Baby 2005

June 10, 2012 § Leave a comment

I have hope for my face. The lines I seem to have created are very unnatural looking, and for all intents and purposes appear to be lifting.  It has become a full-time occupation controlling what I have come to think of as The Tension. I feel it building and subsiding throughout the day and my rational mind pushes back with all the stability my sense and memory can produce, with the aid of meticulously administered drugs. I have become something of a running expert on anxiety, and can swing by the old doctor who doesn’t mind a feel on my way from work and be home with three types of chemical relaxants before the start of the news.

I have positioned myself mentally outside of the city, in a place that is part my memories of home and part a sanctuary of my own design:  a retraction; a learned behaviour I can only be sure I have somehow managed to learn. The action is remote controlled and because of this, I am mildly fearful for my person, and of any physical outcomes.

My room is private as ever but still in there it builds. I madly try to block it out by stuffing my ears with material and putting earmuffs over the top. This looks highly peculiar and I try not to emerge unexpectedly in doorways if my flatmate, who has lived in London and sometimes looks at me as if I am out of my mind, is reading or watching television.

There is an opening or a premiere at Fox Studios tonight and the searchlights beam out over my building, flashing agitatedly across the cavernous sky. When I was growing up I lived near the State prison and whenever an inmate escaped similar searchlights would beam from helicopters overhead into the yards of every home. I can trace it; it was the beginning of The Tension, the fear, the nightmares. So I can’t blame it all on this place:  the hum of neuroses bound by earth and water. Or on being born to an institution, a routine of doubts and nerves. And looking at it that way it seems I was destined to be here and to gradually stand unaided.

If a writer must understand symbolism it has been interesting to be in one – a symbol that is – and to understand that everything happens in the shadow cast by its meanings; that the imagination it spawns is far greater than its parts or their sum. It is identity and fear, and like misguided volunteers, we think we sit inside it.

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