Sam the Bucket

Have to get going again soon. Will get going. Have to, will, whatever. Don’t know why I have to but will. It’s dark and no fixed shapes down here, though sometimes you may recognise a bit, but mainly you go on without noticing anything, it all seems the same, though obviously it is different, ups and downs, narrower or wider, sometimes you have to crawl on the belly….., curving, rarely much of a straight patch, sometimes but rarely sharp turns even a jagged V turns that takes you backwards. Then I suppose there are choices where tunnels lead off, sometimes three, once I had seven choices, I don’t remember choosing, they’re all the same to me, so every hundred yards or sometimes every few feet there are choices to be made, but all the choices are the same so you don’t notice making choices, and  wells, I have not gone down them myself, and  it nearly wore me out the few times I went up a shaft above, got cut to shreds, wriggling like a worrm only to find out or come out rather after a friction burning descent down a hole into another flat one so I suppose you could say I choose not to go down the wells or up the shafts, yes I do make that choice. There is the light, or more precisiely variations in the shades of darkness, never brighter than six feet ahead or behind when you can turn your to see, the light never stays the same for long but sometimes it changes quickly, drops a whole octave, other times you don’t notice the change but the darkness  is the same in that it is always doing that, I mean it is always dimming and the opposite whether quickly or slow, and because it is always doing this it is therefore the same, so of course you don’t notice it when you are out there. I am in a hole just now. Have to get going again soon, will get going. The temperature is like the dark in that it changes the same so warmer or colder, the fact you expect like routine, like it is Monday again every week, means that you don’t notice, it would have to do something really big to not be the same, but it is the same, it is the air you breathe so you just get used to it and don’t think about it, and even now in the hole it seems pretty pointless describing it, stating the obvious. I have to get going now, will get going, have to, will, there is no difference, it’s all the same to me.

Later. It must be later, I am somewhere else. I have new cuts and bruises on me. I  know I am still me because I have written the words and I still have the words I wrote in the other place. It must be later because there is some bread and half an apple in my hole with me. They let you choose your food. You get a card and it has five items on it. You tick which two you want, you are allowed the choice. That is why they give you a pen. Sam the Bucket makes sure you have always got a pen to tick the food you want.  He has a bucket full of pens and wherever you go you meet him and he checks your pen and gives you a new one if it does not work. I  use the pen to write on my body so I can remember I am the same person and not somebody else.  I  started writing on my right foot and am just below the right knee now. It must be later, I must be the same person. I have got a new bone. It is a good one with a knobbly bit at the end. The bones fall out the shafts above. Over time many go up there and get stuck and when their body falls to bits the bones drop down.  Have to get going soon, will get going. The other thing that is always the same is when suddenly the temperature goes off and the darkness goes out, and everything stops, everybody stops, and something presses hard on the eyballs and there are lots of atoms tingling and then you stop, say if you are poking someone with a bone who is coming towards you down a narrow tunnel and only one can get past, say if you are prodding them hard in the eye and they are punching your nose with a knee bone, or say you are copulating, whatever you are doing then it always stops and the next thing you are somewhere else, usually in a hole, not always with the food, sometimes in a different tunnel. You  can never tell, that is what makes it the same, it always happens, you get used to it and you don’t notice unless you are in a hole eating an apple, say, like I am now and thinking a bit, and writing it down on your leg. Have to get going now, will get going. Can’t stay here all day. Have to keep on moving, will keep on, have to, will, it makes no difference.

Later, it must be later. I have new cuts and bruises. I have written above my right knee. I am in a hole, there is no food, I am on my own. There are two kinds of scraping. One is the scraping that we make, and the other is the scraping of the rats or mice, don’t distinguish. There are always hundreds of them. That is why we throw the cats down the wells. Cats encourage mice and rats, you find a cat you know there will be a scampering little mouse or rat nearby. The mice and rats bite us and eat our food. No matter how many cats we get rid of there are always the mice and rats. We throw the cats down the wells. The wells must be very deep. They smell badly at the top so you do not linger, dead cat smell. Also the new ones we throw down howl and screech for days before they die so that is another noise that is always there. So these three noises go on for ever and never change. They are the continual noises. The other noises are continuous by which I mean they are not there all the time but they are very frequent so to all effects and purposes they are part of the never changing noise. One of the noises is when Sam the Bucket is around because you hear him coming as his bucket drags on the floor. There is rarely a silence between the grunting and groaning when two or more are hitting each other with bones when trying to get past each other. Some hit out with the bones for no reason at all. Others take to hitting themselves on the head with their bone and set up dreadful screamings and moanings, they are the lost ones, the crazies, the mad.  Often they throw themselves down the wells and you can tell from the shrieking that they are being devoured by a thick heap of  demented cats. Have to get going soon, will get going, can’t sit here all day writing. Hard work getting through, got to do it, got to work to eat. This hole is a hard place and there is no food,  got to get on. Maybe I will be lucky and find a new bone. This one is all right but I would like something a bit longer so I can poke without being poked. That would be good, finding a new bone. Mind you, have to be careful. All this thinking and hoping is bad. Too much thinking, hoping. The wells are full of the bones and the corpses of the mad. Best to keep going, on now, on, have to go now.

Later, it must be later. There is a slice of meat and a bowl of icecream by my side. Am still in a tunnel, will find a hole to eat. It must be me still, it must be me again because I am halfway up my right thigh and my left foot is cut to shreds. Both my eyes are hurting and I can feel dried blood on my cheeks as if someone has poked me with a wishbone. They are rare to find but when you get one you can tie it to a  longer bone, you have to wait for a banana, very rare, to get the string. This hole is all right but sometimes you find yourself in a hole that is near another hole and there is the last kind of noise. You see, the tunnels slope up and down and in and out, and they circle in ways impossible to tell, and  so you can sometimes find your hole is separated from another hole, maybe next to you or above or below only by thin rock so you can hear what goes on in the other hole. The icecream was nice. You most often have to choose between rice pudding or half an apple. While I was eating,  there was shouting from the hole beneath me. When two copulate sometimes they stick together for a while like these two. I heard thumps and screams and  the clicking of bones and one of them shouted, though it was muffled I could hear it, “ You fucking cunt, you robbed my bone, you stinking slut you owe me half a dairylea and a cracker. Where are they? I’ll take you out you thieving nobhead. ” Then there was more clicking and thumping and screaming and snarling, and this is quite usual, the main form and content of communication.  The other argument that often passes the time, now I come to think of it and now I have almost reached my groin, is between two men, not that I am saying the copulating ones are not both men or both women, but it is more usual that one will call itself a man and the other a woman, so too when I say the second main argument is most often between two men, I do not exclude entirely other combinations, and it is this, that one will shout at the other, point his bone threateningly, and the other will burst into a fit of temper and start waving his bone around back at the other, screaming,”Don’t treat me like a child, I am not a child, I’ll fucking take you out you bastard.” And of course, no one is a child down here, not even the children, but that does not stop people passing the time sometimes by feeling they are being treated like a child. That is the final noise, speaking, that I hear, not continual but continuous, always a possibility. It has made me feel sick writing so much, or maybe it was the icecream. I have to get going, will go now, I can’t stop here wasting time, work to do, got to move on, keep going.

It’s later, and it must be me because I am on my belly now, keeping to the right of the hole in the middle. I am still me so that hasn’t changed either, nothing ever changes, the cats are screeching, there is the tinkling of bones from the shafts, some are still in the tunnels, I can hear the dry scraping of two copulating near me, the scampering of tiny feet,  thick drums of arguments, the wailing of the lost and mad, thrusts and grunts of combatants, the never changing bones of contention. It is all the same, always, and  as I writing on my belly am the same at least for a while. Maybe I am dreaming, maybe later I will be someone else or maybe I am someone else and just think I am me. Who knows? It would drive you over the edge into the wells thinking too much about such things, or send you wildly up the shafts looking for some alternative that doesn’t exist, as if being higher would make you different, or scrabbling for some escape into a make-believe heaven outside the tunnels would bring you salvation, or even just for the thrill of climbing, whatever, you would end up as mincemeat, shredded meat, sharded and spiked by the vicious edges of what’s up in them shafts, or wedged in a tomb of rock until your body rots and the bones fall down.

There was this man, Billy the Bone, I remember him, I did not know until now that I remember him. He had a hole, more like a cave really, and he never left it. I saw him twice. He sat in the mouth of the cave and spoke to people as they went past. He had a necklace made of little bones, tiny little bones, and he said they were cat bones, and he had been down to the bottom of a well and found more tunnels down there, and he had a drum he said he made out of cat skin and he said he made a rope from catgut, and he had been up the top of the shafts and there were hundreds more tunnels up there and he went up the shafts of those tunnels and so on, and he saw some light coming down, he said it was like impossible to describe because all we knew of light was darkness, but it was pure and, light that you could not imagine but only experience, and he had a drum and a stick made out of a cat bone so he said and he would close his eyes and lightly bounce the bone on the stretched catskin and make noises like soft ones, not hard, I only knew what hard meant when I heard his noises which were soft and I don’t know, you would have to hear them to know what I mean. Anyway, the second time I saw him he spoke to me, no one had ever spoke like that to me, or has ever since, and he asked me if I knew where I had come from and where I was going. Never saw him again, he was a nutter, probably smashed his own skull in with a thigh bone or threw himself down the well. Don’t know why I remembered him. Too much thinking is bad, screws you up, makes you crazy. Fucking nonsense. Have to get going now. Will get going. Will.

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