Two, grumbling gargoyles sat like lizards in the damp, dark basement. Meanwhile, someone tries to sleep. They lay in bed, half in and half out of conciousness. And the little creatures hissing, mumbling nonsense did nothing to iron out the psychic creases of an evil early monday morning. The sky, though still semi-dark, promised to fade into hopeless daylight. Sweat poured from the pores of the man on the camp bed. The noise of the springs echo around the mostly empty flat. A few crumbs scattered across the formica worktop. The little mean devils turn their heads. There is a sound of the lid of a tomb being pushed away. They waddle into the house. Finding their entrance through the cat-flap. Though the cats had died years ago. As had everyone else. That, or they’d moved away, changed numbers, locks. The gargoyles plop upstairs and crawl onto the bed, noisily. One sits upon the mans chest, the other whispers in a dark tongue. Inside the mind of the man, two garden gnomes with zig zag mouths pour concrete into the mans lungs. The man stopped breathing only breifly. And woke up the following morning with a new sense of doom and despair. And had he written the letter, he knew it would make no difference. He threw the letter into the post-box. Laughed. Coughed. Kicked at the gravel with his tatty shoes and waited for it to grow dark.
In the light of the early afternoon we watched the birds. They fluttered in the trees, eating nuts and appearing to exist in another dimension. My friend took a perfect kind of delight in their tiny creation. There was mist everywhere. The trees appeared to be tombs under which elaborate, eccentric prophets might have been buried. And where his disciples, these feathered freaks, paid their daily respects. I ran the tap and a jet of water bashed the sink, bouncing back out of my cup and spraying all over the front of my trousers. A few drops hit my face. One rolled down my nose, tickling it then dropping from the tip. I held out my tongue to catch it. The drop missed and landed on my shoe with a ‘tap’. One of the birds let go of a bird turd; white, like a dart and looked around itself as though embarrassed. Of course, it was not.
The television was on. My blood boiled in my veins. At that moment, I wanted to fight. Anyone. Everyone. The flickering contraption was actually dismantling my optimism, piece by piece. Displaying every vapid, facile swatch of humanity possible; cramming it into its narrow frame without pause for air. Imagining the number of people watching this at the same moment was terrifying. It’s a wonder that the world doesn’t split wide open with misery…
So instead, I dipped into my head and found a beautiful Spanish door, slightly ajar. Slender feet appeared beneath a neon mist. A scarlet petal fell to the floor, splashing like blood upon what appeared to be marble. Trapped in a cell, the mind of a man writhes and conjours. Wild images and fantasies are played out like war game scenarios. There is no such thing as reality. Love is waiting in the realm of the mind. Expect change.
Fists clenched like iron demolishing balls. Eyes reddened through lack of sleep. Elephants rampaging through death tinted nightmares. The cars fizzing upon the road. Confused as to whether this is the afterlife; purgatory or normal, waking torture. The promise of the final heartbeat the only comfort. Stomach churning. Nobody, ever, never. Hands shake for no reason. Raw, cracking mind slowed only by drugs. A painting of dead animals. Nerves snapping at the small of the back. The heart twinge, the pin prick pains of strain. Heaven rains new demons down to fester on the surface. Dark days of assault and exhaustion. No home. Uncertainty and no kind, warm hand. The invisible man makes his way to work. Walking through walls, doors, hello’s and goodbye’s. His brow etched with frown from a life of grim haunting. Faces talk at him, through him. Ridiculously, he nods. He exists to exist. For him the only triumph is not to die. The room blurs. A cloud of booze enters his lungs as he sips on his water. His life force flickers like a tiny flame in a hurricane. A boot stuffs into his jaw, soon to be joined by a fist to his gut.
The water laps at his toes. A dog walker found him, talking gibberish and blue and shuddering, they said. The early morning air flickers blue with the ambulance lights. ‘Can you hear me, mate?’ a voice says. ‘Do you know where you are?’
A hand touches his. The invisible man smiles; he can see his scrawny, purple wrists as well as they can now. ‘Pulse very weak,’ another voice says, ‘we need to get a move on.’
His body bounces on the stretcher. One of the dogs walkers cups her mouth with her hand.
Seagulls shriek, circling the sky above him.