Wednesday, October 9

The Days of Studying Bones

NORMAL SERVICE HAS been resumed; the moods that pestered—and, I’m sure, characterized me—have returned. Now I spend evenings in a weird daze. My mum called me last night and at one point I got angry and told her to shut up, that she was telling me things I already knew (about freezing produce and rainy days and such), so that, even across this distance, she shrunk away and we soon hung up. I text her that I was sorry, that I was in a weird mood and that the conversation had made me feel even weirder. She told me to watch more cartoons to cheer myself up. I started to wash up. When I had finished my dad had text me.
   ‘My train’s just approaching your flat!’
   Pause.
   ‘Almost there.’
   Pause.
   ‘Passed.’
   I had missed him, otherwise I would have stood at the window and waited, trying to pick out as many faces as I could on the travelling trains. Instead my eyes started to water.
   I am haunted by the sounds of my neighbours’ sex as though it is the ghost of an ex-lover. I cannot escape them. They stop. No-one can fuck forever. I sit there in front of the t.v. with an erection and an awful sense of nausea.
   I move two hours closer to work and they give me a project twenty minutes from my old home. I went there to survey today, a university. Many feelings flooded me. All of them took a chunk. Piranhas! I left, drained and barely standing, a throbbing headache. On the train back a young girl glued her eyes to me and mine to her. I thought she was insane for being so beautiful and for staring at me. I felt sick. I could not get up to talk to her. She was so stunning and she put her eyes into mine. I pulled out my copy of ‘Lolita’ and that was it. Something had passed. I felt no better.
   This is the new year. This is how it goes.
   Something shook me so that I felt uncomfortable. I have started to venture into the main courtyard for my evening cigarettes. I walk like a drunk even when I am not drunk because there is a tiredness in me that I cannot shake. I pick fishbones out of my teeth and, for the past few days, I have smelled chickenbones wherever I go—which, incidentally, take me back to my days as a five-year-old when we were studying bones and dinosaurs with Mrs. Aldridge. Such smells, real or imaginary, shake the nostalgia in me; one of my great weaknesses. So I sit on the park-bench in the courtyard and stare at the water on the pond, caressed and glittered as it is by the lights that lay around. People come and go at all hours. Fish jump every now and then; their ripples a round of applause shaking through the audience. (Then I go back inside.
   But for all this, I am writing more, with more vigour and passion and more—dare I say—priceless seesaw of life.)

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