Fragments of Dark: Jack


The sound of the commuters starts at 6am, as surely as the sun will rise each day, but with more precision. The start of daylight and the commuters never quite coincides, you see. Sometimes the light will come first, sometimes after, but always the commuters at 6am.

The sound of acceleration, brakes, exhausts, horns, people calling to one another in aggressive tones. They’re always in a hurry, the commuters. Always in an integral daydream of purpose that cannot be broken.

I lie awake listening to them, watching the grey walls of my room. Well, they’re not so much grey as watered down versions of the colours the commuters see. When I was little I was given books containing thick black outlines of characters and scenes, which I was to cover in the water from a paintbrush to reveals light colourations. They were barely colours at all, but there was something satisfying about revealing them anyway.

My morning view is predictable. The wardrobe doors are still there, as are the radiator, the curtains, my lamp, and the cobwebs hanging from the ceiling. What is different is the shapes I see in the pleats of the curtains, the fall of the duvet and the lay of the laundry. I note these differences long after the sound of the commuters dies down into a steady buzz, and I imagine them settled into their respective roles as citizens.

Officially, I have a job like them. Sometimes I imagine myself sitting back at my desk in a brightly lit room, surrounded by chatter and nonsense and things to  think about other than the shadow cast by yesterday’s teacup. But in my room I am separate from all of that. I am safe and I am in my own head; not the heads of the commuters.

Mid-morning, when my back or hip or head starts to twinge, I sometimes venture into the hallway to glance at what post has arrived. Then I float into the kitchen to make a drink and pick up painkillers. Other times I will take painkillers from my bedside drawer without assistive liquid.

If it is a kitchen day, I will pass a collection of unfinished paintings I once created and be briefly upturned by the change in me that now inhibits such pursuits. I don’t like the paintings much anyway. It would be no bad thing if they were to be destroyed to take my small stamp upon the world away…


Fragments of Dark is a hand bound, illustrated zine compiling short bursts of creative writing about depression and madness.

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