The small broken things had set up a chirping in my mind, sometimes in unison, sometimes not. There were lots of them – thousands and thousands and thousands of them. I called them the ‘fragments’ because that’s what they were – fragments. Lots and lots of fragments. They were the broken fragments of who I used to be.
This is a kind of autobiography, by the way. I’m trying to write an autobiography and this seems as good a place to start as any – with the old fragments. We’ll start with them and we’ll end with them too. I think of the fragments of who I used to be as being like some kind of space rubble – perhaps two moons crashed together long ago, disintegrating both. Smashing them up completely so that now there is nothing to this vast field of debris, this endless ring of rubble spinning pointlessly in space – a testament to some ancient catastrophe that nobody cares about any more.
Its not physical rubble but the mental variety that I’m talking about here though. It’s what’s left of my personality. These little mental fragments spinning en masse in their millions like Saturn’s rings, setting up this ceaseless pointless chirping. There is no sense in it at all. There’s no sense in the noise they make – it’s a mockery of sense, that’s the whole point of it. It’s something broken and that’s all there is to it. It’s as simple as that.
An interesting point that is very clear to me is that nothing ‘unbroken’ can never come out of these fragments, no matter what is done with them, no matter what noises they make. They can’t be recombined in any meaningful way – not ever. What’s terminally broken can never give rise to ‘the unbroken’. A thousand crazy voices can never come together to make sense, not if they had all eternity in which to do so.
It’s not like the monkeys and the typewriters, in other words. You know what they say about monkeys and typewriters, about how if you give them long enough they will eventually come up with the complete works of Shakespeare. Not so for the fragments – they could never type out any sense no matter how long you give them. They’ll never come up with anything. They just scream and scream in their frighteningly senseless way. Or chirp and chirp, if that’s how you hear it.
Someone once told me that we’re on a long road with no turning back. It’s a song – the lyrics to some kind of ambient-type track. It occurred to me then that at this point on the road there is no turning back but there’s also no going forward either. It’s like walking along on the surface of the moon – after it got totally pulverised into space rubble.
You don’t move on from this, it occurred to me. That’s the whole point. You just don’t. There’s nowhere to go from here. But I don’t want you to think that I’m being unduly morose here – or that I’m indulging myself by painting as dark a picture as I possibly can. That’s not it at all. I’m not being morose. The point is, you see, that that old personality of mine was never that great anyway, even at its best! I know it sounds wrong to say this but that’s just the way it is. That’s just the truth of the matter. Why be coy about it? Why be squeamish about saying it? I don’t know what good having that personality ever did for me – it was just something I had to carry around with me everywhere I went because I didn’t know what else to do with it.
The big problem is that you get all sentimental about it and fall into thinking about all of the good times you had with good old personality of yours. How great it was. How wonderful it was. That nostalgia thing always cuts in, doesn’t it? Take it from me – none of that nostalgia shit is true. It’s pure moonshine. It’s a kind of hallucination. It was never great, it was never wonderful, so just don’t go there…
Sometimes the fragments sing away like a field full of fat brown crickets, resonating endlessly together in a perfectly senseless way. At other times they contrive to sound like random snatches of conversation, almost making sense but not quite. And every now and again they shout my name at me, ever and over again. That’s a bit of a joke really – what do I want with a name, anyway? What good is a name to me now? It’s all just attachment really, that’s all it is. Just pure dumb pointless attachment, nothing more…