I thrash around my house trying to find meaning, plunging my hand into the freshly boiled kettle or dragging fingertips over the loose floorboards. More terrifying than death is nothing at all; a spiritual and creative purgatory leaving me void, awaiting a second attempt that won’t be granted. The stern glance of an examiner who washes the blood from the thumbscrew and says, that’s terribly interesting sweetheart, but let’s have another try…
I punch a fist through the thin ceramic of a globe, and feel the sherbet kick of sharp plaster in my veins and bones. I flex a fist but the blood doesn’t run, it just sits like pricks or dots on the map I will never explore. So, Volvograd is just a dot? No streets, no feelings, no point, just a name painted on a piece of upper class pornography for the study.
When she walked in, the bonfire was struggling. I’d piled twenty of the heavy classics into a volcano and penetrated a match underneath. Even Lolita wouldn’t light. I chewed my knuckles, my teeth crunching against the plasterdust from the Globe embedded in my bones. I begged her to set me on fire.
I couldn’t feel anything. I was immune to empathy. Books, art and music passed me by like a fast train through a suburban station. I watched helpless as everyone else boarded, taking them home. I had no home.
She put a hand on my shoulder, and her warmth hissed on my cold flesh.