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The International Writers Magazine
: Dreamscapes: When night falls

Roger Duncan

At night, when suburbia is almost still, violence is the theme, and street lamps blur everything.

Saturn gold. Mars orange. Venus Blue. It’s easy to believe verbal, sexual, and child abuse in these homes, like rough bricks beneath rendered walls. As seen on the daytime talk shows. And I am not sure if I am walking an imagined world or if the world has imagined that I am walking.

Breath huffs like an explosion of chalk dust before my face in this Disney-coloured night – an apparition of the life inside me. As each cloud of life appears, the past is seen. As each trace of warmth cleanses, the present is felt. And with the death of every ember the future disappears. What was, what is, and what will, in a single breath.

Makes no difference who you are…newly weds defactos divorcees partners lovers housemates drunks sharers carers widowers thieves cancerpatients potdealers realestateagents ‘P’platers videorenters banktellers paraplegics businessowners musicians labourers teachers paedophiles recluses filmmakers dogowners starwarscollectors strippers kitefliers Eheads photographers murderers landscapers busdrivers hairstylists rapists painters zoologists politicians butchers pornographers claustrophobics rockclimbers jewellers priests diabetics psychics electricians asthmasufferers couriers chefs lotterywinners receptionists lawyers salesreps glaucomasufferers truckers surgeons …your dreams come true.

At night when the world is almost silent, violence is the script, and fluorescent street lamps buzz and hum. Electric distortion—Static feedback—Subsonic drones. Emotions crawl out of cracks in the foundation, childish whimpers, adult silences, and teenage groans. As seen on TV movies. Harmonising with rattlesnake spray-paint-cans that hiss graffiti venom. And I am not sure if I am walking a subconscious world, or subconsciously walking.

Violence is the setting when the world is almost asleep. It accompanies engine roars, and screams from tyre-raped manicured lawns. It carries the percussion solo of telephone booths that are smashed, fixed, shattered, repaired, vandalised, and replaced like a jazz improv on a stage lit by Hendrix’s burning strat.

Purple haze all in my brain…retirementvillages townhouses flats units fastfooddrivethroughs cafes takeaways restaurants libraries hospitals churches pubs nightclubs sportscentres shoppingcentres childcarecentres gardencentres medicalcentres cinemas bottleshops homes driveways publictoilets phonebooths delicatessens subways airports carparks beaches riverbanks workplaces universities schools hotels petrolstations policestations busstations railwaystations juvenilecourts basketballcourts tenniscourts…lately things, they don’t seem the same.

Destruction echoes resentment. As seen on the nightly news. And I can’t be certain if the hatred sensed is all around, or if all around senses the hatred in me.

© Roger Duncan March 2004

Missing Time

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