A lattice of carvings sweep across the canvas. Both individually and together seemingly without meaning, yet each tells part of a story which gains cohesion when viewed chronologically. Time cuts another shallow channel through the space, making pre-existing tracks deeper and more defined. The two dimensional array of marks gains a third dimension which measures the weight of events. The further past their point of origin in time the less depth they have, until all that remains is a map of key moments.
There is no purpose in life except that which we ascribe to it in any given moment of observation. One moment your purpose could be to find your way to your next meal, the next it could be to gaze into the eyes of your beloved one more time. Should you ever find your life without meaning, don’t panic! Simply remember that this is ok – you’re experiencing a moment of clarity. Whether you live or die at any given point of time means nothing in the long run. Make of that what you will but keep in mind that your purpose is what you make it and you have the unique opportunity to consciously choose your next purpose because of your current lack of meaning.
An important part of having a purpose which is often overlooked is that you don’t need to have a purpose. If you so choose you can reject purpose in life and embrace the lack of meaning. If you have nothing to keep you going and don’t want something then you shouldn’t feel pressure to give yourself a reason. Instead, try to evaluate why it is that you don’t want one and look at whether you already have a hidden purpose. You may be surprised at what you find. If you find nothing then you might not need a purpose in this moment.
I woke up in my room. Except it’s not my room, it’s longer and has two exits rather than one, but I wouldnt notice this till later. Looking around, I saw that each corner had a pile of sharp and twisted pieces of broken memories discarded like trash. Each piece threatened to topple the pile and spill warped versions of the past across the room.
I couldn’t stay there, I had to leave. So I walked out of my door and into the hallway. There I saw that my neighbours door was open which is very strange so I walked in to check that everything was ok. I stood in her doorway for a moment staring blankly, still trying to make my eyes adjust to the lighting in the hallway. That’s when I realised two things; I had just walked into a strangers residence unannounced, and I hadn’t gotten dressed before leaving my flat. Hurriedly I backed out of there and went back into my own place.
The heavy door slammed behind me and sent a shockwave through the room, disrupting the tenuous balance that was keeping those broken memories stacked. Shards flew everywhere, careening off in all directions. It’s a miracle I didn’t get impaled but any that came towards me seemed to suddenly lose momentum and drop to the ground.
While picking up the pieces I began to notice that some of them could fit together to make something whole and far less sinister than they had seemed before, so I started piecing them all together. When I was done I realised that even though they were whole they were still warped and cracked, they could never be what they were supposed to be.
Then I woke up.
Why did he do it?
That is something only he can know and I suspect that he currently hasn’t thought about it enough to know.
Does he know that I am aware?
Doubtful. He probably thinks he got away with it. No harm done, nobody affected. But even so I lay awake at night unable to sleep, not feeling comfortable with the thought of being in my own bed.
Is this the first time?
I bloody well hope so. I don’t even want to think about him having done that before. It makes my skin crawl. Especially since he’s seen how people are damaged by this sort of thing.
Would he do it again?
I’m not sure, I think if he doesn’t see some form of repercussion he might, but if he sees how it has impacted me then he’d never dream of it.
Does he understand why it’s wrong?
I’m not sure that he does. Of course, that doesn’t change what he did and it doesn’t make it any better – but at least I’ll understand why if he didn’t realise that’s what he was doing.
Should I confront him or leave it in the past?
If I sweep this under the rug and act like nothing happened I won’t be able to deal with it – I’ll go insane or have to cut ties with everyone I know. They all associate my presence with his. If one of us is there then the other likely isn’t far behind. I can’t keep that up. Not now.
What’s the next step?
It can’t be the police – this is something that needs to be solved via interpersonal means. Something which I’ve never been good at, and he can barely grasp the basics of it. I’ll need to talk to someone who has been in a similar situation before.
Who can I talk to about it?
I could talk to a professional but that would mean there is some form of permanent record of it. I don’t think his intent at the time would justify something that damages his future to that degree. Perhaps a friend that I can trust? No, even now I can’t do that to him – I can’t turn his already small friend group against him, especially not now that he’s closed the circle. It would leave him with nothing. There it is again, my unrelenting sense of loyalty biting me in the as even through this shit. Am I that person who just rolls over and takes the hit because I can’t bring myself to bring the appropriate justice to course?
How do I confront him?
That’s a heavy question. I don’t even know where to start or if he will understand without just locking everything out and becoming defensive. I imagine he’ll just brush it off as something he didn’t think about at the time but that doesn’t justify his actions, it points out a much larger flaw in character. One that I’ve tried to fix for years but he never quite gets the point.
How do I sleep at night now?
The one person I thought I could trust with anything, the only person for which my sense of loyalty had never wavered and he does that? While he thought I was asleep, too. He was going to just hide it from me and continue like nothing had happened. Is that all he thinks of me? I often just lay there for hours at a time thinking about it, trying not to vomit out of disgust at the notion. Usually I give up trying to sleep at about 3AM and start the day early, drained of energy with no drive to keep going and get things done, too tired to function.
Can I ever go back to how things were before?
I have no idea how to even begin.
I remember a time when I used to be full of passion, always motivated. A burning force that drove me to do everything I ever wanted or needed to do. A passion so strong that it felt like if I wasn’t working towards something I was choking, strangled by my own zeal.
But that’s the thing about choking, eventually you will inevitably stop fighting and embrace it. Even just for a short time, and when you’re choking you lose the strength to go back to breathing. The vehemence and desire to be something more was the first thing to die, without oxygen the fires of passion stopped burning and began to smoulder. No longer could it drive me forwards.
When you’re choking someone your muscles eventually fatigue and lose the power that let you grip their throat. Your hold on them wanes until you no longer put any pressure on them. Your hand just stays there; a distant reminder of what you once could do, and then it falls away. Never again to reach up and grab them.
That’s what happened to my passion. I let it burn too strong for too long until one day it had consumed me, leaving nothing but ash. Now when I think of things I want or need to do I don’t feel anything driving me to do them, I just leave them be out of habit. The fuel is there but the spark of life has gone, like a car with a full tank of gas but a dead battery and a faulty alternator. Sure, you can jump start it for a short burst of motion but that doesn’t fix the underlying issue. Nothing to keep that battery charged, no power to keep that spark alive. Completely useless without someone that has some energy to spare, and even then the moment it stops I’m back to square one but with a bit less fuel than before.
I stand outside at night with a cigarette in one hand and a lighter in the other. There is no wind, the world itself has stopped momentarily leaving me in a bubble of time to stand patiently and think about life.
A tree in front of me remains motionless, frozen in the darkness. Barely backlit by light from a nearby window I can see the auburn leaves drooped down like husks ready to crumble. Even the lightest breeze would threaten to detach their old dying stems. But no wind will come.
A bird sits patiently waiting for a worm to rise from the ground, ready to strike at any moment, knowing that its next meal will be soon. Then it will fly off back to its nest and await the morning sun. But no worm will come.
This is my Time. Alone in thought but also space. A moment in which I and only I can consider my life. I think back on recent years, wondering what influences the choices I have made. Is it fate? Part of a master plan? I think not, the human mind has a way of fabricating patterns in the chaos of the universe.
Everyone makes them, some more than others. A simple spelling mistake might seem unimportant to most of the world depending on the context in which it is written, however to me reading a text with spelling mistakes is like trying to read something with random words being on fire, the flames obscure my vision of the rest of the text. I sometimes don’t even notice it until I’ve spent five minutes staring at one word on a full page trying to internally correct it. Often upon noticing a spelling mistake I will feel drawn to it like there is nothing else my eyes could possibly focus on. It doesn’t even have to be something that prevents me from understanding what the word is supposed to be, it could be as simple as someone swapping an ‘a’ for an ‘e’, or spelling out a word as it sounds rather than as it’s written.
Sometimes I will read a single paragraph of a book for hours because there is one spelling mistake in it and I will automatically jump back to the start of the paragraph after reading it in order to try and fix it in my head. Of course I never can, printed ink can’t be changed and I can’t change what other people write in some formats. But what I can do is try to help someone improve their spelling over time, which not only helps me read what they have written but it also helps them appear more outwardly intelligent. At least that’s how I see it anyway, others just think I’m being anal when I correct their spelling but that’s probably because I’ve never told this to anyone.
It would be fine if it didn’t affect the rest of my life but it does, when someone passes me something to read and it has spelling errors I just zone in on them and can’t focus on anything else. Internally I scream in frustration at my inability to read a simple fucking sentence. Others get bored and frustrated waiting for me to read the short paragraph they handed me because they don’t understand why I’m having difficulty when usually I would have read it within ten seconds. It’s something that I actually find very embarrassing, not because others would judge me for it but because they would try and give me extra support for it.
Having been diagnosed with dyspraxia as a child has meant that throughout my life I’ve been given special treatment by my family and teachers to support my learning despite the difficulties I have. It’s more than enough to remind me on a daily basis that I’m not as capable as my peers and no matter how hard I try I never will be. I can’t make my hands do the things that I want them to do. I often can’t turn my thoughts into words. I can’t understand why people believe or do certain things, often causing it to be difficult to socialise with others as I can’t predict how they will react to things I say. A sentence with a single typographical error can sometimes trip me up for an hour or two.
Don’t feel sorry for me, I don’t need pity for this I just need people to understand. When people try to support me with this type of problem it doesn’t help because they don’t understand it, I would explain it to them if I could get the words to form in my mind to do so but they never do. I never asked for support so why do people assume I want it? Much like being alive, I don’t get to opt out even if I never wanted it in the first place.
I guess people reading this might help to some degree but not fully. People still won’t understand where my difficulties come from or exactly what they are because I still don’t know how to put them into words though at least people might stop trying to give me special treatment for things that they don’t know how to help with.