Over time I often find
The little things I left behind
Under rocks the crawly things
A world of seething wriggling life
Sideways glances withering looks
My word my heart a hidden nook
Down down a spiralling chase
Will I forgive that mocking face
And so I now find myself in a land I don’t know, a dimension where the laws of physics or some such mystical nonsense no longer hold sway. It must have been while I slept. Perhaps it was those greys the little blighters, deciding a trans-dimensional shift was the order of the day ignoring ritual back passage shenanigans (they must get very bored and to be honest I’m sure it’s a chore).
In my previous existence not telling the truth was a sin of a sort and not looked upon as a way to influence people, make friends or get a job. In fact one sniff of such dishonesty and your copy book was blighted, burned and the ashes scattered. A little white lie could be just as damaging as a dirty big honker (though a million plus parents will tell you differently I’m sure, it’s all down to the situation and season).
Here it’s different. In fact the bigger the lie, the more outrageously crass, the bigger the reward. It’s as though the lie becomes invisible, it becomes a mis-truth which we all know boys and girls is not the same thing as a lie, it’s cosy and smart and smiles a smile you just have to forgive… Or forget.
I’m in bed by 6:00 most nights, I leave the window wide open. Those big eyed guys from the far flung galaxy – where a trip to earth is like a holiday at Butlins (but with extra bodily embarrassing games that make carrying a water filled balloon clenched between straining buttocks look safe) – are welcome to come back and take me home.
Pehaps it’s a little dramatic? The title has a certain rythmic measure. In truth I’m not but I can feel the bonds loosen a little, it’s a feeling I get every now and then, when my comfort zone is challenged. To some extent I’m quite used to it, it’s a constant theme from which I keep wrestling back some control, my being settles back in to its hole.
I am an introverted extrovert, or a person who has developed a mask I wear when I’m out and about that gives some a vision of being in control, calm, confident. But within I’m still that 17 year old who couldn’t crack the barrier, who broke out in sweat worrying about speaking to strangers.
Of course some success breads confidence and part I of me knows I’ve achieved some things my 17 year old me wouldn’t believe. Not massive things, no world records or multi-million pound businesses, but forging my way in the world and doing my job well and being a good father.
But it’s always there, ready to jump out. Sometimes the mask is hard to keep on.
I was watching a fairly low budget horror film yesterday in my last night before renewing my exile (currently Doncaster where I hold sway over a cheery group of trainers during the day and by night relax in the heavenly Angel Cottage). The premise was interesting if not exactly new: a group of friends (amazingly 30 somethings playing, yes, 30 somethings, bucking the trend for screen teenagers with crows feet and flecks of grey in thinning hair), on a holiday in the middle of the wilderness disappearing one by one. It held my attention for a while.
I looked at my blog and noticed that I too seemed to be vanishing, piece by piece, year by year. This is my 7th year in residence in the land of blogs, a fantasy plethora of lands and domains where the thoughts, ideas and creative splurge of many can be thrust out kicking and screaming to be feasted upon by the many, the few or none.
I enjoy the process but year by year my creativity and the creations can clearly be seen to be diminishing. I’ve been lost in a routine of work, rest, work, life’s mundane crawl swallowing me piece by piece and didn’t take the time to let myself breath, creatively speaking.
I also note that I’ve been here before, trying to get my fire going again amidst a shower of promises which I don’t manage to fulfil. So this time I’m going to hope rather than make a bold statement, lower my own expectations and try to build up my online self. I may well spout words lacking of wisdom or full of beauty, I may fill the cyberness with literary waste or rare hidden gems. But please if I fall into the void again throw me a rope and I’ll try my best to climb back up.
I walked with naked fear along the line, never too far from the edge but just close enough to smell the lingering breath, the bitter sweet, the sugar and acid bite. But I couldn’t look. Even though the urge wrapped around my soul, ate into my mind, begged and pleaded for me to move a little closer, to sneak a peak, I resisted. Why?
My eyes. Forced so tightly shut my face ached, hurt, trembled. Hot and cold in turn, a soft but decayed breeze, almost damp, fetid irritating against my cheek. I held my breath, inched with painstaking brevity. Why?
Seconds crawled by, so slow, so went the minutes the hours the days the years. Always the pull to vere away and let the danger take me. Always the effort to keep momentum, to force my way ahead into the distance. Why?
Nothing can twist your heart and mess with your mind more, nothing can slice through your soul with more ease like a hot knife through butter. Chills tingle down the spine, goose bumps pop with a shivering touch, a face from whenever and more.
Does your memory scare you, does it pick those perfect moments to whisper a name or flash a thought that sinks your heart? Do you find a revery in solitude but sob at the loss of something you can’t quite touch?
As you sift through your life, events build, time gathers more than dust. The bitter with the sweet, the warmth with the chill, the ecstacy with the depths of despair. Your time here is mixed and melted and ground and salted with tears.
You are alone in a vast seething crowd, you are a speck on the beach, a single mind in a sea of thought. But even when calm, even when the softness of love holds you close, then is the time. Beware the ghosts.
My current role has me sat in a crumbling prefab building with archaic air conditioning recycling the germs of the incumbents. It’s not too bad and in many ways far better than being sat in the car park, though I could do without some of the witty banter that floats around unceasingly from the bitter lips of some seasoned contractors.
There is an ever constant negativity, a barating of unseen colleagues with a twisting sarcastic flavoured barb and a wry chuckle. Many days I think I’m Bill Murray locked in the same day…
I just caught myself there; in lambasting these poor overpaid people I fell into the same trap, about to throw myself head long into a torrent of clever put-downs. In many ways is the only thing that separates me from them my lack of verbal dexterity?
On reflection I much prefer my own space though let me add I do have some good company in the office so it is not all bad. Amidst the cacophony there is a small island of sanity, but the tide is coming in fast.