The group filed past a sign that read, “Gawping Zoo: Feel free to stop and stare.” They were a party of office workers on a works social. The Zoo’s employees smiled knowingly as they watched the group excitedly head straight for the freak show as ‘all those young professional types tended to’.
Several members of the group flinched as they prepared to pass through one of those string curtain things, that had been favoured at the expense of a door, into the dark room that housed the freak show exhibition. The room remained dark but there must have been a sensor or something because the moment the last member of the group passed through the string curtain a tone sounded. Then a voice began an announcement in one of those rather posh but unambiguous accents that always seem to make the announcements on public address systems.
“Welcome to Gawping Zoo: Feel free to stop and stare,” the voice began with an introduction that would become very familiar to any visitors before the end of their ‘day out.’ “You have entered the freak show exhibit and here we start with the best. So may I present to you all, the unspeakable, the unmentionable, the bad apple, the black sheep, the disgrace to the family. I bring you, ‘the foul beast.’”
There was a collective sigh as the lights went up and the curtain opened on the bars of the beasts cage. The light was dim and all they could see was an indefinable dark object in the corner cage but they could hear a low mumbling groan coming from it. Then the announcement began again, “oh, and I nearly forgot to mention don’t stand too close to the cage. Because although the low mumbling groans you can here are just the ramblings of a diseased mind, rumour has it that if you listen for too long then you will be enchanted by the mesmeric power of the beast.” There then followed a stunned silence that was broken as Rich the office joker stepped forward placing his ear almost against the bars of the cage saying, “lets ‘ave a listen then."
Then Rich, the office joker, began to listen…“Suddenly I feel an unbridgeable distance developing between us,
As if that brief, intense, passionate connection we made has been brutally severed!
There was no high drama, no big argument, nothing that you said,
But between every line I read of a great gap emerging.
Alarm bells are silently ringing in my head, accompanied by a rising tension,
And an overwhelming sense of loss, grief and despair.
These feelings are inexplicable, they seem cut adrift from reality,
Yet they are so tangible, so painful and so raw.
I want to get them out of my mind, to purge myself and my thoughts,
I feel deeply unsettled and anxious, uncomfortable in my own skin.
I’m like a tortoise retreating into it’s shell in the face of imminent danger,
Like a computer preparing to shut down.
As if all that hope faith and love that had begun to rise had violently crash landed,
Leaving me disarmed, naked, abandoned and vulnerable.
Then I turned my attention to the fact that these thoughts had no logic to them,
But that brought me no comfort, rather I turned in on myself, against myself.
My depression deepened as I began to question my sanity,
My thoughts revolving in vicious circles.
It occurred to me where was God in all this?
But not here because I pushed Him away was my best answer.
Then I turned against myself again,
Chastising myself for the lack of faith and understanding.
Suddenly I saw these thoughts on paper and I realised I had been writing them down,
And I thought why am I exposing people to something so ugly,
Such a wretched thing deserves to be hidden away so not to offend peoples eyes,
The truth of its existence, if at all possible should be buried so deep it can never be found,
And then I lost the courage to continue, lost confidence in the fact that I should, lost hope of ever escaping this rut that is the consequences of my own actions and therefore thoroughly deserved!"
At first he found the beast’s words quite captivating, but soon its initially appealing intensity took on a desperate and a pointless tone and his eyes developed that ‘glazed over’ look. A look, by now, so familiar to the beast. A look that is soon followed by the turn of a shoulder as it was now.
As Rich turned back to face the group voices eagerly demanded to know what he’d seen and heard. “That? Oh, it was just some random nutter going off on one about all the shit going on in his head. But do you know what the funny thing was? He fancies himself as some kind of poet! Me enchanted, no, don’t be stupid!”, he replied.
Experimental, what do you think?