Plastic Face/Plastic Smile
And now I have to plaster on my fake plastic smile, so that you think that I am alright. So that you think that all is well behind the thin, corroded mask. Behind the plastic smile, darkness lurks.
I sometimes write just to hear the tap tap tap of the keys. No one ever cares what you have to say, no one ever really gives a fuck what you think. But it comforts me to know that I am not wasting away my life like you are. At least when my fingers touch the keys, I am doing something worthwhile. I am at least trying to be a bit different. I know that I am not just decaying and decomposing and watching time drip away as the world spins on and on, not caring about any singularly defined, insignificant life. A life that has no meaning and it will not leave a scar on the surface of the earth or be etched into the surface of memory.
This intemperate and turbulent life will just putter out and die just like everyone else and leave nothing but ashes. Sometimes I write just so that they can find something to say at my funeral. So there is something vaguely interesting to say. So that a minister that never really knew me doesn’t have to feign like they care and give a eulogy that is a microcosmic photograph of a life that lasted days, months and years. People might cry when they hear it, but it is not the words that make the hurt.
The words are meaningless and have been said a thousand times before. These empty heartfelt words have echoed off the walls of a thousand deaths. Only the crying people are different and they always feel the same heavy agony and this is shared between everyone in the room. There is no way to capture a life in words and the words they use can never encapsulate everything that a life can hold. All the children, grandchildren, great grandchildren that we leave behind will cry, for a while. But is that just because that is what they are expected to do? Do they cry tears made of glass and diamonds just so that they can get their rewards in turn? Do they cry just so that they can get what they want? Like their tears give them an entitlement to a future reward of legacy.
The waterfall that falls upon us all is a lie. These fantasies are nothing but the deception of a deluded and decaying mind. There is nothing beyond the grave. You can delude yourself if it makes it easier to cope, but there is nothing. You perpetuate the lie every time you say “he has gone to a better place”. This is just another lie that they feed us so it helps sleep take us and nothing more. The people in the room know what real pain feels like as chests constrict and eyes become wet and glistening. Old friends stand on the graveside and say goodbye to the memories that only reside in dusty minds, in remembrance of warmer times.
The wars that have been fought and the blood that flows thickly on the broken ground, the friends and lovers that have died can never be captured in words. So we place the flowers: just like we are meant to. We stand and support each other and try to be strong: just like we are meant to and then we go and eat soup and greave. The days that have been lost can never come back and those days are something that we can regret and hate and resent and blame ourselves for, but now you can never change them. The most irreversible event in life has occurred and we can never go back to the days where the smiles and laughter rang out across the rooms and bounced off the freshly painted walls and the pain and suffering of the dark days were nothing but a blurred memory. A fractured time that we all came through but try and forget. We lock up those days in our minds and try and pretend that they are not there, even though they scratch at the inside of our skulls and scream to be set free.
The Realisation Weighs Heavy
It is trying to ignore and control these thoughts that lead to the explosions and the hatred and the blackness that we carry. It is the beast clawing at our ribcages and feasting on our pain of loss. It is when these thoughts are tempered with sadness when the true emotions shine through. I pretend that I’m a monster, that I have no heart and have no feelings, but that day I was stripped bare of my shadowy demeanour, my second skin, my armour and I was left naked, vulnerable and open. I hate that I stood and showed it all to you, I hate that I was transparent so you could look through me, but I was broken. I was broken and in pain and it was there for all to see. I usually try to hide these feelings and pretend that they don’t exist, but it is a day like this that brings them to the surface and I can no longer hide them from view. I try to hide behind the image of a monster that I have created for myself. The ghost of a shadow blocks the world from view and I can sit and criticise it insanely cackling and filled with blackness as I tap away at these keys and the words spill out of me. There is no way to predict how these days will hit us. And they always leave scars. The rain will always fall on us from above and there is nothing we can do but try and shelter ourselves and keep ourselves warm. We have no armour to fight off the evils of the world and the perpetual struggle of every day. Just trying to survive is hard enough without death and tumours and cancer trying to pull us under the ground. Trying to keep breathing is the only way to get through it, you just have to keep breathing and eventually the pain will subside. Refuse to let your heart stop beating and battle on.
I sometimes sit down to write and I don’t know what will come out, it is just to fill the silent hours and to anesthetise the reality of life. The hours and seconds slip away as I slowly realise that I am wasting my life and I have achieved nothing of value. Death comes and takes the people around us and we gradually realise that the room we are standing in, drenched in tears, is slowly becoming more and more empty. The people around us are being taken and there is nothing we can do to stop it. Sometimes I write just to try and work things out, otherwise my brain reaches an overload and the words and phrases and punctuation and grammar start to fight and crash and the compulsion to maim and kill the words overpower me. The lethal aspects of my brain terrify me and I can feel the violence surging within my veins. My heart is black and cold and there is nothing that can warm it.
Death sweeps down from above and the cold rain falls with it down on to our heads as our hair gets wet from the tears that fall and the ground becomes saturated with the blood of the lost. The solution to the labyrinth continues to elude us and the sacred golden temple that is filled with the answers is not just around the next corner. There is no way to find the answer until our own time comes and there is nothing left to do but put on our cheap polyester suit and lie down in our box, ready for the ultimate, irretrievable end. Then someone else will try and sum up a life of days and months and years in a few clichéd and meaningless words and then the tissues will be crumpled in the pockets of the mourners who have travelled for a few miles to say an endless goodbye.
And out there as the others walk around like normal, doing normal things like shopping and buying things they don’t need and hoping that the next gas bill gets paid on time and that the economy will turn around soon and they will find a job so that they can clothe and feed their children without having to worry about how it will be paid for and getting drunk and fighting and stabbing and fucking and lying and stealing and cheating. As the people in power sleep in their warm soft beds the suffering goes on and there is nothing that they can do to stop it as the country screams and breathes its last. They have lost control and once they realise this and admit it, then they will gain our respect. Then they will be human, when they have admitted that they got it wrong, that they made a mistake.
I sometimes write until my fingers cramp and the pain forces me stop and I’m getting to that point now. This pain is nothing compared to the pain that presses on people with true agony.
With most of you I wouldn’t bat an eyelid if you all died in a fire, but there are a few that I could not live without. There are some people that have had a true impact and influence on my life; that taught me how to be alive. Because the day is just around the corner when it all ends and then a machine beeps and it is all over. Go out and fucking live. There isn’t much time left and even now as I write this I can feel the tears coming in my chest, they constrict and twist and the crushing pain is coming again. The violence of emotion that I always pretend doesn’t exist. Every day, somewhere someone is dying and taking their last breath, all we can hope is that death is a relatively painless one and we don’t die in the dirt with our intestines mingling with the mud and the dignity that we all hear so much about exists and we don’t die languishing in our own shit and piss.
The end should be the end of the life, not the end of everything. The memories still haunt us, but so do the good times. The times when we laughed and the summer days felt like they would never end. The bonfire would burn and burn and we would look up at the stars as they shine down on us, infinite and perfect and clear. We know that the end is coming, but we never realise that it will come so soon. We all stand and sigh and sigh as the day doesn’t quite go to plan, but there is always another day to live and a day after that. Maybe they will get better, maybe they won’t. But as the buildings twist and burn in the end of everything there will be nothing left to worry about. People with real problems don’t talk about them; you just read in the paper that they are dead. They don’t go on fucking Twitter and complain and whine they just fucking take the jump and the rope around their necks tighten and then their necks snap. Then the phone hits the wooden desk and skids across the floor as the woman on the other end begins to cry and the man lying next to her naked in bed says meaningless soothing words and strokes her back and touches her hair and he tries to hold her close but she pulls away and the agony is flowing out of her and the inhuman screams begin and he feels awkward and lost because all he wanted was to fuck a beautiful woman and now he has this to deal with. She is on the floor curled in a foetal ball and she wails and wails. She is naked to the world and her bitter, remorseful tears have come too late. On the other end of the phone he has now stopped breathing and his heart has stopped. It is too late for him and now comes the preparations for the people sitting in a dusty, poorly lit room with a stained carpet as the tears being to flow.
There is always one person in the room that feels the agony most intensely and you can always tell who they are. They do not cry or weep, they just sit there: slumped and beaten. Their heart has been pulled out and the person that they loved is gone forever. They will never wake up next to them and see them smile. They are gone, forever. There is always one that has lost their soul mate and you will see them floating somewhere near the door, a pale spectre as they shake hands and receive supportive embraces, but on the inside they are hollow and they are also gone. There is nothing left within them and their desire to fight on has also gone forever. The loss that they feel cannot be described in words and the smell of the dying flowers in that room, that day will always live them, until it is their turn to be sitting on the alter encased in wood, waiting for the cold embrace of the earth below their feet.
So please, go and fucking live. Before it is too late.