• The Nearly Man

From The Big Black Book...?



It is one of those days; a day consumed by an overwhelming sense of nostalgia and an over baring thought that somehow, I’ve been here a million times. I have never been able to put into words what I feel on these occasions, as in truth, what I feel is beyond description. And whilst my skills of language are somewhat acceptable, I do lack the talent to succinctly express this sensation aptly. Therefore, I shall not insult you with a pathetic attempt to do so. Though it is fair to say, there must be something about this combination of a crisp frosty morning, a bright blue sky and a low winter sun which so readily inspires recessive memories to come bubbling back to the surface. Something about the mixture of these elements, forces the sealed vault of my mind to burst open and flood itself with an ocean of thoughts I can neither explain nor deny.


I feel invincible, unquestionable and above all else content, yet at the same time frightened, confused and ready to leave at a moment’s notice. I love the colour of the sky on days like today; it’s the type of blue artists fail, in my opinion, to recreate; they always seem to fall short in capturing its beauty. The light is infinitely defined, the colours in the trees ping, and the air has a bite to it. Not the jaggedy damp cold you get on a Scottish summer’s day, nor the death inspiring cold of Warsaw in late December, but something in between. There’s a stillness that chills the bones and warns my ever-expanding fat cells to regroup and hunker down for the long winter ahead. Each breath feels like the first breath in existence, unpolluted, pure, innocent. As if somewhere above a vortex opened momentarily and through it poured, rich, fresh, soupy, oxygenated air. Every lung full a gift that almost burns as each molecule is carried away and turned into positive energy. I look around and think “Yep!! Thank fuck I’m alive. I’m alive!” as a kaleidoscope enters my brain from a drop of condensed water on an eyelash, intensifying my already euphoric mind. I could quite possibly explode with joy at this very moment. Another glint, this time brighter than before, coming from the ground, I must shield its glare with the palm of my hand, it’s so bright, like a collapsed star, an angel’s halo, “Wow!” A shinny penny!” could this day get any better?


I light a cigarette.


Jan 4th, 2005 0209hrs


It’s the dawn of a new year and already I have become stressed about what might be for the foreseeable future. I feel a sudden loss, an almost emptiness, I have become panicked, unable to hear the rush of blood through my ears. The rational me, believes it’s nothing more than just a common earache, whilst the fickle self and childish characteristics of my personality vote for something far worse. I have just spent the last hour looking through a medical encyclopaedia, in what I assumed would be a good idea, however as it turns out, it’s become a complete nightmare. I find one diagnosis, only to find further possibilities of horrifying accounts of brain abscesses, cancers or even mass infections, which would leave me blind and deaf, or fatally… dead. With warnings, of phoning doctors and calling emergency services immediately… shit!


Naturally, my human mind automatically thinks of the worst-case scenario, as it seems somewhat more plausible, marrying up nicely to the symptoms I am experiencing. It’s the beginning of a minor irritation surely, nothing more than a dullness within the ears, muffled sound, though now it has transformed itself into a loss of feeling throughout my face, a numbness, paralysis, double vision, headache, toothache, vertigo, loss of feeling in my neck and head etc etc. I am beginning to realise it was a big mistake and I should have gone to sleep hours ago. Instead, I shall now stay awake for some considerable time, wide eyed and worrying over facts recently uncovered about an illness I do not have but could potentially attain if I indeed think about it long enough or fall asleep to wake up dead. May be some warm milk will help? A cigarette perhaps? Though maybe they are the cause? I just don’t know anymore. I will take some pills and see if they have any affect. Admittedly this anxiety is causing my brain to tire and become ever so dreary. Oh, and now there is a pain in my neck.


Note to self: Must NOT consult encyclopaedia, as there clearly isn’t any benefit in doing so.


What started out as a method of finding treatment to ease symptoms, soon spiralled south, into which even the plague was considered a possibility. I must drink milk now. I thought I had control of these irrational patterns, though it seems obvious now, I clearly don’t. Maybe it’s the excessive quantity of alcohol consumed over the past few weeks, after all, ‘tis the season, right? Maybe it’s the food I ate? Maybe the water I just drank out of the tap? Maybe, it’s just all this fucking doubt?

One other thing I've noticed: A tiny cut of my left-hand thumb has taken nearly two weeks to heal. Surely there is something not good here, it shouldn’t take that long, right?


Let’s take a look.