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Stranded

16 June 2013 | Category: Stories | Author: Clare

The radio crackled into life.

The message all but lost in the accompanying static.

I listened half heartedly, long since resigned to understanding only pieces of that puzzle.

Reassuring in its testimony to an active world outside, it was equally disconcerting, reinforceing your sense of being alienated.

Sometimes I would sit absentmindedly on the deck of the pub, drink in the warmth, and feel almost at ease; aware of the unspoken respite provided by the netting seperating me from the blood thirsty mosquitoes, completely indifferent to their quarry, or their discomfort. Their irritation a barely audible buzz from the perimeter.

Other times I would wander aimlessley around, pick something up, put it down; sit here, stand over there.

I stared at the walls like a captive.

The faded photographs of smiling people. The crumpled bank notes of different places, a fiat testimony to the world beyond my boundaries.

I thought about how valueless those worn pieces of paper were intrinsically. But how bizarre, and interesting human collective organisation is, that we can formulate institutions that facilitate trade by providing such a useless medium of exchange.

Long gone are the days of the gold standard, and asset backed currency. To the definitive detriment of international finance, and domestic economies.

I wondered at the people in the pictures. Frozen in those stolen moments for the duration of their tenure on the wall.

I wondered how their lives had marched forward from the flash of a camera, unaware of being captured and held static.

Would their smiles fade like their photograph over time?

Would their affiliations change. A couple then, estranged later. A friend then, a lover later. Able bodied then, crippled later.

Alive then; dead later.

You could almost imagine in the dark of the night, the resurgence of those evenings when people laughed.

The echoes of peoples' happiness, trapped as it was behind the bar, bouncing from the walls in your dreams as you slept in this place.

Since losing my licence, I have jumped from one arrangement to another.

Like searching for icebergs in a melting ocean.

This week sees the girls and I staying at the local pub.

Watching over the garden and the place in exchange for somewhere to stay that is closer to work.

Breaking down the inevitable commute.

It is a strange sensation to be so reliant; to feel so trapped.

The people whose generosity buoys you like a life raft. The fenders that protect the hull of your structured, organised life from the devastation waiting should it rub against the docks of your deprivation.

The worst part is understanding that what has happened is your fault.

You develop the inverse stockholm syndrome. The people that are helping you feel the brunt of your frustration.

Epitomising as they do the tangible form of your jail-time.

It is one of the most idiotic tendancies in human nature.

We rally against authority; we rally against structure; we rally against anything that curbs our freedom of expression.

Even the genoristy of those around becomes twisted to represent the suffocating restrictions imposed by your own stupidity.

The old adage that we punish those we love; that we hurt them more than anybody else.

It is almost animalistic in it's simplicity.

Like the wild animal taken to a vet; hissing and snapping as it is given an injection to ease the pain.

Not understanding, and not caring.

Just afraid.

I used to believe it was a little primitive to think that everything happened for a reason.

I thought that was an ill-thought out coping mechanism.

But if you take a little poetic licence, I could definitely concede that though life could be a random mix of unrelated circumstance, there tends to be something to be gleaned from everything we are exposed to.

And as with your interpretation of an off-colour novel, or a slap-stick comedy; it all depends on your perspective, or your mood.

It would be sensless beyond reason to grapple your way through something, and only have the mileage to bear testimony to the struggle.

If you didn't learn along the way, you may as well not have gone. All you accomplish would be to give yourself blisters.

To finding the silver lining then, however slim. For insisting upon it.

An audible sorry, to the people I have frowned at, struggled against, become frustrated with.

Simply because their generosity is something my independence struggles to digest.

Another forum to wrestle with those personal traits that are questionable.

Another place to stand, peel off a deeper, more complex layer of selfishness, and feel once again stripped naked, and freshly modest.

An opportunity to do better.

Thank you for your help.


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