Matt Clifford • December 13, 2016 • Creative Writing •
This house doesn’t turn off. I am awake before the alarm clock. I cannot determine if I slept or dreamed of the room. The faces were the same. Familiar unrecognizable darkness. I am trying to name them but no name sounds good in the silence. Keep staring. Wait for instructions. Instruct definitions. Define existence. Exist silently. Keep staring. Kept darkness.
There is a flashlight on my cellular telephone which is also where the alarm clock is. I do not know what time I set it for, what time it is now. I do not know how many faces there are. How many memories I hold. It could be none at all.
Then what is this?
This is the strange explanation of quiet persisting. The elements present in my mind are not mine own. Alien, I do not speak my experiences’ language. And the room is mysterious. I must prove. If I turn over, there is movement, movement proves time, time reality; if I turn over, I am real, aging and valued. My body is aware of its commands yet feels impossible to go. Arms and legs still no. Paralyzed shadow fearful of being forgotten, stuck between realms, molecules in need of shelter in another to warm with purpose this bitter icy slippery universe. What do you think you are but a mirror? I was never so uncomfortable at being comfortable. Anything could happen. It just keeps getting worse before it gets better. The odd combination of stimulus and reaction and reaction and action and stimulus put together had surprising consequences for the witness if I could let it. Illusion, this is not a rhythm I create. A wood night river flying faint of mouth good news. I had never held such contempt for meaning. It just keeps getting easier. It just keeps getting harder. It becomes less and less of what it was. It just keeps. Staring. Get.
And then a bead of sweat trickles through pores. I still have not moved no matter I produced. I created water and warmth from the deep seeds of my very neuroses. It rolls down my forehead, down my cheek. Marks scent. Forward, forward, I am not discarded, only lonely, alone as an ego trapped in a book pile. Oh brutal smiling gloom, punch my heart, embolden fuck, inspire purely unclean; move me.
I laid there hushed for hours. I saw past lovers, now women, and turned over. I saw classmates I was late to learn about. I saw dead parents, graveyards full, every one a funeral. I thought I heard a phone, and a trash can, and a heater and a door slam. I turned over, turned back, I laid on my back, drained air from stomach, there was no restful position. I was never so comfortable at being uncomfortable. Absorbing how much music can be vibrated without rhythm. There are too many notes for one concert, not enough tradition.
This house has risen. It is a high and empty early morning righteousness. I am awake before the alarm clock. I cannot determine if I wrote or thought if I wrote which thoughts why. Sensations were the same, the words remain. I am trying to read them but nary a sequence fits the silence. There are no improvements possible. This is a permanent confusion. I have been practicing barely breathing, I need to practice softer. I will learn to dim my eyeballs. To blind the embarrassment. They will not come.
Reset. Back to one. Back to seven. Back to seventy times seven snooze buttons. Three days late for work, oh god, the house is still on.