Holiday

Everything was still. This bed is a raised bed, made of an assembled ply-wood frame. This bed is a raised bed under which hair ties and hair clips and lids for creams for lips lie. This is a bed under which the items of an all out functioning life fall under, the objects used with care, with no clear sign of possession. The bed is sinking.

Robert tried to breathe through his nose but the inhalation was halted, muscles not made for this, his mouth making too much noise, turning his head into the pillow and breathing hard into it. Hot air as comfort breathed back, some tension in his jaw – a peaceful boy, of seven or eight, blonde hair at the time, a little bowl cut, white gentle hands applying a clear plastic bag over his head and inhaling, the bag into his mouth, breathing out again on the new condensation on the plastic, the bag removed, the children warned. Trying to breathe shallow as an impression of violence. The whole house was asleep, the light a pale blue bleeding around the side of the curtains. His eyes more focused now, the air colder, cooler maybe, the landing light still on after all were delivered straight to bed. He closed his eyes. He was completely silent leaving, the duvet gently placed back onto the misshapen life underneath, everything about its form wrong and ungentle, harsh against him, floating backwards in the light. His clothes stiff and unyielding. They bent into his skin, as though it was something about him. He looked over the formal properties of his life:

He was alone and balanced patterns as a child, had thoughts that when now reflected back on were possibly unhealthy, psychotic, primarily unhealthy;

Was unaware of whether there were inner workings of those around him, whether they abided by the same laws that governed him;

Had always had trouble sleeping, not necessarily getting to sleep but sleeping;

He was sure that one day some disease would catch him and this would be a better state for him. He had probably been unhappy his whole life and he couldn’t see an end to it. Instead he would sink into something as black as pitch.

The bannister creaked, the stairs creaked, parts of the flat he wasn’t aware of until that moment creaked. Everyone had to be awake, eyes closed, no one sleeps, they don’t see the division in time, they don’t know what a day does to someone. They rest. All in their beds, and their thoughts sometimes fell on the noise he was making. He didn’t want to be asked questions, they would sleep when he left. The corners of the rooms black as that pitch, incredible string instruments taller than the tallest buildings strung the walls, resonated the machine in which they were stacked, heating up. Some far off switch had been switched and now the children would be warm in their beds. No one stoked the fires, endless miles of farms. The pipes emit the dull energy, it came from nowhere, was senseless, they don’t burn things in buildings, energy wastes and makes things cloudy, buildings populate here.

Robert tried to pull the front door closed as quietly as he could, closed, removed the key and it opened again, he muttered shit and closed the door once more. Walking down the stairwell a man exiting his flat on the floor below smiled at him.
—Hi. The man said. He cheered Robert on. Robert smiled. —I don’t usually see anyone up at my time.
—No. Robert smiled.
—Everyday I’m up at this time.
—Yeah. Robert continued down the flight of stairs but the man kept eye contact, bent over as he tied the laces of his shoes.
—Always been an early riser. Have to for work. But I don’t mind.
Robert passed the man, out of sight of him.
—It might be cold out this morning- might catch you again sometime then earlybird.
It wasn’t cold. Robert rubbed his arms and turned back on the flats to the car park. The cars looked long dead. The light of the street lamps reflected in the windows of the houses behind the high wall of the block of flat’s car park was reflected in his windshield as moments of light.

The car opened to new air, was still, he almost felt as though he could sleep. The key in the ignition the orange text of the display and the warm light was his. He was shapeless, his size, not his body but now his size, of his hands, and the weight of his head hanging over those hands that rested on the wheel, was matted through too many disproportionate movements. The space around him was not the right shape for him, something was wrong with the space here, he needed to do something about it. Robert hadn’t felt comfortable for a long time. He was scared that if he jumped he wouldn’t stop moving, he was scared that his car might collapse any minute. This was the safest place to be. No people passed on the road behind him, no car moved, the sound of air being sucked into wheel arches, he felt comfortable around retail where there was a similar level of steady noise. He reversed out and drove.

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