Monthly Archives: August 2012

Cocooned

Sometimes I sense a cocooned world of feeling inside me that would connect me to others for good if only I could release it: that would make the world come alive with meaning. But when others get too close, I want to float off into the world of words and images that continually passes through my head, into the void from which they arise, and never return: to subtract myself from the world until nothing is left and I’m free.

– Frenet, Journal

Walking in circles

A few months ago, out of a kind of desperation, I started walking. In the beginning I’d walk one or two hours a day, later whole afternoons, sweat running down my head. I walked all over the city, through parks, forests, industrial estates where lorries with advertisements on their sides rumbled by me. I walked myself into the ground, day after day. I’m slowly getting stronger, my pace grows lighter and faster. Our bodies are built to walk, I’ve discovered, built to find their natural rhythms in the steady pace of a long walk. I let my shoulders relax and my limbs move in loose counterpoint until I’m just a body moving through space. There’s always something missing, some goal out of reach, which is why I started walking in the first place. I’m walking in circles. Walk then, I tell myself, walk your circles.

— Frenet, Journal

It’s too late, I said to myself, it’s over, there’s nothing for it but to start to live. To wrench something into these sinkholes of time, these gaps between self and others, self and self.

But I’m too far away – or too close. The border between self and world either recedes out of sight or dissolves and lets the whole world in.

– Frenet, Journal

The young women in those tight denim shorts that are fashionable now, in their skirts, in their summer dresses. They own me, they make me small. Look at me, they say, look at me and… go on home.

– Frenet, Journal

Sleepy pubs in the afternoon. Soft drafts, light through the leaves, through the windows. Heat. I seep out of myself, float in the air.

I sit with the jobless and old-timers. Workers in splattered overalls filter in. Soon the suits will arrive and it’ll be time to leave.

But there comes a point, after a few pubs, when I can gather myself in and sit still, where I am, in my own skin.

And then I can sit for what seems like hours, in the slanting light, hardly moving, hardly thinking, half-listening to the muffled chatter in the background.

– Frenet, Journal

The old man whose acquaintance I once made in a pub, I who never talk to strangers, who am never spoken to. His lips moved as he sat on his own, a type I always ignore. The old man who became my drinking acquaintance during my heavy drinking days, in the days when I knew no one, spoke to no one, simply by virtue of us sitting in our customary seats some distance apart in the empty afternoons, who muttered soft banal words that I barely heard, and barely responded to, who was neither happy nor unhappy but just sat there day in day out, living out his time – a condition I aspired to in those days, which are not so far away, which in fact are always close behind me.

– Frenet, Journal

The concept of dignity has long since lost all meaning for me. I’m a desperate man. I live for the days of calm, between the black waves, when I can read and my soul expands.

– Frenet, Journal