A door is left open. You walk through it. Outside is different than you remember. The thing beneath your feet… what’s it called? Nouns don’t always come so easy to you. It’s bumpy and rough, not like inside. Oh yes, pavement, it’s called pavement. It’s shining green, traffic light’s light reflects in the darkness. Light says go, traffic says stop. Brake-lights shine red on the kerb. You keep walking.
There are people laughing, you listen. You know they aren’t laughing at you. There are words, words unrelated to you. Yet you still feel they’re laughing at you even if you know you’re wrong. And what you feel has supreme power. The difference between saying a thing and feeling the thing you’re saying. You go to speak to them, to tell them of your pain and fear; tell them that you’re new to this world even though you’ve been here before; tell them about the you and not you. There are garbled sounds coming from your mouth. The words are stuck in your throat. You can’t articulate the words filling up your head. They stare like you’re an idiot, a freak.
You are watching a film. The camera’s showing hands reaching out, but there’s no screen between you and the hands. The hands hold someone. This someone screams, what’s their name? Names don’t come so easy to you, being nouns and all. You know this place. Hands bruise and throttle. It’s not good. You don’t want to do this. They are your hands but you are not inside of them.
The place feels different. The wind on your face reminds you that you exist. You are yourself again. Drops of water are stopped by you, halted by the solidness of your body. Rain, it’s called rain. Being aware of your existence, it’s a terrible thing. Existing here in this space and knowing you will cease to exist. You will also know when you cease to exist, be aware as something not-you takes over. And you exist but don’t. Your non-existence is painful, bloody. You exist and watch and have no capacity for action. Can there be existence without action? What is here and now?
They say nurture versus nature as if they’re not both inherently deterministic concepts.
You walk past giant orange fireflies instead of white fluorescents. Streetlamps. A blue awning switched for pink and shortened, different lettering in the windows; bubbly. Different words. Different worlds. It cloys, wonderful and wretched. It’s so new and so old at once.
You hold on, with the desperation of knowing you will fail to. There’s air in your lungs and blood pulsing through your veins. You’re here, you’re real. You tell yourself this, pant out an incoherent litany of the lines in your head. Your feet meet the pavement in a monotone rhythm and your hair whips in the wind. You are heavy with every little thing piling on top of the thing before it. Nouns float in uncatchable grey hazes. You are alone.
There are people talking. Their pretty faces talking with pretty-sounding words. They are talking about you. They’re not. They’re not. They’re not. You say words- to break their flow- to make them see your presence. To let them know you are here. Words tumble out. Pathetically strewn narcissistic sentences. Word after word. All the words are wrong. Stupid words. You are stupid. Stupid. Stupid. Wrong words twisting faces. Twisting lips; to spit out more wrongness in turn.
You need to undo the wrong words. Undo all the words. If all the people who heard the words are dead, do the words still exist? Do they hang in the ether? You must kill them. Scrub the words into non-existence. You don’t want to hurt them though. But there will be more wrong words. More people to hear them. So you are more than presently alone. You are alone for always.
And too heavy is the burden. In a reflexive gasp, arms and legs spring into action. They move without you. You tear at the people. Their skin curls under your fingernails like half-melted wax. They scream. The force moving your body screams louder. You feel their flesh under your fingers. It’s harder than you remember. Punch. Kick. Punch. Elbow. Punch. Knee. Kick. There are snapping sounds. You want to stop them. Bones are breaking. It’s not you. Not you. Not you.
But you see it all, feel it all. Your knuckles are bruised. Red drips over little white blocks; teeth. The word echoes. The world shrinks to this juddering frame of what your eyes are forced to see. People are whimpering, disjointed, on the ground. They take up the space between your feet and the pavement. It’s wrong that they should be there. Feet are supposed to be on pavement. You stomp harder to get your feet closer to the pavement. There are too many cracks. Too much squelching. The space is all wrong.
What is this space that is your body? When you stop existing is your body still your body? Does meaning which existed for you no longer exist as meaningful? Your hands are rage-filled and vicious. You are outside of them, but inside of them too. You know this because you know you are at fault.
You are sitting on the pavement. Your trousers are sticky from the water lying in a group on the ground. Puddles, they’re called puddles. Your fingers are sticky with blood. The people’s pretty faces are permanently twisted now. You cry.
You feel a needle in your neck. This is the part where you die. This is the part where you wake up and realise the truth:
You are only a voice in someone else’s head.