Sleepwalking my way through life: Lost in the moment



Lost in the moment

Happy Birthday Chris, you old git.

---

She continued to stare. Then she said, ‘Do not doubt your turn shall come, Compé Anansi’s child.’

‘Why do you want him?’

‘I don’t want him,’ she told him. The she said, ‘Why would I want him? I have an obligation to another. Now I shall deliver him, and then my obligation shall be done.’

The newspaper fluttered, and Fat Charlie was alone.
[Extract from Anansi Boys, by Neil Gaiman]


Startled, I looked up from my book. The barista hadn’t noticed my sudden distress and continued cleaning up the table beside me, unaware of my anxiety. I closed my book and slipped it into my bag. I pulled on my jacket and watched the barista wipe down the table, his black apron flapping in the breeze. I left the shop as fast as I could and drank in the frozen air of Glasgow, shuddering – not from the cold, but from the haunting vision that passed through my head; the black flapping of feathers and the shining twitch of a raving eye.

I walk down the road and take a left to avoid the flock of pigeons in front of me, their eyes watching me as they stabbed their beaks at pieces of bread. I rounded the corner – checking down that alley way – and froze. Perched on a bench in front of me was a solitary black crow.

It cocked its head and shot a look straight at me, those beady eyes blasting through my skin. The oil black feathers ruffled with electricity and the rock hard talons scratched into the wooden bench. The face was impassive – the beak closed in a shining, stoic blade – but it was those eyes that pinned me to the spot with terror; those mad eyes that showed the only intent behind the night black body.

As I stood, paralysed on the spot, it spread its wings wide and took a few steps to balance itself. The crow remained still for a moment, its wings open like a demonic angel – welcoming the pitch black that dripped off every tingling feather. It sprung into the air and flew towards me, the eyes gleaming with malice.

---

And it flew over me. It cawed slightly as it went by, the wings beating a wind that sifted my already messy hair. It landed behind me and scoured an empty crisp packet for the remnants of food. I laughed, shaking off the chill I had felt moments before, and walked on.

I sometimes forget that I need to give myself a break after reading books or seeing films. I find that after I’ve become absorbed in a story, I lose myself in it. I become so wrapped up in the characters, the plot and the imagery that when it’s time to pull out, to return to real life, I become tangled. I tear parts of the story out with me and, for a while, incorporate them into real life.

This why after seeing Mission Impossible when I was a child, I skulked from doorway to doorway hunched over in cautious paranoia. This is why after I watched Fight Club I was relishing my feelings of violent anger and resentment. This is why after I read Do Androids dream…? I felt the crushing hopelessness of meaningless existence. This is why I am sometimes subjected to funny looks when walking down the street.

I’m weird like that.
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1 Comments:

At 4:43 pm, Blogger Jules said...

Happy Birthday Chris. :]

 

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