On Thursday he woke up with an idea. What he would do was, he would write down a list of all the bad thoughts that he had ever had. He would then go into the garden and burn them. He was not sure why he had to burn them. He was not sure why he had to do it in the garden. He did not see any point in going into the specifics. He was sure that this would act as a symbol for him, that this would clear his mind once and for all, and thus burnt the thoughts would leave him and from then on he would be able to do the dishes at a reasonable hour and get to sleep nice and quickly and not think about anything before sleeping. Nothing at all.
First he would have to buy a new notebook, so that he could write down all of the thoughts. He had notebooks but part of them had already been used for things, and he wasn't sure how many thoughts he would write down so he would need to have a lot of pages free so that he would be able to get them all. Also he figured that having it all ot its own notebook would increase the potency of the symbol, would make it clearer in his head and discourage him from associating anything else he had written with the bad thoughts, and maybe reminding him of the bad thoughts, when there would be the notebooks that had held the pages that had held them. So he would buy a notebook. Which meant he had to go into town.
Before he went into town, he would have to put some proper clothes on, of course, and before he put any proper clothes on he would have to get washed properly and it had been a good five days or so until he'd had a proper shower so it was a welcome opportunity. While he was in the shower he remembered that he would also have to buy a pen or two, because he was not sure how many pens he had, because he wanted to have enough ink to get all his thoughts down. If he had a troubling thought and he didn't have a pen there to write it down then the thought would stay in his head until he wrote it down, and who knows what would happen in that space of time.
While he was in town there were probably other things he could do. Going into town took a good half hour at the least either way, not even counting the wait for the bus, not even counting all the walking around town he would have to do, from one place to another, as the young adults walked past him and in front of him, in lines wide enough to fill the whole street but that never moved to let him past until the very last second, and even then not enough for them not to knock into him. He would have to make the most of it. There were a lot of things that he needed to do.
For one he needed to get some new shoes. The ones he had at the moment had begun to grow holes somewhere, holes that he couldn't detect but that were large enough to let the rain through, and it was getting to the time of year where the last thing you wanted to wear if you were going anywhere were shoes that let the rain through, and if he left it any longer then he wouldn't even be able to walk to get new shoes without it raining and the shoes he was wearing letting the rain through. Maybe he would get some kind of foot disease. He had heard that was a thing. Another thing he needed to do at some point was get that book he had heard about, heard someone mention on the Internet somewhere. Maybe if he found a good story then that would help him to feel better. And he needed to start reading more books, he figured. That was how people improved themselves. If he read more books then he would be able to think better, and at parties he could have something to talk about with the other people who had gone to the party. Something along those lines. He was not sure where these parties would be. He did not see any point in going go into the specifics.
So he got his clothes on, though they were not the clothes he would have preferred to wear, they were old T-shirts that had started to grow holes in, only if you were looking, of course, only if you were paying special attention to it, but still he didn't want to have to go outside wearing it if he could avoid it. People would notice. They wouldn't say anything, and he probably wouldn't even notice them noticing it, but that was worse. One day, a while back, before things had gotten so bad, he had spent about half a day or so with a noticable stain on his shirt, the whole half day, without realising it. And he had thought of all the people he knew or didn't know that must have noticed him, that must have thought this was just a part of his character, that he didn't care about himself or respect himself enough to clean up what was a horrible stain on the whole front of the shirt. Since then he had always made sure to look down now and then. People would notice him. The young adults in their jeans and messenger bags. Maybe if he bought some new trousers, he would look better, or a new shirt or two. Then he wouldn't feel so bad walking down the street in front of them. Maybe they might say hello to him and then he could say hello back to them and ask them what their name was. But that would have to be another day. He already had enough on his plate to cope with.
The bus was late. He had shown up a few minutes early because sometimes the bus was early but he didn't like standing at the bus stop for too long because he didn't know what to think about, and sometimes when he thought too much he would think the kind of bad thoughts that he had been having. He would have to be careful, when he started writing them down. He didn't want to have to have to get out his notebook in the bus stop especially when other people were there, because then they might see his book full of bad thoughts or think less of him. And maybe he wouldn't know what they thought but that might stop him in future from being completely honest about the bad thoughts in his notebook, he would start censoring himself in case somebody might see them. And that seemed to defeat the entire point of the notebook, really, if he couldn't be honest about the bad thoughts he had been having, there would still be some left in his head. And worse, they would be the worst thoughts, the ones that he was the most ashamed of, and they would be the only bad thoughts left and so all the bad thoughts he had would be the very worst and the most shameful. He would have to be careful at the bus stop, he supposed. Maybe buy a smaller notebook. Or write in some secret code that only he could understand. There were codes on the internet, he imagined, that he might be able to learn if he took the effort to. Maybe he should buy another notebook, to practice in.
While the bus was late he wondered how many minutes of his life had been spent waiting for things. How many minutes of his life had been spent standing in one place thinking about nothing in particular. He wondered what he would think if he had to wait all that time at once. If he could keep all those minutes in his head at once. How he could cope if his memory hadn't protected him by locking those experiences away. He wondered if the only reason he could function at all was because of the selective destruction of unhelpful memories. He wondered what else he was hiding from himself. He wondered what was being hidden from him in every aspect.
When the bus came he realised that this was exactly the kind of thought he was planning to write down. He must be sure to remember it. It would be the very first one in the notebook.
Thanks for reading.