A table is set for five.

 

Somebody has laid things on the table. Somebody has placed an alphabet of implements spelling out words in a language that you can read. It makes you feel extremely important.

 

Every time you sit down, I sigh. You’ve got so many years behind you, but even more in front. No-one but me has seen everything you’ve done here.

 

Everything’s light now, your head (in a good way), your arms, the sky, the cars on the road… You’re dark inside though. There’s something jumping inside you and it won’t sit down!

 

The cup on the table wobbles, and it’s afraid it will spill its contents across the table, and across your field of vision, stopping you from seeing. It’s frightened that it won’t do its job and will let you down in unimaginable ways, causing you to encounter all sorts of problems which you won’t know how to solve.

 

The flowers at the centre of the table are looking at you. They’re gatekeepers, they stand for something altogether greater than you. You reckon they’re a bit cocky, but that’s just your jealousy talking. They’re probably perfect. Perfection… if you can really ever know the real meaning of perfect, which I doubt you can.

 

The flowers love you, and you don’t deserve it.

 


 

The landscape shudders under the pressure of the night. The red dust settles in swathes across the fields, and the grass bristles with anticipation, the mass of particles caressing its blades and causing it to weep tears of longing. Dawn comes, and the sun’s light is obscured by the haze of red, it stretches from ground to sky and across the horizon.

 

In through the open window, the red dust will drift in and choke you as you sleep. Or, that’s what you fear will happen. You’re convinced of it. The fence posts bend like they’re made of rubber. You think that this is a sign, a signal that it’s going to happen soon.

 

Meanwhile, the hills are resting. They won’t be there for long though, because they have overstayed their welcome. They’ll be gone soon. When I walk along the ridges, I look down at the ground. The scattered rocks at the peaks of these hills are interspersed with green life; there are small leaves which sing to me and tell me that I need to be kind to myself. They’re right, I suppose.

 

Those leaves place their guard over me, chlorophyll filters the good stuff and bathes me in a kind of verdant protection, and I can rest in the knowledge that I am still alive. Even when they die, I will be alright because they left something with me which helps me to keep myself safe.

 


 

When I sink down onto the mossy floor, it’s black and velvety and soft around my head as it muffles all sounds into a dull but comforting murmur.

 

I’m looking into the sink and i’m seeing another world. I touch the water, and try to suck it up through my fingers. I’ve spent hours looking at myself in the mirror.

 

The blanket of dark patterns welcomes me to become lost.

When I get up in the night I’m looking through my hair into the intense black sky, trying to make eye contact with the dotted lights. The stars and the street-lamps are one and the same, pricking their constellations across the blackboard, scraping their fingernails to make an infinite drawing.

 

The leaves plop one by one silently into the pond. When I visualise the silent ripple they make as they touch the water, it vibrates across my entire being. I want the oily dark water to creep into my ears as I crouch just beneath the surface. The drop of that leaf is… a moment of exquisite pleasure. It’s a rush of warm creamy satisfaction. When it is over, I just want it to happen again.

 

The cold night pierces my temples, so bracing that it almost hurts. I am hyper-aware of time taking place around me. I am feeling most like a human tonight.

 


At other times, the feeling is muddy. Great globs of fat are forcing their way through my consciousness, and the greasy trails they leave behind are likely to remain there for quite a while.

 

My fingertips are threatening to peel off to nothing. I’m wondering how I can stop a process I know is already in motion, something which has been moving since I was born, probably, and only gives the illusion that it is just beginning. And yet, every day I manage to convince myself that the less I think about it, the smaller it will become.

 

I didn’t plan for the future because I could never imagine one for myself. Now I’m here, I’m stuck for ideas a lot of the time. I didn’t think I’d get this far.