RITUAL.

Jan 2019.


The Italians only open their shutters when the sun shines. A gentle squeak and a slow roll towards a source of life that really is no more sophisticated an action than a footstep. This autonomic engagement with daylight equals life. For in that moment, the decision to open oneself up the world, to bear witness to that which turns time is instinctive. Shadows mark the passage of the day as lines are drawn on the surface of darkened inner sanctuaries.

In the moments after you left I clung to the floor, unable to use my legs anymore or if I could it was in that very slow way, the way that old people or toddlers use their bodies. A judder, an uneven muscular spasm, attempting to establish a connection with hardened reality. Weeks passed in this way and then when weeks turned into a month, the one that followed looming in on the horizon, I knew I had to leave.

Lines are drawn in the sand and footsteps meld into a bundle of one. The sea permeates dreamscapes and into the forever distance is a continuity, a solid rock pushed firmly towards absurdity. Sisyphean the fate that awaits, the lolloping motion of return only to confirm that which abates: a new day. And so to put the coffee on, phlegmatic fold of paper filled with nicotine dreams and a relaxation that cannot be achieved by oneself.

There is no one else on this beach today, the rain keeps them away as I run brazenly, half naked towards the sea. Triumphant tracks that are singular, lungs pumping, breath chugging, flesh red raw, capillaries burst towards oxygenation and eyes strain against the wetness. Pounding on repeat to declare return, to announce to no one achievements of steady, passionate flow. The emptiness of every leap forcing a full stop on joy, unable to replicate old emotions.

To lunch, a meal that for some reason has evaded my attention recently. Midway through its preparation I realise that I’m making your favourite. But maybe it isn’t anymore. Mind wanders carelessly and inadvertently I do what you always hated: burn the courgettes. My attention on other worlds, packing away belongings to return to our house, now empty of you, burying myself in yet another book, resolutions I will try to keep for as long as possible. A rogue style of cooking you once proclaimed, while I laughed and replied; the truth is I just don’t care that much about the food. And it shows, or it showed, because you did.

Time yet again soft, amorphous, buttery, no longer regimented. There is time now. Time to fill, time to wait, time to hurt, time to shake. Isolated here, because everyone said it would be a good idea, ten days lament in solitude. They pass gently, without too much ado. Hours marked by ever so slightly striated routines. The mesmeric familiarity of an outline. One cigarette; was a good idea, until it wasn’t and will use approximately twenty minutes up and then to read or walk, all totalling roughly three, to bring that time of the day that is covered in cloud. Clock strikes and even though I now know the timings of the bells, they ring louder in this moment. Wobbling, bobbing, looming this part always so full of dread. The howl of a faraway dog, distantly melts into chimes and crescendos towards a fear that sends shivers deep into the other part of me, the part that isn’t coping.

Unabashedly morphing, stacking; what feels like twenty four into one long impenetrable blank canvas of minutes. Soup, something to fill the emptiness. A task to focus on at last, it feels as though others are doing this too so that even though I’m here on my own I am dancing the rhythm of my loved ones at home. That within this simple act of preparing a meal, here I am with you. I wonder at the content of those meals, the ones that are filled with laughter and perhaps a slight chaos, so extremely opposite to my own, precise moments that are so often distracted, remain rehearsed and known.

And then, there is nothing. No wish to fulfil, no pattern to complete, no desire, no defeat, tiredness a faraway vision of deceit. Body gyrates in energetic frenzy, to fill this now with something, anything that means the mind is distracted. To consider all that has been achieved in this short while. All the resolutions made and kept, all the tidiness and order that lead to understanding this character, this part of the self that is required. To maintain this part means that starting again is less hard. The foundation not so sloppy. Pressing firmly on what was, so that this accrual of pain can be seen as a lesson not a loss. There is pride in a lesson, especially one for the emotions. A story that can be told when the darkness no longer veils all that is real.

Sun now firmly tips towards mountainous ranges and a pink glare highlights the edges of all this despair, neon the line that draws daylight from sight. To bed for that is all this body can fathom, broken and bruised another day of convalescence that needs no reminder. Another way to count out all that time, evaporating in one straight line. The new year, the new dawn, the new me. Strength a distant reminder not foe or friend, yet buried for now. Here I am a stranger disguised and hidden. Never making eye contact, never touching, never greeting, never seen, never believed. Here I start again.

After you, what will be, will be. Post T. A freedom or one that feels conflicting, from all the happiness invested in us. Unhinging the power, the ability for you to make me happy. Knowing, understanding how foolish that was. In this hour of self-reflection, rejection no longer prevails, rather a silent bidding, a farewell to all that was. Chanting towards an oblivion repeated goodbyes to all that is no longer needed, the emotions that dominated, the emotions that lay so heavily on essence. Looking out towards the sea for the last time; how small a dent this one life is. Excitement or lunacy rumbling quietly, at finding an answer to solve this dilemma. There is more to this than suffering. Tantalising moments of unapologetic delight, for there is sadness, yes, but there is something else as well. Something other.