Washed out charcoal has a faded grey colour, nothing really special. It’s the most blasé colour, hue, shade or whatever you call it. It’s the colour of the sky on a cold December day right before it snows. It’s the colour your white shirts go when you don’t wash them, even though you wear them every day. Or like the bottom of your socks as they shred into gaping holes. It’s just a sad, pale hue that says absolutely nothing. It has no voice.
Almost all colours have a voice. Some colours are a choir with so many voices at once; others are absolutely one voice, that soloist that never fails to send chills up your spine. But washed out charcoal is silent. Just a tired smear on what would have been a perfect piece of paper. It once could have been a rich, thick, powdery streak of black, defining and absolute. But it’s not.
Just like the charcoal, the winter skies, or the used up socks under your bed, charcoal is forgotten. It’s blended into the background. It’s forgotten. It’s the last dregs of a cigarette, short, bitter and forgotten.
Some people are washed out charcoal. They’re a tired smear on the canvas, waiting for something to come and cover them up. And they are forgotten. They are the second hand smoke of life, the by-product of someone else’s problems. And they are forgotten like a sock without a partner, alone and shoved to the back. Eventually they are thrown out.
I’m washed out charcoal. I’m empty and alone. I’m the sock that you just threw out, because it had a tiny hole from being ground under your big toe. Worn out and tired, pale grey and dirty. Because you know that that tiny hole will continue to grow till your hole foot is out. I’m almost worn out. Every day I watch a bit more of my soul unraveling, fading away like dirty sleet under the heat of an exhaust pipe.
I’m a snowflake turned to sludge in the filth of the modern world. An outcome of too much and too little. Too much pain, too little love; too much filth, too little – well everything. Too much of it all. But it’s never enough. Try everything to feel something that holds a shred of honesty. Too much fakery but it’s all too real.
It’s real enough because it leaves a mark. Drink too much and you’ll have a migraine. Stay up too late and you’ll feel like shit. Put a knife to your skin and you’ll leave a scar. Or maybe, if you’re lucky, you will die. I’ve tried dying but could never go through with it. Why? Cause there’s no proof that it gets better after death. But that’s another story. But things always leave a mark. A notch in your heart, if not elsewhere. Look here, this notch is for when my uncle told me I didn’t act the way little boys are supposed act. And this one is for when my aunt told me I acted like a girl. Little notches to be sure. Little wounds that felt big at the time. And some notches are bigger, deeper, fresher. This one is from too many days spent alone with no one to talk to. This one is from to many people wanting to know everything about me. This one is from never feeling good enough for anyone. It’s very deep, and rather raw.
Raw. It’s a beautiful thing when you only feel it occasionally. Like when you watch a movie and it grips your heart and when it’s done you go around saying that it was raw. Or when you feel the crushing weight of emotion and you say you felt raw. When you fall off your bike to the pavement and skin your knees. Or you stay up all night scratching the skin off your leg just to feel something. That’s what most people say raw feels like. What most people don’t know is that raw is a beautiful thing. It leaves you tingling and alive, nerve endings screaming, so full of feeling. Raw is a beautiful thing, in small doses.
When I feel raw it’s not because I fell of my bike, or because I watched a good movie. I feel raw because I’ve picked all my scabs off and dug into the wounds; ground my fingernails deep into the oozing flesh. When you’re all torn up but there is no blood – that is raw. When you stop feeling – that is dead.
So I must be dead.
That is the only answer. I just spent the better part of two hours bashing my leg with a belt buckle, trying to feel something a little more than – well than nothing. Nothing but this hollow, empty feeling that swallows up everything. Like I’m already in my coffin, rotting away under a layer of worms and dirt. I just have to open my eyes. Or shut them. Or something. I dunno. I just can’t feel anything but this constant hole that fills me up. This bleak emptiness
I’m washed out charcoal. I’m the meaningless smear, neither here nor there.
I’m just a corpse twitching under a grey sky in late November.
I just need erasing.