​Misery Multiplication


I wake up to find Ian next to me in bed, having a seizure. I don’t have any blinds or curtains so the moon is all we have although tonight she behaves like lightning, piercing the darkness only when she wants to. I sit up and hold his face in both my hands as he flails about uncontrollably. He is frozen cold but my hands feel like they’re burning. The moon shows me that he is choking so I pull his tongue out of his mouth. I tell him that it’ll all be over soon. I’ve seen eyes as vacant as his before, eyes that are vacant but wild, vacant and wild all at the same time, but in that moment I can’t recall where. It’ll all be over soon. It’ll all be over soon, I promise. It passes. He is still. He can’t move his legs, even if he wanted to. He puts his head in my lap and cries. He cries for a long time. I play with his hair until he falls asleep and the moon disappears. He is the same age as I am and will be dead in six weeks. I wonder if he knows this now.

I wake up to find myself next to myself in bed, having a seizure. Sunshine is pouring in and I am blinded. I am trying to breathe in, I desperately need air, but at the same time my body is forcing bile up my throat. I am neither breathing in nor out, the retching pushes away any oxygen that I’ve managed to thieve, it’s all cancelled out. I don’t have any limbs. When I try to move, nothing happens. But at the same time I can see my arms and legs jerking violently. I recognise my tattoos and rings, this body must be mine. I feel like an ice cube in a blender. I wait for someone to turn the blender off but it just keeps on whizzing and whizzing and faster and whizzing and the sunshine disappears. I am the same age as Ian was when he died. I wonder if he knew.

I wake up to find my laptop playing She Lost Control by Joy Division. I never, ever fall asleep with music, tv or any artificial light on. I can’t. I need darkness and silence to sleep. I feel like I’ve been beaten up. I feel like I’ve been whizzed round a blender. My clothes are damp. My hair is wet. I’m bleeding all over. I’m holding a carving knife by its blade. There’s yellow bile on my shirt, chunks of my liver and stomach lining on a large grey t-shirt that I don’t recognise. I crawl to the mirror. My lips are blue. Dried blood covers my nose and lips, down to my chin, where there’s more dried yellow liquid. There’s a lump on my head the size of a golf ball. I’m sweating and shivering. My emergency supply of drugs is out on the floor. There’s a towel covered in dried blood. There is no sun or moon, there is nothing outside of this room, just me on the floor, staring into a dirty mirror at a pair of vacant and wild eyes that I can’t believe are mine, and Ian behind me whispering “…But she expressed herself in many different ways, until she lost control again, and walked upon the edge of no escape and laughed, I’ve lost control. She’s lost control again. She’s lost control. She’s lost control again. She’s lost control.” I am the same age as Ian was when he died. I wonder what he knows now.

2 thoughts on “​Misery Multiplication

  1. Oh… my goodness. This is absolutely incredible work. I am so affected by this I can’t even properly respond other than to say, I feel like I needed to read this today. Thank you for sharing this.

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