The forgotten byeways of the lamp-lit industrial estate team with gusts of paper chasing dried leaves falling over themselves. Only cold and forgotten minstrels serenade its wilderness. Interstices cramped with too much waste block off going anywhere. Factories employed ghosts, making nothing for nobody. Bare weeds and rocks decorate the countless flapping bags trying to escape. Tyres have turned and tired with time and found their resting place, to stand still with it. Useless bricks impede progress, deny passage and intrude on level waste.
The cold concrete wells of shuttered doorways rattle in the gale. An orange stream of light pours through the mist. Street after grey street is cross-hatched with orange stabbing fingers stretching into island pools.
A motorbike whines like a frustrated wasp down the long road, its empty rider going nowhere forever.
I use to have recurrent nightmares that it was coming at me, with its ghost rider invisible. I awoke screaming with the light shining in my face and the whine of the engine in my ears, getting nearer forever.
What is this but concrete sadness, bleakness, solidified; ugliness personified, nightmares realized?
I walk the streets of that uninhabited estate at night, the wind tearing through the wool of my donkey jacket, my boots eating into my feet, but still there is no rest. My mind is numb, in observance of the obeisant ritual memory of work.
A police car slows down as I intrigue its interest, then passes me by. It comes back again later. I must get off this road. I can hear the roar of lorries on the distant jugular. No one sees, no one remembers, no one thinks it ever happened.
The stark North wind beneath a cold vault of stars, the bedroom of a door-well, the stone pillow of a step, the bus stops of distant towns and the alarm of gulls do not happen in houses.
All night long the wind runs riot through these channels, like a mad poltergeist. Their homes might as well be space stations, their cars space ships passing me in the night. They do not look at me, but I observe them.
The remnant of the Law is painted on and by the pot-holed road, but there is nobody to Give Way to, no soul to Stop for.
The empty buildings line the thoroughfare, bearing flaky inscriptions of what they once were, like tombstones.
Looking for a job here is like to trying to wake the dead. Shutters rattle violently in protest.
The only sign of life comes from the Mail sorting office at the end of civilization. Huge lorries trundle thorough it day and night. P.O. Box 99 is in there. That is where I send my letters when they make me look for work. It's my best pen pal. I wonder if there is a tiny clerk cribbed in a tiny office working on writing down the steps to Hell. He has so many to send there and must send out invitations to so many, he never stops. The Job Centre is also there on paper.
All this communication going through a place where there is none. It flows in lorries and through wires humming in the wind, but can't get out until it's reached its designated destination. Someone else decides where something else will go, to somewhere else for someone else, just as I exist only to me, the messages in my head only for me.
I am a shadow walking in shadows, nowhere else. Somewhere Else co-exists with Nowhere Else, coeval with it, like one cage of paths intermeshed with another, parallel universes, near but not touching, a cage of cages in another cage of cages.
You're at the bottom!