Meursault

Storm.

The wild winds sharp fingers claw at the dully tiled roofs. A thatch house would be preferable, as there would be no piercing sounds. The only reminder of current storm would be the physical wound of the next day – damp bald patches exposing the covering below – bedraggled thatch on the grass. Unfortunately, the suburban setting does not dictate such rural niceties – roof tile, cinderblock, clay brick, asphalt and concrete are the suffocating norm.

The questions asked about the immediate consequences of this storm, due to the surrounding demographic atmosphere, are resultantly rather unwholesome – Will the ‘power’ go out? Will the ‘transmission’ be disrupted? Will the ‘connection’ drop? Will I have ‘service’? Questions asked as if ‘connection’ and ‘service’ where some wondrous wanderers who have unceasingly trudged the earth since time immemorial – another mindless addition to the aggregate of ‘this’ inauthentic life.

Another reason to stubbornly read on…

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Collection of memories and creativity

Father

 

Pressing a cold coin

To soft prick heart

He slit and pushed

But skin would not part

 

Father, father, forsake me

I begged.

Let me fall, let me die

Let my wings be clipped,

I will not fly

 

Still he pressed

Cool metal counted

Irregular beating,

Beatings, father, father

Help me still.

 

Placing his thumb

Precisely above

Adjusting weight

Shoulder to forearm

Wrist to coin,

Crunch.

 

Caving structure,

Unfolding epidermis

Trickle, tumble,

The coin clanks,

With metallic twang

As he shouts,

 

“Allah hu akbar.”


I am undone

 

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Meursault

Observations II

A new year and already the days draw out, although in sum they’re still usually dull. Three runners pass, each equidistant from the other. Each one trying to lap up the mud and water raised in their competitors’ footfalls like thirst-crazed dogs. I play the role of the indifferent forth in this brief tirade, of nylon garments, polyurethane soles, and perspiration. They tail off into the distance, I return to my walk. My eyes meet three angelic figures sitting on the water of the estuary to the west. Swans sheaved in white, adorned with gilded beaks through which they sift the silt, tempting death from hazardous pollutants or hidden plastics at every gulp. Gulls fly above in the grey light mocking all that they see. Anxiety washes over me despite our difference in kind. Who am I? Hesitantly, I walk on.

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Meursault

Observations

I straddle a chair, and cast an eye over its form. Four poorly manufactured legs stretching down to no real feet just dull wooden ends. The chairs leather has been worn out from the excited motions of sports fans, and the anxious pickings of those who wait for someone who may never arrive. My seat faces the bar, the lone tender looks bemused, his clientele are muttering, shouting, screaming, dying. No, no, they’re not dying, at least not visibly, perhaps internally. I order a drink barely considering my choice, it seems irrelevant, the coolness will envelop most of the taste. The money chinks into the register without me realising I’ve handed it over. After a few poorly executed sips I turn and survey the room. Daylight is fading, the lights are yet to come on, perhaps they’ll never come on. An elderly duo play pool in the corner, their game is rather still, they’re drawling into each other’s ears. The tables’ cloth is worn, and marked by constellations of chalk stain. The cushions looked warped, slightly hunched like the spines of the participants. This scene makes me nauseous. I turn away, another glug of liquid, followed by a breath or two.

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Meursault

Bobby

Bobby was an intense young boy of four and a quarter years old, although he was unaware of this facet of information connected to the general expanse of his life thus far. You see Bobby is a deaf mute and was held back from entering school the autumn just past. Consequently Bobby hasn’t had much opportunity for relational activity with the other children of this dusty town, in which he is in situ. Bobby spends many of his days on the decrepit front porch of his mothers beaten down, relatively inexpensive property. Naturally Bobby had no awareness of such trivialities but his mom often threated over the life she could hope to provide for her son. Bobby’s father was absent, absent in fact since before his sons’ birth. Bobby’s mom had no clue where his father could be, perhaps he was resettled with another wife and had multiple satisfactory children who had no deficiencies, which even if they did have them would be entirely beyond their control. Or perhaps he was entombed in poorly nailed coffin, with a mockingly honest tombstone stating, “Here lies a man who walked out on his wife at the imminent arrival of their handicapped son.” For Bobby’s mom’s sake one would hope for the latter, although I reiterate Bobby is only obliquely aware of such things. He is too concerned with the seemingly endless vistas available to view from the porch upon which he playes wordlessly day after day.

Today Bobby’s gaze marvels over the corrugated iron roof of the lean to porch upon which he sits like an old polytheistic idol. His eyes graze over the mismatch overhead lining. In places blue tarp covers over breaks in the old rusty overhead, the kind of tarp which can be found almost anywhere without any definite source or purpose. Yellow edges of chipboard exposed to the elements are also visible as part of this fuselage, the source of this being the half stripped kitchen inside the house, which Bobby’s mom couldn’t afford to fully finish. The kitchen now sits in-between identities, half stripped, and half laid fresh with new white lacquer effect cupboards, these being the kind that many may already consider ‘tacky’ or ‘out-dated’ or even downright ‘unacceptable for use’. As one can imagine these sentiments would be those of a rather more obtuse taste in kitchen design, and so we should not frown or cast a disapproving eye over Bobby’s mom’s efforts. Despite this diversion into home logistics Bobby was evidently more contented by his own slice of solitude, out here on the weather beaten porch with the old cracked beams and discordant overhead.

After averting his gaze and letting it gradually glide back towards the overhead setting a few times Bobby felt his stomach call out in hunger. Bobby had not long since had breakfast but he was no stranger to being a nonconformist on the regularity of mealtimes. You see he was rather a large child and often couldn’t wait between meals so he’d rush inside and clutch at his mothers trouser, or hanging jumper and open and close his mouth until food was presented to him. Bobby’s mom always obliged his mute requests but worried over expenses incessantly. She worked late nights at the local bar earning a poor wage, as a ‘perk’ of the job she was turned over night after night by the coarse ritual flirtation of lonely middle-aged regulars, who smelled of sour milk. Regardless of this Bobby’s mom gave far more to her son than those matching more affluent demographics. They had been held up together since his birth and despite his inability to hear or speak they shared a relationship of quietude between the two of them which most others parents could never form at all, or at least not until well past the adolescence of their children. Part of Bobby’s endless charm radiated from his iridescent smile that he often displayed when in contact with his mom. She took this simple twist of his lips in an upward motion as a vastly meaningful expression of his gratitude and this propelled her on ad infinitum.

Bobby now with concern for his stomach turns to begin to step inside but his eye is caught by an odd sight, a man holding his mom. The scene before him isn’t entirely clear, as the windowpanes are dappled with dirt and speckles of black mould, this further disrupts any light that does make its way under the porch. Bobby had a slight inclination that this man could perhaps be of some form of connection to him. Despite his inability to vocalise his thoughts, and perhaps the fact that even his thoughts were silent or wordless he still perceived the lack of a third party, could this man possibly then be his father. Bobby also stumbles across this possibility, he smiles at the instantaneous picture he sets in his mind of the family they could be. However with a second glance Bobby becomes chilled by the image before him, the man clutching at his mother is wild eyed with tiny pit pupils, his lips move in shudders, sickly he whispers into Bobby’s mom’s ear. Her face is wide and hallowed, her jaw jutted, eyes blinded by fear. The man raises a fist containing a blunt object and brings it down with senseless fury onto her upper right temple. Bobby’s mom crashes to the floor, falling beyond the range of his sight. Bobby is cemented to the spot, frozen in terror. Although Bobby may be a deaf mute he still feels the screams of his dying mother in the marrow of his bones. Out of view another heavy blow ends the despairing riving. The murderer rises, stony faced and blind to the world, he makes a hasty exit through the rear of the house without even considering the possibility of a small boy who looks on transfixed.

Bobby uproots himself from his spot and propels himself forwards off the porch through the rickety door and into the kitchen. The pan on the stove is boiling over the water is mingling with far edges of the streams of his mom’s blood. She lays sprawled tragically before him with her skull shattered. Bobby attempts to call out for help but he cannot coordinate the right movements with his tongue, or his mouth. His eyes sting with the deep bitter swells of his tears. His upper lip is distanced from his lower, his pearly white teeth bared, face irreversibly contorted in a soundless howl. Still his bones ring with the blows dealt to his mom, still volumelessly he appeals to the un-answering world. In one final act of desperation Bobby falls down beside his mother and feels for her hand. He pulls her still warm fingers towards his mousey blonde hair, one last absurd moment of comfort, a final touch from his now deceased world.

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Meursault

Literary Suicide

Boundaries are traversed, a celestial flicker, a singular instance of transcendence. The hand ebbs across the page, a pleasant stream of ink streaks behind the now slightly moist extremity. The hand is detached, it assumes its own autonomous qualities. It quivers, flickers, dances, and stutters and then it steps back with bemusement, these fallen words are an instance of triple decapitation. Tongue, mind and world all now muse over the scene below. An experiential triad of suspicion attempting to gain entry into this temporarily gated estate. The hand hesitates, suspicion overflows the hand, the pen, the page. Crossing and blotting follow shallowly burying this literary suicide.

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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.

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Meursault

A post for Primo

Although I had been spared the chamber and the furnace I was still ashen in form. A composite substance, forced, twisted and fragmented, still easily erased or replaced. My position upon the periodic table had been blotted out, I was but a small remaining outcrop of rock that had been spared the pickaxe by sheer luck. What had seemed such an elementary dilemma now stretched far beyond the realms of my own comprehension. The return to a free consciousness only heightened my sense of misery. The many pains of differing forms I had endured were replaced with the acute ache of interminable thought. In these days I was quite literally neither here, nor there, for ‘I’ was nowhere.

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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.

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