The thought of thoughts, breeds more thought.
Staring at the ceiling, slumber still evades him.
Imagining the ideal image has always encouraged sleep.
In youth, a red-helmeted motorcyclist came, carelessly gliding around corners, his tyres scrabbling for rubber.
Now older and wiser, his scene of solution consists of purer fantasies: A summer morning in the old back garden. Blue skies beam upon the garden’s rich greenery. Nostrils entice fragrant coffee, dancing from its mug. Tranquil air fills with silence, apart from the jingle of a dog collar, as his old pal bustles about the foliage.
The dog: gifted with a level of happiness that will never cease to amaze. What has he got to be happy about?
Weeks from his mother’s womb, separated from his siblings and sold off. Morning and evening, given the same dry pellets, never treated to lunch. A collar around his neck, he will never be free. Outside home lines, restrained by a lead. Every day castigated to the kitchen, while his idols leave. He doesn’t know if they’ll come back; yet he never fears the worst.
Over his short ten years on earth, abduction, abandonment and separation have seeped into this dog’s life. Yet, this dog is still happy. He greets everything new with love, desire, discovery.
Scuttling about the garden, – the same garden he has always scuttled about –optimistic for a new adventure. He keeps driving forward. He lives for the plant-pot he is yet to overturn, the flowerbed he’s yet to dig up, the hole in the hedge he’s yet to have discovered.
London: home to him, alongside a million others, slogging in dreary conforms. Dispassion festers here, but the thoughts from his actions still suffocate.
Upon tubes, he searches eyes for answers. Peeling back grumpy glazes, he wonders.
Who have they loved?
Who have they hurt?
Have they been forgiven?
Soon, commuters shoot glares over newspapers, locking onto his eye line.
What can they see?
They see him: the scared little boy, dressed as a hero with the frown of a villain. Scraggly with an ironed shirt, he impresses them, but not himself.
Though, can they see behind his eyes?
Can they see who he has loved?
Can they see who he has hurt?
Can they believe he will be forgiven?
Logic told him to dress like a hero, but it can’t wipe the guilt off his face. He knows he won’t see these people again, but they will always be left in his thoughts.
They will always haunt him.
Deflecting glares, he picks up his book and starts to read.
‘Most people are chained to their own fear and stupidity and haven’t the sense to level a cold eye at just what is wrong with their lives. Most people will continue on, dissatisfied but never attempting to understand why, or how they might change things for the better, and they die with nothing in their hearts but dirt and old, thin blood – weak blood, diluted – and their memories aren’t worth a goddamned thing…’*
He is not most people.
Neither are you.
*From The Sisters Brothers, Patrick de Witt: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B005DI9E8S/ref=dp-kindle-redirect?_encoding=UTF8&btkr=1