Iím sitting in the dark. The floorboards are cold, lifeless; wisps of frozen air escaping through the cracks like a vicious disease, chilling me to the bone. If only you could see me. I long for you to see me here, every fibre of conscious shame aches for your observance. I want you to see me, weak, lost and alone. Devoid of confidence. Here I am.

Iím alright though, arenít we all, deep down? Iím not sure if these thoughts are my own, they float around hazily, like flies; and my mind occasionally reaches out to swot them, banish them, forget their mere existence. There are things in this darkness you couldnít imagine. The bleak horizon of late summer afternoons, rain and wind battering the house, my bedroom window muffling the sound. I am enclosed, with this abyss of meaningless silence warmly embracing me like a hot bath, soft sheets, comfort. I donít want to feel anything, so I concentrate. Itís remarkable what you can shut off when you focus on the pretend. I can see anything in the blackness of my bedroom.

Sometimes, more than often, itís a desolate field illuminated by a starry night sky and surrounded with tall pine trees, bearing down on the damp grass with intense austerity. I like this field, because itís empty and I can run. Run without stopping. I see myself, sprinting barefoot towards nowhere, arms outstretched in my reckless abandon. There is no wind on my face and I do not feel the squelch of the wet ground in my toes, because they are not real. I never run out of breath.

Other times, my room is a swimming pool. The water is a clear turquoise, smelling faintly of sea salt, narrow like a tunnel yet very deep indeed. I have never reached the bottom of this pool. The water glints spectacularly, as if lit up by thousands of diamonds, all reflecting off one another under the luminosity of a brilliant sun. The bottom of the pool shimmers and gleams like some far off beacon of hope, elusive and exciting; I can never reach it. Frequently I get so far, my body feels so light, as if floating in space; I am hung in time and the only way to move is to struggle. I swim hard, I breathe in the cool water and it soothes my mind but ignites my lungs with fiery agony. I begin to suffocate, drowning as the pool gorges on my weakness, I long to sink to the bottom, to lose control over myself, to reach the mysterious light. Instead the water expels from my lungs with a great searing pain, and I am expelled from the scene, the water expelling me from its safety as I drift unconsciously to the surface. My first breath of air at the top is harsh and sharp, I am blindly back to reality, back to my dark room.

The final place is under a willow tree. I sit beneath the elegant draping branches, ornamented in delicate pointed leaves which face the ground in sorrow, my back against the ancient trunk which is alive with pattern and curious texture. The roots beneath me are like wires, connecting my mind to the earth, to reality, the life blazing within them an electric current searing and sparking and seeking out pain. All I can see out is a blazing blue sky and endless meadow, scattered with pretty flowers, shy and delicate; red, yellow and blue. The grass is ever so long, I never go out. There is always a smell. The scent of romance, love and beauty; stronger than the late bluebells that surround me under the great tree. In here I feel an overwhelming sense of peace that threatens to snare my sanity, I would happily stay here where my mind cannot explore and endanger itself with fields dashed with worry, guilt, shame. Instead, I reach out for the love promised in the warm country air; I reach out and am torn back to my room, cold as ever.

I think Iím safest when I feel nothing, this aching emptiness; itís easier, thereís nothing to repress and restrain. I donít need to define myself; there is no purpose to my wandering. In fact, I rarely regret my inability to face reality. My mind is an endless labyrinth of wires, bearing an infinite trail of thoughts which I struggle to capture and make solid. Sometimes I think Iím not really here, but floating through life with no emotion; callously accepting the outcomes of my actions which rarely incite risk. It is far too easy for me to lose myself amidst the crackling of electric thoughts, in the tangle of wires, painfully vivid yet impossible to define. Sometimes I think it would be easier if I pulled the plug.