Rocket Man

*For Rocket
Rest now my friend,
And tell whoever is running the bar up there that you can have one on me.

Between the cementation of a wall, overlooking the stony shore, grew a thick green weed. It bushed dense and tight and felt like gelatine to touch, breathing through the moist boomerang tide. I lay alone along the pier, limbs still and eyes vacant, feeling a sense of serenity within my calm mind, comparable to the soft siren along the coast.

I hear a whisper:

“I am the Rocket man,” it says, “let me fly.”

My heart felt fatally lonely. My jaw was limp and my legs shaking; my hair matted and wet as I had been recently baptised. The soft dew within the thick sodden air brushing passed my cheeks left them blushed and rounded.

My thoughts were burning, turning like a leaf on the wind. Beginning to soar, my mind touched the edge of the cosmos and returned to the edge of the pier. My lips had turned pale blue and were ever so slowly developing a deep purple hue. My hands and forearms were laced with goose bumps and my back felt trodden and poor.

Outstretched, as if my crucifix had fallen back and planted itself firmly into the damp wooden planks that laced the pier beneath me, my head was settled in place, looking out to the clouds, trying to somehow make some form of sense within themselves. It was unbearably cold. Each gust of wind pierced me harsher than the previous and they never ceased. It was as if they wanted me to wake from a bad dream, as if someone was reassuring me of my place in the world, but I was very much awake.

The cold grew more rigid and the severity of its circumstance forced me to curl up into a foetal stance. My eyes fixed onto the tips of my fingers as the curled up into the palm of my hand. They started to water and feel itchy. They demanded attention. Still fixated on my right, my left arm rose to my face and brushed them gently.

Soft and delicate to touch, my skin was pale and icy cold. As my vision cleared and my eyes rolled back into their rightful position, I was introduced to a faint silhouette gliding along the pier towards me. It seemed unnatural, as if all of my delusions had manifested into this figure and sent themselves towards me.

Slender, tall and black as the night, the figure lurched itself closer and closer as I found myself rising to meet it face to face. As my vision cleared thoroughly I met a pair of deep brown eyes. They cut me; right through the very being of my soul. It was a superb greeting. It allowed me to feel again. It allowed me to think straight for the first time in weeks.

Leaning forward slightly, a hand reached out from the figure and took up my own. The hand was soft to touch, gentle with a light layer of hair along the knuckles of each finger. Bronze in colour and wrinkling with age, the hand seemed unfamiliar yet it comforted me. Something about the figure made me feel at home on that pier but I just couldn’t understand why. I wanted to speak, but I couldn’t. Some dull part of myself wanted me to keep quiet.

Before I knew it, it was too late. It was impossible for me to go back, and it has been ever since that day. Just as the dust and the sand picked up in the wind, the figure had almost faded into the thickness of the air and I lay flat on my back drifting once more into my own mind, alone, dark and colder that the very air of the arctic ocean.

I awoke some time later in a hospital bed. My right arm was attached to a thin tube that funnelled some gloopy white liquid directly into my blood. I felt it thickening my veins and leaving me weak and limp. My family and friends surrounded me a looked on with guilt and sadness. I wished to ask why my daughter was crying but I could not speak.

The hospital radio kept me company along my journey into the night. I felt the kiss of fictions past, press down on me like the needle on a record play, allowing me to spin; allowing me to move. My eyes shut tightly as the music plays on, carrying me off into the world of the unknown. I await the adventures to come. I look on my life like a dream.

“I’m not the man they think I am at home.
I’m a rocket man;
Burning out his fuse up here alone.”



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