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  • Ben Stower

A Shallow Hole

Part something or rather of the 10-Minute Musings series

It’s hard to concentrate tonight. So much of my attention is preoccupied with the worries and concerns of this London life. How silly. I’m just tired. Very tired. But still, these worries don’t seem silly in the warm dark of a Monday night. Christ, this week has only just begun and it already feels insurmountable. So many things I need to keep on top of. Finding a new job. Finding a new place to live, temporarily. Editing my novel. Being productive at work. Staying in touch with people. Messaging people back. Responding to emails. Debt collectors emailing me because the water company has fucked up. God dammit. I’m angry about that. I just need to take a breath and know that a lot of this won’t seem so intense in the morning. Take it easy tonight, get some rest and tomorrow you’ll be able to cover a lot of these things. Good god man, it’s only 24 hours of life. The wheels won’t fall off. They might wobble for a bit, but they’ll hang in there. Maybe one might dislodge, but you’ve managed with fewer wheels before. Haven’t you?

I don’t remember it being this hard. Makes me wonder if it really is this city. Or is it the time we live in? These aren't the types of thoughts you want to fall asleep with. Certainly not the soft embrace of a woman in love. No, these feel more like nightmares on a dark horizon.

I’m running out of steam. Hard to know if it’s just today or in general. My fingers are typing but my mind isn’t registering much. I’m wiped. All the time. I’m pissed. Most of the time. I don’t think I’ve ever been trying to achieve so much with so little. So little money. So little time. So little energy. So little concentration. Crazy. It’s almost like I come in and out of consciousness. A steady throbbing of awareness before I can't do anything other than stare up at the ceiling I pay way too much for keeping over my head.

Could be worse, couldn’t it? Could always be worse. Ain’t that the way to live, remembering the things that could be worse. Sure gets you places don’t it. The thing is, if you want to follow the latest trends and manifest something, you’ve got to think about how life could be better. Makes it hard some days. Makes it depressing to be alive and still trying.

Loner. It’s always been appealing. Probably mostly out of fear or insecurity. But I think there’s also a legitimate appeal there. Simplicity. Silence. A life that’s yours and yours alone. Alone. Loners must get lonely. I get lonely. Could I even handle the downsides of being a loner? I think it takes a special breed of human. Maybe an outdated or overlooked type of homo sapiens (I’ve only just remembered that’s two words). A pure breed.

One of the special kind.

I don’t think I’m one of those. People have told me I am. Alluded to it towards the end. Or maybe I’ve just projected that – taken from those final conversations what I’ve wanted to hear. Lovely. So much doubt and conflict going on in my head today. It’s impossible to trust myself to do anything. Probably why it all feels and smells like shit. Just one of those days though, innit? One of those when you should just give in to the pull of depression, let it drag you on into that hole and hope it’s actually only waste deep. Hope you can sit down on your arse and still breath and see and take in your surroundings. Still know there's something out there other than your own thoughts.

You never know though, do you?

Some days it’s knee deep or waste deep and it’s okay to sit and stew in it for hours or even weeks because you can still function, even if it all feels like watered-down gravy. But other days, or weeks, that hole goes right over your head and then some. And you stay down there for days not seeing, not breathing, not really doing anything other than waiting for that moment your head appears out the top again and you can reach the sides and pull yourself up and over.

Those ones ain’t so pretty as all this. Gotta be thankful for that, I guess. Today’s just a shallow hole. Now the trick is to not to make it any deeper.

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