So, what we do is we each select a word. I (, Adam) selected miniskirt, because I’m a little bit obsessed. Thank-you, Supergirl. Safeer selected Dragonfly because, I don’t know. He likes Heracross, I guess
(actually, it was the first word that popped into my head; absolutely no idea why). Bradley selected Monkey. Because he likes to make things abstract and difficult for us. After that, we create a narrative. Bradley didn’t play and for consistency I wrote in this tiny Calibri font. The bigger font is, therefore, the Safeer.
Monkey, Miniskirt, Dragonfly.
Everything is so loud and disgusting and horrible. Everything. Not just some things but every thing. The dull beat of the drums juxtaposed with the frantic screeching of the other instruments hurling their opinions at me through the channel cut through space by these thin gangly unsightly wires plugged from my pocket and into my ears is the only thing that keeps me sane as I walk through this filth.
My clothes are white, at odds with the garb of my tradition, pristine and standing high and arrogant against the stench of conformity. I can see the dirt. Every inch of the dust that coats them. I can feel it, in the air. It becomes full of them. The busy. The drones machine. The system. The condition. The rushing sweat of stink that pools from their pits and streaks into puddles against the concrete; a microscopic ocean that swims around the litter and gum of a billion disgusting moments of another billion disgusting creatures.
I can never wear these clothes again. Their perfect white is contaminated. Ruined. Their sterility turned to morbid revulsion. The beat throbs against my temporal lobe. They’re drowned beneath it, lost behind it. The rhythm murders them, furiously. The masses, the sheer unquantifiable masses of human filth, blur and whir around me in a gust of incomprehensible nothing. A white cloth jumps from the nothing, a blow to the soul. Not a mark against it. The same in me in it. It glows, I perceive. The beat is lost to the skirt. The perfect skirt. The perfect legs. Pristine. Gorgeous. White socks, the whole legs covered. Protected. The soul of the girl, the half to mine its other, protected and isolated from the dirt. Upon the frill of the perfect cloth, a glowing etch the colour of the skirt; a dragonfly. A symbol. A declaration of faith.
Then the monkey hurls its shit at my face.
I stifle the urge to scream and bolt like a startled rabbit at the sight of the oversized lump blocking my way, far too close, far too diseased. “Hey prick! When’d they let you out of your bubble?” the brainless monkey continues spewing excrement at me, his only method of communicating. Shit personified, the surroundings glowed white compared to this human garbage. “I’m talking to you, pal. Where’ve you been, hiding? From an old buddy like me? That’s just rude, pal.” I could still see the true glow, growing fainter; She was moving, growing distant. Disgust and desperation clenched itself into a fist. With the element of surprise behind it, my fist flew towards his jaw and landed true.
I plunge into the sea of dirt and filth before me, both to escape and to find. The monkey regains whatever senses he possesses and red-faced, nostrils flared, hunts for me through the muck. My hand feels as though it is burning. I feel like cutting it off, but my priorities are set. I weave through the mass like a ghost through black fog, determined to lose my hunter and keep sight of the girl in white, determined not to touch anything as I go. Through the indifferent faceless figures, the haughty, greedy businessmen walking towards their next crooked deal; through the naive and stupid students seeking their shallow pleasures; through the fat and the ugly and the ignorant people that comprise most of the cells of the diseased organism. But I do not lose sight of my goals.
The symbol of the dragonfly, etched into my brain, guides me true.
The pounding of the drum beat is my ever omnipresent constant; my anchor that keeps me firmly set in my sea of puerile perfection as far away from the filth of reality. This world, this disgusting miasma of perceptible stimuli that the machines wrought by their manufactured condition call real, is not mine. I am removed from it. The racing shrill of the instruments emanating from my pocket into my soul protect me from losing myself to what is real; I remain forever plugged into the unreality in my pocket. I am kept happy by it. I am kept sane by it.
This girl in white. This perfect girl in white. I’ve seen not her face. I’ve heard not her voice. I’ve experienced not her mind. Her face, her voice, her mind; any one thing, if not all, could work to break her illusion of gloriously clean perfection. But yet I dredge. But yet I drudge. But yet I pull, and push, and wade and swim and force myself through the thick barrier of filth. Physical filth. Spiritual filth. Filth of the mind, of the body, of the soul. Human filth. That which I detest for being. The very filling of the reality that I detach from; that I deny and replace with the shrill instruments and their drumming droll. The beat. The rhythm. The world I accept. My reality. I am prepared to let it all go, to release my anchor and to lose my symphonic protection, for this stranger. This stranger whose voice and soul and face I’ve not heard.
I am edged forward and encouraged by this demon. Its shit stains my perfect clothes. Its words taint my soul, creeping past the buffer of the beat that would see me protected. Their ferocity, their malcontent, force them as whispers the silence the deafening roar of my world. His shit bounces upon my back, past my clothes and behind my skin and up my spine into my mind where its fingers writhe and grip and distort and corrupt. The taint of the world is seeping into me. For this girl. For this girl that I must hear; her soul and her voice and her face. She must be as perfect as that white dragonfly, emblazoned platinum against her white cloth. To lose her, to find her lacking, would be to submit to this demon – to this monkey – that swims with speeds that my wading through the filth fall against with lacklustre.
If I give into the monkey, I give into the real world. I would be lost to my unreality forever. I would be lost. I must find her.
The patch of white stops, and as slowly as it grew smaller, it grows larger. The girl in white has stopped. Perhaps she is lost in the tumultuous chaos that I navigate. Or perhaps it is simply fate, perhaps she can hear my thoughts, echoed across the barriers of communication. The burning in my hand fades away to a dull pinpoint of light, cleansed by the burning light of our bond.
I come closer on the girl on white. My enemy is almost upon me. Three points converge, and I must face my worst fears. Confrontation. The unknown. My mind swirls with doubt and consternation. The shrill screeching of the instruments seem to get louder, somehow heavier, enveloping my mind in painful delirium. Only a few steps lay between me and my destination, the other half of my soul. I have come through a lake of sewage, and I am afraid of a puddle.
With a tremendous effort I wrenched the shrieking snakes from my ears, drowning myself in a flood of droning, deafening, deadening sound. But somehow, while my ears cried out, my eyes could see clearer. I boldly step up to the girl, the dragonfly in white, and gently tap her on the shoulder.
She turns then, and gives a puzzled smile. A smile, white and pure and – “Can I help you?” “Um… actually, my friend wants to talk to you.” Anger turned to puzzlement as I steered my would-be captor towards the girl in white. I slip the wires smoothly back into my ears, returning to the world I had just escaped, and walk briskly into the depths of filth again.
As I walk away from the field of confrontation, the battlefield I had just left, there are no regrets in my mind. The filth envelops me on all sides, and only three thoughts float to the front of my mind: my tainted clothes, which I can no longer wear; the soreness of my hand, one that I must wash thoroughly, over and over again; and the gigantic chunk of broccoli wedged in that girl’s teeth.