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16 October 2014
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Matt Garrett

Matt has been a member of the Blackmountain Writers for about four years. He was involved in the Poetry in Motion initiative and was published in their most recent poetry anthology and had a poem inscribed on the glass sculpture. He enjoys writing poetry and short stories, but will attempt any form of writing. He is currently taking an arts and humanities degree through the Open University.

Resolution - a diary entry for New Years day by Matt Garrett

Thursday 1st January.

For the sake of Auld Lang Syne the weather is dismal – a well worn, well- known uniform of grey allied only with ducks.

With the binding tight, a new page is turned. The taut spine ripples into veins on the leather-bound cover. Every opening feeds a new tributary until the mass converge running into the slipstream of life which this year is called 2004.

As life passes by, new chapters will be written for each new day, caressed by a silky ribbon divider that becomes the lonesome boatman on this river we call life. Nobody sees what this boatman knows. Waves of words, highs and lows lap his bough, run him aground, ride the storms and sometimes lay anchor in calm waters. But he’s never run the fury of a storm called truth, always managed to steer clear. This year though he is about to set sail.

Today I killed a man. The wind is in my sails.

I trussed him up like a Christmas Turkey in a butcher's shop window and let him hang. It’s the right time of year for disposing of dead wood. Rubbish skips everywhere house the remains of the season’s festive trees. Their lifeblood seeping as honey coloured sap. Now, congealed it slowly cries from every orifice.

I was methodical. I covered every angle and made sure I did the job right. But now I write this as a dead man walking, and I fear. I am starting to feel afraid. Afraid of what will happen to me and what people might say, I can hear them now. But who are they to judge? They should be patting themselves on the back. They killed him.

I watched him over a long period of time and knew him better than most, that’s why it was easy, I knew his every move. But he was elusive, very elusive. On the surface he looked normal, with a wife and child this model father was the vaccination of immorality. He was paid reasonably well, and he dressed and groomed to perfection. He had friends - they may beg to differ, but he did acquaint himself with a few. On the very rare occasions that he did socialise, his pecking order in the brood would be the grain, mostly noticeable when he went to the toilet or bar and a glance would confirm that feeding had begun. When he returned the gluttons then regurgitated their belched laughter, then a boring conversation to break the silence.

His friends or foes, whichever is preferred, were not too perfect either, and given more time I may have witnessed them pull a wishbone of hindsight. Of the few acquaintances he had, one sticks out. This guy was thirty-something with a body weight to match. He was single and living with his mother. He was a mummy’s boy, a curtain-twitching busybody. A gossip whose apron strings hung on every word and movement.

The type of man who gained comfort and sought approval by gossiping about other people’s shortcomings, diverting attention from his own. There was also the clichéd confidence building materialistic boys toys. The car, top of the range and always shone to perfection, the thick and chunky jewellery hanging around his bulldog neck. All in all, he was the dog without the bone, digging holes everywhere.

These people with their sad and lonely existences prompted my action. One day the Bulldog will sit on his hind legs, ease his heckles and see the error of his ways, but for now I will present him with a gift called guilt. When he does hear about his acquaintance's demise, rest assured he will cry his crocodile tears among the crowd, use the soundbytes to his advantage and over a cheap toast pick another sad, unsuspecting victim to bully and harangue. I pity them.

As my turkey hung I could hear his heartbeat and feel his fear, yet sense his relief. He had lived his life as the subject of ridicule, a social misfit to the inverted snobs surrounding him, the Jack the lads who scorned the very thought that he was different.

I wonder who will find him. Will it be his wife? She would be the most likely. If so what would her first reaction be? Shock, then anger, but in the aftermath when all’s said and done she could sit silently and reminisce about the good times. About when their only child was born and the joy that that brought to them - watching her little eyes, pools of eyes looking to them for the first time in recognition of their voices. Her first steps, first words.

Although I have attached feelings of fear to my actions, I cannot feel any guilt, this will be left to many others, those with vested interest, but not I. They see his wife walking the road alone with the pushchair, unable to give her a lift, not knowing how to break the awkward silence. They’d pass places whilst making connections. The church where they had got married. The graveyard- they would pass the graveyard and she’d glance out of the window while quietly mouthing the words "Hello love". His daughter would light up with a big smile and say "Hiya daddy". No, I will leave that guilt to others.

I started off my diary entry sailing into a storm called truth. With wind in my sails I’ve made it to the other side, but I have made it there in more ways than one. Whoever should happen to be reading this entry say "Hello" to its author. He is the man hanging beside where you stand. I wonder if I am smiling? I was when I wrote this. I was happy and at ease because I knew I was about to kill this man. A man that I did not like…myself.

At last I have a resolution that I can stick too. My New Year's resolution has become a success.

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