We use to be so close

August 30, 2014

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Some things in life. You never ever want them to ever change. Never. But everything changes. You change. So do the things and people around you. They’re changing all the time like you change. You just don’t notice it. But they do and so do you….change that is.

And all you are left with are the precious photographs of the things and people in this room somewhere in your head that you never ever want to ever change…..that’s all you will ever have in an ever changing world. This little room that only you have the key that opens the door somewhere in the darkened corridors your head -there everything is the way it has always been. Nothing ever seems to change in that place
– like the eye in the storm where there is no time or space…just pure emptiness while everything else around is a whirl changing all the time.

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‘I don’t suppose you’ve heard of that rare disease of solitude called Piblokto. What about hysteria siberiana? No I don’t suppose you have heard of such an illness either.

The symptoms are quite benign at first. You start to hear your phone ringing only to realize you’re too deep in the wilderness to ever get a cell line. You may try at first to push the idea out from your head by telling one side of your brain that you’re just imagine all this…it’s just a figment of your imagination. But it rings again and this time you take the call, but there is no one there.

There never is….

This goes on for days on end in that infinite sea of solitude.

You’re a farmer, living all alone in a place so desolate that whole days, weeks and months can go right by and you don’t even see a single soul. A solitary tongue of light in pitch darkness.

Day after day you plow your fields. As far as the eye can see, nothing except the emerald sea of ever swaying palms. They all look exactly the same. To the north, the horizon, to the east, more horizon, to the south, to the west, more of the same as well. From time to time, you catch sight of a jet penning a pristine white trail across the paraffin blue of the skies. You watch it for so long. Your eyes hurt.

Meanwhile the phone in your head keeps ringing. But you’ve learnt to ignore it by then.

You wake up every morning and put on only khaki – khaki you tell yourself protects you against that evil illness brought forth by prolonged isolation….Piblokto…did I even spell it right. I don’t know.

Everyday a facsimile of yesterday. Yesterday exactly the same as today. An endless repetition. The only thing that ever changes is the diminishing size of your toothpaste or that it’s time to take the long drive to town to get more sundries. But it’s all the same. By now you have cannibalized so much of yourself to keep it all together while ignoring the imaginary phone that it’s taken a toll on you.

You take a blade. Cut yourself. Ever so slowly like a steak. You make it deep. As you’re not quite sure you can feel anything by this stage of the illness – hot blood runs down your arms. You say to yourself, fool! That was not necessary. You just made a mess and hurriedly put on your khaki’s and hit the field.

One day. Unexpectedly, the phone just stops ringing in your head. It just falls silent. You smile. You do a jig and sing a happy song. Eat that bacon you been saving up in your fridge. You cry tears of joy.

As you believe this is the turning point – you’ve beaten the illness – but that’s the first sign something inside you has curled up and died. From that day onwards day after day you go and plough the fields as you do every other day leaving a bit of yourself like camphor giving itself slowly to atmosphere….you can feel yourself disappearing…bit by bit.

Then one day for no reason you wonder to yourself why the imaginary phone calls have stopped. You take your phone up ten times a day. Matters little whether there is no cell coverage where you are. You go through the motions none the less.

Then you just sit there utterly resigned to the finality of the ravaging effects of the illness as it begins to scissor across the waste land that was once your soul. You look out across the vast expanse of the horizon that curls ever so slightly to the edges like a crooked picture frame and wonder to yourself how did it creep up on you without you ever realizing it.

You just sit there like a Lingham….a stone…tracking the shadows of the sun as it rises from the east and sets in the west. You do this everyday. Like someone, possessed, you just sit there, day and night like a human sundial, not eating or drinking with just this one thought in your head…why doesn’t the phone ring any longer… until you collapse from sheer exhaustion and die. That’s Piblokto. No….I am sure you’ve never heard of this illness of solitude….I hope, I spelt it right.’

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