You never hear the drip drops. You only hear the thunder. You hear the sound of a thousand living things coalescing, their death cry rattling every part of you as they smack against the cold concrete. Concrete, cold concrete, dis-creet, this street. More words, words wrapped round riddles. I used to be obsessed with stuff like this. Now I just write things down. Much easier, much simpler. Simp-ler, things stir-
“I’m sorry. I don’t know if you knew but you are kind of muttering.” He smiled. He was young. Younger than he had any right to be. He didn’t have the eyes of someone who yet realized that the world would pick you up just to swallow you whole and all anyone would do is watch. He held a clipboard and pen in his hands, and I couldn’t help but wonder, was he like me? Lost in the search for an answer, or so youthful, so enlightened, because he had already found it?
“If you were interested sir, I’d like to tell you a bit about the wonderful opportunities and choices you have for the upcoming election! I know you’ve probably heard a lot of discourse and rubble-rousle from both sides. Someone always has something to say about the other instead of what really matters.”
“And what, young man, really matters?” More drops, more rain, rain rhymes with pain, its time a-gain. Time for pills but there’s no more, they’re broken spilling on the floor. Despite it all, he smiled, the edges of it starting to cut into me, like jagged manic hooks. I ruffled my sleeves, pulling them further down, and before he could speak I ushered him into the darkness and out of the clouds.
We sat and I noticed him observing, looking at my forgotten knick knacks. Back then, I remembered believing in something; I believed in myself, in my people, in my country. Now the only thing left of those times are the broken things we left behind. Now they sit, in dust and dew but still, they sit.
“I guess…what matters is up to the individual. For each person to explore and discover. When life gets hard as life often does people seem to forget that. It’s easier to fill a mold, to throw away the things they never really cared about. My grandpa’s place is a lot like this. He’s gone now, but he used to talk all the time about the decline. The consequences of forgetting. Every chance he could he would go to polls or city councils and committees. He would make sure his voice was heard because he felt if he didn’t do anything he didn’t have the right to complain. He believed the biggest change started with the smallest step. And he watched as the years passed, and less and less people began turning up. Old friends told him they were simply too busy. They didn’t have time for pointless electorals. It wasn’t too long before it was decided that only a select number of people would represent the whole state. Few people complained, and those who did either shut up when the money came or disappeared.”
I closed my eyes, and I was somewhere else, somewhere darker, colder, but better. Anywhere had to be better than here. The voice faded in and out, the room spun like a puzzle, muzzle, will-cull, so dull. I drifted but I stayed, for a little longer, just a little longer. Not for him, for me, it was wrong to bring him here, but at least now, I wouldn’t be alone.
“There’s a new legislation coming out. After so long they’ve decided it’s about time to throw out the whole process together. They’re trying to take away our right to vote! It’s supposedly coming into effect as soon as their runner up is elected. But we still have the power, right here, right now, to make a difference. We have the right and responsibility to protect ourselves and our futures. Someone has to make a stand!” His hands trembled, paper sinking onto the ground before being forgotten under tables and chairs that no-one ever used. Though I could not see, I could hear his sniffling, and this raw emotion comforted me. “Please sir, even if you don’t care I ask you along with the hundreds of others to try and stop this, put up one more fight for our freedom.” My eyes started running again and I could see his face was sallow but dignified, he wore a dirty ratted sweat-jacket, and his papers were littered with ink. He must have been at it all day, maybe even all week. It looked like he hadn’t eaten or slept in awhile, yet he still marched. Where does one find this strength, this courage? It had to be impossible, yet here he was. He smiled through the tears and grabbed my hidden hand urging me to join with his band and once again believe, and become something greater than myself. Unfortunately, there was no more of myself to give.
He dropped my hand as he saw red mix with black and blue and white and as he stood gaping I fell back into my better place. I saw through slitted eyes him dashing, searching for something or someone or both and as warmth started to replace the cold I lazily scribbled my name with my red ink onto his paper, praying that maybe that would count for something, the world opened up, it’s teeth gleaming maliciously, thunder and lighting and rain the final curtain call, and that was all I could see and hear and understand and feel. Feel, meal, steal, appeal. Hearts stop, rain, drops.
Drip Drop… Drip.