Posts tagged lost
Posts tagged lost
“You don’t get it. Everyone depends on me, everyone tells me their problems because they think they have none of their own. They think I run this thing and they think that the smile on my face is a real one. But it’s not. And I don’t say anything. Because if I break, who’s going to hold the rest of them up? What would happen if one day I woke up and said, fuck it. Do it yourselves.”
She’s sitting with her arms wrapped around her knees, staring out at the tents. The rain has slowed to a slow drizzle and it’s sunset. She’s been sitting out here for just over two hours.
“I feel that way sometimes, you know. Like throwing in the towel. Like sitting in the corner of the truck and closing my eyes and refusing to move. Like letting the world go to hell without me because I can make my own way there. And every so often I look at letters from home and I cry harsh, hard tears. Not the dainty crying that ladies do, it’s a strangled cry and it gives me a nasty fucking headache afterwards. I sob till there’s nothing left inside, and then I wipe my eyes and carry on. It’s a cleansing process. I don’t tell anyone about it. Well, not till now.”
Dead ends of cigarettes litter the roof of the truck and the one in her hand shakes as she perches like the sole guardian of this travelling show. Her dark hair is plastered to her forehead and her thin jumper soaked through to the skin.
“I have trigger words for my tears, four of them. I want my mum. I say those words over and over and over again and my throat closes up and I feel so fucking alone that I cannot believe it. It’s the only time that I ever let myself face the reality of what I’ve become. I’m alone. Yeah, I have the show and I have my sister, but I’ve left everything else behind. My education, my family. My mother. And the worst thing is that if I turn back now she would welcome me back and not blame me for anything that I have done to them. For abandoning them. And I couldn’t do it, I couldn’t go back there because I can’t stay in one place, I can’t be stuck somewhere because the truth is I think I will fail. If I keep moving I can’t form attachments and I can’t get hurt. I just hurt everyone else.”
She shivers. Presses a saturated sleeve to her eyes, sniffs and carries on.
“If I let myself think about what I’m actually doing, I panic. That’s the real me. Racing ahead and ignoring all my problems because if I face them head on I will collapse, more so than now. I don’t sleep properly. I have the worst nightmares available to mankind and I get up in the morning and hate what I see in the mirror, I’m jealous of everyone who’s prettier than me or who seems more in control than me, anyone who is loved because I wish I could do that. I wish I could give up. Just go home and hug my mum and have her tell me everything will be okay. Just leave everything behind. But that’s the cowards way out, isn’t it?”
This isn’t the girl I know. The one I know is smart mouthed and always grinning. She punches walls and spits insults. She doesn’t cry. She never cries. And this is the first time I’ve seen her anything other than utterly self assured.
“Or maybe the cowards way is to do what I’m doing. Not facing anything. Running away from my problems. I don’t know what the fuck I’m doing but I can put on a good enough front that people trust me. People think I can do it. And the truth is that I’ve never been so out of control.”
We’ve been waiting for you.
At first we weren’t so sure, but now that we’ve seen the resolve in your eyes it is certain. You are the one we have been waiting for. Not that you’re special - you are one of many, but we wait for everyone who we feel a connection with. The thing that pulls us together is that we are all oceans apart.
You offer a cigarette to a homeless man and he tells you that voices speak to him through the pavement. And you tell him you hear them as well. You wonder if he was rejected from the same place you are looking for. But he fell before we could catch him, we couldn’t break his fall. There are some who get caught in the between, shadows of their former selves unable to break away from the silhouettes of silence that envelope them day after day. He tells you to have a nice day, thanks you for the cigarette and settles back down on the pavement. For a moment you are tempted to join him there, just to stop for a while and gather yourself together. But you move on. There’s something pulling at your stomach that you cannot explain or resist.
We’re waiting for you.
It’s easy to lose count of the steps you take. The nights bleed into the days and the days into the night until the only way you can tell the difference is by how heavy your eyelids get. You’ve heard of us by now. Whispers on the breeze that only you seem to feel. And you’re looking for us now.
We saw you at the station when you got off the train, but you didn’t see us. We blend in very well. You put down your bag and stood still as the world moved around you, everyone with a direction to head in apart from you. This was the end of the line. And secretly you were hoping for some sort of epiphany, some sort of magical revelation that would give you a new purpose, a new idea of where to go. But there was nothing. Your resolve wavered and then strengthened again. And off you went.
You begin to walk. Your legs ache after a while, and you turn down random streets without looking where you are going, your internal compass trying to realign itself in this foreign land. Street names blur in your head. You start to notice things, things that were always there but stayed under the surface. The way that your muscles tighten on a slight hill. The beauty of a silhouette. The electricity that hums through the night air, so fine that you could touch it if you hold your breath long enough. You find that you prefer travelling by night. Less people, so you feel less out of place. You feel most comfortable when the stars congregate for their nightly discussions, debating worldly topics whilst the moon remains the distant, impartial judge. They don’t notice you.
We’ve noticed how your seemingly wandering footsteps are heading in our direction, beating a unique tattoo upon the pavement. We’ve seen you recognise our name when someone mentions it in a passing conversation. We’ve noticed your eyelids flickering on those rare occasions that you sleep, seen the colours and the patterns in your dreams because they were once our dreams. Are still our dreams.
You’re getting closer.
I am lost.
I am floating through a hall of mirrors and my reflection has run away from me. What’s most disturbing is that this is normal. It happens all the time. Sometimes I catch a glimpse of it as it disappears, twisting away from the glass surface to join all the other lost things.
Like my hairbrush. My bus ticket. My bracelet. My heart, but I found that soon enough, still beating but with a little piece missing from it.
My reflection returns after a while, takes me by surprise when it does. Gives a smug little smile knowing that it has been to places I will never be able to get to, knowing that the memories it has made will forever stay buried in my unconscious mind.
I am lost.
The pieces of my frantic mind try to assemble themselves numbers one to ten but they cannot count, they’ve forgotten how. They’re good with words though. They spin lyrical fantasies that fill my waking dreams and persuade me to say things that make total sense inside my head but sound stupid to anyone else.
I am lost.
I turn down pathways that have arrows pointing in both directions, my internal compass is spinning wildly and I have to run my hand along the wall just to keep myself from drifting into the road.
I am lost.
I close my eyes and count, start with number one and then double it again and again and again until I cannot work out the numbers. I twiddle my thumbs. I press my eyelids until I can see colourful patterns against the darkness. I chew the inside of my mouth. I jiggle my leg up and down and up and down until people look at me strangely and then I smile at them and say that I’m fine, I’m just waiting for someone.
But I’m not. I am lost, and the worst thing is I don’t mind it.
I don’t mind it at all.