I put this out there, with trepidation and an overwhelming feeling of ‘oh shit…what have I done?!’. It’s a snippet from months of writing. When I started this, it was the start of something special, a personal and enlightening experience…where my writing journey began…
…… As I walk through the debris of the street, leaves and litter, life rushes by around me. Bottles, plastic and paper bags, wrappers strewn across the pavement, parting like waves in my path. My destination is unknown to me at the moment, focused on each footstep. To look up would somehow spoil the mystery, the almost secrecy of where I’ll end up. It brings some amusement in an otherwise mundane life, a new street, same litter, unknown destination. The thought of what people must think when looking at this strange man, grinning whilst staring directly in front and down at the ground. Well…I couldn’t care less. Whatever creates an ounce of joy, I’ll hold on to it, no matter how odd.
The intrigue and enigma of this game I play is short lived as I reach a dead end, quite fitting is a dark, cluttered end. It mirrors my fall from grace, instant and in my face. As if to laugh in my face, never a happy ending. Turns out I recognise this area, as I reluctantly look up, I’m directly adjacent to my usual walk home. On joining the main street again, as ever I’m hiding in a trance, avoiding possible interaction, hands in pockets fiddling with keys and coins. Trying to hold on to the excitement of the accepted application to this experiment. Destination is home, or whatever you want to call it.
We’re about 24 hours from the start of S.D.A-1.0, I find myself tidying the shithole I call home. Ignoring the plaster falling from the walls as I place books back on their shelf. Dusting the coffee table even though it has a gaping crack down the middle and evidence of a serious lack of coasters. It came with this dive, along with the sofa, no doubt flea ridden, a murky brown colour, pretty sure it was a cream colour when it began it’s life. Obligatory broken springs trying to force their way through the misshapen and worn seat cushions. I straighten the single ornament I have, a little bird, a robin on a singular branch, delicate petals at the end. A reminder of a great man, my grandfather. Possibly the only thing I hold dear in this life. As I skew my head, pondering whether it looks better on the twisted mantle or perhaps in the middle of the coffee stained table, all seems quiet. Obviously the inevitable silence in the room as I stare at my robin. A quiet mind and a sobering thought of aloneness, yet not lonely. As if every fleeting thought, every unanswered question meant absolutely nothing. A feeling of being free, a quick glance around the dump to quickly realise all I’ll be taking with me is this, an ornament of a bird, a meaning, a sentiment. Knowing whenever this is over, the cracked coffee table, stained sofa, plaster laden floors with flaking craters in the walls will undoubtedly belong to somebody else. Somebody else will stand where I am, whether having the same sobering thoughts or surveying their new home with pride, they will without a doubt be skipping over the shit I now see, just as I did. Independence is one thing, surviving is another. If this is where an independent life begins, I have little hope for humanity, little expectation for a better world, and a sad feeling that others will feel like I do at this moment or worse, alone plus loneliness.
The light outside has faded as I continue to stand in front of the mantle. My gaze ever so slightly blurred, strained focus on the robin, brain feeling tired. I notice my stance has widened as I gently sway, involuntarily, almost a rockabye. As tired and exhausted as my body and mind feel, a saddening prospect of breaking this gaze is overwhelming, bringing a tear to my eye. Knowing that if I do manage to sleep at all, I will have broken this peaceful moment to inevitably fail at getting the rest I cry out for. A broken half an hour, nightmare ridden and exhausting in itself. It is almost pleasing to realise that this decision, attempt to sleep or not, will be taken out of my hands. A prisoner of an experiment, but a free man from the jail of my mind……..
This was hard for me to put out there. But starting and continuing this novel, starting this blog and reading others has been a life changing experience!
How did your writing journey begin?
How has writing helped you?