The darkness hums.
It buzzes gently,
the carpet breathes. The streetlight outside
splits the blinds silently.
Stripes of artificial light somehow make the darkness more dark.
The shadows smile
in the damp cold corners of the room.
Daylight. Today is lead lined, scratchy throated, wool in the skull. Low sunlight, the hum of a vending machine, the absence of any kind of human interaction. Peripheral chatter, through frosted glass. A world full of enemies. Profound loneliness. Deeply uncomfortable.
Sometimes the quiet goes
Through me like a knife
Suddenly I’m confronted with your absence
The silence drives that home
The sharpest moment of clarity
Those seconds last for hours
Don’t move. Get up.
The fear creeps in, like the
Road noise and the chatter and the
Banging of pans from the other room.
So much space between the earth
And the sky, empty cold air,
No darkness to nestle
These moments are the hardest, the Cold cold light of day
I might die here in bed. Waiting. Hiding. Some kind of death; a quiet disappearance. A gentle withdrawal from everything and everyone. A crumpled stained quilt, golden light licks the black mould on the windowsill. Another day down. Another day, down.
I hope you never see this.
Again and again.
Im not entirely sure I’m here anymore. Admittedly the absence of that initial screaming, paralysing grief is welcome, but with it went any proximity to feelings of any kind. I have not smiled for weeks, not laughed for months. I can cry silently whilst googling the weather or commute without watching the road. I can be upstairs without knowing how I got there. I can walk to the newsagents and buy a sandwich in total silence. I can check in on my life now and again, brief observation from the viewing platform, but I can’t tell you where I am the rest of the time.
I drove to the coast today. Across empty farmland and nowhere towns. Straight over at every roundabout, a lonely procession to a winter seaside last resort. The amusement arcades pump empty pop across the concrete, the bus stop stares back, unmoved. Boarded up cafes sleep through the afternoon, crazy golf courses become monumental graveyards of plastic castles and fake palms. The rides on the pier look out to sea, stoic, tired and creaking in the wind. Semi-sentient anoraks plod up and down the strip in silence, the odd abstract figure haunts a window here and there in mute seafront hotels. Big windows for the view; the grey horizon stares blankly back. A Ford Escort marooned in the middle of an empty pay and display. An artificial lake in the rain.
On the way to the coast there’s a town. A dead town. It used to be thriving, you can tell from the market halls, the corn exchange and the church. But now it’s adrift, out beyond metropolis, pre-internet and fading fast. Every shop is an antiques store selling fine china in milk crates out the back in the drizzle. The people that used fine china abandoned the town long ago, the people that replaced them don’t need it. They’ve got flags. St George’s crosses and Ariel bold on plastic Union Jacks. ENGLAND they shout, in Comic sans, to the empty streets and closed down pubs. Functional, tangible things must go. Ideas will fill the plates of the hungry, national pride will quench their thirst. A longing for an imagined yesterday will need to lift today, and tomorrow, and every day until it’s all finally gone.
A deep longing for a home one can’t return to
Or that never was
Let me disappear in nowhere land. Brief appearances in faded towns, a silent pint in a flat roof pub, a nod and a smile in a no-brand newsagents. Anonymous, lost and contented. Existing purely in the gaps between places. Between destinations. In permanent transition but too wise to ever arrive.
I want to be new
Months have gone by.
The feed serves relentless calls to action. Everything about me must be changed. I have been found wanting. And I do want. I want so badly to be these things, these upgrades sold to me in an infinite carousel of unsolicited advice. Of instruction. And I want so badly to not be the things that I am; surplus, inadequate, benign. I am nothing and through servitude I will become something.
I can imagine my pale flesh, solid and tanned. I can imagine myself capable and unfeeling. Stubbled. Muscled. Stoic.
What cruel systems kept me where I was? These luminous personalities, filling their T-shirts, are not crushed by it in the way I have been. What do they know? How can I know it?
I wish I was broader. Stronger.
You should try a
A new regime
Clean your teeth
Careful out there
Put on some weight
Losing your hair
Try a new regime
Look after yourself
Have some self respect
Try a new regime
What did you expect
Try a new regime