Collateral Damage

– there’s a shadow lurking, somewhere nearby

There was an odd sense of humour,

At some point, maybe halfway,

There was an odd sense of humour.


It happens when you’ve long since stopped tallying the times you’ve heard this. It gets funny. It becomes a little bit hilarious, to hear the truth, over and over again.


Until it becomes a little delirious

Maybe because the truth has stopped digging its way out of your very existence. It slices now.

It’s as if you’re experiencing sleep paralysis. You can’t move, but you’re fully aware of the terror that is seizing you.

You are fully aware of the monsters that are lounging beside you. Around you.

You just done know when they’ll strike.


So you call out to the only help you want to know. But you’re just lying on the ground, banging your tiny feet against the bathroom door. No motion is made to console you. You wonder – in a seizing state of panic – why. The door must be soundproof. That is the only explanation that makes sense. Only later will you realise that your infantile anguish fell upon deaf ears.

It happens when you realise what it means to be a minor inconvenience. Then a major one.

Then a minor one again, and the cycle just continues.

You begin to realise that you’re stuck in a sort of limbo.

Where you’re in between a disappointment and something to get rid of.

You’re in between unrealistic expectations, and their need to suffocate you with a pillow as they laugh whilst you scream.

It’s why your throat just closes sometimes, and you just can’t breathe. It’s when your body realises that there’s something better than this.

It’s when you want things to be over, when you want to be over. But you’re still scared of the consequences of failure.

You’re always scared of the consequences of failure.


It’s wanting to burn, when someone tells you that you’re amazing. When you want to burn for their sin. But they don’t really know.

There’s a whole other creature curled up, caged inside your chest. There’s a monster that’s afraid of their eyes and terrified of the sound of laughter.


There’s a monster inside that you’ve created, and you have no way to get rid of it. There’s a monster that was conceived by terror in inquietude and born at quarter past self-hatred.

And now, you’re not so sure, but it might be ten to midnight, and you aren’t sure if you can wait.