Some time on a Friday, perhaps in mid to late summer, or even later, it was difficult pinpointing the exact date as an unseasonal airstream had swept in, blueing faces into shock, the hours were slowly turning towards the elderly portion of an already dying work week. The sun was still there, delicate. There was a haze. And even more profoundly than normal, there remained a settled aura, an atmosphere of ingrained decay, or of a romantic vulnerability that meant the core of the feeling was untouchable. It had been born some time ago, hundreds of years ago, and then re-generated and re-imagined across the next hundreds of years, because of the stories and endless tales that unfolded – misty tales in the cobbled, deserted alleyways, where cloaked figures roamed and innumerable deceptive sounds echoed in singularity through the mist. As these figures slinked and snuck, sometimes being seen and sometimes not, but were never captured, the atmosphere gained its eeriness. Legends were drawn largely because they were not spoken of. This part of the history gained traction due to the lack of a story – nothing concrete to ruin the rumours. So no one bothered trying to dismantle them, and myths were joined on to the realities. Because I was ruined after work, and a bit Kronenbourg tipsy, it all hit me in high-def and was immensely tangible. I saw really closely in front of me what I was missing and what I had lost. All of the myths were coming towards me as real images – shadows within the lanes, figures under the sodium lamps, it was so close and it was suffocating me, on this late-Friday-whatever-it-was. Here I was, as I’d always been. And it finally came and got me. The notion of the myths, in a big tapestry, plus the reality of the actual situation slapped me in the face. It was extreme. I knew it was time to step outside of this hyper-close landscape, the one I had invested so much in and was disappointed with because I believed that I now wasn’t being rewarded with much that was making me smile, or filling my belly with emergent pangs like on-the-horizon hopes and expectations. This place, because of what I’d been through, and the burden-weighty visage of some communal past, was controlling me and I would hate that to continue. Yet I also knew that my emotional ties meant that prising myself away would scorch, or burn, my whole body, from the friction caused by my struggling to release my clasped fingers from the railings of the dingiest of alleys. And I know that the love-hate connection has been gradually switching to become more hate-hate, so my grasp has loosened to the extent that there is a chance I will begin to free myself from these ties.
Shuddering for more? Then: SE appendix.
© Copyright 2017 John Maher