Photo by: Marc Blackie
Sometimes I would drop broken eggshells into the front gardens of strangers to prove that I existed.
Often I would check the location some months later to see if my message had been received and would often find the shells gone, meaning that I could sleep soundly that night. My persistent breathing continued to be appreciated.
I would sometimes extract small pebbles from between the gaps in paving stones. Taking these not quite rocks and would be grains of sand home, I would keep them in handkerchiefs, tucked away in the storage space beneath the sink and think of them occasionally as I lay in bed at night.
My blanket was soft, comforting even, and the two pillows remained plump whilst yielding to the shape of my head in the darkness. I knew of insects and bacteria, which crawled across me whilst waiting to dream. I knew of the filth inside of my body, the workings of a spring, unwinding slowing, and I chose not to think of either of these things.
Instead I would watch the light from passing cars darting across the ceiling above me and the tick tock illumination of street lamps.
What if I could capture all of this light and fashion for myself a blood red infant sun? What if I swallowed this sun, felt it burn the inside of my mouth, searing my throat and downwards into my stomach, where it would smolder and illuminate whatever remained of the meal I had previously consumed? It would settle there, reheating the slowly digesting food, bringing the gastric fluids inside of me to the boil, before burning through my body, exiting through my abdomen and igniting the materials of my mattress.
I felt sorry for the thought of a sun coming to such a tawdry end and continued watching the ambassadors of unspoken journeys playing out across the ceiling.
An open window and the sound of tired air conditioning in dark empty restaurants.
Occasionally I would become painfully aware of bricks and mortar; the timbers of the floorboard, all the dust that makes its home in every single building and the creaks and moans of a world coming to rest. Wallpaper and furnishings can only disguise so much and I would run my finger across each wall in my room trying to guess where the bricks met. My face would become covered in fingerprints and I would find it hard to open my eyes, hair and flakes of skin tumbling like a waterfall through the disused fireplace.
More often than not I would find myself kneeling in a corner with my back to the room, with no recollection of how I had gotten there. This was sometimes comforting, like two plump pillows or sometimes disconcerting, like a poison splinter crawling beneath my tongue. In these moments, I would imagine the splinter to be very old, possibly from the masts of an ancient ship. It had travelled the world and now resented its new position as personal irritant. It would draw on all of its rage and pain, coating itself in diverse fluids found only within the occupants of the darkest ocean depths and regarding itself as pesticide, dispensing with me over and over again.
My tongue would squirm and click nonchalantly, teasing the small splinter as small droplets of antidote broke from between the gaps in my teeth, but the sound would be drowned out as the air conditioning spluttered and complained its way back to a dull hum.
I stood up and closed the window as quietly as I could. The dark outside was just a dream imagined by whatever was left of the moon and my bed had dissolved through the ashen grey material of the carpet.
Putting my shoes on, I made for the door. There were broken eggshells in my pocket and a few hours left before the dawn. Smiling to myself, as the lock clicked quietly closed behind me, I made plans to prove beyond doubt that I still existed, that my persistent breath still mattered, that my messages were still being waited for.