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I hate this time of year. For some reason the so-called festive season always reminds me of the things I hate about the world and society in general. All the christmas cheer just seems so damn false and see-through, like a thin coat of paint over the top of a vandalised wall. It's as if everyone decides that if we can play nice for one month a year, pretending everything is good with the world, then it'll all turn out okay and we'll never have to wake up from this stupid christmas dream to discover reality.
Maybe I'm just cynical.
It's funny how the littlest things can remind you of those you've lost. Whether it's the mood you're in or the time of year or just dumb luck, suddenly you find yourself fighting back tears over something as trivial as a TV show. A character says something in a certain way or tilts their head in a particular fashion and that's it, you're lost. And all the ground covered to get you from the moment of loss to living your life now can disappear in a split second and you're in tears. You just can't escape that you miss them.
It never ceases to amaze me the sort of things some people will take to heart and find deeply offensive. Lesson #1 for those who know me - if I tell you to fuck off, chances are it doesn't mean I hate you, it just means you're irking me. I think I need to get that put on a t-shirt, or maybe have it tattooed on my forehead. "WARNING - I tell people to fuck off on a semi-regular basis. This is normally nothing personal, it just means I'm in a bad mood. Thankyou for listening, have a nice day"
A winter's night.
Mild insanity reigns as things unthinkable in the harsh glare of day become acceptable under cover of darkness. As you find yourself drawn to things you know can only end in tears, your interest and excitement heightens until it's all giggling and dancing in the street. Freezing cold air blows through you, causing knees to knock and teeth to chatter, perhaps slightly more than what is entirely necessary. Anything to draw attention, to find what it is you seek - comfort, though not from the cold that nurtures your not so innocent longings, but simply from yourself.
I always find it kind of funny when people turn to me for advice. It's not that I find them funny, it's just the idea of people seeing me as being able to say something that might help seems so strange to me. I'm hardly the most balanced of individuals, yet many people I know have turned to me at one time or another. I know I'm a good listener, it's just the idea of people thinking I have something to offer that I find strange. It's funny how people can see you so differently to how you see yourself.
Sometimes it just feels as though the entire world is plotting against you, as if every little thing is there just to get on your nerves and get you down. When something as simple as a splash of washing up water ending up on the floor can have you close to tears, you know there's something wrong. Even if you manage to put it off for a few hours so you can go out and act as if you're having fun, it all ends the same way - alone, with nothing but your thoughts to tide you through the night.
Sleep. An escape from the world, a refuge from sadness, a sanctuary from pain. The only time in our lives that we're able to embrace complete nothingness without fear. Sleep seems to melt away all the crap of the day previous and cast a slightly better glow on the day ahead, making it seem as if anything is possible after a good night's rest. It's almost plausible to think that if you sleep for long enough, all the grudges held by you and against you, all the bullshit you have to put up with every day will just be forgotten.
If there's one thing I really hate, it's being confused. I hate the idea of things not being black and white, things not having a clear cut answer. I find it so frustrating to try and get my head around mixed messages and try to find an answer within them. Then when I do start to get my head around it, I start to think that maybe what I think is there isn't there at all, and it's just my own imagination and wishful thinking. I wish I could download an "Understanding Grey Areas" file into my brain, Matrix style.
She walks into the school reunion, and every head turns. Black ringlets run halfway down her neck, leading all eyes to the blood red of her dress; it frames her exquisite figure perfectly and draws gasps from every man in the room. She glides through the crowd on long, milky white legs, ending in delicate feet encased in the deadliest of stilettos. Her wide eyes, ringed in the blackest of eyeliners, take in the whole room, and a smirk touches the perfect red pout of her lips.
They'll look at her differently when they know her name was once Gary.
Sometimes you get little reminders of your own mortality and it makes you question everything you think you know about yourself and those around you. You tell those around you that you're sure it's nothing and you're probably just over-reacting, but inside you're freaking the fuck out. Seems kinda funny really - something so tiny and seemingly insignificant can have you thinking about the really big things, like life and death and love and family and all the shit that goes along with it.
I'm sure in a week I'll read this back and laugh.
At least that's the plan.
The bruises on her face told more than her words ever could, or would for that matter. Her silence was like a security blanket - something she told herself would keep the world out, but in fact only drew their attention closer. Any questions asked got a fierce response, any curious looks received an icy cold stare. She was tough, maybe a little too tough for her own good, but anyone who tried to tell her that ended up on the outer. It was all part of her armour, all a mask to hide the real her from the world.
Everything in this world spins around and around and around until it's spinning so fast that it feels like you're the one spinning and you're the one getting dizzy and you're the one spinning a hole into the ground while the rest of the world is standing still. Even when you make a conscious effort to stop things spinning and twisting and spiralling out of control, it's as if you're not only ignored, you're disobeyed. You say slow, life says fast. You say quiet, life says loud. You say stop, life says go.
But what if I don't wanna go?
On the corner of two of the crappiest streets in the city, there is an even crappier hotel. This hotel is a cliché in motion - cockroaches climb the walls, mould coats the roof, and the taps are always running. On the third floor, at the end of the hallway, there is a room with a filthy door. Inside the room there is a desk, and sitting at the desk is a man. As he scribbles his final line onto paper, a tear falls from his eye and smudges the page.
This was never how it was supposed to end.
Some days are diamonds, and some days are dirty, filthy, stinking pieces of crap. Sometimes you wake feeling good about the world, looking forward to the day and eager to leap into it, and then every other day it's as if you need a team of strong men to drag you from your bed. It's funny how things can change so quickly - you go to bed feeling all is well with the world, and wake up wanting to punch everyone in sight. I don't know about anyone else, but I think Mr Sandman has a lot to answer for.
Our lives are spent trapped in tiny little boxes, yet we spend most of it oblivious to the fact. When we start out we live in boxes named cradles, then we spend our lives living in a series of boxes that we call houses, and working and toiling away in boxes called offices and schools. Then when all the fun is done we end up in our own person sized boxes named coffins. And along the way we insist on putting everything into a box so we can grasp it in our brains, cause heaven forbid things don't come boxed.
Six months is a damn long time when you're counting each day, each hour, each minute, each second. I've spent the last six months counting like that, and it's felt like a million years. Six months of trying to find other ways to sleep, other ways to stop shaking, other ways to breathe. Six months of telling yourself you can do this, you've done it so far and you will keep doing it. Six months of convincing yourself that to start again is to hurt others, and that is the worst thing you could do.
Sometimes six months lasts forever.
Is there anything in this world as innocent as a brand new baby? All wrapped up in new blankets, with fresh new skin, and special baby smell about them. They're like a living snapshot of what peace on earth would be like. Before they're taken and ruined by the outside world, they're utterly, utterly perfect. The mere thought of being responsible for protecting something so innocent and pure from the evils of the world is terrifying to me, yet everyday I see people who shouldn't be doing it do it. And to me, there is no sadder thing than that.
The clock winds down on another day, leading to a time when eyelids should be closing and heart rates dropping. Her eyes are wide open, her heart racing a million miles a second - there is nothing in her world winding down at all. Five vodkas and seven cigarettes leave her dragging her hand through the hot candle wax without so much as a flinch. She looks out over the dark and sleeping city and wonders how many more nights will end like this. And on a deeper level, she wonders if she would actually want it any other way.
We do so much to try and hold on to moments in time. We take photos, write in journals, relay stories to each other in the hopes of spreading the word, and thus keeping the memories alive. Why do we even bother? Eventually our minds go, our photos fade, our journals are left behind to gather dust. At the end of the day, our moments mean nothing to anyone but ourselves anyway, so why try to preserve them at all? Why go to all that effort when it's all going to end up as dust, just like we ourselves will?
He feels it creeping ever closer. It's nothing tangible, nothing that could be explained away with words, but there just the same. Like a storm cloud looming on the horizon, it casts a shadow over all he does. But, like the sweet relief of a summer storm, it's not all bad. There is some joy in it, and perhaps that is what scares him most. For as much as he tells himself he wants it gone, there is a certain comfort within it, a certain knowledge that it is his and his alone. Better the devil you know after all.
Some say that everything happens for a reason. But are the reasons always good? I mean, what if the reason is to cause pain and suffering? It'd certainly make more sense that way. I don't see any good reasons behind children being abandoned and neglected by their so-called parents, or any good reasons for one child to be hurt while a sibling is praised and loved. Maybe the reason is just to show the world exactly how shitty life can be, and make us thankful for what we've got.
So where does that leave the ones made an example of?
Sometimes I'd really love to be completely unambitious and just be happy with my lot in life. To live a simple life with simple plans and dreams. To aspire to that which is easily achievable so that happiness is just around the corner as opposed to being as unattainable as it seems at times. I truly envy those who are happy with their comfortable jobs and comfortable homes and comfortable families. It just seems like a much more pleasant option with none of the heartache that comes from wanting more. I guess I'll try to trick myself into wanting less
The little girl has packed her case and decided she's going to run away from home. In her case is her favourite doll, her pink lipstick and a packet of biscuits that she's stolen from the kitchen cupboard. She gets as far as the bus stop on the corner before realising she left her teddy at home, and as she's walking back to get it, she's gets bored with the idea of running away from home. She gets home, she gets busted, and she gets belted.
Part of her already knows she'll be running for the rest of her life.
Apparently you can choose your friends but not your family. Fuck that. I choose the opposite. I choose to have my friends as my family, and my family as enemies. Does this make me a bad person? Probably. Does it make me a more sane and balanced person? Definitely. Does it make me particularly proud of myself? Hell no. But then again, I didn't choose to be born when I was and who I was and where I was, so fuck it. I'm old enough to drink and vote and drive, so I'm fucking well old enough to choose this.
Across the world today, there are people who are spending the day alone. Some through choice, some through necessity, some through no fault of their own. They sit alone and endure the festive cheer and try and ignore the fact that they are alone at the one time of year you're meant to be with the people that you love. They avoid Christmas television specials and carols on the radio and think about other things, all the while wondering what got them to the point of being alone on Christmas day. Is it any wonder suicide rates increase at Christmas?
As the first rays of sunshine stream through his window, he stirs slightly. His brain begins to wake, and as it does, it remembers the night before, and starts to dread the day to come. The brain knows that the minute the body lifts itself, it will begin to ache. Beginning at the head, the ache will make its way down the face, blurring the eyes and leaving a metallic taste in the mouth. The stomach will cramp and the legs will shake, but that goddamn sun says it's time to get up, so for now the ache is ignored.
There's just something about rain. It seems to clean that which cannot be cleaned, and soothe that which cannot be soothed. It washes over the earth and in doing so washes away all the crap that is allowed to accumulate under normal circumstances, leaving something fresh and beautiful behind. The aftermath of rain leaves so many opportunities, so many chances to start afresh, do things over, make things better this time around. And hell, if you fuck it up again, there's always the chance of another downpour. That's the beauty of rain - there's always the chance it'll happen again.
Do any of us really look out for our fellow man unless there is some benefit in it for us? If we all just treated each other with kindness, wouldn't life be great? Sad thing is, I'm not naïve enough to think it'll ever happen. We're just not wired to think that way. Jealousy, greed, anger, hatred - they're all things we're wired to feel. We're also able to feel things like love, but the bad stuff we feel and think always seems to outweigh the good stuff. Sometimes I'm utterly disgusted to be a member of the human race.
In the middle of a busy industrial estate, there is a small park. Most of the play equipment is gone or ruined now, and children rarely come by to play. There is, however, still the swing set. There's nothing too special about the swings, at least from afar. But when you get close, you see that this isn't just a swing set, but more a time capsule. Countless declarations of school kid puppy love are etched into the metal frames, and the footprints of hundreds of children are ingrained into the dirt below.
One day it will be gone too.
There are a lot of people in the world who believe love can transcend all and as long as you have love, nothing can truly hurt you. I guess I'd like to believe that myself, and there are times when I do. But so much happens that all the love in the world to the power of a million couldn't fix, it kind of makes it hard to keep faith in the "love shall triumph" theory. I guess it's nice to try and continue thinking that way though - at least then there's a good reason to love each other.
I'm kind of worried. New Years Eve, I'm throwing a party, and I'm utterly terrified that I'm going to do something incredibly stupid like I always do when drunk. I guess there's no point worrying about what might be though.
I've tried to avoid making journal type entries in this, but hell, this is the last one. I'm quite amazed that I've finished to be honest, and kinda proud of myself too. I guess there are some things I can finish if I set my mind to them.
So ends a not so good year. Here's to next year rockin'
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