And So It Begins

They’ve given me something. They said it’s a drink to ease the pain. What’s most disturbing is that I drank it without even so much as a hesitation, yet it really helped to ease the pain, not just my physical pain. My ribs, my head and hands are in obvious need of numbing, but then, so is my head, my emotions need to be put on hold. Whatever this is, it’s made me feel tipsy, even amongst the numbness. That’s when I articulate myself best, when I become most reflective. I suppose what I write will just be words on a page, thoughts, in my subconscious, a scheme I’m blissfully unaware of. That’s okay though, I’ll still articulate myself, and who gives a shit if anybody understands, my thoughts are certainly open to interpretation, I don’t mind in the slightest. My journal, I cherish it dearly, despite it being a decrepit old thing with undecipherable drivel written and drawn all over it. But, again, what does that matter anyway? What’s here is real, my journal, and therefore my thoughts. What’s on that page before me is equally real, and that’s what really matters:

Flow. A slow and steady movement, remnants of onomatopoeia if you say it like a swoosh. It’s good like that, intricate descriptions can be extremely telling. You’re flowing in a direction, you’re on a journey. Who am I to say what flows, everything flows, the wine you sip flows from the pit of the glass, to the pit of your stomach; you don’t even think about it, the greed, the incessant feeling what you’re doing is wrong, but it feels so fucking good. So why stop? Well, because it’s the ‘right’ thing to do I suppose; something which is taking me a while to find out. Yes, a while is an understatement. It feels like an eternity. I would suggest therefore, that it’s a process of perpetual motion, a fleeting glance of a drunken you which is far more honest and ironically reliable. How is that, a drunken, almost incomplete and ill-functioning individual is more coherent and able to tell the truth, able to relay ideas which are forthcoming in vital introspection. That shouldn’t even be the case. Right, fuck. This is the most coherent I’ve ever been. Not knowing where I’m going has given me some clarity, some much needed grounded and realism. My thoughts are happening before me like it isn’t me, and that’s what’s most worrying. I’m sitting on a train which only goes in one direction, forwards. Yet, the air around the train flows over it, it’s curvaceous frontage pushes the wind out of the way, as it continues towards its end, it’s final stop. Anyway.

A spiral, just imagine it right now, in glorious depth and detail. It’s a clockwise purple swirl, slowly enclosing on itself as it rotates downwards. Now, imagine that’s a personality; an intricate, detailed and complex personality; rich of emotion, understanding and experience. Oh my gosh it’s good to write drunk, it flows. The spiral starts off as being open (open-minded, full of awe, wonder and imagination). As time continues, we develop into cynical, self-interested beings who want to look after themselves. The spiral starts to close in on itself, we become more suspicious, less forgiving and less friendly. What really matters at this point is ourselves. For me especially, all that matters is me. I suppose others have mattered, my own mother for one, but she’s long gone. The end of this spiral depicts my truest self. Just as the end of this journey depicts the end of my introspection. 

***

So you’re changed by your movements, you’re an inwards flowing spiral. You’re scared because you know everybody is out to get you, so you enclose on what you know. This is not a negative phenomenon you must understand, but a natural and normal process which must happen in order to know truth, to know ourselves.  And ultimately, you eventually find yourself, become who you are, but that’s not always who you wish to be, but you’re moulded out of experience. I know I certainly have been. I’ve killed. I’ve fucked. I’ve left. I’ve destroyed. It’s left me curious, it’s left me drunk, but it hasn’t left me unhappy. I’ve not enjoyed this journey, reflecting on the past, but it has to be done once in a while. You can close one chapter once you’ve fully left it behind. People get on at each station, just as others also get off. This is interaction, you gain and you lose, but ultimately it’s just you, flowing as one, as yourself. Finally to end up somewhere you weren’t expecting, but something made out of yourself. You’ve moved down your spiral, you’ve encircled yourself, and everything remains closed.
And so it begins.

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Hold Your Breath

You let the waves lap against your fingertips, enjoying the icy caress, noticing the softness of the water. Kneeling down opposite the waves, you gain a real sense of position. You’re tiny against this immovable force, yet it’s treating you so gently, like a father cradling its new born daughter. The waves are overwhelmingly consistent.

Digging your finger into the sand an inch does little to prevent the waves from overwhelming your finger, still finding its way onto the tips of your toes. It’s something mesmerising, terrifying and relaxing all at the same time.

The consistency is mesmerising. The consistency found in unconditional love is just as peculiar as the invisible force creating the placid nudge from the cold sea. It’s just there, and will never cease to be there. How can that be? It’s terrifying. When you no longer exist, to the extent where you’re physically unable to, your body surpasses the will of the mind, unconditional love will still be there, and gravity will still be the prevailing force in the universe, pushing and pulling, poking and gently nudging like a child getting their teacher’s attention. You can take comfort in that knowledge at some things are only temporary, even if you come under that category too. There are certain and beautiful things which will certainly outlive the darkness of people’s sin, their racism and prejudice, violence and hatred.

The water is cleansing, and so you wash your hands instinctively. Crouching. You’re closer to Earth than you have been for a long time. You let the temperature of the water cool your body to the same temperature. The temperature takes over every emotion, even if it is only for a split second before you realise that actually, the water is bloody freezing. Concentrating on your finger, you take it away, unaware of the slow encircling of the water around your feet. It happens too quickly, but you let it anyway. You laugh at your folly, and slowly make your way up.

Now, you’re at ease with the water rushing in between your toes, still gently caressing, seducing you, enticing you into its depth.

As you look out amongst the vastness, loneliness consumes you; miles and miles of outstretched emptiness. You feel sorry for the ocean, as if it’s a person inviting you into its life with every lap of the wave over your toes. It’s nervousness forces it back into itself, the same as a nervous man trying to say ‘I love you’ for the first time. It’s on the tip of his tongue. He can muster up a kiss, just as he can gently touch your face as if he is an ocean tickling your skin.

Of course you can see his anguish and embarrassment, it’s in his eyes. He smiles because he knows he loves you, he acts in the same way as the child poking and gently nudging. Finally, you decide to help put a stop to his embarrassment, and leap straight in.

Your clothes are on but you’re laughing. Your feet were wet to begin with, you have a towel in the car. So who really cares? You start running into the waves, the water jumping at you with happiness, his smile projects the same. A welcoming like you’ve never had before. It’s a real contrast. His eyes and smile are so warm, so loving, yet the caress of the waves so icy cold; both manage to make you feel warmth, a refreshing sense of real life.

Stretching out your arms is the only thing you can do in order to embrace such a meaningful offering. You keep running until you are chest deep, slowly bobbing around. This is where you decide to take the plunge.

‘I love you’.

10:30pm. A Monday.

You could have known by the weather that there was something in the air, a peculiarity hanging over everyone, everything. One second, glistening sunlight, shimmering street-lights and the next, an overwhelming sea of raindrops, coating the concrete in a thin film of oily water.

Yet, as night approached, a calmness ensued throughout the town, everything was back to it’s rightful, normal place. As I walked home, I felt surrounded by this calmness, perhaps overwhelmingly so, almost like never before. I walked with a slow pace, thinking about nothing in particular: what music I was going to put on when I got home, what I thought was in store for me tomorrow – a whole host of things.

I seemingly turned a corner and stopped. I had to stop. There was nothing I could do but look at this immensely beautiful scene. The man was carrying his suitcase with an annoyingly loud rattle along the pavement. Yet, it wasn’t that which attracted my attention. The way that the woman walked hand in hand with him, holding onto him, kissing his neck was incomprehensibly beautiful and pure. He must have been away far, or away for a long time, perhaps even both. Maybe even just a day. Yet, to me, it was love. Pure, immortal love, you could almost see a visible connection piercing through them, drawing them closer.

It wasn’t so much of a jealousy that overcame me, more of a feeling of complete an utter infatuation. I was so pleased to see something like that in the world, something so happy and care free, lost in one another.

I continued my walk with a vague sense of optimism, not for me personally, but an optimism for the world, that there is light. The couple are best described as a small flickering candle amongst a raging ocean. The ocean, omnipotent in its power, a haunting rage as the waves crashed and flowed towards the shore. Yet, impossibly, one thing managed to stay afloat. A beam of light, so impossibly small that it couldn’t be overcome or drowned out by the menacing and malicious waves. There was without a doubt, very little direction to the way they were going, which was probably the most calming aspect of the couple – they were carefree, taken by each other, just as the candle may well drift across oceans for decades, or within the next day, be washed upon a beach somewhere entirely unknown.

Anonymity is, ironically, an undiscovered and underrated sensation. In whatever form it comes in, shows itself to the world, it invokes responses which we cannot be responsible for. The couple remain completely anonymous to me, and little do they know the profound impact I’m having writing about them, nor do they realise that to me, they are a flickering light in a sea of darkness.

Similarly, the lady I saw next will remain anonymous for some time to me. I presume so at least. I walked past her in my navy woollen pea-coat, the lapels raised to protect the back of my head from the cold, I could have been Sherlock Holmes if one only caught a glance of my slender figure as I walked past. That’s exactly what I did to the lady before turning back. I walked past, ignored her presence completely, only my subconscious held onto what she said. This made me turn around.

She was on the floor, shivering in a blanket, obviously all she had. Her entire belongings consisted of a shoddy blanket, a bobble-hat with tassels and grey-green eyes. I approached, and asked what she needed – there was very little chance of me giving her money. I didn’t know the woman, after all. And that doesn’t solve the problem. All she asked for was some ‘pop’. I got her a cola and a bottle of water; her gaze was fixed on the water, not the coke. She gave a smile, a hungry, tired, but grateful ‘Thank you, God Bless’.

As I walked into the night, knowing she probably watched me as a flickering light in the darkness, as I had watched the couple moments before, I felt an uncontrollable sense of melancholy, an unshakable sadness. I felt a tear stream, for why, I couldn’t quite understand. I had seen and come by plenty of people who were homeless, yet nobody had the profound impact that this woman had had. I was in awe. I had so much, I was going home, probably to have a warm cup of tea, curl up and read my book in the warm, the safe shelter of my attic abode, whilst she would, and still will, have to fend off the bitter wind, rogue and impolite, violent people.

As I walked, looked up at the night, looked on down the street, all I could think of was the scale and scope of the injustice and inequality of the world. However cliché that might seem, it’s true. As I’m writing on my laptop, knowing I can help her, even a little bit with my insignificant wage from my part time job, able to give her another chance of a life she could lead, the realism within me slowly grows. As much as this sadness has had an impact on me, I cannot help everyone. There is still a scope to all of this, however. Do as much or as little as you can. That is all I ask. You may not feel obliged to do so, you may not have the means, the courage or the knowhow. But, sometimes, sudden urges are bestowed upon you, throughout you. That’s my eternal optimism at least. I do not do these things as much as I should, but I believe everybody has the capacity to be somebody’s flickering light amongst a sea of disturbing darkness.