Restless tonight? Not that I mind. Your rotations in the goldfish bowl are welcome entertainment. Watching you, the minutes have melted and the seconds have slowed to a viscous warmth. It's exactly what I need. You're the best therapy I've ever had. To be fair, you're the only therapy I've ever had. But you're good.
So, here's a thing. I could easily find out who you are. I know your address and the rest is only a small step away. I could stand in your street, watch the front door of your building, walk by your car. And yes, I could find out which car's yours just as easily. I could walk through the door of your building because part of accessing systems is accessing people, and people will open anything if you make them believe they want to. A lock is only as secure as the flawed human holding the key and they're all flawed. We're all flawed. Even you. Even me.
I could, but I won't. Or at least I haven't. Don't get me wrong, this isn't due to any restriction of conscience. Conscience is no more than a suggestion of a concept, void of real-world applications. I just like you better this way, for now at least. I've even resisted the temptation to focus the lens on your screen and grab at whatever bright secrets are there.
My own screens flicker behind me, not that you can see, not that it matters. But they do. The one on the wall shows a film about a couple in turmoil after the death of their child. The writer has an obsession with children falling from windows and I appreciate his projections of madness. I've always had a weakness for madness, and an equal and opposite intolerance for its demands.
The screens above my desk are the interesting ones though, tied by wires to a busy little box and the rest of the world, to all the things I'm not supposed to discover, all the things I'm not supposed to have. Things not meant for us always hold the greatest appeal though, don't they?
And here I am, by the window again. This space on the floor is an altar, and the camera - with which I have never taken a photograph - reaches from curiosity to poetry. For what it's worth, I don't think of you that way. I'm not saying I wouldn't or couldn't, but it doesn't happen from a distance. It can be instant, but it has to be close-up. Something about physicality, chemistry, the kind of reality you can touch and the kind you feel in your blood, and in someone else's. It needs to be more than hypothetical.
Last time, it was immediate. The sort of shock to the system that happens when you collide with someone just as fucked up as you are and both of you are ready and willing to admit it. It lasted longer than they usually do and I hurt her more than she deserved. She didn't hurt me anywhere near as much as she should have.
And before all that, before her, there was always something in the suddenness, something in the crash and the explosion. I respect fate for playing that game, for orchestrating collisions and letting them feel so unintentional. I'm sure there were rules, there are rules, but placing no value on them has never stopped me from playing.
And therein lies the problem. Different goals, different games. I'm in it for the experience and perhaps other people deserve more than to fulfill my desire for extremes. How much does it matter what anyone deserves though? Who balances those scales?
Well, my vision of late night uncertainty, I never claimed to be a good person. I've seen what good people do, what they are, and if I spend my whole life a million miles from goodness, I'll welcome the distance with open arms.
What about you? How far have you fallen? What hearts have you broken? Of course I assume you occupy that side of the equation. I can't imagine anyone leaving you or breaking your heart.
Maybe it's projection on my part, but you seem more the kind to end things.
11th November 2005
YOU ARE READING
Winter FollowsGeneral Fiction
One month, one city, five lives colliding with the forces of fate. A thrill-seeking tech genius with an appetite for dangerous extremes. A retired contract killer fighting to escape his past and himself. An underworld driver tempted deeper into a li...