From Temenos: The Temple of the Dispossessed

From the Temple of the Dispossessed      Monologue II


The Addict’s existence.


We live under the constant mantle of darkness, we live in our own country, to which you don’t have a map, and even if you did you wouldn’t willingly choose to come here. You can’t see us, not because we are invisible, but because you don’t want to. Our words are broken, unadorned and yet when we speak its like the words are tentacles and they give breath to the unformed, the unspeakable. In the heartland of outcasts, our feet are entangled in webs and shadows, our souls shaking in the fissures of dreams and nameless perils, the slow, careful unstitching of the mind and the body. We’re all sick, in body or mind, we all live in the shadow that the city, and it’s oh so normal inhabitants, cast. And you need us, you need us to make you feel better about your little lives and your careful plans and your superannuation and your careers and your dreams for children as yet unborn. We are the bedrock of your prefabricated homes; we are the place you don’t want your own children to go.


When I was a kid I had a dream. I thought when I grow up I want to be a junkie, not a fireman, not an astronaut, no, much more exciting than that, I’ll be a junkie; it will be such fun. I can be reviled, scapegoated and endlessly tormented while I negotiate the next hit, the next tiny window of oblivion. When she (young woman) was young she had a dream too, she wanted to be a schizophrenic, it will be such fun she thought, and I can make a really interesting career out of that. I can be medicated, institutionalized and degraded. We’ll both grow up to be worthless, we thought, that’ll be different.


 It’s interesting how you blame us entirely for what we became. Socio-economics, you say, children at risk, single parents, genetically predetermined to become the filth, the scum, the scab on the wounds of your culture. We are not quiet, nor biddable, nor easy to look at.


 We frighten you.


I think that if you are sane in the vicious world in which we live, then there really is something wrong with you. This is the frontline, the high risk area, the casualty zone of your bland, monochromatic and sanitized lives. And it is dark here, as dark and beautiful as a black opal, there are moments of such intensity and beauty that they hold back the constant tide of pain. There are little fragments of compassion, a woman who brings us soup, and a man who lets us sleep in his parking lot; in the conspiracy of silence, there are those who will speak out, regardless. In this fragile world we live with prophets and visionaries who are made vulnerable by the beauty of a night sky, stars wheeling above us, the seed husks of autumn, the unforgiving passage of time. Death and beauty are our best friends.



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