Thursday, July 5

Stains on My Pavement

I have felt very lonely lately, even as I separate alone from lonely and I mind the gap between both, I am lonely, very lonely lately; some of it my making, some not. People and all people and every person around me feel a million miles away. Notice how I do not reach out, but stay contracted, like an illustration within a book. The caption underneath reads—‘Alone, alone, o, so alone.’ I leave my flat in a state.
On my way to work the other day, listening to music and amongst the crowd, a thought occurred— A great judge of character but a terrible friend. And that is my pronoun. Recently a dear friend left the country; she text me asking to meet up, and I ignored it. Where is my sense? She is tremendous company, yet I stayed silent. It was not convenient for me to see her, what with all the turmoil of my skull and the fragilities of my shit mind. Even now I mean to message her and ask how she is, but I am ashamed, so I will stay silent. It goes on, you know. One becomes familiar and ignorant to the smell of their armpits.
I have text my friend asking where he will watch the football on Saturday.
I wait —
She is a good friend and now she is gone. I know not when I will see her again. Her taste in poetry is questionable but she is good drinking company – as so few are – and not in my thirty-two years have I known anyone else like her. Maybe I will see her again, sailing on the water, illuminated by the confetti of a river’s reflection.
I have been so alone throughout my life that it is easy for me to be alone. I have met people who cannot stand to be alone. My brother cannot stand to be alone and now he is married; a former lover wanted a ring so bad she had surgery and surgery, and another travelled to distant lands in search of something or other. I wake up late on Saturday, play video games and masturbate long enough to make my fingers wrinkled. There are great periods of my life that have passed in lengths of being alone, from lonely to alone and then back again. As a result, many become blurred, not quite present. It is scary, I think, how easily and how quickly I can erase someone from my life. If we have a disagreement or the merest trifle, it is no deal at all for me to never communicate with them again. I might miss them for a few days but then I am back to being myself. This flat with its four walls is the shell and I retreat inwards.
Stepping out of the elevator, I think to myself—O, I am alone, quite alone, and all this is make-believe, all this proximity. We go down the pub and bang on ceilings, get drunk, we forget and become sick, but it is all make-believe; look at it wilt in the morning. Or maybe it doesn’t. I cannot tell friendship apart from other things. Recede.
It has not rained in some time. The air is heavy and does not move. You can tell it has not rained in some time because the pavements are filthy and we need rain to feel civilised. There is vomit, drips, urine, there are stains I do not recognise. Rubbish cooks in the sun and perfumes the street. Occasionally I will worry that someone goes down my rubbish and unpacks my life, discovers my loneliness.
My friend replies—‘Come round. Let’s get drunk.’ I ask him to invite other people too, even if they are strangers.

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