a dog barks in the distance. the rattle of cups in the kitchen sink. wash them. make another cup of coffee and talk with my cat, Alf. he doesn’t say much. or it may be that he doesn’t have much to say about things. i have back ache. i have tooth ache. i have an c-PTSD, the Doctor said. but things could be worse. i should be grateful. and i am grateful. writing helps. Alf reaches out to me. a stretched out limb. a paw. a gesture. but there is a smell. eucalyptus and menthol. decongest. decongest. in the kitchen, we filter the water. it’s better that way. safer. or so they say. but these tiny impulses and intrusive thoughts colour my perception and shape my behaviour. i will resist the urge. wave after wave. but two shots fired and i would feel so much better. ephemeral. a flash. then nothing. disbelief and feeling numb. joy. complete and utter joy. bread crumbs. so many bread crumbs but still no whole loaf of bread. don’t you find that strange? remember the Cold War? of course you do. those films about what to do in the event of a nuclear holocaust, remember them? they scared me, when i was a child. the siren. early warning. where would i go? how would it feel to be vaporised. rabies too. remember when rabies was something to be hysterical about? i remember the ‘rabies is a killer’ adverts and ‘educational’ films about rabies. fear. it scared me. it scarred me. terrorvision. television. thank you, TV – you played a big part in my paranoia. my OCD. my PTSD. rabies and nuclear war. but we have new things to fear now, don’t we, eh? why is there always a missing sock when you empty the washing machine? where do all the ‘lost’ socks go? the piano against the wall remains unplayed today again. eighty-eight keys to be unlocked. still these intrusive thoughts come. i have no focus. no attention span. no joy. just rage. despair. frustration. hatred. lots of localised hatred. i say localised but by that i don’t mean i hate those around me, in my immediate locality, but by ‘localised hatred’ i mean it is focused. and close. in my face. in everyone’s face. and i think of the sound. the bang. the recoil. the impressive spray of aortic blood. thick. red. viscid. and that smell. a smell that is not easily forgotten. it stays with you. it clings to the very fabric of you, beyond clothing or cladding. it remains there. vile. the very thought brings up bile. but it’s more than bitterness. it’s more than hatred. it is beyond human emotion and comprehension. where do they come from? these demons. all appears normal. have you ever been to a slaughterhouse? or the city morgue? my cat is on the bed by my side. a hot mug of coffee steams to my left and a slab of ginger chocolate lies open, a sweet distraction, broken up in squares. one square bears my fingerprint. another Sunday. not a fun day. a day of (un)rest. my head feels enormous. it must be. to contain all that is inside it. the entire world is inside there. another world entirely. but do not go there. do not enter into that space. that head space. or you may never return. if you do, i guarantee you will be broken. you will not be the same person. these urges. they are not new. i often have these ‘falling down’ days, as i call them. but today they are out of control wild. is all innocence gone? i think of a sweet little girl i met today. she was nine years old, i think. her mother said that her little girl liked my blue hair, and that she is obsessed with having blue or pink hair. her mother continued to say that she may allow her to have her hair dyed blue for Christmas. i laugh. i am trying to remove the blue. i have bleached my head three times now and my hair is still blue. glacial blue as my lover describes it. but maybe this is how things are. nothing can ever be fully erased, just adapted… bleached… diluted… twisted and turned. i wonder… my right foot itches. my left foot is numb. i have been sitting for too long. i must cut my claws. they grow so fast and create fret buzz. i stretch out my limbs, like my cat, mirroring his behaviour. good grief. it will soon be December already. it will soon be the new year. a new year. 2021. and why is grief always ‘good’? the smell of tangerines temporarily fills the room. sweet and juicy. curtains billow, as a breeze flits through the open window. but what is that banging? what strange creatures humans are! complex, yet so stupid. well, with the exception of Tesla, perhaps. it is fifteen hundred hours. coffee. hey, you can shake your head, if you like. i see you. so what?! what of the human mind? why write this? why? random. fingers type today what my mind spews. but still with censorship. i could not possibly write disclose the truth of these thoughts. these intrusive thoughts. of such unequivocal violence, and beauty. like a tiger mauling a fawn. the blood. the ripping sound. the screams. the smell of death. the flash of excitement in the tiger’s eye. that. it is that very thing. the pure joy. unequivocal ecstasy. intrusive thoughts that paralyse me with fear, and yet tickle and arouse me and fill me with complete and utter joy. like a series of horror movies inside my head. fuck. you have to break many eggs to make a fine omelette. Shiva. death and creation. when did you last look closely at the palms of your hands? their shape. their colour. the lines and their depth. their capability? their warmth, or lack of. their softness. hands: capable of nurturing, capable of killing. when did you last look at your own hands in this way? c-PTSD, she said. and what colour is the most dominant emotion you feel today? what does joy taste like for you? right now, it is the sound of Peggy Lee’s Fever. a fantastic song. Amin… then changes to Bbm, i think… after a while and then changes again. fantastic changes. fantastic song. and that voice. it is cold, yet fevered. but does anyone really care about music? does anyone truly care that Harry Styles likes to wear a dress from time to time? who cares! i think more men should wear dresses if they feel so compelled to. who cares? seventy years, they say. seventy years. a lot of chip wrappers in seventy years. so… are you bored yet? or are you curious as to where this train of thought is heading? derailment? oooh i get it… you are a voyeur of the macabre. a ghoul. do you care where this torrent of consciousness is going to sweep you off course to next? you should, but of course you don’t care. and i don’t expect you to. i don’t expect many of you to read it, or read it all the way through. it’s just another chip wrapper, right? maybe that is all we ever are. how long until i am completely forgotten about? when will that very last memory of me perish in someone else’s memory? it is memories that keep the dead alive. please don’t be so morbid, Kat. stop it. think of something funny. Oliver Cromwell. he was a good old fun sponge, wasn’t he? funny…. did he not disallow Christmas celebrations many, many years ago? interesting. fact or factoid. not that i enjoy Christmas much. i don’t believe in Christ. but i do believe in love, and the celebration of love and enjoying the company of those around me who matter. oh hey, out comes the red pen, crossing out thoughts before they tumble out onto the screen… pixel by pixel… and lay open like a laceration from the bite of a Great White. take that any way you will. i do not care. am i losing my mind? possibly. or perhaps it was never really mine in the first place. all that is there came from outside. from other peoples’ doing. from places that pre-date me. it’s really rather fascinating… when you think about it. reality. what is that? the blue of my eyes will be a different shade of blue through your own. and those bananas on the kitchen worktop. they are too ripe and repulsive for my tastes, but to you they might be divine. how do you find memory? in flavours? in colours? in songs? in smells? in shapes? in stuttering, stammering? in dreams? in lovers? in anger, or fear? in the back seat of a car? i remember my dad’s old car. the leather seats. too hot in summer, too cold in winter. i remember the old steering wheel. huge now, compared to today’s steering wheels. or was it just because i was small, back then? it’s all relative. and irrelevant. it’s all quantum. everything. orange walls. warmth. a cocoon. i feel safe here. i feel at home here. but i really want to go to Tokyo. sakura and karaoke. visit friends. visit the snow monkeys. swim with the snow monkeys in volcanic pools. drink tea with robots. i want to go to Tokyo. but not this year. until then, there is YouTube. and there is YouTube until that implodes. until it buckles beneath its own dictatorship. do you find traveling by boat relaxing? or do you prefer rail travel? when i was 14, i wanted to be recruited by the Starship Enterprise. but at 14 we have to make some of the most important decisions that affect our future lives. at 14, we have to choose what subjects we want to study in order to enable our careers and our life path. 14 year old. a child. fuck… i hated school. on reflection, school ruined my life. school, not education. so many of my teachers were wankers. and from these wankers i learned more than school could ever teach me. not to be like them. not to wind up like them. but at 14, i wanted to be a Starfleet Officer – not a child burdened with this level of responsibility. but when should we take responsibility for our own lives? immediately, right? i would say. when did you last look yourself in the eye? is it true that your own reflection is your most honest ally? they never break your gaze. they can stare you down. and they can destroy you. do they always speak the truth? or do we accuse our reflection of lying because we cannot bear to face those truths? terrible pun there… i do apologise. the sky is darkening. tomorrow, i must photograph a tree. there are some incredibly beautiful trees in the park. tomorrow. on the last day of November. okay. cue the loony tunes music… i think it is time to jump off here while all these plates are still spinning….
(c) Kat McDonald 2020