Distraction. Anything else. Always something to do. See that film. Meet with a friend (more on that later). Running. Cycling. Growing. Slipping.
I’m slowly coming to see this time as the only time I can express these thoughts in my head. I stop. I would write how boring that is. But how do you write when you’re restless?
That’s as close to the moment as I can get. Sitting here, clicking at a computer and listening to music, such a normal image. I’m using an ironing board as a desk and the overhead light is as far from atmospheric as you can get. How dull. How unromantic. How utterly real it is. What, no candlelit scratchings as soft moonlight floats through the open window? How very far from fantasy the world has moved.
I sweat in this heat, feeling the beads run down a back bent by the need to concentrate. Oh I can’t really be in the moment until my nose is touching the keyboard. As it is in music, it is in writing. Serve up that back pain with a healthy dose of distraction. Lights flicker. Toggle between screens. Are you really even here?
Still find ways to struggle with the notion of a life without meaning. This is not a revelation. This is nothing new. Everyday wake, stare, wait. Wait for what? Energy – not coming. Enjoyment – hiding. Resolution – the only way forward. Must move on. Must go faster. Must put foot to pedal and cross the city. Every day. Every day.
Catch a thought in the air. Isn’t this the same as the time before and the time before that? What’s new? Are you just changing the venue and the players?
I ask myself time and again – why is there a time and again? Why is it that when the outside world gets too much I sink into the floor, watching the floorboards rise above my eyes, watching the dirt start to pour over the edges. They settle on me, premature coffin, the gentle pressure of my dark cocoon holding me in place. Ok thank you, I think I’ll pick another one. Stand up but don’t brush myself off. Carry the dirt with me, no chance to catch a breath of course, only more holes to sink into, more clay to bake solid over my chest. Why is it so hard to breathe? You carry the weight of your fucking existence – why do you think it’s so hard?
Take a breath. Take it in as deep as you can. Move that earth. Move the world.
What went above is a scream, as only a quiet Irishman can scream. The very idea, the notion of doing anything other than carefully considering each word to express exactly what I mean is foreign. I understand the meaning of words. I understand the meaning of what I say. My hesitations are fewer and fewer. My confidence in the words I use grows. Hate. Love. Power. Death. Longing. Numbness. Stuck. Slow. Slipping. Fallen.
Today I dream of medicine. I dream of the chemical hand to lift me from the bog, wrapping those fingers slowly around my hand, helping me rise. It won’t see me to a fully erect standing position. No, that’s not the job. It will curve my back so slightly less, taking a little of the pressure from the bottom. My middle, my chest, my heart – nothing for that. They stay stuck. But it helps the air slide in and out. I dream of that aid. One tablet a day, 5 milligrams, only small, it’s ok, it’s just for a while. Nothing really. Nothing but a break, help me catch my breath, it’s fine.
I have done nothing. I have achieved nothing. Ten years have fallen like leaves. You can’t see it. My face is unlined. My hair is not thick but I’m not bald. My belly is swollen but that’s just tonight’s dinner. I have weight on these bones. I hate on these bones.
There is a wedding ring on my finger. Shouldn’t that be enough? I secured love. Consolidated love. Enshrined, as far from holy matrimony as you can get. A small gathering in a space surrounded by dead trees and an iron grey sky. But even in that I have love. Two people together. Two people bound. Bound to what? Bound to a train hurtling toward open track, no chance of stopping, no chance of appreciating the world around.
But that’s all I do. I watch. I see. I don’t participate. The idea is so foreign, so frightening. Ten years of telling myself not to take part. Not to open. This very exercise is only manageable with a locked door, shut away from the world. It’s not real online. Nothing is real online. The love that pours is as fleeting as the hate that scours. We all crave an open dialogue. But can you imagine actually speaking to someone? My God.
Out there, I hope to find a saviour. Deliberate placement of those two words? Of course. Actual belief in the existence of one, divine or not? Of course not. Agnosticism because picking a side takes balls that I don’t have. No strength to say fuck you to a God that is as silent as deep space, nor faith to say I love you to the Creator on high. Well, I know what I want to say. Can’t say it though.
Can’t scream. God’ll smite me.
What’s the point of this? It reads like a drunken ramble, tossing ideas around in the dryer while we wait for it all to dry. Hit the button so it will continue. Don’t overheat now. I’m not that good at metaphor tonight – I’m tired, I’m fed up, my back hurts, my mind is full and empty, I don’t sleep enough these days, I’m not worth the time.
I don’t want to be this way. I don’t want to be the angry face in the corner. What’s the alternative? Loud as fuck, dirty jokes, make em laugh then you’re winning. What’s the point in hiding? Get up front, get up on stage, perform, don’t you know? With absolutely no one pushing at my back I am thrust into the centre. I stand, silent as a clown without laughter, waiting for the adoration of people who don’t know who I am. I look out into the crowd and there is only one face there, the only face that has any chance of knowing who I am.
And he delights in his silence.
I ask myself now, to what end did this piece begin? Do I hit delete all and go back to bed?
No. I throw it out to the world, and I stand, silent clown, waiting for the laughter of none to subside. Out there, the crowd of one waits. He waits.