THE BURDEN

Christine and I have a new post on Hijacked Amygdala.

hijacked amygdala

Chris R-0329 Image by Christine Renney

As a boy I would daydream about having special powers. Super strength or x-ray vision, the ability to shift shape and form at will or to stretch my limbs and torso in order to reach far into the distance. Of them all it was the last that I would eventually find myself capable of. Not the coolest nor, as I discovered, the most practical and, over the years, I have contemplated long and hard as to why, of the special powers I conjured and pondered in my youth, this one was to be my gift, my burden.

I have always been tall and thin, freakishly so. I was bullied at school and had to endure a barrage of embarrassingly unoriginal taunts. Name calling mostly. Olive – that was the one that stuck – after Olive Oyl. I learned to live with it. I had to, but…

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THE MESSAGE

Chris R-0099-2 Image by Christine Renney

As he walks Davis thinks almost constantly about stopping. This idea, more, this conviction plays in his head as if on a spool. An extract from a news bulletin but one he has missed, that he hasn’t heard, one, perhaps, he has had to invent.
It isn’t so much that Davis wants to stop, more that he feels it is necessary. That, if there were anyone still around to give out advice, someone from the Government perhaps, or the Army or the Police, the message would be to make the best of things and begin again.
But Davis doesn’t stop, and he doesn’t have to stray far from the road. There is so much now that is useless but Davis sifts through it in order to take what he needs. Food and drink, of course, or a change of clothes or a new pair of shoes. Occasionally he and one of the others will cross paths and they might nod at each other, even smile. But despite the message lodged in his head Davis keeps on walking.