The Elephant

It’s all fuzzy, everything looks like it’s made of plasticine, if I reached out and touched it I’d be able to mould it into beautiful shapes, butterflies, birds, balloons or an elephant. An elephant would be nice, if I had an elephant I’d just spend all day riding it, around the streets of London, imagine the faces of the people walking the streets? Me on my big elephant waving as I passed them. Have you ever ridden an elephant? I’ve never had one, I might make one out of that bed side table over there, a massive one, even bigger than the ones they have in Africa.

I keep thinking that geezer over there keeps looking at me but I’m sure he’s nice. I don’t know him, I don’t think I know anyone here, all their faces are blurry, I can’t make out who they are, just the way their heads move to look around. They’re talking about something but I’ve no idea what. I can’t even move, it’s like I’ve lost all ability, I can just sit up and I’m stuck like that. I want to say something, anything, just to let people know I’m still here but I can’t, my mouth won’t open, only my eyes are able to move.

I’m floating, up towards the ceiling, I’m looking down on myself, I can see myself sitting there, no idea what’s going on. Have I died? Is this what it’s like when you die? I feel calm, I’m not panicking but I’ve left my body and I don’t know where I am going. I reach out to touch myself but I’m too far away. No one else can see me floating here, they’re laughing, I can see their faces now, some of them look happy and soothing but some of them look harsh and as if they want to do some harm. I’m safe up here on my own, they can’t get me, they can’t even see me.

I’m back, back inside my own body. I rub my hands together and touch my legs, make sure they’re still there, make sure that I’m alive. They all turn and laugh at me, welcome back to reality. How long was I gone for? Was it nearly the end? Could I have died? Fuck! I reach for a cigarette, inhaling deeply and slowly blowing out the smoke, watching it as it rises, it’s making patterns, I can see dragons and castles merging into one another, crashing against the ceiling, fading away to nothing. I don’t want to talk, I ignore their laughter and their questions.

Crisis of thought always come at inopportune times, you doubt when you should be happy or doing something you previously thought you enjoyed. Why now? Why couldn’t it have been 24 hours ago and I might not even have ended up here. Do I want to be here? I think so, I’m not sure. They reckon when you doubt something it’s because you really know what you want to do but you don’t like the answer so you just pretend you’re not sure to reassure yourself. So, do I really want to be here? I really don’t know.

We’re always questioning ourselves though, right? I mean it’s natural, you do something and more often than not you’re thinking am I doing the right thing. That’s usually when you’re doing the right thing though, when you’re doing something you shouldn’t do it’s more impulsive. I’m sitting here now and I’m wondering if the whole of my life has been a complete waste and what if I’d done something different, all them paths you have to choose from and if at one of them paths you’d taken a turn you wouldn’t be where you are now.

All these people sitting here with me, they’re my friends, well at least I think they’re my friends. We do everything together, everywhere I go, there’s usually one of them with me. We’ve been through everything together, since we was kids, we’ve seen each other grow up and now I’m wondering if they’re really my friends. If they thought I was doing something wrong in life would they say listen you need to sort yourself out or would they just let me go along with it and let me because they’re choosing the same fucked up path along a never-ending road of madness.

This weekend ain’t any different from any other, why am I contemplating the deeper meaning of life and the values of my friendships? Jesus Christ, something’s gone wrong somewhere for me to be sitting here. I need to knock it all on the head, go on the straight, take one of them paths when I walk out the door. Where’ll that path go though, that’s what I worry about, the path I’m on is getting old and boring but at least I know where it’s all taking me. I don’t know where the other path will go and I don’t know where I’ll end up and that’s the thing that frightens me. How the fuck did I end up here?

Excerpt from my upcoming book Queen’s Park to the Elephant. A book of 16 short stories showing the London which not everyone gets to see. If you like the stuff I write, please give it a share on Facebook or Twitter. I’m an independent author trying to reach a wider audience so every little helps. You can also sign up to be notified when my new book is released by entering your details into the form below. I’ll only email you when a book is released. 

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