Where Do We Begin?
How do you begin to write a story that has no beginning, no end, just one long flowing thing weaving in and out of you?
How do you tell a story when it has been many, many sunrises and sunsets since your fingers hovered above a keyboard?
Are you even still a writer, can you call yourself one if the only tales you spin are for yourself in your head as you walk endlessly to nowhere?
Maybe, maybe I was one. I was almost something. Now I am nothing, again.
That’s the last thought I remember having before the night steals me away, away.
The duvet suffocates me and my damp neck feels uncomfortable. It’s morning and it’s night and my body is tired. It’s too early to be this bright and my body hates it.
I’m cold and sweating and my body is looking to me to save it from the confusion I have caused it. I don’t know either buddy, I don’t know either.
I turn over, away from the light, deeper into the rapidly brightening dark of the corner. Just one more minute, just a little more rest, even for a little while.
No, this isn’t happening. I shift slowly, the duvet wraps around me another layer. The creak of wood against wood carrying a heavy body, the scream like an enraged banshee which is really just a fox calling to another fox. Sounds, louder and louder but their voices are the loudest.
Well, how are you going to waste your time today?
Fancy yourself a someone? Ha! You really thought
Close your eyes a little longer, don’t worry, it’ll be okay maybe
I give up trying and open a book, close the windows, close the curtains. Unlock my phone, people watch on social media, window shop on apps. Ah yes, another purchase I did not need, another thing that will not make me any less tired. I people-watch some more, of course, she’s pretty, when you’re young and have make-up, that tends to happen. Yes, another love story that looks less like a love story and more like a true-crime documentary before the crime.
I huff as the tick of the clock joins the sounds growing louder. It’s not early but it’s not late yet. I skim through the words on a screen. How do you write like that and not throw it away midway because you’re bored? Hmm, maybe.
The buzz annoys me even though I set it up. Stabbing at the tiny screen on my wrist I shush the alarm. A toe, then a whole leg comes out of the duvet. Arms, torso, a body bent in half at ninety degrees, its head grazing the peeling ceiling.
Stumble through the motions. Stumble through the things that make up a day. Routine and all at once made up as it goes along. A sip of water as the skies open up and my mouth jams shut, holding back all the secrets of many years of tragedy past.
It’s racing now, time. It’s whizzing past, fed up with trudging by. Look at me! I’m so fast! it says. I nod, unimpressed, barely present. Tap, tap, backspace, space, tap, tap. Pause. Yes, that sounds like what I am feeling. No, that’s too much, they’ll think you’re unhappy, failing at life or both? We can’t have that. I close Instagram.
Eyes on the big screen, another call to “mhm” and “right” on. Log off, begin the routine in reverse. Insert a walk to nowhere, keep going even when you’re out of breath and question the point of it all. You keep walking anyway because you have no other place to be.
You smile at the security on your wait out of the shops, he seems surprised but gives a small smile back. I understand his shock. Me, being… seen? It was weird he’ll say to his friend after work. People are okay sometimes they’ll say in return.
I’ll walk and walk back to the building made of bricks piled on top of each other, each different from the next. I’ll let myself in, then let myself sink into my head and I’ll turn out the lights and just exist.