the decay of lying

The written and spoken content of this web site is protected by copyright. Unless otherwise attributed Copyright © Andy Wood 2013 All rights reserved. No part of this document may be reproduced without the written consent of the author.

Get Knotted

...Money wasn't his problem. Time was his problem. Time which he filled agonisingly with thoughts. Once in a while he would meet friends and on those occasions he could effect happiness; a relaxed, cavalier attitude:

 

“Hi Rob, how are you?”

“Oh not so bad, in fact very well. Yes – very well. How's the rat race treating you?”

“Oh! Don't ask! It's alright for you: lazing around – playing a bit of golf; walks in the  country; a few pints in the pub. Easy life. I really envy you. What I wouldn't give for your  lifestyle!”

 

But it wasn't alright for Rob and they knew it. Everyone's scared, you see. Scared of being thought a failure by society? Couldn't stand the pace? Pressure got to them? Perhaps. But more importantly, scared of the freedom. Scared of having the time to get to know oneself without all the cosy restrictions of society and routine.

 

Rob was getting to know himself and it wasn't a particularly enjoyable experience. He was lonely, above all, unutterably lonely. He spent a lot of time walking with only his own thoughts for company and they frightened him. He had friends, he would tell himself – not many but good friends, yet at the same time he found it hard to believe. His evenings in the pub were a welcome distraction. Everyone certainly always seemed pleased to see him; interested to hear what he had to say. They would laugh and smile – even Rob would laugh and smile, a good time had by all. But then it was time to head for home. Rob would try to prolong the evening “Hey, who's for a curry? Or “Come back to mine for coffee! But ultimately there were the waved farewells, backs were turned, all would go their separate ways and Rob would stand...more alone than ever.

 

He worried endlessly about what his friends thought of him. He often felt that he valued them more than they valued him. Sure, they liked it when he was there but would they be bothered if he wasn't? “Good old Rob. Always good for a laugh!” But how many of them really knew and whose fault was it if they didn't?

 

The days were hardest. Rob was haunted by images of the human race toiling away – if not for their own good then for someone's. Achievers all, while he watched time pass, torturing himself with the sense that there was something great he could, should, be doing – some missed opportunity. For most, time is precious; that made Rob the richest man alive but it couldn't pass quickly enough as far as he was concerned. Rob slept little – when he did he tried to engineer it so that he slept late into the day. Night time was his salvation, his solace. It was night that brought Rob a degree of calm. He remembered a book he had had as a child. It had fascinated him, taking the reader on a journey through the town at night – the sights and sounds. Now Rob moved through that world. He would often walk for two or three hours at the dead of night. Now he was winning, achieving, while in the houses all around people slept unaware.

 

Then one day, quite unexpectedly, Rob jumped back on that inexorably turning wheel. He didn't fall, barely even a stumble, he just picked up the rhythm and kept on running.

 

Get Knotted

The tale of a cog in the machine who wanted to throw a spanner in the works

 

 

The reflection that gazed back at him did so with baleful eye. A red-rimmed stare from the depths of a lined and worn face – a ruby set in the hard cold stone of an ancient idol! So many years he'd struggled, but always it seemed, in vain. No trophies of success were his. Society barely noticed him. Often he had tried to tell himself that this time it would be different... and that THIS time it would be HE that made that difference. He would be the force to mould and shape his own destiny. But he knew, of course, that even as he told himself things would change, they wouldn't. This worm was not about to turn. He knew that rather than the designs of a strong man these were the delusions of the weak.

 

He tried to think back: Surely it had not always been like this, so plunged in despair and disillusionment? His childhood, he felt sure, had been a happy time; filled with the warmth, optimism and innocence that embodied the springtime of one's life. It was only now, as he found himself in the cold darkness of winter, that he wondered where it had all gone so wrong; how his summer and autumn had fled so soon. Summer's lease certainly did have all too short a date. “Wrong”? He was beginning to doubt himself, did that sound a bit over dramatic, was he not being a bit negative here? Surely, it was alright, wasn't it? And then he realised: That was the problem, it was all basically alright. Such a crippling lack of passion – it was all so fucking anodyne. Well no more. For him the seasons would not turn again. For him there would be no rebirth; no new life. Unless – unless it was to be a new life in death. And suddenly he felt, as if for the first time, a passion and determination: That was it – that could be his way out.

 

He took the length of cord in his hand, looped it about his neck and slowly, without faltering, began to tighten it's grip.

 

The noose tightened.

 

This would show them he thought. They wouldn't be expecting this – true, but would they care? What would they all think? He'd like to know. His wife would probably be upset, she did love him after all, he supposed, in her own peculiar way. But what of the others? He could just see them, all sneers and false sympathy.

 

“Poor old fellow, never did seem all that happy... it's a shame really... silly fool... poor old fellow... a coward's way out... silly fool... well shot of him... who?... silly fool... who?”

 

What did they know anyway? In fact, what did they matter? What did any of it matter? The important thing was to make a break of it. That's right – a clean break of it.

 

The noose tightened.

 

He could feel each fibre, each sinuous strand closing in, reaching up to choke the life from him. At some point, he supposed, he would see his life flash before his eyes. He did not await this occurrence with any great enthusiasm. God, if he had to go through all that again it would probably kill him before the rope did.

 

“He's dead alright, Morse.”

“Cause of death, Lewis?”

“Death by boredom, Sir.”

 

The noose tightened.

 

He was starting to feel light-headed.

 

The noose tightened.

 

This then, was the proverbial “It”.

 

The noose tightened.

 

“Very smart, dear.” Jerry's wife said from behind him.

 

“Uh – what?”

 

“Your tie, dear. Very smart.”

 

“Oh, right.”

 

The illusion faded. He turned from the mirror and left the house. Jerry hated going to the office.

 

* * *

 

So has Rob failed, or has he redeemed himself by rejoining the game? It's not for me to say. The omniscient author has no place in these days of doubt and confusion. But for the time being at least it seems Rob is, if not entirely happy, then enjoying a certain peace. Don't make the mistake of believing that he has followed through all his thoughts and come out smiling at the other side. It would be more accurate to say that he has learned not to think. Not much of an ending, I grant you, but I'm sure we'll hear of him again, one way or another.

 

It is impossible to escape our past. It shapes us. Its effect on our present is indisputable. The challenge we face is to live now.