I can hear them talking about me. I can hear them saying bad things about me and that’s why I don’t want to hang around. That’s why I never do hang around. Not for too long anyway, not for too long. The longer I hang around in one spot the more I can hear people saying bad things about me. The longer I stay still the more I can feel their silent condemnation.
I can hear them whispering; I can hear them all talking about me under their breath. Every now and again I see one of them steal a furtive glance at me. It happens when I’m waiting at a bus stop. I just can’t stick around too long – I know what all the people there are thinking about me. If I hear them whispering then I know they’re whispering about me. They’re saying bad things about me, they’re saying that I’m a bad person.
That’s why I always have to keep moving on; that’s why to keep on wandering. I can never stop – there’s no place for me to stop, there’s no place where I will not be rejected. There is no place where I will not be driven on – turned away by the silent pressure of people’s thoughts about me, turned away by the silent pressure of their unspoken condemnation. This is no place for me to rest, that place where I can abide. We don’t want you here, they say. There is no place for you here. Why don’t you just go, they say. Why don’t you just go…
Perhaps is no place for me in reality itself, it occurs to me. Perhaps reality itself is rejecting me, perhaps reality itself is forever driving me on. Perhaps I am not allowed to be in reality. There is no place for you here, reality is telling me (without actually using these words). There’s no place for you here. There is no place for you here so you’d better just move on.
I don’t know if reality is telling me this really, but it feels like it is. It feels as if I am a foreign body and I’m being rejected. Wherever I go leukocytes gather together in large numbers, crowding around me. They gather around me, putting the silent squeeze on me, telling me that I have to go without actually saying it out loud. They stand there silently, whispering away to each other, stealing furtive glances at me.
It doesn’t do to hang around in any one spot too long. That’s what I’ve learnt. Slowly but surely people gather – they gather together in groups, silently accusing me. They stand there waiting for me to go, letting me know that there is no place for me here, letting me know I have to move on. They’ll be no peace for me until I do move on. I don’t know what I have done that’s so bad. I don’t know what it is that I’m supposed to have done.