Saturday, 18 June 2011
Then there are those who suffered, who knew death was near but could not relax into it soon, but where left stranded in a last nightmare of pain and helplessness.
But the unluckiest, the damned, are the ones left alive. A cruel twist of luck kept them safe, but not healthy. These are the men who have all seen friends die, in agony and shame. They have seen the thoughts leave a wracked body, seen it become just another lump of flesh, and witnessed the sweet release that death gives to anguish.
But they could not share in it. They stay alive, with their memories, and their guilt. They are a brotherhood, of sorts. They share those terrible memories, and that pointless guilt. And they share their silence. Ask any of them what it was like, "What did you do in the War?", and they will give only the briefest of answers. They know what it is to see things beyond witch normal life becomes impossible, and they will not damn you by showing you. To spread such hate is the worst thing they can imagine. They are good men; but shadows of their laughing youth, no longer free, and always separate.
Thursday, 10 February 2011
(Remembering that all ideologies are suspect, and every absolute finite.)
Desperately running from cheese*, I've crashed into the iceberg of pretension. But fuck it, it's me that's made this cold bed, I'm sticking to it.
(*As in cliche, not a big Edam.)
Saturday, 13 February 2010
I just found an old W7 bus ticket, the ink almost faded, tucked into one of her books. (Margaret Atwood; Life Before Man.)
Maybe the book is hers; maybe it’s not. It’s enough to make me think of her though, and now she’s everywhere. Does she know it’s like this? Is she anywhere? Or is she totally absent, as gone as she feels? Nowhere.
Why the fuck is everything so dramatic to me these days? I can’t look at a fucking bus ticket without crying.
Thursday, 11 February 2010
I hate that phantom arm.
Wednesday, 10 February 2010
The curtains trail along the floor – just slightly too long to hang free. Were they designed that way, or was it a mistake of measurement?
I have the same problem with my jeans. They trail along the ground as I walk, fraying away at the heel, loose threads slowly scaling my ankle. I always wear them that way on purpose – who wants too-short jeans? But I always regret that later, when they become unwearable before their time.
How much have I spent on trousers that way?
How much will those curtains cost to replace?
Sunday, 8 November 2009
The happiness of Joseph Knut was a difficult thing. In dribs and drabs it would leave him, a tide slowly washing away. Then, out of the blue, it would come crashing back, a tsunami obliterating palm trees and beach huts, his despair melted in an instant.
It would seem so robust then, so immortal, but Joseph Knut knew that it was just a matter of time before the slow lapping of the turning tide would confront him once again. From hard experience, Joseph knew that these periods could be quite lengthy. Far longer than most humans could hope to sustain a mood, Joseph would ride the furious power of his happiness; two weeks, three weeks – months at a time.
All this, of course, was a problem. There are those who can accept what they have, who can enjoy each benefit as it comes, disregarding thoughts of a bleaker future. Joseph was not one of those. Joseph was a worrier. (Had he been a woman, Old Man Karamazov might have called him a “Wailer”.) Even as he felt it, even as he was immersed in the massive wave of his happiness, Joseph could not ignore the potential – the mere potential – of the unctuous, seeping lack that was waiting in the wings. It was not that he was a pessimist; if anything Joseph was a romantic. The problem was the happiness itself. It was too powerful. It coloured everything. It soaked into his house, his shoes, his clothes. It seeped from his pockets and dripped from his hair – it flooded his memories and sprinkled his future. It permeated everything.
As such, Joseph could not ignore it. Most other humans do not notice their happiness. Or rather, they notice but feel nothing unusual, nothing mysterious or uncontrollable, and then very quickly cease to notice and get on with the business of being happy. They, after all, unlike Joseph Knut, do not have the luxury of happy-time to waste. They are confined to hours at best, more often mere seconds. Not so for Joseph Knut.
Joseph was constantly, ecstatically, tragically aware of his happiness. When he fumbled his keys from his pocket - there it was. As he cracked his knuckles one by one, bending each finger back in turn (or all at once against the side of his neck) – there it was. As he wrestled with insomnia - there it was, staring at him, blank eyed and idiotic. It’s stupid, radiant grin would catch his eye in car windows, in distorted curves from chrome appliances.
It would not leave him alone.
The happiness of Joseph Knut dogged him everywhere. It danced as he walked, it sang as he spoke. When he fucked, it made love, when he gave a glib smile, it racked his body with a belly laugh. Nonchalance, he could not pull off. Indifference was out of the question. Playing it cool, for Joseph Knut, was not an option. At best, he could manage an enthused, fidgety, frantic, grinning silence.