Brutalist Stories #16

72 Hours Remain

Robotics Research Institute St Petersburg

Robotics Research Institute St Petersburg

It’s said a man must pay for his truths. Once he discovers something inside himself he’s bound by it, forever. Once that thing comes out of him and he has to stare at it and look at it, this part of him, this thing that’s exploded from his mind or soul or whatever you want to call it, he has to pay for it.

Mine was hating myself, but that wasn’t the truth, the truth that I had to pay for was understanding where it came from. Where the hatred boiled up from. All those memories, over the course of a life, some flash and some flicker. Some are as clear as today, others mix in a heady cloud and only a smile or a tear remains, but all of them happened, at least you convince yourself they did.

All of them took place, all of them meant something, all of them contributed to you. Who you are, where you came from, what you are now, and of course, why, in my case, you hate yourself.

Where is it, in this ether? In this time that you float through in your own mind. What comes to you when you look for a reason, what is there when you dig deeper and deeper? The things you did to yourself? The things you did to others? The things you didn’t do or those you left behind? You have to hold them up, you have to scrutinise, you have to consider and embrace and know them, but that never makes it any easier.

And now, as I walk through this timeless place, the concrete’s grey reflecting the state of my mind and I hold my wrist up, and the digital readout embedded within it ticks down the seconds, 259,200, 259,199, 259,198…and so on, and so on, 72 hours you’re given to try and meet yourself. Meet your maker, before we are taken away and pushed off the edge, into the pit where everyone goes.

And here, at the end, this is where they say you really pay for those truths, and I’m paying. I thought I might find something else, I kidded myself for one of those seconds that it might be something else other than the hate, but no. It’s there, I’ve made the payment, I’m bound by it now, and it’s funny. For all the searching I’ve done throughout this life, to try and find a semblance of freedom, I considered that it might come, here and now, at the end in some sort of epiphany, but no. Just the truth, the payment, and the end, but not reason why? No yet. 72 hours remain, and it’s time to go as deep as I can.

Building inspiration: Robotics Research Institute St Petersburg

Musical inspiration: Locil - Weeds