I Was Once, Like You

I was once like you with all your fucking shiny things. I once had a nice swollen bank account and responsibilities and mortgage repayments. I once knew what it was like to take a single, unadulterated, unencumbered breath. I knew what it was like to be anesthetised and vacant. I can feel the words coming again. They are creeping up on me. All I seem to do is write about heartbreak and how much I hate the word. It’s getting tiresome. Even I get sick of writing it, so I can only apologise.

I’m sitting in a cafe. I have ordered a drink so elaborate, I couldn’t even begin to ascertain its ingredients. I look out the glass window at the normal people. They are holding hands and smiling. I sit in the corner with a noose around my neck. My skin is inside out. I count my fingers and then bite them off. They gawk at me like a diseased animal in a cage. Look at him. What a poor man. They wonder what is wrong with me. So do I.

I was never like this before. I was never drunk in the afternoon. Now I piss myself in public. I throw stones at traffic and try and devour the pigeons in the playpark next to the primary school. I sometimes sleep on the roundabout going round and round and around. It seems like I spin for hours. I watch the sky revolving and I experience the sinking realisation that we are all endlessly spinning on this godforsaken rock. We might crash into each other on occasion or bump bodyparts and splash stagnant pleasurable liquids at each other, but we are fundamentally alone. When we slither into existence drenched in unspeakable filth and bile until the day we finally slip into the unforgiving void, we are alone. We are solitary, individual units filled with meat. We slowly rot and try and fit into the boxes that are created around us. We must fit in, we must obey, we must comply. You must not sleep with your eyes open.

The bottles are the only things that keep me warm at night. I don’t even bother going to bed now, I just sleep where I fall. I slowly descend into deep black water and let it pierce my lungs. My beard is thick and my hair goes unwashed for days. I secretly detest you all, but don’t tell anyone, it’s a secret. Life is meant to be simple when you accept that there is nothing you can control. When I drive my car all I hear is a voice softly whispering. It tells me to crash. No one will miss you. I am teetering on the brink of mania. There is murder in me. There is an odious violence building within me.

I could feel you slipping away. The flatline is coming soon. I could sit and watch my love for you decay and dissolve. I would look at you and I wouldn’t see the vibrant beauty that was once so fresh and inviolable. You were fading and the colour was draining from your once perfect eyes. Every day I looked at you I felt that burning sensation a little bit less. The more I questioned it the more it made sense. The niggling doubts would plague my thoughts. My paranoia grew and grew. It began to take control. The uneasy, nauseous feeling in my stomach was becoming unavoidable. My imagination would develop more and more extensively incredulous scenarios in my head. I had built myself a little cocoon of denial and I was quite happy in there.

I have been here before, standing on the edge of a precipice looking down into its depths. I take a laboured breath and step off the ledge and into the abyss. I feel the air rush by and all I want to do is land in your arms.

My greatest fear has come true, you have become just another story. I just hope that this is a comma and not a.

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