” Blindness leads to discretion. All that prevails is besieged by doubt. Try to turn it to your advantage; how am I supposed to do that when I have no more that I can call my own? Let there be light, change, wind, help. But from whom? I sat three years ago in an armchair overlooking the street below from my apartment window, and from there I saw many things. The daily goings-on of the populace of a once very urban community, but who through change and redevelopment had broken all the rules. Rules there to be bent, broken, and manipulated into strings of numbers; accounts overladen with debt and lives full of artifice.They felt like dangerous times, but I knew, yes I knew that it would not last before some-one, not that I was one of those people, would change the status-quo and turn it all back on its head. The espionage, the corruption, the cantankerous dealings with public officials and state governors.There was so much bureaucracy in amongst the crowds of people that passed my window. Me sitting in my armchair observing the stirrings of a giant hornet’s nest. I was inflamed with guilt for not having the gaul to do something about it myself. I wasn’t prepared to put my neck on the line and voice my own very torrid opinions at what was clearly a catastrophe occurring before my very eyes. What I feel now is observational failure. Failure to respond before all changed irrevocably. But I was so far gone at that point, my cigarette long gone out. My glass sitting half empty, Malt Whiskey gone to waste with no-one to drink just that last drop. My heart, cherished by none was in tatters. Broken by god knows what. So sorry was I that I hadn’t been complicated enough; exuberant enough to let others know that I did indeed care, and very deeply about the changes that were defacing our private and communal lives in that small square-acherage-of-a-town. The light above me flickered and I looked up to see what appeared at first to be spots high up on the ceiling as if some-one had drawn on the plasterboard tiles with a felt-tip marker. I stared up at them for a moment, it felt like a long moment, and I knew that what I was looking at was not normal. Why would I be seeing such things, when there should have been nothing there but paint and plaster? I looked back down at the street below again and saw…Sam, Adam, Kieran…I couldn’t remember their name. I know I knew the face so well, he…him…that young chap would park his car down there by the Quayside every afternoon. He would come into the shop and buy…something. I was beginning to realise at this point that things had changed irrevocably not just for street and the town below, but for me. I was no longer there. My body lay dormant, asleep. Passed out, intoxicated probably. What a sorry state of affairs I found myself thinking.
I had lived, and now I was free. Free from…well I wasn’t quite sure. I was just free. No more spinning webs, no more deceit. No more waiting for some-one to knock at my door and ask me if I needed anything. No more complaints, I found myself chuckling at the relief!
That was me down there, that big hunk of ham with a suit and the almost jesuit complexion. I was suddenly filled with a strange fondness for the man that once greeted me from across the other side of the mirror as I shaved before leaving for work. The watch my father had given me was still on my arm, it had stopped at ten past seven. It had run without hitch for years, yet it too was now dormant, redundant. I had loved that watch. What could time matter now?
I hadn’t the faintest notion of what came next. It was a strange moment of calm, if I could call it a moment at all. Funny how figures of speech stay with you. I tried to wave at the people below, hoping that some-one, Tom, Dick or, I don’t know, Harry would catch a glimpse of me up on the window looking down. But of course that was ridiculous, who would see me; would they see me?
Resonant and deep was my breathing as I lay sleeping, when I awoke the world I had known was different. Different how? I couldn’t tell you. But it felt good. I felt I had metamorphosed into something a lot more salient. More encompassing, more deliberate in some ways. The ground beneath my feet was no longer apparent, yet I could feel the gravitational intent of the ground that had once been such a familiar and trusted feeling.
My name, no longer important, but you can call me Bob. I would like to share with you my story through this young woman — she is a good listener, and a fast typist! There is no fear to be had. I tell you this because I know that it is a worry for some. Not enough time and too much life to live while you have it to spend it worrying about what may or may not occur. Take the time to breathe in the evening air, and smell the popcorn wafting up from the street; or the smell of orange blossom on a balmy April morning. Take the time to live up to all your expectations. You are all of them and more. Take it easy, and by no means sit idle. I salute you and bid you goodnight!”