Wednesday, 1 June 2016
The Garbage Compactor
For audio click here
Sometimes you just have to get some fresh air. Sometimes nothing else will do. Sometimes the world feels like it is closing in on you, squeezing you tight until your last breath escapes. You begin to feel like Luke Skywalker in that scene in Star Wars when then garbage compactor is whirring; not only are the walls closing in on you, but the dianoga is trying to drag you down and suffocate you in the rubbish swirling in your brain. And when you feel like that, all you can do is get away. Run away. No matter if it is day or night, if you’re in the middle of an important meeting or on your own in a shopping centre, all you can do is run. And that’s what I did, I ran.
I stood in the car park breathing in the oxygen and the nicotine in turn. I couldn’t explain what made me feel this way, what made me want to run. There wasn't a specific trigger. I took another drag of my cigarette and felt myself calm down. Sometimes the need for speed would last for ages and the urge to run would keep me moving for hours. Sometimes, like tonight, it was a matter of minutes before my need for motion evaporated. So now all I wanted to do was to be back home. I took a final drag, dropped the cigarette and got back into the car.
It was only after I’d reversed into the same space that I’d left moments before, that I noticed the kitchen light was on. Shit, Mitch must have woken up. I was rather hoping he’d still be fast asleep.
It was nothing to do with him, the need to run. But how do you explain something to the man you love, when you can't even explain it to yourself? How do you explain sometimes the world overwhelms you? Especially when that panic attack had come just after sex, great sex, just after he’d groggily said he loved me - the very words I wanted to hear. Would he understand? Or would he think he was to blame? Would he thing that it was his fault? I know what I’d think.
“Act normal,” I said to myself. “Pretend going out in the car at 1.37 in the morning is the most natural thing in the world.”
“Oh hi,” I said, “I thought you were asleep.”
“Where’ve you been?” He asked, he sounded like a bad cop grilling the suspect.
“Twenty-four hour Tesco,” I said, it wasn’t a lie. I’d been in the car park of the supermarket. I started getting undressed.
“Why?” I suppose he had a right to be suspicious.
“I needed some tights for work tomorrow,” I said. “Can I have some of that?” I pointed to the water he was holding. “You should be asleep,” I took a mouthful, “you’ve got an important meeting tomorrow. Come on.” I led him back to bed.
“Love you,” I said as I curled up next to Mitch. Moments later I was pretending to snore contentedly.
A minute or so passed in silence but then I heard him ask.
“So where are they then, these tights?” But I didn't answer.
I didn't mention it at the beginning but this is yesterday's story from the other point of view. For the original click here.