'Hello...' er, what comes next? I don't know. I'm sat with acquaintances carelessly flaunting their easy communiqué before my naked separation. Something needs to be done. I know these people, I remember them from when I was a person. Something happened, a something that needs to be reversed. Masquerading as a person I try to join in this conversation thing, painfully aware that not to makes my uncomfortable conspicuousness flash neon-like, dazzling these real people with my uselessness. My 'deafening silence' is a cliche, and all the more clumsy for it. I need to speak but I realise that I have nothing to say that doesn't incriminate my apart-ness. Possible interjections pass through my mind before mouth can open. They are discarded as frivolous, inappropriate or just downright stupid. I don't want to look stupid. -if there was only some way I could make them all see; 'I'm not stupid-oh no, I'm great!' -how would that be received? Maybe we could all sit around discussing my non-stupidity, a little anecdote perhaps, an example of the incontrovertibility of my intelligence and...cool. Yes, that's it, I need to be cool. I must make them see that contrary to my present appearance- slumped, bleary-eyed and all screaming awkward silences I am in fact as cool as the proverbial cucumber.
'I'm like a cucumber...' -ah, that isn't exactly how I meant it. Too cryptic perhaps, I don't want to convey the wrong message;
'I don't mean that sexually...' oh dear,
...there is a phrase which describes my present predicament, it talks of 'digging oneself deeper'. Right now I am the very personification of this observation of human humiliation, as if it were coined especially for me at this very moment. I can picture myself upon some moor cheerfully digging away, maniacal eyes looking through the earth beneath, perhaps whistling the melody to a popular tune, and descending further and further into the depths as the crowd of bemused onlookers gawp in disbelief. Will I ever find the bottom? Will there ever be a point where I will say to myself 'this is the spot- now I shall lay down content with my hard work?' Apparently not, this unfathomable desire to reach out and talk to people denies me this possibility. But what is there to say? What do people talk about? the weather? other people? the art of conversation itself? -a deliciously post-modern touch methinks-
'I like to talk...'
what? Now I sound like some deranged moron! 'I like to talk'??? Where the hell have my social skills got to? I had them not ten minutes since! Ah! it seems so long ago. I was the chancellor of wit; amusing, intelligent, a little flirtatious and, I might add- the centre of all things.
This makes my inability to engage with this situation all the more evident, and thus embarrassing. Indeed it is only because of my previous glory that I can truly comprehend the poverty of my present malaise. Look! -they can see, yes they may be talking about the C.D. playing on the stereo but in their minds they're thinking 'mouse' or 'imbecile' or-God forbid- 'uncool'! No!!! This can not be, I will not allow it.
With tactics borrowed from the First World War I shall clamber out of the muddy trenches of my neuroses and charge screaming into the fray- into the world! Watch out! Here I come!
'What are we listening to?'
-Everyone talks about music. To bring the conversation here is a foolproof scheme to recreate a bond with these people and with reality; I can talk about music all night. I'm back in the conversation, at the heart of things; I'm talking. Hello everybody, did you miss me? This C.D. will save me. I shall once again be a person, a real person, not some self-conscious spectre haunting himself out of hip-ville. No sir, I'm back. I must admit it was a bit of a sneaky question because I knew the answer, it was a necessary deceit, to blag my way in; the end justifying the means and all that....but
...oh God-No!? Of all that's holy this is preposterous! I can't believe what I've just done -I know what's on the stereo because I put it on! This is my house! my stereo! I just told everybody what a great C.D. this was not ten minutes since -I hyped it like no C.D. has been hyped before and I just asked....'!?'! -In slow motion I see an image of myself clutching a sore knee and tumbling into an abyss of my own creation. This is the spot where I stop digging. I have reached the very nadir of my existence.
I was aware of the risks of going over the top but who could have foreseen that it would be me to fire the fatal shot? This truly was suicide. I am aghast at my own ridiculousness. My pride lies bleeding and the doctor died laughing-There are times when all reasonable rationalisations can only lead to one possible conclusion: 'I am not cool'. All the evidence points to this. There is no reasonable doubt. After putting up a brave if pointless fight I accept defeat and prepare for a life of ordinaryness which is, I realise, what I thought I always wanted.