Circular Visit


The road is said to be the oldest of its type. I’ve used it many times. I go up. I come down. Sometimes I go down to come up. It has bends, curves, an absence of kerbs. Kerbs would only hold it in. Going up, coming down. I has no round and round except where there is a round and round. Time is round. Memory is round.

I incline to the up and down.

Round.

Round came round today. A turn off made me think will i see it this time. I thought I saw it. The closer I got to the mirage the more it changed it shape. The more it became something else. Something real. Something not the thing I thought it might have been. I became disappointed. Once more on this particular up down. The up of hope the down of dope.

I saw a name. A road sign. I said hello to it. I’d been thinking of it, predicting it but getting its name wrong. Its familiarity made me smile and then grimace. I thought of the smile and wondered; did i ever laugh there. I can’t think I ever laughed there.

I had other feelings of cause. Looking in the mirror I caught sight of a wrinkled, furrowed brow, creases but no sign of a single laughter line. I looked beyond the hillock. Maybe the mirage was down in the dip behind it. Maybe i’d been looking so long towards the wrong line.

I heard myself laughing to myself. Laughing at my idiocy. Maybe it was there but maybe it was somewhere else. I promised myself. Look at the map next time. Find it. If you want to find it. And one day I will. I am attracted to it. The doom bar.

I learned protest songs in the doom bar. Englebert Humperdink would age it. It was all the rage then. Release Me. I sang release me. I sang release me untill i was hoarse. I only sang the chorus. The idea that this was about a love gone wrong meant nothing to me. The protest was all. The desperate need for release. Freedom. I demanded my freedom. I had to be free from the routine of routines and the routine of the punishment cycle.

I had friends there though I never laughed with them. Instead we were bound together by mutual depression, common sadness, shared desire for release. As friends go we weren’t really all that pally. Just connected by place.

It was different then. Different as we ourselves were labelled different. Delicate. We were delicate then. Our bodies were not all that fit. But it was the trampling on the mind, the stepping on the ego, the booting of the conscious, the learning of the lessons. We were given a room once. We were told it could be our club but we had to make it so ourselves. No one said it should be orange. the word orange never appeared but the colour did. It went all around the wall. I felt calm there. Warm, calm, relaxed, appreciative of the space. But I never laughed there. When someone bought in a record player – a communal device which meant we were no longer attached tout transistors – I didn’t laugh there and when the music played I didn’t laugh there. The hurdy gurdy man didn’t make me laugh there and when, tribute to Englebert, the last waltz played there I didn’t laugh there. Surviving is a serious business. You shouldn’t really laugh there and whilst I didn’t laugh there I don’t think i heard anyone laugh there. We were cohorts in cruelty; defined by we didn’t laugh there.

I lost myself on the old get up get down. I had entered a circuitous route. I was lost in thought on a mantra called I didn’t laugh there. All the roads that never go up and down and all the homes I never saw inside of with all the people I never met living there and all the reverse is true of I never laughed there except when I laughed there falsely. Ha Ha. Let’s all drink to the death of this clown, the one who mad you laugh there but who never really laughed there

 

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