by Dominic Blewett:
Clouds swarm over there like boiling milk and the fog rolls in. It drifts slowly slowly towards me in the unfolding minutes as I have drifted to this place over the course of these last few months. Me and the fog, we are the same. Both of us come from the water. Both of us are sorrow. Both of us are doomed to disperse, to fade away in the dull heat.
There’s no-one here, not a soul to stop me, and I think that’s what I want. I scan the path in both directions to make sure no-one is aware of me, that no-one is going to step in. I think I’ve always felt that there’s no-one there and I wouldn’t want it to be any different right now, at the end. These are the thoughts that I think I think, although I’m not totally sure. It’s hard to keep my thoughts connected and I supposed they’re not really thoughts at all; just shades of weakly jostling electric currents. There is one thought though I’m certain I think, and it is this: I want to be free from thought.
In my heart as I stand here I can feel the pain. I can see everything exactly as it happened, as if it is happening again now. In my palm I can feel the dry paper of the cheque, my severance pay. I see the drive home, feel the cold buzz in my belly, my head; the strange relief, the desolation. I see the key turning in the lock. I see my shoes on the hall carpet as I walk across it. My shoes are dark brown and the carpet is light brown. I’m thinking about the difference between the two colours. But not really thinking – noticing. There’s a strange sound in the house and I can’t place it. It’s coming from the front room. The door is closed and I open it. At first I don’t understand what it is I’m seeing. I stand in the open doorway, my fingers still wrapped around the handle, confronted by the noise and the sight of something I am certain is about to change my life.
On the couch, blanketed by groans, her eyes closed and her face contorted with an ecstasy I’ve never seen before, my fiancée, Abigail, is fucking. Her legs are wrapped tightly around this guy and her fingers are making ruts in his shoulder blades she’s holding on so tight. He’s slamming into her powerfully, making her body buck, and her head loll against the arm of the couch. She’s abandoned and I’m frozen to the spot and noticing the way the muscles in his buttocks relax and contract as he slams his cock in and out of her, my fiancée. It’s hard to believe what I’m seeing and there’s a whirring in my ears which makes me think I’m going deaf. Still I can’t move. I don’t think I will ever move again. He lowers his head and sinks his teeth into one of her beautiful breasts, my fiancée, and she groans and tosses her head and opens her eyes.
This is the part where, on TV, the girl would freeze and cry out with fear, and push the man out of her and away. Then one of several things might happen. I would kill them both immediately. I would kill him and then decide what to do with her. I would watch him struggle on his trousers and shirt, let him leave, kill her and then hunt him down and kill him. I would watch him trying to put on those clothes, kill him while he was still half-naked, fuck her and then kill her. I would tie them up and torture them. I would forgive them. I would marry her. I would never leave her. I would never be alone. I would kill them both immediately. I would kill them and I would kill them. But this is not TV, this is not and I can’t move. I can’t feel my fingers on the cold metal of the door, I can’t feel my legs rooted to the floor, I can’t even feel my lips which are somewhere on my face. This is not TV and she doesn’t push him away. She, Abigail, my fiancée, locks her eyes with mine. She smiles that heartbreaking smile, grips that man’s buttocks in her hands and pulls him deeper into her. He feels her urging him and thrusts harder and harder and she’s biting her lip and still looking right at me. It’s she who’s holding me here, fixing me in place, my fiancée. And she comes and her beautiful body shudders as wave after wave of pleasure sluice through her. He moans, rolls off her and now he sees me but I’m losing sight of him. I can’t see him. I want to kill them and want to be death so much that the hatred has killed us all and destroyed everything inside me and I’m blind and concrete fire. My soul is black dust and I can hear scratching sounds like the movements of insects and I know it’s them putting their clothes on but I can’t lift myself out of the dust the fire until he brushes by me and I think I try to strike him but miss. Then Abigail is standing in front of me and I can see her clearly. She’s straightening her top and she’s so beautiful and then she says it.
You bore me – with a small, sad smile.
And then I am there in the kitchen, alone, and it’s been a month since Abigail left. Through the window the city stretches out and it’s a sunny day. I can hear happy laughter floating in on the breeze. I am there with no laughter of my own and I know that I am unlovable and lost. I know that everyone else has found each other and they will never have any need for me. I am a mistake, an exile, an orphan, a wasp. I do not eat. I do not live. I do not deserve it.
Now I see myself in the gathering fog. I look at my shoes again which are not brown this time but black. I notice how the black clothing my feet is different from the grey asphalt clothing the walkway on the bridge. The two colours are slightly different, very different but come from the same place. There’s still no-one in sight and my eyes travel up from the farthest point I can see, over the red-golden paint coating the tower, and back along the cables which curve and dip to where I stand; the mid-point. It’s time.
I count to ten. I reach ten but suddenly there’s time for eleven so I count again. At ten I put my hand on the railing and vault over. I see the black of my shoes snap into view over the green of the water. The water is beautiful and so is the sky. I could look at it forever – it’s so slow and blue. As my body swings out I twist and look back to see my fingers leaving the railing. I can see a tiny bit of air between my fingers and the metal and realize that I don’t want to die. I know in that very moment that I won’t always feel useless and broken, and that Abigail wasn’t the end.
These thoughts are painted in the air between my fingers and the bridge. They are painted in oils the same colour as everything in the gap between my body and the bridge; Red, green, white, silver, a picture of a life in which I didn’t jump and lived and lived well. The picture is textured, set, and real. I don’t feel like the gap is growing. Time has disappeared and I think perhaps I haven’t really jumped, even though I know I have. I don’t know how long I stayed suspended like that, probably no time at all – they say it’s a four second fall – but it felt like an eternity. But time cannot freeze forever. It becomes handclaps and between the handclaps there is nothing. You clap your hands once and I’m over the railing, looking at the air by my fingers. You clap twice and I’m halfway down, feet down as if about to go skating. You clap a third time and I’m on the water’s hard concrete surface. You clap a fourth time and I’m torn, far far below in the cold dark liquid. I’m in incredible pain and I know that I’m dying. I open my eyes and try to swim. There’s not much air left but I can see the water gradually getting lighter. I don’t know if I can make it but I want desperately to live.
Suddenly I’m on the surface. It’s light and I can breathe. I don’t know if I’m dead, alive or dreaming so I begin to laugh. Then I start to sink again and swallow water and have to fight to stay afloat; my body feels like its shattered into thousands of pieces, like if you made a cut in my skin little shards of bone would come tumbling out, like china flakes, like powder. But I struggle spluttering back to the surface and manage to spread out on my back. And as I get washed beneath the underside of the bridge something occurs to me. I came from the water and I have returned to the water. The bridge divides the sky; to my left is the fog and to the right is nothing but blue. I don’t remember which way it’s moving but it’s coming over, one way or another, the blue or the fog. I’m floating in both, moving under and carried. I don’t know if they’ll come to rescue me.
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