Friday, 21 October 2011


This is an old piece I wrote almost a year ago. The original was written for therapeutic purposes, but this is the edited version which I think is safe for public consumption.

I read a blog post today by Jeff Goins, Don't Avoid Painful Writing, the basic gist being that painful writing can not only be healing for the writer but healing for a reader as well, letting them know that other's go through similar situations.

Apologies if anyone feels that posting this is in someway self-indulgent, but it's a piece I'm quite proud of, and I hope that maybe it can be of use to someone.


There's a stillness that doesn't feel like it should be there. Energy is lacking and will, in whatever form, has become negligible. All that happens from time to time is a brief tightening, a release of salted water and forced breath.

So many things that need to be done, should be done, want to be done, but the only thing that does, is sitting. The world passing by that darkened room where shelves creak with books begging to be read, words scrawled on the walls that want to become coherent literature, the images and the sounds sweeping around the brain that have only the desire to be released and made real.

But all that happens is the sitting, alone in that darkened room. The friends that are left ask hey where are you do you want to do something? 
I'll be at work at the weekend, is the reply, come find me there.

The energy that makes that shield at the weekends is exhausted in 3 days, there's none left for the rest of the week. They don't need to see this, don't need to know this, and so the sitting continues until Friday when just enough energy can be mustered to make the shield again.

But those 3 days the music is too loud the voices to harsh the attitudes so obnoxious, the teeth grind, the skin prickles burns itches raises and reddens. Ice soothes it and soon the swellings go down. No-one ever notices. No-one except him. Wow he grins as his fingers run over the bumps. He knows. But he doesn't judge. Can I bite your nose? As the palm connects with the back of his head he whines, at least I asked. Silly boy. He knows. He sees the tactile need simmering beneath the surface and always gives freely. Maybe he knows the stillness too. The sitting.

Every night standing there, ears abused, nostrils choked with the smell of stale alcohol unwashed bodies and lingering cigarette smoke. The crowd is scanned for familiar faces, someone to relieve the tedium, someone to provide a much needed connection to the real world.

So many times the flash of that colour and the trill of that voice breaches the assault on the senses. The heart quickens and adrenaline rushes and for a split second the corners of the mouth begin to twitch up then the crushing remembrance that this joy is no longer allowed, and it immediately turns to dread when the dark hair and low voice follow close behind. Does she notice or is she oblivious? Does she care or is she repulsed? She hugs all the people she knows and the memory of her weight so easily lifted, face pressed to neck as her legs wrap around waist, the tightening is there again and the distance imposed for the rest of the night, as the fear of being the only one available to provide service to her or her cold-eyed love follow throughout the hours. Awareness of her is torture, and the only desire is to witness the smile that used to be, to know that fragment of love in whatever form still exists. Missing her is painful. But when the lights go up and she leaves hand-in-hand with the other, breath comes easier as space is unrestricted and existence is allowed.

The softness of pillows and the tantalising warmth of the blanket block out everything as the oblivion of sleep beckons and is welcomed, all energy gone, spent.

Time is irrelevant. Do this by now but now comes and goes with such speed and yet little recognition. Hope is given then snatched away, the tightness comes and demands release. Then the stillness returns. The stillness that builds, but into what? More sitting. Darkness comes and goes, just like consciousness, awareness, inspiration, energy. 
But there's always sitting.