In and out

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , on January 11, 2011 by abandonata

I was never going to stay. I have spent too long here, eating my own flesh like Ugolino. A year on, I know where the postern gate is, I can come and go, and stay away for longer. Enough of that. From Hell, the path goes uphill through Purgatory.

This is the end of the Slough, at least for now. I might scrawl graffiti on the walls on my visits, but I’m checking out of my room. It’s not worth keeping a room here, and I can’t sub-let it for much – there aren’t so many people keen to come and stay who don’t have a place already.

So I’ll hand in my key, and try to find somewhere else to go.


Snakes and ladders

Posted in Uncategorized with tags on December 20, 2010 by abandonata

Why is there a snake at the top of every ladder? There’s supposed to be a few clear squares before a snake, to give you the chance of avoiding it. I don’t think they know the rules here.

A long walk?

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , on December 10, 2010 by abandonata

What is the other side of the fence? If I get out of the Slough one day when they’re not looking – and they seem to pay less and less attention – is it a very, very long walk back to civilisation? What’s in the hinterland? Or is it no-man’s land? Is there a map? I can see why some people prefer to stay here. Anxiety is a tiresome companion, especially on a long trip.


Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , on December 8, 2010 by abandonata

I wander near the edge of the Slough several days a week now. They seem less vigilant – the pizzigamorte with their big tridents either patrol lazily or don’t care that I touch the fence and look out.

But little black shapes, fleet and cruel, snatch at my ankles with needle teeth and claws at every step. Sometimes they attach, sometimes they don’t. I prise them off, but often leave teeth embedded. Their bodies pile up in the corner of my room. The cleaners won’t touch them. They have to stay, trophies or victims, like me.

Dead things

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , on December 6, 2010 by abandonata

There are lots of dead things around the Slough. Winter doesn’t help. Too many days spent looking at their little bodies and wishing things could have been different… And then sometimes even the corpse is stolen by a hungry scavenger. Some are taken before they are quite dead, when a bit of warmth might have saved them.

At least I’m not a winter-ravaged carrion-eater stalking the bleak edges of the Slough.

Black feathers in the snow.


Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , on November 30, 2010 by abandonata

Snow in the Slough again. This all started with snow. Everything has always started and ended with snow.

I expected snow would mix with the mud of the slough in hideous slush this winter, hard to drag feet through. But snow blankets the Slough with beauty, hides the ruts, hummocks and treacherous pits.

I am suffering from terminal naivety, still trusting in the smooth surface, wanting to believe honesty exists. Naivety is the word for trust in the real world.


Posted in Uncategorized with tags , on November 25, 2010 by abandonata

I am exiled from my own life, from myself. Cut adrift, not allowed home, home gone.