Hiding

I’m not actually hiding. Hiding means you’re deliberately avoiding a person or people. I don’t care if someone sees me. I didn’t come here for the purpose of getting away from people. I came here because I like the damp smell that hangs in the air, soft and cool. I like the way the only light that gets in is thin little lines, like strings on a guitar or a violin. I almost feel like if I touch them, they’ll make music. Having only strings of light makes you appreciate it more than if you have a whole roomful. It loses something, like it’s washed out or diluted or something.

When they find me, if they find me, they’ll think I’m hiding. Why else would I shut myself up in this little room? No one could ever understand that I love this little room. I love the peeling walls and the soft floor. I love how quiet it is, like being underwater.

It also has a strange sort of familiarness to it. I only first discovered it a few months ago, but even the first time I found it, I felt like I had been here before. It makes me think of being younger and smaller and caring less about the world. I care far too much about the world now. I used to be able to forget about it. I forgot about it all the time, playing with my dolls and drawing pictures with crayons. I lived in my own world and hardly worried about the other one.

Maybe that’s why I like this room. It makes me feel safe. It’s as if I’ve found my own world again. Maybe I can stay here, on the soft floor, plucking strings of light, and forget about the other world. Maybe it will forget me.

I thought I wasn’t hiding, but maybe I am. Maybe I’m hiding from the other world.

Allergic

“You should come.”

“No. I really shouldn’t.”

“Why not?”

“My allergies.”

“What allergies.”

“Oh, just… you know. My allergies.”

“What are you allergic to?”

“People.”

“What?”

“I’m allergic to other people.”

No you’re not.”

“Yes. I am.”

“It’s not possible to be allergic to people.”

“Yes it is. I have symptoms.”

“Like what?”

“Increase of heart rate. Inability to speak coherently. Intense attacks of panic.”

“That’s not an allergic reaction.”

“My hands shake.”

“You’re not allergic.”

“I get the hiccups.”

“That’s just nerves.”

“I have the strong desire to flee.”

“That’s called ‘being shy’.”

“I get faint at the sight of people.”

“You’re anti-social.”

“I’m allergic.”

 

Actor

They needed an actor.

They found me.

I stunned them. I was miraculous. I could take on any identity they threw at me. Even though they knew I was acting, they found it hard to believe it wasn’t real. I was so convincing.

And I could change so rapidly.

One moment I could cower in fear, the next I could laugh at them scornfully.

So they recruited me.

I became their star pupil.

I was to act constantly, even when I wasn’t working. I must stay in practice.

The others weren’t sure what to make of me. They couldn’t tell what I was. They hardly saw me the same twice.

No one got very close to me. I’m not easy to get close to.

I’m hard to find.

I excelled at the work.

The others began to hate me. I was so much more successful than they were.

I tried acting humble and kind. They almost bought it. It certainly seemed sincere. But they had long since ceased to really trust anything I did.

So I gave that up.

I tried arrogance. Not caring what anyone said or did. Not caring about anyone.

I tried a recluse.

I took on countless masks.

My work and my life were one and the same.

Then one day I realized I had to stop.

I had to just be myself for once.

But as soon as I made the decision, I was terrified.

Because I couldn’t remember who I was.

 

That Buzzing

It’s the buzzing that does it. A dull, high pitched whine. So insistent yet pointless. Relentlessly passively obnoxious

That does something to me.

I can’t think. No- not true. I can think. But my thoughts are infected, corrupted by that noise. That noise.

What is it?

I don’t know what I’m asking. Am I talking about myself or the buzzing?

I know what the buzzing is. Not specifically. I’ve got a general idea. Some piece of machinery somewhere. The florescent lights for all I know.

I hate florescent lights.

The lights and the buzzing. It does something to me.

What does it feel like? A hospital? A prison? A microscope?

I don’t know. Maybe all of them.

It’s too quiet. Like a hospital. Just the buzz of machinery. My own breathing. Dying breaths. That’s what it sounds like. Is it the buzzing that gives it that effect?

I’m not dying.

I should thank someone for that. I never thank anyone anymore. Shame on me the ungrateful jerk. But what am I supposed to say? Thanks for saving my life, it meant a lot?

The trouble is, it didn’t mean a lot.

I was just sitting there, looking idly at death and someone pushed me back before it could touch me. I didn’t care. One minute I was on my feet, the next I was on the ground. That’s all there was to it. I didn’t care where that ground was I had been standing on. So what if it was the middle ground between death and life? It was just another stretch of ground.

I think the buzzing is infiltrating my brain. It feels like radiation. I can imagine it eating away at my brain like acid.

I can’t stand it.

I don’t know why. I can stand so much else.

Shadows

Shadows drip from the ceiling

pool on the floor

Inky blackness

sticks to my fingers

runs down my back

I have no defense

It’s in my veins

throbbing under my ribs

I cough

cough up more darkness

It hangs

thick in the air

tasteless on my tounge

pressing heavily against my eyes

yet with such a light touch

a caress

Darkness is soft

blind

It does not kill in a flash of steel

It is not quick

sharp

It does not stab

It smothers

This Shadow

A shadow has been following me around. It’s not mine. My shadow is- well- me shaped. This shadow isn’t mine.

I think it must be lost. I tried to find where it came from, but had no luck. It must have wandered off.

Now it just follows me around. I let it because I feel kind of sorry for it.

All it’s ever done is follow someone around and now that it has lost that someone it doesn’t know what to do with itself. If I didn’t let it follow me it would probably feel very lost indeed.

I wonder if it’s scared.

I would be. If I’d lost the one person in the world that I was supposed to follow. I would feel very lost and quite scared.

So I don’t make a big fuss about the fact that the shadow isn’t mine. I’ve sort of adopted it. I don’t ever point out how it doesn’t look like me. I think the shadow believes I haven’t even noticed that it’s different. It believes I really do think it is my shadow.

I hope it does anyway. That must make it feel very happy indeed. Like it’s exactly where it’s supposed to be.

I think I would like to feel that way.

Hurt

I stand there on the sidelines

Wishing I could save you

From all he pain you’re feeling

And all the hurt you’ve known

 

But I’m afraid my words are useless

‘Cause I just don’t understand

I’ve never been to the world you live in

I’ve watched it from afar

I’ve never hurt the way you’re hurting

 

No, I don’t know what it feels like

And I don’t know what to say

 

If I laugh, don’t be offended

I don’t think it’s funny

I just laugh when I’m anxious

And have no words

 

I cry sometimes when I think

Of all that’s happened to you

I know it must hurt

Worse than anything I’ve known

I wish I could save you