Monday, 18 August 2008


I'm lying on the bed. My limbs tingle with fatigue. The room is illuminated by the throbbing glow of the electronically twinkling Christmas lights. The house is silent. The phone is unplugged.

Pale wintry light filters in through the window when I awaken. I feel I have slept a while. I exhale deeply, feeling rested. I get up and trudge downstairs in my underwear to prepare coffee. Before I do this I reconnect the phone. As I sit in the armchair by the window, sipping hot coffee, it rings. I continue to sip my coffee, ignoring its shrill notification.

After two cups of coffee, I wrap up in a heavy coat and head outside to embark on a stroll. I have a cassette player to listen to, an old Sony Walkman. It is scuffed but functioning.

As I stroll, I contemplate the facts of my existence. I am 43 years old. I still live in my grandfather's home. He died five years ago, aged 95. I am a freelance copy-editor, working from home. I resist direct contact with other human beings as much as possible. I want to impart this information now, instead of relaying it gradually or incidentally.

I walk alone along by the canal. A shriveled, bewildered old woman is feeding a few swans with bread, muttering to herself incoherently. I have seen this woman before and am somehow fond of her. I recall a time when I was 26 and I thought I should do or be something more. Since then I've the vague notion that I somehow missed my opening.

My breath rises before me in white wisps. I pass a deserted playground, its metallic surfaces glinting in the sharp wintry light. The day is quiet and still. And cold.

I am of a fairly neurotic disposition. I dislike brushing my teeth. Showering unnerves me. Neither of these traits should be attributed to laziness or some sort of willful hygienic neglect. Although I come across as lethargic and preoccupied, when I apply myself to something I am thorough.

My feet crunch the frosted grass as urine coloured sunshine spills over dead grey buildings. I walk quickly. I use walking to exhaust myself, a therapeutic exercise I have learned. Oftentimes physical and mental levels of energy are intertwined. If I sit for too long I become restless and agitated. I walk each morning, fuelled by coffee. I mull over prospective literary ideas.

My aspiration, you see, is to become a writer. I've been at it, on and off, since my late teenage years. I've had a few things published, articles and stories here and there in mostly small publications. Still, I indulge the fantasy of publishing a novel one day.

I suppose I don't have the mental wherewithal to see it through. A certain type of mental agility and tenacity that I lack. Sometimes I think my best pieces of writing are my brief, fleeting journal entries. Spontaneity seems to be my muse.

I've had my fair share of pussy in my time. I haven't really had much of late though admittedly. Partly this is due to a slight resignation on my part. A loss in interest as well as a decline in self-confidence. I rely on occasional masturbation, abetted by vivid, complex fantasies, to satisfy my carnal urges.

For a time I was engaged to be married, but that didn't pan out. She changed her mind. She found herself someone else. No, she didn't. Yes she did. I've always felt different from 'normal' people. Too quiet. Too withdrawn. At worst I make people suspicious, at best, uncomfortable. I don't mind too much; I have a rich inner life, the kind that too many lack these days, or so it seems to me.

I know what I must do now; I must exist solely to write. Other things have passed me by. This is all that I have left.

A pretty girl lives along the street. Sometimes whilst masturbating, I imagine her kneeling down, nude, eagerly performing a blowjob on your humble narrator. Then I ejaculate and am horrified by such depraved machinations. Then, a few days later, I repeat these proceedings.

Other times my fantasies involve reluctance on the part of the girl whilst I brutally force sexual acts upon her. Post-ejaculation a hopeless numbness overcomes me, rendering me totally lethargic.

I have an extensive record collection which I rarely listen to anymore. The promise and earnest urgency of my youthful music tastes seems irrelevant at this stage in the game. I prefer the ambient sounds of a small suburb at dusk.

10:05am is a good time to write, 'specially post-coffee. There's been some rain today, the sky is overcast. The telephone ringing is like a banshee wailing. Tempted to go some place where I'm not obliged to leave the thing connected.

It's not such a bad life, I reflect. Save for the occasional bought of crushing melancholy. Beautiful girls on the street; you make me want to sob into your golden hair.

I reflect on a key moment during my formative adolescent years. The day in high school when me pants wis drenched wi' pish. It was harrowing, kid. A part of me closed off that day, possibly for good.

Gazing out the blank window, I apply some cheap fragrance for no apparent reason. Why this overwhelming sense of vague urgency? And these unnamable anxieties, where do they emit from?

My uncle was a homosexual, my auntie is an embittered spinster, my father is pussy-whipped by my domineering mother. I can only conclude that they had a flawed model on which to base relationships.

I walk to the library, browse the books, smile at the Chinese librarian. All the while filled with a fragile awe, as when regarding slowly tumbling leaves.

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