Monday, 28 July 2008
Chimneys and aerials
First came the chimneys.
Flues to flush out the wasted energies of our lives, the remnants of the warmth, spent and blasted out straight up at heaven.
Later came the aerials.
They settled overnight, like an invading alien army, landing and settling upon our rooftops as softly as winter snow.
And as one pushed the waste out, so the other sucks it back in – twisting it through the thinnest strands of wire and cable – before blasting it straight out of the living room smog and into our faces.
The watching nation is sitting comfortably. They want for nothing, yet they barely own a possession in their home.
And their television, it sings to them, lulling them to sleep with one eye open. Because all the nightmares they need to feel alive, they happen right there on the TV screen, projected into their homes and minds.
Their sickest dreams crawl, with lank hair and mud, straight out of their flatscreens, scraping and bloody across the floor, and slide right into their fireplace.
There the nightmares will hand you a match and ask you to light them up. Soon they’ll be soot and ashes again, black snowflakes of fear. Broken and bitesize.
Because they need you to feel safe too: safe enough in your homes, but scared enough not to walk too far from your door. Safe enough to gather our families around the television come winter, keeping us all warm by its familiar glow.