trout [ 6 ]
David Prichard
The Room

She left him alone in a one-room apartment, with huge old shutter windows that tried to block out the noise. The light was steady overcast. Perfect for him as he lay down on his back in the centre of the floor and stared up at the plaster work. He exercised his jaw from side to side and shuffled his feet. Four white walls just painted over and a big brown door with a grate over the frosted window. Now is a time to recite, he thought, to liven up this place with ringing words. To scrape away the wash with penetrating inquiries. To blow away the dust on the floor with sweeping giganticness, the epic. But to resuscitate the ceiling by tapping a rhythm through the noggins. To start with his fingers then slap his hands before stomping his feet and pulsating like a starfish in a strong current. And sing the last tune he had heard like a child so as to immortalise it for the future dwellers or victims of this geometry. Let him roll his eyeballs as he reconstructed the lines against blackness in his sedation. Give him something if only a bottle of wine and a record player with one piece of music that can set him astride, so that he can pick up enough speed to jumpkick the nothingness and cause some damage. So that he can shrivel up his entire body and laugh in the mirror, and fear nothing. And then his upper muscles seize up and his torso is frozen. His elbow is bent upwards so that his hand is trapped twitching by his ear, and in it a quill, black at the nib. His eyes are fixed in his sockets, and he marches toward that wall one two three...yes, this is the spot, Lord forgive me, he pricks the surface. Just a little ink fills the crevices of the paper and it runs down rapidly as he spreads his palms around it. He sucks in his stomach, made sick with love, and bends down to catch it with his tongue.

Thatís when he started writing on the walls. Every thought and process was scribbled there so childishly in black. The sum of his genealogy, the conflict of his anonymity, the void of his dutiful being was made into a disorganised mural, or a manuscript perhaps. Different angles and styles of handwriting all comprising a great testimony to the demons of his deluded reason. But is that not our greatest weapon? And he wrote and wrote until there was no room left. Then he went to the windows and opened the shutters so that the noise could be heard, seen and drunk. Then he retired to his position, and awaited her return.

© 1999

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