Wednesday, April 2

This Must be the Place

THIS REALITY BECOMES flimsier and flimsier. I am sure that it is a reality, because I read it so in a book somewhere. If someone asks, this is where I’ll be. I can agree that it is a reality as I have nothing else, and I am likely to burden the title of ‘reality’ on anything I can.
One of the plants in my flat is giving birth to small flies. I lay on my bed when I get home from work and the flies visit me and say hello. There is an inch of grease on my face and there are dried shits on the street; so I guess I must be having fun. My only victories are encouraging a cigarette away from near-death using the muscles in my cheeks; the small perk of orange; a lungful of tobacco.
The candle on my right always goes out before the one on my left. Arguments and make-up sex.
I love the passing of time.
‘Were you drunk?’ My mother asks me across the telephone when I tell of a problem I have been having of late. It is not my fault but I have been losing track of time completely; events that took place that morning I believe to have occurred three days previous. I am corrected, of course, by colleagues, though it is embarrassing.
‘That was this morning!’ and they laugh.
I am very quickly losing my mind in the black spots. I sob when I think of death, because it is what I think of a lot of the time. I think of my nan dying before me and of my mother and my father dying before me, and I weep. It is so silly a thing to do on a sunny Saturday afternoon, yet I cannot help it.
I wonder if I am developing a problem with my brain—of a medical sense, you understand—and I feel terribly sad. What if it is so? Would I be prepared to go on with these petty, meaningless words? Right now, I edit a story I have spent weeks on. Weeks of work to be read—perhaps by a fast reader—in twenty minutes. It’s okay, I know nothing’s wrong.
In October, I am to become an uncle.
There. That is news I cast out there. It is for the swallowing. I write to my friend in Greece and I see his face when he writes back to me. I tell him that I dream of mountains and of green grass and sunshine, of food outdoors and a breeze off the distant sea. Sometimes I miss him terribly.
It is my subconscious desire to turn away from her during sleep, to face the window. She assures me she does not mind. I put my front to her back and resume sleeping. Never have I slept so soundly with anyone before. Upon waking we make a kind of love that is unfriendly to the neighbours and exists only to collapse. ‘But everything ends,’ I sob to her. I am out of sorts, you might say should you pass by my window at that time. Out of nowhere I am struck by a torturous horror. I fall to the side.
And now the left candle is dead; unleashing a confetti of fragrant smoke in commemoration.
So I retire, tired but not sleepy. Home is where I want to be.

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