Isn’t it always the case that the best of my writing occurs in some strange place between layers of reality, a nowhere hidden beneath the various lives I feign. Analysis and description of phrases uttered, words written and thoughts lost. Whatever voice I assume, posed as observer to some fatal dissolution?
“I have a document called ‘longest crawl’ on my phone. It’s been so long now that the meaning, whatever significance it once had is lost, yet I daren’t delete. Who knows? At some point it may yield insight, this mysterious phrase may lend me some as yet unforeseen vantage.
For now, I merely guess. All significance is rooted at once in both a forgotten past and a hypothetical future. In this time, the longest crawl is nought but a phrase I read each time I begin to trawl through my digital outpouring. For some future me it may be an answer, an omen or something else entirely.”
I keep trying to remember, attempting to reconstruct a moment, some point of joy, of innocence, I just want to take it in my hands, this perfect passage of unspoilt time and hold it close, pull it in to me for comfort, for warmth through the cold, unending night.
Give me a seaside, rolled trousers, chips and towel. But we’ve been this route. I spent too long excavating that furrow of past, too many hours poisoning the earth with the rot that infests my being. How can it be that not even history is spared this inexorable taint? Too long digging, I now inhabit that psychic site, claimed in the name of another. But what use are names here, on this beach of dreams?
At some indefinable point I lost sight of the man I was, the man I could be and the man, no, the boy I had been. He was washed away, replaced by this melancholic aberration, an imagined self, reconstituted from the assembled pieces I call myself, mis-assembled and remembered in reverse. I take what seems significant in my reconstructions of the past – but I am biased, deluded by my bleak conviction – give me reason to believe this was inevitable, wash away the guilt in this sea of finality, just let me believe this was meant to be.
I’m lost. Whatever markers erected to direct fade into the gaping white, and those steps that led me here, fragments of my passage, erased by the ceaseless wind. Stone piles stand, weathered, and beaten in this other world above. A brief, elucidating moment of clarity gifts me vision of a path I must take, monuments to an imagined solution, a fading glimpse of some envisioned summit. But time is my enemy here, and the evidence of my passing grows ever fainter until finally I am gone, erased from memory, cast adrift in this endless ivory sea.
I clutch, pawing desperately at its glowing surface – this artefact of another world, hoping, praying for word, waiting for the sign, those assembled figures that might offer solace, might let me believe that this ruin is not the sum.
Past and future collapse into a present corrupted by the inescapable. This is my ending, all possible moments lead away from this point. I keep returning to this time and it seems so futile to deny the totality of me.
And so I make the longest crawl. I awake in bed, fully clothed, lights still on as sun gushes through the immutable cracks in my curtains. My thoughts reach out for anything, whatever it takes to make sense of this unwelcome and unwanted state of consciousness and I settle, drifting into dreams of death. I can’t control it, can’t contain this longing for an end. Plans and prospects coalesce. Is this now? Should I take this sign, this message and finish what has already begun, or do I carry on, in the knowledge that this is the one thing I’m running from, the singular and irreconcilable certainty of my being – an inescapable end by my own hand?