Haunted City

I live in a beautiful city.

Some even say it’s one of the most beautiful in the world but I think that depends on who is looking and where they are looking from.

There was a time when I would fly, wide-eyed around my city filled with buildings both old and new, streets lined with plane trees and cute little laneways, each turn filled with me wonder and excitement.

But recently something has changed. When I walk the streets, I’m alone and I can’t help but notice them.

They are scattered amongst the new people that pass me by.

The ghosts stare at me with their hollow eyes and shapeless mouths.

I try my best to ignore them but there seem to be more and more.

I enter an arcade that I would spend countless afternoons in all those years ago. One of the cafes in the arcade has this upstairs area where I would sit by the arched window watching the crowds filter trickle through for whole afternoons.

It was a sacred place.

But now, as part of the trickling crowd I look up to the arched window and see a ghost sitting at my table, mouth gaping open and staring at me.

I decide to walk another way.

Food tastes bland and powdery, the buildings look weathered. The world around me is becoming a tired amusement park, the rides haven’t changed and things are starting to break down.

I’m not making new memories like I used to.

No – surely not.

I look through my phone to convince myself otherwise but most of my photos are of food, buildings or myself. The smiles that occupy my older photos before this all started are filled with warmth and feeling. Something has changed, I have changed.

What have I done?

Where did I go wrong?

Whatever I did, wherever I went wrong, there are only ghosts following me around and standing in my way.

This is no longer the city I grew up in, the city that shaped me into who I am.

And when I look under the thin veil it is very much apparent that at some point I stopped living.

How long have I just barely been existing?

Me/You

I don’t think I wanna do that.
Just be more open.

What the fuck are you doing?
You know you like it, you’re a slut.

I don’t like it when you spit on me.
Come on, it’s hot.

Please don’t hit me like that again
Don’t be so boring.

It really hurts.
Just a little longer baby, it feels so good. Please.

Please, I’m tired.
Don’t worry, you don’t need to do anything.

I’m not feeling it.
Fucking hell, what did you think we were gonna do? 

Don’t leave any marks.
Why? You don’t want your other guys to know?

I’m exhausted.
Arch your back. DOWN!

Did you take it off?
Come on baby, it feels so much better. Don’t you want my load?

No one’s really interested in me apart from a hook up.
You seem like the type who would cheat though.

Can we please use a condom?
What, you’re not clean? I am.

I couldn’t fucking breathe!
Sorry baby, I’m really sorry.

Yeah, I’m fine don’t worry about it.
Oh, you didn’t cum? I guess I can finish you off if you want.

 

Wall

I made this wall to keep the harm out, it has served me well but there is something else. After years behind the wall, I’m getting this growing sense that I am somehow missing out.

I see you and you see me but as we go to touch, something stops us.

The wall keeps you out too.

Now I sit here in my space where I used to feel so safe. But now, it’s not just that I’m missing out but something else – I feel something sinister here with me, invisible to my eyes as I look around.

It’s just me, there is nothing in here, what could it be?
That’s when I catch a glimpse in the reflection of the glass.
It is in me, it has been growing in me and changing me.

I realise now is the time to let down the walls. I’m not ready but I don’t think I will ever be.

All I know if I don’t I will cease to be me.

You and Him

He checks his phone and notifications when he’s out with you but you’re sure you recall him saying he prefers to be disconnected and live authentically.

He says he doesn’t have enough money to go out but his stories show that he’s taken up the company of someone more generous and desirable than you.

He promises that he isn’t some jerk who fucks people around but after he’s cum inside you his contact thins out to the point where you question whether he even existed at all.
A ghost? No, my bank account says otherwise.

Surrounded by familiar faces asking you why you’re still alone. But you’re such a catch they all say each and every time. They can’t believe it. 
You say you can’t believe it either but that’s not true is it?

Because you’ve been busy when you haven’t been busy.


You preach the authentic life with a convincing veil but deep down you’re just as consumed.


You have definitely pretended to be broke and put your company out to the highest bidder so someone would pay for your evening out. You absolutely have.


And yes, you have been the jerk who made promises he cannot and knows he will not keep and when you get what you want you tactfully withdraw, deflecting questions and suspicions with convenient and perfect answers because you you’re so damn clever.


So when you’re asked why you’re single despite your qualities. You know that deep down you are flawed just as he is, you have hurt others like he hurts you.

All you do is smile and throw your hands in the air and make some cynical joke to lighten the load.

Somewhere else, at some other time, he is having that exact same conversation with himself over and over again.

Ghost

I’m hugging Gina goodbye outside Wine Shop and people watching over her shoulder as we embrace. During our moment peppered with parting words I catch a glimpse of a ghost turning his head to look back at me. The sound distorts around me and the warm embrace of the past beckons.

I find myself standing across the street watching him and I have breakfast the morning after at Code Black near Rosslyn. We’re sitting outside while he smokes, I tell him to get me a croissant and a latte. I also add in that I’m not paying and he laughs while he blows his inhaled smoke out away from me. He leans in and kisses me. I give him that stupid smile I do when I’m nervous and trying to seem like I couldn’t care less.

And that was it.

Once we shared stories and intimate nothings. Now we’re nothing but each other’s past.

We lock eyes for the briefest of moments before becoming part of each other’s past once more.

He’s gone.

Gina gives me a tight squeeze and says she’ll see me soon. I pull out of the embrace and turn to see Erin looking up from her phone, scanning the cars for her Uber, hand firmly on her hip.