Crowd Me Out

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Non-Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
A Short Metaphor from the book Canterbury, to the tune of O Magnum Mysterium. It says this is non-fiction, and in a way it is, but none of the below has physically happened to my knowledge. Please comment.

Submitted: December 11, 2007

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Submitted: December 11, 2007

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Crowd Me Out

 

Amongst the khaki coloured darkness, a vision loomed, a shadow groaned and staggered down the tall, winding alleyway with its patchwork stones. The tourist gone, the sellers home, the world was flushed alive by neon lights and then snuffed out, all of a sudden, between finger and thumb.

 

He staggers, groaning with pain at the things he’s done. This is his home, in this stone citadel, and up above on the grey valleys a fresh breeze rolls across the clouds, whistling into the moon, which chokes, but smiles.  

 

But down here, the smell of puke rises.

 

Clutching his stomach he’s bent down double, vomiting the remains of whatever grotesque Tate painting he devoured earlier that day. The smell rises, fixed into his nostrils – the fixation of all that had been. The guilt rises in the air.

 

Groaning mournfully, he slumps down. Thump. Thump. The sick puddle squelching underneath but he closes his eyes to sleep, to block out the world, to give up – or just to cry. He cries. He weeps. The bottle smashed awhile ago.

 

The tears roll, not silver but lead, thrashing down onto the floor and rebounding slowly off the puddles of oily rain that had fallen earlier on in the night.

 

A light.

 

Ouch. It’s in your face. A light that blackly silhouettes the drunk is formed. Down on the ground a rat pokes out, quickly and suddenly looks up, blinded by the beam so scampers away in fright.

 

The light, glinting of the dark, wet cobbles, yesterdays puddles, the lead tears and wretched vomit.

 

A light. There’s this steady light riding a slow paced walk down the street; the drunk bends low, ducks his head and tries to hide. He’s not wanting to be seen. Not worthy to be seen.

The footsteps are heavy. Thud. Thud. These heavy boots that had walked the world, travelled endless miles, found endless strangers, eaten with many of those who fear for their lives. And here, his low, meandering whistle cuts briskly through the dew filled air. It’s some song that the drunk had heard at a distant point in his memory, back when everything was fun and fruitful but fruitless. The remains of the bile trickles slowly down his chin and drops spitefully on the ground.

 

The beats stop. The man stops.

 

They maintain this eerie passionate relationship between each other, one slumped cowering, the other standing looking carefully down. A strong north wind blows down this street. Rustle rustle rustle… a few crisp packets advance a couple of yards.

 

An arm, a hand, is offered suddenly from the standing man to the drunk, who, since his face was turned away anyway, did nothing in response but groan a little groan.

 

The standing man sighs, gives a little ‘humph’, and seeing that his open invitation to stand was brushed away unrecognised and disused, decides on a different tactic.

 

“Let me go!” says the drunk, slurring loudly.

But the man with the light has grabbed him, took hold of the whole weight of this filth, props him up against the wall, gives him his coat and finally, without any fuss or saying a word, lends his whole self as a human crutch for the slum that he is.

 

This is Canterbury.

 

They are left, both standing, under a streetlamp.

 

This is my World.

 

 

 

 

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