My shrink wants me to write, in a very particular way. Whatever I feel in that instant, my thoughts, feelings, intuitions, hopes and fears, whatever comes into my head. I am supposed to keep a daily journal of this ‘stream of consciousness’. I’m struggling with this. Am I so structured, strictured, why do I find this so damned hard.
Of course at present I have the concentration span of a mayfly, but this is the opposite of concentration, it is intended to be free flow….a release, the putting down of mental burdens on paper to release them from the prison of my mind. But I can’t, I’m second guessing myself all of the time….
Instead my mind wanders back again to a time line. I need to know what happened and when, where I’ve been (in my head), in fact how long it’s been because this blurred and jumbled tapestry of time is killing me. I feel nauseated by it.
I think, only think mind, that the last time I was in the office was December the 20th. I have a recollection of going home and returning with the dogs and resigning and weeping and driving home with some vague intention to pack and leave for god knows where.
In the weeks before that I remember being admitted into hospital twice, once with my heart and them with pneumonia, a revolting surgery under local anaesthetic and an accident on the motor way, in the replacement Bongo (I’d had it for six whole weeks). I remember the latter because it was dramatic, turning round and round before smashing into the central reservation, I remember Charlie floating past, across the windscreen and looking at me quizzically en route. Thankfully the dogs were both shocked but uninjured.
After that is chaos. I have not the least idea what happened for the first week, I think that I must of slept mostly which balances the equation neatly considering the sleep that I can not find now.
Christmas and New Year were, well, just days in bed, not significant land marks on the featureless terrain of my calendar. I don’t remember shopping, although I did, of visiting the doctor, but I must have to renew my prescription, of changing the bed, doing the washing, eating…..but there’s evidence of all of these, clues cast around the kitchen and bedroom. Perhaps the shoe elves paid a visit? I wonder if I ventured into the living room this past month.
I mentioned that doors are unlocking on memories I don’t necessarily want. I’m not sure I’m happy with this version of me, what nerves this damned psychiatrist is exposing. Well there are other by product too.
We walk, a lot.
There is a path through the park lined with venerable sycamore so closely packed that they touch and tangle overhead and with their neighbours. We are on the 10pm shift, the pre snore potty run that the dogs have grown used to. It’s dark and we are alone.
And I am seeing ghosts.
It’s not as if I believe them but I can’t deny what my eyes reveal to me. Here comes an ethereal glimmer figure on a bicycle.
Imagine a pool or pond under a glabrous moon and the plop of a tossed pebble, the ripples, not seen, but inferred by silver and dark shadow. These were the wheels on the bicycle. The figure was made from similar stuff, transparent, a waif defined by haze and shimmer.
He rode past and gaily waived, I waved back.
A dog, a canine wraith, ran around and around the bole of a dark sycamore, its stardust tail tick tocking.
And from a round open litter bin clouds of pitch billow, far darker than the night, like bin bags, shards of midnight ripped and gathered in a fierce wind.
I’m unmoved, the dogs race amongst the trees and puddles and there’s nothing here to convince me that I should even quicken my step.
Whatever this twilight world is, whoever occupies it, means me no harm.