My breathing is irregular. I press down my hand against my ribcage… I can’t feel anything.
I ram my glottis with two fingers and vomit all over the place, just to make
sure I am still alive. The dead can’t vomit, can they? But hey, I
can’t smell a thing, what is wrong with me? “Requiem”
is playing at loud volume. Mais non, imbécile, it’s
just “Waiting Around to Die”. Mon God,
parlez-vous French? Footsteps are
getting closer. Who’s coming? I
scream. There is a gigantic
black hole that wants to
swallow me. I must
escape. Fleeing is
the only solution
against the big
I find a
ladder. I have
always had vertigo but
never mind. I need to climb
higher and higher and higher. Cymbals spit
on my face but they get me going. I am breathless,
I open my mouth and taste relief on my tongue. I smell
liberation. I am riding the waves. I have always been at the
top of my game whenever I surf, especially with Laurent Garnier
breathing his acidic beats in my back. I stand up, ready to embrace the world.
Ouch! My head’s hurt the sky. I always forget the sky. It’s painful for the sky when
you hit its clouds. But I am also injured. My head is spinning now. The
black hole again. I disappear, helplessly sucked into it.
A whirlwind of failures, hatred, dashed
hopes. I am drowning in codfish
liver oil. My whole body is
sucked into the known
Oliver A. Castaignede was born in France in 1973. He has been living in Singapore since 2000. He quit his salaried job at a multinational company in 2015 to focus on writing and traveling. His first novel (in French), “Radikal”, was published in September 2017 by Editions Gope.
He is now enrolled in the first MA in creative writing in South East Asia, at Lasalle College of the Arts in Singapore. Castaignede writes in English—poems, short stories and creative non-fiction texts inspired by trips around the world. Some of his travel pieces have been published in Wanderlust and one of his short stories has been selected by The Crab Orchard Review for publication in May 2018.