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Friday, 26 February 2010


I can't concentrate, my eyes flicker at every sound, every tick of the watch that lays discarded on my desk. My hands twitch to every object, foreign, familiar and settle there for only moments before moving on. I can't think straight, every line curves and splits and zig-zags across my inner vision. It's chaotic, like a dance to more than one piece of music. I press my temples and the world stops spinning.

Though every sound is heard, it is not taken in, not understood as it should be. I flinch at words that should amuse, become sensitive and ignore the speech that drifts through the air and into my ears. It's a little too much to handle. I withdraw, sit inside myself, inside my mind for a while just listening to the cogs as they turn, powering me. Their machine. With one subtle click the auto-pilot turns on and takes over - flickering at each noise and tapping fingers on each available surface and as inattentive as I would be were I in control.

My mind creases under the weight of my thoughts and I find myself lost in their labyrinthine walk-ways. Shafts of light catch me as I run and branches scrape at my skin. Too deep now for the outside to notice but a hand across my eyes, attentive and fixed on the grain of the wood in front of me, pulls me back out of the labyrinth and into the world where hands are always kept busy - tugging, picking, flicking, twitching, turning - and I hear every tick.

I don't notice when it stops, the ticking sounds and the talking, I am too far off again in my own world but the wood doesn't seem so interesting. It is only when I think of it, through my haze of muddled threads and strings, that I notice it isn't there. I glance to my left, pick up the offending object and look at its face. It's still going. Holding it to my ear doesn't make it easier - the sound is absent. I frown. It has my full attention now. But still there is nothing.

Though no longer trapped in my labyrinth I am still far away, this time held between three hands, in motion and yet not audible. It is only when I distract myself from it, with a glance towards the scattered doodlings on my right, that it returns. The ticking. But every time I register, every time I look towards it the sound fades. It taunts me. I glare down at it, pondering its motives and wondering what I could have done to make it want to trick me, to harm me.

I close my eyes, the muffled sounds of life outside of this room pervading my senses. They are alive, active, and they laugh. I exist, wandering these halls and streets not really there but not all gone either, distracted - something's missing. There's too much going on inside, it's hard to concentrate, hard to act convincingly there. Hard for me. But to them it seems normal, right, true.

My mind twists again, puzzling the pieces it left behind. Eyes still closed and sleep still far away and an emptiness tugging at my stomach. My mind wanders; too much, too much. It slips.

I sit, it knows when I'm looking at it, as soon as my eyes leave it begins again. Tick, tick, tick, calling for my attention, begging almost. It's so loud. But as soon as my gaze fixes upon it, it stops. Unconsciously, I shake my head, what am I doing?

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