Words on a page

15 11 2011

Little white flowers will never awaken you.

Not where the black coach of sorrow has taken you.

 ‘Gloomy Sunday’, Rezső Seress

A man dies, early, unexpectedly. Bewilderingly. A man I only knew as a writer I admired, an expert commentator on a game I love. I mourned the loss of those words, never to be written or voiced again.

I’d never thought about the man beyond the words on a page, or the voice on the radio. Unless information about people’s private lives is made public, I admit, I rarely think about it. I knew there was a very public disgrace, conviction for assaulting three young men in his care who were brave and reported him to the police. Reprehensible acts, facts, there for all to read in black and white.

For the last day, as the whispers of those ‘in the know’, blind sources, and media reports quoting other media reports, grew louder; the vicious dogs bark at me and I scream in the night as the rats surround my bed. The man who leapt to his death from a hotel balcony in South Africa, the facts, as they are known, the speculation and reports … if, I say to myself. If.

In the act of writing, you expose yourself, as much of yourself, as you choose. There it is. In black and white, words on a page. To live apart, removed from the world as it is, may be a choice and one which can be forced upon you. I can’t live with my feelings. I can’t be with them.  Allowing yourself to be seen as the person you are, with the door locked, takes resolve. The man who committed suicide on Sunday may have exhausted his reserves. If. I don’t know the man who broke his own body; almost all of the words on the many pages since Sunday morning have been the same. Loner. Apart. Increasingly, if. Those who loved, hated or accused him know these words, written in black and white because they will forever be associated with him, and them.

I know these words. The deep cleft within me, I suppress; this pillaging anger and sorrow for the many people affected by association with the defiler of my childhood. He was a rapist and my mother’s father. How could my own mother not see this child of hers change, change and degenerate; yet I speak to her and I know her pain is one she carries, hard and unforgiving. My father, so tormented that this filthy crime happened on his watch. I look at him and I know he cannot see past it. My abuser was the husband of a grandmother I mourn deeply and wonder, how, in a small fibro house, how did she not hear or see anything? How could she sleep while her husband left their marital bed to enter mine? How can I seek relief from a god who refused to hear my cries? In what great hell must we all live, damaged irretrievably. Who can I blame, when there is one dead man, and many living who loved him, including me, who now revile and have nowhere to empty their disgust except on themselves. I knew as a teenager, that he was finished with me, and I said nothing to anyone who has outlived me. J’accuse … when I accuse myself? I cannot speak of this truth, so these words are left, words on a page.

These things that set me alone and apart are what they are; they are what I am, when the door is closed. They may appear black and white; but when I write, I hazily sketch the grey, grey words on a page.

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