And we hobbled on towards the end. All the major events were behind us now – there was only some space left between now and the rolling of the credits.
There didn’t seem to be anything to say. There was no sleep to be had, so I just stayed up and watched the dawn break over everything that was all broken up. The first step in getting back to normality was to write something down, to create anything.
I set up a simple website that would tell you what day of the week it was, in big, clear white letters on a black background. The colours didn’t change, just the word changed, and the word always told you exactly what day of the week it was on that day. When a user visited my website, they would at least be able to find out this basic information.
Doing this took me longer than it should have done. It took some time because my concentration is shattered. For some time now I have struggled to concentrate on one thing at once. My concentration is like a broken up jigsaw puzzle which I have to put back together again before I can get anything else done. That task requires concentration and I cannot…
I didn’t know how to start explaining something that had no obvious edges.
When I had finished creating the website I decided I needed to get out of the house. I went down to look at the sea – oblivious, beautiful, violent. It dragged things down and threw them back up. That was just what it did.
All winter long, these little funerals fall from the sky. And it is a long winter. We sing. It’s a long, long winter. Leaving me here on my own. It’s a long (it’s a long) long winter. Now you’re gone. These funerals just appear, celebrating the lives of people we didn’t even know existed, as if they have only been made up for the purpose of giving other people – people we do know exist – someone to mourn. Even walking past funerals makes us sad, and sad is dangerous, and with the excuse of having been saddened, we buy a car on a whim – paying cash up front, cash we didn’t even know existed until it was paid in to our bank accounts, as if it has only been made up for the purpose of giving us something to spend.
The funerals thin out the further we get from the city, until we are driving down a road with hills and fields on either side and we realise we haven’t seen one for tens of minutes. What we do find – way out in the country, away from houses and graves, where there are stones and flowers but they are wild and free, not commemorative – is a group of people who seem to be being very much alive. Into a field in a middle of the countryside they have dragged a big incongruous bouncy castle, and now they are all jumping up and down, falling over, taking off items of their clothing and having fist fights. They shout out to us, tell us it is the best way to be alive, and invite us to join in. We abandon our car and run towards the bouncy castle, scramble aboard, and yes, it does feel like being alive.
For a while. It makes us very, very happy, for a short time. But it doesn’t make us as profoundly happy as the funerals make us so profoundly sad. You can’t escape death by being alive. We drop onto our bottoms and bounce and slide off the inflatable castle, bruised, black-eyed, weary.
It’s a long, long winter. Leaving me here on my own. It’s a long (it’s a long) long winter. Now you’re gone. I’m not the only one.