or should that be
Lying here on the bed in the small room, I can’t make out whether it is the sound of the second-hand clicking its way round the old, very old plastic clock with one of those cheap nondescript batteries that looks like it has been in there for decades perpetually driving the hands round as lives disappear and all comers enter and leave the room, or whether it is the drip of water from the tap over the little chipped sink in the bathroom. The tap that however tight you turn it, that never can quite stop the issuance of a further drop of water at a regular interval that a time better than that aging clock could be set by.
It was my life. It was moving inexorably along. Whether out of my control or in it any more I didn’t know. The bed was a large one. One of those they call king size and it filled virtually the whole room except for the small wooden table and stool and the little bathroom with the dripping tap to the left. It was hot in that room. The windows were open but the turgid motionless air left no flow through the dust encrusted screens leaving the sunbleached curtains hanging limply from the their wires. Teh lareg slowly turning electric fan on the ceiling offered some respite as long as you remained still in the center of the bed. In the dip where so many bodies had over time driven whatever padding was inside the springless mattress away from the center.
It is here I sit writing into this now nearly full notebook. I still wonder if Mick saw who it was in those final seconds. No that is actually an understatement. as I need to know he saw it was me and know exactly why it happened, but of course that is something I will never get and answer too and it something that over the years has become an obsession to knowing an answer to. Every hour, every day, very week, every year it all comes back to this as I live in my own private purgatory of needing to know what is impossible to know but never being able to move on. Even now Mick is long gone and all the others in this sordid tale are either no more or long-lost touch with each other, I remain it seems forever linked to Mick and the events and never able to break away. But break away I must. Too many years have already been spent in this purposeless inevitability; this obsession; this fear that what I did was ultimately a waste because Mick never knew even for that last second, and if that were true I was not only a failure but I had also broken every belief and ideal I held for what was ultimately nothing.
This will be the last chapter in this book, and as much as I would like to destroy the whole record in an orgy of flames I know I can’t do that. I cannot destroy what has become part of me. I cannot destroy my confession. But also I cannot leave it open and publicized. No I am too much of a coward for that. So as usual I will take the half measure. I will discard it somewhere where it wont be destroyed, or at least not for a long time and only by decision of others. I will leave it somewhere where it may be discovered but only by luck and probably not for a long time. I will leave it somewhere where it may remain until I am long gone from this place, this town, this country or even this life. In effect I leave my story to fate, not that anyone would know who I am for I have been careful to keep my name and the real names of those who may remember or know from this whole record. I am too much of a coward for that.
It is now time to move on. I don’t know if the ghosts of the past can be exorcised or will fade over time or even if those ghosts are highly personal ones that only exist because of me or whether they are more linked to location, but I do know that if I cannot escape them now they will have me forever and gradually just eat me away until I can’t bear it any longer, so I have to try. It is funny that eventually, however long it takes, there is some survival instinct that comes like the first bud of crocus in spring. Coming from nowhere to give a possibility of hope. A possibility however, unlikely it seems of a chance to change.
I have my bag packed with whatever belongings I still have remaining and it is on the bed just waiting for me to purposefully pick it up and walk out of the door to whatever future encounters await me, but I sit now on the stool still writing these final few sentences. I am hot now and my sweaty hand dampens the pages making writing harder. Or is it just ideas, thoughts and expressions come harder now the end? Or is it that I can’t really break away from this, and want to wallow more?
There isn’t really much more to say now I think about it like this. The whole story is these pages and there is enough repetition to make it clear, so it just remains for me to drop this notebook down behind the headboard of the large immobile solid wooden bed. That seemed a good place to leave it. Then to pick up the bag and walk down the stairs to pay the old Chinese Thai woman for theses last three days I have stayed in the guest house. Then it would be out into the alley and a quick stroll to the end onto Khao San Road where I would take the first taxi to the train station and from there the first train south to the Malaysian border where I would cross the border and that would be it. My affair with Thailand would be over never to be resurrected. It all seemed so simple.
And now as I feel the ghosts surround me and bring that feeling of darkness and hopelessness I know it is time to rise and place this book out of reach.
If anyone ever finds this account and gets this far I cant tell you what the next chapter in my life was or would be. Maybe this story will ring a bell with something read in a newspaper or maybe it will be meaningless or even regarded as a complete fiction, but whatever anyone makes of it even if it is ever found, I know I will be free of something, something that consumed enough of my time over these last few years. Now however, it is time to move on and this is the final entry, of that I am fairly certain.