Ronald Turner stubbed out a smoke in a plant pot caked in stale
ash. Choked, the cactus that lived there was haggard and greyed
bare by the stash of dog ends and toxic cinders, knowing only a
life of dim light and locked windows.
He was the kind of guy who hadn’t earned his environment – he
inherited it. In the same way an inmate inherits a ball and chain
it clung to him like a picture frame. Call him the product of it –
a victim of impositions – he would call you a fool and drill
down into your decisions that he sees as highlighting his
abandoned ambitions, not as the tools that make bricks, in the
walls of cathedrals.
No plans today; he got up anyway.
He wasn’t without skill recalling odd facts and information at
will, though often strained by tradition, dull and mundane.
Addiction lit another cigarette with a match, since his lighter
was broken and out of gas. That metaphor echoing his feeling
of disdain which amused him – at first – and then meandered
through melancholy even worse, at the start of a stormy
No desire today; he kept smoking anyway.
Amongst others he would often be the butt of all jokes, drawing
the short straw and be labelled both: the blackest of sheep and
the friendliest ghost. He mirrored moons and planets he read in
a few books, the ones he envied for the peace he assumed they
knew – Looks, were exchanged with an old mirror; cracked,
examining dents, cloaked scars facing the fact he’d never wash
them away, flannelling water and scented soap bars.
No one to impress today; he freshened up anyway.
For him life lived on a passing cloud, hopes of grasping he
coped without, tending to touch that empty feeling, the
whispers of thrills that filled traces of breathing. He knew the
world as a place he had no place in and nestled himself in that
negative space within. No one learnt the landscapes better than
he, not even the astronomy he studied solidly when solitude
grappled his mind and strangled his body.
Below is a short film based on this spoken word story: