A Fight With Apathy

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He had feared the coming of this day all his life, he was 27 and terrified for a brief moment, but then it happened, the numbness set in; one moment, distressed and tormented with the fear of what was happening and then, the void; an absence of care, an absence of feeling. He sat there for about twenty minutes staring into space like a zombie before getting to his feet and staring out into the garden, it was barely seen in the last remaining light, the bright colours had faded to grey, he stared some more before feeling something on his cheek, he lifted his hand and expected to wipe away an insect of some sort, instead his finger was wet; he was crying, he looked at his finger with indifference and then stared some more. He thought of doing something insane, taking of his clothes and running through the back gardens of his street, stealing a car and smashing it into a wall at 100mph or picking a fight with a gang of youths, those gangs who thought they were tough because they were five or six united, but were pissy little cowards on their own. He had a stirring at this but while ushering himself towards the front door, he thought it better just to go to sleep. Apathy is so tiring.

Monday came and went, he had barely moved, he didn’t get dressed, didn’t take any calls and kept the room absent of the beautiful day that was threatening the blackout curtains of his room, the curtains were not intimidated and refused to budge. He left his bedroom reluctantly at 6pm to pee and discovered on the way that he was hungry, a feeling that had not left him, the need for food, other than that he still felt numb but almost happy about it because he had felt hungry; but then he forgot about the happiness and prepared himself a cooked breakfast and a big pot of tea. He ate this while watching the mundane programs that broadcasted across his retinas from the television, if you had asked him what he had watched, he couldn’t have told you and he wouldn’t care that he couldn’t. At 10pm the insects were on his face again but they turned to water on his fingertips and he looked at them with indifference once again, and then, with heavy, deadened eyes he fell asleep and dreamt.
He dreamt of himself, but he was different somehow, he shared stories with people who seemed to have the infliction he has in his waking world, telling them with great passions of how he was going to change the world, how one man can make a difference, and how he would execute this difference in rhythm and rhyme, poem and song, how the world was unjust and if only more people would stand up for the rights and fight against the wrongs then the world we be a better place. The people he spoke to, had turned grey though, infected by an invisible disease, he wondered how they couldn’t see his plight and why they weren’t prepared to be inspired by his ideals. Instead they nodded mechanically or delivered an answer that seemed like a shortcut to thinking, “that will never happen.” Or “try if you like but it won’t get you anywhere.” This angered him but he could see that they were ‘too set in some way’, pre-occupied with the mundane, too dead to care, or even attempt to offer a valid argument to get the creative ideas rolling in one way or another, there was nothing…

He awoke Tuesday at 3am and cursed himself for messing up his body clock so badly, he remembered nothing of his dream, he felt agitated and irritated, like there was something he was meant to do but he couldn’t remember what it was or whether it was important. Instead he drank two pints of water and went to sit on the garden steps, he stared up at the overgrown bushes at the end of his garden and wondered what spectacles of nature they were hiding, in the pale moonlight he could see the grave of his dog, she had been sleeping ten years, he had seen her occasionally since then, she seemed to hang around in his shadow when times were rough, a silent clown, ready to cheer him up when things had kicked him a little too much, an ever loving companion, that touched him from beyond the grave. He felt the insects again but knew by now that they were really tears. He sat and let them run from his eyes until there nests were empty and then he lay on his back in the short grass and stared up at the vast night until the sun began to bleach its edges with purples and blues. He felt an ache where his heart should be and decided to smoke.
The rest of Tuesday went by as a blur, a simple mission was to be executed and that was to stay awake until 11pm, this was almost impossible between the hours of two and seven, however by eight o’clock he was wide awake and feeling revived, he decided to go for a walk.
The evening was serene, the air smelt sweet and the streets were quiet, he imagined a world like this, empty and quiet, he liked the idea for a moment before going against it with such ferocious rage that it burst into flames and exploded. The evening was calm enough for him to regain composure very quickly and he even chuckled at the malicious attack on such a remote thought. He had walked for about thirty minutes with his thoughts before he saw another person, a girl in a short yellow summer dress, she had long golden hair that seemed to radiate in the remaining sunlight. She was walking towards him almost whimsically, they made accidental eye contact on nearing each other, he felt a little shy but she just smiled and glided on by in slow motion, he glanced back and watched her walking for a moment before he realised she had glanced back at him, he turned away quickly and slightly embarrassed but continued his walk with the signs of a spring in his step and almost forgot the last two days of numbness. He returned home around 10.30pm and managed to sleep from 12am. He dreamt again that night of himself and a beautiful lady with golden hair sitting on a sandy beach, a beach fire, crackling as quiet as possible, almost cursing itself to be silent so it could hear the conversation between the two lovebirds, they gazed at each other and hung on each others words in between tasting the ‘dark berry fruits’ of a delicious red wine. She was an inspiration to him, a muse for a cause he had not yet known, the dream ended with a perfect embrace and a kiss that delivered the most erotic and passionate energy he had ever known.


© Richard Withey. All rights reserved.