I dream of a laboratory, steely and clinical with aisles of high-tech equipment and shiny machinery of giant proportions. I scuttle through mazes of wires like a lab-rat, insignificant and waiting to fall into a trap.
I spend hours hiding in the shadows, watching them as they work. Sometimes they experiment, playing with atoms and molecules until they produce something powerful and hideous. Mostly, they stick to their routines. They build circuits and synthesise chemicals which they bottle up and store away for later use.
They are faceless, invisible – the precursor to every story and the words between the lines. They keep vast quantities of liquid emotion in the stock cupboard which they create in vitro and inject into a sub-dimensional projection of their subjects, manipulating laws of science and bending the rules of space and time to their will. The subjects – the products of their experiments – exist in a separate world of fixed sensory capacity, unable to question beyond the limited perception gifted to them by their creators.
In my waking hours I am haunted by my inability to fight the limits of my mind; frustrated by the illusions which have become my reality. I am a product and a prisoner of chemicals: my body is derived from the same clusters of atoms which pump through my veins and through synaptic clefts in my brain, translating into feeling and subsequent response.
We run amok, blinded by pain we cannot fully grasp and acting on impulses which we do not understand. As we act out our soap-operas on the stage of our lives, battling heartbreak and revelling in success, they are the silent stage-hands which change the scenes. They turn winter into spring; they tear our worlds apart and inject us with new-found hope at the point where we cannot take any more. In their world, they split atoms and boil metal as easily as we can flick a switch.
They are our omniscient creators and we are merely pawns in their game.
Red coat. Blood red. High-heeled boots, clicking against the pavement as she walks to the tune of her importance. A predator in the night; a dancer in the rain. Smoke particles colliding with the city air, creating swirls of toxic grey against the black. He watches her from his window above, enthralled; entranced. Wanting to be embraced by the woman of steel. Never knowing, never seeking, only watching.
Black wood. Death black. Velvet-lined coffin, silent as a bomb as they sit listening to the tune of her suicide.
Emotions. What are they?
Chemical illusions. Liberating, heartbreaking, euphoric and intoxicating: still nothing but chemical illusions. I speak openly about a so-called ‘personality disorder’ for it is a malfunction of nothing but chemical illusions, created in my brain and perceived by other people.
What does it mean? Where do we draw the line between perception and truth; illusion and reality? What if that gap is a whole other dimension, a loophole in the forced beliefs of an entire race of people?
We are a prisoner to our feelings. A psychopath murders without regret because he lacks the ability to feel the pain of his actions. Had he been able to understand the heart-wrenching grief of the victim’s family, would he have committed the same crime so thoughtlessly?
My point is, basically: emotions are what tie us together as friends and family – and as a society – but they are also what tear us apart internally and interject our lives with pain and torment.
Can’t live with ’em, can’t live without ’em.
My background, my history – which nobody exists in but me. The sleepless nights and shredded skin no-one ever knew about; the silent observations, anger and obsession which existed in my head alone. Sometimes I forget who I am. Too many late nights and an excess of alcohol tend to blur the edges and dilute the essence of a person and the life they lead. I feel ill, unstable, low. Anxious. Scared to acknowledge yet terrified to ignore.
I remember the persistent icy coldness of my old school. I remember the way I would sit in every lesson: my legs knotted together with my hands sandwiched inbetween to try and keep in the little warmth my body held. I remember the route I would walk to the bus stop at the end of the day, always walking around the very edges of pavement corners to burn as many calories as possible on the walk home. I remember feeling so lost and angry. Helpless and murderous and bitter. Stupid, really. Sometimes I’d have to travel home with earplugs in because the repetitive sound of my bag creaking made me angry enough to smash it against the pavement. If my mother had left the front door on the latch, it would take me at least ten minutes to get over the frustration of not hearing the satisfying click of the lock and the squelch of the handle as the door opened.
Chapters of life which are completed, finished, irrevocable. Too much feeling, too many memories. Too much of a fuck up to be able to let them go.
Minds full of thoughts battling for attention,
Lips frozen around the first syllables of words never to be spoken.
Strokes of inspiration
Lost amongst a jumble of colloquial nouns and pretentious laughter.
People flitting in and out of lives like light reflections on stormy water,
Stumbling blindly down their own paths like headlights on a dark country lane.
Battling with fantasy and reality;
A world where anything is possible, and a world that is hideously unforgiving.
Sparks and flames driving hot-headed passion,
Powerful infatuation and deceivingly happy hours spent in denial.
Travelling through life as though through molten iron:
Struggling to keep our heads above the surface, and burning underneath.
When the thick, hot blood no longer runs through our veins,
When our idiosyncrasies have died with the last beat of our hearts,
Will I be just another girl you once knew?
Water is such an overused metaphor for memories, thoughts and foreign feelings. For such an abundant substance, it fascinates me. It houses another world of life and organisms. When you plunge into its icy depths, it takes the weight from your feet and the pressure from your shoulders. It runs down your cheeks as physical sadness; drips through your fingers as you try in vain to close them around its menacing beauty.
Let me climb the protective walls you have built around yourself, and trust me not to shy away from your vulnerability.
When you meet the person who makes you feel more alive than you’ve ever been, you will know. You’ll fit perfectly in their arms, your words and bodies and beliefs will entwine like ivy and you will be just as able to sit in comfortable silence as you’ll be to talk into the early hours of the morning.
They say it’s better to have loved and lost, but what if you love and never have? What if the further you reach, the further they back away? Those rare, unconventional moments – when their arms are around your waist and your fingers are lost in their hair – they just feel so right.
Outward confidence; quiet creativity; the beautiful but vulnerable person you become when you lose yourself enough in me to let your guard down. Hey, listen. I want to show you my world and make you smile. Running between the shelter of trees late at night in the pouring rain. Childish humour, inside jokes. Understanding and balance, intensity with space to miss. Coffee, shared late-night cigarettes and ice-cold beers. Winks and whispers, sex and memories. Sharing the echo of irretrievable words and heartbeats.
A few weeks are capable of changing everything.
Raindrops upon the window are no longer personified sadness but drops of glistening beauty; a collection of millions of water atoms which sparkle in the silver light.
There are always lessons to be learned, and there are always different ways of looking at the world. Someone recently told me that with practise, it’s easy to choose the face you present to the world if you embrace the distinctive traits in your personality. Well, he didn’t quite say it like that, but that was my interpretation and it was one of the most helpful things anyone has ever said to me.
Learn to recognise your emotional triggers, and avoid them until you feel safe enough to confront them. After a while, you’ll start to trust yourself. You’ll believe the outgoing, happy person you work so hard to be. Everything will fall into place, and when a piece of the jigsaw inevitably slips, you’ll have the strength to slot it back in.
I’ve always known that emotions change like Scottish weather: cloudy one minute, sunny the next. Throw in a thunderstorm or two in the midst of summer. It’s impossible to imagine sun through pouring rain, but when the shift happens, it feels so natural that you adjust immediately. Tears dry up; the weight in your stomach disappears. I promise.
I’ve had it with antidepressants. They stem my creativity and cloud my thoughts. Perhaps they keep my mood at a generally more stable level, but when something happens to get me down they’re as much use as a blunt potato peeler. Ha. Perhaps they can temporarily alter my brain chemistry but they will not change the fact that I’m an emotional person, and I’m ready to start living with that.
Life is a rollercoaster. There will always be people who you clash with, people who you love, and people who you’d like nothing more than to dangle out of a high window by their ankles. Embrace it: love, learn, appreciate, and be the person you want the world to get to know.
(By the way, I’d avoid dangling anyone out of a window by their ankle, no matter how much of a twit they may be… You might end up in a police cell)
WordPress kindly reminded me this morning that I started this blog exactly a year ago. It’s been an interesting year with more ups and downs than should be possible, but I’ve come out of it as a stronger and wiser person. If you’ve stuck with me thus far, thank you, and if you’ve just stumbled across my blog, have a wander around and leave a comment.