Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Murder on the 96A. Part 3.

Three separate voices, each having their own conversation, each of a similar volume, but at three varying tones. Two females, one slightly higher in pitch than that other, and one young adult male. All sitting behind me. I am reminded of the telephone switch board operators that you see in old movies, where a whole bunch of people would be sitting in a room together, speaking loudly but not to each other. I sometimes fear that my ability to describe things has been ruined by cinema, it is very easy to refer straight back to a scene from a film to get your point across, something which has increased with the development of CGI and computer wizardry. The further that technology develops the less we need to use our imaginations, as well as our natural human strength and problem solving skills. Perhaps we are a few generations away from being fleshy blobs that live for 200 years, convenience getting to a point where we no longer need muscle or brain. What evolution built up, technology will break down. Hell, perhaps humanity is in a constant loop where we evolve up to a point of saturation, master technology then begin to decline, ready to start again. Maybe not.

I digress. Three voices, from behind me. They are the only ones I can hear on the bus, which make them stand out. All the seats are full, but being home time for most 9 to 5’ers no one is really saying much, eyes to the floor, the familiar whiff of defeat in the air. I try to ignore them, and rest my head against the window. After a while the gentle rocking of the bus, coupled with the steady blast of the heater against my leg make me drift towards sleep. I find it hard to properly fall asleep on busses and trains, no matter how tired I am. So I drift around a sort of semi-conscious twilight, warm and numb. Suddenly my three voices loose there singularity and become one sound, a sort of rhythmic beat, like Morse code tapped out under water. They are in my head, sitting right in the centre of my mind, not coming in through my ears, put pulsing from within, I can easily forget all of the other things around me, the cool window against my head, the fact that the warm heater is slowly burning my leg and my forward motion. Sometimes it feels easier to concentrate in such a state. Perhaps it is in a similar vain to meditation, all the static of everyday life lifts like a clearing fog and one true thought remains. In this instance it is a sound more than a thought, but similar rules apply. I am reminded of The Doors of Perception, by Aldous Huxley, a book I enjoyed, but only in parts. He wrote of the effects of drugs on our perception of the world, how perhaps it is only when we rid ourselves of all the unnecessary noise that we can truly see what is really there. It has been a while since I read it, but I’m sure he also mentioned the fasting and sleep depravation in certain cultures and religions, where people would have “visions” after giving up on natural urges of the body. Do we ignore so many obvious and glorious things while we fire on through our everyday lives? Do these religious visions and the drug induced beauty of usually mundane things point to a world sitting on the edge of our usual perception, things that we should try hard to involve ourselves in? Or is this just the mind playing tricks on us, and just drug induced stupidity? I can’t really decide.

Ten minutes into my journey one of the voices stops. Then one of the others, until eventually all three have ceased. I have shaken back into reality, and force myself to stay awake, not through any war on reality, but merely to stop myself from dribbling on my black jacket. The silence on this busy bus feels almost unnatural. As we approach my stop I run through the usual checks, wallet, phone, keys etc, I have everything I got on the bus with, so I shuffle to the end of my seat, press the buzzer and stand up. The people sitting around me all face forwards. Motionless. As I step into the aisle I notice an iPhone laying on the floor to my left, so I look back a little to see where it had come from, there is blood on the floor. Three bodies lay sprawled up the walkway of the bus. Each with their throats cut. The people in the seats sit still, faces as unimpressed as they were when they got on, no one is shocked by the sight, no one looks guilty or appalled. I try to catch their eyes but they stay looking down at their feet. I get off the bus, thanking the driver as I pass him. 

Sunday, 1 May 2011


The human memory is violent tool.
It takes just one spark of feeling to set a chain in motion,
that almost knocks you off your feet.
Guilt is a strong one, especially when it feels, on the surface,
to be completely unfounded.

I feel like I did then, so I taste what I tasted then,
my skin contracts like it did then,
The weight that pulled down from behind my lungs
now pulls in the same way.
The smell, the colour of the air, and the unflinching sense of oncoming doom,
all as vivid as they were then, and the time after that,
and will be again.
The same bubble rests in the bottom of my stomach,
keeping me from sitting at ease.

Soft flesh, pink air and a dry mouth.
Strained eyes and an unexplained smell of burning.
Every step feels like another on the slow trot to the gallows
and I really can’t explain why,
this is two thousand and eleven
and I am pretty much the model citizen.
Yet I still sentence myself to death.

Again and again,
coming back to a feeling I cant shake,
stuck on a loop
Destined to re-live every feeling I know,
always ending in the guilt.
Perhaps this is purgatory.

Murder on the 96A. Part 2.

Two ladies over my right shoulder, fattened hens, roosting in the glare of the early morning spring sunshine. One melts into the other, a beige, two-headed mass of trouser suit and blouse.

They laugh in a slow and considered way at the end of every sentence, giving ample opportunity to switch meaning at any given moment. One talks of Madrid, she has done Madrid before. She doesn’t see why she should do Madrid again. Her friend laughs. Slowly. They speak in middle English accents, homely and moral. They talk of travel for around ten minutes. The cities they have visited, how their friends envy the places they have been. But then curse Debenhams for being too expensive to shop in. What are these creatures? The poor holidaying class? Lounging around in the major cities of the world in a Primark two-piece. Further evidence comes when they talk of husbands. He just has a social membership for the golf course. Doesn’t get to play any golf on the course, but gets to attend all the “do’s”. They went on a murder mystery weekend not long ago, it was really nice.

The fa├žade reveals itself. Keeping up with the Jones’s. Catching up with and then sprinting passed the Jones’s. The Jones’s themselves had to re-mortgage the house to afford the full membership and the plane tickets. No one knows who is winning, everyone is running for the line, but keel over and let out an almighty death rattle ten metres from the finish line, wallets bursting with plastic, a well stamped passport and skin tanned to a fine leather, but not a drop of blood left in their veins.

It is Sunday. Judging by their attire and tone I will guess my travel companions are off to church. The churches in St. Andrews are always full to capacity, actual queues form outside, if you get caught up in post-prayer stampede you will suffocate in Avon perfume before being crushed to death, and/or converted to conservative Christianity. I guess the people of this town have a lot to be thankful for, praise be given to the gods of well off comfort. 
I think I have an eye condition, or just really sensitive eyes. Actually fuck it, I just really like wearing big black sunglasses.

So anyway, I’m in my seat, the blob wobbles in it’s seat behind me, the static created by their clothing makes my hair stand on end. I figure that these two old girls are probably going to do some pretty bad shit, I sense it, I envision it, they are team Fritzl, locking their unwanted rape children in the basement of the semi-detached, so I decide I should dish out a sharp pang of justice. I push my sunglasses on to the end of my nose while I rake around in my canvas man-bag for my trusty justice stick. I lean my neck back, almost touch the hands of my new enemies with my hair as they grip the handle of the seat, my sunglasses fall back over my eyes, and in a perfect one hundred and eighty degree pivot, reaching over the back of my seat, without moving my seated lower body, I stake both of them through their shared heart. The bus breaks into sudden applause. I take a bow. And stand over my victims, like a colonial soldier that has just slain his first lion.