Serene and windswept, advancing along a narrow ribbon of black against the green and blue below. Between the bobbing and drifting, she stomps home daring the wind to stop her. She dreams terrible things and smiles – lead pipes to teeth, hammers to kneecaps, torso’s torn apart by horses and chains. Her skirt flutters and conveys the command of a flag, like a fire burning from her thighs and hips, licking at the air around. Seamless and observationary. A watcher, staring at other people’s bruises and trying to guess how the blemish blossomed. She needs clothes, money, food and shelter. Men and women come and go and sometimes come too soon or not soon enough. She wears sunglasses indoors, but tells people they are prescription. She hates game shows but pauses nature documentaries for the precise moment a gazelle looks up and realises it is doomed. Sometimes she pauses game shows for the moment a contestant realises the money is gone. She once told me; I wish the contestant didn’t just lose the car. I wish the game show host would lift the curtain and show the car being lowered into a crusher. If you can’t win it, no one can have it.
Those who observe do, and those who choose not to instead seek to inform. Inform and infirm. Deranged with wild eyes, Desperately Seeking Someone. In a crowded room, empty vessels clatter like wasps trapped inside the anus. He strides, dreaming of beautiful eyes, perfect circles as though open for the first time, before they can be tainted by atrocity and pain. Does anyone remember the first horrific image they ever saw? With a generation growing up with televised war, war now available in box sets, is it any wonder that we forget something that should be as memorable and cautionary as the first kiss. Our phobias are born from childhood – a child sees a spider, the child tries to play with the spider, the mother shouts to leave it alone, the child is now scared of all spiders. We should have a phobia of violence.
Ten delinquents march past my window singing their songs. It matters not. I sing my own songs, perched in a nest, head touching the roof. Join me and we can follow the signs to our own madness, as they gleefully become more and more excited and incredulous at our imminent arrival. Signs with flesh, wrinkles and yellow teeth. Tell me again about the time you felt gravy in your hair at the slender birdsong. Tell me again about your miserable drinking. Tell me again about your husband’s slow suicide from blunted apathy. Tell me again about your wet shoes. Tell me once about a time you got goose-pimples.
I did not feel the car as it skidded hopelessly out of control, mounting the pavement behind me with indecent predatory speed. I felt a cushion of force lift me and suddenly my legs were in the air and I looked down on a shiny, dark blue roof. Like an out of control aircraft I regained my balance, holding my arms out to begin the arc downwards. Palms spread, diving chest first with my head back, I embraced the sunshine on my face and pointed my ruined legs in dreadful elegance. When I hit the concrete I’m already gone…
…and my head is resting on cold glass. I’m rocking gently back and forth, watching the lights flick by to the rhythmic click click. Everything is darkness and I can only make out my hands as white shapes in front of me. I’m thinking about kisses underground. I’m thinking about hard hand-shakes. I remember the fight, as we covered each other in flowers. I remember running my hands inside your shirt and feeling you holding your breath to stop the tickles. Torn jeans, drinks on my collar, greasy hair pulled into unnatural shapes. You were obsessed with things like this; trying to make lonely hills feel less lonely. We’d spend hours on top of a hill and you’d tell it about your life story. You never accepted that hills are all connected to nature, and that nature is as all encompassing as any societal religious construct, and that it is impossible for any hill, tree or face of rock to be lonely.
The strange discs of light in the distance become more frequent – spotted and mottled circles of uncivilisation. It’s not dark anymore, but the light is only artificial and so nothing to celebrate. I know I’ve missed it again. I’ve missed it, as I always seem to do. I raise my head and sigh. The strip bulbs buzz and flicker on and illuminate seventeen empty seats; one filled and mirrored. Staring back at my own reflection which looks at me accusingly, angrily. Next time, I say. There’s always a next time. One day, I will finally reach The Sixth Station.