Something to say

I have something to say. Hang on. No. I’ve forgotten what it was. So, it seems reasonable to look out the window and watch the scenery. It moves fast and smooth, like a reel of film.

I'm trying not to look at my phone because it’s taking up so much of my time. It’s like this now. We have relationships with machines, when we once had relationships with bags and shoes and blankets.

We pass over the river and I hope to see something alive. Something bright and clear. But it’s just the same old boring wall. A weed as tall as a man. Nobody bothers to cut him down. Those shrubs are like women; dumpy, squat and selfish.

I'm thinking of a story I could write. That story he told me about the glow worms in the tin. When they camped by the moors. I think he might have been in love then. That’s not what he said. I just assumed by the look on his face. But it’s not really my story.

I must have a story of my own. I can’t think of one.

There’s a vine growing up the wall. Shiny, rubber leaves. It’s hard to tell what’s real anymore. It’s all barbed wire and plastic bags. Tired graffiti and those bushes with pink flowers. Pretty pink flowers. But they’re not native. And they’re choking all the ideas that once blossomed freely.

Who belongs here anyway? I go through these phases where I feel like I’m just floating across the surface. Nothing touches the edges. I eat and eat and eat and eat but never feel full.

Concrete blocks. We’re protecting ourselves now. We know all their tricks. We’re walling ourselves in.

We get to the building with the reflective windows, and I remember the dream I had. About that woman who wanted me to say sorry, or was it thank you? She’s carved out a space in my psyche. She lives in a cave in my soul. And when I feel all the life draining out of me, like lukewarm water draining from a bath, she gets out something needle sharp and silver and pokes me with it. Because she wants me to remember more. Wants me to remember everything about those times when I was so big I was invisible. I sat outside. My mouth shut like a door.

They’d left me by then. Dumped me like a cat. Cat and cut. Cut and run.

There was another woman once. She had a watch with a fogged-up face. When I asked her to tell me the time she held the instrument up to my ear.

What should we worry about now? Take your pick. It’s not as if we’re short of potential catastrophes. There’s only so much you can do and, even then, I get trapped by the thoughts that bubble up like fish. The thoughts that choke on plastic. All the things we throw out.

I’m trying to live a tiny, tight life now. I’m saving words. I’m hoarding them for winter. I’m pickling sentences and putting them in jars and storing them on shelves in a bunker beneath the ground. And then, when it’s time, I’ll tell you what I wanted to say. I’ll make you a feast.

The landscape rolls by. Rolling, rolling. Like a river. Like a reel of film.