An extreme close up of a cigarette squeezed between an index finger, red teeth marks on it, and a thumb, then the tab goes out of focus and the image is blurred, a jump cut to an extreme long shot of Darry leaning his back to an ordinary building, he's showed from the other side of the street, a few cars slowly pass by.
I carefully examine goose bumps covering my bare shoulders, no jacket upon my white t-shirt. It's cold enough to freeze the balls of a brass and I'm shivering, the precise physical experience I need to start perceiving the presence of my own body. Cold, pain, including vomiting, help to deal with detachment. How can you feel not real and overloaded with the reality at the same time?
There's too much of the reality around me, and it's hard to say, if it's fake or if it's real, too much noises, too much echoes, too much lights, too much objects, too much shadows, too much visual data, data data data data data data data datadatadatadatadatadata, that become imprinted onto my brain, and I can't get rid of those pictures, pictures, picturespicturespicturespictures inside my head, I close my eyes, but still see the street, only the colours have changed to some sort of a film negative, but with the same clear details. I need to get those pictures out. There's not enough storage for all of them. I open my eyes again, wishing to run back to my flat and shut myself there for a week, then I take a deep drag and check my mobile, no news updates since morning, but a lot of popping ads, no unread messages, no surprise, a spam filter is working well, and Mike never writes when he's out of the city. What an arsehole! He tells me he has a serious business to do and I'm not the fucking centre of the Earth, which I don't even deny, thankfully, I'm not, but I don't believe he doesn't have a couple of minutes once a week for a chat, I don't need more, only two minutes to feel less isolated. That's not a question of time, but a question of motivation. Well, It's my fucking problem that I'm unable to make friends, that any communication wears me out, that I'm overwhelmed and bored with people and my job, even if it doesn't require any professional skills.
Not willing to go back inside so soon, I light the second cigarette, but don't take it into my mouth, just watch it burn slowly.
It's my problem that Mike is the only close person I have, nevertheless, I believe he could have done some effort to pretend he cares about me, not only about himself. He doesn't get in touch, because he's afraid someone finds out that we're not just flatmates. He always tells me that, unlike me, he has a real job, and thus can't be in an open relation. I desperately want to write to him, but I force myself from it, and reload a messenger box a couple of times, experiencing a stupid mixture of feelings, hope, sadness, anger, loneliness and everlasting emptiness. Oh what the hell. Semiconsciously, I go through online newspapers, then put the phone back inside the pocket of my jeans, the studio front door opens wide, and the make up girl, what's her name? Cassy? Claire? Charlotte? Natalie? walks out, dressed in a wool coat and ankle boots, her long ginger hair fluttering. All I remember is that she's studying graphic design at college, and I envy her terribly, even knowing I could never handle attending university myself, even if I could.
'What a wonderful autumn weather' She comments with what must be counted as a heartwarming smile, though it doesn't warm either my heart, or my body, shitty metaphors, and I just reply hm, yeah, and avoiding to look into her face, I fasten my gaze on my sneakers and pavement stones. Gosh, how I hate those small talks.
'I believe you have ruined Max's self esteem.' She chuckles.
'Oh no, no, no, on the contrary, now he thinks he's even greater than he considered himself before, with such wankers like me working for him.'
'Why do you always need to rattle his cage?'
Because I'm vulnerable and afraid of showing my vulnerability. I don't say it aloud.
'Always? Nah, just occasionally.' I bite my lip hard. I'm afraid of people, I don't know how to communicate with them and sarcasm and misbehaving are the only affordable strategies, you cannot not communicate (not), I don't communicate therefore I am, a shitty metaphor, I'm so irritated by people I'm working with because all of them are fucking sure they're doing something important while they don't. Mediocre people take mediocre crappy pictures and sell them to mediocre people who are happy to buy mediocre shit. Why the fuck do I care? Because I think that photographers and artist are responsible for implanting a good taste? Because I'm certain that art can change the world? Wrong. Fucking wrong. Art changes nothing. I'm so irritated because I believe I'm not mediocre, my works are better than many others' I've seen, and yet, nobody wants to buy them. Fucking nobody. This job, it's getting me nowhere. When you're at school, you believe that once you grow up things will get easier, but they don't, you switch jobs, and it's still all the fucking same. Nothing becomes easier. All my life is about going from one nowhere-fucking-near-to-something-I-really-want-to-do point to the next point even further away. And who's in charge for that circling around? I am. It's arrogance, snobbism, stupidity and probably even schizo, with all those pictures in my head, probably I'm not even real, probably I'm a dead pixel in a .psd file. Can a dead pixel be fixed? Another shitty metaphor.
Then indistinctly I hear the girl saying something and slowly return to what is supposed to be the reality.
'Do you have any plans for Saturday?' She repeats. There's a small uncomfortable pause.
Anxiety. Small talks anxiety. Incoming call anxiety. Missed call anxiety. Unread messages anxiety. Taking public transport anxiety. Going out anxiety. Not going out anxiety. Having sex anxiety. Not having sex anxiety.
'Yeah, to stay home, draw sketches, then immediately start hating them, tear them apart and roll down on a floor crying.' She laughs. The truth is easily mistaken for a joke. Then I notice that she stares at my arms and she notices that I've noticed, and she turns her face away from my fresh pink scars very fast, stops laughing and remarks.
'Look, I'm going to hang out with my pals, it would be nice if you join us, text me if you change your mind.'
'Sure. Probably, I'll come and take some snaps.'
'You're not going anywhere without your camera, are you?' Finally, she departs and I breathe out. What's her name? Ruth. It's Ruth.
[Darry Voice over]
I actually do go out on Saturday and yes, I never go out without my Polaroid. The whole Saturday night is a black out, to onlookers I'm absolutely normal, from time to time I'm even engaged in conversations, but I never remember anything afterwards, Polaroid snaps are evidence that the surrounding reality is real. If it's real hypothetically, of course. What if we are not real at all? There's no evidence that god exists or doesn't. What is the evidence that we do exist? Seeing is not believing. What if we're all just hallucinating? Well, this concept is not new. Which pill would I take? A red pill or a blue pill? No fucking clue. I don't remember which pill is the correct one to escape from illusions. Why I'm not able just to enjoy living my life, without doubting every step I take. Also, I have no idea how the film ended, could have never made myself watch it till the final credits.