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Miss you, baby

By , Amsterdam, Netherlands
“Stop it! Stop making that noise! I want to cut your head off.”

I counted the tiles. Seven, eight, nine, ten. Four to the left, and orange they turned. Seven towards the ceiling and they turned yellow, the rest was a light shade of mustard. My one and only source of light was infinite; every day was just another failed attempt at counting the exact number of porcelain squares. Somewhere into the hundreds I’d get lost in colours while my mind drifted off into a realm of sleep. Could one call a state of unconsciousness sleep? It felt as though I was awake constantly, counting the tiles, measuring time by the speed of counting them. There was a thin line between being awake and being aware it seemed. It was dangerous but I was doing all right. Six days and counting. When fever breaks I simply lull myself into a state of desire and aspiration. The one thing I love about this is that my ability to completely lose myself in hopeful scenarios of immortality flourishes.

I remember in school how I’d feel guilty about not attending lectures and would find comfort in petty things such as talking gossip with blatantly insincere people. My grandmother would dismiss my behaviour and wished I’d seclude myself from all influences possibly hazardous. Isn’t that ironic.

Day four really got to me. I couldn’t remember day three and the stench coming out of the loo resembled that of a rotting corpse having baked in the sun for three days, and I would know. It wasn’t so much the smell that bothered me, but rather the lack of knowing where it came from. The pipes weren’t connected to anything, the water closet appeared self-sufficient, it just stood there, motionless and water ridden.

The sun shaped like a clouded star shuddered throughout the trees, whimpering, convulsing, while we remained silent on the ground below, waiting for the sun to descend, move or explode, whatever she intended to do. The dogs wouldn’t stop barking and the old lady who used to sit on the balcony overlooking the street wasn’t there any more. The coined laughter at the obscenity of all of this filled the back of my head and turned into cries of tormented prisoners. On the second floor a crowd gathered to look out at the stars that were joining in with the sun. The group started mumbling faded chants from long lost cultures that once resided in this town. “Surrender, surrender!” they finally yelled. I just sat there not knowing whether to stay put or fly to the nearest town to get some help. It was then the crowd on the second floor seemed to split in half to make room for something, or someone. Two female figures came through to the front of the balcony; one of them was limp and being dragged along by the other. She was motionless, perhaps asleep? No, definitely dead. Her eyes were open, she looked frightened and yet in a state of calm. Her carrier lifted her towards the sky and let go; she stepped back to let the older woman fly towards the clouds. Our eyes met for the briefest moment, and I yelped in horror, as it wasn’t until now, that I saw who the elderly woman was.

“Stop it! Stop making that noise! I want to cut your head off.” I’d heard the sentence before but could not place it. It was trying to tell me something. I could feel it. The line had been returning to me over the last couple of days. All the time I’d been here, come to think of it. It seemed to serve as the subtitle to a vague image. Someone who resembled my grandmother would appear. Then a young boy crouching behind her. The image would vanish when it felt as though the scene was on the brink of collapse, and I was the instigator of whatever wrongdoing was about to ensue.

I wake and sleep inextricably now. I’m lost in translation, between time and space, and language is slowly becoming a foreign concept to me. I can only theorize about the future, it’s nothing but an abstract notion now, so I tend not to worry about it all too much. All I have to hold on to now is that it’s the year 2009, that I am an independent and that I have made my own decisions for as far as I know. I can also tell you that I have a three-year-old son whose face I can’t remember. I can tell you that I love running in the park in autumn, and singing in the shower. That the world isn’t always as beautiful as it seems, but you probably already know that. I can tell you that since I’ve been here what I have to show for myself is 15.354 yellow tiles and an on off relationship with the last inhabitant who feeds me sometimes. What I can’t tell you is whether I’m alive or dead, dreaming or awake, old or young, black or white. How many tiles are left for me, and how much time is left for you is unknown. I surrender into the vast unknown. I miss you, baby.



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