Wednesday 18 May 2011

Hell - Part Two

This hell question.  I just don’t know.  I do know it isn’t in the places you might imagine.  I looked in a fair few of those.  I tried finding it in people too but each and every one, no matter how hard and tough and mean they looked on the outside, just turned nice on me.  Angels and demons eh?  Honestly, life is mirroring art – or is it the other way around? 
I suspect hell is hidden out of sight really, not down the dark alleys or in the mudflats, or in street-wise kids with sneers or big men with tattoos on their faces.  Hell is probably a flat, the warm yeasty smell of posset mingling with stale fat; and a baby that won’t stop screaming. Or a gleaming penthouse in which two beautiful people sit either end of a white leather sofa, staring into their perfect space.  Or maybe Hell is simply being trapped inside a mind where the synapses are misfiring. 

The closest I came to it on my London trip was sitting in an Internet café in Islington.  The computer was old, the keyboard sticky. The place smelled of stale cigarette smoke, Bombay mix and sweat.  I was swiftly catching up on emails, knowing I’d be offline for 24 hours (hmm, maybe Hell is being out of touch? Or is that Heaven? Do we know the difference anymore?). 

‘Oh for fuck’s sake.’  The chair behind me scraped along the scuffed vinyl floor. I kept typing – as you do.
‘No! This cannot be happening.’  Keys being crashed.  The air crackled.  A phone rang.
‘No. You don’t understand.’  Pause.  Scrape of chair.
‘No. You’re not listening.’  Pause.
‘But I’ve lost everything. Everything.’  Pause.  A strangled sob turning into anger.


Roses for Hecate by Solange Noir
She threw back her chair and stumbled out of the café, leaving her coat behind.  I went to pick it up and run after her but realised she had stopped outside, on the pavement. Even in the middle of meltdown, she was being polite.  Sheesh, us humans and our social mores.  I watched her through the glass front.  She looked stricken. 
What had she lost?  And who wouldn’t listen? 
What is worse, the losing or the not being heard?

Some music?  Wyrdly, I left my iPod behind when I was in London...but these have been playing non-stop since I returned.


Anonymous said...

I can hear you, Love. :o)

Zoë said...

My current idea of hell is living without sight - scares the crap out of me.

The word verification was China - a metaphor, for how fragile we are?


Unknown said...

Hell is the creation of a disturbed mind - I saw a Robin Williams film once where a man went to heaven, but wouldn't be happy until he found his wife, who had died before him.

He found her, but she couldn't recognise him, because she was trapped in a Hell of her own making.

I cried a lot watching that film...

Posie said...

I think hell must be living with constant pain, or paralysis...a brain that is depressed and anxious, but that is a state of mind. Real hell....yikes would be soo scary. Jane I am definitely not as brave as you!!
PS Just got your fabby message..yippee and will get in touch....thaaaank yooou xx

Anonymous said...

And re-member 'Made in Heaven'? 'Hell is a place on Earth...' Anywhere we choose to project it.

Anonymous said...

Hell is said to be other people.
I think that real hell is total and utter nothingness, the void, the empty spaces between the worlds where nothing ever happens or will ever happen.
Hell is entropy.
Hell is stagnation without reprieve.

Sessha Batto said...

Hell is wasted time, all the ephemeral yet seemingly important bits of flotsam that divert us from the painful search into falsely comforting illusions of safety. Hell is endless turns on the wheel without ever recognizing the journey. Hell is the endless casual cruelties we inflict on each other. I don't need to go search for hell, it's all around me, all the time.

Alison Cross said...

I think that Hell is having no control over what is happening to us. For a child this could be living with someone who just doesn't give a flying feck about feeding or caring for us; it could be living in a country where resources are scarce or where there is war; it could be coping with illness..... it's all hellish.

Ali x

Unknown said...

Hell... hell is lonely, disillusioned, numbness, when all the world's colours have faded to one pale shade of grey. Give me strong emotions of any kind over that nonexistence any day.

Roses for an Exmoor rose :) Loved the songs!

Exmoorjane said...

Oh heck (not hell) guys...hmm, where the word 'heck' come from (Heckate??!)? Thank you all so much for your thoughts and opinions.
Lots to mull on here...