What Was in Paradise

A dream one day of battles fought and the lulls that follow them, one morning after a late night. With a jolt I looked outside and saw the treetops shift, a swift, a grey brown dart across the eerie, tall, voluptuous clouds. A drawing I made last night, looked better, of the western story, the rider alone in the forest, it didn’t look like I thought it did. I turned on the lamp, its lowest glimmering setting, and stared at the shadows in the corners of my room. Was this paradise, staring out from my apartment, across the meadow, under the trees… I’m not sure.

Last night someone must’ve hit that lamppost, it was caved in. Someone, must’ve been going very fast, to bend and give it the evil twisted shape it now had. I hope no one was hurt, and I think of car seats and crying babies, smashed glass, like a movie. But I didn’t see it, I didn’t hear it; did it happen? Like the tree that falls when no one is around, does it make a sound, does it happen at all? Nothing ever comes out of paradise, and no, this is no type of paradise.

My friend, last night, we sent him off, but who wasn’t happy to see him go? He’ll fit in in the army, where they’ll tell him what to do, what shoes to wear. And they’ll just not listen to his moaning, groaning complaint ridden apoplexy. And if he goes to fight, thinking to find his paradise, upon those sandy shores, those dunes, those mountains, he’ll not find it, just miss his gentle life, and his pet dogs.

People thinking that there is still time, making the mistake of looking for multiple lives. Making wishes that cannot be fulfilled, that have no hope, they are lost. They’ll wake up one day, with someone peddling self-help, and it’ll seem right, seem worthwhile, and they’ll believe it is their own personal paradise to find in it. Religious imagery they’ll hang round their necks and pin them to their cloth, and believe in the promises. But after them, as they gaze inside the falseness they have bought, they’ll hear the derisory laughter, of conman convinced of moral-less living.

I think about the woman I met last night and I think about the relationship I could have if I went that far. There would be a negotiation of sorts, so that we knew where we stood, but behind each other’s backs, quiet words of mistrust and boredom, becoming shouts to which there is no harmony, no antidote. From offstage, my fleeting, adulterous head, listens, waits for the moment in which, without lying, without caring, without hurting, I can take my guilty pleasures. It cannot be that there is hierarchy in paradise, but like the sparrow is to the sparrow hawk, here there must be predator and prey. It makes me sick to think of the way I think of women.

I think about the accident that I had, when I was a kid. The parents had told me not to ride it, but of course, like some un-dead banshee it called to me. Something I did wrong, felt guilt about as I lay in the hospital bed, as I saw my mother’s tears and my father’s “I told you so” eyes. Did I hit someone, I can’t remember, with a broken back which still aches as December closes in and the last leaves have left the trees, and I know thinking about this sin that it cannot be paradise that this room is. It cannot be, as I scrape around for what small little bits of breakfast I can find.

All that is confined now into what I must call, experience. But truth, it is as insignificant as the breeze, the land breeze meeting the sea. But what do I think of, as I see the homeless, grotty bastard, struggling against the breeze, and me up here still wrapped in thick duvet, and my nonsense that I ply myself with. I think about those two, that couple, dancing, happy, on the dance floor last night. And me, I am a wallflower, until I drink and drink and then I am that mess, that no one wants, that breath of acidity, of lies, of knowing that I won’t remember, that this is all a fake, that it is someone else who behaves like this. It doesn’t matter though.

Then I think back to where I am from, as the low sun, already leaving the sky, to plunge me once more into night, into the same activity, for any other excuse, to hit on other women, to be repulsed, by people I know and by myself. To try and feel free from my fate, to which I guess others must be resigned. As I drink to death, to bleeding gums, to false teeth, and to the ruddy skin of alcoholism. It’s not hard this paradise, which I have been looking for and not sure I have found.

And so I try to return to sleep, thinking that maybe if I can just not have this day, or rather this night, I might find a better one tomorrow, and do things right. I close my eyes and think of someone with plump and luscious lips, I must dream of her wet mouth if only I can shut my eyes and think long enough. But I cannot sleep, and I get hungry, and thirsty, and need the other things I need. So this cannot be paradise, can it?

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