I have become overly sensitive. I seem to be able to hear everything in the room - the faint whirr of computers below the clatter of a space bar, a deep booming voice asking questions down a telephone, the ticking of a mouse button, speech on an almost-silent radio, a pencil tinkling against the wooden desk, laughter from 30 feet away, a door shutting magnetically closed, something being screwed up and thrown in a bin, another door opening, then closing, footsteps on carpet, the dim slushy sound of traffic in the road outside... all of it pressing, pressing on the sides of my head, not leaving me alone. Do I want to be left alone? I do and I don't. A little meltdown. Let it not be this any more, but let it be this forever, and only this... rather this than the alternative, the nothingness, the void.
"Hang on, I'll just put you on hold..."
The light is dark outside. Dark, and heavy. The heavy light. The grime seems to be everywhere, on the faces of people as they walk past, looking, gazing, staring past, not at anyone or anything; just into the cloud of middle distance, that place that is safe, which won't look back.
More fingers on keyboards. A flashing light on a telephone. Never going to answer it; never going to answer it.
How much longer? Let it be soon. Let it be never. Let me stay here, where it's warm, where it's easy, where I know what I'm doing, where I'm settled, where I have enough money. Let me leave here now, and take my chances. Let me be kicked out; let me fend for myself; let me stay here, as part of the furniture, which I've become. I want all of it, and none of it. Let me dream on. Let me forget.
The room hums, not with energy, but something else, maybe the opposite of energy. This is not an office, this is Adlestrop - this is a place between two places, where I have ended up, unwontedly; this is where I am waiting, before I move along, between the past and the future. All those dreams, all those hopes, and now they're really fading away, really fading, replaced by nothing except uncertainty. The beauty of uncertainty? Just the shape of it. It feels like nothing. It is frightening, exciting, colourless, everywhere, nowhere.
Oh don't let it be like this. Don't let it be like this, the thumping heart of anxiety; don't let it be like this. Let me be confident, and bold, and walk with my head tipped up high. Let me get out of here, and for everything to be all right. Whatever else, don't let me feel sorry for myself, don't let me drown in the inky black cold sea of self-pity. Drag me out of there, and slap me, and make me feel safe. Hurt. Anything but self-pitying.
Sometimes it feels like I'm falling, not perilously, but slowly, like a plane descending, but I don't know where it's going to land. This could be anywhere, and it could feel like anything. But I don't have any choice. I only have the choice to wait, and be patient, and do everything I can do to make things better. Be patient, be calm... but I feel like shouting. I feel like screaming, and thumping my hands into the stupid faded brown threadbare office carpet, and wailing, and despairing. But I don't. I just sit, and type. Type this, type anything. Wait for the phone call that doesn't come. Wait for the moment that doesn't arrive. Wait, wait, wait. Oh please let it be better than this. Please let me get through this.