'There it was. That moment of silence. The world translated, finally, from sound to sight. She could see it, the static in the air like a fog, clouding her periphery. But without a sound. She watched the silence like a dream, without a sound.'
Dan’s hair was getting too long. It was getting in his eyes, and muffling his ears, and no matter how many times he smoothed it back, it always appeared again. A curtain of dark about his pale face. Like a sheet of mystery to make other people uncomfortable.
Before the session started, he made one last attempt to make it look presentable. He stood in the men’s bathroom, staring at his reflection with growing dismay. He looked definitely looked crazy today. He definitely looked unhinged. The hair, the intense stare, even the childish colour in his cheeks. It was all so unsettling. So unforgivably unsettling and not conducive to his attempt to appear sane and presentable at all.
He ran the tap and pulled up the sleeves of his hoody. He thought about using the soap as a quasi hair gel and then thought against. Now that would be crazy.
‘Is that hand sanitizer in your hair, Mr Wood-Osterwald?’
‘Yes doctor, I thought it would…clean up my look.’
He filled his palms with the running water and then ran them over his hair. He’d definitely get a hair cut soon. Straight after this, for sure, if his barber was still open. Or maybe he’d cut it himself by watching a tutorial on the internet…No, he wasn’t creative or gutsy enough for that. He could ask Paige. Paige would love to do that.
For a moment he was distracted by the thought of Paige, her face edging towards his, her hands undoing his belt buckle.
He would just wait, if the barber’s was closed.
His hair was as slick as it was going to get. For a second he thought it might be too slick, too john Travolta circa Grease, but there was nothing he could do about it now. He went to leave the bathroom without turning off the tap. It wasn’t until the door closed that he remembered. Pulling down his sleeves he turned back and shut the tap, looking at himself one more time. He looked tired today. Tired eyes, plus intense stare would certainly equal an uncomfortable conversation about his ‘state’.
So I haven’t posted on here in a while.
I won’t make any excuses, because excuses are just clever ways of saying that you won’t take responsibilities for your actions. ‘I really wanted to post guys, but my sister fell down a well’ translates roughly as ‘yeah so uh, i am not culpable for anything. don’t sue me, sue my sister’ and I won’t have it said that I pass the buck, unless it’s a buck, and it’s going to a homeless person (smooth?)
Sadly, I’m not the hero of some classical tragedy. I cannot bemoan the cruel hand of Fate for stopping me in my tracks. No. It was the fresh face golden Opportunity (yeah, epithets for the win!) who came a knockin’ on my door, and greedily I accepted all it had to offer. ‘Foolish girl’ the cherub now laughs at me, ‘You shall not pass’ (because the cherub also moonlights as Gandalf in back street theatre productions of LOTR spoofs. He likes the thrill of failure. He is a wild one, ol’ golden Opportunity.) He is right. I have reached an impasse. The impasse of writer’s block. Or more, intellectual thought block.
It seems my brain is so chock a block with ideas, and hypotheticals, and complete nonsense, that it is now incapable of concentrating on anything for more than 10 minutes. Seriously. I can’t even procrastinate properly anymore. I log on to Facebook to get away from my work, and then I find myself checking my email to get away from Facebook, and then I start looking at new season coats to get away from my emails. Honestly, it’s like some sort of procrastination inception, but not as cool as it sounds and definitely with less slow motion falls.
Before I thought it was because I’d been working non-stop recently. Since Easter, I’ve been revising without a break. When I finally finished my exams, I was dragged into an intense few weeks preparing for both my dissertation and and a big event I would be hosting. So really I hadn’t had any time off until the start of July, and since then I’ve done…nothing. Jack diddly.
And I still can’t quite switch on.
I cannot find the switch.
Perhaps there never was a switch…
PERHAPS I’VE BEEN DEAD THIS WHOLE TIME!
No, i feel like death has more symptoms than just not being able to string a sentence together. So i’m probably not dead (always a possibility though) just tired. maybe i just need a really long sleep.
Or some montage music. Montage music and a show-reel of everything I’ve ever done to kick me into touch. And Morgan Freeman telling me I can do it. And finally the shot of me accepting my BAFTA.
'Thank you, Thank you, you're all so kind. I'd first like to thank golden Opportunity, that bad boy, who gave me the idea of writing a series about a fallen pagan god trying to make it in New York as an actor…'
(Seriously, I think I’m onto something here…)
Harding had always been a hypochondriac. She was almost obsessed with the idea that she would die young, and of some degenerate disease that would make her suffer for all her previous sins, like not letting other children play in the sand pit with her, or purposely spilling paint on her best friend’s nice new dress. Ironically, of course she did die young, not of M.E or leukemia but from being stabbed in the chest by a mugger whom she laughed in the face of.
It wasn’t that she found the mugger funny, it was more she found his ignorance funny. Harding lived in the rough part of town, where people’s pockets were heavy with woes rather than change. When the boy in the tracksuit approached her, she was almost flattered. Clearly he had decided that despite the fact she was wearing ripped tights and a jacket that was far too small for her, she was still a pretty classy bird. She wasn’t too flattered, however, to comply with his demands, and so he left her with a gaping wound in her chest and a few precious seconds of disbelief before her light went out.
No one was surprised to learn that Harding had died this way. She had clearly been gifted with a mouth beyond reason and control, and it could only have ended one of two ways for her, dead or on Loose Women. It had cost her a lot in the past, several trips to the head mistress’s office for example, but she never quite learnt anything from these experiences. The safety net of her quick wittedness always came to the rescue. As much as people struggled with her, they had to appreciate her too. Harding was the only girl in her school who achieved 11 straight A*s, and she was a local legend thereafter.
It was a shame and a blessing then that the mugger extinguished her life when he did. She could have grown up to be an amazing woman, or a self entitled brat who everyone despised but also secretly envied. Instead she was buried in the same plot as her late grandmother, who lived to the ripe old age of 87. A plaque was placed in her old school, and a pew was dedicated to her in the church where she had been confirmed. But apart from that, the world kept turning without her.
Charlie Rudolpho Verbenne was a thin man of 27 years. He was softly spoken, angular, and had a tiny scar beneath his right eye from a treacherous squash match in Year 9. He had an oddly large collection of fishermen knit jumpers, often found himself sitting on park benches for no reason, and worked as a clerk in a ridiculously successful printing corporation in the city of London. But this isn’t what made him special.
Once when Charlie was 14, he missed the bus he usually took to school. His family had only just relocated to Surrey after his parents had performed their farcical divorce proceedings and reached the conclusion that neither one of them could afford to leave the other; instead they’d all still have to live together, just in a much smaller house. Since all the nearby schools were privately owned, Charlie was still expected to attend his old school in Notting Hill, which meant he had to catch a certain bus at a certain time or he’d have to wait two hours for the next one.
That day he was definitely going to be late, and as he didn’t much fancy walking into a full assembly hall with every single eye judging him for his tardiness, he decided to go to the local shopping centre for a while. Once his parents had left for work, he would return home and call the school office with a convincing excuse for his absence. He wasn’t worried about being stopped by the truancy police, because by the age of 14 Charlie was already 6 feet tall, and growing still. In his blazer and black trousers he could easily pass for a generic office worker hoping to purchase a cup of coffee and a muffin before the daily slog.
He ordered a hot chocolate in Starbucks and sat in the corner, unobserved while he observed the rest of the world. He noticed that the barista in the blue jumper was very stingy with the cream; and the gentleman sat closest to the door kept rubbing the index finger of his left hand, as if playing with a ring which was no longer there; And the girl at the window, who couldn’t have been much older than him, dressed in heels and a tiny skirt, was waiting impatiently for what turned out to be an overweight man in sweatpants and trainers, who wheezed over her for an hour before she left in disgust. Before he knew it, Charlie had spent the entire day just watching people. When he got home he told his parents his day at school had been ‘incredibly pleasant’.
But this isn’t what made him special.
During his first year of university, Charlie dressed as Nigel Thornberry, a character from a popular children’s television programme in the 90s, for a society event. This costume consisted of a safari jacket, khaki shorts, white socks and a pair of walking boots. He also wore a red felt moustache and had dyed his shaggy blond hair a temporary shade of orange. Within minutes of his arrival, he had attracted a throng of young women who wanted to compliment him on his attire, and ask him more about himself, perhaps what he was doing later. The attention wasn’t surprising to Charlie. He had gathered from his many years of existence that he was widely considered to be aesthetically pleasing; his face was fairly symmetrical, his eyes were a nice shade of blue, and he was tall in a prepossessing rather than awkward way. He was not particularly beautiful, but he also was not hard to look. Charlie was almost the embodiment of average. Nothing special at all; but these female admirers made him took his mind off that fact.