And so it went...

Comfort which comes on a breeze and then goes just as quickly

But it never really felt like something I could have done anything about. It was like trying to keep butter cool by holding it in your hands; the more effort you make, the worse everything gets.

Ironically, it’s really rather bitter being your own poison, and your strength making matters all the more deadly. What do you do?

‘Shh, don’t you see? You do nothing, for there is nothing more to be done. It’s okay, you are love.’

Standard
And so it went...

The simple things, like a smile from a tired train attendant

‘Excuse me?’

Bump.

‘Excuse me, sir? Sir, can you wake up please?’

Bump.

‘Sir? Excuse me?’

Bump. Clap. Okay I’m up.

‘Ahh hello sir, nice of you to join us. May I see your ticket please?’

‘Erm, yes, yes here it is.’

‘Thank you sir.’

‘How’s your evening been then? Waking, checking, waking, checking? That kind of thing?’

‘Somewhat like that, sir.’

Wow this has guy has a commitment to the role. All I was looking for was some neat, quick-fire conversation, a story perhaps? Nope- nada.

The buildings we pass by seem more modern now, we must be nearing the city.  There’s a bright glow up ahead of in the direction we’re going; we’re near.

‘All in order chief?’

‘Yes sir, all good. Have a nice evening.’

‘You too pal, take care of yourself.’

I like’d him, he did stay true to character as I said but he did it with a humble nature which is rare these days and I at least, even if I’m on my own with this, respect that- so I did mean it when I told him to take care you see. He carried on his route down the carriage and I see we’re not far from central so I get up and go to the opposite end of said carriage to collect my pack which I left on the luggage rack.

Out the window I see it looks kind of cloudy so I take out my nice woollen jacket with the fur hood- it’s not real fur but it definitely makes me feel as though I’m protected by the warmth of some kind of wild, ever so wild, wolf which has been hardened by all the years of keeping after itself in the bitterness of the wilderness in the arctic tundra or somewhere- or I imagine it’s the fur of some bold and almighty brown bear which wanders kingly and strong through the magnificent thick expanse of Canadian woodland. Anyway, it’s a good jacket and I’ve become rather fond of it, so I and the jacket bind and become one entity in the perceptive eyes of those whom we see and encounter and already I feel like it’s going to be a good night.

The straps on my pack look kind of worn and old as if they’ve served time in some kind of jungle of sorts, but really they’re warn because I think I’ve had this pack about twelve years now? and it hasn’t failed me yet, nor have I managed to lose it so I hold onto the thing as it’s now somewhat sentimental.

I swing it round and onto my back, slot my arms through both shoulder straps, wriggle about a tad so it sits nicely against my back, tighten the straps so they now don’t really wriggle but instead clutch onto my chest. I button up my jacket and slide open the window to the carriage door so the wind blows in and I can exhale my cigarette smoke out of it, but first I need to pull out the packet of cigarettes to really do this properly anyway, so I do, and select one arbitrarily so not to be unfair. I place that chosen one between my lips and hold it there while its brothers and sisters, still in their packet of course, are put back into my jacket pocket to be kept safe for later. I light the thing, and ultimately I’m soon breathing in smoke which is good as I have an addiction and I’d rather it be at least cigarette smoke than nothing at all anyway.

Breathe, exhale.

Ahh, the train bounces nicely along the bumps of the track, quite rhythmically now as if the guys who laid the tacks down intended the trains to ride over them in such a manner. The guy who’s employed to announce where we’re going, when we’ll get there, and if we are indeed there yet, begins announcing that we are indeed there. ‘There’ turns out to be Central, as my better instinct told me and it’s only eight forty one apparently as well which apparently is also a good thing, as we’re four minutes early, apparently.

We swing into the station, but obviously it’s a big station as it’s Central and central stations always tend to be big because they’re so central to everything, including train tracks, so they have a lot of stuff going through them. This means that although we haven’t quite stopped yet, we have begun the ‘getting really near to’ stopping process and this is indicated, as I noted, by swinging into the station- and now I can see across all of the platforms because there aren’t many trains in for some reason, which is weird because it’s Central but I suppose all of the empty platforms is still some kind of evidence that there could be lots of trains, but it’s just that we’re too early for them or something and maybe in four minutes they’ll catch up to us?

But my eyes flick across and over all of these empty platforms who have to wait for four minutes or something before their trains come in and my eye is caught really quite suddenly by one particular part of one particular platform- there’s an engineer’s office, work office, where they would go to not work but make coffee and eat biscuits, but what they did was beside the point really as I only wanted to note that there was the office there and that’s why I remember the point as it’s by that office where I bode farewell to this pretty, most beautiful, girl I’ve ever had the privilege to converse with. Although that was a while ago now and I know a couple girls who really are much prettier than her but I’d never say that in public of course because I actually still know them and that would be weird, probably. Anyway this girl was radiance with the brightest smile, it would kill me. God I loved her, and God, I’m sure she probably dug the hell outta me at one point probably, and I tell you God although I don’t know why I tell you as apparently you know everything so I’m more telling myself but I’ll tell you anyway because sometimes a girl is pretty enough to talk to you about, even if you don’t exist I suppose? But we held one another so closely so we could feel the others’ heartbeat which was really just one beat because we were in love I think and clichés like that matter don’t they? And we were so close that as we paused from those final kisses you give someone when they stand before you and you don’t know when you’ll see them again, we would simply indulge in the others’ smell, which, as we’d spent the last few days in such close contact anyway was kind of the same smell, which wasn’t a cliché but more the truth and bit odd if you think of it a bit, but we had showered so- I suppose not that odd.

We would kiss passionately, really quite passionately, to the point where the engineers would probably have coffee biscuits and a show if they were there, but they weren’t- probably out committing time to laying the rhythmically positioned tracks- thankfully, although it would have been a funny addition to the memory. But we kissed passionately like out of some movie where the guy and girl say goodbye in a train station where the trains still used steam and there’s so much more noise and it’s black and white, but sadly there was still segregation between black and white during those films so I suppose they kind of represent a bad era, probably.

She got on that train and immediately began writing me a love letter about how much she dug me and hoped to see me again soon.

Bump.

Sometimes letters get lost, and sometimes letters shouldn’t be sent at all. But she sent that one, the one she wrote on the train, and I sent one back and a couple more and so it went and then the letters stopped altogether and I don’t think they got lost as I got one I really wish I hadn’t which said I was different and everything was different and I didn’t love her anymore which is weird because my heart hurt so much with joy when I was opening that letter and then hurt so much with pain after I read it, and I think I can’t claim what love is, but I can claim that I was either close to it or at least she was able to make me think so- and that still hurts.

Bump.

But the trains stopped! We’re here, well, I’m here and she’s there and there’s a pretty little filly from this city who I love dearly and I know I love her because I haven’t ever fallen in love with her but she is amazing and by far the most beautiful person I’ve had the joy of knowing- and now there’s telephones everywhere these days so I don’t need to worry about her sending a bad letter or thinking that I’ve changed, and anyway she’s really quite pretty and I think she’s fun at least. So with that in mind I move towards the doors before they’ve even opened but keep moving and time it ever so sweetly as I’m still moving but they’ve finally begun to open and I just glide out as easy as pie, and the risk pays off as I’m currently the only person on the platform and everyone gets off and wonders how I’m so far ahead?

So there’s a nice cold breeze as I move briskly from person to person as although I was first off I wasn’t on the first carriage so people have taken a lead, but I’m in a good flow and fly past. But we all share it and make it so- the lights and energy and this is the city and it’s smoking, she’s smoking, I’m still smoking now I come to think about it, with the cigarette still actually in my mouth as I walk over the clouds with everyone here and I try not to annoy anyone by getting in their way and tripping them up, which would be an accident and quite funny but I’d still feel bad as it would cause those clouds above us which we walk in to burst and that would put us back down on the ground and put a downer on our day I think and it’s only just night so I think that would be unfair. But the guard stands at the edge of the train looking to everyone as they go by and he’ll never see them again probably so I wish him farewell and hope he does indeed take care, in case he’s forgotten, and to seal the deal I wave and nearly bump into someone who was looking around the station for someone, and as I correct my path and stumble a bit at the cost of it he smiles at me the first ever smile he’s ever given by mistake but was still happy to do so.

Standard
Meursault

Observations.

The oak table is notched, uneven and scratched. An ex stern of a river boat now upturned and forced to walk rather than float, a poor fellow, a seamen struck down with illness now bedridden. Cufflinks have marked his surface, the crude varnish is peeling, a completely unspectacular but sturdy table ready to seat the usually dull occupants of this public house. A wine bottle, label faded, contents missing presumed drunk stands upon the table. A candle protrudes from above its rim. It burns and marks the bottle with wax, a slow oozing three-dimensional stain, the grave of this fallen soldier has been marred. The room is clouded by miscellaneous smoke. Somewhere out of sight a pompous fellow clad in loafers, tweed and alarmingly yesterdays briefs pulls on his pipe. He whispers about politics to the mice underneath the floorboards. They scatter away giggling into their paws. Some time later they raid the kitchen, a mouse loses his tail to the half blind cook but he secures enough supplies for a week, a great victory for our little friends. The sun barely pierces through the grimy windowpanes, the frames are splintered and unvarnished, what dismal maintenance. The room is coughing with the effort of containing this uneventful scenario, he’s an old boy now. Pity the old fellow, but pity his poor semi conscious, semi-inebriated occupants more. I’m done observing. Thank your barkeep, no, no I can assure you, you won’t see me again.

Standard
Collection of memories and creativity

China Tea Pot.

The moon has fallen –
The sun is dead.
My mother’s tea pot
Broken like bread.
            *
Disheveled fragments
seldom held;
Lay on the alter –
Needing a mend.
             *
Her body Hollow
With pursed lip.
Her arm no longer
Glued to her hip
             *
Losing her head
Was often the norm;
Hell hath no fury
Like a tea pot scorned.
             *
She’d sigh and sigh
And moan some more
About the table cloth,
Window and door.
             *
Perplexed little thing
Molded in China
She hadn’t a clue
She was in South Carolina.
             *
She’d whistle and hoot
Every Autumn and Winter.
Crying and crying
For the Milkman and sprinter.
             *
On the twenty-seventh of July
She fell from the table.
That round impervious bottom
Meant she was rather unstable.
             *
The moon never fell
The sun never died
But that stout little tea pot
No longer cried.
Standard
Meursault

But one glimpse

I walked the town during the summer gazing zealously into mirrors, puddles and windowpanes barely asking a question yet always expecting a definitive answer. I often remained in bed until late, rarely rousing myself before midday. During these mornings I partook in barely conscious musings of immediate yet vague importance, indifferently seeking divinity from within, whilst fooling myself into believing that such an end was of an internal nature.

The leaves turned brown and left the trees without me leaving my abode for more than a few minutes at a time to purchase meagre food supplies, all of which were chewed but never tasted. I desired no guests and no guests came, unsurprisingly so for who would of wished to visit a young man who snobbishly severed his social ties in favour of his own company. For a while the flies and spiders played cat and mouse in the dusty corners of my room but soon even they grew bored of my morose quarters, somehow escaping through unknown passages. My appearance became shabby, poorly kept hair obtusely sat upon my head, ground coffee coloured stubble mottled my face but still I glanced into my smeared mirror, hoping for just one pure glimpse. But a glimpse of what? I possessed no vantage point above any other. Alas my misguided path had already culminated in my sacrifice upon Mount Moriah, and so in trying to place my existence I tragically misplaced all else.

The first songbird of spring tipped me it’s hat in welcoming as I sprinted into the bright morning. I dived into the streets, uttering greetings to strangers with stony faces as I continually hummed along to the universal chorus that had been awakened within the thawing chasms of my glacial self.

Standard
Meursault

Leaves

The people involved within this retelling of one of the most harrowing ordeals of my life shall remain completely anonymous. At the time of this particular event I did consider these people to be my friends, evidently they were not.

I admit I was probably a particularly annoying child, a strange figure in this group of very ‘normal boys’. I was always asking questions, daydreaming or failing at the particular activity we were currently engrossed within. Essentially then one could say I didn’t exactly fit into this group but my Grandma always encouraged me to play with these ‘lovely boys’ as even she couldn’t stand my company for a sustained period of time. Naturally she was a busy women, filled with her own sense of self importance, she had plants to water, phone calls to make and afternoon tea to host. As a result of my Grandmas activities I was cast out into the adjacent park where I was quickly placed in the stock and pelted with metaphoric fruit. Generally I was able to deal with the juvenile insults thrown my way although at times they were particularly upsetting, especially when they fell in a continual barrage upon my searing face. They would pick wholes in every part of my appearance, laughing in my face about my teeth, glasses and hair. I was but a small stone on the beach, they were the relentless tide continually washing over my eroding form.

This process continued for months until one day the vultures wanted to become lions. Picking at my carcass was no longer enough, they needed the bitter taste of raw flesh to tinge their pallets. Huddling together briefly they hatched their devious yet simplistic plot. They smirked and giggled as they all in turn briefly glanced towards me. The circle broke and I was told that I must be initiated into the group, indifferently I yielded, I neither wanted to be alone nor apart of this collective yet being alone was still a distinctively more troubling prospect. For a while longer we played by the trees, my coming initiation had slipped from my mind. I became absentmindedly involved with whichever game we were playing at the time. Suddenly I was clutched from behind, they quickly dove upon me, pushing my face hard into the damp ground. Once they had me placed upon the floor two of the older children held my arms and legs in place, another cackled as he gave orders whilst the others quickly collected leaves. My executioner quickly stepped and stood astride me as I was buried beneath the waxy green leaves. He spoke slyly, evidently his pulse was elevated as the words rushed to escape his mouth. He explained that this was all a game of trust and that I was not to worry. Above my head I could hear the other boys chortling as he lied to my back as I lay in the dirt. Their mischievous little minds were alive with the oncoming cruelty, fever pitch had been reached.

A few seconds passed a silent signal was given, a blow struck my side, I had been kicked, I squirmed but the two individuals holding my arms and legs reduced my movements, a dull whimper escaped through my clenched teeth. More blows rained down upon my back, sides and legs. The more I squirmed the more their limbs hammered down against my defenseless torso. They danced around me like crazed dogs, snarling and barking, enticing each other to lash my flesh. Eventually the beating reached its climax, the intensity of the strikes reduced and then stopped. Tears reached my eyes but I felt relieved nonetheless, I tried to brake free of my captors grip but still they held me in place. I wondered what more they could want with me, was I not humiliated enough already? As these thoughts crossed my mind I felt a warm liquid falling upon my back, my hair and then my legs. I quickly realised with great horror that I had been urinated upon. I kicked and I screamed with all the venom I could muster, this only exited them more. They pulled me up and forced me straight, some of the urine soaked leaves clung to my back as they all gapped with glee at their creation. A few members of the group cackled in my face once more, mocking my sorry state of existence. After a few seconds I was told to run home or suffer worse still. I obeyed and fled the seen of my torture.

I could do little to console myself that day. The overwhelming cruelty inflicted upon my person prevented me from emotionally engaging with the horrendously efficient actions of a gang of prepubescent adolescents for quite some time. It has only been in recent times that I’ve openly discussed such episodes and even then I feel that I do them no justice. The sheer cruelty inflicted upon me in this particular instance and other similar incidents made me resent those around me so strongly that I continually sought to create an artificial distance between myself and those I consider or have considered to be my friends.

Standard