Tuesday, 26 June 2007

On fear of people

I head to the toilet, my fear of people is getting intense. It's like a drill, like a physical shaft of shrill sound that is rammed into my brain through the senses. Fear of people. What am I afraid of? Something in their words maybe, no it is the eyes, definitely the eyes. No wait! It’s the brain, I fear their brain; that thinking, pulpy thing; alive, aware, observing. I can feel it, like a pressure as it changes, assessing me. Christ, it is like some kind of alien form lurking in them. I've got to get away before it is onto me, before it realises that I know. I get up from my chair move quickly, down the hallway past them all. They just don't seem to know or care that they are harbouring something sinister, something freakish, a parasite.

I burst out the doors from the floor of my work and make the corridor, tear down it, like a swimmer out of breathe fighting to surface to the sun, to the air, to freedom and life. Kick the toilet door open, nearly there. I crash into another one of them. Fuck this place is infested with the things. Then I am there, into the cubicle, slam the door, push it shut, lock it. I sit down on the toilet seat, shut my eyes and breathe, breathe deep. It's ok. I am ok.

I stay like this for about 5 minutes, it seems I am calming. I open my eyes. This is my prison, but it is the safest place I can find in the world to hide.

I try to meditate, it's the best I can do to keep the inner turmoil at bay, to find some sanity again, to recover. 3 years it's been, the same reaction, the same panic, the same escape to a self imposed incarceration in this cubicle. A search for peace, for meaning, for something other than what I find in the midst of the social world I am supposed to be a part of. It makes little sense and I have little choice.

Just as I am relaxing I hear the outside door creak then slam against the wall as it is thrown open. I hear voices, two people entering the urinals.

'Haha! Yes I saw Jones at the conference, not a bad presentation, his take on Marketing Policies for Public Affairs in the coming year was quite interesting.'

A pause, then I hear just the spray of two men pissing.

'Watching the game tonight?'
'Think so, might watch it in the Trinity bar, I hear they are putting a screen up for it specially and the beer is on happy hour prices all night.'

They finish, wash hands. The dryer goes for a short time.

'Ok well might see you up there then.'

The door opens once more, less ferociously this time, then silence descends. I sit cross legged on the toilet lid and wonder how many days left until it will all be over.


ladyb said...

I love the way you write, Mark.

I totally relate to this post. x

Mark Berry said...

then I suggest you avoid jobs in the city sector.

thanks for the comment, always nice to know we may not be alone in the mad moments.