DigresssionHe stumbled home into the cool darkness of the kitchen, the clammy unmopped tiles like a pathologist’s slab, reflecting the texture of his pallid blotchy skin. Upstairs, the unmeasured somnolent breathing of his wife emanated, the same sound he would hear at the end of each dateless night in the half light of the buzzing street lamp opposite their window, nights spent in silence, each of them confined in habit, separate entities in their joint solitude.
He was aware of the fact that she probably knew of the liaisons, and somehow this frustrated him, it had virtually become a sport to see how brazen he could be about it, the cruelty almost becoming as delicious as the act- and he intended sneeringly to flaunt his quarry this time with the limp tie he clasped. The malice in which he held his comfortable backdrop often barely concealed in his unguarded throwaway remarks. Head still swimming with the intoxicating cocktail of nicotine and cheap red wine, although it was no longer the sweet drunkenness of the night’s beginning but had rather metamorphosed somewhere in the white noise of the night’s background conversation into this self-indulgent state in which he always met himself again, a stark impenetrable figure, left there after the crowds dispersed at the end of a night.
His clothes hung dishevelled and stale, his polyester shirt causing static crackle as he shifted restlessly before finally slumping uneasily in the chair as he fixed upon the pointless, witless conversation, the self-conscious effort of each knowing smile and double-entendre as he edged closer in the uncontainable impetus he felt within him as he finally irresistibly clasped her flushed cheeks in his hands, playing out each others hackneyed role in this lethargic cliché.
Behind his satisfied schoolboy grin lay the notion scattered somewhere in the setting for this breathless fumble, the strewn files and blind computer monitors, that this was all his life’s momentum could sustain. The moment of blissful vulnerability fleeting and elusive, leaving only recurring apathy. All of the infinite possibilities chatted about behind the sixth form block in the shrouds of smoke from their contraband Silk Cut had been erased in favour of this one, an afterthought, a tangent to the life he returned to behind the phosphenes of his sunken eyelids.
The oppressive weight of disappointment felt almost palpable upon his chest as it inevitably did after he returned from one of his exploits. Some sort of chemical reaction across the synapses, an evolutionary quirk he surmised to censor these illogical urges which would ultimately lead towards disorder and disjunction. The amorphous desire for gratification, impossible to rationalise, a spark to cleave the numb tedium of his thoughts.
All that resided in the gloom was an ache for something other, lifting the veils over his weary pupils onto a life which didn’t make him feel so distasteful like the bitter metallic taste melding itself in his mouth. Perhaps he could finally seize this in his idle dreaming fantasy of inhabiting another self, living another life in another time frame, yet in the watery onset of morning the familiar form of the figure‘s outline always came immutably back into focus.