Starry Night


Some guy on the sidewalk sweeps broken glass and another looks up at the sky with a look on his face suggesting he’s got no clue as to what’s going on at all. It’s the look I wear every day without fail. The shards of glass glisten and shimmer on the ground. The noise they make as they’re swept along stings my delicate ears and makes the fillings in my teeth throb. Life happens but I never seem to notice first time around. It’s only when loss comes calling that any of it sinks in, and by then it’s too late. Slowing down, I ponder the thought and grimace. And then with one swift move of the hands, I’m unzipping myself and pissing against a dumpster with a smile spreading across my lips. Shuddering like a monkey, my body relaxes and I let out a fart. Even in the fresh night air it stinks something rotten. Giving it a prolonged sniff, I shake my little man and take out some tissue paper from my back pocket and give the ol’ boy a dab. When he’s good, I pop him back in and roll a cigarette accidentally licking my fingers as I do so. There’s a faint taste of urine. I’m not sure whether to curse or laugh, so I do both and suck down some smoke to make it all better. Makes me giddy. Makes me take a few steps back until I’m leaning against a brick wall eyeing up the neon signs and the stars beyond uncertain as to if it’s meaningful or useless. Not sure. Don’t care. Do care. Staggering about for a bit, I picture the world the way Van Gogh did when he painted Starry Night. It makes things feel better. Makes it seem as if though these footsteps aren’t in vain even though in the grand scheme of things they’re insignificant like everything else. And yet still I attempt to give a voice to these tiny pieces of magic before they vanish because if I don’t they’ll be lost for eternity. Imagine if Van Gogh never painted Starry Night. Imagine a world without his sunflowers, without the self-portraits or the night cafés and fields of crows. If he never put paint on canvas all those years ago, we’d never have known the beauty of his troubled soul, and a troubled soul is a precious thing indeed.

A Journal for Damned Lovers on

A Journal for Damned Lovers on

13 replies »

  1. “Life happens but I never seem to notice first time around. It’s only when loss comes calling that any of it sinks in, and by then it’s too late.”
    Yes!!…always too late.

    I was never a fan of Van Gogh. It bothered me that I wasn’t, because everyone else seemed to be – but such is life. I’m glad that he did what he did though, I guess. I’m more than happy that YOU put pen to paper/fingers to keyboard, Stephen. I feel about your writing the way most people feel about Van Gogh. x

    • Those are some very kind and touching words, Allane, and I thank you dearly ❤

      I've always been drawn to Van Gogh ever since I was a kid. At first it was the vibrancy of his paintings, and then it was for the man himself. He was a lonely soul, and yet he painted beauty despite his pain x

  2. We often don’t feel the impact that life has on us until we encountered a very strong loss in our lives, then, we learn, to live our everyday to its fullest potentials, for a while, at least…

  3. This post made me ponder how Monet painted many pictures of the Rouen Cathedral. he was capturing the light on the Cathedral at different times of day – different seasons. One of them hangs in the museum next to a famous Van Gogh. We take Van Gogh’s craziness as a given right but what about Monets? I just wonder how we humans are very willing to accept a level of “crazy” when it fits within our comfort zone. We can have empathy and understanding until the conditions of someone’s “crazy” is too different and too hard to understand. I don’t have a point. You just made me see Monet as “crazy”. Thanks ; )

    • It’s interesting, isn’t it? Certainly in his day, Van Gogh’s craziness wasn’t embraced as it is today. He was seen as a nut. I think most artists who are doing something new are viewed with suspicion and only embraced later. It’s that genius element. Most who have it are far from ordinary, and anyone that doesn’t fit the bill is shunned. Whenever someone criticizes my work for being odd or my behaviour in regards to my art, I know I’m doing exactly what needs to be done x

  4. Today, I envy you. I envy how you go from a ‘prolonged sniff’ of a fart to an incredibly poignant comment on how artists give themselves to the world, not just paint on canvases. How on earth you do it I don’t know, I’m just glad you do.
    Bravo, as always x

    • I’m honoured to have your envy 🙂

      I believe all of what we are is beautiful, I guess it’s just a case of being able to be sincere and honest about it. A fart is pretty gross, but it’s a little slice of normality. An act that flickers amidst the darkness that awaits.

      Thank you for your kind words, K x

  5. Your last lines about troubled souls are so gorgeous SK. You truly are one of my favorite writers of all time. This piece is heartbreaking yet uplifting at the same time.

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