The view from here…

None of the old words are left now.

I speak an alien tongue, a coarse, soulless language that tastes bad and hurts my ears. It means nothing. The music has died.

I write from the emptiness of this dark space, where the air is dry and full of dust, and rasps at the heart. It used to be much easier, in the world of before, way back when we lived – the words had colour then, and meaning, and magic. Dreams were brighter in the past, and when you closed your eyes you could watch them unfold in delicate shades and tones. We don’t dream anymore, not here. We’re left instead with scraps of broken memories of a distant life, and cries that won’t be heard.

The old man I met at the station told me that I shouldn’t leave. He said the light wasn’t good. He told me nothing was real and that I should turn back. He wore a thin, ragged coat and there was no life left behind his eyes. He had crazy hair and smelled of pipe-smoke and whiskey, and his words held the sadness of one who knew that time was running out.

I got on the train. I was young and foolish, and thought I knew everything. I thought I could fight it, and worse, I believed I could win.

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