i find myself killing time with strangers, breathing fragrant air. this city has no limits – it is spoilt, cold and strange. it is full of strangers but perhaps they find me strange as i sit here alone. gathering crowds impose upon my personal space. i am not invisible – although i might as well be… they enter in twos and threes and hunt in packs. they are social and territorial.
a fleeting glance in my direction – they see right through me. they look at me but don’t really SEE me. who is stranger? strangers see the stranger in me. i am a girl interrupted by other peoples’ thoughts outspoken. i am alone, but not on my own. others come and kill their time in my comfort zone – slowly devouring the circle that i have drawn around myself for my own self-protection and self-preservation. i want to be alone. fragments of their conversation build to a crescendo of pink noise. pink noise buzzing in my head.
the girl next to me is loud, screaming to be heard irrespective of the close proximity of her clones. siamese twins – inseparable. same hair, same lipstick, same shoes and plastic handbag. she nestles into her comfort zone – infringeing and eating into mine. does she care? does she fuck. her hand moves closer to me and i realise that there is a very fine line between intimacy and
invasion. i become more self-aware, opening up slowly – others become loose really quickly, alcohol infused and loose. they lose their inhibitions – only thinking of themselves. i am not invisible – although i might as well be… i am just another face in the crowd. breathing in and out and as alive as everyone else around me; those that surround me. the air feels brittle and it’s getting hard to breathe. they suffocate me – they suffocate me and i want to come up for air. i need to come up for air. my lungs are filled with their pungent yet resplendent exhalations. i want to surface, gulping lungfuls of fresh air and scream “do you see me? do you hear me? do you see me? do you fucking see me…!?”
i am alone in my built up zone, surrounded by the hum and prattle of chatter and the ringing and blipping of mobile phones. i sink deeper into oblivion in this cacophany of sound. pink noise. a wall of sound surrounds me. the beat of the background music betrays me slumping deeper into the wallpaper. the kitsch and gawdy wallpaper. i am detached. yet strangely attached. i am singled out. i wait for his return. i wait for my lover to return. how much longer will i have to listen to the psychotic babble as the nauseating smell of siamese twins’ perfume makes my head swim, dulling my senses and making me feel sick. time goes tick – tock – tick – tock ad infinitum. what am i to them? what am i to the others in this post-modern palace of perfunctory pleasures? i am nothing. i am stood up. i am stuck-up. i am not invisible… although i might as well be… for all it means to them. that girl touched my thigh.
incidently. unintentionally her hand brushed my thigh. i am not invisible – although i might as well be… i sit and wait for him. i don’t like this. i am hemmed in. stuck in the middle – amidst their words and laughter. i wish they’d turn it off. i wish they’d go away. i sit and wait for him. and i wait…. and wait. and weight. i bear this weight for him. i can’t bear the weight. the air is too heavy. heavy, crushing down on me. constricting me. the boom-boom bassline of the music moves in closer, i can feel it pump my chest – like this city’s heartbeat. bodies – now there are too many bodies, encircling me. closing in on me. closer. closer. i can smell the intimacy. the craving. tensions are building. i can almost taste it. a tangible
expectation and anticipation of sex. that’s what they come for. sex. sex for boys and girls. that is why they come here – so they don’t leave alone. i wish they’d leave me alone.
i watch faces come and go. i close my eyes and listen. voices are singled out and rise above the drone of mumbles of the masses as their words cut through. bodies that thrust words like daggers into your heart. bodies that thrust and impose their lives upon everyone else in the room. with just one word. i sip my gin and tonic. how much longer will i have to wait? time passes by so slowly and i can feel myself growing younger. they glance around at me. a passing glance with unseeing eyes – yet eyes that judge. just as a passerby glances at a homeless person. i am not invisible – although i might as well be… quietly confident, i sit and observe my surrounding surroundings. i wait for him to return – to uplift and remove me from this… this… this. this place. settled, yet unsettled i wait. and they close in.
the ice melts, diluting my tonic. i sit and wait. wait for him to refuel my diluted spirit and free me from this zoo. this circus. feels like i am inside a goldfish bowl and forced to look outwards – faces glower inwards, scrutinising, judging – as they jostle and bustle and chip away at my personal space, nibbling slowly. like rodents, like vermin. i refuse to accommodate their attempts to invade me and take over. i was here first. this is MY graze post – i was here first motherfuckers. i was here first enjoying the solace and serenity of my own company. that girls perfume wafts over and my stomach lurches. she is loud. loud and gawdy – like a strutting parrot. her voice hurts my brain. every vowel sound mauls my skull as she poaches on my home ground – my personal space. slowly, inch by inch, they close in around me. disrespect me. i am not invisible… although i might as well be… i will not flinch. i will stand my ground. i can be as hostile as they are. i can be hostile to your unwanted advances. you can just fuck off. i WILL beat your brow. i slip outside myself and watch. i really do not want to be here. feels like i am going to ‘crack’ wide open.
it will be hideously poetic – and messy. very messy. they made me what i am on this day. today. and what i am going to become if i am subjected to this Hell for much longer. if only i could escape my body. let me be free – let my soul break out of this prison cell – this living Hell and circle, swim around the Heavens and leave all this behind. simmering with hatred and wretched inhumanity my impatience festers with every ugly minute that passes. i wish i could leave my body in suspended animation. slow things down to stop and play with space time continuum. scream and spit in their faces, piss in their drinks, pull down their pants and expose them. i would fly through the door and soar. soar into the sky – swirl and whirl, soar and dive. i would fly past peoples’ windows and up around the rising spires. but i am stuck here. leather upon leather. alone in a crowded city bar.
it feels like it is going to explode – or implode. perversely, i enjoy this voyeuristic journey. i am watching from afar. i am tired of waiting. tired of being weighted down. down.
the air is sweet and heavy. so heavy. a thick sweet barrier. i wish i could carve a way out through the stench of cheap perfume, stale cigarette smoke and garlic prawn. voices and noises surround me, pull me down. sound, thick sound – peppered with a spray of interjected words and peals of laughter of other peoples’ conversations and conclusions. they have no regard for others. loud
raucous laughter spiking the wave of this aural orgy. this. this. discomfort. i don’t want to be here. i am not invisible… although i might as well be… self-obsessed beings craving their self-satisfaction. a voyeurs paradise. people watching people, watching. judging and being judged. assumptions fill the air, weighing it down, filling the void. polluting the air. i look out the window. respite. escape. the sun has retreated to bed. i am tired. tired of waiting for my angel to return and save me. wrap me up in his large and beautiful wings and carry me out of this place. this ugly place. this Hell on Earth. i wait for my angel to take me.
i exit the flesh and blood and hover in the ceiling. watching the mortals play. i watch from above to overcome these feelings of boredom, frustration and inertia. free of the anger and overwhelming desire to kill someone. i watch them play. watch the actors play – act – on their social stage. watch them acting up. putting on their own act for each other. how fitting. do i fit? i am not in the crowd. alone. i sit alone. i sit and ponder my position, and juxtapositions and impositions now thrust upon me. this poses further questions. where is my lover? where is my angel? i try telepathy. try to transmit thoughts. thoughts float out the door in their millions and soar into the night rain… i try in vain. i am restless. almost at breaking point.
the noise. the fucking noise. please make it stop. please. please come get me. i am tired. i wish i could silence them. silence the fuelled up girls and boys. i wish i had a remote control to shut it off. i close my eyes… i am not invisible… although i might as well be… retrospective. i think back to the solace i enjoyed an hour ago. two hours ago. i was generous with smiles today too. i had plenty throw away smiles to give. i never got any back in this miserable place. not one smile. until i open my eyes and find him… my lover. standing before me with outstretched wings…
i am not invisible. he sees me. he smiles. he loves me. he makes me feel loved; like i am home. and i belong. i belong. anywhere.
just so long as it’s with him…
with him, i am not invisible.
Words (c) Kat McDonald 2004