photo by alison
some old shit
Alone in my bed I dreamt that words are excrement
Piled high in barricades
To fortify a haunted head
But if you'll be my signpost
- Lungfish “Signpost”
he has stood here a long fucking time. some might go as far to say that he had stood here all along and that he had never really stood anywhere else but this very spot. it is not difficult to see how he is now a part of this place. his feet are sinking into the ground. a chemistry teacher could tell you how, as a matter of fact, at an atomic level the particles from his shoes are actually diffusing into the particles that make up the naked earth.
he looks like a natural part of the landscape but hundreds of people stop by as if he is a curiosity to be pondered on. a side show freak. a circus performer without a circus. but he usually does nothing but stand facing the white crested waves below and beyond.
just how long he will remain is the real issue. i always thought he may be making some form of statement. others have told me they feel that he is incapable of anything else.. i asked him once if he was making a statement or not and he said nothing. he made no statement he makes no statement. He makes no obvious protest. he offers no reaction when people poke him, kick him, spit on him or pick up lumps of sheep shit and throw them at him. one time i came by every day for a week and there was the same piece of sheep shit perched on his protrusive cheek bone. each day it slipped a little it down his face. it was horrible. by the end of the week there was a tiny trail of brown leading down to his upper lip and then i presume the shit fell onto the ground. what could posses a man to allow that to happen to himself?
maybe it is a test of concentration. a form of deep meditation. maybe he is serving penance for some unspeakable crime or sin. i knew someone who knew him before he decided to stand like a statue on this windy cliff top. they said he was normal enough. that he had a reasonable job. that he liked to go hiking around the coastline and read books. he was always reading books. they said that they usually saw him on the bus. they never really conversed but he was always polite and said “hello” or “all right?” for a greeting.
well this person was on the bus the day he came out here. they said that on that day he offered no “hello” or no “all right?” that he did not even offer a knowing nod. Not even a raised eyebrow or slight smile. They said he was sitting on the bus and that was that. He just sat and did nothing. Staring into space. When the bus reached the last stop it took the bus driver nearly an hour to convince him to step off. Then he stepped off , walked a few steps through the wet mud and ended up here and here he remained. now this place would just not seem right without him. he is a fixture like the dry stone wall dividing the fields and the old boat house on the edge of the cliff.
of course his mother and father have been out many times to try and talk some sense into him but he remains stoic in his silence. i think he has a girlfriend as well. because this girl comes out at least twice a week to check if he is ok. she can usually be seen at first comforting him and making sure he his healthy. but by the end of her visit she is usually shouting and bawling at him, asking him how he can be so uncaring towards those that love him. he remains in his fixed poise staring out to sea every time.
i often wonder about him when the sun has gone down or when a storm front comes in off the sea. i wonder how he survives. why does he even bother going on living? if he has given up on everyone and everything else why not give up on the remaining faculties of life? i don’t know, it just seems he is prolonging his and everyone else’s agony. that is unless he decides to snap out of it someday. perhaps after he has decided that he has achieved something from all this silence and doing nothing.