Saturday, 10 January 2009 - 10:59 am

Because I need it

I don’t like the silence.  I don’t like thinking about the far-off noises I can hear, or what is out there in the shadows.  I don’t like thinking about everything that brought me here to this place, cramped up in a rusty van with six stranger-friends, hoping that the rain won’t come back ever again but knowing that it will.  I don’t like thinking about the things I’ve seen, the faces I know I’ll never see again, even the ones I didn’t know that well.


I apologised to Ben when I stopped typing last night.  I should have been trying to distract him, to make him feel better.  It feels so selfish and self-serving, to huddle myself down and focus on something that’s just for me.  To type away my thoughts and my feelings, set it down so that I can make sense of it.

But he said that it was all right.  He was glad that someone was making a record of this.  He said that no-one minded the time I spent doing this, because they understood that it’s my way of coping.  Because I don’t let it get in the way of anything else.  And because they know that it’s not just me in here.  They know that I’m telling their names and their actions too, and one day someone will know that we were here, that we lived, that we were scared and we were brave, that we carried on regardless, that some of us died awfully and some of us died in our sleep.


And he’s right.  I suppose it’s not just for me. 

I might not want to think about all those people we’ve left behind, but a part of me wishes that I could have taken pictures of them.  I wish I could have recorded them all, like I’m writing this down, so that there is a mark of them left in the world.  So that someone might know what happened to us, so that our story might not be forgotten.  So that all of this might mean something.

I feel like, without this, we might slip away into the dirt and water and darkness.  And that’ll be it.  The world will digest us and move on, and it’ll be like we were never here.  It’ll be like it was all for nothing.  And that thought – right now, it’s making my hands tremble.  This has to mean something.  There has to be a point to it all, even if it’s only so that someday someone will make an effort to never let it happen again.


I felt like crying after he told me that.  I couldn’t speak for the weight on my chest.  That time, he held my hand because I needed it.

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