I walk under dappled trees and green sunlight, and I can hear such beautiful music. My limbs ache. I have burns on one shoulder, and ugly eruptions born from friction. My shoulders are a solid mass and my legs struggle to maintain my small weight. Yet, I can stand this. The energy feeds into me as I momentarily step out from behind the glass to become myself again. I lean against a wall, hidden from prying eyes, and watch a lone woman with her lone guitar playing to a symphony of silence. Exaggerated by the empty benches lined before her, playing only to a raised platform of chattering classes, or chattering classless – drinking too much, shitting the bed, blood and mucus – before they speed off in exquisite machinery with never so much as a glance in our direction. In that moment, as the chords chime, I look up at green leaves dancing in a summer breeze and I have A Moment. A singular point of humanity.


I breed silence now, and I crave it sometimes. At work, I wander in broken shoes, looking for pockets of memory, searching the corners for the echo of a familiar voice. Everything feels alien now. I see face but everything is temporary – as fleeting as the picture inside a Christmas advent calendar and just as memorable. Around town I search for glances, look for spirits and any sign of life beyond bad food and worse manners. Sometimes one has to be content. My candles burn out in front of icons. I dance my fingers across this keyboard. A feeling of being parked in a grassy siding, the rails torn up. I can still smell the rust. I always smell the damp.


Dead leaves in the dirty ground, such sweet smells from rotten death. Embracing the breeze, it’s time to look seaward. It’s time to plant one’s face into unfamiliar territory. The graffiti does not belong to me. The sand does not belong to me. The wood and cobbles are still unfamiliar. Everything is transitory. Not like in other places, where I can walk and place my foot inside a step. Not like other places that still echo with thoughts, voices and feelings.


Today, in the midst of chaos and bedsheets, I sat upon a bench and stared into madness. When I walk the corridors I still see faces, but they are transparent to the blood oozing from the skirting boards. Watching a great sea monster hacking itself to death, I am Jack Torrance – no dreadful destroyer of family but a renewer, one of the minor violinists trying to keep the tune going. My little island is in trouble but I wish it wasn’t. History has taught me nothing. History has taught me that everything will be removed. But still I hope for a victory.


My candles have gone out, one by one. The icons peer out from their blu-tac imprisonment. Ian Curtis, Morrissey, Dale and Drake. If nothing else, the forcefield remains intact. Behind any locked doors are any number of secrets. I’ve always known that from within. Now I appreciate it from without. It makes it harder to let people in.

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