Monday, 17 February 2014

Banality, by Mark Louth.

“This isn’t my room”- these are the first thoughts that race through your mind on first waking on a Saturday or Sunday morning. The ceiling that you’re gazing up at isn’t yours, yet it’s still above your head somehow. This bed below you isn’t a bed at all but a couch. Oh, wait a sec. On further inspection you now see that the bed that’s really a couch is actually not a couch at all but is, in fact, a floor. A sitting-room floor. Don’t worry man, you’re not homeless or anything. In fact you’re the complete opposite of homeless. You have your own, better than basic, apartment. That’s right. You have that. Probably something that a lot of people don’t have, but YOU have IT. You lucky son of a bitch. Here’s the catch though. Most apartment dwellers actually wake up in their own apartment every morning, not on a bed that’s actually a couch but in fact a floor. They wake up in a bed, in a bedroom, a room designed for beds to be put in for the act of sleep. Remember sleep? So you’re probably wondering what’s the deal, right? Your deal is boredom. You wake up in different people’s living rooms most weekends since you were sixteen years of age, all out of sheer boredom and a terrible fear of solitude. So what do you do when Friday knocks around with his two mates Emptiness and Solitude? You go out and get so stinking drunk and swallow tablets to chemically alter your mood in order to fuck Friday and his mates off, the pack of spare pricks. In order to put depression on hold at the other end of the phone. To relive the pressure. To artificially fill the void. Void. Emptiness.

11pm: Mugshot time. Sit up from the floor, lace your boots up. You gotta go talk to the convict in the line-up in the mirror. Think you can pick him out? It should be pretty easy, there’s only the one guy. Ugh. Feeling rough. It’s bright. The hall is sticky and smells like stale beer. Where’s the mirror? Oh yeah, the bathroom. Stumble. Door. Creek. There he is. There’s your boy. You have a good long stare down. You don’t know whether you should have a laugh with him or punch him in his fucking head. Every Saturday, never fail, you can see the shit in between your teeth from Friday. More mouth ulcers? Great. Looks like it’s soup for the week. Again. You could puke at this point. Ugh. Wait….yep. There it is. All the money that you spent last night is right there in that sink. It was either gonna be diarrhea or vomit. You chose vomit. Fucking idiot. What that sink is full of right now is the emptiness that we discussed earlier. Void embodied. The way you feel about the world, the way you feel about people but most importantly, the way you feel about yourself is all right there. Mixed up with the battery acid that you call vomit. It’s as repulsive as you feel. Not only that but it’s simply routine. Go to the kitchen and grab your jacket. “Heresy”. Fitting, right? “Thanks for letting me stay man, I really appreciate it”. You don’t know if you mean it or not, you just want to make up for talking meaningless shit last night while grinding your teeth into dust. Open door. Close door. Scene. Into the void: Seek and destroy.

Walking down the street on your own can be a terrifying experience. Walking down the street with someone else can be even worse, so count your blessings. You’ve got time to think. That’s all you can do sometimes. Think about life. Think about death. Think about all the things in between. Think about the emptiness. In all honesty dude, you’ve won the cosmic lottery but are too disinterested to even notice. You’re a young, white, middle-class male. Suburban youth. You don’t know what it feels like to be hungry. Or cold. You’ve never had to defend your home from invaders. You’re independence was given to you, which you regularly forget. You’ve been loved and you have loved. Wait. Can you love? “I don’t know.” No worries, I don’t know either. You have a plateful but you’re just not hungry. There’s a pit there in your stomach and when it’s not occupied with shit, vomit or chemicals, it’s empty. All the butterflies are dead and problem with that is there’s no cure for something being dead. They’ve been long dead. Once they’re gone, they’re gone. Again those two head-wreckers call around. Emptiness and his bonehead friend Solitude. This crisis cannot be avoided. However, the void awaits. Just get home and continue to analyze the breakdown.

Doorcode: Key: Lock: “Honey, I’m home”. Oh yeah. That joke isn’t funny anymore.

New place haunted by old ghosts, that’s all it is really. Click. Door. Room is the way you left it. Lay yourself down on the bed that’s not a couch that’s really a floor but is, in fact, an actual bed. Here we go. You’re all alone now. Nothing to distract you. The photograph develops on the face of the ceiling above you. Its routine though, remember? Nothing to be afraid of. All you gotta do is wait five more days. That’s all. Repeat the cycle. Artificially fill the void. At least you admit it:

Human 1: “Hey man, I haven’t been feeling great the past while.”

Human 2: “Relax man. Brighten up. Here, have a can. Where did you say you were from again?”

Banality. Emptiness. Friday night. Grab your jacket. Get some cans. Go to the show. Go to the party. Smile. You have Saturday and Sunday to think about it when you have to face the reality of it all. “I miss you. It’s not you that I miss though. It’s the void you filled”. Fill it tonight. Feel it tomorrow. Forget. Remember. Feel. Repeat.

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