Somewhere beyond the trees.
I’m weightless in the shadows of the abyss, the darkness keeps me balanced as I bounce softly between our world and theirs. There is no noise but the sound of nothing, the feeling of eternal space around me as I continue to float in the black air. I don’t want to go back, I like it here, I don’t want to, no one can make me! I won’t!
It’s calming really, the translucent yet earthly tainted roots keep my physical being anchored firmly to what I think is the ground with slight movement, refraining any danger to myself or others.
I like it here; I wish you could join me. The obvious answer would be a no, I get that.
I never wanted to be lost within myself, with what makes me so worried and anxious yet malevolent to myself with a self destructive inner core. I’m safe though, I’m safer alone without anyone trying to understand my complex self-torture, this is safer for everyone to stay away as I can live with my shame.
What is imaginative to me seems so real, almost a physical desire of letting go to divulged into what I enjoy to others would repulse and grotesque. I really don’t care, I live a solitary life without letting anyone else in, if people could see what was inside would fill me with complete dread. I don’t really have any friends as they wouldn’t understand, my head is tightly closed like a flower with no access. If someone was to tear back the frigged petals the more naked I feel, the sickening thoughts on display for everyone to see. The dark thoughts I enjoy that keep me somewhat sane and calm without spiralling into chaos, no one would understand.
As I continue to swim around in my thoughts with nothing be my eyelids separating me from the outside world, specs of light seep though fading from fluorescent pinks to hellish reds. The feel of cold earth and rotten flesh pressed against my skin cools the burning fires that seem to ignite themselves within me are just the beginning. Sometimes I get too carried away, the sweating from my forehead to the palm of my hands make me fidget with uncontrollable spasms. It’s as if my body knows this is wrong, fighting with my mind to seek harmony in this fantasy world. Surrounded by dirt in the set undergrowth I become stuck and unable to move, I’ve churned up the earth. I’ve dug my own grave. The loose dirt has compacted me, pressing on my chest as it pushes the air from my lungs. My heart is a persistent fist pounding against my chest cavity racing to stay calm, the mud changes form, it knows I’m scared, it can sense the fear, they can smell it. Like a vice grip around my neck it takes the form of something which isn’t clear, I shake my head vigorously with what seems to be a bead of snot that leaves my nose and a single tear from my eye. I’m consumed, I can’t breathe, I’m theirs.
Gasp! An irregular inhale to a long sigh of relief. I must have blacked out again.
These apparitions plague my mind yet these are my only true friends, they have attached themselves to me for some reason. They leak out of sight and move in ways I cannot describe, their lucid like movements make me double take as I see them in the corner of my eye. Fluid black entities without a backbone tormenting me from day to day that bleed over objects or stand in doorways watching me, always watching.
The pills don’t work, the doctor said they would but there no use, just another patient on his of false diagnoses to keep him in a well paid job, what a prick. Maybe I should take them, what will they do really as the reality of dealing with reality is daunting to say the least. I blacked out in the woods again for the second time this week, eurgh… the scratches on my wrists must have be forced up against the exposed roots of that larger tree, it looks nasty but oddly satisfying. What am I doing, I can’t keep doing this, I cannot keep blacking out.
Ok, Ok… everything’s normal just keep walking nobody is looking at you, they don’t know you so they can mind their own fucking business. (sniffs) What is that smell? I must have fallen over into something unpleasant, I must have been knocked out for a good hour! What would she think of me? Definitely a loser yes, but a monster of unfathomable behaviour I couldn’t imagine the look on her face. She’d never want to be with me if she could see me on the inside, she would be the only person I’d want to let in.
Go away! I’ve done what you’ve asked! Leave me alone… Ahhh!
The woods are the place, the place of my internal sickness that seems to be the result of my infatuation with this other world I’ve become so accustom to. I don’t know which part of me loves it or loathes it, control is the key, with control over myself I’m the master of my actions and without it I find myself back here time and time again. These things I can see have personalities to degree that I can define them from each other, yet reflective of my behaviour, you could say they are extensions of my true self. I know it sounds completely ridiculous to everyone but if you were to translate what I could see, I would be in a padded room by now completely white which would send me crazier. A restrictive jacket wouldn’t be necessary, definitely a bit too harsh on my part as I’m not totally insane but I’d be bored. My mind is too extensive to be confined to such a small space, I’d feel the need to grow extra limbs to push walls and ceilings just to fit. But when I close my eyes I ‘am infinite, space and time would be a pathetic concept. Breathing in sends me climbing to ungodly heights to a point I can look down on my problems within this amplitude I can grasp with one hand and crush to splinters. This is a place where they can’t consume me, nothing here can. You don’t get it, fuck you all.
Ah, home at last. That was a long walk, well, it seemed like it anyway. Its only few rooms that I need to live that’s my safe place, my fortress of solitude just for me.
The showers have to ne old as my blood runs hot, the slow trickling water puts out the last embers in my brain after a blackout.
I close my eyes to allow the water to fall freely over my face, its all dark but the light persists to pierce through but I don’t let it. I screw my eyes tighter to black but the fragmented psychedelic shapes merge into balls of fire, flickering in time to my clenched facial muscles. With a pupil at the centre encapsulated with flame starring back at me I feel trapped within its gaze, the fire burns bright and impossible to look away.
The mud and dirt rushes down the plug hole as I now watch it spiral away, I watch the toe height typhoon until it runs clear, dust, dirt and debris fall out my hair only to ride the rapids as well. My palm is firmly pressed against the tiles keeping me supported, my head is hanging low while the water cascades down the bridge of my nose and rolls of my cheeks. I pick dirt from under my nails and flick it away, I use beads of water that rifle through my hair as cleaning bullets to blast away the remaining silt. I’m in control.
Its all in my head of course, someone like me could only conjure up scenarios like this, is it desire? Is it fear? I can’t escape these thoughts that mix with self diagnosed anxiety, paranoia and OCD, not to forget the peripheral companions I feel so connected to.
The bathroom is quiet, after a shower I try to relax in the bath before work, sinking my ears past the waterline drowns out the city pollution and the occasional police siren. The softened noises become exceptional through the water, forming a theme tune to my thoughts. I guess they are desirable thoughts; they are their thoughts too which makes us the same person as they want me to see, I want to see, I want to know who ‘they’ are.
The bathroom is too white, white bath, while tiles, walls… everything. It’s a complete contrast of colour to my thoughts, or should I say the existence of no colour. There’s a window of silence, a drop of water breaks it, I open my eyes to feel pressure building up on the back of my head form the hard fibreglass bath. I tilt my head forward to relieve the throbbing, twisting it from side to side and rubbing the pain away. I plunge myself back into the water, now I can concentrate.
The feeling on the other side is similar to floating in water, your physical body becomes irrelevant, a hollow shell I can escape from. My breathing staggered as I try not to drown, my nostrils slightly above water taking in small amounts of air with my heart rate dropping. All I can hear is the blood flow through my veins like a faint channel of air, I sink in deeper as my lifeless corpse sticks to the bath. My soul is there, I let go… I’m home.
There’s no direction in the darkness with no corners to hide, just endless nothing. I feel blind with no purpose of why I’m here but it’s a somewhere I can go that no one else knows. I don’t know how to control this, it knows when I’m scared, things will manifest according to my emotions. There is a gust of wind all around with unidentified fragments scraping past me, brushes of finger tips and subtle grazes across my shoulder. Faint voices travel through the air, I can’t make it out. What the… ah!
BEEP BEEP BEEP!
Rapid breathing, hyper ventilating, calm… slow.
Shit, work alarm and I’m still trying to rinse away the filth, literally, its mostly internal but it feels so external clinging to my skin like layers of mucus for the world to see. Urgh, I better get my shit together.
The rain is heavy this evening with fine rain that coats you from every angle, ill be soaked through when I get in. I do enjoy the walk as I put on my headphones to block out people’s voices and their boring conversations. I like the rain, especially the smell as it seems to put everything into perspective. The concept of rain makes everything seem real in a world where everything changes, you can’t change the force of nature. An element from the beginning of time which will continue when were long gone, rotting worm food or biofuel for future robotic spaceships or some shit like that. Whatever becomes of this world in thousands of years, it’ll still fucking rain.
Flickering open sign, open the door, bell rings.
"Dude, your drenched! The weathers shit tonight; I'll grab you towel from the back"
"Thanks, I have a spare shirt in my bag I'll put on"
"There's a few stacks from last night and this afternoon returns, oh there's some out of date popcorn i can't sell... help yourself"
"I'll grab some later. Yano, I think I've seen more movies backwards than forwards, how many people can say that"
"Your one of a kind Alex, I'll make you a name badge, Alex... Mr rewind... happy to help, haha"
"It would be helpf...
Bell rings, customer, "excuse me"
"Sorry Alex, 2 seconds. Hi how can I help"
"Yeah sure, I'll just carry on with these... yeah... cool"
Helen's my work colleague, she likes to think she's the boss. We get paid exactly the same but she takes it all so seriously, I mean look at her rearranging the chewing gum and putting the crisp packets in colour order... fuck that. She does have the keys to building so I guess management trust her more than myself, just not enough too pay her more... ha. I just rewind back tapes and occasionally take a beer from the fridge while she's fucking about reapplying her makeup in the bathroom. I don't know why, nobody hardly ever comes in, only to use the toilet and the odd freak that stares at Helen's chest asking her when she gets off work. She never acts on it but eats up the attention like easy prey to a lioness.
I pull out my chair and slam the stack of tapes on the desk, my elbow grinds on the table as I support my forehead with my fingertips. I pause for while before I start rewinding tapes, the magnitude of stickers we put on the cases that say, 'be kind, please rewind' never work, there stuck all over counter instead. There's no edges to them which makes that harder to scratch off, the plain looking smiley face would always get scribbled on. Sunglasses, teeth or a humble message of fuck you or, 'nope' would always keep me entertained. I switch on the TV to instinctively wipe away the static, the prickly sensation is addictive and swarms of bees keep me mesmerised as my pupils dilate.
Ah… Aliens I fucking love this movie and yep this one is completely to the end, fuckers. Ill let them off as what could be better than watching Aliens? Aliens in reverse! Its blurry as anything but you get the idea of what’s going on, I like to think most movies could work backwards in some kind of context. The fast pace flickering alongside the shriek of the tapes sends me mad most of the time but after a day like today its louder than ever, as if I’d taken a band saw to the table or something of equal decibel. My temples are pulsating with made up stress, they feel like fault lines in the earths crust waiting to erupt, a warm gooey like substance all over the quivering screen. As if the movie had come to life in this tiny room where I’d been shot in the head, or the Xenomorphs inner jaw had burrowed a hole through my brain. I stand up and move away from the screen, I turn my back to the shelf behind me to arrange the newer titles from past releases ready for tonight’s ‘customers’. I slot the correlating tapes amongst each other and snigger at people poor taste in movies, I mean come on, over 10 years now and they can not top the first Jaws, who’s still watching these anyway? They blew the fucking shark up in the first one?! What now, his buddy who got killed in the second one’s buddy is still pissed about it? I can’t keep up. Ah Alien 3, Now this I got need to see as its got to be pretty good to top Aliens.
The brighter scenes from the TV behind me reflect my silhouette onto the shelf in front of me, each passing frame of light illuminates my distorted shadow in different strengths as I move back and forth. I grasp one of the high shelves with my fingers and stared at my feet, my body was trembling as I could feel something was watching me. I continued to stare at the ground and slowly anchor my head up, following my shadow up the shelf as it bent within the contours of the empty space, I felt a presence. My shadow became ever denser as I got closer, my hand still hanging onto the ledge as my energy disappears in an instant. I close my eyes... Oh no…
BANG. (collapses on the floor)
His shadow still remains on the shelf with the glare from the TV, staggers towards him and leers over him. It lays beside him as he regains consciousness. He turns to his side as his shadow becomes a black mass stretching out and crawls up the walls. The sound of breathing echoes to which he places his hand over the darkness. Black smoke curls around his fingers, something heavier than smoke pulls his hand into the darkness as he falls into the unknown. He vanishes. Gone.
“Hello? Is anybody there?”
*Irregular throated breathing*
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