Part 18

Time for some plain truths.

It was exactly 18 months ago today — 4 Feb­ru­ary 2017, to be pre­cise — that I last left my home and went out­side.

That was also the last day I saw any­one or spoke to any­one bey­ond meter read­ers, gro­cery deliv­ery staff, mar­ket research­ers.

Acute agora­pho­bia.

I can barely open my front door any­more. I just can’t do it. I want to go out, I want to have some genu­ine com­mu­nic­a­tion, more than that — I genu­inely want to leave this pris­on, I don’t want to live here any­more, but I don’t know how. I don’t have the money I need to move. I don’t have the (simple?) where­with­al.

I feel I don’t exist any­more. Yes, I put words in places and in corners online — includ­ing this one, of course — but do they really exist? It doesn’t feel like it.

And when you feel as if you don’t exist, the sum inev­it­ably con­tin­ues: you don’t want to exist. I don’t want to be here any­more. I want to get out. But I don’t know how to achieve it.

Sui­cid­al ideal­isa­tion? Def­in­itely and unques­tion­ably.

How, though? How? I can’t go out and find a tall build­ing to leap from. Because I’m too chick­en shit ter­ri­fied. I can’t take an over­dose. Because I know that would go wrong due to the right quant­it­ies of med­ic­a­tion.

Plus, as much as I don’t want to be here any­more, I am fear­ful of lying in this place — this dis­gust­ing, dirty, unhygien­ic place — and rot­ting without dis­cov­ery for weeks, maybe even months. Which is pathet­ic.

A per­son who has not exis­ted for months and barely even com­pre­hends why they are still here is afraid of not exist­ing and not being here. Ridicu­lous.

This is why noth­ing makes sense any­more.

Wanted: one hit­man. One killer. One mur­der­er. You can have the address. My front door is unlocked. Come and do me in. Please. Come and fuck­ing well do me. I’m beg­ging. I’m des­per­ate.

I do not exist. It’s time to stop mak­ing this charade of mean­ing­ful exist­ence eke out its tire­some path.

Sorry all. Every­one. And any­one, if you’re still here. Which I very much doubt.

Thursday? Maybe

I’m sorry to have been a dis­ap­point­ment to every­one.


Prob­lems speak­ing.
Prob­lems writ­ing.
Need to get both back some­how.
Cos this isn’t nor­mal.

01:36 and darkened bearings

My under­stand­ing was always as fol­lows, more or less:

  • You spent your early 20s not really know­ing what you were doing, but that was okay because you didn’t really care that much as you were still young;
  • In your late 20s to mid 30s you were find­ing your feet, estab­lish­ing your­self in life: in work, in a secure social circle, in your home, in a rela­tion­ship;
  • In your late 30s and into your 40s you’d be, well, I sup­pose some might call it ‘set­tling down’. I don’t think I’d refer to it in those terms, but I cer­tainly always ima­gined that in my 40s I would feel rather more estab­lished and, most import­antly, at least some­what secure and groun­ded.

I don’t. Not in the slight­est. The ground seems to fall away beneath me whenev­er I attempt a nervous, wary step for­ward. As for secur­ity, I long for some­thing — and yes, occa­sion­ally someone — to hold on to.

I am over­whelmed and abso­lutely ter­ri­fied by the lack of cer­tainty in everything — abso­lutely everything, I prom­ise you — that com­prises my life. Home/accommodation, fam­ily, friends, work/career, fin­ances. I don’t know which way to turn, mainly because I’m not entirely sure I really have a way to turn. If even just one of those found some bal­ance, some sense, it would help.

Root­less, ground­less, search­ing, lost.

And that’s why, as now, I so fre­quently don’t sleep, but instead lie awake in the dark­ness, exhausted by tired­ness and bewildered, vir­tu­ally imprisoned by those all-con­sum­ing fears.

I need peace.

  • 28.09.15
  • Holes in time
  • Comments Off on 16:02 and waiting for outward signs

16:02 and waiting for outward signs

My head is so com­pletely full of detrit­us and scabs
That I won­der when they’ll emerge onto my skin

23:32 and hidden in bookends

[Con­fes­sion: I’m increas­ingly leav­ing mes­sages scattered across the web.]

[Like this. In square brack­ets.]

[You won’t find them, though. Because apart from being brack­eted, they’re also hid­den.]

[Because I’m wary. Care­ful. With­drawn.]

[In this way, I talk to every­one. And vari­ous someones. But also to no one.]

[I babble to myself, under my breath, as I write the words, fre­quently berat­ing myself for the sheer idiocy of my actions. Why am I doing this? What do I expect to hap­pen from it? For people to some­how sense the sen­tences, even though they’re invis­ible? For the words to some­how provide a sense of release, of relief? Neither occurs, of course. Don’t be ridicu­lous.]

[And yet I go on writ­ing. Hid­den con­ver­sa­tions to many, yet to no one but myself.]

[Blath­er, blath­er, blath­er. And close brack­ets. Done.]

20:45 and this soul meets this body

It’s a real­isa­tion I’ve had before. Many times. It tar­gets me, dead on, and I see it slowly jour­ney­ing over the hori­zon, ready to break over my head and darken my skull.

After its dawn­ing, its split­ting, its cas­cad­ing, it lingers for a time — I nev­er quite man­age to cal­cu­late the length of its stay — before one night, while I sleep, it dis­sip­ates. Where it goes, where it hides, I don’t know; all I’m aware of is that its dis­ap­pear­ance is only so it can replen­ish itself, ready itself for an inev­it­able return on an an unknown date, at an unknown time.

I’ve seen it approach­ing over the last few days, aware that it’s going to arrive and shower me with its tox­ic truths, make anoth­er onslaught on my feeble mind. I’ve wanted to run. I’ve tried sleep­ing more, hop­ing it won’t notice me, that it will pass me by. But no, it always senses my pres­ence.

It’s here. Here.

And so. And so. and so. [That last is a secret ref­er­ence.]

When I was young, when I was grow­ing up, when all that stuff was hap­pen­ing, I always thought there would even­tu­ally be an escape. I didn’t know when. But I was sure of it, I told myself: soon­er or later there would be an end to it, a halt, a fin­ish.

It was as I got older — though not yet at the point of inde­pend­ence; older, yet still young — that I real­ised I was wrong. This would be a last­ing blight. The equi­val­ent of worms infest­ing wood, con­crete can­cer, asbes­tos remains.

Older still, and the blight paid its first vis­it­a­tion. Its been return­ing, off and on, to its own cata­stroph­ic cal­en­dar, ever since.

“Hello. Go on then. Go on.”

“You deserve everything you get. You deserve everything you don’t get. Every hand you’ve been dealt. Every hand that’s been with­held. Suck it up, because it’s your pun­ish­ment, your fate, your destruc­tion. Because. Because you didn’t stop the things that happened, you didn’t pro­tect your­self, you let your­self be sul­lied, ruined and cor­rup­ted. Cow­ard, worth­less cow­ard. Moreover, you didn’t pro­tect that per­son. You didn’t stop that hap­pen­ing either. You did noth­ing, abso­lutely noth­ing. You just cowered and wept and blinked and tried to dis­ap­pear. And this, all of it, is why you are where you are and aren’t where you should be. Where do we begin with you? With your end­ing, that’s where. And I don’t stop there, either. I’m going to make you remem­ber the later times, the people you let down, the people to whom you passed your pois­on, the people from whom you should have kept your dis­tance. All of them. Every single one.”

I don’t know how long this latest vis­it­a­tion will last, but I dearly, des­per­ately want it to end. I want this ghost to van­ish. I want the whis­per­ing, the incess­ant and breath­less whis­per­ing, to stop.

20:58 and whither

Some­times I
Some­times I
Some­times I
Some­times I

I think
I know
What You’re

Or wheth­er
Or whith­er
No ques­tion
No answer

Some­times I
Some­times I
Some­times I
Some­times I


09:33 and strike a light

As with most nights, I don’t recall what I dreamt
But this morn­ing I awoke with thoughts of arson

My face flushed, my hands hot
Clearly, I’d been rejoicing beside the fire

I can barely, faintly remem­ber such warmth
I felt almost human, feel almost… but no

I want to be an arson­ist, that’s my goal
My desire is to burn everything to the ground

Reduce myself, reduce you, reduce this and that
To a pile of still warm ashes, flecked with shards

My last act will be the pet­rol and the lit match
I want to die an arson­ist

Burn it all down
Burn everything down

Burn me, melt me
Reduce me to dust

  • 17.09.15
  • Holes in time
  • Comments Off on 15:52 and the loss of the definite article

15:52 and the loss of the definite article

This nev­er was
That nev­er was

This is not
That is not

This will nev­er be
That will nev­er be

I’m all out
Of was, is and will be

Try­ing to future­proof
But lack­ing in evid­ence

  • 12.09.15
  • Life and times
  • Comments Off on 19:35 and thumbing through thoughts

19:35 and thumbing through thoughts

Giv­en the more the near ten years of writ­ing here, albeit with some long pauses, plus the five years of words that pre­ceded this place, the para­graphs provide few dis­tinct memor­ies. I wrote too many thoughts and not enough of whatever was hap­pen­ing — because, to be hon­est, most of the time very little happened. This place is cer­tainly no kind of diary; in that, it’s deeply flawed.

Some­times, though, there’s a flick­er­ing recol­lec­tion — espe­cially dur­ing the aim­less­ness (and yes, the loneli­ness) of a week­end where exhaus­tion means I can’t bring myself to work and my mind looks too far inward — and I turn to this dis­astrous archive to try and remem­ber if not what was going on around me at the time, at least what I might have been think­ing.

And then there are the people. Those few, those very few — not even requir­ing all the fin­gers of one hand to count — to whom I became very close, much closer, closest. With whom I spent sig­ni­fic­ant peri­ods of my life. With whom I sup­pose one might say I shared love — though as I’ve stated here before, for many years I wasn’t sure what that emo­tion meant or what it felt like to exper­i­ence.

The first: the per­son I nev­er met, though it felt like I did; the per­son I would eagerly have trav­elled the world in order to say a simple hello; the queen who van­ished; the sub­ject of the search that las­ted years; the lack of answers that caused me many a sleep­less night and haunted fre­quent night­mares (and does so even to this day, in truth); the per­son to whom I con­fessed my love.

The second: the escape from real­ity; the per­son with whom this place, where we spent so many week­ends, became a bliss­ful cocoon, where­as it now feels like a pris­on coated in filth and grime; the encour­ager of ideas, of fantas­ies, of cra­zi­er moments; but also the per­son with whom I exper­i­enced some domest­ic nor­mal­ity (and found myself enjoy­ing it, too).

The third: the imme­di­ate ‘click’; the joy­ous, excit­ing, even cap­tiv­at­ing dis­cov­ery of like minds; the secret under­stand­ing that seemed to be there from the very start; the impas­sioned debates con­trast­ing with the black humour; the all too brief times togeth­er; the desire for more minutes and hours of warmth and pres­ence, which were pulled from under­neath me without being told, and which I don’t fully under­stand; the con­fes­sion that I kept hid­den for far too long, all because of stu­pid, stu­pid cow­ardice; the fact that, for me, those feel­ings remain.

These memor­ies, it’s true, offer me some form of com­pan­ion­ship. But I can’t sur­vive forever just look­ing back. The past goes cold, and I find myself feel­ing sickened, needy, vile and worth­less, for rak­ing through those lay­ers of dust time and time again.

I don’t believe I will feel such close­ness again dur­ing my life­time. And I some­times won­der wheth­er the pro­spect, if it exis­ted, wouldn’t scare me wit­less.

I need to steel myself. But I’m too tired to build a fort.

  • Small vic­tor­ies, but I did man­age to stay away from the abyss of my own mind until about 6.00pm this even­ing. Which, giv­en it’s a week­end and I can’t face work­ing, it’s fairly remark­able. It was only as dusk drew in that I unfor­tu­nately remembered myself and began dwell­ing on thoughts of the past.
  • 11.09.15
  • Misfits
  • Comments Off on 22:27 and in debt

22:27 and in debt

I’ve been estim­at­ing my net worth again
Dis­cov­er­ing how much I amount to
But not fin­an­cially
Nev­er fin­an­cially
Emo­tion­ally cer­tainly
Mor­ally maybe
Men­tally prob­ably
In cold­ness, I am in profit
So I have come up want­ing
Owing myself
Not owed by any­one
Check­ing out the fig­ures
Cal­cu­lat­ing the future profit
Res­ult: I’m broke(n)
But not broke(n) enough
Rip me off, beg­gar me
Break me more, I deserve debt

  • 05.09.15
  • Dream plays
  • Comments Off on 03:13 and we are finite

03:13 and we are finite

I don’t want to be here. Not tonight. Not tomor­row. Not a year from now. I want to be a quickly fad­ing memory. I want to be a foot­note.

23:36 and still here

I’m try­ing hard — though fail­ing — to fight all the demons tonight: the demons of utter loneli­ness, the demons of abject fail­ure, the scream­ing demons inside my head and the domains without (the noise, the fuck­ing noise, the traffic and the damned sirens).

I feel ashamed, even child­ish
When, as now, as tonight
I simply crave love and warmth
The thought of hold­ing a companion’s hand
Just that, noth­ing more

Grow up. Fuck­ing well grow up
Get some strength, weak, feeble creature
Miser­able, piti­ful cunt

  • 04.09.15
  • Frustration
  • Comments Off on 21:09 and the simplest of actions

21:09 and the simplest of actions

I’m so ashamed and embar­rassed by what I’ve just done that I don’t know if I feel as if I’ve been brave, or wheth­er I’m just sickened and naus­eated by my utterly pathet­ic weak­ness.

I’m sorry you had to be involved. I should have stayed talk­ing to myself.

00:56 and this is what it is

And then. Then it des­cends.
A silent scream. Suck­ing in air.
Hand clutch­ing arm. Hand clutch­ing arm.
The sew­er of thought. The well of what.
Not know­ing where I am. Though I’m here.
The mind is empty. Yet burst­ing with.
This isn’t what I would call a life.
Live inside me. You wouldn’t.
You wouldn’t call it a life either.
I’ve lost my bear­ings.
Slackened my fin­ger­nail grip.

If you’re the mur­der­er. If it’s you.
Please come for me tonight. Do your worst.
The door is unlocked. I’ve invited you.
Remove me. Delete me. Erase me.

I’m ready. I have been for a while.
Don’t ask me if I can do this any­more.
Because you know the answer. You.
You just don’t want to hear it.

The door is open. Come and end me.
I don’t have the energy to beg.
Though I will if you kick me.
I will if you hit me hard enough.
I will if you gouge out my eyes.
I will if you slice out my heart.
I will if you cut my throat.
I will if you evis­cer­ate me.
I’ll beg. Then I’ll beg.
I’ll beg you to fin­ish me.


  • 02.09.15
  • Frustration
  • Comments Off on 14:13 and scrubbing at flesh

14:13 and scrubbing at flesh

I need to be rid of anger, genu­inely tor­ment­ing anger, for a while. Even if only tem­por­ar­ily, just to give me some space to breathe. The con­stant under­ly­ing fury in everything I do, think or (vir­tu­ally) say is mak­ing it near impossible for me to func­tion. The only way to make it cease is to switch off almost com­pletely, so that all I can man­age is to stare at a screen, stare into the middle dis­tance, stare at noth­ing. I just want the anger to leave me. Leave. Please.

21:56 and mixed letters

Right now, there are words I want to write here. And yet, even though there’s barely an audi­ence for this place (and thank heav­ens for that), I don’t dare.

But I don’t dare to write the words to myself, either, to step away and put them down in a note­book or a text file, for fear they’ll turn against me and spit in my face.

And so. Here I am. And so. I don’t know what to do with the words. And so.

(I didn’t mean to use the phrase “And so” — it has con­nota­tions from the tumul­tu­ous past for me, even though the con­nota­tion was writ­ten “and so”, defi­antly lower­case, when I first glimpsed it many years ago. As for me, I’ve gone by many dif­fer­ent names as I attemp­ted to live lives oth­er than this one — half of which I now for­get. I still don’t use my real name here, even though most now know it, for fear of being too eas­ily dis­covered. I wouldn’t expect con­cern, more deri­sion and dis­missive­ness.)

I want this long week­end to be over. I loathe bank hol­i­day week­ends even more than the stand­ard two-day vari­ety. They seem inter­min­able.

Maybe I should try and sleep. I should, yes. I should try and sleep.

  • 29.08.15
  • Holes in time
  • Comments Off on 19:29 and I would, in an instant, a blink

19:29 and I would, in an instant, a blink

The rain’s not help­ing tonight. As a res­ult, I’m becom­ing angry and frus­trated. The rain is always sup­posed to help, just the sound of it, allow­ing me to close my eyes and tem­por­ar­ily drift off, step out of myself. All that ridicu­lous psy­cho­lo­gibull­shit stuff, you know. Don’t you?

I tried to work earli­er, to take my mind away some­where else. But I was just mov­ing items around a screen for an hour, try­ing to busy myself. I real­ised then that I don’t, in fact, have any work I could use­fully be doing right now, as I’m wait­ing for cli­ents to get back to me. Aim­less.

I tried read­ing, get­ting lost in a nov­el, but I couldn’t find the way in to dis­ap­pear. The words pushed against my eyes, but no fur­ther. The same with attempt­ing to immerse myself in a film.

I feel cold, I’ll admit. I’ll also admit that tonight is one of those long nights when I yearn for some human warmth, com­pan­ion­ship, touch; a break from myself, being immersed in oth­ers for even just a little while.

  • 28.08.15
  • Frustration
  • Comments Off on 21:49 and out of touch with reality

21:49 and out of touch with reality

I could have been
You could have been
We could have been
They could have been
It could have been
It all could have been
Everything could have been
Abso­lutely everything could have been

You, me, they, it and everything

I need a ‘will be’ or two
I need a few wel­come cer­tain­ties

The only one I have right now?
Tomor­row will be Sat­urday
That’s cer­tain (though I don’t want it to be)

I need more than that
And I’m not just being greedy
I’m being neces­sary
Entirely neces­sary