
Every day after. Leafing through pockets to find receipts from bars you don’t remember the name of for drinks you don’t remember drinking. Pawing through remnants of someone else’s life, trying to decipher the lost evening with broken fingernails and blood stained hands. Half legible notes, half remembered images. A sincere look in an old pair of eyes as his hand tightens and the stale nicotine smell cuts through the last jukebox song still sting rattling around inside, making way for words I will never forget (pt. xxx). Most of them lost now, of course.
Every day after. The sun hitting every stupid, bitter comment, the rain drowning every sharp attempt at ‘humour’. The noises become louder, purer. A conversation between mother and child, hilarious, sweet. Ignorant phrases, comic. Traffic, dramatic. With shuffling steps, profundity is in everything. Crumbling walls and smashed windows and legs and hands and backs and eyes that don’t work anymore. Hammer blows. Empty houses. The babbling of men and women further gone, lost in their pursuit, as I am almost too. The colour of dying leaves, the murk of a duck pond. A piece of art that brings tears and horror as others amble by, ticking boxes.
Omniscience, lost on everyone but me.
*Everything is rushing and I am so scared I feel sick and I think I might throw up and I can’t breathe and I can feel the thing inside of me I know it’s there I know it’s there I know it is but I can’t call the doctor because he will tell me what I already know it is and then I’ll have to decide if I can go on and who I’ll tell that I love and whether I’ll forgive people and whether they will forgive me I just have to scratch at myself every time I even begin to think about it it’s all that I can do to distract myself and I start to go hot on my neck and cold in my gut and the woman opposite keeps singing with her eyes closed she keeps singing and singing and I don’t know if she’s blind or brain damaged but she keeps singing and I can’t breathe and I’m getting hot and I just want her to stop I want her to stop I want her to stop I don’t want to die
I don’t want to die
“Just lie back, sir. Close your eyes if you like. It’ll be very quick. If you get a bit panicky you can press this button. But try not to if you can avoid it as we’ll just have to start the whole thing over again”
The assistant’s smile brings little solace. I lie back, close my eyes like a good boy and play dead soldiers. I’m 4, it’s the public baths and I’m playing dead soldiers.
The machine turns and I hold my breath.
I hold my breath ‘til it’s all over.
Like I did before.
A wood pigeon, two decades and three hundred miles away, outside my window.
The smell of dust and books under Apollo’s unbreakable glare.
Something underfoot, in different shoes.
A changing destination, all gone. Unobtainable.
A laugh from no one.
Falling, a skinned knee.