Matthew Scurfield I COULD BE ANYONE, all rights reserved.

Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on LinkedIn





He wrestled the cut and thrust on the inside, clinging to a heightened sense of what was going on outside, until the tears drained from his eyes. In an assumed and accepted vacuum of obscurity, chained to an ever-increasing weight of bitter shortcomings, he cries out in hope of utopia in the other world.


Nobody hears a word, no one cares.

Trust the present, with its loops of déjà vu, dishing up the same old wilful annihilation, pulling strings of self-destruct, in the same old slammer, with the same four walls moving in, geared up, to crush the life out of him.

Looking to the never-end, in-between the bricks, he could do nothing but ponder two questions…

Was he knowledgeable, wise enough, to exonerate and bury those ongoing persuasions this time around, or would the psych police, with their tight-fisted, barbed-wire, constructions, take over his head, implode and destroy what was left of his equilibrium?

Needing more time than most to think things through, to catch up on an answer, he was marked down as distracted from the get go, slow, a dud squib. In other words, by the warden’s account, he was more trouble than worth.

Forgotten, but not forsaken... the future slowly evaporated into a faded dream, while the past, misplaced in time, got diverted and detained, before he had a chance to understand the duplicity. Saving any remaining self-respect, from going down the toilet, became a daily occurrence, harder to keep from view, as the clock reeled off the calendar… days, weeks, months, then years…

Familiarity with his surroundings saw the regime, with its candid routine, including the violent jibes, become sanitised, normalised; a known and acceptable, daily, reality. With a wary and pronounced awareness, for what might sneak in behind, he engaged with an occasional documentary, or fictional spectacle, at least the ones they allowed him to watch. On guard, yet somehow deeply unconnected, (who wants to be normal anyway?), inertia and boredom set in, enough for his eye to wander over words in a book…

Honing his literary skills, from eyeballing comics, tabloids and hardboiled narratives in the rooms and corridors of the lifer, his curiosity gradually caught the better of him. Despite the company continuing to label him a cretin, not a day went by when he didn’t thank the lord for the basic understanding of the alphabet he’d picked up in a previous life. The bindings thrown in his direction, any number of pages, from any book, saw the hunger for stories, information and knowledge, increase and the prospects of his confinement diminish.

The more he read, the more he saw how ill-informed he was. Parched of clarity, he had no hesitation in asking for every book, film and paper, covering the genre of his chosen field. Overall, they obliged, gave him what he wanted. However, if it wasn’t in the library, or they were feeling bloody minded, damned by their lack of interest in his, they delighted in prolonging the lag, teasing him, till anger cut a slice from the eye – he came within an inch of losing his mind, but never gave them the satisfaction, swallowed his pride and waited.

Navigating streams of consciousness, he plumbed the depths, clambered dizzy heights, to reach the stars, until it seemed as if he were lost forever. From the written word, a pathological acknowledgment for the humanities, social sciences and biophysics, a need for understanding the wider implications of why we are here, engaged his imagination and lifted his spirit. He torched the fabled spark, lighting up a cosmological path. Passing over the threshold, between life and death, in search of that mythological building block, he ascended a rigid, tangible, environment, this hard realm of material force, and took flight.

Turning The Stone