Town

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My biggest failure is being human. Not really my fault, because I never asked to be born, and nor is it something I’ve ever been proud of. But yeah. Stupid humans with their stupid customs and religions and their self-important belief that somehow they deserve to be saved. If working in retail has told me one thing, it’s that humans, beyond a shadow of a doubt, don’t deserve to be saved. We are a virus; a pompous, sexual disease with little more worth than bacteria. We show flashes of forward thinking, but we’re crippled by superstition and damned by animal urges that undermine each and every flash of brilliance we can muster. We have our moments, but for every smile, there’s war. For every good deed, rape. Whenever we discover and create, somewhere out there someone is behind tortured; another tree cut down; another species of animal slain to the brink of extinction. Eating my breakfast in a friend’s back garden the morning after the night before, I write these words while others are inside comparing hangovers and bragging about last night’s exploits. How much was drunk. Who fucked who. It used to appeal to me, but the older I get, the more I know I don’t belong here. In the eyes of everyone I meet, I’m searching for someone who feels the same way, and I’m still searching after all these years. Lighting a cigarette and feeling sick, it dawns upon me that within twenty-four hours I could be dead. No, never mind that. Within the next ten minutes, I could be dead, and what awaits me? A lonely death, that’s what. No one knows how I feel. They’re too busy trying not to arouse suspicion and doing their best to lose themselves in their capitalist ways. I said the same thing to a girl last night as we walked back ahead of the group. She told me to cheer up before kissing me on the cheek. Cheer up? Yeah, maybe that’s where I’ve been going wrong all these years. Maybe I’ll get myself a nice office job, bang the tits off whoever comes calling and drive a fast car as fast as I can while pretending I’m not just another nobody with nowhere to belong. Drinking my cup of tea, I think about the old man who comes to work early every morning. He’s in his sixties. Scraggly grey hair. Always the same green coat and dirty jeans. He pushes a trolley around from aisle to aisle only ever picking six or seven items at a time. A few microwave meals. A newspaper and TV guide. Maybe some chewing gum. He never makes eye contact with me, and yet I wish he would because I know he’s just like me. He doesn’t belong here, either, but he sticks around because it has to be done. This in turn reminds me of some old boy I used to see on the streets of Wycombe back when I was at University. This fucker used to walk everywhere I did, and several times a day we would cross paths. From fields to the first floor of the clothing department in Tesco; from traffic lights to the steps of the town library; we were each other’s shadows, and yet not once did he ever acknowledge me. So many people on this dark globe, and yet we’re all pretty much strangers. Even those with the same hearts. Even those who want the same things. Lighting another cigarette, my stomach burns as it begins to rain. Closing my notepad, someone calls for me to come inside, but I stay where I am in the desperate hope that today will be the day that my hopes and fears won’t go unanswered any longer. Drenched within minutes, my gaze is steady. Focusing on the washing line at the end of the garden, my eyes have seen so many sights and yet so rarely have they glimpsed the truth.

13 replies »

  1. I love this and can relate so much.. I walk around most days with my eyes open witnessing every beauty and every atrocities, yet I never understood why people can’t see past there own lashes.. maybe I see more.. maybe it’s a curse… or maybe I choose to see the world for how it is.. and not for how I want it to be, people day pessimist, I say realist.. we spend our whole lives looking for our other half, yet were born alone, and die alone. FYI fantansic piece xx

  2. I’m reading this with cigarette in hand, the TV on static, and my ill father coughing in the background from downstairs. My mother calls me from there too, asking me to take down the laundry so she can fold them into nice little towers of shirts and underpants, blankets and towels, fresh with the scent of soap but you can vaguely distinguish the slight tinge of yellows. Yes, this man writes truth. This is me, on a bad day, on a quiet day, on a still day when I can muster to pause for a minute to stare into anything but flickering screens.
    I get back to the flickering screen again, and then tomorrow before sunlight, the same thing. I’ll think of what you wrote, to me or at me. Probably not to me, but it struck me, yes.
    I’ll remember, until I stare into the stillness again, and blink because my eyes are drying out.

  3. I don’t fit societies norms and it really bugs people. Funny isn’t it. If they can’t put you in a box it reminds them that they’re in one themselves. And there’s a choice. Interesting piece. I like how you make me think.

    • Yes, definitely. Narrow minded people make me ill. They feel threatened by those that remind them of how mundane their own lives our, and so they try to paint you as odd, as if you don’t get how life is supposed to be. As if their version of life is the blueprint. I’m glad we’re both singing the same tune 🙂 Thank you! x

  4. I understand your words perfectly. For whatever reason, for years I’ve been craving more. It’s an itch I can’t quite scratch. I don’t want or need more stuff, but real honest human contact and conversation without all the pretense. Many of us are so hung up on being right, or the my religion is better than yours, my god is better than yours that we forget at the base of things we are still human. That’s the commonality we share and somehow we, our personalities have been manufactured. Sometimes I don’t even know if people are real anyone. The machine is one scary place to constantly be plugged into all of the time. Fake has become normal and the essence of the real is a sin making people awfully uncomfortable. But I digress. I enjoyed the read. You made me rant. lol

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