"gradually I've come to realise that my house is haunted by the ghost of a dead astronaut"

Friday, 11 December 2009

7. Some Dirty Soup


"A blanch of light, gliding across the curtains' fabric but from outside the window. Long and large it coasted - no, ghosted - from one side of the window to the next"

Oh yes, I was foolish alright!

I suppose it took a hold of me later than I'd expected. I woke up around 4.30 in the morning, unable to breathe.

I could feel it all inside of me. Dust. Dirt. Everything I'd scuffed and kicked up in moving in and trying to get settled. All the twisted offshoots of the house's indolence gathered and swirled around in some dirty soup, right inside of me, and it all buzzed in my windpipe and my throat like grubby, infected little flies.

It was a typical and well-known infiltration, and I felt it powerfully. Asthma demanded that I eke out every particle from my system in its own concoction of spew and bile. I felt the sheer hatred I have for this great sticky net within my lungs, that drags in and traps every toxic grain and then endlessly churns up the great mess of it all. Yes, asthma heaves that net in a great storm inside, every muscle of my body gradually beginning to know the demands of the fight. I'd known the feel of this kind of obnoxious billowing since I was a little girl. So familiar and so entirely despised!

I sat in the dark, watching so many unfamiliar shadows twist and turn, watching every object gradually give up something of its physical shape as morning approached vaguely and with great indifference. Or maybe it seemed to struggle to be, just like me.

After a time, I got up and sat in a chair and tried to fall asleep, with my head elevated to stop the bile spilling through me. I stayed in the dark though, my eyes were so tired and raw. As I sat there, dozing, rolling fragments of thought cascaded through my mind. Every thought and feeling rolled from side to side, the struggle driving me between optimism and pessimism and tired old thoughts of my past that I'd thought myself to be long done with.

This new life that I longed for would not be mine without a struggle. Maybe countless struggles. But was I up to it?

This thought came over me like an intrusion of someone else's thinking and I raised my head with the sheer force of it. As I did so, something caught my eye in the direction of the closed curtains of my living-room. A circle of light, gliding across the curtains' fabric but from outside the window. Long and large it coasted - no, ghosted - from one side of the window to the next. When in the centre of the window it stopped momentarily as if scrutinising the little moment that is me and my life. I dared not move. Physically, I'm not sure I could move! After I watched it disappear, tears came into my eyes. I didn't need them to come out and down my face, because they dripped down inside, down into all the spew and bile in my lungs in order to join the struggle. I recall grabbing my knees as I sat there on that chair, grabbing and holding on, longing to be the smallest little inconsequential unnoticeable ball.

As fatigue began to take over, my senses too raw and frazzled to gather the strength even to monitor the toing and froing of the inner fight, I doubted my own question - was I up to it? - even as I fell asleep for hours and hours.

1 comment:

The romantic query letter and the happy-ever-after said...

Again I ask how do you keep sleeping in this house after such a scare plus there is your 'Asthma' to consider. "I didn't need them to come out and down my face, because they dripped down inside," and if that bit isn't personification of terror I don't know what is.
Chapter 8 here I come.