(message from a survivor).
Like Shula, I think about cutting the ribbon sometimes. I imagine the oppression of life and then I remember that it’s real, that it’s really happening to me. Maybe the world wouldn’t be better off without me, but maybe I would be better off without the world. I thought it would get better but that is the deceit of hoping. I believe I deserve better and everybody tells me I do, but it never happens. There has never been a day when I haven’t been trying and yet I have attained nothing.
I don’t blame individuals anymore. They are characters in one great story of brokenness and pain. Now that I’m 27, I wonder if it is worth continuing. I couldn’t write anything better than the tale that has already been told about me. I’d like to rest please. What I am is no surprise – I was always destined for disappointment. It’s in my nature to want a certain thing that I would never be able to achieve. It was in my childhood and my abuse and the deaths. It was already laid out: and now I’m just lost in the unfolding. I’d rather be a shell, brain dead, deceased, anywhere frankly, but here, trapped in this body, in this world, with this mind and heart and all the passion. It is impossible. I am entirely impossible here. And I have no hope anymore, not a drop.
Take my money. Take my brain. Take my spirit. Take my connections. Take anything of any value to me, for it is worthless to me where I long to be.
From the cross to the crab.
Every happy moment becomes a sad memory.
I don’t think you’d know yourself even if yourself turned up at the door.
‘But, Grandad’, I said, ‘we’re all lonely old men’.
I shook him and you know what fell out? Coins.
They said it wouldn’t rain.
I have been all things. I have kept my body pure; I have opened it to all debauchery. I have employed wisdom; I have been foolish. I have chosen love; I have chosen hate. I have given generously and I have kept to myself. I have watched a man who smoked and drank and swore and lost his temper live to 100 and I have seen a baby die. I have been all things and seen all things and known all things, and I can say that there is no justice. Nevertheless, I have made it my purpose to win.
Thanks for everything and nothing,
Lost in subliminal messages you can’t see you’re sending. A figment of your perception. A conclusion you’ve drawn. A woman blocked out by your ego. A wanted person. A haunted house. A length and distance. A traumatic event. A shadow. A mood. A painting.
Words. You can say anything. I can say anything. Words.
I am like the sea
I go in and out
Led by the moon
Please forgive me, I’m a man.
Please understand me, I’m a man.
Please respect me, I’m a man.
Please defer to me, I’m a man.
Please don’t challenge me, I’m a man.
Please don’t try to control me, I’m a man.
Please oh, I’m a man.
You leave me ash for breakfast.
What have we become? When the sun no longer shines on these parts.
Empty and vacant are the inner thighs, dark from waiting.
Where were you when I needed you, tomorrow?
There used to be somebody beside me.
Now you are the hole, the something missing.
My throat dries and the vacancy hurts my stomach.
You make me sick to think of, so I don’t.
I don’t know what it all is anymore.
You have thrown me,
And now we are not what we are.
Tastes good when you get used to it, said the alcoholic.
Remember when we were unborn and we thought about all the ways we were going to break the cycles of our parents? We were unflinching. We were going to transform the world out there. Even if bad shit happened to us, we were going to take a bath and look ahead. Being tangled up physically in somebody else’s body, isn’t the same as being mentally controlled by someone else’s thoughts and actions. Yeah. We were more than foetus'; we were the future. Stronger than what had gone before, better DNA than our predecessors.
Remember when we came out and they looked at us and they were like: ‘she looks just like me.’ Little did they know. Yeah. Little did they know.
Take me back to that place.
Happy. Happiness. Happy. Happy people. Happily. Happy man. Happy woman. Happy. Happy children. Happily. Happiness. Happy. People happily. Happy. Happy. Everyone happy. Happy.
I look at happy people.
A brain bobbing on an ocean.
I am the carcass
But he is the prey
Devoured by my flesh
I don’t mind death
When it keeps him living
In the folds of my soul and spirit
He feasts on my remains
I saw you on the train. In the reflection of the window. From Exeter to St Erth. The entire time. You didn’t even know I was looking. I was looking for someone to love. I was looking for someone to destroy me. I knew you’d understand about art and all that. Look at your rings, look at your eyelashes, caked in black make-up, and a nose ring. You didn’t know what to do on the train as much as I didn’t. You’d chosen to be wistful, just like I had. I could share my soul with you. Your face was timeless like all the English roses that had lived, wilted and died. Your lips were pronounced, soft, if soft were a colour. I wanted to kiss you. I couldn’t bear to touch you. I wanted to be you so I could be assured that being someone else wasn’t too different from being me. Even though you were white and young and unlike me in embellishments and clothing.
I saw your face up against the red cliffs and the water and the clouds. I wanted to hold your hand and imagined us walking along a beach sometime. And then you went to sleep. Of course. Lost in dreams even more treacherous than English living. You’d wake with an anxious bang. I’d be there to hold you, to reassure you that it’s just a change in scenery and hormones and life – it’s what it does to you, makes you feel disjointed at times and scared, even though you are the bravest person I’ve met, and I haven’t even met you yet. We will make love one day before you disappear into a memory, just like a picture I once drew of my reflection in a train window, from St Erth to Exeter. My red-headed beauty, my love, like mine, like my very self.
Does anyone write about me when I’m not looking, when I too am being self indulgent in a train window?
You got off at Newton Abbey; not St Erth. I imagined you lasting longer than you did, the image more than it was. You weren’t the girl I saw in the reflection. You were not me nor mine after all. You weren’t even beautiful. And so my eye-line is vacant, again.
Me: What was the secret to your success?
Her: A lot of failure.
I don’t regret one bit of you.
In a strange turn of events, I’m still living.
A bit too much imagination
Buying a candle never felt so difficult.
Lighting it – a shot at perfection.
I need the light more than the darkness does.
10,000 horses galloped by, each with your face. The hooves I’d heard hounding me for 10,000 years. And the face, one face that had come to me in 10,000 guises. All lined up, all of you, one of you. I took aim. 1 shot. 1 arrow I’d waited to fire 10,000 times on a night like this, by the light of the moon. By the light of the moon’s face. Face to face with 10,000 horses. With one horse. One face. Face to face with you. Face. There can only be one face.