Vacant possession

You didn’t want to be at the meeting, you weren’t prepared, you didn’t want to be prepared, its beneath you its above you its irrelevent its too long its more of the same its off topic its all testosterone-fuelled posturing and points-scoring its just unequivocally boring. But you’re there, with your nouvelle-dezeen notebook, tablet and phablet. You used to park your ciggies and zippo in front of you like that as an unedrage drinker. You are wearing the same disdained face as then, too. Impress me, do you have anything worthy of my moleskine? If I reach for it, you know you’ve got my attention. Otherwise.

It always happens. You start zoning out. Voices begin to distort, their wavelength ebbs, you catch words lose others string them back together in a diffeernt order and fill the gaps yourself and visibly retreat. You edge your chair away from the table. Your eyes widen, your vision blurs. In the room, only just. Its at this point that you begin to edge back through your mind. You think if only you had time to think but you spend your time thinking about thinking instead of thinking. You crawl on all fours back through a velvet tunnel that swallows the resonance, drawn to the light, hurrying now you need air the soft gloves round your throat tightening.

You break gulping and gasping into the openness leaving a suited husk to appear interested. Unfettered you wander the promenade the high street the lanes the open road the combed hills the opportunities you never pursued the deals you never closed the chances you never took the kiss you avoided the subjects you plitely changed. You change history, you re-write every book you loved with yourself the protagonist the hero the lover the narrator. You untie and re-tie the knots of your life and your imagined life and satisfied you decide to return.

Lungfilled you brush the soft tunnel walls, content. As you skate the final curves you halt abruptly you rattle at the final doors you rattle again you tear at the handles the hinges but they are firm. Residing in the body you left is another. They are in control, speaking with authority gesturing with confidence making notes on the crisp pages of acceptance smiling with ease and for the ease of others. But its not you. Through the portholes in the door you can see your rivals raised eyebrows tilted heads impercetibly slow nods of graceful submission. Whoever is you, is winning. You gouge at the doors once more but to no avail. Whoever is in there isn’t coming out. They draw a curtain across the portholes, and you are in darkness.

You scramble back through the tunnel to the air where you were confident in control of your stories but the colours are washed, drained, and the heroes have changed places. You try to knit them together in familiar ways but the endings have changed, you no longer recognise yourself, the way you look the way you sound the assurance in the things you say. You grasp at what is certain but it slithers through your fingers like silk. You are alone aloof detached.

These are not your stories anymore.

 

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