The Wall-E effect: The pang of guilt you feel when you let go of something obsolete, but essential to what you were, once. Walkmans Your mother's ABBA cassettes Bata rain shoes Camlin watercolours Clinic Plus shampoo
The inability to go through today without the aftertaste of yesterday in your mouth and the uneasy panic for tomorrow in your gut.
The inability to feel a simple emotion with regard to someone, instead weaving sticky webs of guilt and memory and irritation and bone-deep affection. The inability to put a thought into words, sentences running off, cutting short, forming a spliced train that winds through desolate landscape, pretending that it has a destination. Imagining someone waiting at the platform, ears straining, heart pounding.
was like a sword. My skin would have parted at its touch. It would have let it through to reach my veins and muscles. I lifted it high and gazed at my blurry reflection with my blurry eyes in its gleaming surface. My clothes were no barrier and this I knew well. My stomach would swallow this also, as it had swallowed dirt and tears; for as long as I could remember I had swallowed nothing but fear, and it never occurred to me I could fight it instead.
I'm thinking back to the days of waking up feeling short of breath and afraid.
Thinking back to Doe, steadying my warm, trembling hands with her cool, capable ones and telling me that whatever was outside would stay outside.That we'd done our penance. That we were allowed to be happy.
I remember not being able to tell her that the outside didn't matter to me. That the lick of panic down my spine was the fear of what was inside - inside her, inside Silver, inside me, what engraved pattern of history, genetics and destiny we might carry inside us, inescapable, endlessly repeating.
I find him sitting in the corner of the garden. The same corner I'd sit in, and and count the hairs that came away with every slide of my fingers across my scalp. My hair's thick now, all honeysuckle - scented and windblown, and my brother is all sharp cheekbones and curled lip.
"I don't...", I start to say.
He reaches out his hand (his long, narrow hand, so unlike my wide palms and short fingers) and touches my face.
I hate waking up before 7.30. I do not feel re-freshed and 'ready to face the day'. Listening to birds chatter is a completely pointless exercise. There is no such thing as getting up on the right side of the bed. When I'm up early, my neck hurts, everything is blurry and I have this unsettling feeling in the pit of my stomach. Something's just plain wrong. That's my cue to think "there is no spoon" and "there is no morning commute".
Today I've washed my hands so often I've halved a brand new bar of soap and my palms are tender.
Sometimes I want to go back to the days when my biggest fear was Kevin and Kenneth calling me Aloma Paloma Drunkard Clown. And then I remember what it was really like in those days, being an awkward, bug-eyed kid who always said the wrong thing. Then again I still say all the wrong things. The difference is that now I don't even try to say the right things. Not always.