Here we are again.
The radio silence has been broken.
I have been absent for more than a month now. Truth be told, I can’t work out if I had simply lost my voice, or simply had nothing to say. Not to be melodramatic or anything, just a temporary feeling of voicelessness: an imaginary constriction of both physical and metaphorical vocal capacities. But I’m here now.
It’s been a year since I started this blog. 12 months since the very first post. I’d love to serve my ego by talking about how much I’ve learned, and how much I’ve grown with the time and experience, but fuck that. I will settle for saying I am different from how I was last year. I just wanted to mark the occasion with saying something – anything.
I am conscious that February 2016 has no entity in this space. It’s empty. Recently however, I was invited by one of my lecturer’s to a reading event for Creative Writers. This was an opportunity to stand in front of a microphone, as well as a small audience, and read an original piece of work. After a weekend of procrastinating, I accepted the invitation. With some hindsight, I probably should have considered having something ready to present beforehand.
Nevertheless, I wrote something the night before, and gave my first ever reading. Not just a reading, but for the first time I shared a piece of creative work publicly outside of this blog. I thought I’d share it here, as I’ve been told that it may be ‘enjoyable’ to read. That is for you to decide, though.
It’s simply called ‘Who is John Fisher?’
Who is John Fisher?
Who the fuck wants to know?
I’m sorry. What I mean is ‘who really cares?’
I know a little about John Fisher. So do most people in town – it’s not a big place. He’s a young guy – makes sandwiches at the deli during the day; works the bar watering the people at night. Some folks used to see the guy twice a day on a regular basis. Sure, they’d recognise his face in a missing persons ad, but they’d likely draw a blank on a name. Even if the ad’s been circulating for a couple months.
You hear about Sally Palmer? Works the kiosk at the convenience store just round the corner from here. You know, the one that sells the ‘under the counter’ stuff? Come on, we all know about it. We just don’t talk about it because we like to save our money and get our fix. Cheap cigarettes, drugs, whatever we want without danger of Johnny Law sniffing around our business. Anyway, nobody’s seen her in a few weeks either. The guy that owns the store says she just never showed up for work one afternoon, and he hasn’t heard from her since. He hasn’t a clue why people have suddenly stopped coming to the store on such a regular basis.
I could name a few other people; a few also regular missing person faces in the paper lately. I don’t need to tell you, but nobody really talks about them. Nobody calls the cops with a tip, a sighting, or any useful information. Reason being that they just don’t have anything to offer. All people want is to be fed, to be sedated, to be served. The hand that feeds changing is just a mundane interruption. So who cares, right?
Well, tell the truth, you should. John is the guy that feeds your fat face in the day, and liquors you up at night so you can abandon your shame. Sally counters the government’s ever-increasing tax hikes for us simple-Joes so we can smoke, drink and get high off our asses even when the money gets tight. Mark keeps the streets clear so you don’t get yesterday’s trash in your beamer’s wheel arches on the way to work each day. Ralph provides the security in your neighbourhood. Marilyn ensures your mail gets to your every morning. Sam waits your table. These people keep your lives running every single day. When enough of these people disappear, you will find that the people you do know will also start going missing. Folks who run your errands. Folks who maintain your personal life style. Folks whose names you’ll know, and can’t replace so easily. Just imagine your assistant, or caterer, or driver, or general ass-wiper disappearing without warning. You wouldn’t survive a day. These people run your life.
I know this because an idea is like a virus: give it the right conditions and it will spread and spread, latching onto every suitable host and reproducing the ideology until it amasses a body that poses a threat to the status quo. In layman’s terms, these no-names that you hear about – that guy at the deli, that girl at the store – are hosts to the same virus that will infect and collapse your lifestyle. You will no longer be a happy consumer in Camp Capitalism. You’ll be left with just your own two hands: one to wish in, and one to shit in. And you best hope this virus doesn’t reach you, because whilst these missing people are just carriers of the idea, you won’t fare so well with affliction. Your face won’t be in the missing persons ads like theirs. Yours will appear in the obituaries.
You don’t like that much, do you? Cheer up! What do I know – right? You may live a long happy life, and every morning will start for you like something out of your own idealistic fairy tale. Tomorrow always comes. Don’t let me spook you with stories about John Fisher.
After all, I’m just the guy who makes your sandwiches.
I realised midway through writing this that I had fused an existing idea with an exerpt of ‘Fight Club’. One thing I can say I have learned in the last year is that this is no bad thing. No idea is wholly original anymore, and some of the best stories are heavily influenced by older ones. I didn’t really receive feedback beyond the comments of ‘good job’ and ‘nice one’ – things you’d expect to see scribbled at the end of primary school homework – but I broke a barrier with this. I have written a short piece that is complete. I have shared it, unashamed. I have reasserted my control over my voice.
Moving past ‘Forgotten February’, I hope to build further here.
Thank you for following me thus far.
Listening To: Kingdom Hearts Orchestra: World Tour
Image Source: Google Images, Giphy
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