BB (03/02/93 / Surrey, England)

Cold Faces

I sit neatly on a hard uncomfortable chair and observe in silence
the cluttered desk, my bed with a red coat thrown messily on to it
a pile of ten books or more towering dangerously at the foot of it all
now my eyes dart softly taking in the harshly snipped photographs
posters, train tickets, mementos
stuck all jigsaw like on the walls

I touch my glass of ice water and the cold feels reassuring somehow
lift and sip
gently and the splash of wonderful chill caresses my sore throat
it hurts to swallow but the water brings a few seconds relief
pain, relief
on and on this viscous circle

Standing, I stretch out tired muscles,
stiff joints
and walk
one, two, three paces to the window
overlooking the bay I couldn't wish for a more beautiful view
I've lost track of time but I could guess it's around eight PM
and the million lights of the town seem friendly,
sitting amongst teachers and doctors
families and friends
houses and work places
trees and lush green fields
beauty both natural and man made, it's lost on me tonight

I consider it;
I assume there are at least a hundred others
suffering tonight, one way or another, in the town alone
but this offers no solace
'She's a girl alone in a world full of strangers, cold faces'
tonight, it's only me

So I push open the window and it flies open obligingly
I'm thinking, now, I must have opened the windows every night
for the last month, for hours at a time
it is winter
and the cold is fitting with how I feel
with my life
and with everything

A few minutes pass and I realise I am still holding my glass
and the tips of my fingers are starting to feel numb
I swallow done the last of it
Pain, relief
the not yet melted ice cubes sit in the bottom of the glass
and I swirl it around a few times
watching them move against each other, simply for something to do
I close my eyes for what feels an eternity
and see an imprint of those lights against my eyelids
I open and feel dazed for a while

All this time I am thinking
not the rushing, racing thoughts I am used to
what before was a waterfall, white and dangerous
now is a calmer, cool trickling stream
and I think about it all
with the bitter air on my face, but I don't mind

I think about the cold
my old hatred for it is long gone now
I'm thinking, asking myself why, and the answer is there, ready formed
My life is cold,
'And the people in it? ' A voice echoes from some distant part of my mind
Freezing, I reply

I can see my lakes of connection, stretching out to everything and everyone I love
it has all been frozen by an evil force and I whisper it out into the night air
Yes, change. He came along so quick and carved His own new version of my life
places, faces; it all changed
I gulp down what a few minutes ago was ice
pain, relief
and I stare out into the million lights
I stare into my life
It stares back at me,
cold faces.

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