Back in 1985 I was like a piece of meat in the fridge, wrapped in a blanket, a blank tablet, a blank bullet, bland skin and very tasteless. My taste in music was mild. My mild character was going nowhere, but I loved the smell out of hospital, like I smelled of milk and oats, I got the cravings for milk and oats – all I got was milk and mush. Milk was my main source of food. It began to leave a bitter taste in my mouth and I spit up some milk sometimes because my belly was so full of milk. I felt myself turning as white as milk. My skin at this age was dark-ish, like mocha, it paled over time, keeping a dim colour that made me look healthy even when I wasn’t.
Your body is made out of milk or coffee or whatever it is that you drink. Your body splits in two and your soul leaves you to hitchhike up the road.
Your soul says this:
I am leaving you because I no longer love you and you have only caused me misery and pain. It’s hard to live with such a person as you, and I’ve had enough; I’m leaving you to find someone else. Imagine that, your soul in someone else’s body. Me. In someone worth more. Imagine that, replacing Bob Dylan’s soul, or Katherine Hepburn’s, or Micky Rourke’s. Imagine yourself without me, and how hellish you’d feel. I bet you’d miss me, because you’re only half the person you are without me. Half a man. (Or half a woman, whatever you are).
Back in 1997 you were old enough to know things. Disgusting things, and I was ashamed to be a part of it. Ugly things your body found sexy. But the beautiful thing I saw, which your body found sexy aswell. There were two or three deaths in the family around this time, and I helped you through it, but would you listen? No.
You look like a prostitute without me. I think you could do better. I love you, but you could do better without me.
Your self says this:
Oh. Where am I? Damn, if I could touch her, I would. That smell of salt and water and death and hot vampiric sleaze. Black tight shirts and underwear left to one side. Dark rooms for me to develop and not photographs. If I could touch that, I’d touch it all over. I feel my body moving and swaying and begin to rotate.
This body is growing, still, and I am only young, still, but it’s old and toughened as if I’m 85. But back in 2007 I drank myself to death on my birthday with two friends and we laughed until we died and inside I didn’t know where I was. So I punished my body so much, and my brain still knew how to write and so I wrote things and it was good, but soon I began to feel empty inside. I thought I needed to love someone. I moved house and lived with some friends in the years to come. Married young with this sexy young kitten and she was ferocious; but I was worse. So we divorced after a few weeks and I still felt empty.
A couple of years later I would realise that every year that I drank myself half to death, laughing so much that I’d get a free workout, I realised that when I looked in the mirror, there was nothing to look at. Not really. I might have accomplished some things. Written some books. Poems. Songs. Painted. Played guitar. All that arty stuff. I’d be the greatest friend. The greatest love. The greatest conqueror of night by far. And the mirror would betray me like I betrayed my body.
I switch on the TV and see some actor winning an award for some beautiful performance in some mediocre drama, and I’d see a bit of myself in that actor. And I’d imagine being a famous actor. It’d almost be as if my soul had packed up and left, and gone into someone else; had left with a dream of Hollywood.
Back in 1985, I met my soul at the train station, and I’d promised I’d be good. But then I grew up.