Words by Vivi L
1. Here, in this time and place, you are adrift.
2. When your mother calls you, you are curled up in bed with blankets wrapped around you. During this time, the rain was frequent and the cold, constant. When the call finally connects, her face fills the screen. You see the light pouring around her; you could almost feel the sticky heat, and you are reminded again that distance has thrown the hours out of step between you and her. The inane details of life take centre stage, she tells you that the cat vomited in an obscure corner lately, and you tell her that you witnessed a bird stealing chips from a man. Beneath the mundane, a questioning undercurrent froths; are you happy, it asks. Are you happy?
3. You don’t really know how to answer. When you were younger, you took a kettle of water and poured it on your hand to determine if it was hot. When you were younger, you took a plant and closed your fist around its stem to determine if the thorny protuberances extending from its stem were sharp. When you were younger, you ate a (or several) bird’s eye chilli raw to determine if they were really that spicy. Based on your experience and knowing that you possess a focused and intense stupidity, you think you cannot determine the truth of a matter without suffering.
4. The world presses around you; it is full of movement and noise. You attempt to embrace it, but the world moves too fast; it leaves you behind, scarred and strange, in its howling wake. The people of this world are opaque, there is (and has always been) a gulf between you and them. You have tried to extend a diplomatic hand over the abyss, but the strain is too much most days. The divide has followed you over the seas and skies. Amidst the constant flux and flow of change, the abyss has remained. You laugh a lot. What is there to do but laugh at the end of the day?
5. Extend your hand to the sun. Open your palm and let the weak light fall upon the skin. Spidery wisps of morning mist cling to the branches. A wet leaf has stuck to the exposed flesh of your skin. Grey clouds crowd the sky, low and foreboding – there will be another shower of rain today. The sun’s fire is dimmed, light streaking through in broken patches.
6. Here, in this time and place, you are adrift.