Lonely Night

I watch myself from the corner of the room sitting in the armchair, at the foot of the stairwell. A small white moon shows over the fencing outside. No matter how dark the room gets I can always see. It looks emptier when I put the lights on so I don’t do it if I can help it. Brightness disagrees with me: it hurts my eyes, wastes electricity and encourages moths, all sorts of things. I sit in the dark for a number of reasons.

The curtains are too wee to close properly so the draught from the attic filters right through to the chair and makes me cold. Streetlight gets in and makes the furniture glow at the edges, like bits of sunk ship rising out of the wash of green. You notice it more with the TV off. The carpet is ancient with a sort of Persian design. In the daytime it has red and blue shapes in the centre and green lines weaving them together like ivy. Now it looks like seaweed. The threadbare bits are charcoal and there’s a black patch. Liquid black. Still wet. It seeps when I put my shoe near, bleeding at the rim of leather, sucking at the sole. I rock my foot back and forth in the wet till it skids and jerks my knee. A sharp kind of pain. I get stiff sitting for ages: my knuckles rust. Clutching at the armrests as though I’m scared I’ll fall. I can’t think where I’ve left my watch.

The green numbers on the stereo flash 3:20. But it goes fast. I know perfectly well it doesn’t matter what the real time is. This is all beside the point. The fact remains it’s so late it’s early and I have to move. I have to go upstairs. I have work tomorrow and I have to go upstairs.

I look at the ceiling where upstairs is, then back at my hands. I have to concentrate: one finger at a time, releasing pressure and rebalancing in the chair to accommodate the tilting, adjusting, redistributing pieces of myself. Hands are bastards: so many separate pieces. The muscles in the thighs tightening as the feet push down and the stomach clenching to take the weight then I’m out the chair, shaky but upright. My knees ache. I move, ignoring the carpet as it tries to nudge through the soles.

Square window on the landing, flat royal blue. Shadows of trees on the wall. It’s always a good idea to stop here, looking up at the window before you start on the stairs; steady yourself and work out the tactics. Sometimes I get the notion I have to take the stairs in one or something terrible might happen. Other times I take them one at a time and count, making sure they’re all still there. Tonight, there’s nothing. I haul up with the handrail for a rope and get filthy from the upstairs skirting. strings of oose shelter in corners, waving ghost arms. It’s time I got this place clean.

Five doors radiate from the top of the landing and every door is closed. I am meticulous about the doors because of the noise they make when the wind rises, rattling and tapping on the wood surround. They knock. There’s a mirror in the bathroom that’s best avoided. I go straight to the bedroom, kicking off shoes despite the fact that it’s freezingyou can’t sleep in your shoes then slice between the quilt and mattress, making myself flat cardboard. I read in a magazine once that to get warmer, you shouldn’t curl into yourself but lie out full to spread the heat. I look out of the window, checking for a change in the sky, then close the curtain, reaching out with one stiff arm. I listen for the birds to come outside on the ledge. It always takes a long time.

~ by Disturbed Stranger on May 22, 2008.

94 Responses to “Lonely Night”

  1. This is different. Something about this piece pulls me in. The carpet maybe. I’d have to read again.
    Superb DS :*

  2. I sense a disconsolate aura between the lines. It evokes a lot of negative feelings, is that normal? Or am I repressing my gloomy feelings? :/ There is this sense of choking or falling, either way it’s a feeling of being hopeless. I can’t explain it! I am sure you understand what I mean, right Disturbed?

  3. Some excellent use of descriptions there. I like the bit at the end .. where the person is waiting for the birds :) a sign of hope! Well done lol you’re getting there!! I’m so proud of you!

  4. Something about this takes my mind to the short story written by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, “The Yellow Wallpaper.” If you haven’t read it, it’ll defintely enchant the twisted spirit in you.

    I sense a descent into madness in this character. It’s not the room, the mirror, or the stairwell that is ominous, it’s her mind.

    The mind held prisoner is the ultimate terror.

    Very nicely done. I’m quite spooked and intrigued.

  5. This is my favorite so far!

  6. Your writing never fails to astound me, though I am fretful about the author.

  7. All I could feel while reading this is emptiness.

    p.s. We missed you at the meeting yesterday. It was also empty without you.

  8. OMG! Is everything alright with you? :S

    But wonderful descriptives. I love this:
    “The carpet is ancient with a sort of Persian design. In the daytime it has red and blue shapes in the centre and green lines weaving them together like ivy. Now it looks like seaweed. The threadbare bits are charcoal and there’s a black patch. Liquid black. Still wet. It seeps when I put my shoe near, bleeding at the rim of leather, sucking at the sole. I rock my foot back and forth in the wet till it skids and jerks my knee. A sharp kind of pain.”

    I’ve never heard a carpet being described that way! You’re amazing!

  9. WOW! Something different. I love your description Damn it!! I can’t seem to say it enough! Genius wallah genius (lol, remembering the 9ab7an “geenyo9” mal morahaq bel 5emseen :P )

    Yeah and I agree with Dr.Know the meeting was a little dull :( we all missed you and cursed you at the same time! Bes Mr.P shut us up w ma 5elana n6ele3 7aratna! :@

  10. Depressing Disturbed.
    Visit me I have something that will cheer you up.

  11. 3omri shal nakad? :S Is everything ok? I know your writing is beautiful and vivid details make it outstanding, but something is not right here. I need to check on you :*

  12. Everything’s so dark: the room, the character, the words.. the author?
    Brilliant descriptives as usual. I like this piece it’s different. What’s scary though, it doesn’t seem like fiction :/
    Well done.

  13. 3ajeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeba! Gloomy wa nakad! I love it! malech shughul ib these ppl there is nothing wrong with you. u r a genius, ppl always think there is something wrong with geniuses :)

    and yeah loser we missed you on thursday! :@ you’re supposed to be the organizer and u dont show up? tsk tsk!

  14. hanan- Next time comment after your 2nd read ;)

    Chris- You are repressed. We’ll chat about that online later.

    L- Always going for the “bright” side ;) bird? Really? :*

    BizyLizy- I have read the story, it was the only short story I liked … Teacher thought I was odd ;) eh… what does he know?
    “The mind held prisoner”- you’re the only one who gets me BL ;)

    Amethyst- I’m glad.

    Powell- Don’t be. ;)

    Dr.Know- Emptiness is a killer. And I am not surprised you missed me, I AM the best thing that ever happened to that bc ;)

    Pixie- Stick around then… More unique and anomalous descriptions coming up.

    q8tia- People shutting you up a lot lately aren’t they? Poor thing :P

    Katy- Interesting. I’m going to love this ;)

    Queen N- Nothing has been right… so what else is new?

    The Keeper- There is a thin line between Fiction and Reality.

    Viper- Yeah, wasn’t in the mood for y’all ;)

  15. It’s true, you are the heart of the book club. Without you it’s not alive.

  16. Loneliness and depression.
    It amazes me how you beautify negative feelings, I don’t think anyone can do that. It requires talent, and you my friend are very talented.

  17. My life in a nutshell :S

    Beautiful Disturbed Stranger, I agree with Elijah completely, you are talented.

  18. Beautifully written. You captured the moment, the starkness of night and solitude. I want to go and weep quietly into my coffee mug. You’re very talented, you know. I’m dying to ask you where you’re from, but does it really matter over here?

    PS I missed you too.

  19. Does that mean you didn’t like the meeting? Were we that bad without the Captain? :S This is painful Mr.P :(

  20. OUCH Petey!! :'( That wasn’t nice.

    You love us don’t deny it, you liar :'(

  21. Disrurbed Stranger, you are ripping families apart, you home breaker! :(

  22. Take it easy Disturbed! What’s up with the gloominess?! But other than that, remarkably gripping!! I was captivated. It feels so peaceful despite the lonesome atmosphere. Fantastic! :) Can’t wait till the next post.

    And Mr.P I was devastated at your remark. Disturbed isn’t the only “good thing” in the book club! (no offense Disturbed :* Just trying to argue a point)

  23. You are all good sports. I only meant Disturbed is the “heart” of the book club in the sense that she adds a couple of “beats” to it ;)

    Cheer up gang ;)

  24. It’s been a while since I was last here, You’ve written so much it’s hard to keep up, so I will be coming back to comment on previous posts but I couldn’t resist commenting on this piece. Awakening; we avoid aknowledging those feelings that bring us down. This piece is a reminder of those unwelcomed feelings. I’d say you were really down when you wrote this, either that or.. I am 100% convinced now that you are Disturbed :P

    keep up the hard work and I’ll be back soon.

  25. ok, apology…errr…ummm… excuse accepted :P

  26. Deeply moving. It casts light on hidden (but stirring) issues. Hopelessness and internal suffering. The character is severely wounded and it feels like she’s alone in her torments.

    Bravo Disturbed, once again you’ve astounded me.

  27. Am I the LAST one to comment?!! So much for being your #1 fan!
    ok because I am shattered right now (for being the last, and Mr.P’s comment topping it as well) I will not spark an interesting argument. There. No we’re even.

    ok ok I still love you and I still think you’re the best writer ever!! Woman you are so damn good!

    Waiting eagerly for you’re next post :*

  28. Powell- You’re a flatterer.

    Elijah- I guess I am talented ;) Thank you.

    This Random Life- A lot of people’s lives in a nutshell hon… And thank you.

    Harmonie22- Thank you darling… And where I’m from might come as a bit of a surprise: Kuwait ;)

    q8tia- Quit you’re whining, I can see the lines forming on your forehead from all the way over here ;)

    Viper- “home breaker”? I am known for that you know ;)

    J.J.- Wow. You can feel?

    Powell- I don’t know what you’re talking about ;) what beats?

    Skullful- “You’ve written so much it’s hard to keep up” YEAH! Tell that to those who keep nagging for more posts.
    And “I’d say you were really down when you wrote this, either that or.. I am 100% convinced now that you are Disturbed”… I’d say both.

    P2C2U- Well done!

    Zartha- #1 fan and last to comment… BS ;) Thanks anyway :*

  29. Kuwait?!! Wooooow! :D Unexpected

    Nicely done Disturbed, very nicely done.

  30. Nice…literally very visual. I could just picture it.
    Well done

  31. You might have been born a Kuwaiti, but you were raised a British.

  32. I always look forward to your posts, believe it or not your writing is the only thing I read and “feel” with. This just shows how sincere and unique your writing is.

    Great job Disturbed Stranger.

  33. oh, by the way, finished your first recommendation, I was speechless, wrote you an email about my input. You were right it is one-of-a-kind! Starting with the second one now; looks promising so far.

    Again thank you very much!

  34. KUWAIT?!!!!! COOL. OH MY GOD, that was the last place I was expecting you’d be from (and I don’t mean it in any offensive way)

    ok back to your writing. I sympathize with the character. So lonely.

  35. What a long way of saying I went to bed >_>;

  36. Phil Barnes and Victoria- Like Powell put it “raised a British”, so just a Kuwaiti by “papers” ;) and thank you both.

    enemy- that’s the idea. Thank you.

    Ancrene Wiseass- I am touched. And I am glad you liked the first one … the second is a killer… you’ll soon know what I mean ;)

    3baid- LoL. That says a lot about your creativity ;)

  37. Thank you..I’m amazed at your writings and can’t wait to read into your archives…you have a gift…

  38. Painful to read. You choose dark themes for your writing Disturbed. Really good job.

  39. Overwhelming words Disturbed..
    You’re not alone.
    Good job.

  40. Glooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooomy :(

  41. There’s a lot of emotion in these descriptions. i can feel it.

  42. It feels like I am starting a psych novel, you’d probably tell me later that she’s a schiz. right? :)
    Wonderful work. You should really consider publishing your work.

  43. Hey, long time no see, or hear :P
    Great descriptive, autobiographical? ;)
    Great job anyhoo.

  44. How old are you? :)

  45. linneyshvede- Read all you want and enjoy. Thank you.

    Delusional BND- Reality is dark..

    Homeless Man Speaks- What do you know about being alone?

    laineylapiz- Good job.

    Karri Compton- I’ll leave the guessing to you ;) Thank you.

    RIP- maybe…

    Anonymous- Old enough to ignore that question ;)

  46. “The green numbers on the stereo flash 3:20. But it goes fast. I know perfectly well it doesn’t matter what the real time is.”
    I love this! It’s so original! I think everyone at some point was put in that position. Beautiful work Disturbed.

  47. I had to google you to find you. Did you go fix you name link put url in profile thingy yet? That is a cool story. Elusive, half dream somethings not explained but it is still works story with some very nice touches in the prose. ‘slicing’ and others. Cool.

  48. looooooooooooool! :P
    I like you..

  49. Brilliant work. Real “suffocating” issues. I hear you Disturbed, loud and clear.

  50. This is different…..nice.

    So are you coming here for the summer? did you make up your mind yet? ;) waiting……

  51. 7aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa3!!
    Anonymous?!!! shino you like?! No No we don’t have these conversations (ma3endina hal suwalef!) ur limits please :)and Judy….. where is she going? Tell me … :) (Disturbed, don’t you dare comment here, sektay wa jablai shughlech :*****)

  52. Loooooooool! Queen N show ur dark side :P

    Disturbed- Yallllllaaaa new post !! and na’3zetech malet Skullful mo 3alaina :P YAAAAAAAAAALLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!


  53. I can relate with the character so much it scares me.
    Nice work Disturbed Stranger.

  54. Rawan- I know… Thank you.

    Paul Squires- “google you to find you”… looool sounds so romantic :P But no, it didn’t work, still not “clickable”! :@ and thank you I’m glad you liked it.

    Anonymous- hmmm… I don’t think I like you.

    Kevin H- you do? Really? Didn’t think I was reaching out though.

    Judy-.- – I don’t think so… but I might drop by in August… then you can fulfill your “promise” ;)

    Queen N- one word for you… PRIVACY!

    Q8tia- don’t encourage her… and another word for you…. Silence ;)

    Alysha- It shouldn’t… because unlike how most people see this as “disturbed” in fact it’s normal. What’s disturbed is believing in “happily ever afters” and perfection.

  55. One word: Mako
    two words: mu ibkayfech
    three words: deal with it!

  56. a7la shay laman ba3’9 el nas yetcha3amown :P
    Here’s my new interpretation of the story: The character is not disturbed or lonely or suffering or depressed. Instead, she’s happy. Yes, happy. She’s alone, living away from people; the way she likes it, with no care and no responsibilites. She probably just got her freedom only recently which explains her state of “shock”, it hasn’t been absorbed yet. She is unable to sleep because she’s excited about her new lifestyle. She can do whatever she wants now, she doesn’t have to sleep if she doesn’t want to, and that girl hardly gets any sleep. So instead, she stays up thinking, gathering her thoughts and maybe……. maybe then she’d put those creative thoughts on paper…. or elsewhere? ;) She’s very bright, very independent, very mysterious and very charming. She loves her solitude. She hardly needs anyone around her, yet those who meet her, can’t seem to accept her not accepting them. They end up forcing her to be with them, stay with them, even like them. They don’t care if she doesn’t like it as long as she’s there with them. She’s a mystery that attracts many people who don’t even know why they are attracted to her in the first place; they find themselves challenged to unravel her secrets, to get to know her, to get her to throw a single momentery smile their way, and that alone can melt a million hearts ;)

    What do you think? ;)

  57. I’m not surprised that you’re from Kuwait but at the same time I am. So few of us are able to remove the blinkers…so now I’ve probably alienated the q8t blogsphere by saying this but do I care? It’s true! Hope your well.

  58. great work!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  59. Stop flirting Viper. I’m warning you.

  60. Now that I read it again, I know what pulled me in. It’s not that carpet. It’s the dark spot in a carpet that’s – unlike Gilman’s dismally yellow wallpaper – colorfully red, blue and green. Not a bad combination of colors to be pulled into, even if the deception of the moonlight makes them appear sea-weedy in color. Then of course there’s the bleeding and sucking and pain that follows. This is a lively piece.
    Time is being watched though irrelevant and mirror images avoided though accessible. An escape from reality that can be read as a light escape in spite of the heavy trudging of feet up the stairs. After all, the narrator humorously begins by saying its moth and electricity that keeps her in the dark.
    Depression might have inspired the piece, but this is a very optimistic dealing with depression, and not just because of the waiting for birds at the end (another echo from Gilman of course).
    Sorry for reading against the grain (pun intended) but it makes for a more interesting reading that saying this is disturbed piece by a disturbed stranger :)

  61. You are my idol

  62. you;re writing is very good I especially like this one

  63. I like your style..
    keep up the good work

    and.. welcome to Safat

  64. Plenty

  65. Viper- Am I supposed to be impressed? I appreciate your “effort” though ;)

    harmonie22- “So few of us are able to remove the blinkers…” And are you one of these few?

    Joshua- Thank you

    Queen N- Stop interfering… I’m warning you.

    hanan- You sound just like a literature teacher ;)

    ma95arabee6- I can’t say I’m honored considering your last idol was a duck! :P

    Samira- Thank you. I am glad you liked it.

    Exzombie- Thank you for having me and thank you for your comment.

    Homeless Man Speaks- Share then.

  66. u write well and very lovely image

  67. Every time I come back, hoping to find a new post, I read this last post again and I swear I am being completely honest when I say this; I discover something new and feel different about it every read! You really are an extraordinary writer and I am honoured to have met you (well, known you :) )

  68. Hey Disturbed! omg!
    You’ve done a lovely job.
    I read the dungeon story, I’ll comment later, it’s breathtaking.
    This piece is so original and so innovative. I love it.
    Missed you so much at the book club meeting :(
    I’ll be back soon for more :* Keep up the hard work, you make us all proud :*

  69. Excellent imagery! I felt like i was there in the room, my body stiff, stuck fast, and depressed. I wasn’t released until the end – then i came back to reality. once again..as always, Amazing Work!


  70. Wow there isn’t really much left for me to say :(
    sorry I was late? but you know I was out of the country. By the way, your “request” is here with me ;)
    As for your writing, well I am tired of saying it: Brilliant.
    Next piece!

  71. rawdawgbuffalo- Thank you and welcome. Like your blog.

    The Keeper- “I discover something new and feel different about it every read!”- Very imaginative then, good for you.

    Sarah- Hey, where have you been? Late entrance as usual ;) and good I like to be missed.

    naughtycorner07- Did my work do all that? ;) neat.
    And P.S. what…?

    mental challenge- tired of saying it? Then come up with something new! I am tired of hearing it ;) and IT’S HERE?! REALLY? Can’t wait to see you (not because I want to see YOU, just so we’re clear)

  72. It’s not any duck!! It’s Daffy Duck! and it’s not like he’s not your favorite too -_- looool (fetha7tech? 7ada it ruined your Disturbed style :P )

  73. When is the next piece coming? It’s been a while. Or are you waiting for the comments to reach 100 before publishing a new one?

  74. I love your blog! :D Amazingly written!

  75. Ignore me… I don’t have a life.

  76. looool :P
    Disturbed, You do know who that is right? :P kaaaaak walla nas wayn wa tech. wain :P
    Anyway, glad to offer my services ;)

  77. P.S. I meant to ask who you were referring to in your writing, The Girl or the evil man…but after re-reading your story over again, i now know :) You pay such close attention to detail…i meant to erase that ‘p.s.’ but forgot oops… : P

  78. Lol look at the time >:D muahahhaha 3indee imti7aan in 3 hours and a half oo ga3ad asma3 linkin park oo ga3ed 3ala your blog.. thats how far I go to not study.. Allah i3een chemistry bes shaklee bazig :D

    If you were a good girl, ud have written a new post to entertain me while i was avoiding studying :@ where is it???

  79. Despise jealous vindictive people, don’t allow them to pull you down.

  80. Ya3ny el7een ana 9irt 1 user from 1 computer ma 3endy IP number 5a9 fini???! :@ HOW RUDE!
    Disturbed, delete that comment it’s runining your blog.

  81. loooool Mr.P I wrote my comment before yours and you get published first :@ I am telling you you are all working against me!

  82. Does she realize how laughably foolish she sounds? :P
    Should have done her homework :P
    oh and nice work Viper :)

  83. ma95arabee6- loool. ok ;)

    hanan- Yes ma’am!

    Yasmine- cousin or school? :) thank you.

    Name- You’ll get over yourself, just like everyone else ;)

    naughtycorner07-loool. ok ;)

    bc people- since when do we indulge scum? ;) Ignore.

    L- study hard… and I’ll write something just for you :*

  84. Perhaps you have something against making you name a link? I had to google you again. I would scroll all the way up the comments to see if you said something last time but I am too lazy. So just in case I will put this here. Dashboard, Users, Your Profile, scroll down to Contact Info and insert URL. Hope that helps. Thanks for the comments I appreciate your honesty greatly. Keep up the cool, tremulous writing.

  85. I feel that my comment would be just another “great job!” in the torrent of ‘great-job!’s that you received on this piece … so yeah, great job.
    I’ll save the analysis for school next semester. Unlike some people, I still have a bunch of courses to go.

  86. Loneliness: when no one is around to hear you speak, when people avoid looking at you, when the only comfort you get is from your own voice telling yourself everything is ok when nothing is ok. No friends and no family. No home and no job. No social life. That’s loneliness.

  87. interesting !! i like this a lot .. its different from the rest and i’d like to read more of this .. (seriously)

  88. Does anyone besides me see the sexual connotation in the shoe and carpet description? Or is this just my subconscious perversion working up?
    by the by I was dumbounded by your “Ideal Illusion” article!

  89. *dumbfounded :)

  90. Kristine, everything you read on this blog has sexual connotations :P
    and, I had made a point about the shoe and the carpet but someone didn’t approve of it! :@

  91. I was actually waiting for someone to point out the sexual reference :) I second Kristine. Alone at night and depressed? She seems horny to me, no offense, beautiful word Stranger!

  92. Great description

  93. That’s one gorgeous shade of lonely :) !!

  94. “The green numbers on the stereo flash 3:20. But it goes fast. I know perfectly well it doesn’t matter what the real time is. This is all beside the point. The fact remains it’s so late it’s early and I have to move.”
    this is the part i love best. don’t know why!
    I’ll continue checking the blog and comment from time to time
    well done and WOW

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